I’m a dead guy, no worries

I’m a dead man.  These people around me now, they think I’m alive.  But you, the one who’s reading this, you understand.  I’m dead, right?   See.  They don’t understand.  You do.

They think we have time. It’s that death delusion thing – existential psychology – our inherent fear of death, of impermanence.  We lose everything we hold dear… time… the inexorable march of time, sand slipping through our hands even as we try to hold on to the moments.

Grief and loss. We avoid the sadness and grief at understanding by going delusional… la-la-la, things are going to be the same forever.  There’s time, there’s always time.

No.  There’s not.  You understand.  I’m dead.   See.  All done.  They don’t understand.

I’m going to try to wake them up a bit on that, because I’ve only got a bit of time left, a moment.  We’ll see if I can awaken some of them, maybe we can get a little bit more accomplished before I leave.  How’d I do?  You know.  Did any of them wake up?

Doesn’t matter, not my worry.  I’m dead.  They may be too by this time.  You can see what I was doing,  Man, that ignorance and sloth is just a killer.  Of all the monsters I’ve tackled, that ignorance and sloth one over here, it’s like that big, dumb, troll ogre thing, uhhhhhggg.  That combination, ignorance and sloth, jeeze.  Reminds me of neglect trauma.  I hate neglect trauma.

Ignorance and sloth, boy-oh-boy that’s a tough combination.

And then there’s the transference dream.  Wow, that is an interesting one.  To have a transference dream at this scope, and they don’t see it. They are psychology people and they don’t see the transference.  Captured.  So I’m basically doing psychoanalytic therapy on all of professional psychology.

For a clinical psychologist, that’s a challenge of a career.  You understand.  You see.  Once we clear the dream… Doesn’t do me much good now.  I have a moment.  Maybe three.  How many do I have?  You know. 

I’m going to assume one.  I will do one last thing.  Then, if I can, I’ll do two, and if I have time three.  How many did I get to?  That’s a shame. There was so much more.  Oh well.  I’m not doing this again.  Get someone else next time.  That ignorance and sloth, the savage cruelty.  I’m done.  Last assignment.  I don’t like it here.

I’m tired.  It’s taken a lot to get here.  Expose that which is hidden.  

I’m ready.  I’m done.  I was worried at first whether I’d have enough time. That was why I kicked out that first set of YouTubes.  Triage.  Seriously, that’s what that was.  I’m trauma guy, I get over here and there’s massive-massive trauma, I immediately jumped into triage mode. What’s the fastest way to get the knowledge to the people who need it… YouTube.

Once I had the YouTube up, I had a little time, but this is active abuse and trauma, these patients are bleeding out and dying, all over the place. There are parents who haven’t seen their kids in 10 years. TEN YEARS, oh my god.  And other’s are still in active abuse trauma, with kids, ten-year olds, 14-year-olds, kids who they haven’t seen in years.  Oh my god, that’s awful.  And kids, not receiving the love of mom or dad… for YEARS.  Oh my god, this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve just come from child abuse trauma in the foster care system – early childhood no less – three year olds who have been sexually abused by meth addicts, five year olds beaten with electrical cords… I left that, entered private practice, wandered over here out of curiosity and,..

Oh – my – god.  This is the worst thing, the worst abuse and trauma, ongoing abuse and trauma, that I have ever seen.  I’m a clinical psychologist.  I’m working, start with triage, get them the IV of knowledge set up, see if we can save a few while we figure out how to stop this.

And these psychology people are acting like this is all okay.  Holy cow.  That’s nuts! What’s going on, oh my god it’s trans-generational trauma and it’s captivated all of them in the transference dream… the “bad parent” needs to be “punished” – they “deserve” to suffer, oh my god, we have that brutality and abuse line… active… by the mental health people.  They are participating in the abuse of these parents.

Oh my god.  The mental health people are being used as a tool, an instrument, of the abuse. And its unconscious.  They are captivated in the transference, they don’t see.

How’d that happen.  Trans-generational trauma, it caught them on their counter-transference. But where’s their empathy?  Dang.  They have none. These mental health people have zero empathy for the suffering of these parents, and they have no understanding for the child, zero-zero empathy for the child.

Absence of empathy, abuse. We’re spot on into a narcissistic abuse trauma, active, ongoing, with the mental health people as a primary instrument of the abuse.  The mental health people are a weapon of abuse.  The child is the primary weapon, and the mental health people are collaborating in it.

Dang.  I can’t just walk away from these parents, these children.  I can’t walk away from the kids.  I’ve got to do something… okay.

Dang.  Where do we start?  Triage.  Let’s get the solution into them as fast as possible, use knowledge to solve pathology, diagnosis, let’s get them that as fast as possible.

Then I studied the pathogen.  I studied the history of Gardner and the response.  Why are they using such an awful-awful model rather than just applying knowledge?  Oh, psychiatrists, Master’s level, they’re not psychologists.  Where are the psychologists?  Forensic psychology. So, then, what are they doing?

Oh my god.  That is awful.  They are just making stuff up, they are applying zero knowledge from anywhere, WHAT? $40,000 for an assessment?  That is an OBSCENE financial rape of these parents.  And look at what they are. That is the WORST assessment of anything I’ve ever seen, smoke and mirrors – oh my god these forensic people are just raping these parents, financial rape, bend over and take it… they are the most foul professionals…

Ethics.  That’s where we’ll have to go with them. There is an actual APA ethics code.  They are disgusting filth as psychologists.

But they are powerful.  They have puffy vitaes of emptiness, they are a collective, they will protect their rape of these families.  Oh my god… this is a rippling of sex abuse trauma – rejecting a parent – the shame line.  These parents are the little girl.  They are being isolated by forensic psychology, that threat to licensure isolating the victim from clinical psychology, a “special” field of psychology just for this population, this vulnerable population.  And these parents are being abused by the psychologists, raped, financially raped in their vulnerability.

Disgusting, foul and disgusting.  These are the lowest form of professional – I’m not even going to call them professionals anymore.  They are abusing their patients for financial gain, for their counter-transference cruelty –  the “bad parent” deserves to suffer.  Filth and corruption, inside them.

This is a ripple of sex abuse trauma.  Straight up on the borderline, probably to the mother of the narcissistic line.

The solution is the application of knowledge.  There are a lot of powerful vested interests.  We’ll see how the Gardnerian “experts” respond when I bring knowledge and its solution.  If I can get their support that’d be helpful when I go up against forensic psychology.  Forensic psychology is going to be exceedingly dangerous, the pathogen inhabiting them has power in its positions of authority.  I’ll have to find ethical psychologists in these organizations.

I need to get out into the light and stay there.  When I take on these disgusting forensic filth, I’m going to need to be fully in the light of day, because they are going to want to hurt me and destroy me, to maintain their financial rape hidden and unseen, their rape and exploitation of these parents, and the abandonment of these children to child abuse.  They don’t want that exposed.  They will try to hurt me.  I must stay in the light.

I must find ethical psychologists to stand with me.  How’d I do?  Did anyone stand and speak?  Did anyone come to these families and children?  I know… eventually.  That makes me sad.

That’s who the battle is going to be with.  The power of forensic psychology. They have the AFCC and the APA, a Division in the APA.  They own the power structures. They’re solidly anchored in the courts.  I am going to have to expose and take out an entire field of professional psychology.  A very powerful field, who have zero ethics, zero standards of practice, and who have been violating the APA ethics code wantonly and with no regard at all for what’s right or wrong, for decades.  And they own the APA.

This is going to take some time to get ready. 

Sheesh, what are those?  What?  Flying monkeys?  Pretty good term for ‘em.  Yeah, its that counter-transference delusional thing.  We’re into delusion and trauma world here.  We’re entirely transference, pretty much everyone.  These monkeys though, boy, they’re a dangerous lot in their psychotic nonsense.

Ahhh, jeeze.  You know what… that monkey line is in forensic psychology and the family courts too, isn’t it?  This is really dangerous.  Active narcissistic and borderline pathology in litigation with an attorney surrounding exactly the transference trauma, and colluding narcissistic professionals in both mental health – upper echelons – and the legal system.

And I’m just me.  Hmmm.  Hardly seems fair.  Maybe they should get some more help.

Okay. Gotta take on the ignorance, sloth, and power – abusive and dangerous power – of forensic psychology.  We’ll see if I can get some help from the parents’ current allies, these Gardnerian PAS people.  I’ll bring over knowledge and solution and see what’s up with them.

They’re captured too.  Everyone’s captured by their narcissistic inflation, the Gardnerians, the forensic puffy vitaes, although theirs is more just the financial rape of these parents, my goodness gracious, $20,000 to $40,000 for that worthless piece of crap that isn’t even a valid assessment… there’s a bunch of narcissistic pathology in forensic psychology no doubt, but mostly it’s just rape and exploitation.

It’s the absence of empathy in forensic psychology that is just chilling… and so wrong. We’re psychology – we are empathy – and we most definitely do NOT traumatize our patients.  They do.  All the time.

Isolate the victim, alone, away from resources and help, “out in the woods,” so you can abuse them.  Keep them silent through shame.  And the only allies they have are leading them into the worst model of a pathology ever developed in the history of mankind, and they’re being made to prove a pathology, to a judge, a legal professional, at trial, an expensive-expensive trial. Rather than simply get a diagnosis. 

Persecutory delusion, Shared Psychotic Disorder. DSM-IV.  Persecutory delusion, Child Psychological Abuse, DSM-5.

Wow, I’m going to have to kill this PAS construct first. These PAS “experts” aren’t going to like that.  They have their personal and professional identities all wrapped up in being “experts” in “parental alienation.”  They’re not going to like me taking away their status and standing that they gain from their “new pathology” thing.  Plus they’ve got that “Star Wars” rebel alliance against the evil empire thing going, they’ve been captivated by an archetype – jeeze, the transference is just everywhere.

Hi, who are you?  Dorcy?  What’s up, what do you have there?  Hey, that’s pretty good. Excellent as a matter of fact.  Once we get outta here, there are potentially some pretty nice things that can be done with that approach in other trauma areas.  What’s that about prison recidivism, you have done this approach in a prison population and reduced recidivism by 80%?  Okay, you’re coming with me.

What’s with all the monkeys?  Dang, they’re just swarming you.  Okay.  You’re like a monkey magnet, you should should give them pet names or something, except that they’re so incredibly dangerous – delusional splitting with righteous overtones.  THAT is a dangerous psychology.  When we’re in delusional world… one of them is erotomanic – that’s stalker world thing.  Be safe.  Your safety is most definitely at risk with this pathology. 

And what’s up with all the disrespect to you from the Gardner people?  You’d think they’d want your help, you have the solution in your hip pocket, you’re being swarmed by monkeys because of it, and they are not lifting a finger to help, and instead are trying to exclude your from their weird little narrcissistic “experts” club.

Okay, whatever.  I have strong doubts about the professional character of these Gardnerian “experts” – I think it’s just exploitation everywhere.  Okay, you just stay close to me and I’ll tell everyone the truth, I’m a clinical psychologist, that’s what we are, truth-tellers.  If you need a statement from me, no worries.  High Road will recover and does recover children from complex trauma and child abuse.

That is a fact.  I’d call it an elegant approach, and I want to extend its application to other areas of complex trauma and abuse recovery, like substance abuse recovery and prison recidivism.  Whoever in research world works with Dorcy will be a happy human. 

So let’s get you over to the AFCC people to tell them about what you do, they’re the ones on the “chain of command” who should hear about what you’re doing,  It’s substantially remarkable and wow.  So they should know about it.  They won’t listen because they are low-life disgusting pond scum, but it’s the right thing to do, for us to do.  Give them the opportunity so that if they weren’t low-life disgusting pond scum, which they are, they could develop your approach and extend it more fully into the solutions available for the family courts.

Okay, now let’s get you over to the APA, Division 24 Theoretical.  Those are the folks who need to hear about this. We’ll take it to them on the trans-generational trauma line.

What’s that?  A kid relapsed when contact with the abusive parent was restored and you’re headed out to recover the kid… a second time?  You can do that, recover the kid just like that, in day or so, a second time?  Okay then.

Because that allows for a single-case ABAB clinical intervention – and, wow.  That’s the best there is.  A-baseline, B-High Road, A-baseline, B-High Road.  Causality is a lock, and we leave the child fixed.  Okay, let me write that up.  That’s excellent.

What’s that?  You’ve got another one?  A parenting curriculum?  Okay, let’s see that?  Wow, that’s excellent too.  Professional psychology will want to hear about that too.  You’re a regular little force of nature aren’t you.  We’ll have to find you some university collaborators, and oh my god, they’re gonna love you.  You generate data, that’s magnificent.  Evidence based practice, these researchers are going to love you once we get the two of you hooked up.

These ignorant mental health people are still maybe a decade away from a single-case ABAB, they’re still on fire, “fire good,” so we have to get them caught up through wheel and internal combustion engine, but when they eventually get there, that’s really good.

With the publication of Foundations, I’m ready to take on forensic psychology.  Let’s tell everyone where we’re going.  Filmed some YouTubes, wake up, wake up.  The learned helplessness in these parents is pretty dense.  Understandable, inescapable trauma.  But boy, they are inert.  Wake up!  Wake up!

The pathogen has these parents believing that they have to “prove something” to someone – that’s the transference thing, putting the “bad parent” on trial.  Jeeze louise, that transference just has everyone captured.  We’re gonna have to wake up parents that, no, you don’t need to prove anything, you need a diagnosis of pathology so we can develop a treatment plan to fix things.

Where do they get a diagnosis?  Ahhhh jeeze… from the forensic people.  Okay, hold that thought.  We’re gonna need to get you some actual mental health people to diagnose the pathology for you, forensic psychology… get this… refuses to diagnose pathology, they say it’s “prejudicial” to the pathological parent. Does that make logical sense to you?  It doesn’t to me, but nothing makes sense over here, it’s all delusional transference dream… literally everywhere.

So I pop out the six-session treatment focused assessment protocol.  Toss off the Contingent Visitation Schedule as long as I’m at it, again, an exceptionally good Strategic family systems intervention, a craftsman at work, but it’ll be too complicated for this crop of mental health people, we’re at “See Spot run. Go Spot, go” and the Contingent Visitation Schedule is a college textbook. Maybe by 2050.  It’s the Assessment protocol we need right now.

Look at how simple I had to make it.  Seriously, three symptoms, check, check, check.  I can’t make it any more simple… and look… that’s STILL too complicated for them. They’re going into apoplectic shock, trembling on the floor, “How do I do this? How do I do this?”

Uhhh, check the box indicating if the symptom is present or absent.

Tough instructions.  A three-item checklist is too hard for them.  That is how bad things are.  Stone-cold stupid.  Seriously, with these mental health people, I feel like I’m educating high-schoolers, not even upperclassmen, Freshmen, high school Freshmen, if that.  I dunno, maybe 7th graders throwing paper airplanes.  These mental health people are sooooo far from professional.  Maybe we should start training teachers and plumbers to do the assessment. “See these boxes, if the symptom is present check the box that says, “Present,” and if the symptom is absent, check the box that says, “Absent.”

Do you think we can get teachers and plumbers to do this, because apparently we can’t get mental health people to do it, check, check, check… way too complicated for them.

Seriously, the combination of ignorance and sloth are the worst.  I’m not doing this again.  Way too exhausting.  Don’t try to teach a pig to sing.

We need a whole new crop.  This current group is worthless.

So that’s where I stand now.  How much did I get done?

Hey people… I’ve had two strokes.  The first was about 2006, dropped me to the floor, entire left side was dysfunctional, I had that blah-blah-blah stroke talk thing.  I recovered mostly, 95%.  Last year I had a second stroke, called a TIA, took a hit on my balance and I’m having trouble articulating certain sounds, you’ll see me with a cane now because an old guy doesn’t want to take a tumble on an uneven surface and break a hip or something.

I’m a dead man.  Always have been.  See, am I dead?   Yeah, I know.   These people think I’m alive.  I’m tellin’ ya, stone-cold stupid.

So I’ll try one more thing, I’ll try to wake them from their transference dream, try to break through that sloth barrier.  It’s not my job to teach them, it’s their job to ALREADY know, and we’ll try to line up that licensing and malpractice line, that’s pretty much fully there already, it’ll be on the systems end, with the licensing boards, that ignorance and sloth will reemerge, once again.  If they’re able to work up the malpractice stuff while I’m still here they can grab my testimony, if not then not my worry.

I’m tired.  Doing this all on my own.  It’s nice to have a touch of sanity in Dorcy, otherwise, boy, you people are delusional – it’s the transference, it’s got you all captured. And your narcissism, jeeze louise, pretty much everywhere.

Sanity in the midst of insanity, Dorcy.  She’s a smart lady, she knows this pathogen inside out and seven ways to Sunday.  Way-way hugely better than any mental health person out there right now.  Come on people, time to up your game, Dorcy’s dustin’ you.  She’s lapping you.  Pace people, pick up your pace.

If people listen to her they’ll figure it out.  She’s got her health issues too though, trauma leaves impact, so people shouldn’t count on her either.  Word to the wise, better use her while she’s here.  But nobody listens to me.  Now their listening.  Fat lot of good.

I could have told you so much.  But we were stuck on “See Spot run.”  Whatever.

I suspect Dorcy’s got a couple of decades on me.  Did she?  How’d that work out?  I suspect pretty good, I like the lines on that one.  Who knows, we’ll see what happens.

Not my worry.  I’m a dead guy.  You.  The one reading this, that’s a you problem.  Hopefully things are working themselves out.  Be kind.  There’s enough suffering in the world, no need to add more.  See what you can do about taking some out. And add some happy, we need more of that.

Our problem is not that there’s too much happiness in the world, so we have to limit and restrict happiness.  The problem is that there is too little happiness.  Smile, say a kind word, restore bonds of love and affection, add more happy and love and kindness, that’s a good thing.

But it’s not my worry.  I’m a dead guy.  How am I doin’?  As a dead guy?  I’m fine, thanks for asking, no worries.  I know what I am, and I know where we are.  No worries, I’m fine.  I don’t like this place, too much cruelty, ignorance, sloth… an absence of empathy.  I’m fine.

Not enough love and kindness here.  This place is okay on my-end, trees and mountains are nice, oceans.  People?  Mark Twain said that the better he got to know people, the more he liked his dogs.  It’s okay here, but generally, I’m not liking the level of cruelty here.  I’m okay not being here anymore, no worries on that.  They can figure things out on their own. 

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

Pennsylvania Equal Shared Parenting Legislation

I recently attended hearings on the Equal Shared Parenting legislation introduced to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  As a clinical psychologist with a specialty in child and family therapy, I am in full support of this proposed legislation. 

I’m in California.  I flew back to Harrisburg just to stand with these parents in support of this legislation.

It is well-crafted, thoughtful, and well-considered legislation that will be immensely helpful in solving family conflict surrounding divorce and children.  It will provide substantial support for clinical psychology and for the successful transitions of families to healthy separated family structures following divorce.

As a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in child and family therapy, I urge the passage of this bill in Pennsylvania, and of similar legislation throughout the United States and other nations.  Equal shared parenting is the correct thing to do.

Rebuttal to Opposing Testimony

There was testimony in opposition to the legislation.  The opposition arguments were all offered from legal professionals.  The committee did not hear from any representatives from clinical psychology and family therapy.  This was unfortunate, because the testimony from the legal professionals was not consistent with the knowledge from clinical psychology and family therapy.

Their testimony was incorrect.

Absent knowledge from clinical child and family psychology, errors in decision-making surrounding solving child and family conflict will occur.

As a clinical psychologist, I am offering this rebuttal to the arguments presented in opposition to the Equal Shared Parenting legislation.

The two primary arguments were “Best Interest of the Child” and the value of a legal “Presumption” in the court’s decision-making.  An additional argument was offered involving child abuse and Intimate Partner Violence, but this argument was insufficiently organized to warrant response here, and I will address it separately to maintain the clarity to this rebuttal.

1. Best Interests of the Child

This is important, and it will be central to everyone’s understanding in order to reach resolution… what is meant by the term, “best interests of the child,” how is that constuct defined?

I’m certain Nazi Germany had a definition for the “best interests of the child,” and I’m confident that it was not an accurate definition.  It is crucial and central to resolution of this discussion that the term “best interests of the child” receive adequate understanding and definition.

This will then allow us to move forward into developing solutions.

First, it is important to understand that forensic psychology openly admits that they do NOT have an adequate definition for this construct (Stahl & Simon, 2013), and I will argue that an operational definition for this construct is fundamentally impossible, and inappropriate, outside of child abuse and child protection concerns.

Parents have the fundamental right to parent according to their cultural values, their personal values, and their religious values.  If there is no child abuse, then parents have the right to parent, and our society should be extremely circumspect in empowering magistrates to separate children from parents when there are no child protection concerns.

Magistrates should not be empowered to decide on cultural, personal, or religious values in parenting, and any decision beyond a child protection concern will, by necessity, be ruling on just those factors.  By itself, the construct of personal values will have broad latitude in parenting.  Parents have a right to parent.  If it is not child abuse, then empowering magistrates to judge parents as “deserving” or “not deserving” to be a parent should be of concern.

Parents have the right to parent according to their cultural values, their personal values, and their religious values.  Magistrates should allow broad latitude to that foundational parental right before separating parents from children.

Second, forensic psychology has no definition for the construct of the “child’s best interests.”

This is acknowledged by Stahl & Simon, forensic psychologists who literally wrote the book on child custody evaluations for the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association,

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. 

This is what Stahl and Simon say about the definition of the construct “best interests of the child.”

From Stahl & Simon: “A critical subject facing those working in the field of family law, whether they’re legal professionals or psychological professionals, is the concept of the best interests of the children. Even recognized experts in this concept differ with regard to what it means, how it should be determined, and what factors should be considered in determining what is in the best interest of a child. Thus, this ubiquitous term escapes consensus and remains fundamentally vague.” (Stahl & Simon, 2013, p. 10-11)

From Stahl & Simon: “It is defined differently from state to state; and even in Arizona, where there are nine statutory factors associated with the best interest of the child, the meaning behind many of the factors is obscure.  Additionally, when psychologists refer to the best interests of children, they are referring to a hierarchical set of factors that may have different meanings to different children with different families and that may be understood differently by psychologists with different backgrounds and different training.” (Stahl & Simon, 2013, p. 11)

In testimony before the committee in Pennsylvania, a father reported on a period following court restrictions on his time and involvement with his child when he became ill, seriously ill, and potentially terminally ill. We are grateful and happy for his recovery.

And this is important to understand as to why it is impossible – impossible – to render a judgement regarding the “best interests of the child” except for child abuse and child protection concerns. What if he had died?

We are all grateful and happy that this father survived and is with us still.  What is important to realize is, had the father died, the construct of the child’s “best interests” that was considered just months before, would have been grossly in error and extremely NOT in the child’s best interests.

If a son or daughter only has a short time left with a parent, their mother or father, it is always in the child’s best interest to spend abundant amounts of time with this parent, before the parent leaves us and this opportunity is lost to the child and is no longer available.

And this is the important point, determining the “best interests” of the child would require that we know what the future holds.  We can’t know of the father’s loss ahead of time.  We can’t predict the future.  We will never know what the future holds, so we cannot answer that question. 

That question is fundamentally unanswerable. 

If there is child abuse, we diagnose child abuse and protect the child.  If there is no child abuse, then we fix conflict and restore relationships of bonded love and affection in the family, because we can’t predict the future, our time may be short, who knows, and bonds of love and affection are too important to be lost.

If there is family conflict, we fix it. That’s a treatment issue, not a custody issue.

Mothers are not expendable in the lives of their sons, in the lives of their daughters.   Fathers are not expendable in the lives of their sons, in the lives of their daughters.  Is that a faulty presumption?  No, that is an established fact. 

Proof:  We have all had childhoods, we have all had mothers and fathers, we can all reference our own childhoods and direct personal experience for proof.  Was your mother important to you? Was your father important to you?

For my proof, I cite you and your own personal experience.  Mothers are not expendable in the lives of their sons and daughters, father’s are not expendable in the lives of their daughters and sons.  Children flourish when they receive abundant love from the mother and abundant love from their father.

Equal Shared Parenting is the correct approach for legal decision-making following divorce.

There are four types of parent-child bond, each is unique: mother-son, father-son, mother-daughter, father-daughter.

Each is unique, each is immensely valuable, none are interchangeable or replaceable, and none are expendable.  Reference your own personal experience for proof of that.

The only rational definition of a child’s best interests is that the son or daughter always benefits from receiving abundant love from his or her father and mother, in the wonderfully unique and special way that develops between them.

There is no “better parent” – there is mother, there is father.  Each unique, each special, each wonderful.

If there are child protection concerns, diagnose child abuse and protect the child. There are four DSM-5 diagnoses in the Child Maltreatment Section of the DSM-5; Child Physical Abuse (V995.54), Child Sexual Abuse (V995.53), Child Neglect (V995.52), Child Psychological Abuse (V995.51).  If there are child protection concerns, diagnose child abuse and protect the child.

If, however, there are no child abuse concerns accompanied by a DSM-5 diagnosis of child abuse, then parents have the right to parent according to their cultural values, their personal values, and their religious values.  There is no rational or supported reason to give primacy to any of the unique parent-child bonds, each is unique to itself, they are all of equal value and importance.

Equal Shared Parenting is the correct approach following divorce.

A presumption that each parent should have as much time and involvement with the child as possible is always in the child’s best interests.  How that is practically met becomes the only consideration.  Equal Shared Parenting is defined as broadly a 60% to 40% time share, with latitude provided to reasonable factors.

While according to Stahl and Simon, forensic psychology does not have a clear definition for the best interests of the child, clinical psychology does.  It’s that picture.Slide35

It is always in the child’s best interests for the family to make a successful transition following divorce to a healthy separated family structure of shared bonds of affection between the child and both parents, mother and father, son and daughter, a tapestry of unique relationships.

Clinical psychology focuses on treatment, and the recommendation to the family courts from clinical psychology is to similarly focus on treatment rather than custody.

A focus on custody, especially litigation that encourages parents to prove the other parent to be a “bad parent,” is destructive to our ability to achieve a healthy separated family structure.  A presumption of equal value to the father and mother in the lives of a son and daughter will support the family’s successful transition to a healthy separated family structure following divorce.

The child belongs to two families, unites two families into the very fabric of who the child is, two family cultures, two family lineages, two family bonds to mother and to father. This is the fabric of the child.  If there is parent-child conflict, we fix it. We do not expel a mother of father from the life of their son or daughter.

If there are child abuse concerns, then we diagnose them and we protect the child. 

If there are no diagnosed child abuse concerns, then we fix things.  For a child to reject a parent is for the child to reject half of themselves, half of their very being.  We don’t divide children as a “custody prize” to be won by the “better parent” – we respect the unique and immense value to the child of a mother, of a father, that unique bond in the life of that young boy, that young girl. 

Mother’s are not expendable in the life of their child.  Father’s are not expendable in the life of the child, they are of equal value.

Equal Shared Parenting legislation will reduce the family conflict surrounding the child, with a clear message of the court’s support for the child’s bond to mother and to father, love and bonding are good things for the child.  Equal Shared Parenting following divorce supports the child’s healthy attachment bonding and psychological development.

Equal shared parenting following divorce is a good thing.  It will help remove the child from conflict.

If there are no child abuse concerns, diagnosed, then each parent should have as much time and involvement with the child as possible.  Equal shared parenting legislation supports this healthy family solution.

2. “Presumption”

The construct of presumption” has legal implications and I am a clinical psychologist.  I defer comment on the legal definitions and application of terminology.  I will, however, offer my perspective from clinical psychology and child development regarding the definition for that construct, to assist in a more complete understanding for that term relative to the child and family.

The legal professionals who offered this argument noted that in the 1800s it was a presumption toward the father, and then the “tender years” doctrine provided a presumption toward the mother, and that both were in error and there should be no presumption.

That is not an accurate characterization.  The presumptions cited were for one role, either mother or father, as being more valuable to the child than the other is, and were, as they indicated, in error. The solution is not to litigate which is the “better parent.”  The solution is to value both.

An equal valuing of both the mother and the father is the Equal Shared Parenting legislation, it provides no presumption of one parent’s value over the other in the life of the child.

Equal Shared Parenting offers no presumption of one parent’s value over the other.  But wait, said in an alternative way it becomes, the presumption is for equal shared parenting (somewhere balanced between 60% and 40% based on factors).

Or… said in an alternative way, there is no presumption of either parent being of greater value to the child than the other parent, mothers and fathers are equally important.

Notice something important.  The construct of “presumption” depends on the context in which it is used. Sentence structure, not inherent meaning. Context of the word’s use.

A presumption that favors the father is not appropriate.  A presumption that favors the mother, is not appropriate.  That doesn’t mean that we should open up decision-making to a free-for-all blood sport of litigation designed to prove the inadequacy of the other parent in order to gain greater custody time.

The presumption that mothers and fathers are equally valuable to the child is the Equal Shared Parenting legislation being considered by the Pennsylvania legislature. That is a true and accurate presumption, mothers and fathers ARE equally important to the healthy development of the child.

There is no presumption that either parent is “better” – or that it is a good thing for parents to be engaged in litigation to prove that they are “better” and that they “deserve” more time because they are “better” than the other parent.  That is not a good thing.

3. Bias is Unavoidable

Our social offices are held by people, and people have inherent unconscious bias, called heuristics, that influence perception and decision making outside of awareness.  Unconscious.

Sapolsky (24:30 – 29:30): Judges are more lenient after eating than before eating because of the blood sugar rise from lunch.  It is important to the discussion of bias that everyone watch Sapolsky from 24:30 to 29:30.  All of it is wonderful, that five minutes is essential for a discussion of bias.

We cannot eliminate bias, because bias is inherent to the humanity of the person in the role.  We can only strive to control and limit the effects of bias on decision-making by the court.  Within the legal system, this is accomplished through the specificity of language in legislation, and by prior additional guidance and clarification through precedent interpretations and decisions.

In matters of family conflict, where unconscious personal history, personal values, and personal cultural factors are all likely unconscious influences on the human occupying the role, it is unwise to allow too great a latitude to interpretation of vaguely defined constructs.

Stahl and Simon, who are acknowledged professional representatives from the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, identify how vague and poorly defined the construct of “best interests of the child” is, even when guiding factors are identified.

From Stahl & Simon: “Even recognized experts in this concept differ with regard to what it means, how it should be determined, and what factors should be considered in determining what is in the best interest of a child.  Thus, this ubiquitous term escapes consensus and remains fundamentally vague… It is defined differently from state to state; and even in Arizona, where there are nine statutory factors associated with the best interest of the child, the meaning behind many of the factors is obscure” (Stahl & Simon, 2013, p. 10-11)

The apparent recommendations from the legal professionals testifying in Pennsylvania is that the solution to having neither a presumption in favor of the mother nor one favoring the father is to turn custody decision-making into a blood-sport of litigation to prove to the judge that the other parent does not “deserve” to be a parent based on a set of factors, the goal, the factors in proving that the other parent doesn’t deserve to be a parent.

That is not a correct approach.  The solution is to give neither parent a presumption and to recognize the equal value of both parents, mother and father, in the life of the child.  The solution is to provide a presumption of equal shared parenting, of equal value to the child of a mother’s love and a father’s love.

Children are not a battleground, and we should not encourage parents to weaponize the child into a custody battle to prove to the court the supposed “inadequacy” of the other parent.  The Equal Shared Parenting legislation being considered in Pennsylvania will remove children from the spousal conflict and will help restore a normal-range childhood to them, a childhood of loving and bonded relationships with both parents, mother and father.

Mothers are important and essential in the lives of their sons and daughters.  Mothers are not expendable from the lives of their children. Fathers are important and essential in the lives of their sons and daughters.  Fathers are not expendable from the lives of their children.

Equal Shared Parenting legislation supports that, and will achieve that.

As a clinical psychologist with a professional specialty in child and family therapy, I am the professional who is tasked with fixing family conflict and restoring the child’s healthy development.  I am in full and complete support of the Equal Shared Parenting legislation in Pennsylvania.

So much so, that I flew back to Harrisburg just to be in the room.  This legislation is the right thing to do.

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

Peer Review

I agree with peer review.  If someone wants to peer-review my work, peer-review Foundations.  If you want the research support, here it is:

AB-PA Reference List

Nothing about an attachment-based description of this pathology is new, go argue with Bowlby, Minuchin, and Beck.  It is all standard and established knowledge applied to a set of child and family symptoms.

Solution is the DSM-5

The core line to solution though, is through the DSM-5.  All the rest is foundation, the central issue for solution is the application of the DSM-5.  That is the solution in its entirety.  This pathology is a persecutory delusion, a shared persecutory delusion with the allied parent who is the “primary case” of the persecutory delusion.

Presenting Problem

The child presents as being “victimized” by a parent.  That’s called the “presenting problem.” 

Differential Diagnosis

The first question for diagnosis is, is the child’s belief in “victimization” by a parent true or false?

If it’s true, then that is a DSM-5 diagnosis of child abuse.  Make the diagnosis and protect the child.  There are four diagnoses of child abuse in the Child Maltreatment section of the DSM-5:

V995.54 Child Physical Abuse
V995.53 Child Sexual Abuse
V995.52 Child Neglect
V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse

If the child is being “victimized” by a parent, diagnose child abuse and protect the child.

If, however, the child’s belief in “victimization” is false, then that is called a “persecutory” belief.  The diagnostic question then becomes, is it a perecutory delusion? A delusion is a fixed and false belief that is maintained despite contrary evidence.

This diagnostic question can be answered through the application of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) to the symptom.  The BPRS is one of the oldest, most widely used scales to measure psychotic symptoms for both clinicians and researchers.

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.”

BPRS Item 11 is the rating for delusional beliefs.  The diagnostic consideration separating Slide4an “idea of persecution” from a “delusion of persecution” is whether there is “full conviction” in the false belief.  The BPRS instructs  the rater to “Consider the individual to have full conviction if he or she has acted as though the delusional belief were true.”

Has the child acted as though the false belief in supposed “victimization” by the normal-range parent is true? 

Yes, the child is refusing contact and involvement with the targeted parent based on the false belief that the child is being “victimized” by this parent. The child displays “full conviction” in the false belief.

Slide6The anchor description for a BPRS rating of 3 says that the belief is held “without full conviction.” 

The child in this case has full conviction as evidenced by acting on the false belief.  The BPRS rating for the child’s persecutory belief is, at the least, above a 3 Mild score.

A BPRS rating of 4 is the cutoff rating for the difference between a persecutory Slide7idea (2 and 3) and a persecutory delusion (4 and above).  The anchor point for a rating of 4 Moderate specifies that it might be an “encapsulated delusion” (limited scope), and states that there is no preoccupation or no functional impairment.

Is there impairment in the child’s functioning caused by the persecutory delusion? 

Yes, in the child’s family relationships.  The false belief in “victimization” is creating a cutoff in family bonding to a normal-range parent, it is impairing the child’s functioning in the family.

There is functional impairment, the BPRS rating for the child’s false belief is therefore higher than a 4.

The anchor point for a BPRS rating of 5 Moderately Severe states that “more areas of functioning are disrupted.”  This captures the child’s symptom severity.  The BPRS rating for the child’s perscutory belief is at least a 5 Moderately Severe.

The anchor description for a 6 Severe delusion states that there is “much preoccupation OR many areas of functioning are disrupted.”  If either of these criteria are met, then the BPRS rating is a 6 Severe.  Slide8

If there is “almost total preoccupation OR most areas of functioning are disrupted,” then the BPRS rating is 7 Extremely Severe.

This is not something from Dr. Childress.  This is the American Psychiatric Association and the BPRS, “one of the oldest, most widely used scales to measure psychotic symptoms.”

Shared Psychotic Disorder

The child displays a Moderately Severe persecutory delusion toward a normal-parent.  How does a child acquire a persecutory delusion toward a normal-range parent?  From the influence and psychological control of the allied parent, it is the parent who is the origin for the persecutory delusion; the “primary case” (APA, 2000).

The “primary case of the persecutory delusion” is the allied parent, who then “imposes the delusional system” on the child.

Here is the description of a shared delusional 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.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 333).

The American Psychiatric Association even offers guidance on the treatment of a shared delusional disorder,

From the APA: If the relationship with the primary case is interrupted, the delusional beliefs of the other individual usually diminish or disappear.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 333).

From the APA:  “Course Without intervention, the course is usually chronic, because this disorder most commonly occurs in relationships that are long-standing and resistant to change.  With separation from the primary case, the individual’s delusional beliefs disappear, sometimes quickly and sometimes quite slowly.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 333).

Here is the description of a persecutory delusion from the American Psychiatric Association,

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

Does the allied parent share the false belief that the child (i.e., someone to whom the parent is close) is being “malevolently treated in some way” by the other parent? 

Yes.

The diagnosis is a Shared Psychotic Disorder.  In the ICD-10 diagnostic system, the formal diagnosis is F24 Shared Psychotic Disorder.  The DSM-5 diagnosis is V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.

Pathogenic parenting that is creating delusional-psychotic pathology in the child is a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.  Creating delusional-psychotic pathology in the child through aberrant and distorted parenting practices is child psychological abuse.

That is the truth.

None of that is an opinion of Dr. Childress, it is all entirely the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-5, and the BPRS, “one of the oldest, most widely used scales to measure psychotic symptoms.”  Go argue with the APA and the DSM-5.

Diagnosis.

Peer Review

There are a lot of mental health people holding themselves out as “experts” and who are offering interventions that they have crafted for this pathology.

I am going to want to see the protocols for their interventions.  Consider it peer review of your work.  I want to see your protocols.

I understand that Linda Gottlieb is offering something, some short-term intervention workshop model she’s created.  I’m extremely concerned about that.  Models of psychotherapy don’t work in intensive application situations.  Intense for psychotherapy models is two hour a week, the most intense is four or five hours a week of psychoanalysis.

Psychotherapy is not made for high-dosage intensity, it can do bad things if offered in too high an intensity.

There is no model of psychotherapy for what she’s doing, so she is stepping outside of any established model of known psychotherapy for what she’s doing – psychotherapy is NOT supposed to be delivered in that sort of intensive format, psychotherapy doesn’t work in intensity, and it can even be destructive at high-levels of intense application.

I’ll want to see Linda Gottlieb’s protocol to review it.

There’s also apparently a group in Arizona, I think, Overcoming Barriers I think it’s called.  Another short-term intensive intervention model.  I’ll want to see their protocol.

Cafcass, I’ll want to see what their doing.  Anyone who is holding themselves out as.an expert, bring your vitae, anyone doing intervention, I’ll want to review their protocol – consider it peer review.  I’ll start formally requesting protocols for review as a licensed. clinical psychologist somewhere around May or June of 2020, just putting out a heads up.

They won’t want to show me their protocols, and I strongly suspect it’s because what they are doing is seriously flawed and doesn’t work.  If they refuse to provide me with professional review of their protocol, I may need to get access to their protocols through other avenues, such as when I’m a consultant on a case where they’ve been the treatment provider.  The moment that happens, I’ll request their treatment records for continuity of patient care.  It’s a mandatory release under Standard 3.09 of the APA ethics code.

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.

If I’m on a case as a clinical psychologist consultant and they were a prior treatment provider, then I’ll request their treatment records pursuant to Standard 3.09 ‘of the APA ethics code in order “to serve the clients/patients effectively and appropriately.”  It’s called “continuity of care.”

If I have to go that direction in order to review their treatment protocols, i.e., through my personal involvement as a licensed clinical psychologist with a client who has been treated by them, it won’t be simply a request for their protocols, I’ll want to see their treatment notes, intakes, treatment plans, outcome measures for that particular client.  I’ll want to see their individual treatment record and the protocol at that point.

Outcome measures too.  All interventions should be collecting outcome data.  That’s mandatory professional standard of practice with all pathology, ADHD, eating disorders, autism symptoms, depression and anxiety treatment.  Standard of practice; outcome measures.  What are the treatment outcome measures being used by Gottlieb and Overcoming Barriers, and any other intervention out there?

One of the primary things I will focus on in my peer review will be what their DSM-5 diagnosis is.  Diagnosis guides treatment.  They’re doing treatment, what’s their DSM-5 diagnosis.  What pathology do they think they’re treating.

A question will be, did they miss the diagnosis of a shared delusional disorder?  That would be a major problem, if they have no idea what the pathology is that they are even treating, yet they are developing treatment interventions for it, something – whatever it is they think their treating.  So I’ll want to see what their DSM-5 diagnosis is.

Consider it peer review.  I will be formally requesting their protocols for review at some point.  They’ll probably say no, probably ignore my request.  I’ll post my letter of request.  I’ll discuss their programs anyway, with whatever information I have available.   The exploitation of these parents ends.

I want to see your protocols.  If you’re offering some sort of treatment intervention for this pathology, I’ll want to review your protocol.  Consider it peer review.

If you want to peer review my work, great.  It’s the DSM-5 and the American Psychiatric Association – shared delusion – ICD-10 F24 Shared Psychotic Disorder (persecutory delusion) – DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.

Peer review that.

None of this is Dr. Childress.  It’s the American Psychiatric Association and the DSM-5. It’s Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck, van der Kolk, Tronick.  It is the application of established knowledge to a set of symptoms – that’s called diagnosis.

So to all my professional colleagues, what’s your diagnosis, and why?  Let’s see your support for your diagnosis.  That’s Standard 9.01a of the APA ethics code,

Standard 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.

Your “opinions and recommendations” contained in your reports, including your “diagnostic or evaluative statements” and “forensic testimony,” needs to be based on an assessment that is “sufficient to substantiate their findings.”

So… let’s see it.  Let’s see your “information and techniques sufficient to substantiate” your findings that there is NO spousal IPV emotional abuse of the ex-spouse/targeted parent using the child as the weapon; that there is NO cross-generational coalition and emotional cutoff in the family caused by unresolved multi-generational trauma in the parent; that there is NO encapsulated persecutory delusion in the child, and shared persecutory delusion with the allied parent.

Let’s see your documentation from your assessment that rules-out these potential diagnoses.  Dr. Childress is going to be doing peer review, used to do it all the time with interns and post-docs.  Your turn.

I’ve reviewed Dorcy’s protocols, all of them, for the High Road workshop, the Higher Purpose Parenting course curriculum, the CRM data tagging protocols.  I know exactly how they work, I am fully comfortable with them as a clinical psychologist, I can explain them all at a professional level.  She collects outcome data on all her workshop recoveries, documented success with each case, she has lock-solid single-case ABA data demonstrating effectiveness of the High Road workshop.

So… mental health people.  Let’s see your protocols, let’s see your outcome data.  Have I protected proprietary intellectual property rights with Dorcy?  Absolutely.  No worries on your intellectual property rights.  It’s called peer review.

The rampant ignorance and incompetence ends.  The violations to the APA ethics code and professional standards of practice surrounding these families, ends. The exploitation of these families, ends.  From equine therapy to magical workshops, Dr. Childress wants to review your protocol, starting with what you’re using as an outcome measure.

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

 

Ethical Violations in Forensic Psychology

The practice of child custody evaluations in forensic psychology are in violation of multiple standards of the Ethical Code of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association, including Principle D Justice.

Principle D Justice: The excessive expense and absence of inter-rater reliability with child custody evaluations violates Principle D Justice that ensures equal access and equal quality of services.

Denial of Equal Access: Child custody evaluations cost between $20,000 to $40,000 per evaluation, which denies equal access to professional input on their family conflict to families that cannot afford such a significant financial expense.

Denial of Equal Quality:  Child custody evaluations have zero inter-rater reliability, meaning that two different evaluators can reach two entirely different conclusions and sets of recommendations based on the same data.  The absence of inter-rater reliability in child custody evaluations denies equal quality in services.

Standard 2.01a Competence:  The individual custody evaluators often lack professional competence in the required domains of professional knowledge; attachment pathology, family systems therapy, personality disorders, complex trauma, and the neuro-development of the brain in the parent-child relationship (e.g., Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck, van der Kolk, Tronick).  This represents a violation of Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code regarding practice beyond the boundaries of competence.

Standard 2.04 Basis for Professional Judgements:  The failure of child custody evaluators to possess knowledge (attachment, family systems therapy, personality disorders, complex trauma, neuro-development in childhood) means that they fail to apply the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline,” in violation of Standard 2.04 of the APA ethics code.

Standard 9.01 Assessment: Their failure to know and apply knowledge results in an assessment that is not “sufficient to sufficient to substantiate their findings” in violation of Standard 9.01a of the APA ethics code.

Standard 3.04 Avoiding Harm:  Recommendations from custody evaluations that limit a parent’s time and involvement with their child below the maximum possible harms the targeted parent.  This is a violation of Standard 3.04a of the APA ethics code requiring psychologists to avoid harming clients.

Standard 2.03 Maintaining Competence:  Failure to know the necessary knowledge from attachment, family systems therapy, personality disorders, complex trauma, and the neuro-development of the brain in the parent-child relationship represents a failure to “undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence.”

The practice of child custody evaluations violates multiple Standards of the APA ethics code, including Principle D Justice that requires equal access and equal quality in services.

Duty to Protect

The family pathology that seeks a child custody evaluation often involves the IPV spousal abuse (Intimate Partner Violence; “domestic violence”) of the ex-spouse/targeted parent by other spouse-and-parent using the child as the weapon.

In weaponizing the child into the spousal conflict, the allied parent in a cross-generational coalition with the child against the other parent (Minuchin) creates such significant pathology in the child (i.e., a persecutory delusional disorder; Shared Psychotic Disorder, ICD-10 F24) that it rises to the level of a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.

Child custody evaluations do not assess for the IPV spousal abuse of using the child as the weapon, and therefore fail in their duty to protect the targeted parent from a savage and brutal emotional spousal abuse from their ex-spouse, who is using the child as the weapon.

Child custody evaluations do not assess for the DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse by the allied parent in a cross-generational coalition with the child against the targeted parent, and therefore fail in their duty to protect the child from psychological child abuse by the pathology of the allied parent.

Responsibility & Accountability

The practice of child custody evaluation needs to end.  It is unethical, and child custody evaluators are failing in their duty to protect on two separate and independent counts.

Parents in the family courts, as a class of people, have been substantially harmed by the practice of child custody evaluation as supported by Division 41 of the American Psychological Association and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).

To the extent that the AFCC has created a Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations, they provide their imprimatur of legitimacy for the practice of child custody evaluations, and the AFCC should therefore reasonably be held directly accountable for the practice of child custody evaluations in forensic psychology.

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

 

The Walrus & the Carpenter

It is nutty over here.  In forensic psychology world.  Absolutely nutty.

You know how nutty?  Right off the top I can cite five widespread and simply rampant violations of the APA ethics code (Standards 2.04, 2.01a, 9.01a, 3.04, Principle D: Justice) and two independent counts of failure in their duty to protect, failure in the duty to protect from IPV spousal abuse and failure in their duty to protect the child from DSM-5 Child Psychological Abuse.

That’s just for openers.  There are violations in other areas, most prominently with Standard 10.01a regarding informed consent and Standard 10.10 regarding termination of treatment.  There’s so many that I can’t even discuss them all.

It’s like I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into Wonderland over here, with a full cast of characters, there are hookah smoking caterpillars, nutty tea parties, a walrus and the carpenter, croquet with hedgehogs.  Just nutty everywhere.  Everything is upside-down here.

No one in this nutty world realizes it, because they’re all part of it.  Clinical psychologists don’t work with these families, they were banished in the 1980s and that’s fine by us, your families are too dangerous, “I don’t work with high-conflict divorce.”  Clinical psychology has abandoned you and down the rabbit hole you fell, into an upside-down world of abuse and exploitation.

This is a pathology of lies.  None of this is real – it is the transference dream of childhood trauma (Freud), it is the false kabuki theater of the trauma reenactment narrative (van der Kolk).  None of it is true… yet everyone believes the crazy as if it’s normal.

There is a caterpillar smoking a hookah and pontificating crazy stuff.  Anyone else see that?  That’s not normal.  What the hatter and the march hare are saying is wackadoodle.  Yet everyone here in Wonderland acts as if it’s just normal.  Did you see that baby just turn into a pig?  Right there, did you see that?  And you think that’s somehow normal?

Just nuts.

Except the targeted parents, sort of.  They’re all like Alice.  They realize things are nutty as all the dickens, but everyone else is acting like playing croquet with flamingos is normal, so maybe it is.  Where’d that hedgehog go, I need my hedgehog.

Absolutely nutty.  It’s because forensic psychology has been given total control over your families with no oversight and no review… for decades.  That’s led to rampant and unchecked ignorance, professional sloth, incompetence, and the widespread and unchecked financial exploitation of vulnerable parents.

Who’s going to stop them?  Forensic psychology is the Queen of Hearts.  Do you want to tell the red queen she’s wrong?  You’ll get our head chopped off.  Can’t do that.  Forensic psychology owns you.  You belong to them.

Meanwhile, we have a tea party of therapists, evaluators, parenting coordinators, a whole menagerie of nutty.  Every one of them.  Up pops a dormouse, can I have another cup of tea, we need a second child custody evaluation because the first one solved nothing.

None of them know anything about what they’re doing, these forensic psychology people.  None of them know attachment pathology (Bowlby), or family systems therapy (Minuchin), or even about the breach-and-repair sequence that is fundamental to parent-child conflict (Tronick). Nothing.

And then the craziest thing is that these completely ignorant mental health people then claim to be the “experts.”  In the wonderland that is forensic psychology world, ignorance becomes the “experts.”  Just nuts.

Becoming an “Expert”

It doesn’t take anything to be an “expert” over here besides self-assertion.  Do you need to know family systems therapy to assess, diagnose, and treat family conflict pathology?  No, don’t be silly, expertise is not determined by what you know, this is Wonderland, everything – everything – is upside down… it’s a world of lies.

Do you need to know about the attachment system when assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment pathology?  Heavens no.  Knowledge is irrelevant to being an “expert.”  Not here, not in forensic psychology world, up is down, black is white, and reality is whatever the Red Queen proclaims it to be.

This is a narcissistic pathology.

It’s all over the place here, narcissism, in all of the pathogen’s allies. That’s how it captures them, their narcissism.  It captures another set through their greed, the child custody “Evaluators.”

THAT, is a truly terrifying role for professional psychology – like the Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, judging who “deserves” to be a parent.  “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!” 

Child custody evaluators are piggies at the financial trough of parents and children.  They solve nothing yet charge $20,000 to $40,000 for their no-solution evaluation.  They churn through families, financially raping them, destroying one and then moving on to the next.  They are exploiting vulnerable parents, pure and simple. Who’s to stop them, they’re the only game in town. They banished clinical psychology decades ago under threat of license if we work with your families, they own you.  And they are financially raping parents, vulnerable parents, parents in need.

Child custody evaluations are in violation of a basic foundational principle of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association: Principle D Justice.  At $20,000 to $40,000 each, child custody evaluations deny equal access (in violation of Principle D), and with an inter-rater reliability of zero they deny equal quality (in violation of Principle D).  Child custody evaluations not only violate multiple  professional practice Standards (2.04, 2.01a, 9.01a, 3.04), child custody evaluations violate a fundamental Principle of ethical professional practice; Principle D Justice.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!” 

Beware forensic psychology, they will exploit you, take your money, and they will solve nothing.

The abundance of “experts” without expertise feels like the walrus and the carpenter.  Come little clams, everything will be so fine over here, and then they eat them.

These “experts” with false voices channel parents into the “parental alienation” construct – surprise, the one thing they happen to be “expert” in – and then they exploit the parents financially, for consultations, for “expert” testimony at trial, to sell you their books and promote themselves as “experts.”  Convenient.

Of course they guide parents into this non-existent pathology that has to be proven in court.  It’s of benefit to them to be an “expert” in a pathology that needs solution.  But sending parents into the family courts to prove a new form of pathology is no solution whatsoever.  That approach has failed miserably for forty years.  They want to keep doing it. Why?  Because that’s what they’re “expert” in.  Wonderland, up is down. Where’s my hedgehog?

This is a narcissistic pathology – the narcissism surrounding it is extensive. 

 What is most remarkable is the profound absence of empathy in forensic psychology – it is both stunning and appalling; their absence of basic human empathy.  I read their reports. The ignorance is profound, and the absence of basic human empathy is stunning – and appalling.

A failure in human empathy at this magnitude should NOT be coming from professional psychology.  We heal trauma, we don’t inflict trauma. Standard 3.04 Avoiding Harm.  Parents count as people.  We don’t hurt people.  At least clinical psychologists don’t.

I view myself as heading up the trauma recovery team for these parents, the parents who have been targeted for savage and brutal emotional abuse by their ex-spouse.  I view this as my ethical responsibility as a clinical psychologist.  Clinical psychology is treating the trauma (PTSD complex trauma; traumatic grief) that is being created by forensic psychology.

How nutty is that.  I’m treating trauma created by another field of “professional” psychology.  I put the term “professional” in quotes because there are many-many violations in ethical standards of practice that lead to the emotional abuse and exploitation of parents.

These parents are being emotionally abused and financially exploited by forensic psychology.  They are being traumatized with the loss of their children.

What’s the success rate of forensic psychology in restoring healthy post-divorce families? Zero. Their success rate is zero.  Yet they continue to do exactly what does NOT work… making $20,000 to $40,000 per child custody evaluation with an assessment that they KNOW is not valid (no inter-rater reliability) and that is a clear violation on two separate counts of Principle D of the APA ethics code for justice, failing to provide equal access and failing to provide equal quality.

Experts-Experts Everywhere

There is a serious abundance of grandiosity and arrogance here – absolutely everywhere.

That’s this “expert” thing you all have going on over here.  Everyone is an “expert.”  You won’t find psychologists in other fields, such as autism or ADHD, all clamoring that we’re “experts” in autism, you don’t see “experts” in ADHD.  An expert in autism is Stanley Greenspan (Floortime) or Ivar Lovaas (Applied Behavioral Analysis).  An expert in ADHD is Keith Connors (the Conners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scale) or Jim Swanson (MTA study).  An expert in attachment is John Bowlby or Edward Tronick.

If you don’t match that… you’re not an “expert.”  But here… here in forensic psychology world, “experts” abound.  Like rabbits, everywhere you look.  That’s a problem.

We’ll be leaving Wonderland, returning up and out of the rabbit hole, back to an actual reality, like Alice waking from her dream, or you from this nightmare. Reality exists, and professional obligations under the APA ethics code are required.

If you assert that you are an “expert,” bring your vitae and substantiate the statement. Otherwise, that would be a violation of Standard 5.01b

Standard 5.01 Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements

(b) Psychologists do not make false, deceptive, or fraudulent statements concerning (1) their training, experience, or competence;

If you say that you are an “expert” – that is a professional statement to the public about your level of competence.  Dr. Childress is not saying that he is an “expert” – I’m just a clinical psychologist.  You are making a professional statement that you are not merely a clinical psychologist, you know more, that you are an “expert” in this pathology.  You know more than Dr. Childress. That’s what you are saying.

So, prove it.  Let’s see your vitae that supports your claim to be an “expert.”

Because, “Psychologists do not make false, deceptive, or fraudulent statements concerning their… competence.”  You are claiming to be MORE than a mere therapist and mental health professional… you’re an “expert.” You’re above the rest of mental health professionals. That is your professional statement when you claim to be an “expert.”

Dr. Childress is merely a clinical psychologist. You are claiming to be superior in your professional knowledge than Dr. Childress, you are an “expert”.  That is your professional claim.

So, back it up.  I am asserting that your statement of supposed “expert” status is a “false, deceptive, and fraudulent statement” about your “competence,” and is in violation of Standard 5.01b of the APA ethics code.  So, bring your vitae and let’s see.

Dr. Childress is NOT claiming to be an “expert.”  I am a clinical psychologist.  That’s it.

If you are claiming to be an “expert,” you are claiming to know more than Dr. Childress.  My vitae is up on the web (Dr. Childress: Vitae), I have a YouTube series on my vitae (Dr. Childress: Youtube Vitae), I have a blog post on my professional qualifications (Dr. Childress: Professional Background).

If you claim to be an “expert” with this pathology, then you claim to know more than I do.  I’m not an “expert,” I’m just a clinical psychologist.  So, bring your vitae and let’s compare our… expertise.

The exploitation of these parents stops. 

I am heading up their trauma recovery, because somebody has to do it.  You’re not doing it, so I am.  I’m a clinical psychologist, I’m working.  The exploitation of these parents by professional psychology stops.  If you try to exploit these parents and their vulnerability, you will have words with the head of their trauma recovery team. That is not okay, to exploit these parents and their vulnerability.

Let me be entirely clear… It is not okay for professional psychology to exploit the vulnerability of these parents.

We must provide them with a grounded and actualizable solution to their family difficulties.

Over in real world… being expert in what you do is the expectation.  If you’re not expert in ADHD or autism or trauma… then what are you doing over here, go away.

Seriously, if you don’t know what you’re doing – stop, now – you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing.  That applies to all pathologies.  In real-world professional psychology, expertise is the expected standard of practice.

Over here, it’s all like a twirly made-up world.  I can hardly turn around without bumping into an “expert” – and the “experts” I run into are stone-cold ignorant of actual reality – van der Kolk, Bowlby, Tronick, Stern, Fonagy, Bowen… just stone-cold ignorant.  None of them know Fonagy, none of them. None of them know Tronick or Stern.  Just stone-cold ignorant.

I can’t even have a professional-level conversation with them because I first have to educate them in order to have a professional-level conversation with them.  If you’re claiming to be an “expert” I shouldn’t have to first educate you just to have a professional-level conversation with you (Fonagy, mentalization; Stern, intersubjectivity).  And yet… you’re an expert.  I’ll have some Earl Grey, please. 

Just insane.  Nutty as the day is long.

Let me clue my professional colleagues in on the meaning of the term “competence” – professional competence is knowing everything there is to know about the pathology, and then reading journals to stay current.

That’s called basic competence. Ignorance and sloth are not acceptable standards of practice, so expertise is not remarkable – expertise is standard of practice.  It is expected standard of practice for EVERYONE who works with a particular type of pathology to know everything there is to know about the pathology, and then read journals to stay current.  That is the meaning of the word, “competence.”

The Gardnerians and the puffy-vitae forensic psychologists, all of them… If someone tells you they’re an “expert” in some pathology, they’re just a narcissist captivated by their self-grandiosity.  Direct them to speak with Dr. Childress regarding their alleged expertise. Tell them to bring their vitae, I’ll want to see their vitae.

Standard 5.01 Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements
(b) Psychologists do not make false, deceptive, or fraudulent statements concerning (1) their training, experience, or competence;

Standard 1.04 Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations
When psychologists believe that there may have been an ethical violation by another psychologist, they attempt to resolve the issue by bringing it to the attention of that individual,

Standard 1.05 Reporting Ethical Violations
If an apparent ethical violation has substantially harmed or is likely to substantially harm a person or organization and is not appropriate for informal resolution under Standard 1.04, Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations, or is not resolved properly in that fashion, psychologists take further action appropriate to the situation. Such action might include referral to state or national committees on professional ethics, to state licensing boards, or to the appropriate institutional authorities.

The APA ethics code is not optional.  I did not write the ethics code of the APA.  It is required of all psychologists.  It is not optional.

You claim to be an “expert” in a particular type of pathology?  Prove it.  The exploitation of these families by professional psychology ends.

We are leaving the insanity of trauma-world, it’s nuts over here.  Everything is upside-down. 

Standards of Practice

I have a proposal to address this “expert” thing over here, it’s simply out of control.

Me.

I’m your baseline standard.  If you know more than me, we’ll confer on you the title of “expert.”  If you don’t know more than me about the pathology… you’re not an “expert”… you’re just a human.

Once someone self-proclaims as an “expert” their professional identity becomes all wrapped up in their maintaining their status as an “expert,” so they stop making rational decisions in the best interests of their clients and their motivation instead becomes to maintain their status as an “expert.”

I’m not an “expert.”  My first referral for recovery from complex trauma is to Dorcy Pruter… because that’s in the best interests of my client. She can accomplish what I can’t.  No ego.  She gets the job done, she’s my first referral.

And she knows as much about this pathology as I do, in some ways more.  She understands it from the inside.  The pathology teaches of itself, we learn of the pathology from the pathology.

So no more “experts.” Call yourself a “consultant” – You’re a consultant on something.

Experts in Unicorns

Now here’s the thing… when they call themselves an “expert” in “parental alienation,” there is actually no such pathology as “parental alienation” in established professional psychology.

They are essentially saying they’re an “expert” in a mythological beast – a thing that doesn’t actually exist… and they are an expert in it.  That’s like saying they’re an “expert” in unicorns – they know all the pretty colors and magical properties of unicorns.

That’s great.  Problem is, there’s no such thing as unicorns, so they are actually experts is nothing.  Pretty unicorns, great.  Not really practical if we want to actually solve anything.

That’s what the Gardnerians are looking at right about now.  I’m taking the construct of “parental alienation” away from them – away from everybody – so that everyone over here has to apply real knowledge – which means that they also have to know real knowledge.

But these “experts” have their narcissistic and grandiose professional self-identity entirely wrapped up in unicorns.  They’re not an expert in attachment, or trauma, or family systems therapy – just unicorns.  If they lose unicorns, they lose personal self-identity.  They are an “expert” in unicorns.

So when unicorns vanish, so too does their expertise, which is the entire source of their professional self-identity.  That’s a problem.  They’re going to resist change because the change means these “experts” vanish.

Bowlby is an expert – Minuchin is an expert – Beck is an expert.

We’re swapping out our “experts.”

Here’s the standard for “expert” – that you know more than Dr. Childress. I’m your baseline.

  • I have a doctoral degree in clinical psychology; not medicine, not law, not research psychology – a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

So, psychiatrists and other physicians, Master’s level therapists, and attorneys… you’re not “experts.”  You’re physicians, therapists, and attorneys.  Physicians are expert in medicine, attorneys are expert in the law.  I am not an “expert” in medicine, I am not an “expert” in the law.  I don’t enter your domain and claim to be an “expert.”  I’m a clinical psychologist, my domain is psychopathology, its assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.  My world.

Clinical psychologists are more expert than Master’s level therapists in pathology – more training and education.  Match my background training and education.

  • I am a trained family systems therapist. That means, to be an “expert” you also have to be a trained family systems therapist.

In fact, if you’re not a trained family systems therapist and yet you are treating complex family conflict… then you’re not even competent… it’s not even a matter of being an “expert” – it’s questionable if you are simply competent.  How can you be competent in family therapy if you know nothing about family therapy?

Ignorance is not “expertise” – opposite ends.

  • I also have background training and experience in treating attachment pathology.  To be an expert, you also have to have background training and experience in assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment pathology.

Again, if you DON’T have background training and experience treating attachment pathology – yet you are assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment pathology (i.e., a child rejecting a parent), then you’re not even competent.

To be competent in treating an attachment pathology you must have professional training and experience treating attachment pathology.

How completely insane is that, that I would even need to make such a self-evident statement?  To be competent in attachment pathology you need to know attachment pathology.  Yet I need to make that entirely self-evident statement… because it’s not happening.  These people are entirely incompetent.

Wonderland, ignorance becomes the anointed “expert.”  Follow me, over here, we’ll have a grand old time, said the walrus and the carpenter to the unsuspecting clams.  Take a walk with us into the family courts, and we’ll prove a new pathology of “parental alienation” to a judge, at trial.

Are you nuts?  Judges are legal professionals.  Judges don’t diagnose pathology, psychologists do.  Don’t go with the walrus and the carpenter into the family courts to prove “parental alienation.”  Are you nuts?  Stay away from the family courts, remember the Jabberwocky.

Oh. I see.  The mental health professionals are entirely ignorant and slothful, they’re not trying to solve anything. 

Well, we’ll need to change that won’t we.

The Expert Model

The narcissistic assertion: “Truth and reality are whatever I assert them to be.”

They simply assert that they are an “expert” and they magically become one.  That’s all it takes in forensic psychology world.

Then they all go around anointing each other as “experts” – it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.  Like watching an odd dance of birds, they gather and cluck – “I’m an expert – you’re an expert – we’re experts.”  What an odd display.  Things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser. 

Do you see that happening anywhere else in professional psychology – “experts” in autism, “experts” in panic attacks, “experts” in eating disorders?  No.

In every other field it’s simply called our specialization. I specialize in autism, or anxiety disorders, or eating disorders.  Am I an “expert” in these things?  If I’m specializing in that pathology, of course, I know everything to know about the pathology – but that’s not being an “expert” – that’s called being competent.

Aristotle was an “expert.”  For thousands of years we treated medical illness by bleeding patients with leeches because Aristotle said sickness was caused by an imbalance in our four “humours,” and that bleeding the patient would restore the balance.

Was any of that true?  No.  That is exactly what the “expert” model gets us. Thousands of years of ignorance.

For the longest time the Bible was the expert authority on all things.  The sun circled the earth because that’s what the Bible said, the authority.  Galileo then reported on the actual data, that the earth travels around the sun.  The Church threatens to burn him at the stake unless he recants and says a false thing, that the earth is at the center and the sun circles the earth, because that’s what the authority said.

Was any of that true, about the earth being the center and everything circling the earth?  No.  That’s exactly what the “expert” model gets us, continued ignorance.

The scientific method and scientific research, not “experts” who assert without support, leads to solutions.

If you want to be an “expert” – bring your vitae.  I’ll set up a booth at tbe County Fair, Compare Your Vitae, like one of those hammer and bell things.  You can bring your vitae and compare it to Dr. Childress.  If you know more than I do – you’ll ring the bell and we’ll declare you an “expert,” and you can go home with a big stuffed bear with a giant E on its tummy – if not, then we’re talking basic competence.

They’ll have me beat on unicorns.  I know next to nothing about mythical animals.  Do these “experts” have more training and background in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of unicorns.  I guess so. I have zero training and background in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of unicorns.  They are clearly experts in unicorns, I suppose. 

Although, I’m not seeing where believing things that aren’t true is of much help to solving anything.  The construct of “parental alienation” is a unicorn.  It doesn’t exist.  A nice story about a horse with a lovely magic horn on its forehead.  Nice story, doesn’t exist.

The pathology is the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma.

Trauma?  So… are they “expert” in trauma?  No, that would be Bruce Perry, John Briere, and Bessel van der Kolk.

Attachment?  Are they “expert” in attachment?  No, that would be John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Alan Sroufe, Edward Tronick, Daniel Stern, Peter Fonagy.

I’m not particularly interested that blue unicorns will magically make music when they prance, or that yellow unicorns can end storms and bring sunshine.  Because unicorns don’t exist.

There is no new pathology.  Everything about this family pathology is ENTIRELY describable using the established constructs of professional psychology. We don’t need a new pathology.

This is a narcissistic pathology. The proliferation of “experts” is a symptom feature of that.  They are manifesting a symptom of narcissistic pathology – grandiosity.

That’s right, these “experts” are a symptom.  It is a symptom of this narcissistic (trauma) pathogen, this plethora of “experts” everywhere.  They don’t realize it because they are captured by their own narcissistic grandiosity of being “experts” – it’s the transference narrative – they become the “protective other” in the trauma dream of the reenactment story.

They are the beneficent protector – the “expert.”

Let me anchor in reality for a second.  The vitae of Alan Sroufe from 2014 is online.  This is what an expert in attachment looks like.

Alan Sroufe Vitae

Notice first, his degrees are in clinical psychology.  Those university positions are strong, those journals he edited are top-tier, his awards substantial, his books are many, and look at the number of research articles – not opinion pieces – solid research in substantial journals… page after page.  Sixteen pages, no fluff.  That’s what the vitae of an “expert” looks like.

Delusions of Grandiosity

A fixed and false belief that is maintained despite contrary evidence is a delusion. The contrary evidence for the construct of “parental alienation” is that the American Psychiatric Association fully examined the construct… and said no.  The APA said no.  That’s the contrary evidence.

A fixed and false belief that is maintained despite contrary evidence is a delusion.  A false belief in having “special knowledge” that no one else has is called a “grandiose delusion.”

From my vantage, they look less like professionals and more like a cult of personality surrounding Richard Gardner and his PAS proposal – the worst diagnostic model for pathology ever proposed from the beginning of time until now – the worst ever.

Bowlby – Minuchin – Beck; the application of the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” is required by Standard 2.04.

First.  Apply knowledge first.  Before any “new pathology” proposals.  First, apply knowledge first – Standard 2.04.

The APA ethics code is not optional, it is mandatory – apply the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” – first.

If we need a “new form of pathology” proposal AFTER we have applied the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” then we can propose one – AFTER applying the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.”

And you know what?  The moment we apply the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” we solve this pathology immediately.

And they know it, these unicorn “experts.”  They just won’t do it, apply knowledge.  Why?

First, because they don’t know the knowledge. They are not even at basic competence.

Second, because the moment they do then they cease to be “experts” and become just ordinary.

To my professional colleagues, I’m your standard.  Bring your vitae and let’s compare.  If you know more than me, then you’re an “expert,” but if you don’t know more than Dr. Childress, then you’re not an “expert” and Standard 5.01b applies regarding Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements.

I’m not an expert. 

You’re the one claiming to know more than I do.  You’re the one claiming to be an “expert.”  So, prove it.  Otherwise your claim is a violation of Standard 5.01b of the APA ethics code.

We are raising – substantially – the professional standards of practice with these children and for these parents.  The application of the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” (Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck) is not optional, and failure to do so is unethical professional practice (Standard 2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments).

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

 

Leading the Treatment Team

I want to tell you all a secret.  I’m working for you.  Kind of self-appointed volunteer work.  I’m leading your treatment team.

For you, the targeted parents.  I’ve kind of appointed myself to head up your treatment team.  In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s lots and lots of grief and emotional trauma in you.  Not good.  We need to do something about that.

What’s causing you all that grief and trauma?  Oh, you’ve lost your kids.  That’ll do it.

How’d you wind up losing your kids?  Oh.  Oh.  My-oh-my, that’s not good.  My professional colleagues are highly problematic.  We’ll need to fix that.

So I set about doing that.

I’m heading up your treatment team – your trauma recovery team – for you, the parents. Hope you don’t mind that I kind of appointed myself to the position of heading up your trauma-recovery.  Somebody had to do it.

Oh, your kids too.  We’ll protect your kids.  Working on that first thing.  Notice how I got us the DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse, we’ll be able to protect your kids. And kids are resilient – once we get them back they’ll be okay – a little bumpy and worse for wear, but they’ll be fine.

It’s all of you parents I’m concerned about.  Holy cow, the amount of grief and savage emotional abuse you’ve endured – that is immensely painful.  We need to make that stop immediately, if not sooner.

But boy, that pathogen had you all wrapped up, and it has allies, powerful allies.  Gotta navigate them.  Whew, this is dangerous over here, gotta be careful.

So I spent a couple of years figuring out how we’re going to do this, protect you and get your kids back.  I’m heading up your trauma recovery.

I used to do this all the time in foster care when I was the Clinical Director of the treatment center.  As the Clinical Director, I over-saw all cases coming into the clinic.  I’d assign therapists, oversee the work-up of the assessment protocols, I’d supervise treatment plans, allocate resources for home-based and school-based para-professional support.  We had developmental pediatricians, and OT therapists, and speech and language therapists all at the clinic, sometimes a trauma nurse from the local hospital.  The CPS social worker was part of the treatment team.

I put that all together, that treatment team for each kid, and I was in charge.  So I come over here and, whoa.  This is a hot mess.  These parents are being massively abused and traumatized.  Somebody needs to do something, why isn’t anyone doing something?

Oh.  I see.  Okay.

We’ll somebody has to do something.  Guess it’s me.

So I kind of took you all on as my clients – pro bono.  Because it needs to be done.  If other clinical psychologists want to do it, yay.  Join me.  Let’s start solving this for these parents.  In the absence of anyone else, I took charge of your trauma recovery.

You all think this pathology is about the kids.  No, it’s about you.  It is the savage and brutal emotional abuse of you – as the ex-spouse.  The child is the weapon, you’re the target.  Why do you think you’re called the “targeted” parent?  You are the target.

As head of your treatment team you’ve heard me recommend to you that you get some PTSD therapy; complex trauma, traumatic grief.  You need it, this has been brutal on you.  Your therapist will become part of your treatment team; Dr. C and your trauma therapist.  And Dorcy, she’s the best trauma recovery specialist on the planet.  I found her wandering around helping you all, a pleasant surprise and a good thing.  She’s the best.

If you are a person of faith – whichever belief – your minister, or rabbai, or imam, or coven or whatever should also be part of your treatment team.  Whatever support, bring them.  Meet with your faith leader, explain things, ask them to join the Alliance Facebook group, just to listen and attend, to understand.

This pathology lives in darkness and lies, in the absence of human values.  This is most definitely a faith-based issue.

Your attorneys too, this is a child protection issue, so your attorneys are part of your treatment team, ask them to join the Alliance group and listen, to understand.  Ultimately we will be advocating for the appointment of an amicus attorney representing the court’s interest in treatment.   A role for attorneys will be opening on the treatment team for the family, we are starting now in developing that role with the child protection side.

Your kids individual therapists are also part of the treatment team.  They don’t realize it.  Individual child therapists are not always… aware.  Their focus is too narrow to see.  Individual therapists function best when integrated into a treatment team.

So that’s what I’ve been working on, putting together the framework for all of that.  I’m sort of heading up your trauma recovery team, self-appointed – but somebody had to do it. 

I tried to provide as much free information as possible.  I figure the courts and forensic psychology are taking pretty much all your money (it’s part of the abuse; financial abuse added to the emotional abuse), so I’ve tried to take it easy on you, posted almost everything free to my website and blog.

Foundations for $25, and a couple of resource booklets around $10. That’s not bad considering the thousands you’re paying for ignorance and no solutions.

I even put a handout on my website: “Professional Consultation“, it’s online-free, saves you some money from having to have an in-person with me where I say what I say in the handout.  Figured it would save you some coin if I just put it on my website.

If what I’m doing seems different than what every other mental health person is doing…

It is.  They’re exploiting you, and I’m heading up your trauma-recovery team.  Self-appointed, but I’ve done this type of thing before.

We needed a structured assessment protocol, and we needed a whole lot more knowledge over here.  I’ll ground things in established psychology to avoid the controversy and muck generated by “parental alienation” – we’ve gotta deal with the allies of the pathology.

I spent about 2 years from 2008 to 2010 working out the trauma recovery – your recovery.  Holy cow, you are being massively abused and traumatized – you, the parents.

Yeah, I know your kids too.  But your kids will be easy-peasy to recover, it’s the emotional trauma and suffering of parents, wow, that needs to end – now.  Today.  Yesterday, in fact, many-many yesterdays.

The profound absence of empathy from forensic psychology is stunning – and it should never-ever have happened.

In August of 2017, I had some blog and Facebook posts toward the Gardnerian “experts” – they were in the supposed role of leading your treatment recovery when I came on the scene.  I tried to work with them, but they simply refuse.  So in 2017 I asserted leadership of your treatment team – your trauma recovery team.

They didn’t even know that was part of their professional responsibility to you.  Stunning.

I asked for their path to a solution using Gardner’s PAS – (they have none, I knew that). If they don’t have a path to a solution, then I do.  I’m a clinical psychologist, I work trauma recovery, I’m senior staff background, I’ll head up the trauma recovery if they don’t.

We need to solve this as fast as is humanly possible – now – because lots and lots of parents are in active IPV spousal abuse – brutal and savage IPV spousal abuse.

And… children are losing their childhoods.  That is bad-bad-bad developmentally.  We need to get this stopped today.

That’s why I went with a diagnostic solution.  It is available today.  Right now. Always has been available.  No “new theory” – no need to prove something to someone.  And with diagnosis we can hold all ALL mental health professionals… accountable.

I’ve constructed a carrot-and-stick approach to motivation.  The APA ethics code is the stick of danger for the mental health person – the three diagnostic indicators are the carrot of safety.

That’s not an accident.  My Master’s degree is in Clinical-Community Psychology, the Community part is specific training in how to address pathology by changing community systems… like adjusting the family court’s response to pathology.

I know exactly what I’m doing, because I’ve been specifically trained to do exactly this. I can explain it, if you’d like.

I’ve even done something similar for juvenile firesetting behavior – another court-involved pathology – developed a whole mental health assessment protocol – a national model for assessment of juvenile firesetting behavior – for FEMA and the Department of Justice. I’ve posted work product from that.

Firesetting: Child Interview Protocol

Look at the back of this semi-structured interview protocol, see those boxes – Before – During- After / Thoughts – Feelings – Behavior.  That’s called a “behavior-chain interview” and we’ll be bringing that technique over here to assessment with your families.

Firesetting: Summary

I’m really proud of that Firesetter Summary.  That’s a summary form for the information produced by the assessment protocol. That’s a pretty comprehensive assessment for the motivational issues surrounding the kid’s fire setting.

This is not the first clinical psychology assessment protocol I’ve developed for a court-involved pathology.  I can explain it all if anyone is interested.  The six-session clinical psychology Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology Surrounding Divorce is a solidly assessment booklet picturegrounded clinical psychology assessment protocol for the family conflict.

What we want to do in developing an assessment protocol is provide a structured approach that is standardized in both its administration and in the interpretation of the data across the people conducting the assessment – this is called inter-rater reliability.  So all mental health people do the same thing and achieve the same results from the assessment based on the same data.

If you disagree with the diagnosis, get a second opinion, that’s the inter-rater reliability component.  Two raters, are these symptoms present, absent, or somewhat present?

 If we’re developing an IQ test, we need all of the assessment administrators to do the same thing, ask the same questions, in the same way… that’s called standardizing the assessment procedures.  And all of the assessment people need to score the responses in the same way and they need to interpret scores in the same way.  All of that is called standardization of the assessment.

If everybody is doing any old thing and interpreting the outcome in any old way, that’s not assessment that’s just a mess.

The child custody evaluators standardize their procedures just fine – but NOT the interpretation of data.  THAT is left entirely to their personal discretion, ignorance, and massive bias.  No controls are placed on the interpretation of data at all.  HUGE problem in assessment.

What I did with AB-PA was to identify three symptoms that are ALWAYS present with this pathology and are NEVER present at any other time, the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA.  This allows us to standardize the assessment procedures and the interpretation of the data… called diagnosis.  If there is a question, get a second opinion.

Then by limiting the scope of the referral question to a clinical psychology treatment question rather than a child custody question, the treatment focused clinical psychology assessment protocol can be brought in much more efficiently, for around $2,500 rather than the $20,000 to $40,000 of child custody evaluations, and at four to six weeks rather than six to nine months to complete, the limited-scope clinical psychology assessments can provide significantly more timely and useful information for decision-making.

That’s my job.  I’m heading up your trauma recovery team.  I developed an assessment protocol for this pathology. First I had to ground the Foundations, to do that I had to make sure all of the Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck links were solidly grounded.

Personal Reference List of Dr. Childress for AB-PA

There’s all your “peer-reviewed” research.  All the symptoms are fully grounded professional symptoms, attachment pathology, personality disorder traits, a persecutory delusion.  Everything is fully established knowledge so that when we reached this point everything is in place.

I knew the pathogen and its flying monkeys would focus on AB-PA as new theory (I even provided a mimicking of PAS-Gardner by AB-PA-Childress), but there is no such thing as AB-PA; it is entirely Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck – established knowledge.

We have to present a toddler with a new food 11 times before they’ll try it.  Same with knowledge – Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck.  By the 4,823’d time people are staring to become familiar with family systems constructs – cross-generational coalition – emotional cutoff. Some of them are starting to realize that there may be ethical code violations involved with what they’re doing (and not doing).

When I arrived, I found two massively broken systems, the family court system and the professional psychology system in the family courts.  Based on my analysis of the factors, the primary problem was a failure in forensic psychology that then led to the failure of the family court’s response.  Forensic psychology was abjectly ignorant and hugely incompetent.

We needed to fix the professional psychology response to the pathology to then leverage a fixed mental health system to fix the legal system’s broken response.  I had a lot of work to do.  All done.

We are now taking the fixed mental health system response into the family courts.

And I have a secret weapon I haven’t discussed yet.  There are lots and lots of really good mental health professionals out there too, they see the pathology and are trying to help, but structures are preventing them from solving things.  We’re going to release some of those barriers for them.  Shhhh, don’t tell anyone yet, I don’t want the pathogen to know that there are thousands of excellent mental health professionals who will suddenly start appearing.  I haven’t said a word about them up until now.

Ooops.

We are not looking to educate ignorance. We are going to move right past it into solution,  Ignorance can stay right where it is, it’s irrelevant. The solution of knowledge is coming from a different direction than educating ignorance.  There are many-many excellent mental health professionals out there.  I’ve worked with them my entire life.

So I guess I’m fessing up now.  I’m not actually just a clinical psychologist, I’m also heading up your trauma recovery, your treatment team – you – the parents.  The ones with all that massive grief – that pain feeling.  Yeah, that.

Your children too.  That’s why it hurts so much. We have to rescue your kids and protect your kids.  Got it.  No worries, working on it top priority.  And we need to get you some trauma recovery help in here – you parents have been massively abused and traumatized by this family court pathology – IPV spousal abuse using the child as the weapon.

From 2020 to 2022 I’m going to be making noises about putting your treatment team in place.  That will be your organizing family therapist, your PTSD individual therapist, the child’s individual therapist (if needed, I don’t think we need them), the amicus attorney (your attorney until we get an amicus attorney), faith-community if it’s a support for you, teachers too, teachers can join the Alliance group and learn (we’ll develop information for them).

To my professional colleagues, those excellent ones I know are there, you don’t need to wait on me.  These families – your clients – need local-area support… you.  I’m only an email away, I’ll be doing training seminars… but you know what’s right.  Start with diagnosis… make the DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse when it is warranted, then the parent is empowered to protect their child.

The pathogen’s never dealt with an actual clinical psychologist before.  Surprise pathogen.  Lots and lots of surprises.  Until somebody steps up to relieve me, I’m assuming professional responsibility for heading up the trauma recovery team for these parents and their children.

I’m bringing Dorcy, she is the top trauma recovery specialist on the planet. That’s two, add your PTSD therapist, that’s three.  Add your attorney, that’s four.  Add your minister, that’s five.  Add your school’s teacher, that’s six. Then let’s get you an organizing family systems therapist to guide the recovery of your family into normal and healthy development.

That’s the plan.

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

Trauma Recovery Leadership; Parents & Children in Court-Involved Family Conflict.

 

 

Dr. Childress: Professional Background

My professional background is perfectly suited to what I’m doing with this court involved pathology. I want to point out some specific things.

1. Master’s Degree in Community/Clinical Psychology

In addition to my Psy.D. doctorate which I will discuss shortly, I also have a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Community/Clinical Psychology. I have three degrees in Psychology.

I have a Master’s degree in Community/Clinical Psychology.  Clinical psychology is the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology. What is the Community Psychology component of that advanced post-graduate training?

Community Psychology is solving pathology by altering community systems, such as solving pathological family conflict by altering how the community systems  (such as family courts and forensic psychology) respond to the pathology.

I am specifically trained to do exactly what I am doing.  I am trained to alter systems within the community, such as the family courts and forensic psychology, to solve pathology.  Do you know what that means?  That means I know exactly what I’m doing, because I am trained to do exactly this thing, affect pathology by changing community systems.

The Community component also included a focus on Organization Development, a field of psychology providing consultation to businesses to improve their functioning and operation.  For example, an Organization Development psychologist might be hired by Apple or Nike (or community agencies, such as the family courts) to improve functioning in a particular division of their organization.

If you look into my work with juvenile firesetting behavior for FEMA and the Department of Justice (Firesetting Child Interview; Firesetting Reinforcement Summary) you will see three psychologists listed, Dr. Fineman (the content expert on juvenile firesetting behavior), Dr. Childress as the Clinical Director for the project, and Dr. Patterson as the Organizational Development Psychologist working with the fire agencies.  Dr. Patterson was a post-doc at the time, I supervised his work in Organizational Development because I’m trained to do that.

I am trained in the specific professional skills needed to change and alter systems and organizations (such as the family courts and forensic psychology) to address and solve pathology. In my work with this court-involved pathology, I am following a set of procedures for system change in community organizations. I can explain it all if anyone is interested.

But in lieu of an explanation, I will simply offer this question… how is it that Dr. Childress, a single lone clinical psychologist, working without any help or support, is changing the very fabric of how professional psychology and the family courts respond to pathological family conflict?

The answer is because I am specifically trained through my Master’s program to do specifically that, to solve pathology by altering community structures.
I know exactly what I am doing. I can explain it all if anyone is interested.

2. Twelve Years of Rating Psychotic Symptoms

During my Master’s degree I worked full-time in adolescent psychiatric hospitals to work my way through school and pay for my education.  I have experience working with that spectrum of child and adolescent pathology; psychiatric hospitalization for severe emotional and behavioral problems.

Once I obtained my degree, I wanted to take a break from school AND work, and simply enjoy the fruits of my academic labors before returning once again to graduate school for my doctoral degree.  I secured a position as a Staff Research Associate on a schizophrenia clinical research project at UCLA.  My responsibilities on this project were to manage all aspects of data collection, data processing, and data organization.  I managed the research side of a 16-hour two day test battery which occurred at patient intake, remission, exacerbation or relapse points, and additional time-points, such as 1-year and 3-year treatment points, integrating multiple researchers at multiple sites into the data collection and data processing.

I have a strong research background (despite having a non-research Psy.D.) This background in managing a major longitudinal research project at UCLA has allowed me to structure AB-PA to be research friendly.  There are ports-of-entry built into AB-PA to accept and anchor research. Once university research adopts an AB-PA model for the pathology, they will find conveniences in organizing their research projects.

During my twelve years spent at this UCLA research project on schizophrenia we were trained to clinical reliability every year by UCLA and the Brentwood VA Diagnostic Unit on rating psychotic symptoms (and all symptoms; 24 different symptoms of pathology) using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS).

The BRPS is considered the professional “gold standard” in symptom rating for all clinical research. Wikipedia describes the BPRS as “one of the oldest, most widely used scales to measure psychotic symptoms.”

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.”

I have over a decade of direct experience rating psychotic symptoms on the 1-7 scale of the BRPS, from not present to extremely severe and each gradation in-between.  I was trained annually for over 12 years by UCLA in the assessment and diagnosis of psychotic symptoms. Vitae entry:

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

The pathology with this court-involved, high-litigation, high-intensity family conflict surrounding divorce involves the child pathology of an encapsulated persecutory delusion toward a normal-range parent (a likely BPRS rating of 5 Moderately Severe because the child evidences “full conviction” in a false persecutory belief).
This is the definition from the American Psychiatric Association for a persecutory delusion:

From the APA: “Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treatment in some way.”

The child’s encapsulated persecutory belief is part of an extended sub-system to the pathology with the allied parent, who also holds a persecutory delusion and who represents the “primary case” of a shared delusion created in the child (an ICD-10 diagnosis of F24 Shared Psychotic Disorder). Here is the description by the American Psychiatric Association of a shared delusion:

From the APA:  “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.” (APA, 2000, p. 333)

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.  Individuals who come to share delusional beliefs are often related by blood or marriage and have lived together for a long time, sometimes in relative isolation.” (APA, 2000, p. 332

The American Psychiatric Association also provide guidance on treatment for a shared delusional belief

From the APA: “If the relationship with the primary case is interrupted, the delusional beliefs of the other individual usually diminish or disappear.” (APA, 2000, p. 333)

From the APA: “Course: Without intervention, the course is usually chronic, because this disorder most commonly occurs in relationships that are long-standing and resistant to change… With separation from the primary case, the individual’s delusional beliefs disappear, sometimes quickly and sometimes quite slowly.” (APA, 2000, p. 333)

Of all the most-expert professionals on the planet who are skilled, trained, and experienced in the assessment of delusional-psychotic pathology, I’m one of them.

Twelve years of annual training by UCLA and the Diagnostic Unit at the Brentwood VA in the assessment of psychotic symptoms.

3. Child Abuse & Trauma

The pathology asserts that the targeted-rejected parent is abusive of the child, which is supposedly thereby creating the child’s attachment pathology toward this parent (i.e., rejecting the parent; attachment bond rejection by the child).

I have direct child abuse and trauma background.  I served as the Clinical Director for a three-university collaborative assessment and treatment center for children in the foster care system.  In that capacity, I supervised and directed the clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of child abuse and complex trauma.

I have exactly the professional background and expertise to address the potential child abuse and child maltreatment concerns of the allied parent (and the court).  I know exactly what child abuse looks like in the symptom patterns of the child.

The child in this court-involved family conflict is presenting as being “victimized” by a parent.  If true, this is a likely DSM-5 diagnosis of child abuse.  There are four DSM-5 diagnoses of child abuse in the Child Maltreatment section of the DSM-5;

V995.54 Child Physical Abuse,

V995.53 Child Sexual Abuse,

V995.52 Child Neglect,

V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.

If a parent is “victimizing” a child, it is hard to imagine a scenario where that would not also be child abuse.

If, however, the belief in “victimization” is false, how false? A false belief in “victimization” is a persecutory belief, is it a persecutory delusion? Use the BPRS to anchor symptom rating.

I am experienced in the assessment and diagnosis of authentic child abuse from my professional background leading a three-university collaborative assessment and treatment center for children in the foster care system. I am also experienced assessing and diagnosing delusional psychotic pathology.

I have exactly the relevant background, training, and experience needed to assess and diagnose both sides of the differential diagnosis, if the belief in “victimization” is true (child abuse), and if it is false (a persecutory delusion).

4.  Attachment Pathology

A child rejecting a parent is an attachment pathology. The attachment system is the brain system governing all aspects of the love and bonding throughout the lifespan, including grief and loss. A child rejecting a parent is a problem in the love-and-bonding system of the brain; the attachment system.

The attachment system forms its basic wiring during early childhood (the period from zero-to-five years old), yet we use the attachment system throughout our lives to guide and mediate our approach to love-and-bonding with other people. The domain of professional psychology most directly involved in assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment pathology is early childhood, especially child abuse (attachment trauma) in early childhood, which is exactly my background.

This is exactly the pathology I worked with as Clinical Director for an early childhood assessment and treatment center (ages zero-to-five) working with children in the foster care system (attachment trauma). I have a high-level of professional training, background, and experience in assessing, diagnosing and treating attachment pathology.

I have been trained in two additional diagnostic systems for early childhood and attachment pathology, the DC:0-3 and the ICDM diagnostic system, I have been trained in two standard evidenced-based attachment therapies, Watch-Wait-Wonder and Circle of Security, and I have additional Certification training in Infant psychology, which is a whole additional domain of complexity created by the rapidly changing neuro-development of the infant’s first year.

Of all the most expert professionals on the planet regarding attachment bonding pathology, I’m one of them.

5.  PsyD versus PhD

A PhD is a Doctorate in Philosophy, combining psychology and research coursework, a PsyD is a doctorate in clinical Psychology, no research.

A PhD in clinical psychology (there are other PhD categories in psychology that are entirely research-focused) is trained in both clinical psychology (the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology) and in research methodology and research statistics. It’s called the “scientist-practitioner” model and it allows these psychologists to both treat pathology and to be a university researcher as well.

The PsyD, on the other hand is an advanced specialization focusing solely on clinical psychology and the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology.  PsyD doctors sacrifice the research side of the vitae (meaning any university professorships) in order to obtain additional specialized training in pathology and its assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.  A PsyD doctorate is the most advanced degree possible in clinical psychology, more advanced than a PhD.

Our advanced training in clinical psychology has cascading implications.  Let me explain.

Pathology teaches.  Coursework prepares the psychologist to learn, but it is direct experience with the pathology that teaches.  Following doctoral coursework, clinical psychologists must complete two full years of supervised training, one pre-doctoral (the “pre-doctoral internship;” some are APA accredited, some are not), and one post-doctoral (the “post-doctoral fellowship”).  I did both my pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (APA accredited predoctoral internship), with medical rotations in spina bifida (pre-doctoral internship) and pediatric cancer (post-doctoral fellowship), and a mental health specialty of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The pathology teaches. We learn the features of the pathology from our assessment of it, we learn its core from treating it.  That’s why we have two full year of supervised training, the clinical supervisor guides the intern and post-doc in their learning directly from the pathology.

Our coursework prepares us to learn, the pathology (whatever the pathology is we’re working with) teaches us.

The PsyD has additional coursework in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology in place of the research coursework of the PhD psychologist.  Because we sacrificed coursework in research for this additional training in pathology and its treatment, that means we enter our internships better prepared to learn from the pathology than a PhD trained clinical psychologist.  This has implicatons.

Our better preparation means that after the first year of pre-doctoral supervised training, the PsyD clinical psychologist has learned more than the PhD clinical psychologist, because we are better prepared to learn from the pathology, we know,more going in.

That means when we begin our second year of supervised post-doctoral training, we are even more advanced in our preparation because of our more enriched learning during the internship supervised training, so we learn even more from the pathology than the PhD during our second, post-doctoral training year.

That means when we enter independent licensed practice, we’re even more advanced over the PhD than when our supervised training began.  The PsyD doctorate provides better preparation to learn during the two years of supervised training, so we learn more during these two training years than the PhD.

That’s why we sacrifice the research side of our vitaes.  You will never see a PsyD as a professor at a university.

Except me.  I’ve taught graduate level courses in Assessment & Diagnosis – Models of Psychotherapy – Psychometrics of Assessment – Cultural Psychology – Law and Ethics – Research Methodology – Theories of Personality – and Child Development.  In order to teach a graduate-level course in a subject, the professor needs to first know the subject.  I know everything in each of those content areas because I taught those content areas at the graduate level.  I enjoy teaching and mentoring students, so I found a way to stay active and do that.

The PsyD doctorate is a more advanced degree in clinical psychology, in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology – significantly more advanced – than the PhD.  A PsyD doctorate degree (Doctor in Psychology) is the top there is in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology, there is none better.

I have a B.A. degree in Psychology from UCLA. an M.A. degree in Community/Clinical Psychology from California State University, Northridge, and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University.

In the doctoral program at Pepperdine, we selected two of the four primary schools of psychotherapy as our specialty training focus. I chose Family Systems Therapy and Humanistic-Existential psychology (personal growth and self-actualization; I am trained as a Gestalt therapist from my Master’s training years).

My specialty in psychotherapy as a PsyD advanced-level clinical psychologist is… family systems therapy.

This court-involved high-intensity family conflict is…. a family conflict .

Family therapy is THE appropriate school of psychotherapy to apply to solving family conflict, and I am an advanced-level Psy.D. family systems therapist… with a background in diagnosing delusional-psychotic pathology, with a background in assessing, diagnosing, and treating complex trauma and child abuse, with a background in assessing, diagnosing and treating attachment pathology.

And I have been specifically trained through my M.A. in Community/Clinical Psychology to solve pathology by creating change in community systems and organizations, like the family courts and forensic psychology.

I have exactly the proper professional background to do exactly what it is I’m doing.

6.  AB-PA is True and Accurate

An attachment-based description of this court-involved family conflict pathology (Foundations; AB-PA) is 100% accurate.  Foundations and its description of AB-PA is a comprehensive, true and accurate description of the pathology, that is a fact.

You will find three symptoms, three disparate and impossible symptoms, with this pathology, (each of these symptoms is impossible, yet nevertheless present),

1)  Attachment: attachment bond suppression toward a normal-range parent (an impossible symptom),

2) Narcisistic: five specific narcissistic personality traits in the child’s symptom display (an impossible symptom), 

3) Delusional: an encapsulated persecutory delusion toward a normal-range parent (an impossible symptom).

All three symptoms are impossible.  The prevalence rate for any of those symptoms in the general population is zero.  We should never see those three symptoms because they are each impossible.  Yet AB-PA (Foundations) predicts the presence of all three impossible symptoms in the child’s symptom display.

Diagnostically, Foundations and AP-PA are analobous to a batter calling the home run to left field before the pitch, designating the Section, Row, Seat, and in the cupholder… and then doing it, putting it right in the cupholder of Seat 23, Row E, Section 104.

Foundations and an attachment-based model for this court-involved family conflict pathology is 100% a true and accurate description of the pathology.  That is a fact.

I know exactly what I am doing, and I can explain it to anyone who is interested.
The solution is a done-deal, it on its way.  That too, is a fact.  It has been for several years now.  It’s not a matter of if, it is only a matter of when, and when the paradigm shifts to an attachment-based diagnostic model, the field of professional psychology will shift quickly.

The solution is available immediately – today.  It simply requires we apply the established knowledge of professional psychology.  If we apply knowledge, we solve pathology.  Ignorance solves nothing.  There are standards of practice in clinical psychology, codified by the APA ethics code. The APA ethics code is mandatory – required.  It is NOT optional.

Standard 2.04 requires the application of the scientifically established knowledge of professional psychology – that would be Bowlby (attachment), Minuchin (family systems therapy), Beck (personality disorders), van der Kolk (complex trauma), Tronick (neuro-development of the brain), and the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association).
Standard 2.01a requires this information for professional competence – mandatory, not optional.

Standard 9.01a requires that psychologists’ assessments and diagnostic statement, including forensic testimony, be based on information “sufficient to substantiate their findings” – that would be the application of Bowlby (attachment), Minuchin (family systems therapy), Beck (personality disorders), van der Kolk (complex trauma), Tronick (neuro-development of the brain), and the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association).

Standard 3.04 requires that psychologists harm no one – no one – not even parents, not even if the forensic psychologist thinks the parent “deserves” to be harmed.  No one.  Not even terrorists (3.04b).  No one.

To limit or restrict a parent’s time an involvement with their child hurts the parent, and the child.  That is not allowed under Standard 3.04.  The ONLY appropriate custody recommendation from professional psychology is that each parent should have a much time and involvement with the child as possible.

The only professionally justifiable reason for restricting a parent’s time and involvement with their child is child abuse – a child protection justification.

If there is no child abuse… then parents have the right to parent according to their cultural values, personal values, and religious values. 

If there is no child abuse or child protection concerns, then the ONLY allowable recommendation for a child custody schedule from professional psychology pursuant to the requirement of Standard 3.04 of the APA ethics code to Avoid Harm – mandatory, not optional – is that each parent should have as much time and involvement as possible.

Furthermore, Principle D: Justice of the APA ethics code requires – not optional, requires – that all clients have the right to equal access to professional services.  The excessive $20,000 to $40,000 cost of a child custody evaluation denies equal access to lower SES parents, and provides a higher-quality of service to more affluent clients, in violation of Principle D: Justice.

Principle D: Justice of the APA ethics code also requires that all clients receive equal quality in professional services. Required – not optional.  The absence of inter-rater reliability for child custody evaluations, and professionals who just “dabble” in professional psychology leading to a “wide range of variability in services” violates this fundamental Principle of Justice and professional ethics.

From Stahl & Simon: “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.

Stahl & Simon openly acknowledge there to be “many psychologists” who merely “dabble in forensic practice” and they openly acknowledge that “there is a range of quality in their work.”  This, then, would represent a violation of Principle D: Justice, that requires “equal quality” in the psychological services provided to all clients.

7.  Duty to Protect

When a parent creates a persecutory delusion in the child that destroys the child’s attachment bond to the other parent (in spousally motivated revenge and retaliation for the failed marriage and divorce), that is a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.  Creating significant psychopathology in the child through aberrant and distorted parenting is called “pathogenic” parenting (patho=pathology; genic=genesis, creation).  Creating delusional-psychotic pathology in the child through deviant, distorted, and pathogenic parenting practices is Child Psychological Abuse (DSM-5 V995.51).

Failure to diagnose child abuse and protect the child when it is warranted by the child’s symptoms represents a failure in the professional’s “duty to protect” the child.

Failure to diagnose and protect the targeted parent from IPV spousal abuse (Intimate Partner Violence; “domestic violence”), i.e., the brutal emotional abuse of the ex-spouse/targeted parent using the child as the weapon, would also represent a failure in the professional’s “duty to protect” the targeted parent from IPV spousal abuse, using the child as the weapon.

From my professional background as noted above, forensic psychology is in clear and ongoing violation of Standards 2.04, 2.01a, 9.01a, 3.04, Principle D: Justice, and the duty to protect on two separate and independent counts, failure to protect the child from DSM-5 Child Psychological Abuse, and failure to protect the ex-spouse/targeted parent from IPV spousal abuse by the allied parent, using the child as the weapon.

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