Posted in #child alienation, #Pathogenic Parenting, Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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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Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Diagnosing the Pathology

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

I recently received an email consultation request from a child custody evaluator who asked if I was also a custody evaluator.  I’m not.  I explained how I became involved in diagnosing and treating the pathology traditionally called “parental alienation” in the common culture.

I then explained how this pathology is not a “new syndrome” but is an expression of well-established, well-defined, and fully accepted forms of psychopathology within the field of professional psychology and how this form of pathology can be reliably diagnosed and differentiated from other forms of parent-child conflict 100% of the time.

My response to this child custody evaluator may be of broader interest to targeted parents and mental health professionals generally, so I am providing it as a post below.

My email response to a child custody evaluator:


Hello Dr., it’s a pleasure to meet you.

To answer your question, I’m not a child custody evaluator…

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“An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation: Foundations”

My book “An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation: Foundations” is due for publication in the next few weeks.  This book is the culmination of my work over the past seven years to redefine the construct of “parental alienation” from entirely within standard and established mental health constructs and principles.

This book will fundamentally alter the current discussion surrounding the construct of “parental alienation” and will provide a solution for targeted parents to their nightmare.

“Foundations” provides a complete and elaborated description for the construct of “parental alienation” from entirely within standard and established psychological principles and constructs to which mental health professionals can be held accountable.

After reading “Foundations,” mental health and legal professionals will no longer be able to say, “I don’t believe in parental alienation” or “parental alienation doesn’t exist.”  It exists. It is not a matter of belief.  And “Foundations” describes what it is.

We begin the construction of any structure by first laying a solid foundation that can support the structure.  An attachment-based model for the construct of “parental alienation” provides an anchored and substantial description for what “parental alienation” is from entirely within standard and established psychological principles and constructs.

“An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation: Foundations” defines the construct of “parental alienation” on the solid bedrock of established psychological principles and constructs that can be leveraged into a solution.  The entire discussion surrounding “parental alienation” is about to change.

In your fight for your children, “Foundations” will become your lance, your sword, and your shield.  We will end this nightmare. Today.  Now.

In “Foundations” I have provided you with the professional concepts and theoretical structure that you need to enact the solution. I strongly recommend that every targeted parent read this book so that you become knowledgeable and conversant in the coming dialogue, and then we must get this book into the hands of every mental health and legal professional working with this “special population” of children and families. Every child custody evaluator, every therapist, every minor’s counsel, every family law attorney, and every family law judge must read “Foundations.”

It is time to end “parental alienation.”  Today.  Now.  The time has come to restore the loving and affectionate bond of lost children with their parents who so desperately love them and miss them.

It is time for you to take up the lance, the sword, and the shield offered by an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” and engage the battle for your children.  We will end “parental alienation.”  It is a certainty – because we must.  There is no other alternative.

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

http://drcraigchildressblog.com/2015/05/