The Pathogen in Sheep’s Clothing

Karen Woodall and the Gardnerian PAS “experts” are not relevant to a professional level discussion until they describe the path to solution they propose by using their eight-symptom Gardnerian PAS model.  I don’t care how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  What is the path to a solution that they are proposing?

They have no solution.  If they have a path to solution, it is their professional obligation to tell the client.  If they have no path to a solution, it is their professional obligation to tell the client. Their silence is deafening.

At the same time as having no solution beyond their being “experts,” they are creating discord, division, and confusion in professional psychology, and that’s going to need to be addressed.

Enabling Ally

I want to begin the process of exposing the pathogen.  The pathology is notable for the use of projection.  All targeted parents are familiar with how the narcissistic-borderline parent makes allegations toward the targeted parent that actually apply to the narcissistic-borderline personality.  That which we refuse to see in ourselves, we project into the outside world and see it there.

Kernberg prominently describes that the narcissistic personality is characterized by projection.  Gestalt therapy proposes that everything we say and do is projective of our own material.

I’m a clinical psychologist, and I’m seeing all sorts of projection when it comes to Karen Woodall’s personal characterizations of me and the arguments she offers against AB-PA.  So let me address what she says.

Derogatory Labels

First, Karen uses the pathogen’s approach of slandering the target with derogatory labels to discredit the person, in an effort to discredit the ideas by association to the demeaned individual.  When the pathogen did this to Richard Gardner, it used the pejorative of Gardner being a “pedophile” because of his statements as a psychoanalytic psychiatrist about sexual abuse pathology. 

This line of attack was wrong when it was applied to Richard Gardner, and it’s wrong when this type of attack is directed toward me.  I’m a big boy.  I’m a clinical psychologist who’s worked with juvenile delinquency and ADHD.  I’ve been called a lot of creatively demeaning stuff over the course of my career working with my wonderfully angry-grumpy adolescent clients.  Sticks and stones… but really, that’s the level of our professional dialogue Karen?  The offer still stands, Karen.   Join me on this joint blog for a professional level discussion…. crickets.  She refuses to engage in a professional discussion of pathology.

In my case, the derogatory label Karen Woodall and others are trying to attach to me as a way of trying to discredit me, and by association the solution offered by AB-PA, is to call me a “guru.” This amuses me.

They believe this is a derogatory label that they can attach to me along with their narrative that I have an inflated sense of self-importance and that I think I have the ONLY solution. That’s the narrative they’re running; that I supposedly think I have the ONLY solution.

That’s not true.  They are lying.  The pathogen lies. Every targeted parent is familiar with having to defend oneself against falsehood and lies.  The narrative that I think AB-PA represents the ONLY solution is a lie. 

You know how you, as targeted parents, have to collect evidence to rebut the lies and distortions hurled at you?  So I now have to defend myself against the allegations by Karen that I’m some sort of “guru.”  That’s just weird, Karen.  I am a clinical psychologist, Karen.  I am sharing my professional level knowledge of standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  Instead of hurling weird personal epithets at me, join me on this blog and let’s have a professional level discussion.  Or join me on any online platform for a 2-hour moderated professional debate that everyone can watch. 

Here is my evidence that Karen Woodall is lying:

I don’t care if they add whatever beautiful dancing blue ponies they want to AB-PA.  They can add Gardner’s PAS, they can add green Martians from outer space.  I don’t care.  All I’m saying is that we need to establish a ground foundation for professional knowledge and competence to which all mental health professionals can be held accountable, and this is available through attachment theory, personality disorder pathology, family systems therapy, and complex trauma.

If they want to add Gardnerian PAS to the standard knowledge of the attachment system, personality disorder pathology, family systems therapy, and complex trauma, woo hoo, go for it, golden unicorns and dancing pixies.  I don’t care.  Add anything you want.  Let’s just establish a foundational ground baseline of knowledge expected of all mental health professions in the attachment system, personality disorder pathology, family systems therapy, and complex trauma.

It’s Karen Woodall, and Bill Bernet, and the PASG, and all the Gardnerian PAS “experts” who are insisting that ONLY the eight symptoms of Gardnerian PAS be used in diagnosing the pathology.  I’m a clinical psychologist, and I’m calling projection.

I’m not the one insisting on only one model, Karen.  You are.  Add PAS to AB-PA.  Fine by me.  If establishment psychology accepts what you’re saying, good for you.  I honesty don’t care.  All I want to do is establish a ground foundation throughout professional psychology in the established knowledge of professional psychology.

Karen Woodall is lying to you when she says I’m insisting it has to be my way.  Nope.  Add whatever you want.  But let’s establish a ground foundation of professional knowledge and standards of practice to which all mental health professionals can be held accountable.

But what about that “guru” label they’re hurling at me?  Of all the nasty things they can call me… guru?  I find that amusing.  It’s a projection again, but it’s really amusing.  With Gardner, the pathogen labeled him a pedophile.  Ouch.  That’s about as harsh as it comes.

With me, the best the pathogen could come up with is “guru.”  Let’s take a look at the definition of a guru for a second:

From Merriam Webster:
Guru: a) a teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern, b): one who is an acknowledged leader or chief proponent, c) a person with knowledge or expertise

I’m not sure Karen is clear on the concept of derogatory labels.  She’s essentially saying I’m a teacher in matters of fundamental concern and a leader with knowledge and expertise.

Are you sure you want to be calling me this, Karen?  I mean, thank you.  But as Andre the Giant said in Princess Bride, “I don’t think that means what you think it means.”

But once again, Karen is lying.  That’s what the pathogen does.  It lies.  So lets unpack this… I’m supposedly the guru, meaning that I have an over-inflated self-importance.

What am I actually saying, what is the truth?… I’m saying that nothing about AB-PA is me. It’s all Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck, Millon, Kernberg.  Everything about AB-PA is standard and established knowledge.  I’m just a clinical psychologist.  The experts are Bowlby, and Minuchin, and Beck, and Linehan, and Millon… These people are the experts.

Now lets look at the projection.  What’s Karen Woodall saying?  She’s calling herself an expert of the highest caliber.  She’s discovering a pathology no one else in clinical psychology has ever discovered before, not Bowlby, not Beck, not Minuchin, not Bowen, not Millon. She is among the pantheon of psychology elite, discoverer of a whole new form of pathology.

So I ask you, which one of us has the over-inflated sense of self?

Furthermore, under the AB-PA solution, all mental health professionals become equally capable of reliably identifying the pathology.  With Karen Woodall’s proposed approach, she is the queen of experts, and everyone seeks her guidance on the nature of the pathology.  Hmmm, and she’s calling me the guru?

Recently, I saw something where she called me a “wizard.”  Again, I’m not sure Karen has a handle on the derogatory name calling thing.  She’s apparently calling me a magic worker who is leading everyone in matters of fundamental concern through my expertise.  Are you sure that’s the narrative you want to create, Karen?  That through my expertise I’m working magic and leading everyone in matters of fundamental concern?

It could be an unconscious thing she has going on, you know, like a Freudian slip.  Saying the truth when you don’t mean to.

Me as the Alienating Parent

But now I’ve heard there is a new derogatory label she’s applied to me personally.  She’s called me the alienating parent.  She seems to be improving in her vitriol.

I’m struck that Karen appears to see all conflict in terms of alienation.  If I like Pepsi and you like Coke, the disagreement is that I’m trying to “alienate” you from your Coke.  Odd. Everything, literally everything appears to be a variant of “alienation” for Karen.  I wonder what her childhood was like.  Why is she working with this pathology?  Is there some counter-transference stuff going on?

So really Karen, you’re going to poke the bear.  I was trying to ignore you and you’re taking a stick and poking me. Really?

And that’s a weird one, Karen.  I’m the alienating parent?  That doesn’t seem connected to reality.  I wonder if she may be psychologically decompensating from the anxiety that AB-PA and a solution to the pathology is creating for her.  The moment the paradigm shifts to AB-PA, she ceases to be an “expert,” and her whole identity is caught up in her being a Gardnerian PAS “expert.” It’s gotta be hard on her to see her professional “expertise” vanishing.

She could become an actual expert in real forms of pathology, like attachment trauma, personality disorders, family systems pathologies.  But then with these real forms of pathology, she’s constrained by actual knowledge and can’t just make stuff up.  That’ll be a problem for her, because she likes to just make stuff up, which she can do if she’s an expert in her own special form of pathology.

But wait, a foundational symptom of the pathogen is projection.  So let’s apply the  hypothesis of projection and see what we come up with… According to Karen’s unconscious projective process, she’s the alienating parent.

Whoa.  That’s odd, but who am I to argue with Karen’s unconscious processes.  So let’s unpack it a little.  The alienating parent is forcing the child to choose between parents. So is she saying that by rejecting the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology, she’s creating division and discord, forcing targeted parents to choose between “experts”; her or Dr. Childress?

The clinical director of the AB-PA pilot program in Houston trained with Karen.  She also took my AB-PA Certification seminars last November.  During Day 2 of the seminars, she approached me to “confess” that she had trained with Karen Woodall, knowing my professionally unimpressed opinion of Karen’s thought.  I laughed.  Not a problem in any way, shape, manner, or form.  In fact, it’s a good thing that the clinical director of the AB-PA pilot program in Houston has trained with Karen Woodall too.  Woo hoo.  Knowledge is always a good thing.  Recently, she told me she’s going to be seeking training in solution-focused therapy.  Woo hoo again.

I’m the inclusive parent.  Love everybody you want.  Not a problem.  We just need to establish a ground foundation of professional knowledge in the attachment system, personalty disorder pathology, family systems therapy, and complex trauma.  Add whatever beautiful unicorns you want.  Go for it.

And I’m being called the alienating parent?  Uhhh, okay.  Weird.  I think it’s gotta be unconscious material, it’s just not grounded in reality.  But if she’s exposing unconscious material, that means… ooooo, yikes.

When I first became aware that the Gardnerian PAS experts were the enabling allies of the pathogen (who are disabling the mental health system response with Gardnerian PAS), my first thought was how did the pathogen gain access to them?  ‘

I know how the pathogen gains access to the enacting allies (the child therapists, custody evaluators, and stupid “reunification therapists”), it does it through their motivation for vicarious processing of their own childhood attachment trauma in the shared trauma reenactment narrative of the pathology.  But how did the pathogen gain access to the Gardnerian PAS “experts” – and the answer dropped in as clear as a bell… through their narcissism. 

The pathogen (a set of damaged information structures in the attachment system of the brain) captivated their narcissistic gratification of being “experts” (so grandiose, they see themselves on par with Bowlby and Beck, in the grand pantheon of psychology gods, discovering new forms of pathology never before seen).

Yep.  It captivated their narcissistic gratification as “experts” and then it turned off their motivation to create change.  That’s what a trauma pathogen does.  It turns off the motivation to escape.  The Gardnerians fell into the stupor of non-action.

But I’m from the outside.  I’m not infected by the group-mind stupor of inaction.  Love me, hate me, things are definitely different and changing.  That’s what a clinical psychologist does, creates change and solves pathology.

I arrived in this domain of pathology with a fairly clean set of personal attachment networks.  I’m not from court-involved high-conflict divorce.  I’m not here to work out my personal issues.  I’m here with a job to do, solve the pathology.  I come from the fields of ADHD, school behavior problems, early childhood mental health, and attachment trauma.  My motivational systems are fully operational.  Let’s roll up our sleeves and fix this, which is exactly what I set about doing.

Ohhh, but I’m not part of the club of “experts.”  How dare I come in and solve their pathology.  This pathology belongs to them, they’re the experts, they’ll show me.  I’ll be sorry I divorced them… uh, wait… what?.. yep, there it is… “You’ll be sorry you divorced me.”

I’ll be sorry I divorced the PAS “experts.” They’ll show me.  They’ll make targeted parents choose, who is the favored “expert,” Karen Woodall or Dr. Childress…

You know what I say?  You can love everybody.  Don’t choose. If you think what Karen says is valuable, fine by me.  I’m not the parent.  Your choice as to what you think is best for your children and your family.

There is the issue of which diagnostic indicators to use – the 8-symptoms of Gardnerian PAS identified through a $20,000 to $40,000 child custody evaluation and then requiring that you prove “parental alienation” in a trial, or the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA identified by a $2,500 six-session treatment focused assessment protocol, and that leads directly to a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed?

Your choice.  I’d recommend using the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA so you can get the confirmed DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse for the pathology in your family, which then provides the professional and legal rationale for the protective separation period.

Does the 8-symptom Gardnerian PAS diagnotic model lead to a DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse?  No.  Sorry.

Does the 8-symptom Gardnerian PAS diagnotic model justify a protective separation period?  No.  Sorry again.  No one quite knows what the treatment is for Gardnerian PAS.  That’s why everything is so messed up for everyone. 

But it’s up to you which diagnostic model you want applied to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of your children and families.  You’re the parent.

And if you do decide to seek the AB-PA diagnostic model of three diagnostic indicators (the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting and the six-session treatment focused assessment protocol) you can still read as much of Karen Woodall as you want and try to apply whatever beautiful blue ponies she describes.  Personally, I’d recommend people stay within the established knowledge of professional psychology, but if you think your guru (teacher with expertise) of Karen Woodall has wonderfully beautiful dancing ponies, and you like the blue ponies she describes, that’s your choice, you’re the parent.

But let’s at least establish a ground foundation of professional knowledge and standards of practice in the established constructs and principles of professional psychology to which all mental health professionals can be held accountable; the attachment system, personality disorder pathology, family systems therapy, and complex trauma.

Did I mention that the pathogen inhibits executive function rational reasoning?  It’s really interesting.  A characteristic symptom of the pathogen in the attachment networks of the brain (a particular set of damaged information structures) is the inability to track a logical sequence.

Let’s try a logical sequence and you can see what I’m talking about:

The three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA provide the DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse, the 8-symptoms of Gardnerian PAS do not.

The three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA can be reliably identified in a six-session treatment focused assessment protocol costing about $2,500.  The 8-symptoms of Gardnerian PAS are identified through a $20,000 to $40,000 child custody evaluation that takes six to nine months to complete and that is arbitrary and unreliable in identifying the pathology.

Seems like a pretty logical sequence to me.  I’d recommend the six-session treatment focused assessment protocol that provides you with the DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse. 

Karen Woodall can’t seem to process the logic of that. 

Curious.

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

 

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Initial Response from Karen Woodall

I have been challenging Karen Woodall and her continuance of a failed diagnostic model for identifying attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce:

Analysis of the Separation Clinic Model

Karen responded on her blog.  I am taking our discussion to this joint-blog format, which is where I would suggest it belongs.  I am posting Karen’s response to me here, and offering my comments. 

I think it would be good for Karen and I to engage in a professional dialogue.  I have been offering a joint blog discussion for quite some time now, but Karen has refused.  I hope she agrees to dialogue.

Here is Karen’s response, with my comments.



Dr. Childress Opening Comment:  Karen, please describe for us the path to a solution you envision using the Separation Clinic diagnostic model for “parental alienation.”

I have explained the path to a solution using AB-PA.

The Solution: The Requirements
The Solution: AB-PA Meets the Requirements
The Solution: The Return to Professional Practice
The Solution: The Dominoes

Your turn.  Please describe for us the path to a solution you envision using the Separation Clinic diagnostic model for “parental alienation.”



Dear Craig, I would be happy to talk,

Dr. C:  Email me and I will give you the password to this blog so that we can begin a professional level conversation on this joint blog.  This would be a much better format than each of us using separate blogs to go back-and-forth.

drcraigchildress@gmail.com

I am not a Gardenarian and I don’t know what that means even

Dr. C: I find that kind of a stunning statement.  You “don’t know what it means”?  It means you ascribe to Gardner’s 8-symptom model for a new form of pathology called “parental alienation”?

Simple.  What diagnostic indicators for the “parental alienation” pathology do you use?  Do you rely on the 8 symptom indicators proposed by Gardner?  Or do you rely on the 3 symptom indicators of AB-PA?

Or are you proposing an entirely different set of diagnostic indicators for the construct of “parental alienation” – Woodall’s Diagnostic Indicators?

In my review of your work, you seem to rely on Gardner’s 8 symptom indicators.  You actually didn’t know that the term Gardnerian means a supporter of Gardner?  Really?

but I would be happy to talk.

Dr. C:  That is good to hear.  Send me an email and I will give you the password for this blog and we can begin a professional level discussion of attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce, and its solution.

But wouldn’t you and I be better talking together than arguing in public over what is right and wrong?

Dr. C:  I don’t agree.  I think a public dialogue is much better because then everyone can see the issues on both sides and make a decision as to how best to proceed in creating the solution to attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce.

The professional level discussion needs to be public so everything is seen. This  pathogen hides in concealment.  In our response, everything needs to be open and exposed.  No secrets.  No back-room discussions and agreements. Everything out in the open.  That way, the pathogen can’t find anywhere to hide and we expose it.

The people who depend on us to help them want us to talk,

Dr. C:  I disagree slightly.  In my view, the people who depend on us want us to solve the pathology in their families and return their children to them.  They think this will be accomplished by our talking.  But if I’m trying to solve the pathology and you’re undermining that, then that needs to be addressed in order to solve the pathology.  They want solutions.

they want us to work together and I am sure that we can, even though I cannot advocate the approach you are setting out because I am too acutely aware of the issues in the UK which cause parents to be at such risk of losing their children for good.

Dr. C:  This is important to understand, Karen… the “approach you are setting out” is to return us to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology. 

So what you are saying is that you cannot advocate for the use of standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology to identify and diagnose pathology.

That is a stunning statement Karen.  Think about what you just said, that you cannot advocate for the use of standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology to diagnose and treat pathology. 

I would suggest that your position is beneath acceptable standards of practice for a mental health professional.

We can discuss this more fully once you send me an email and begin posting to this blog, or I can explain the issue to you using the Analysis blog.  Your choice.

We have a deeply problematic system here, rigid with judgement and subjectivity, our mental health community hasn’t even begun to grasp the basics of alienation awareness yet.

Dr. C: I completely understand, and AB-PA will solve that.  I can explain that fully on this joint blog, and we can discuss how AB-PA solves that, or I can explain that fully on the Analysis blog.  Your choice.

I take an approach which is eclectic and integrative,

Dr. C:  There are five schools of psychotherapy, psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic-existential, family systems, and social constructionist.

Which school of psychotherapy do you ground your approach in?  Or if you integrate these schools somehow, please explain how you integrate these schools into your assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology.

This is my standard question to someone who proposes that they are “eclectic and integrative” (which are often euphemisms for making stuff up).  If a mental heath professional is actually grounded in several schools, they can explain this at a professional level that makes sense because they understand the models of therapy from the different schools of psychotherapy that they are integrating.

If, on the other hand, the mental health professional is using this phrase as a cover to simply make stuff up, then that too will become evident in the response as the mental health professional is unable to provide a cogent description of their approach.  They are not “integrating” anything, they are just making stuff up.

So in asserting to a clinical psychologist that you are “eclectic and integrative,” you have now set yourself the task to explain what you mean by that.  Will your response reference the models of established schools of psychotherapy, or will you talk about how you make stuff up. 

My concern as a clinical psychologist is that you may be using the term “eclectic and integrative” to mean that you just make stuff up.  So could please provide a professional-level discussion of how you integrate the various established models of psychotherapy into your approach.

AB-PA is primarily based in family systems therapy (Bowen, Minuchin, Haley) and attachment theory (Bowlby, Ainsworth), and it integrates personality pathology into both of the other information sets.  I can go into more detail if you’d like.

Please explain the sources for your “eclectic” foundation and your “integrative” approach.

It has been my experience that the phrase “eclectic and integrative” when used by a mental health professional is a euphemism for just making stuff up.  Please reassure me that you are not just using that term to hide that you’re just making stuff up, by providing a professional description of the ground for your “eclectic and integrative” work.

whatever works to free the child is what we do at the Clinic,

Dr. C:  As a clinical psychologist, that sentence has me deeply concerned that you just make stuff up, and that you don’t know what you’re doing.  Please reassure me that you are not simply making stuff up and that you are grounding your professional work in the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology, such as Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck, Bowen, Millon, Linehan.

Please explain to me, using standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology, and without relying on creating a “new form of pathology unique in all of mental health,” how you diagnose attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

yes it is hand to hand combat

Dr. C:  That is an odd statement.  Family therapy should not be “hand to hand combat.”  None of the primary family systems therapists would characterize family therapy as “hand to hand combat,” not Bowen, not Minuchin, not Haley, not Satir, not Madanes.

What sort of model are you using that leads to “hand to hand combat” as something approaching therapy?  Can you please explain that more? Why do you see your therapy work as “hand to hand combat”?

The things you’re saying have me concerned as a clinical psychologist.  I’m not reassured that you know what you’re doing because you seem to be saying you’re essentially “winging it”:

Your statement that you cannot advocate for a reliance on standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology to assess, diagnose, and treat pathology.

Your statement that you do not apply any established and defined models of pathology or therapy (“eclectic and integrative” without further reference to established models of psychotherapy).

Saying you do “whatever works” which suggests you don’t have a defined treatment plan based on the diagnosis.

And characterizing your treatment as “hand to hand combat.” I know of no treatment models that result in “hand to hand combat” as therapy.

I’m deeply concerned that you’re just making stuff up and are not grounding your professional work in the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.

And that’s exactly what a proposal for a “new form of pathology” that is supposedly unique in all of metal health does, it opens the floodgates for everyone to just start making stuff up.  

If you use an “eclectic and integrative” approach, then everyone starts to use an “eclectic and integrative” approach and our assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology descends into chaos.

You describe the difficulties with the mental health system in England.  Okay.  The way to fix it is to ground professional practice entirely within the established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  Family systems therapy can absolutely solve this.  There’s a wrinkle from adding personality pathology to a cross-generational coalition, but that’s solvable.

But we can’t solve anything if everyone is “free” to just make stuff up, whatever they want, calling it an “eclectic and integrative approach.”

This returns to your beginning statement that you cannot support a return to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  This is a deeply concerning admission from a mental health professional and strongly suggests you want the freedom to just make stuff up.

but it is building an evidence base for our judiciary to show them the truth of alienation and how removal can liberate the child.

Dr. C:  There is no such thing as “alienation” as a professional construct in clinical psychology.  In discussing pathology at a professional level, please confine yourself to the use of established constructs and principles and established pathologies.

The construct you describe as “alienation” is a cross-generational coalition of the child with an allied parent against the other parent, a family process amply described by Minuchin and Haley.  The rejection of a parent is an emotional cutoff, described by Bowen.

So are you then telling me that you are trying to establish an evidentiary basis for family systems therapy, Minuchin, Haley, and Bowen, for the British court system.  I would think that would be relatively simple.  Family systems therapy is one of the four (five if you count social constructionism) primary schools of psychotherapy with a substantial professional literature surrounding it. 

Are you saying the British mental health and legal systems don’t view family systems therapy – as described by such preeminent figures as Murray Bowen, Salvador Minuchin, Jay Haley, Cloe Madanes, Virginia Satir, and as taught in our major universities, as a valid approach to solving family problems?

The doctorate program at Pepperdine University provides an entire track on teaching family systems therapy.  We had the choice of two of the four tracks, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, humanistic-existential therapy, and family systems therapy.  Are you telling me that the British mental health systems doesn’t view family systems therapy, as taught in doctoral programs by major universities, as valid, and that you… Karen Woodall… need to develop an evidentiary base for family systems therapy in England?  Is that what you’re saying?

What your statement points out is the fundamental problem in making proposals for “new forms of pathology” that are supposedly unique in all of mental health.  If we stay grounded in established constructs and principles, then we avoid having to prove the existence of a “new form of pathology.”

Plus, the “new form of pathology” proposal is not true.  Attachment-related pathology,  family system pathology, and personalty pathology fully explain the child’s symptom features.  We don’t need to resort to creating a “new form of pathology” that is supposedly unique in all of mental health that we alone are “discovering.”

I will admit, there is an advantage to a “new form of pathology” proposal, it allows us to simply make stuff up because we are supposedly “discovering” this new form of pathology. 

But in this case, with this pathology, that’s simply not true.  Attachment-related pathology is not a “new form of pathology,” family systems pathology is not a “new form of pathology,” personality disorder pathology is not a “new form of pathology.”  None of the pathology types creating the child’s attachment-related symptoms surrounding divorce are “new forms of pathology.”

Once you stop positing a new form of pathology and return to using the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology, you won’t need to “develop an evidentiary base” for a “new form of pathology” unique in all of mental health proposal.

We can discuss this more fully in future joint blog exchanges.

I did not write the critique of Foundations

Dr. C:  I’ve never heard you critique Foundations.  What I heard was your trying to discredit me personally as a “guru” but never actually addressing the content of what I describe in Foundations.  I look forward to hearing and discussing your critique of the content of Foundations in these joint professional level blogs.

to undermine your fine work,

Dr. C:  This is important to understand, Karen, because I see you making this mistake over and over again.  None of this is my work.  It is Bowlby and Minuchin and Beck and Millon and Haley.  None of it is me.  I have done nothing but diagnose pathology using standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology. 

Any basic intern in clinical psychology can do exactly the same thing I’ve done. 

None of AB-PA is Dr. Childress.  It is Bowlby and Minuchin and Haley…  I’ve noted that you view yourself as an “expert” – I don’t see myself as an “expert.”  I’m just a clinical psychologist.

I know clinical psychology.  I diagnose and treat pathology.  I solve pathology.  That’s what a clinical psychologist does.  I’ve done this with ADHD pathology, with oppositional defiant pathology, with family conflict pathology, with trauma pathology.  All sorts of difficult and complicated pathologies.   I’m a clinical psychologist.  I solve pathology.

A child rejecting a parent surrounding divorce?  No worries.  Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment using the standard and established constructs and principle of professional psychology.  Simple, simple, simple.

Unless… unless, you don’t know the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  Not knowing stuff is called ignorance, and being ignorant is not a good thing if you’re trying to solve pathology.  If a mental health professional is ignorant about the constructs and principles of professional psychology, then that mental health professional’s assessment, diagnosis, and treatment will be flawed and faulty… because of their ignorance.  That’s why it’s important to know stuff.  The more stuff we know, the better we’re able to solve pathology.

I’m not an “expert.”  Bowlby is an expert.  Minuchin is an expert.  Haley is an expert.  Millon is an expert.  Hmmm, and you’re saying that you’re an expert in the same league as these figures in professional psychology.  Quite the assertion there, Karen.

I’m just a clinical psychologist.  I take my responsibilities to solve pathology for my kids incredibly seriously.  I work really hard to know a lot of clinical psychology stuff so that I can be as good as I can possibly be at solving stuff for my kids.  And that’s what I am doing with AB-PA… using the knowledge contained in professional psychology (Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck) to solve stuff for my kids… in this case, attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce.

When you compliment my work, you misunderstand.  It’s not my work.  None of this is my work.  It’s Bowlby’s work.  It’s Minuchin’s work.  It’s Beck’s work.  I’m sure they’d appreciate that you view their work as “fine work.”

Personally, I think the work of Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck, Haley, Millon, is exceptional work.  But if you see yourself in such an elevated position of knowledge that you can judge the work of Bowlby, and Minuchin, and Beck as just being “fine work,” I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I wrote it because I wanted to set out work in the UK out to show the PASG that there is much that chimes with us in your work but some of it which doesn’t because of structural problems.

Dr. C:  I’m not aware of your critique of the content of Foundations.  I look forward to hearing your critique of the content.

And I still do not believe that those structural problems can be resolved using your approach.

Dr. C:  Okay.  Watch.  Let me solve them and you’ll see exactly how the problems in England’s mental health and legal system’s response to attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce can be solved by the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.

First, we’re going to solve the pathology through the AB-PA pilot program for the family courts in Houston, Texas.  This will generate documented evidence of success for the AB-PA model.  Then we are going to replicate this model in other jurisdictions, eventually bringing it to Europe and England as the success of the AB-PA pilot program for the family courts is made clear by the data.  So if you cannot see the solution provided by AB-PA, please stand aside and don’t interfere.  Let me solve it.  Then you will see the solution unfold.

You know what I wonder, I’m wondering if the reason you don’t understand how to apply the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology to solve pathology – all types of pathology – is because you use that “eclectic and integrative” approach, representing a euphemism that you don’t know the standard and established constructs and principles that are needed to solve the pathology, so then you start making stuff up, like an entirely “new form of pathology” unique in all of mental health. 

There is no “new form of pathology” here.  It’s an attachment-related pathology called “pathological mourning” (Bowlby) associated with narcissistic and borderline personality pathology (Millon; Beck, Kernberg) and the problematic mentalization of sadness (Kernberg; Brune et al, 2016).

Have you read Bowlby’s three volumes on attachment?  What about Kernberg on the narcissistic and borderline personality pathology?  Have you read Bowen on the “emotional cutoff” and its origins in poor differentiation and multi-generational trauma?  You do know this stuff, right?  The established constructs and principles of professional psychology?  

Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck, Bowen can absolutely solve the pathology, we just need to apply them to the pathology..

There’s a wonderful quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

You don’t believe that the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology can solve pathology?  Okay.  Then I’m asking you just to step aside for a while, don’t get in the way, let me do what I’m going to do without interference, and watch as the solution unfolds.  The application of the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology can absolutely 100% solve pathology.

But I didn’t write on my blog because I have far too much respect for you to want to critique your work publicly.

Dr C:  Ha. Don’t worry about damaging me in public, Karen.  Go for it.  Bring your best and harshest critique.  No problem, no worries.

But I have no idea what you’re talking about.  I was booted from the PASG.  I never once said anything.  Ever.  Poof.  They booted me. I’m gone. So I don’t read anything in the PASG.

I’m not aware of you ever providing a professional critique of the content of AB-PA.  I don’t recollect ever reading the essay you’re talking about.  I know that you’ve been trying to discredit me as a way of trying to discredit a Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck model of the pathology by calling me a “guru” and saying AB-PA is just Gardnerian PAS (I’m surprised when you said earlier that you don’t know what Gardnerian PAS is) just using different words.  Stuff like that.

Hey, you know what?  Let’s discuss your critiques.  You can post a blog here. Be as harsh and frank as you want.   I can respond, then you can respond, then I can respond, and we can have a full, professional level discussion of the issues, and everyone will understand the issues, and we can make an informed decision on how to move forward in solving the pathology. 

Drop me an email and I’ll give you the password to this blog.

But look, I am 53 years old and I too want to see an end to this scourge in my lifetime.

Dr. C:  That’s great to hear.  So please describe for us the path to a solution you envision using the Separation Clinic diagnostic model.

You and I are of similar character,

Dr. C:  No, we’re not.  You and I are not of a similar character.

we are both fighters, why don’t we fight together, finding the strengths in our similarities

Dr. C:  But we have no similarities.  I am seeking a return to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  You are seeking to stop a return to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology, seemingly because you want to remain an “expert” in a supposedly “new form of pathology” that you’re asserting to be unique in all of mental health.  What’s similar about that?

I’m trying to solve the pathology.  Are you trying to solve “parental alienation”?  Okay, please describe for us the path to a solution you envision using the Separation Clinic diagnostic model for the pathology.  Then we can identify our similarities and differences. 

Because if you don’t have a solution, I do.  That, too, is not similar.  If you don’t have a solution and I do (the return to standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology; Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck), then please stand aside and don’t interfere with my creation of the solution, i.e., a return of professional psychology to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology that can absolutely solve the pathology.  Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck, Haley, Bowen, Millon, Kernberg – we can absolutely solve the pathology when we bring these heavy-hitters to the solution.

You talk about your focus on solving things in England.  My focus is on solving things in the United States by returning professional practice to the established constructs and principles of professional psychology. 

When you choose to come to the United States to promote the continued use of the failed Gadnerian PAS diagnostic model (you really don’t know what Gardnerian means? Really?), then you are directly interfering with my ability to return professional practice to standard and established constructs and principles in professional psychology.

If you don’t have a solution (and you don’t; because if you do, tell us what it is, describe your proposed path to a solution), but if you have no solution then please don’t interfere with what I’m trying to accomplish here in the U.S.

and the power of our differences to forge ahead. I believe this field could benefit from such an alliance,

Dr. C:  I agree.  All you have to do is return to the professional standard of using the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology. 

Because if you want to just start making stuff up, then everybody starts making stuff up and we wind up with just this current situation of rampant and unchecked professional ignorance and incompetence throughout court-involved psychology.  We must establish a ground baseline of professional competence – and that is accomplished by returning to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology to which all mental health professionals can be held accountable. 

Look at Article 3 of the Petition to the APA.  Can your Separation Clinic diagnostic model give us this?

Look at the confirmed DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.  Can your separation Clinic diagnostic model give us this?

Look at the structured and standardized six-session treatment focused assessment protocol.  Can your separation Clinic diagnostic model give us this?

I’m really eager to hear your responses to these three questions.

Gardnerian PAS is a dead paradigm.  You’ve had 30 years to solve “parental alienation.” Tell us what your solution is, after 30 years of failure, or stand aside, or support AB-PA.  But doing the same thing that’s been a complete failure for 30 years is not acceptable. 

If you insist on keeping us stuck in no solution, then you are obstructing the solution offered by AB-PA.  If you are going to obstruct the solution while having no solution of your own… that’s a problem.

showing that even though we may not completely agree on everything,

At this point, we agree on very little.  I believe we solve pathology through the application of standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  You don’t.  You think we solve pathology by making up “new forms of pathology” proposals and then trying to convince all of establishment psychology that there is this new and unique form of pathology that no one else has ever described, not Bowlby, not Minuchin, not Beck, not Millon, not Haley.

From Minuchin: “The rigid triangle can also take the form of a stable coalition.  One of the parents joins the child in a rigidly bounded cross-generational coalition against the other parent.” (p. 102)

Oops.  Sounds like Minuchin just described the pathology.

From Minuchin: “The parents were divorced six months earlier and the father is now living alone… Two of the children who were very attached to their father, now refuse any contact with him.  The younger children visit their father but express great unhappiness with the situation” (p. 101)

Yikes, there he goes again, describing the pathology.  And you still think it’s a “new form of pathology” that you’re “discovering”?

diagramFrom Minuchin: Well, would ya look at that. Minuchin has even provided a structural family diagram for the pathology.  You can see right there, the child’s alliance with the father against the mother that empowers the child to judge the adequacy of the mother, resulting in the cutoff relationship between the child and the mother.  See… right there… that gap in the connection line between the child and the mother. 

And you’re still going to say that this is a “new form of pathology” that you’re “discovering”?  Really?  You’re proposing that you’re “discovering” something Salvador Minuchin, and Jay Haley, and Murry Bowen just missed.

Nope. They’ve already fully described it.  Go look at what Bowen says about the emotional cutoff.

I think you and I have a pretty big professional level disagreement.  You think we should just make up “new forms of pathology” whenever we don’t understand a set of symptoms.  I don’t.  I think that is beneath professional standards of practice.  There is no such pathology as “parental alienation” in clinical psychology.  There are cross-generational coalitions, there is pathological mourning, there is personality disorder pathology, but there is no such thing as “parental alienation.”

Any diagnostic description that applies equally to “parental alienation” and “carrot rejection” is absurd.

Gardner’s Flawed Model

we can still work together for change.

Dr. C:  I am not convinced at this point that you want change. From everything I see, you want to keep everything exactly the way it is so you can remain an “expert.”   I know that’s a harsh allegation, but you can rebut it very easily, tell us the path to a solution you envision using the Separation Clinic diagnostic model you propose.

Better to be aligned around our strengths than alienated from each other I say.

Dr. C:  We’re not “alienated.”  My goodness gracious, everything is not “alienation.”  We disagree about professional diagnosis.  I think we should assess, diagnose, and treat pathology using the established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  You don’t.

You think that we should assess, diagnose, and treat pathology by making up new types of pathology that are supposedly unique in all of mental health.  I think that approach is not at a professional standard of practice.

That’s not “alienated.”  That’s professional level disagreement on how we expect mental health professionals to diagnose pathology.

I’m trying to return professional psychology to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology, and you’re trying to stop that and keep us in the domain of “new forms of pathology” proposals.

What do you say? Shall we give it a go?

Dr. C:  Absolutely.  Send me an email and I’ll send you the password for this blog. Then you can tell us why you think Salvador Minuchin and family systems therapy is inadequate and why it needs to be augmented with an entirely new form of pathology unique in all of mental health.

In the meantime, please tell us the path to a solution you envision using the Separation Clinic diagnostic model you propose. That way, we can compare solution paths side-by-side (I’ve described the path to a solution using AB-PA) and decide how best to move forward.

On behalf of all of the families we work so hard for I hope that this can be the end of the matter.

Oh Karen, really.  Hiding behind the families.  Okay, tit-for-tat, then… Karen, I hope for the sake of the children you’ll join us in supporting the change to the AB-PA diagnostic model.

Really, Karen?  You’re a mental health professional and you engage in that type of manipulative framing?  Your opening statement that you don’t know what Gardnerian PAS means is disingenuous.  Manipulatively framing your position as being “good for families” as if I don’t care about the families is beneath a mental health professional.  Either you don’t see this problematic manipulative communication process (are you familiar with Satir?), which is of concern if you are a mental health professional, or that’s who you are… which is also problematic if you haven’t cleaned your personal stuff and you’re working as a mental health professional.

I’m all for working together.  Support the return of professional psychology to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  Easy peasy.

If you’re not going to support the return of professional psychology to standard and established constructs and principles because you want to have the freedom to just make stuff up (I’m sorry, to be “eclectic and integrative”), let’s talk about why you don’t believe that Bowlby, and Minuchin, and Beck provide the knowledge needed to solve attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce, and why they need your help.

Send me an email and I’ll send you the password to this joint blog, and you can explain to me why Bowlby, Minuchin, and Beck are unable to solve attachment related pathology and need the help of Woodall.

I feel that arguments of this nature help no-one and I did not ever intend there to be this outcome when I wrote for the PASG newsletter.

Dr C:  I never read anything you wrote for the PASG newsletter.  This isn’t about me being “insulted,” this disagreement is because you’re approach is an abject failure (30 years; no solution) and leads directly to the profound professional ignorance and incompetence we see surrounding us, and the solution is through a return to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology to which all mental health professionals can be held ACCOUNTABLE to provide a baseline standard for professional knowledge and competence for all mental health professionals, everywhere — and you oppose this. 

You want to keep things exactly as they are…. or… tell us the solution you propose using the Separation Clinic diagnostic model.

If you are actually trying to solve this… tell us the path to that solution.   I’ve told you the path to a solution using AB-PA.  Your turn.  Tell us your solution.  Don’t tell us how many angels are dancing on the pin, lay out for us the path for how your dancing angels are going to solve this. 

The work of the Parental Alienation Studies Group is very important across the world and brings together people with skills and expertise who are working incredibly hard to further understanding and better outcomes for everyone who is affected by this horrible problem.

Hmmm, interesting.  As far as I can tell at this point, the PASG is an echo chamber for Gardnerian PAS.  To be blunt, no one cares about “further understanding.”  We need a solution.

Solution, Karen.  Solution.  That is the ONLY thing that matters.  Tell us your path to a solution. 

Hey, I know.  if The PASG wants to do something to “further understanding” why don’t they sponsor a two-hour moderated online debate between Karen Woodall and Dr. Childress.  We’ll each take 10 minutes for an opening statement and then go back and forth in topic- focused turns facilitated by the moderator. 

Imagine the attention-draw this could bring.  My goodness.  Ali-Frazier.  With proper PR, we could have all sorts of court-involved mental health professionals and family law attorneys watching.  This would be wonderful for bringing awareness to the pathology of “parental alienation” and illuminating the issues.  We could possibly speed up the arrival of the solution by a year of more.

So how about the PASG sponsoring a two-hour moderated debate; Karen Woodall and Dr. Childress discuss solutions to “parental alienation.”  Sounds good to me.  I’m in.  Just need the invitation from the PASG.

I see no purpose whatsoever in a battle amongst experts

Dr. C:  I’m not an “expert.”  I’m a clinical psychologist.  Clinical psychologists solve pathology. That’s what I’m doing.  Bowlby is an expert.  Minuchin is an expert.  Beck is an expert.  Millon is an expert.  Not me.  I’m just a clinical psychologist.

What are you an “expert” in?  The attachment system?  Personality disorder pathology?  Family systems therapy?  A new form of pathology unique in all of mental health that you are “discovering.”

Your statement reveals the crux of our disagreement.  You see this as a “battle of experts.”  I don’t.  This is about the solution.  I’m trying to solve this, and you’re not.  You are?  Then tell us the path to a solution you envision using the Separation Clinic diagnostic model.

who are already under immense pressure and attack for their work in the field of parental alienation.

Dr. C:  I know.  I swore I would never do high-conflict divorce.  I want to get back to ADHD as soon as we’ve got this fixed.  Working by myself without any support from the Gardnerian PAS “experts” (you really don’t know what this means?), I estimate it will take between two to three years to have the solution in place.  It’s going to be the AB-PA pilot program for the family courts.  That’s the solution.  Watch.

Neither do I see any purpose in throwing out decades of excellent work to further new constructs.

Dr. C:  Uhhh, “decades of excellent work”?  Your “decades of of excellent work” have given us exactly the situation we have right now… and you think that’s a good thing?  Yikes.  I see decades of extremely poor work that have produced no solution in thirty years.  Looks to me like that’s an abject failure, not “decades of excellent work.”

Maybe that’s the problem.  Maybe your standards for what constitutes “excellent work” is too low… way too low. 

Uhhh, yeah, let’s absolutely throw out the “decades of excellent work,” roll up our sleeves, and solve this using the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  Bowlby.  Minuchin. Beck.

New constructs? There is absolutely nothing new about AB-PA.  In fact, there isn’t even AB-PA.  It’s Bowlby, and Minuchin, and Beck, and Bowen, and Millon…

Wait… you’re saying we shouldn’t do that?  You’re saying we should just keep doing the same failed thing we’ve been doing for 30 years and that has given us exactly the broken mental health and legal systems we’re looking at right now. 

But then you also say you want change.  So I’m confused.  Do you want change or not?  You want a little bit of change, is that it.  Not a lot,   Just here and there around the edges of “decades of excellent work.”

Carrot Rejection Syndrome is not excellent work. (Gardner’s Flawed Model).  Any diagnostic indicators that apply equally to “parental alienation” and to a child rejecting carrots are… well…. really-really bad diagnostic indicators.  If your diagnostic indicators can’t differentiate between Parental Alienation Syndrome and Carrot Rejection Syndrome, that’s not exactly “decades of excellent work.”

I’m beginning to see a problem here.  I think your standards for what constitutes both “acceptable” and “excellent” are way-way-way too low (pretty much non-existent).  Thirty years, no solution.  That’s abject failure.  But you’re okay with that.  You call abject failure, “decades of excellent work.”  Maybe that’s why we’ve had 30 years of no solution… because you’re okay with that.  I’m not.

All ways of working with alienated families,

Dr. C:  There is no such thing as “parental alienation” in clinical psychology.  In professional level discussions, please restrict yourself to the use of standard and established constructs and principles in professional psychology. 

Hmmm, it just occurred to me… maybe you can’t restrict yourself to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology because maybe you don’t know Bowlby, and Minuchin, and Beck, and Millon, and…  Yikes. That would be a problem if you’re an “expert.” 

all ways of bringing relief from suffering and all ways of liberating children should be made available to as many practitioners across the world as possible.

Dr. C:  Really? That’s what you think?  It should just be an absolute free-for-all in professional psychology with everyone just making up whatever they want? 

We need a solution, not a lot of noise.  We don’t need a lot of “experts” pontificating, creating confusion and disabling the mental health system’s response to the pathology.  We need a solution, an actualizable solution.  Today. 

So tell us, how does advocating for “all ways” of assessing, diagnosing, and treating a specific form of attachment related pathology result in a solution?  Sounds kind of snake oil remedy kind of professional chaos.  Everybody just making stuff up and going every which way.

How about we restrict ourselves to the standard and established principles of professional psychology.  Scientifically grounded professional practice.  The application of standard and established constructs and principles about real forms of pathology and their solution… how about we do that instead? 

Do you know what that’s called?  Standards of professional practice.  The reason we  establish standards of professional practice is to solve pathology and prevent everybody from just making stuff up.

I never stop drawing on the best practice I can find.  

Dr C:  Well there ya go.  That’s good to hear.  Best practice is NOT to propose a new form of pathology.  That is never best practice, ever.  Best practice is to apply the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology to a set of symptoms. 

You know that, right?  That it is never considered best practice to propose an entirely new form of pathology that is supposedly unique in all of mental health.

So I guess you’re going to abandon proposals for new forms of pathology unique in all of mental health, and you’ll start advocating for a return to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology… right?  That would be best practice.  Look at the quotes from Minuchin.  We absolutely know what this pathology is.

Or do you want the freedom to just make stuff up (and then call whatever you make up, “best practice”)?

Well, anyway, the AB-PA pilot program for the family courts is the start of establishing a scientifically grounded best practice model. So I’m confident that as you learn about the AB-PA pilot program for the family courts, you’ll begin advocating for this in England as demonstrable best practice… right?

Dr Childress’s work is amongst that best practice.

Oh stop it, you’re making me blush.  No, you’re wrong.  It it not among best practice, it is best practice, and the AB-PA pilot program for the family courts will provide the documentation for that. Applying the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology (Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck) to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology is always best practice.

Proposing a “new form of pathology” unique in all of mental health is never best practice.  Ever

What you are doing is beneath acceptable standards of practice, Karen.  It is not even close to a best practice model.  First off, there is no such thing as “parental alienation” in clinical psychology.  A child rejecting a parent is an attachment-related pathology.  As long as you are proposing a “new form of pathology” that you’re asserting you are “discovering” so that you can be an “expert,” that is so far away from best practice.

That’s one of those Gardnerian self-congratulatory echo chamber things, where everyone sits around and complements each other on their “best practice.”

I come out of ADHD and autism and early childhood.  Real forms of pathology.  Difficult pathologies which have received substantial professional focus.  I know what best practice models look like, in ADHD, in autism, in childhood trauma.  We are not even in the universe of anything close to best practice in court-involved professional psychology (and I use the word “professional” loosely in this context).

I welcome debate and the PASG is furthering that as well as research and support for experts in the field.  

Dr. C:  Well that’s wonderful to hear.  How about PASG sponsoring a two-hour moderated online debate between Karen Woodall and Dr. Childress.  Shall we plan for August. This will give us enough time to market the dickens out of the debate so we will get a huge audience, which will raise awareness of “parental aliention” into the stratosphere.

You “welcome debate” and “the PASG is futhering that” – sounds like its a done deal.  Shall we say August?  I’ll await to hear that you’ve accepted, since you “welcome debate,” and I look forward to receiving the invitation from the PASG soon.

It is incumbent, I believe, on all of us who know the truth of parental alienation

Dr. C:  Please restrict yourself to standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology in describing pathology.  There is no such thing as “parental alienation” in clinical psychology.  

So then, to translate your sentence into professional language, are you saying, people who know the truth of “cross-generational coalitions”?  Are you saying people who know the truth of “emotional cutoffs”?  Are you saying people who know the truth of living with a personality disordered spouse?  What are you saying?  Use real forms of pathology in professional level discussions, please.

and its toxic impact through the generations, to find our common strengths and build upon our ability to tolerate difference.

Dr. C:  Nope.  Wrong focus.  The goal is a solution, not finding “common strengths” and “tolerating differences.”  The solution is the ONLY thing that’s important.  Or do you disagree?  Is it more important for you to find “common strengths” and “tolerate differences” than to solve the pathology.

What if the path to the solution is through exposing passivity that accepts the status quo and doesn’t seek a solution.. but pretends it does.  What should we do then?  Get along?  Even though by getting along we achieve no solution, we simply sustain the status quo of professionals feeding off of the pathology.

You’re comfortable with the status quo.  I’m not.

If you want change… tell us how. Tell us the path to the solution you envision.  Then we will follow you.  But if you have no solution, then please stand aside and don’t interfere, because AB-PA (the return to standard and established constructs and principles to which all mental health professionals can be held ACCOUNTABLE) provides the solution.

‘Whatever works’ should be our motto and liberating children should be our common goal.

Dr. C:  “Whatever works” standard?  Okay.  Thirty years of Gardnerian PAS has been a complete failure as a diagnostic model of the pathology.  It doesn’t work.  So it is time to abandon Gardnerian PAS because it demonstrably doesn’t work in bringing the solution… right?

Or is thirty years of failure acceptable to you?  Let’s give it another thirty years, shall we?  No.

Tell us the path to a solution that you are proposing.  I’ve told you, in detail, the path to a solution provided by a return to the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psyhology (AB-PA; Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck).  

The Solution: The Requirements
The Solution: AB-PA Meets the Requirements
The Solution: The Return to Professional Practice
The Solution: The Dominoes

Your turn.  Tell us the path to a solution you envision.

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

Welcome Karen

Hello Karen,

I’ve set up this blog so that you and I can have a professional-level discussion regarding the attachment-related pathology commonly called “parental alienation” surrounding divorce.

If you email me at drcraigchildress@gmail.com I’ll send you the password information for this blog, and then you and I can begin a professional-level conversation about the attachment-related family pathology commonly called “parental alienation” in the popular culture.

I look forward to hearing from you and engaging with you in a professional-level discussion of the attachment-related family pathology commonly called “parental alienation” in the popular culture.

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