Smile. yes, you. Smile. doctor’s orders.

Change isn’t hard, it’s just doing something different.  It’s not hard, it’s just different.  We don’t like to do stuff that’s different, it’s not comfortable, it’s different, the same is comfortable.  I know what the same is.  I may not like the same, but I do know what it is. And that’s comfortable, because it’s the same.

Change is just doing something different until it becomes the same.  How do you do that?  

Do you want to know how to do that, to make changes, to become different?  I can tell you if you want know the secret to change, it’s not very complicated.  You’ll be impressed by how simple it is.  And you won’t want to do it, because then things will be different and you don’t like different because we like to be comfortable.

Do you want me to tell you?  I can.  Okay, here’s the secret to change.

Do something different.

Didn’t I tell you that you’d be impressed with its simplicity?  And didn’t I tell you that you wouldn’t want to do it?

Change is not hard, we just don’t want to do it.  For example, say you’re a couch-potato unhealthy mess.  You want to change.  What do you do?  Start doing something different.  Go to the gym.  Oooh, I hate the gym.  Who cares, just go.  So you go, and you go, and you go, and soon, what was different, and you go, and you go, becomes the same, and you go, and now, it feels good to go to the gym.  You want to go to the gym because it feels good.

Or say you want to learn the piano.  What do you do?  Start taking piano lessons.  Oh my god, you’ll be awful, absolutely awful.  Who cares, just keep plunking away… you practice, and you practice, and it’s sooo boring, and you practice and you practice, and it’s not even close to music, and you practice and you practice, and now it’s turning into music, and what was different is becoming the same, and you practice and now you’re playing the piano.

Everything works that way.  It’s not some big Freudian secret, if you want to change, do things different.  Doing things the same will not lead to change.  Doing things different is the secret to change.

But you don’t want to do it, I know. 

What you’re doing when you do things different is you’re grooving in new tracks in your brain, like little groove thingies in the circuitry wiring.  Each time you do something it lays a little grove, like a raindrop down a dirt hill, it leaves a little groove.

Other raindrops can go different ways, but if a lot of raindrops keep going down one path, that path gets deeper and deeper.  That’s how our brain works, we groove in the neural networks.  Wanna hear the ten-dollar word… long-term potentiation… ain’t that a mouthful.  That’s the term for the grooving in process.

The ten-cent word is habit.

It’s also called use-dependent development – we build what we use.  Every time we use a neural network it gets strong, faster, and more efficient.  If we use problematic networks (do stupid things and make poor decisions), these networks become stronger, faster, and more efficient.  We get better at making mistakes and getting ourselves into trouble… because we keep doing it, and… because we keep doing it… we keep doing it.

We build what we use.

So how do we change?

First… stop doing the bad thing.  Whatever the bad thing is, don’t do that anymore because you are only grooving it deeper and deeper every time.  So put a big boulder in that groove, you are NOT going down that groove.

Uh-oh.  That’s the only groove you have.  You’ve been struck in that groove since the dawn of time, it’s the Grand Canyon of grooves in your brain, all other grooves in your brain feed into that single groove.

I don’t care.  Do something different.

What?

I don’t care, just so it’s different.

Ahhhh, okay, okay, ahhhh, it’s so different and I don’t know what to do.

What do you want to do?

You’re free. 

But every single time a single nerve cell lights up in your brain, it is going to head directly for that mother of all grooves, the bad one.  What do you do?  Don’t do the bad groove, that only makes it deeper, do something different?  What?  I don’t care, just so it’s different.  Ahhh, okay, well, what, what…

What do you want to do?

Is it hard to go to the gym?  Yes.  Do you want to go to the gym?  No.  Do you go to the gym?  Yes.  Why?  Because it’s different.  The same is sitting on the couch.  Do not-that.  So then what?  I’ll go to the gym.  I hate the gym.  Who cares, just go, and go… see?  Grooving in the brain circuits.

Piano, same thing.  Or how do you learn math?  Do it over-and-over, all the time, you groove in the “doing math” circuits in the brain, use-dependent development.

Two parts, 1) stop doing the bad groove, it only makes it deeper, 2) start doing something different.  What?  It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s different (don’t worry, you’re a smart human, you’ll figure out the what – what do you want to do?)

Change isn’t hard, it’s actually quite simple.  Do things different.  If you do things the same, that’s not going to be change, that’s just the same.

But change is scary (ahh-ahh, it’s not the same, it’s different), but don’t worry, we’re smart humans, we’ll figure it out.  Once you leave the groove, you’re… free.

But we don’t want to be free, too much pressure.  It’s more comfortable in our grooves.  We may not like our grooves, but they’re ours, and they’re comfortable…. kind of a familiar suffering.

I want to give you a gift. I’m not sure you’ll take it, but maybe.

I want you to smile.

More often, a lot as a matter of fact.  Not because you feel happy.  I don’t care how you feel.  Did I say I want you to feel happy?  No.

I want you to smile.

For no reason whatsoever.  I know, amazingly silly.  I don’t care, just smile.  More.

How many times do you smile a day?  Three times?  Five times?  Zero times?  Whatever it is, I want you to smile three times as much. So if you smile zero – smile three times a day, for no reason whatsoever and yes you will look like a lunatic.  I don’t care.  Just smile, for no reason whatsoever.

If you smile twice a day, smile six, three times, smile nine… oh my god, Dr. Childress, stop, you’ll have me smiling all the time.

Exactly.  Maybe not all the time, but pretty close.  Why?  Use-dependent development, we build what we use.  I’m gifting you a brain-hack, a back-door.  There’s this little kink in the neural networks that we can take advantage of… we’re stupid.

Our brain doesn’t know how we feel.  So when we smile, our brain registers the muscle movement of the smile, but when it goes to look at emotions there’s no happy.  What’s up with that?  So the brain calls down to emotions and says, “Are you happy?”

And emotions says, “No, not really.”

“Well, we’re smiling, so we must be happy.  Give us some happy.”  So emotions produces a little pop of happy, called endorphins for the ten-buck word.  We trick the system into thinking it’s happy.  Emotions and body are linked, we just ran up the backside of the system.

We smile when we’re happy… and we’re happy when we smile, either way.

Then… we use use-dependent development, just like playing the piano, just like going to the gym.  What happens when you go to the gym over-and-over again, you get all buffed-out and strong.  What happens if you practice the piano over-and-over again, you’re playing jazz riffs at the Christmas party.  So then smile.

Smiling is a whole lot easier than going to the gym and practicing the piano, and way-way more fun.  You’ll feel silly.  I don’t care.  You’ll look silly.  Doesn’t matter.  Apologize if you look creepy, tell them “doctor’s orders.”  Doesn’t matter, just smile, for no reason at all.

Do it in the car while you’re driving to and from work.  You have all kinds of time driving.  You’re brain doesn’t care when you practice “happy” – car’s a great time.  Just smile.  “But I don’t feel happy.”  Just smile anyway.

Do it over-and-over, practice the piano over and over and what happens?

Are you terrible at the piano when you start?  Yes.  Does it matter?  No. 

It is as simple as just doing something different.  Smile.  More.  Again…. and again… and again.  I don’t care whether you feel happy, you will become happier.  Not an ecstatic find-god sort of happy.  But your brain systems for the happy emotion will become stronger, faster, and more efficient.  That’s a nice thing.

You will become happier (stronger), more often (faster), and that feeling just sort of happy feeling will become a way of life (more efficient).  That’s not a bad outcome from smiling for no reason in the car to-and-from work. 

Before going to bed, from the time you enter the bedroom to the time you crawl under the covers, I want you to smile three times – doctors orders.  Three times before bedtime

Doctor’s orders:  Patient needs to increase the long-term potentiation and synaptogenesis along the neural networks for the up-arousal and social-bonding affect systems for joy and laughter. 

You need more joy and laughter, doctor’s orders.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

The Voice of Children, for Children.

I do not seek the voices of the children, children are neutral.  We will fight and win this battle with pathology without relying on the child’s voice.  We will find other ways, children are neutral.

Yet the adult children who have recovered themselves from their devastated childhoods of loss created by the pathology of one parent, can carry the voice of and for the child.

This speaker is anonymous to me, and that’s the way it should be. She speaks for all children of alienation. This pathology is devastating for the children, and it moves in them for a lifetime, a childhood destroyed, a lifetime altered, a lifetime of enduring grief and loss.  This is the voice of the child.  Listen.

Dorcy Pruter is also that child.  She’s not a psychologist or a mental health professional, she was that child.  She too was abandoned to the pathology of one parent that alienated her from the other.  She also had to self-recover because of the failure of professional psychology.  She became determined to end this for every child.

Amanda’s voice.

 

Dawn’s voice

I recently received this email from Dawn Endria McCarty, Chair, National Parents Organization Florida and Associate Producer for the documentary, Erasing Family.  I found her email to me spoke with the authenticity of that child, the voice from and for the children of alienation.  I asked and received her permission to post her email to me on my blog.

In addition to her work to bring an end to this devastating family pathology, she was that child.  Ms. McCarty is a survivor of childhood alienation.

These now-adult children, like Dawn McCarty, are coming forward to speak.  It is time to listen to this voice from the authentic child.


From Ms. McCarty:

Dr. Childress,

It’s a pleasure to be introduced to you directly and I want to thank you for sharing your work so generously.  As I watch your videos or read your posts to learn as much as I can from you, I have realized that for me, I take something away that is probably a little different than most, because I learn more about myself, than anything else.  I am an adult child that experienced the emotional cutoff that you speak about and I was just telling Paul, that what I learn is that my experiences and feelings from the trauma I endured are validated and I have a deeper understanding of what really took place.   I was abducted and erased from my father in 1972 and the world as I knew it vanished overnight.  What that world was replaced with is what I have referred to over the years as my personal “Twilight Zone”, which I could never reconcile it in my head without help.

After a 44-year search, I finally found my father January 29, 2016 and together we were able to do some much-needed healing.  I believe it is important for others to know is that a child cannot heal holistically without their erased parent, they need each other to really heal.  Before I realized this, I never thought I had a purpose, but I have learned otherwise over the last 3 years.  Thru the emotional roller coaster of feelings during the time I had with my father, I finally realized that there was a reason that I was able to survive the trauma as I did, and that is to share what I experienced now.  To expose and oppose those that believe they are only thinking about the “best interest of the child”.   I can dispute many of these arguments, where they are not able to dispute mine, because they are not thinking about the long-term effects of the child. They are only applying a band-aid to a wound that will never heal without the proper people and tools.

The turning point for me was when I lost my father again on January 19, 2018, only permanently this time.  I am a member of the unpopular group of people that have lost someone dear to them twice in one lifetime.  As we educate and reconnect children to their erased parents, there is potential for the membership of this group to grow if we don’t change and protect the child’s inalienable rights to love and be loved by both of their parents.  I feel a loss, yes, but I also feel extremely blessed that I was able to spend those last two years with him before he left this world. I am fortunate in that respect, however for others, that means there is no time to waste, we must change now for the children of today. 

I became a GAL and also participated in a few studies on the effects of abductions or emotional cutoffs, however they are hardly adequate for use by the United States to the degree we need them to be.  To my knowledge there are no studies conducted on the long-term effects of childhood trauma that follows the children throughout their lives.  We know that children do not outgrow their trauma, they do not get over it, they just suppress it.  We know that these effects do not go away, even when on the outside there is nothing apparently wrong.  It just sits idle in Pandora’s Box waiting for the trigger to be pulled and not many are ready or equipped with the needed tools to process these emotions.  Not when it is like a firehose on full blast, aimed at their heart.  It is my hope to get NPO to conduct a study of these long-term effects in the near future.

It is very true that you are working ahead of everyone else, as you mention in your posts.  Your research, education, and communications validate the long-term effects that I felt as a very young child, growing into a young adult, and far into being a grown woman.  By laying this out now, the way you have, means when we finally do get to conduct studies, there will be a model to follow.  In combination with future studies, I hope it will help identify the issues a child faces throughout their lives.  What I went through when my pandora’s box blew open was almost more than I could handle.  I am strong, yet I still had trouble handling this, which makes me fear for the ones who are either too fragile, the young children, the vulnerable, or those who are shattered from the trauma. I am sharing my experiences by speaking and educating for them, which is quite possibly the missing key to the argument. I am trying to be an open book to allow others to have an example to study and ask questions, although I still have my trauma brain struggles from time to time. But I promise to keep at it.  

That said, I am the chair for the National Parents Organization of Florida and as such, I am planning a Shared Parenting Conference this year with a Premiere of Erasing Family to officially kick of the Impact Campaign that Michelle Stegall-Jordan has implemented. I work closely with her and she has been coaching me both personally and professionally.  We have so many great resources and I am a huge collaborator of sharing and tapping into the tools and expertise that are effective. I have already had three screenings in the state with 3 or 4 more in the works and my hope is that with the attention we gain from Impact Campaign and hosting a statewide conference for equal shared parenting, we can get things rolling in our state legislatively by next year.

One member of my NPO team is Leslie Ferderigos (aka Lawyer Leslie and the “Alienated Kids” videos), whom you reached out to regarding a shared parenting conference in our state.  We would love to have you attend, if you are available.  We are teaming up with Danica Joan (Custody Matters) for a conference on April 24th and will probably have at least one other later on in the summer or fall.  If you can make the April conference, that would be fantastic, otherwise I can work with your schedule for the timing of the other conference later in the year.

I am looking forward to learning from and hopefully working with you more in the future.

Warm regards,

Dawn Endria McCarty
Chair, National Parents Organization Florida
Associate Producer – Erasing Family

dawnendriamccarty@nationalparentsorganization.org


I am unable to attend the conference in Florida on the 24th because I will be returning from my seminars with Dorcy in Ireland in April.  I hope to be in Florida in the future. 

The world is changing.  It needs to change.

I will not place any of the burden for change onto the child. That is our responsibility.  I’m fine with that.  Empathy, make it easy, no worries.  There are others, though, who were that child.  Who understand that child.  Who speak with that child’s voice.

We need to listen to that voice, the voice of the authentic child.  We need to bring them solutions for the entire family, to return to them a childhood of love and bonding, for all children, everywhere.

Empathy.  Simple empathy.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

Dr. Childress: Cyberspace Office

I have entered cyberspace. 

Cyberspace Office: my online office is at doxy.me/drchildress

Dr. Childress: Cyberspace Office

Scheduling Calendar: I have an online Scheduling Calendar for scheduling consultation appointments with me:

Dr. Childress: Scheduling Calendar

Website Description:  I further describe my Cyberspace Office & Telepsychology practice on my website:

Dr. Childress Website: Cyberspace Office & Telepsychology

Encrypted Email:  I have encrypted email through Hushmail.com

Dr. Childress Secure Email: drchildress@hushmail.com

California Residents:  I am licensed as a psychologist in California, so there are no restrictions on my ability to practice with California residents through telepsychology.

Non-California Residents:  Jurisdictional limitations on licensure restrict my ability to provide online psychotherapy with non-California residents using a telepsychology platform.  I can, however, provide limited-scope professional consultation with non-California residents (I am limiting this consultation to two sessions).

Professional-to-Professional:  There are no restrictions on my ability to provide online consultation to other mental health professionals or legal professionals.

Online Mental Health Consultation

My consultation with other mental health professionals can occur separately through my Cyberspace Office or can occur directly in their session through my telepsychology platform (with the proper permissions and agreement of the involved parties).  There are two implications of this;

1.) Parent-initiated Consultation: The targeted parent can, with the prior permission of the therapist, bring me to an appointment with the involved mental health professional for direct telepsychology mediated consultation, or can schedule a separate appointment time with the therapist at the Cyberspace Office of Dr. Childress.  We can meet in their brick-and-mortar office or at mine in cyberspace, whichever is preferred.

2.) Therapist-Initiated Consultation: The therapist can request the direct in-session telepsychology consultation of Dr. Childress with the child or select clients, with the proper agreement of the involved parties.  Again, this can occur in their brick-and-mortar office or at mine in cyberspace, whichever is preferred (note: I do not meet with children at my Cyberspace Office only, my consultation that includes direct contact with the child must include a mental health professional in the room with the child).

MH Professional Cyber-Office Consultation

I can meet through my Cyberspace Office with the involved mental heath professional alone, or with the therapist and client.

Therapist Alone:  If desired, I can meet with just the therapist at my Cyberspace Office to consult on a case.

Therapist & Client:  If desired, I can meet with the therapist and up to three additional clients in my Cyberspace Office.

Direct In-Session Consultation: Parent Initiated

Parent-initiated direct in-session telepsychology consultation with the involved mental health professional requires the following steps:

1.)  Initial Consultation:  Schedule an online consultation appointment with Dr. Childress to provide background information on the surrounding circumstances and to obtain guidance on the possible professional-to-professional consultation involvement of Dr. Childress in your matter.

2.)  Permission: If professional-to-professional consultation appears indicated from the initial consultation, then the next step is to obtain the permission and agreement of the involved mental health professional for the in-session professional consultation.

3.)  Confirmation: Dr. Childress will then send an email to the involved mental health professional confirming my cyber-attendance and telepsychology consultation at the next session.

Direct In-Session Consultation: Therapist Initiated

A mental health professional can schedule a direct in-session consultation with Dr. Childress with the proper permissions and agreements of the involved participants.

Therapist & Targeted Parent:  The direct telepsychology in-session participation and consultation of Dr. Childress can be with the therapist and targeted parent.  This would only require the consent of the targeted parent.

Therapist & Allied Parent:  The direct telepsychology in-session participation and consultation of Dr. Childress can be with the therapist and allied parent.  This would only require the consent of the allied parent.

Therapist & Child:  The direct telepsychology in-session participation and consultation of Dr. Childress can be with the therapist and child. This direct in-session telepsychology consultation with the involved mental health professional would require the consent of both the targeted parent and allied parent (each consenting for the child’s participation).

Therapist & Targeted Parent & Child:  The direct in-session participation and consultation of Dr. Childress can be with the involved therapist, the targeted parent, and child.  This direct in-session telepsychology consultation with the involved mental health professional would require the consent of both the targeted parent and allied parent (each consenting for the child’s participation).

Exceptions to Consent:

Exception 1:  If one parent has been given court-ordered sole authorization to consent for the child’s treatment, then the child’s participation in a direct in-session telepsychology consultation with the involved mental health professional and Dr. Childress would only require the consent of this authorized parent.

Exception 2:  If the court orders the direct in-session telepsychology consultation participation of Dr. Childress, then court orders supersede parental consent.

Standard 3.09 Cooperation with Other Professionals

The relevant Standard from the APA ethics code governing professional-to-professional consultation is Standard 3.09 Cooperation with Other Professionals.

Standard 3.09 Cooperation with Other Professionals
When indicated and professionally appropriate, psychologists cooperate with other professionals in order to serve their clients/patients effectively and appropriately.

Court-Ordered Professional-to-Professional Consultation

If the court desires, the court can order the involved mental health professionals to consult with Dr. Childress through telepsychology.  The court may order that the telepsychology consultation only be with the involved mental health professionals, or the court order can include additional family members dependent upon the court’s wishes.

Court orders regarding the telepsychology consultation of Dr. Childress should be sent to Dr. Childress by secure email (drchildress@hushmail.com) when the consultation appointment is scheduled.

Consultation with Legal Professionals

If attorneys wish to consult with Dr. Childress on any matter, they can schedule a consultation appointment through the Scheduling Calendar.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

Limbic System: Robert Sapolsky Stanford Lecutures

Robert Sapolsky is a valuable resource of knowledge.  He has a set of Stanford University  lectures on YouTube regarding various aspects of his field, taught from his undergraduate course at Stanford University in 2010,

It’s free, it’s available on YouTube, search on Dr. Sapolsky’s Stanford Lectures:

YouTube: Robert Saposky Stanford University Lectures

All mental health professionals working with court-involved family conflict must watch Robert Sapolsky’s Stanford lecture on the limbic system.  It is free, it is available, it is your introduction to the limbic system.

YouTube: Dr. Sapolsky Stanford Lectures: Limbic System

Attend to statements about the amygdala, frontal cortex, and anterior cingulate.  Attend to the James-Lange theory of emotion, and the role of interpretation and attribution for a bodily state.

Dr. Sapolsky’s lecture on the Limbic System is mandatory.  From this point on, I will assume that all court-involved mental health professionals will be familiar with all of the material discussed by Dr. Sapolsky in this lecture.  The remainder of his 2010 course at Stanford University on YouTube is “optional” – a post-doc of mine would watch the entire course, knowledge is a good thing when working with children.

Child Development Knowledge

Mental health professionals working with complex family conflict surrounding divorce must understand child development.  In 2020 this is substantially more than Erickson’s stages of basic trust vs basic mistrust, industry vs inferiority, from the 1940s.  Since 1990, understanding child development means understanding the neuro-social development of the brain during childhood,

They are inseparable.  Childhood is the period of brain maturation.  To understand childhood, and importantly, the different phases of childhood and the different socio-neurological developmental tasks-challenges for that period, requires – requires – an understanding for the neuro-development of the brain in childhood across different developmental levels.

If the mental health professional does not want to learn the neuro-development of the brain during childhood, that’s fine – just don’t work with children.  Work with adults.  Because since the 1990s, child development has required a professional understanding of the neuro-development of the child.

This is not optional knowledge – knowledge of child development when working with children – it is required knowledge.

Robert Sapolsky’s Standford University course lectures on YouTube are an exceptionally good introduction.  Of central importance is information about the limbic system (emotional system), which includes essential information on a cortical portion of the limbic system, the prefrontal cortex and the executive function systems.

Professional Ignorance

I am only assigning you Dr. Sapolsky’s Stanford lecture on the Limbic System.  I do that with post-docs, I “assign” some material, and I “recommend” other material, the difference being direct relevance and indirectly important.

You should watch them all.  You will only be using the knowledge about the limbic system when you reach the material from Stern, Shore, Tronick, Trevarthan, van der Kolk – and others – attend also to the Polyvagal Theory and Porges.

Notice something important at the start of Dr. Sapolsky’s Limbic System lecture.  It is a week before the midterm and the material about the limbic system is not going to be on the midterm.  Dr. Sapolsky nonchalantly comments on a number of empty seats.

There are two types of humans, and they are reflected in the students’ decisions.  One group, “Is this going to be on the midterm?” and if not, then they disregard the knowledge that they will need as professionals, because it is not directly relevant to their task at the moment, passing the midterm exam.

This failure in frontal lobe systems surrounding time projection, called foresight and planning, indicates unresolved traumas in other regions of the prefrontal cortex and limbic system that is inhibiting full activation of frontal lobe executive function systems – or – developmentally appropriate maturational processes during the 18-to-24 period. 

The students that skipped the class did not have the frontal lobe capability “to do the hard thing” (attend class) “when it is the right thing to do” (learn knowledge).  The students came to Stanford University, a top-tier educational institution, to learn.  Yet they do not attend class because the material is “not on the midterm.” 

A very “now” orientation to their motivation.  Is this going to help me… now?  The frontal lobe systems for foresight and the inhibition of other competing limic systems activity driving motivation has not yet fully developed.  That’s relatively normal for that age period.  The frontal lobe does not complete its maturation until age 25.

Other students attended. Even though they weren’t going to be “tested” on the information, they came to learn the information.  They understand the value of the information, that’s what they came to Stanford University for, the knowledge. They want this knowledge because it then serves as a foundation for the next set of knowledge, and they will need this next set of knowledge for the tasks they will undertake professionally. 

Do you see the difference between a limic brain of motivation that’s oriented toward the now, and the executive function systems of the prefrontal cortex that inhibit limic activity to allow us to “do the hard thing, when it’s the right thing to do.”

Ignorance is Not Acceptable with Children

To my professional colleagues, you are working with children. Their lives are in your hands. Your ignorance can destroy their life trajectories, or it can fulfill and enrich the entire future course of their lives, and the lives of their spouses and children.  Their future is in your hands – in your ignorance or your knowledge.

What reason do you have for ignorance and sloth?  Is any level of ignorance and sloth acceptable when working with the lives of children?

The court also holds the lives of these parents and their children in the balance of its decisions, lives will be changed, potentially destroyed or saved, by the court’s decision.  The court is seeking consultation from professional psychology for recommendations supporting the child’s healthy development – the “best interests of the child.”

The court is coming to you.  You hold the lives of these children and the lives of these parents in your hands, in the difference between your ignorance and knowledge.

The Limbic System is on my midterm, the midterm of Dr. Childress for professional competence in working with children, especially emotionally dysregulated children – that’s the limbic-prefrontal cortex network.  You will need this information for the information on intersubjectivity, attunement, emotional regulation, and complex trauma that will follow next. That is the information you need to know; Stern, Tronick, Trevarthan, van der Kolk, Fonagy, Shore, Lyons-Ruth, and others.

The rest of Sapolsky’s Standford University lectures are not on the midterm of Dr. Childress.  Bear in mind that I already know the material.  I watched them anyway, and I learned more.  Because ignorance is never acceptable when working with children.

What’s your excuse for your ignorance?  Is understanding child development not important to working with children?  Is understanding the neuro-development of the brain too difficult? 

Then you are ignorant of child development, and you need to go away and not work with children, or you should follow the instructions of people who are not ignorant and who do understand child development – including the neuro-social development of the brain across its various phases and processes.

Do you understand intersubjectivty?  “What’s that?” you say.  I know.  You don’t know what that is, do you?  You don’t know what you’re doing, do you?… I know.  That’s a problem.

Do you understand the roles of attunement and misattunement in the joint construction of meaning?  Do you understand the processes of affect regulation and dysregulation, and its treatment?  Do you understand the neuro-social processes of identity formation and stabilization within the variations across the developmental stages of childhood? 

If not, then I cannot even have a professional-level discussion with you.  You are too ignorant (lacking knowledge or information).

You do not understand child development, the scientific research on child development… you don’t know any of it.  That’s a serious problem if you are working with children whose lives hang in the balance of your knowledge or ignorance… because you’re ignorant.

Dr. Sapolsky’s class is an undergraduate course.  You are not even at the level of an undergraduate student if I cannot discuss the role of the limbic brain, particularly and especially the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and the vagus nerve of the autonomic nervous system.

I have to first educate you in order to have a professional-level discussion with you. That’s not okay.  I shouldn’t have to educate you, you should already be educated before – before – you start to work with children.

Start with van der Kolk’s two day course-seminar from PESI in trauma and complex trauma.  As a preliminary assignment, watch Sapolsky’s Stanford University lecture on the Limbic System.  Google Polyvagal Theory; Porges.   You will ultimately be headed toward Tronick and Stern (intersubjectivity), this will include Trevarthan and Fonagy.

Oh… know Bowlby.  Read all three volumes on attachment, know Lyons-Ruth, buy and know the Handbook on Attachment.

I would consider all of this an assignment for a post-doc.  If you do not know this information, you are not ready to begin work with children… you are not ready to even – begin – not even begin – your work with children if you do not know this information about child development.  You are ignorant, which means you will be incompetent.

If you were my post-doc and didn’t know this information, I would not let you have patient contact until you knew this information.  Not only would I be supervising your work because you’re still in training, I wouldn’t even let you work with child patients until you knew this information.

Google ignorance: lack of knowledge or information

Do you know Sapolsky and van der Kolk?  Cicchetti and Lyons-Ruth?  Stern and Tronick?  Then you lack knowledge or information, you are ignorant.

Ignorance solves nothing. Ignorance is unacceptable professional practice when you hold the lives of children in the balance of your knowledge and ignorance.

Google incompetence: inability to do something successfully; ineptitude.

Can you resolve interpersonal conflict?  Then do it.  You can’t, can you.

You can’t do it because you lack knowledge about how to do it, about how to resolve conflict.  You are ignorant.  And because of your ignorance, you are unable to solve the parent-child conflict, you are unsuccessful, you are incompetent.

Google sloth: reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness.

Have you watched Sapolsky’s Stanford University lecture on the limic system, available for free on YouTube?  Have you watched all of Dr. Sapolsky’s Standford University course lectures?  Have you taken Bessel van der Kolk’s two-day course from PESI on trauma and complex trauma?  Or are you reluctant to work and make an effort? Are you lazy and slothful?

Google negligence: failure to take proper care in doing something; (law) failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another.

Did you use proper care?  Or are you ignorant, incompetent, and slothful?  Did your ignorance, incompetence, and professional sloth result in injury to the parent, harm and damage to the child?

Do any of those words apply to you?  Ignorance, incompetence, sloth, or negligence?

Do you lack information and knowledge, are you unable to solve the family conflict because you lack knowledge and information about how to do that, and do you fail to know this knowledge and information because you are reluctant to make an effort, you’re lazy, and then this causes harm, causes injury to the child and the parent, because you failed to take proper care in first learning about child development and parent-child conflict and bonding – before – you started to work with children.

None of those words apply to me.  I work with children.  None of those words apply to me.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

Complex Trauma & Bessel van der Kolk

Professional practice with court-involved family conflict surrounding divorce requires competence in five domains of professional psychology:

  • Attachment
  • Family systems therapy
  • Personality Disorders
  • Complex trauma
  • Neurodevelopment in childhood

Leading figures in each of these domains would be:

John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth: attachment

Salvador Minuchin, Murray Bowen: family systems therapy

Aaron Beck, Otto Kernberg, Theodore Millon, Marsha Linehan: personality disorders

Bessel van der Kolk: complex trauma

Edward Tronick, Daniel Stern: neurodevelopment of the brain

Trauma & Complex Trauma

Professional competence in the educational curriculium for trauma and complex trauma can be gained, and demonstrated on the vitae, through the PESI 2-day Continuing Education course from Bessel van der Kolk:

Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps Score

It is my strong professional recommendation that all mental health professionals working with court-involved family conflict take this Continuing Education course from PESI to acquire and demonstrate current educational curriculum knowledge regarding trauma and complex trauma.

This two-day course from Bessel van der Kolk would not satisfy practice requirements as a trauma therapist, but would be sufficient for court-involved family conflict mental health professionals. Of note is that PESI offers a separate 75 hour Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies.

Also of note regarding additional information, training, and competency in trauma and complex trauma is the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

 

 

AFCC: Class Action Exposure?

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC),is the professional organization for forensic psychologists and family law attorneys.  The AFCC specifically instructs child custody evaluators NOT to diagnose pathology.

The AFCC has published an instruction guide for child custody evaluations, the Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations.

With this document, the AFCC has put their seal of approval, their imprimatur, on the practice of child custody evaluations.  I believe that is significant, because I wonder what sort of legal liability that establishes for the AFCC regarding the assessment procedure of child custody evaluation.

I’m not a lawyer, but as a psychologist I’d be worried if I were on the Board of Directors for the AFCC about the potential legal liability exposure this “Model Standards of Practice” creates for our organization.  If we’re telling people how to do it, and providing our professional credibility, name and status to the activity, then to what extent do we also incur legal liability responsibility for endorsing and recommending the practice?

If I’m on the Board of Directors as a clinical psychologist, I’m going to want our attorneys to offer an opinion on that, and I’ll want our attorneys to review our “Model Standards of Practice” with an eye toward legal liability exposure before we publish them and provide our organization’s imprimatur of support for the practice.

And, on the other hand, if I’m considering a class action lawsuit against the practice of child custody evaluations for essentially being a fraudulent financial racket (I’m not a lawyer, but if I were, I’d seriously look at a Rico violation with the AFCC as the organizing syndicate and the child custody evaluators as the capos), I’d be looking at linking the AFCC to the lawsuit specifically on this document, their Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations.

Seems to me… they took ownership of the practice of child custody evaluations with that document.

Principle D Justice

The first problem the AFCC faces is that the practice of child custody evaluations is a foundational violation of Principle D Justice of the American Psychological Association ethics code.  Child custody evaluations, as a practice, are in violation of a foundational Principle of ethical practice, Justice, on two separate and independent counts.

Principle D: Justice
Psychologists recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists.  Psychologists exercise reasonable judgment and take precautions to ensure that their potential biases, the boundaries of their competence, and the limitations of their expertise do not lead to or condone unjust practices.

Let’s begin to apply this Principle of professional ethics to the practice of child custody evaluations…

“fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from …”

A typical child custody procedure costs between $20,000 to $40,000 for each evaluation. That financial cost places the practice of child custody evaluation beyond the affordability of all but the most affluent of families.  Since lower-income families are offered no alternative, they must turn to substandard assessments conducted by less qualified, and often unqualified, professionals because the more qualified professionals and assessments are cost-prohibitive.

The most expensive clinical psychology assessment for the most complicated child pathology (e.g., trauma with autism-spectrum and ADHD features, learning disabilities, involving prenatal exposure to drugs, foster care placement, and current behavioral problems) would cost around $5,000 and take between four to six weeks to complete, with a report, for a high-end comprehensive assessment.  A typical clinical psychology assessment for most pathologies costs about $2,500.

That forensic psychology cannot develop an assessment protocol for their “high-conflict divorce” pathology for less than $20,000 to $40,000 strains credulity, and raises prominent professional concerns about their exploitation of a vulnerable population, the class of parents in family court litigation surrounding child custody and visitation schedules.

Forensic psychology claims this population as their exclusive property, prohibiting any recommendation for child custody visitation schedules being offered by clinical psychologists based on any criteria OTHER than the conduct of their $20,000 to $40,000 child custody evaluation procedure.

As a treating clinical psychologist with full, direct, and ongoing knowledge of the pathology in the family, I can form a professional opinion on the relative benefits of different custody visitation schedules… I just can’t tell the court my opinion.  I am prohibited from telling the court my opinion unless I’ve conducted one of their $20,000 to $40,000 child custody evaluations.  Then I can tell the court my opinion.

Parents who cannot afford the excessive and obscene cost of a child custody evaluation are denied “access to and benefit from” quality professional input into their family litigation and the court’s decision-making.  That is a fundamental violation of Principle D… “fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from …”, less affluent families are being denied “access to and benefit from ” the input of professional psychology.

The practice of child custody evaluations, endorsed with guidelines from the AFCC, is foundationally in violation of Principle D Justice of the APA ethics code for denying “access to and benefit from” quality professional input into their court-involved family conflict because the excessive and prohibitive financial cost of their immensely bloated and ill-conceived assessment procedures.

“fairness and justice entitle all persons to… equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists.”

There is no inter-rater reliability to child custody evaluations.  This means that child cusody evaluations are not a valid assessment of anything, they are just the opinion of one person, the evaluator, based on no supported foundations.

The absence of inter-rater reliability means that different evaluators can reach entirely different conclusions and recommendations based on exactly the same family information and data.  Families are therefore denied “equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services” by the absence of inter-rater reliability to the procedure.

Two of the prominent experts in forensic psychology, Stahl and Simon, who literally wrote the book on child custody evaluations, published by the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, acknowledge the high degree of variability in the quality of “services” delivered by child custody evaluators.

From Stahl & Simons: “The American Board of Forensic Psychology is a subspecialty board of the ABPP. In the fall of 2011, there were approximately 250-300 ABPP board certified forensic psychologists in the United States and an unknown number of psychologists who specialize in forensic work but are not board certified.  On top of that, there are many psychologists who dabble in forensic practice, occasionally performing child custody or other types of forensic evaluations, and who find themselves called to testify in court on occasion.  While we recognize that there is a range of quality in their work, it is clear that forensic psychology is a growing area of specialization.” (Stahl & Simons, 2013, p. 9)

Stahl, P.M. and Simon, R.A. (2013). Forensic Psychology Consultation in Child Custody Litigation: A Handbook for Work Product Review, Case Preparation, and Expert Testimony, Chicago, IL: Section of Family Law of the American Bar Association

The procedure of child custody evaluations violates Principle D Justice of the APA ethics code by failing to provide “equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists.”  This is an openly acknowledge fact (“we recognize that there is a range of quality in their work”; Stahl & Simon, 2013).

To the extent that the AFCC issues Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations they are providing recommended “Standards of Practice” for an unethical procedure.

Avoiding Diagnosis

Diagnosis is considered professional standard of practice in all cases.  Diagnosis guides treatment.  The treatment for cancer is different than the treatment for diabetes.  In order to develop a treatment plan and recommendations (any recommendations), we must first know what the pathology is, what’s the diagnosis?

The treatment for cancer is different than the treatment for diabetes.  Diagnosis guides treatment.

How can we possibly know what to do about a problem, until we first identify what that problem is.  The term “identify” is the common-language word for the professional term “diagnosis.”  We must first identify what the problem is in order to know how to fix it; we must first diagnose what the problem is in order to know how to treat it.

identify = diagnosis

fix = treatment

It is professional standard of practice to first diagnose (identify) the pathology before offering any recommendations about what to do.  If we don’t know what the problem is, if we haven’t identified (diagnosed) what the problem is, how can we possibly know what to do about it?

Failure to first diagnose (identify) what the pathology is prior to making recommendations about how to fix it (treatment or remedy) would be a violation of Standard 9.01a of the APA ethics code requiring that;

Standard 9.01a 9.01 Bases for Assessments
(a) Psychologists base the opinions contained in their recommendations, reports, and diagnostic or evaluative statements, including forensic testimony, on information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings. (See also Standard 2.04, Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments.)

If the assessing evaluator has NOT even identified what the problem is (diagnosis), then the recommendations contained in their “reports, and diagnostic or evaluative statements, including forensic testimony” are not based on information “sufficient to substantiate their findings” because they don’t even know what the pathology is – they have not yet even identified – diagnosed – what the problem is.

In addition, the Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations from the AFCC specifically instruct child custody evaluators to AVOID making a diagnosis.

4.6 Presentation of Findings and Opinions
(c) Evaluators recognize that the use of diagnostic labels can divert attention from the focus of the evaluation (namely, the functional abilities of the litigants whose disputes are before the court) and that such labels are often more prejudicial than probative.

While not directly prohibiting child custody evaluators from identifying what the pathology is (the “diagnostic label”) prior to offering recommendations to the court, the clear indication from the AFCC is that identifying pathology (the “diagnostic label”) is “often more prejudicial than probative” and should be avoided, because it “diverts attention” from the true focus of the assessment, which must be something other than identifying what the problem is and offering recommendations on how to solve it.

Diagnosis guides treatment.  We do not know what to do about a problem until we first identify (diagnose) what that problem is.  The treatment for cancer is different than the treatment for diabetes.

In addition to the deeply troubling prominent encouragement from the AFCC to avoid diagnosing pathology before making recommendations to the court, is the further troubling assertion from the AFCC that child custody evaluators should strive to influence the court’s decision-making by withholding from the court information about pathology that the custody evaluator thinks might be “prejudicial” to the case of the pathological parent.

The AFCC is recommending that the child custody evaluator preempts  the court’s authority to assess the relative value of a “diagnostic label” (identifying what the problem is), and that the child custody evaluator should instead independently weigh the relative “prejudicial” and “probative” value of disclosing to the court the identifying name for the pathology in a family, apparently to influence the court’s decision in favor of the pathological parent by withholding diagnostic information from the court’s consideration.

It is a deeply troubling role for a child custody evaluator to be making preemptive decisions on the relative prejudicial and probative value of diagnostic information in order to then withhold information from the court’s consideration that will influence the court’s decision in favor of a pathological parent, based solely on a decision made by the custody evaluator regarding the relative prejudicial and probative value of the information.

Not only is this diagnostic information withheld from the court’s consideration, it is also not disclosed to the parties.  This violates the rights of the non-pathological parent to present evidence to the court because the relevant evidence is being arbitrarily withheld from disclosure to the parent by the child custody evaluator, based on instructions made to the evaluator from the AFCC in their Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations, Standard 4.6(c).

In issuing Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations, to what degree has the AFCC assumed legal liability for the practice of child custody evaluations?

Principle D Justice
“Psychologists… take precautions to ensure that their potential biases, the boundaries of their competence, and the limitations of their expertise do not lead to or condone unjust practices.”

How?

How have child custody evaluators taken “precautions” to limit their “potential biases“?  What specific precautions in the child custody interview process has that child custody evaluator taken to limit the “potential biases” of the evaluator?

The mother in the case reminds the evaluator of his ex-wife, the tone of her voice, what she says.  She’s really irritating.  The custody evaluator doesn’t agree with the cultural parenting practices and values of one of the parents, he just doesn’t think that’s the right way to parent.

What precautions did that child custody evaluator take in that evaluation to limit the potential biases – many of them unconscious biases (the evaluator may have mommy-issues or daddy-issues, may have been sexually abused as a child and harbor unconscious anger toward “abusive men”).

What type of “precautions” are taken?  None.

Child custody evaluations take NO precautions to limit “potential bias.”

What “precautions” did the custody evaluator take to ensure boundaries of competence?

This is an attachment pathology, a child rejecting a parent.  Where on the custody evaluator’s vitae does it demonstrate background training and experience in assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment pathology?

This is a family conflict pathology.  Where on the custody evaluator’s vitae does it demonstrate background training and experience in family systems therapy.  Or do they assert that family systems therapy, one of the four primary schools of therapy and the only one dealing with families… is not relevant to boundaries of competence.

Do they believe that knowing about families and how families function is not required knowledge for assessing, diagnosing, and treating family conflict pathology?

How has the custody evaluator taken “precautions” to ensure their boundaries of competence?  What precautions?

“…do not lead to or condone unjust practices.”

Do you mean like denying people “equal access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists”? 

That type of “unjust practice”?

In issuing Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations, and placing their professional endorsement and imprimatur of credibility onto the practice of child custody evaluations, to what degree has the AFCC incurred legal liability relative to the practice of child custody evaluations in forensic psychology?

I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

 

Specialized Expertise

I tell everyone I’m not an “expert” – and that’s true. I’m just a clinical psychologist. I apply knowledge, I don’t create it. I would consider experts to be John Bowlby and Salvador Minuchin, Aaron Beck and Murray Bowen, Marsha Linehan for personality disorders.

I’m just a clinical psychologist. I’m an excellent clinical psychologist, but I’m just a clinical psychologist. I apply knowledge to solve pathology.

But in the court system, I’m an expert. I am in the role of providing the court with applied information from professional psychology to assist in the court’s decision-making.

I’m currently in discussions with an attorney about my possible role in the matter.  He wants me either to do the assessment personally (if the court will order the allied parent and child’s participation in my assessment), or the attorney wants my involvement as a consultant to an assessment performed by someone else because of my “specialized” expertise.

And I do have specialized expertise surrounding this pathology, in four pretty special domains.  I’m going to note them and the vitae citations to this specialized expertise.

1) Trauma and child abuse:

I served as the Clinical Director for a three-university collaboration in treating children ages 0-5 in the foster care system. I have assessed, diagnosed, and treated child abuse and trauma up close and personal, and I was responsible for leading the multi-disciplinary treatment team for these abused and traumatized children in foster care.

10/06 – 6/08:  Clinical Director
START Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Assessment and Treatment Center
California State University, San Bernardino
Institute of Child Development and Family Relations

2) Attachment pathology:

This vitae citation as Clinical Director for the children’s Assessment and Treatment center also establishes my background with attachment pathology, along with additional trainings in attachment-related diagnostic models and treatment interventions.

Certificate Program: Parent-Infant Mental Health: Fielding Graduate University, 1/14/08; 1/15/08.

Early Childhood Diagnostic System: DC:0-3R Diagnostic Criteria: Orange County Early Childhood Mental Health Collaborative.

Early Childhood Diagnostic System: DMIC: Diagnostic Manual for Infancy and Early Childhood. Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders: assessment, diagnosis, and intervention for developmental and emotional disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, multisystem developmental disorders, regulatory disorders involving attention, learning and behavioral problems, cognitive, language, motor, and sensory disturbances.

Early Childhood Treatment Intervention: Watch, Wait, and Wonder: Nancy Cohen, Ph.D. Hincks-Dellcrest Centre & the University of Toronto.

Early Childhood Treatment Intervention: Circle of Security: Glen Cooper, MFT, Center for Clinical Intervention, Marycliff Institute, Spokane, Washington.

10/06 – 6/08: Clinical Director
START Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Assessment and Treatment Center
California State University, San Bernardino
Institute of Child Development and Family Relations

3) Shared delusional pathology:

I have over 12 years of experience assessing and rating delusional-psychotic pathology from my time as a Research Associate with an NIMH-funded longitudinal research project at UCLA on schizophrenia.

9/85 – 9/98 Research Associate
UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute
Principle Investigator: Keith Nuechterlein, Ph.D.
Area: Longitudinal study of initial-onset schizophrenia

4) Munchausen by proxy:

The pathology traditionally called “Muchausen by proxy” is a DSM-5 diagnosis of Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another. This is a pathology that is nearly always confined to children’s medical centers, primarily Children’s Hospitals, as the child-patient continues to rise in the level of treatment care provided through the course of unresolved medical pathology (from the Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another).

I was trained as a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), including training in Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (Munchausen by proxy), and I was on medical staff as a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County  (Choc).  I am expert in the assessment and diagnosis of Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (for example, a parent imposing a delusional pathology on the child for secondary gain).

4/02 – 10/06: Pediatric Psychologist
Children’s Hospital Orange County – UCI Child Development Center

9/00 – 4/02 Postdoctoral Fellow
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

9/99 – 9/00 Predoctoral Psychology Intern – APA Accredited
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Note that these are all work-experience vitae support for professional competence, not “Presentations Given” or attended.  I suspect there is not another clinical psychologist on the planet with this particular combination of directly relevant high-level professional work-experience, expertise in 1) complex trauma and child abuse, 2) attachment pathology, 3) delusional-psychotic pathology, and 4) Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (Munchausen by proxy).

Plus, I am a family systems therapist familiar with all schools; Structural, Strategic, Bowenian, Millan, Contextual, Family of Origin, including post-modern narrative and solution-focused therapies.

Court-Orders for Consultation

The consideration offered in argument to the court is to allow me to consult with the assessing mental health professional surrounding the referral question:

Referral Question: “Which parent is the source of pathogenic parenting practices creating the child’s attachment pathology, and what are the treatment implications?”

My consultation support is necessary because of my specialized professional expertise in specialized areas of professional practice, each domain of specialized exertise supported by direct vitae work for a set of specifically relevant domains of pathology.

Work experience vitae support.

In addition, there is substantial vitae support for my involvement with court-involved family conflict and pathology (“parental alienation” and an attachment-based reformulation based in established knowledge).  Vitae support is provided by the first page of my vitae and from my publications regarding court-involved child and family pathology.

I am likely to be the best trained and most capable clinical psychologist on the planet to be assessing, diagnosing, and treating this complex court-involved family pathology surrounding divorce because of my specialized work experience expertise in multiple domains of highly specialized and directly relevant pathologies.

  • Trauma and child abuse.
  • Attachment pathology.
  • Delusional-psychotic pathology.
  • Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another.
  • Family systems therapy.
  • Court-involved family conflict.

I don’t anticipate that you will find anyone with a stronger work-experience expertise in the multiple domains of knowledge needed for professional practice with this pathology.

Moving forward, if someone wants the highest caliber possible of clinical psychology assessment of the pathology, that would be me.  However, it is not practical to take me from my private practice in Southern California for a week to conduct a trauma-informed clinical psychology assessment of this pathology.

Instead, a more reasonable use of my specialized professional expertise is through professional-to-professional consultation with the local-area assessing mental health professional, to provide for my additional specialized expertise and support to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations.

As we move forward, it might be helpful for parents and their attorneys to request this consultation support from Dr. Childress in their requests for court orders surrounding assessment, that Dr. Childress be allowed to consult directly with the assessing mental health professional as needed.

I believe the argument for my involvement is sound, I believe my consultation support to the involved mental health professional will be valuable to developing solutions for the family and the court, and I believe this represents the most cost-efficient access to my specialized professional knowledge and expertise.

In the world of clinical psychology, I’m just a clinical psychologist, I assess, diagnose, and treat pathology.  In the world of court-involved clinical psychology, I have specialized professional expertise in multiple specialized domains of pathology that are useful and valuable for the court’s consideration.

We do not know how the court will rule regarding my consultation involvement with the assessing mental health professional in this pending matter.  If the opposing party wishes to engage their own consulting psychologist, that would be fine; one assessing psychologist and two consulting, one for each party.

In professional practice, that’s called a ”second opinion.”  That’s fine.

My court-allowed involvement as a consulting clinical psychologist for attachment-related family conflict may offer a valuable approach to my assisting in the assessment and resolution of complex family conflict surrounding divorce.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

Standard 9.01a Assessment

You have rights, codified by the American Psychological Association code of ethics.  Let’s talk about Standard 9.01a Bases for Assessments.

9.01 Bases for Assessments
(a) Psychologists base the opinions contained in their recommendations, reports, and diagnostic or evaluative statements, including forensic testimony, on information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings. (See also Standard 2.04, Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments.)


The APA ethics code is mandatory for all psychologists and violations to the APA ethics code are subject to sanctions from the state licensing board.

Violations to the APA ethics code mean, by definition, that you are an unethical psychologist.  When unethical professional practice results in harm to the patient, that is especially bad.

That’s why the APA ethics code has two Standards, 1.04 and 1.05, mandating my response as a clinical psychologist when I learn of potential ethical violations by other psychologists.  Violations to ethical practice are serious, they harm people.  When they result in substantial harm to the client, they are egregiously serious.

Standard 9.01 Bases for Assessment defines requirements for assessment.  Let’s examine Standard 9.01a more closely.  It states:

9.01 Bases for Assessments
(a) Psychologists base the opinions contained in their recommendations, reports, and diagnostic or evaluative statements, including forensic testimony, on information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings. (See also Standard 2.04, Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments.)

1.)  Scope 

The first thing to note is that Standard 9.01a specifically references Standard 2.04 requiring the application of the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” (that would be the DSM-5, ICD-10, Bowlby (attachment), Minuchin (family systems therapy), Beck (personality disorders), van der Kolk (complex trauma), and Tronick (neuro-development of the brain in childhood)

Second, Standard 9.01a specifically mentions “recommendations” (such as custody recommendations and treatment recommendations), “reports” (such as custody evaluations and treatment reports), “and diagnostic or evaluative statements” – diagnosis is identifying pathology, evaluation is any sort of assessment – “including forensic testimony.”

“… including forensic testimony” – This standard covers the entire scope of professional assessment in all aspects – recommendations, reports, testimony, diagnosis.

2.)  Requirements

Now… recognize what is required: “Psychologists base their opinions on… “information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings” – then it specifically references Standard 2.04.

“…sufficient to substantiate their findings.”

Did the psychologist assess for IPV spousal abuse of the ex-spouse-targeted parent using the child as the weapon?

No.

Did the psychologist assess for a DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse (pathogenic parenting creating pathology in the child)?

No.

Did the psychologist assess for a shared persecutory delusion between the child and the allied parent?

No.

Did the psychologist assess for a cross-generational coalition or multi-generational trauma in the family (Minuchin, Bowen; family systems therapy)?

No.

Then that assessment is not based on “information” “sufficient to substantiate their findings” because of their violation to Standard 2.04, referenced directly in Standard 9.01a.

3.) Cross-Examination

My recommended cross-examination of any mental health testimony offering “recommendations” and any “diagnostic or evaluative statements” is to ask the following series of questions:

Did you assess for IPV spousal abuse of the targeted parent using the child as the weapon?  How?  What were the findings?

Did you assess for a persecutory delusion in the child, that is also shared by the allied parent relative to the targeted parent, an encapsulated shared persecutory delusion?  How?  What were the findings?

Did you assess for a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse from the child’s imposed and coerced role as a regulatory object for the allied parent?  How?  What were the findings?

Did you assess for a cross-generational coalition between the child and the allied parent?  How?  What were the findings?

Did you assess for multi-generational transmission of trauma creating an emotional cutoff in the parent-child bond (Bowen; Titelman)?  How?  What were the findings?

For good measure, I’d throw in a couple of lines at this point on family systems therapy:

Who is Murray Bowen?  Have you read his book, Family Evaluation?  Do you believe it is important to understand the functioning of families when assessing family conflict?  What is a triangle?  What is an emotional cutoff?  What is multi-generational trauma?  Are an emotional cutoff and multi-generational trauma linked?  How does the transmission of multi-generational trauma cause an emotional cutoff in the child’s relationship to a parent? (boundary violations from unresolved parental anxiety).  Is that what’s called an “enmeshed relationship”? (yes).

Who is Salvador Minuchin? (may I approach?) This is a Structural family diagram from Salvador Minuchin depicting a form of family pathology.  Are youSlide1 familiar with this diagram from Salvador Minuchin?  Can you please explain this diagram for us?  Are those three lines in Minuchin’s diagram what you were talking about regarding boundary violations and an enmeshed relationship with the parent and child? (yes).  Are those broken lines, those gaps, between the mother and father and mother and son, are those the emotional cutoffs caused by the over-close enmeshed relationship between the allied parent and child? (yes).

This line of questioning speaks to the requirement: “information… sufficient to substantiate their findings” as required – required – by Standard 9.01a for all of their reports, evaluative or diagnostic statements, and testimony.

4.) Violation of Standard 9.01a

“Psychologists base the opinions contained in their…” 

If they base their opinions on “information” that is NOTsufficient to substantiate their findings” (with a specific reference to Standard 2.04 requiring application of the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” – and this violation to Standard 9.01a causes harm to the client – to either parent or to the child – then this is an ADDITIONAL violation, an egregious violation, of Standard 3.04 Avoiding Harm.

It involves a cascading series of four ethical code violations beginning with a violation to Standard 2.04 requiring the application of the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.”

The reason they failed to apply knowledge, is that they failed to know knowledge (vitae), a violation to Standard 2.01a, they were practicing beyond the “boundaries of their competence.” 

Their failure to both know and apply the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” (violations to Standards 2.01a: know, and 2.04: apply) lead to their violation of Standard 9.01a – their assessment was not based on “information” (Standard 2.04) “sufficient to substantiate their findings.”  This causes substantial harm to the client (untreated IPV spousal abuse, untreated DSM-5 Child Psychological Abuse), a violation of Standard 3.04 Avoiding Harm.

5.) The Chain of Violations

Standards 2.04 – 2.01a – 9.01a – 3.04.  It is a causal link of professional failures from their professional ignorance and sloth.

Google ignorance: lack of knowledge or information.

Google sloth: reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness.

Google negligence: failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another.

Now add Standard 2.03:

2.03 Maintaining Competence
Psychologists undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence.

The burden to develop (Standard 2.01a) and maintain (Standard 2.03) professional competence is on them.  It is not the client’s role to educate them, it is their obligation to ALREADY be educated and competent.

Violations to four requirements of the APA ethics code (five with Standard 2.03) represents unethical professional practice.  Unethical professional practice and their failure to know (Standard 2.01a) and apply (Standard 2.04) the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” represents a “failure to use reasonable care” that resulted in “damage or injury” to the person – harm, Standard 3.04, to their client.

6. Failure in their Duty to Protect

Their unethical professional practice also resulted in the failure of their duty to protect on two separate counts; 

1) IPV Spousal Abuse: failure to protect the targeted parent from IPV spousal abuse (using the child as the weapon, they didn’t even assess for IPV spousal abuse, which is a violation of Standard 9.01a);

2) Child Psychological Abuse: failure to protect the child from DSM-5 Child Psychological Abuse (a shared persecutory delusion created by the “primary case” of the allied parent), they didn’t even assess for it (a violation of Standard 9.01a.).

7. Standards 1.04 & 1.05

The annoying thing about truth is… it’s true.

I have obligations as a clinical psychologist mandated by Standards 1.04 and 1.05 of the APA ethics code when I “believe that there may have been an ethical violation by another psychologist.”

Part of my professional obligation as a clinical psychologist when I learn of potential “ethical violation by another psychologist” is to educate the consumer on their rights relative to the APA ethics code and potential licensing board oversight and remedy.

I do not want to see my professional colleagues harmed.  At the same time, compliance with the APA ethics codes is not optional, it is mandatory – required.  I have required obligations under Standards 1.04 and 1.05 of the APA ethics code, and part of that obligation is to educate the consumer who is subject of the potential ethical violations regarding the APA ethics code and their rights guaranteed under the APA ethics code.

In this case, Standards 2.04, 2.01a, 9.01a, 3.04, and 2.03.

I am fulfilling my required professional obligations with these parents pursuant to Standards 1.04 and 1.05 of the APA ethics code.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

2020 – Goals for the New Year

My five goals for 2020:

1.  Diagnosis

We need to start getting an accurate diagnosis for this pathology so we can develop an effective treatment plan. The DSM-5 diagnosis is V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, and the ICD-10 diagnosis is F24 Shared Psychotic Disorder.

2.  Resources

We need to develop local-area mental health resources for parents to efficiently assess, accurately diagnose, and effectively treat attachment-related pathology and complex trauma pathology surrounding divorce.

I will be initiating my training period from 2020-2022, offering a three-day training seminar in Southern California twice a year, spring and fall, for mental health professionals in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of court-involved family conflict.

My longer-term goal is for this next generation of professionals to then carry knowledge and conduct training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of court-involved family conflict pathology surrounding divorce.  I train – you train is the fastest way to spread professional standards of practice.

These parents and children are immensely vulnerable because of their court-involved position.  These parents and children warrant the highest standards in the application of knowledge and professional standards of practice, not the lowest.

The court has an awesome and profoundly serious responsibility surrounding the family.  The decisions of the court regarding this family matter will have immense consequences for the lives of the child and the parents.  Professional responsibilities to the court in its decision-making warrant the highest standards in the application of knowledge and professional practice, not the lowest.

That is the standard I will be training to, twice a year in Southern California. 

My first training for mental health professionals will be extra-special, because I’ll be joined by Dorcy Pruter for a four-day collaborative training.  The mental health professionals who train with both of us will leave as the best trained professionals on the planet in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of complex court-involved family conflict.

We’re getting rid of “experts” and are instead establishing boundaries of competence for all mental health professionals working with court-involved family conflict pathology.  The standard of practice for professional competence is to know everything there is to know about the pathology, and then read journals to stay current.

In 2020, we will begin training to that standard.

3.  Research – CCPI

I would very much like to enlist some university-based research over here.

It is sorely needed.

There is zero actual-real research over here, and nearly everything is opinion pieces.  The only “research” are a few soft retrospective self-report studies with problematic operational definitions of constructs.

We need to get some actual scientifically grounded research over here.  My goal for 2020 and beyond is to get university-based researchers involved in collaborative pilot program research with the family courts for solutions.

In addition, I would like to get university-based researchers hooked up to Dorcy Pruter (through a Memorandum of Understanding; MOU) regarding trauma recovery and family pathology surrounding divorce.

She’s not a psychologist.  She’s not in a university doing research.  She’s a businesswoman, she’s a professional life and family coach, and she is out here actively recovering children from complex trauma and child abuse.  She’s not the one at the university doing research, that’s all of you.

I’ve worked with top-tier researchers at UCLA (Keith Nuechterlein, Ph.D.; schizophrenia) and UCI (Jim Swanson, Ph.D.; ADHD).  Those are both top of their respective fields.  I absolutely know what top-tier NIMH research looks like.  The research coming from a collaboration with Dorcy Pruter and the Conscious Co-Parenting Institute will be of that caliber.

She is not the principle investigator, that’s you.  She is a consultant collaborator through an MOU.  You’re the researcher, she’s the consultant in recovery from complex trauma.

On a scale of 1-to-100, I’d put Keith Nuechterlein and Jim Swanson at 98, I’d put Amy Baker’s research at about 10 and Jennifer Harman’s at about 5, retrospective self-reports on samples of convenience are just about worthless as research.  When I think research, I think the MTA multi-site research on ADHD or Sroufe’s longitudinal research on attachment, or Nuechterlein’s research on schizophrenia.

My professional estimate of the research potential from a major university collaboration with Dorcy Pruter and CCPI is that it would yield research product in the 90-95 range.  Superior and substantial.

Whoever develops a research collaboration with Dorcy Pruter and CCPI will be an incredibly happy researcher.  My professional estimate from my background with other research at UCLA and UCI is there will be at least 10 years of very productive trauma and attachment research from that collaboration, as well as substantial research on solutions for court-involved family conflict.

You’re the researcher.  That’s you.  She is a trauma recovery consultant on an MOU agreement.

Dorcy’s a businesswoman, a life and family coach, and a child of alienation herself.  She has a recovery workshop for complex trauma and child abuse that can fully recover the child’s healthy and normal-range development gently and in a matter of days. And she has more.

Her workshop approach has application across a range of trauma-involved pathologies, from substance abuse recovery to prison recidivism.  And she has more.

I’m hoping 2020 sees the emergence of research opportunities from university collaborations, both through university-led evaluation research of pilot program solutions for the family courts, as well as through separate MOU collaborations with Dorcy Pruter and CCPI across multiple levels.

4.  Vitae & Standards of Practice

The exploitation of these parents stops. The destruction of their lives, and the lives of their children, stops.

I’ll be bringing personal-professional “peer-review” and standards of practice to court-involved clinical psychology.  I am an old-school conservative clinical psychologist.  If you’ve ever seen the John Houseman character in Paper Chase…  My manner is gentler, but no less direct and clear.

I will begin this focus on improving standards of professional practice by focusing on vitaes.  To do this, I become the first review.  It is incumbent upon me to establish my professional foundations and qualifications to review the vitaes and professional practices of others.  I have. 

My vitae is available online for review: Dr. Chldress Vitae

I have a YouTube Series regarding my vitae: Dr. Childress: YouTube Vitae Series

I have background professional education, training, and experience, evident on my vitae, in the following domains:

  • Attachment pathology
  • Trauma and child abuse
  • Family systems therapy (all schools and theorists)
  • ADHD and school behavior problems
  • Oppositional-defiant and conduct disorder
  • Juvenile justice pathology
  • Autism-spectrum pathology
  • Pediatric psychology (including Munchausen by proxy; DSM-5 Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another).
  • Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders
  • Early childhood mental health and the neuro-development of the brain in childhood.

I consider the standard for professional competence is knowing everything there is to know about the pathology, and then reading journals to stay current.  That has been the accepted standard of practice everywhere I have ever worked.  I am asserting that personal standard for professional competence with the above pathology domains.

Now I wish to peer review my professional colleagues.

If you challenge my authority fine, lets hear your challenge.  Otherwise…

The financial rape and exploitation of these parents stops. The destruction of their lives and the lives of their children… stops.

I have prepared two evaluation instruments to assist in my analysis of professional reports:

This is consistent with my role as a clinical psychology consultant to parents and their attorneys.  I am currently and will be providing a review of mental health reports using these two instruments for the Custody Resolution Method.

This “Psychology Tagging” of mental health reports and vitaes is a stand-alone service offered through the Custody Resolution Method (Dorcy Pruter; CCPI), as well as an included service in their larger data-tagging of data sets offered through the Custody Resolution Method (CRM).

If parents or their attorneys believe it would be helpful to have the mental health reports in their matter reviewed directly by Dr. Childress using the Checklist of Applied Knoweledge and Vitae Documentation Form, contact the Conscious Co-Parenting Institute and ask about their “Psychology Tagging” of mental health reports.

5.  Dublin, 2020

I will be presenting in Dublin, Ireland April 18-19 at the Alex Hotel.  I will be joined by Dorcy Pruter.  On Saturday, I will discuss foundations, assessment, and diagnosis.  On Sunday, Dorcy Pruter and Dr. Childress discuss solutions.

I anticipate this is the last initiative I will take in Europe, and I will more directly focus my attentions on the United States and Canada.  I believe the emerging forces for change in the Netherlands are on a positive path of consideration, I would like to open up Spanish language translations and collaborations.

Our seminars in Dublin in April will bring excellence in professional knowledge and standards of practice to the British isles.  England is the home of John Bowlby and attachment. That they should be self-inflicting attachment pathology on their families is entirely unnecessary and deeply unfortunate.

I am hoping that Cafcass will take the opportunity afforded by Dr. Childress and Dorcy Pruter traveling to Dublin to attend and engage the dialogue on the application of knowledge and solutions.

We present on Saturday and Sunday.  During the week, the Gardnerian PAS “experts” have a full conference offering their perspectives.  This represents the perfect opportunity to hear both positions, side-by-side, consider, and make informed decisions on the path forward.

I am recommending the development of three pilot programs for the family courts (AB-PA/High Road is one, develop two more).  Recruit university involvement for implementation and evaluation research.  Implement the pilot programs, collect data, see what works. Do that.

In April, Dr. Childress & Dorcy Pruter travel to Ireland. Registration is available on my website, scroll down the page.

Dr. Childress & Dorcy Pruter: Dublin, April 18-19

1.  Diagnosis

I’d like to get my second book out and published in 2020, An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation: Diagnosis.  We’ll see what happens.  These are milestones on the path, it’s like giving birth to children. Women, I feel your pain.  That – has to come ouf of – me?  I guess so.  You’ve heard the formulations and echoes in my Alliance posts this past year.

Foundations, Diagnosis, and Treatment.  I’m envisioning three.  We’ll see how much I can get done.

Clinical Psychology:  Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment.  The assessment is always directed to the referral question.  What’s the referral question?  The assessment is designed around the referral question, the assessment answers the referral question.

Referral Question: Which parent is the source of pathogenic parenting creating the child’s attachment pathology, and what are the treatment implications?

That is a limited-scope and focused referral question that can be answered. Which parent is creating the child’s attachment pathology, and how do we fix it?

We need a treatment plan.  Treatment is guided by diagnosis.  You tell me the diagnosis, and I’ll tell you the treatment plan.

A persecutory delusion.  An echo of trauma and abuse from many years ago.  A shared persecutory delusion imposed on the child.  A shared delusion (ICD-10 F24 Shared Psychotic Disorder).

From the American Psychiatric Association:

From the APA: “Usually the primary case in Shared Psychotic Disorder is dominant in the relationship and gradually imposes the delusional system on the more passive and initially healthy second person… Although most commonly seen in relationships of only two people, Shared Psychotic Disorder can occur in larger number of individuals, especially in family situations in which the parent is the primary case and the children, sometimes to varying degrees, adopt the parent’s delusional beliefs.” (p. 333)

A shared persecutory delusion, use the BPRS to anchor the symptom rating. This is not new knowledge, there is no “new theory” – the established knowledge of professional psychology, the ICD-10 and the DSM-5

Pathogenic parenting that is creating a delusional-psychotic pathology in the child is a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.  Mental health professionals need to step-up to their professional obligations in diagnosis and the assessment of pathology.

The ICD-10 and DSM-5 are not new.  We need a treatment plan.  Treatment depends on diagnosis.  You tell me the diagnosis, and I’ll tell you the treatment.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

 

 

Chowderheads, glaikit chowderheads one and all.

Am I saying the same thing over and over again?

Yes.

I do that a lot.  Say things over and over again.  Pretty much the same things.

My goodness gracious, I’ve been saying pretty much the same thing over and over since 2010.  Recently, when I moved my website and was moving essays over, there was an essay from 2010, same things.

Childress (2010) Negative Parental Influence and Spousal Conflict

“Within an alienation dynamic, the personality disorder with the alienating parent, and the re-enactment processes produced by the personality disorder, result in the development of encapsulated, persecutory, non-bizarre delusional processes regarding the abusive-inadequate nature of the targeted parent…” (Childress, 2010)

See that, “encapsulated, persecutory, non-bizarre delsusional processes”.. since 2010. Ten years, I’ve been telling everyone for… ten… years.  Exactly the same thing.  Truth is truth, knowledge is knowledge.  it hasn’t changed in 10 years, it’s not going to change in another 10 years.

“It is the child’s diagnosis of a Shared Psychotic Disorder that is the key feature of making the clinical diagnosis of a Parental Alienation Dynamic.” (Childress, 2010)

Why do I say the same things over and over again? I don’t know, you tell me. Why do I HAVE to say the same things – the same knowledge – DSM-5 – ICD-10 – for years?  Here is the definition from the American Psychiatric Association (notice the date for this citation, 20 years ago, this is not new knowledge).

From the American Psychiatric Association: “Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way.” (APA, 2000).

Does the child present as being “malevolently treated in some way” by the targeted parent?  Yes.

Is it a persecutory delusion?  Use the BPRS to anchor the symptom rating.  This is the description of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale from Wikipedia:

From Wikipedia: “The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) is a rating scale which a clinician or researcher may use to measure psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, hallucinations and unusual behaviour. Each symptom is rated 1-7 and depending on the version between a total of 18-24 symptoms are scored. The scale is one of the oldest, most widely used scales to measure psychotic symptoms and was first published in 1962.”

“One of the oldest, most widely used scales” – “first published in 1962” – “which a clinician or researcher may use to measure psychiatric symptons” – this is not new knowledge.

The rating of a delusion turns on the issue of “full conviction.”  The instructions for rating delusions (Item 11 Unusual Thought Content) direct the rater to “Consider the individual to have full conviction if he/she has acted as though the delusional belief was true.”

Has the child acted as though the false persecutory belief in supposed victimization – in being “malevolently treated in some way” – was true?

Yes.  Then the child has “full conviction” in the persecutory delusion.

The anchor point for a rating of 3 (non-delusional) states, “Content may be typical of delusions (even bizarre), but without full conviction.”

“Without full conviction” – the child has acted as if the persecutory belief is true, i.e., “full conviction,” the BPRS rating for the child’s persecutory belief is higher than a 3.

The anchor point for a rating of 4 on the BPRS states, “Delusion present but no preoccupation or functional impairment.”

Does the child’s persecutory delusion create “functional impairment”?  Yes, to the child’s family relationships and bonding.  Then the child’s symptom rating on the BPRS is higher than a 4.

The anchor point for a rating of 5 Moderately Severe states, “Full delusion(s) present with some preoccupation OR some areas of functioning are disrupted by delusional thinking.”

“OR some areas of functioning are disrupted by delusional thinking” – this appears to adequately capture the functional impairment of the child. The child’s rating on the BPRS is a 5 Moderately Severe persecutory delusion… at least.  Higher levels of preoccupation or functional impairment would elevate the rating.

The BPRS is from the 1960s, it is “one of the oldest, most widely used scales to measure psychotic symptoms.”  I should not have to be educating mental health professioals about the BPRS and the rating of delusional symptoms in order to have a professional-level discussion with them about their patients.

This is all – all – information they should ALREADY know, and that they should ALREADY be applying – at least – at least for the past 10 years (I told everyone in 2010, and again and again and again since then, even now, right now), and STILL they REFUSE to apply the DSM-5, the ICD-10, and the BPRS, “one of the oldest, most widely used scales to measure psychotic symptoms.

Am I that smart, or are they that stupid?  Is it me?  Am I some sort of brilliant human of superior intelligence?  Or are they simply stone-cold stupid? Ten years, at least, and even still today, right now, they continue to be… stone-cold ignorant.

Google the word “ignorant” here’s what you get:

adjective: ignorant

1)  lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.

2)  lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about a particular thing.

By definition, they are ignorant. They are “lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about a particular thing.” They are ignorant.

Here are some of the synonym choices the google definition of ignorant gives me to select from in my description of these mental health people.

uneducated, unknowledgeable, untaught, unschooled, untutored, untrained, unlearned, unread, uninformed, unenlightened, unscholarly, unqualified, benighted, backward, inexperienced, unsophisticated, unintelligent, stupid, simple, empty-headed, mindless, pig-ignorant, thick, airheaded, (as) thick as two short planks, dense, dumb, dim, dopey, wet behind the ears, slow on the uptake, dead from the neck up, a brick short of a load, dozy, divvy, daft, not the full shilling, glaikit, chowderheaded, dumb-ass, dotish, dof

Glaikit (pronounced glay-kit; also spelt glaiket) is an adjective used to describe a stupid, foolish and thoughtless person or action. It is mainly used in Scotland and Northern England, like in: “Don’t just stand there looking glaikit, do something!”

So those are my choices to describe these mental health people.  All of them. If they are not applying and have not applied the DSM-5 and ICD-10… these are the descriptive terms Google says apply.

I like uneducated.  They are stone-cold ignorant.  How did they ever get out of school being this ignorant of knowledge and training.  I’d hold their graduate program accountable. Get their vitae, write their graduate program a letter saying what a lousy job they did educating this person, because they are simply pig-ignorant.

Unqualified most definitely applies.  Completely and totally unqualified to be doing what they’re doing, because they are so entirely pig-ignorant.  Yep, that one too.  I think that one is pretty spot-on.

Stupid.  That’s an option.  Ignorance is lacking knowledge, but ten years of lazy sloth, with the requirement of Standard 2.03 of the APA ethics code:

2.03 Maintaining Competence Psychologists undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence.

That’s more than ignorance.  I think by this point, stupid applies. These mental health people are just stone-cold stupid. That’s descriptive.  I’m simply using the English language as the words of the language are defined.

Glaikit, what the hell is that?  Oh, yeah, that one too.  Don’t just stand there looking glaikit, get to work and diagnose the pathology. Stop being so pig-ignorant. What are you, stupid or something?

I guess so.

Or am I that brilliant?  Am I ten years more advanced, at least, than the average psychologist?  Am I some sort of Leonardo da Vinci making helicopters while the rest of the world is using swords and sticks?  Is it me? Am I that brilliant?

I’m going to go with them being that stupid. Just pig-ignorant chowderheads.  Seriously, if those are my choices for descriptive labels, they are a bunch of pig-ignorant cowderheads.

Why do I have to say the same things over and over again? Sloth and apathy. The persecutory delusion has always been there. Look, on the Diagnostic Checklist, it’s Diagnostic Indicator 3 – a persecutory delusion.

That’s from 2015. So I’ve been telling everyone about the persecutory delusion since 2015. Five years I’ve been saying – “This pathology is a persecutory delusion.”

Apathy and sloth.

Standard 2.03 of the APA Ethics Code:

2.03 Maintaining Competence Psychologists undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence.

Apathy, sloth, and pure professional laziness. I shouldn’t even have to educate them.

The DSM-5 of the American Psychiatric Association and persecutory delusions are something they should ALREADY know.

Parents ask me, “How do I get a trauma-informed assessment?”  Honestly, with this crop of pig-ignorant chowderhead mental health people around you, I honestly don’t know.

How about family systems therapy – hmm, working with family conflict, you might want to know and apply family systems therapy. What do you think? Do you think that might be helpful?

Here… here is a diagram from Salvador Minuchin for exactly – exactly – this pathology.  It’s from 1993 – over 25 years ago – not new – 25 years ago – standard and established Slide1family systems therapy… for the past 25 years.

Do you see that “triangle” pattern?  Here’s what the Bowen Center website says about the Triangle:

From the Bowen Center: “A triangle is a three-person relationship system. It is considered the building block or “molecule” of larger emotional systems because a triangle is the smallest stable relationship system. A two-person system is unstable because it tolerates little tension before involving a third person.”

Do you see in Minuchin’s diagram how the child is being “triangulated” into the spousal conflict?  Do you see how the child has formed a “cross-generational” coalition with the father that elevates the child in the family hierarchy above the mother, to a position where the child judges the parent as if the parent were the child, and the child the parent?  That’s called an “inverted hierarchy,” a characteristic symptom of the “cross-generational coalition.”

Do you see those broken lines between the mother and father and mother and son? That’s called an “emotional cutoff.”  The emotional cutoff between the spouses, the mother and father, is the divorce.  The cutoff between the child and mother is the pathology created by the child’s cross-generational coalition with the father, in which the father is using a loyalty alliance formed with the child to require the child to similarly cutoff the mother.

See that, triangulation, cross-generational coalition, inverted hierarchy, emotional cutoff. all that in Minuchin’s 1993 Structural diagram for this type of family pathology?  See that?

Family systems therapy, one of the four primary schools of psychotherapy and the only one that deals with fixing family relationships, has been fully developed since the 1970s. Do you think the established knowledge of family systems therapy would use useful to apply in resolving family conflict?  Whaddya think?

Wait, is 1993 not current enough for you?  Do you want something more current?  How about this description from Cloe Madanes of the cross-generational coalition in her 2018 book, Changing Relationships: Strategies for Therapists and Coaches.

From Madanes: “ Sometimes cross-generational coalitions are overt.  A wife might confide her marital problems to her child and in this way antagonize the child against the father.  Parents may criticize a grandparent and create a conflict in the child who loves both the grandparent and the parents.  This child may feel conflicted as a result, suffering because his or her loyalties are divided.”

So have they ever applied family systems therapy to resolving the family conflict surrounding ongoing, high-conflict, court-involved child custody litigation?  No.

Why not?

Dead from the neck up?  Stupid?  Pig-ignorant?  Just standing around looking all glaikit while families are destroyed, while the lives of children are destroyed?  I don’t know, you tell me why no one has applied the knowledge of family systems therapy to the solution for the past 25 years, and why EVEN NOW, they are STILL not applying the knowledge of family systems therapy to solving family conflict.

Nor… nor… are they applying the established knowledge of the DSM-5 and ICD-10.  Nothing, they are applying no knowledge whatsoever, nothing.  Ten years of lazy, slothful, pig-ignorant, practice destroying the lives of children, destroying the lives of parents because these unqualified mental health people insist – insist – on remaining stone-cold stupid.  Completely ignorant chowderheads one and all.

Family Systems Therapy – DSM-5 & ICD-10.

Let’s talk for just a moment about the APA ethics code – required – mandatory for all psychologists – sanctions to license and potential malpractice for violating the APA ethics code.  There are no “optional” Standards in the APA ethics code for psychologists.

Standard 2.04 of the APA ethics code:

2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments
Psychologists’ work is based upon established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.

That seems pretty clear to me.  Does that seem clear to you?  It seems pretty clear to me.

The DSM-5 and ICD-10 ARE the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.”  And, when assessing, diagnosing, and treating family conflict, family systems therapy IS the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.”

That’s not really in any rational dispute. That is reality.

And yet… none of them have ever applied the DSM-5 and ICD-10, and they STILL, to this very day, are not… and none of them have ever applied the constructs of family systems therapy to their “work” with family conflict, and STILL, to this very day, they are not.

They’re still not applying the knowledge, not “new knowledge,” the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline,” what they should have been doing ALREADY for the past 25 years, at least, and they are STILL not applying knowledge.

Why do I have to say things over, and over, and over again?  I don’t know, why don’t you tell me.

Why do they stand by glaikit while families are destroyed, the lives of children are destroyed, the lives of parents are irreparably destroyed by their… pick your word… ignorance – uneducated incompetence – stupidity and sloth.  Pick your descriptive words for it.

Am I that brilliant?  Or are they that stupid?

Absolute chowderheads, dead from the neck up.  Stone-cold stupid.  Pick your term.

I think unqualified is very apt.

I can tell them exactly what the diagnosis is, exactly the symptom features to look for – my goodness gracious, I even make it a simple 3-item checklist of symptoms for them, check, check, check – and that’s still too complicated for them.  Just stone-cold stupid, ignorant, and entirely unqualified and incompetent.  Choose your words for it:

adjective: ignorant

1)  lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.

2)  lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about a particular thing.

uneducated, unknowledgeable, untaught, unschooled, untutored, untrained, unlearned, unread, uninformed, unenlightened, unscholarly, unqualified, benighted, backward, inexperienced, unsophisticated, unintelligent, stupid, simple, empty-headed, mindless, pig-ignorant, thick, airheaded, (as) thick as two short planks, dense, dumb, dim, dopey, wet behind the ears, slow on the uptake, dead from the neck up, a brick short of a load, dozy, divvy, daft, not the full shilling, glaikit, chowderheaded, dumb-ass, dotish, dof

Glaikit (pronounced glay-kit; also spelt glaiket) is an adjective used to describe a stupid, foolish and thoughtless person or action. It is mainly used in Scotland and Northern England, like in: “Don’t just stand there looking glaikit, do something!”

In Foundations I describe every little detail of the pathology – down to words and sentences that are used.

How much simpler can I make it?  I can’t make it any simpler for them… and… still, nothing, not a lightbulb on in the attic, dense, dumb, dim, and dopey, I can’t make it any easier, and still… nothing.  No movement whatsoever north of the shoulders.  Pig-ignorant chowderheads.  Pick your term.

Unqualifed is apt.  So is incompetent.

When parents ask them, “Is a persecutory delusion present?” they’re told… “I’m not going to tell you.” That’s what they’re told, “I’m not going to answer that.”

Holy cow.  That is absolute stone-rock professional lazy and a complete abdication of professional responsibilities.  They absolutely refuse – refuse – to apply knowledge. “Is there a persecutory delusion present?” – I’m not going to tell you.

All the Gardnerian folk have been pig-ignorant for years and years.  They’ve known about the diagnosis from my work since 2012-2013, and it is also information they should ALREADY know. The DSM-IV was not a secret, a Shared Psychotic Disorder and persecutory delusions were not secrets.

I told them. Did they do anything?  Did they apply knowledge?  No.  We still have people like Karen Woodall who think they’re “discovering” new pathology, coming up with new names for things she thinks she’s “discovering.”

Does she give an ICD-10 diagnosis of F24 Shared Psychotic Disorder and a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse?

No. Why not? That’s the diagnosis.

I honestly don’t know. She just refuses to apply knowledge. The ICD-10 and DSM-5 – nope, not going to do it.

Since 2013 – 2015 – 2018 – years and years, I’ve been saying exactly the same thing.  Do they listen?  No.  They just stand around glaikit, doing nothing while familes are destroyed, chldren and parents are abused, their lives destroyed irrevocably.

Do they tell us why they don’t apply knowledge – like the ICD-10 and DSM-5?  No.

They just… don’t.

Listen, no one is ever-ever going to say, “Hey, maybe we should give this Gardner PAS thing another look-see.”  That has been fully and completely reviewed – most recently in 2013 (7 years ago – seven years ago) by the American Psychiatric Association, and they said “No.”  Years ago, time to move on from that failed construct.

The American Psychiatric Association said no, there is no such thing as “parental alienation.” So, did any of the Gardner people, Bill Bernet, Amy Baker, Demosthenes Lorandos, did any of them start to apply the ICD-10 and DSM-5?

No.  They’re still telling people about Gardner’s PAS from the 1980s.  Just incredible.  Like rocks.  Just absolute rocks.

What about the other half, the forensic psychology people, all the “evaluators” and “reunfication therapists” who surround your families, what about them?

Same. They’re the ones telling parents, “No, I’m not going to even assess for a persecutory delusion in the child.”

Uhhh, okay.  Shall we ask the plumber to diagnose pathology then?  If not you, who should we go to for a diagnosis of pathology?

Seriously, that’s their job – that’s what the license means, they are “licensed” by the state to diagnose pathology – does the child have a persecutory delusion?  I’m not going to tell you.  Just incredible.

Then you’re pretty worthless aren’t you.  I guess we’ll have to find someone who does diagnose pathology because we need to know if this child and parent are psychotic.

Makes my head explode.  Blatant ongoing violations to Standards 2.04, 2.01a, 2.03, 9.01a, and 3.04 of the APA ethics code.  Do they care?  No.  Complete disregard for the Standards of the APA ethics code.

Completely and entirely unethical professional practices.  In 2018, we directly told the American Psychological Association in a Petition to the APA signed by 20,000 parents describing the multiple ethical code violations rampant throughout forensic psychology.

What’s been the response of the APA in two full years?  Nothing.  Complete and total silence.  They didn’t even deign to give these parents a reply.  Nothing.  Complete and total silence.

I shouldn’t even have to educate them.  Just rocks.

Why?  Why are they such completely pig-ignorant, unqualified, chowerheads?  I know why.  These are my people, psychologists.

Why are they not applying knowledge?  Because they are exploiting parents, financially raping parents, then discarding them when their money runs out.

They solve nothing. They fix nothing. They just run through these families, one after the other, moving them down a path of family destruction.  They don’t care. They are making their money, they don’t care.

And.. they are collaborating in the pathology.  They are actually part of the abuse pathology… a shared delusion.  If you do not see the persecutory delusion, if you also believe the persecutory delusion, then you are PART of the… first word… Shared Psychotic Disorder – the shared delusional disorder.

Oh my god, do you have any idea how bad that is?  When the mental health person is PART of a shared psychosis with the patient?

That’s bad.  That is seriously incompetent – beyond incomptent.  They are part of the pathology that is abusing the parent.  Abusing… the.. parent – they are collaborating in the abuse of their patient.  The mental health person is assisting – assisting – in the emotional abuse of the parent – their client.

That’s bad, soooo bad.  Oh my god, my head… it just explodes.

Does the APA care?  No.  Does the AFCC care?  No.

I went directly to the AFCC national convention in 2017, told them all about it.  My slides from that talk with Dorcy at the National Convention of the AFCC are up on my website (AFCC Childress & Pruter Powerpoint; 2017).  I told them, the AFCC, at their National Convention three years ago, explained everything.

Did they do anything?  No.  Are they STILL – PART – of the pathology, are they STILL collaborating and participating in the savage and brutal emotional abuse of their clients?  Yes.

Years.  Not months, years.  Thousands and thousands of emotionally abused and traumatized parents, thousands upon thousands of children abandoned to the pathology of their parent, left in a Shared Psychotic Disorder with a deeply pathological parent.

Misdiagnosis, rampant incompetence, abject ignorance, complete sloth and professional indolence, lazy, slothful, ignorance… for years.

They should already know everything.  I did, back in 2010 I posted an essay that describes it (Parental Alienation as Child Abuse; Childress, 2010).  In 2015 I published a book, Foundations, that describes the pathology in every detail. In 2017 I went and told the AFCC directly at their National Convention. In 2018 I went and told the APA directly in the Petition to the APA.

So… the question is… why am I saying the same thing over-and-over again?  Because of their… pick your word, I like pig-ignorant stupidity.  I think that’s apt.

My question to you is, why do I HAVE to say the same things over and over again?  This is not new, it is the ICD-10 diagnostic system of the World Health Organization – the standard diagnostic system used everywhere – and the DSM-5 diagnostic system of the American Psychiatric Association.

The “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” (Standard 2.04)

And they refuse, for years and years and years.

Even now.  Even now, today… ask the involved mental health professional, “Does the child have a persecutory delusion?” – go ahead, ask them.

Instead, parents ask me, “Where can I find someone to apply the ICD-10 and DSM-5?” Honestly, over here, I haven’t got a clue.

In 2020-2022 I’ll begin my training seminars. I don’t know how much I can do if they don’t care to be ethical, all of them, if they don’t care to apply knowledge, if they are rock-solid ignorant chimps.

I should NOT have to educate a mental health professional about the pathology in order to have a professional-level discussion about that pathology – they should ALREADY know.  Do you know what it’s called if I have to educate you in order to have a professional-level discussion with you about your patient?  Unqualified.  You are unqualified to be treating your patient.

First learn what you are doing, and THEN start treating patients, not the other way around.  Oh my god, that I would even need to say that is insane professional indolence and pure professonal sloth.  You figure you’ll just come here to these families, take their money, solve nothing, leave destroyed families, childhoods, and the devastated lives of parents, and you don’t even care.

I have made it as easy as I possibly can for them, spoon feeding simple basic stuff.  Still, they do not lift a finger on their own to learn and apply knowledge.

2.03 Maintaining Competence Psychologists undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence.

Do they care?  Not a whit, not a one of them.

Pick your term.  Unethical, unqualified, pig-ignorant, works for me.

Chowderheads, glaikit chowderheads one and all.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857