The Bright Thing in the Sky

A child’s rejection of a normal-range and affectionally available parent following a divorce.

The attachment system is the brain system governing all aspects of love and bonding throughout the lifespan, including grief and loss.

The child”s rejection of a normal-range and affectionally available parent is an attachment-related pathology.

Q: How does the attachment system become turned off?

“The deactivation of attachment behavior is a key feature of certain common variants of pathological mourning” (Bowlby, 1980, p. 70)

Okay, then. So we’re looking at a version of “pathological mourning” surrounding the divorce.

Q: How does pathological mourning develop?

“Disturbances of personality, which include a bias to respond to loss with disordered mourning, are seen as the outcome of one or more deviations in development that can originate or grow worse during any of the years of infancy, childhood and adolescence.” (Bowlby, 1980, p. 217)

Okay, so we’re looking at a “disturbance of personality.” And we just continue to work it out from there.

Notice that in less than a minute of diagnostic inquiry, the pathology of “parental alienation” is defined as a form of disordered mourning involving personality pathology.

Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

The pathology of “parental alienation” is NOT a defined construct in clinical psychology.

AB-PA is a defined construct. 

An attachment-based model of “parental alienation” (AB-PA) – as defined in Foundations – is an explanatory application of standard and established constructs and principles from professional psychology to a set of symptoms.  That’s called diagnosis.

Q:  What is the sun?

A:  It’s that bright thing in the sky over there.

Q:  Yes, I know.  But what is it, what is the sun?

A:  I just told you.  It’s that bright thing in the sky.

“That bright thing in the sky” is NOT a professional-level definition of the sun.

Definition: The sun is a dense cloud of hydrogen gas that is so dense that the pressure exerted by the pull of its gravity is fusing the hydrogen atoms into helium (and ultimately into denser elements) and is releasing great amounts of energy in…

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