By providing training and education seminars to mental health and legal professionals, The Childress Institute will construct the two component parts of the KEY to the family law solution; a set of AB-PA Certified mental health professionals and a set of AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorneys that the Court can then draw on in constructing the team of mental health and legal expertise needed to address and resolve high-conflict divorce.
The Childress Institute: MISSION STATEMENT
To use the latest scientific knowledge in the fields of child development and the healthy neuro-development of the brain during childhood to create solutions for the social, emotional, and psychological challenges facing children and their families.
The Current Focus of The Childress Institute
Training and Certification in AB-PA: Fostering the highest level of professional expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the family pathology surrounding attachment-based “parental alienation” (AB-PA) through training, education, and research.
Beginning in the fall of 2017, The Childress Institute will begin offering Basic and Advanced training and Certification seminars for mental health professionals in the family pathology of AB-PA, with the goal of creating the professional expertise necessary to resolve the attachment-related family pathology of AB-PA surrounding high-conflict divorce.
Beginning in the spring of 2018, The Childress Institute will begin offering one-day training seminars for legal professionals in AB-PA with the goal of creating a pool of AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorneys for the Court.
The teaming of an AB-PA Certified mental health professional with an AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorney is the KEY to the family law resolution of high-conflict divorce.
The goal of The Childress Institute will be to provide the Court with the required professional expertise needed to construct the mental health and legal team necessary to foundationally resolve high-conflict divorce.
If a mental health or legal professional has been through the training Certification and education seminars offered by The Childress Institute, the Court can have confidence in the professional expertise of that mental health or legal professional, and the Court can act with confidence in assembling a KEY team from among the Certified mental health professionals and Knowledgeable legal professionals available.
For Mental Health Professionals:
Basic Certification: A two-day Basic Seminar on the foundations, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the attachment-related family pathology of AB-PA.
Foundations of AB-PA: A professional-level analysis and description of the attachment-related origins of the pathology, the personality disorder origins of the pathology, and the family systems origins of the pathology.
Diagnosis of AB-PA: A professional-level description and analysis of the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA and the 12 Associated Clinical Signs, as well as the diagnostic indicators of authentic versus inauthentic parent-child conflict and the symptom indicators of a cross-generational coalition creating the child’s symptoms.
Assessment of AB-PA: Professional-level instruction in conducting a six- to eight-session Treatment-Focused Assessment protocol, with descriptions of key lines of clinical assessment inquiry during the three phases of the Treatment-Focused Assessment protocol. Training in data-driven documentation and report writing for the Court, and data-driven diagnostic and treatment-related decision-making.
Treatment of AB-PA: Professional-level description of treatment-related approaches to restoring the child’s normal-range attachment bonding motivations, including professional-level instruction in constructing and managing variations of a Strategic family systems intervention that can potentially release the child from the loyalty conflict without the need for a protective separation period. Basic Certification also includes a professional-level discussion of data-driven decision-making in treatment, and the development of a Single-Case ABA design for assessment and remedy. An introduction to collaborating with High Road augmented recovery will also be provided.
Professional Consultation: Basic Certification in AB-PA through The Childress Institute programs provided in Southern California also include four hours of post-seminar professional case consultation with Dr. Childress.
Advanced Certification: Advanced Certification in AB-PA includes an additional one-day Advanced Seminar for Expert Certification in AB-PA. This advanced seminar more fully examines the damaged information structures of the attachment system that create the themes of AB-PA as manifesting in the expression of the personality and family systems pathology. Prior completion of Basic AB-PA Certification is required. An additional two hours of post-seminar professional case consultation with Dr. Childress is included with Advanced Certification.
For Legal Professionals
AB-PA for Legal Professionals is a one-day seminar designed to provide education training for legal professionals in working collaboratively with the AB-PA Certified mental health professional during both the initial phases of treatment and across the long-term stabilization of the high-conflict family. The content of this one-day seminar will cover mental health constructs but will not assume a prior mental health background. An additional focus of this one-day seminar is on the Court orders that may be needed at various phases of the family’s recovery and long-term stabilization. This will include a description of the Strategic family systems intervention that may be enacted by the AB-PA Certified mental health professional and the required Court orders to support this family systems intervention.
Future Projects of The Childress Institute
While the primary current focus of The Childress Institute will be on solving the family pathology of AB-PA, the mission of The Childress Institute is broader and more encompassing.
The goal of The Childress Institute is to achieve the highest level of professional expertise in all aspects of supporting healthy child development and resolving the social and psychological problems created by childhood trauma.
Future anticipated directions for The Childress Institute include:
The Terrorist Mind: Developing an attachment-based understanding of the terrorist mind, pathological hatred, and fanatical extremism, with the goal of developing primary and secondary treatment-related interventions to resolve the social and psychological trauma-related pathology of terrorism and the extremism of pathological anger.
Developmentally Supportive Parenting and ADHD: Providing education and training in developmentally supportive parenting for all parents and all families, with a special focus on providing education and training in relationship-based parenting that can effectively resolve the symptoms of attention deficits, impulsivity, and hyperactive behavior in children through non-medication relationship-based parenting approaches.
Redeveloping Education Infrastructure: Providing leadership in developing a model for foundationally reformulating the educational approach for children in the United States away from the current 12th Century “Cathedral School” model toward a 22nd Century education model based in the scientific research on child development, the scientific research on learning, and the available advances in the full range of supportive information technology and media.
Reduction of Prison Recidivism: Intervention-development and research into catalytic intervention models for reducing the trauma-impacted mindset that leads to recidivism in released prisoners and juvenile offenders.
Solving AB-PA in High-Conflict Divorce
The first focus of The Childress Institute is on providing the necessary training and education to the mental health and legal systems that is required to solve the attachment-related family pathology of AB-PA surrounding high-conflict divorce.
In addition to the education and training seminars offered in Southern California, contract seminars in Basic Certification in AB-PA for mental health professionals, Advanced Certification in AB-PA for mental health professionals, and training seminars in AB-PA for Legal Professionals can be arranged for other locales, organizations, and groups in coordination with The Childress Institute.
Currently, steps are underway to provide AB-PA training and Certification for mental health professionals (and possibly attorneys) in Houston, Texas on July 13th & 14th. I’ll have more information about this potential education and training opportunity in the coming days.
Down the road, there is the potential for establishing data-driven pilot programs in various legal jurisdictions for training and Certification of KEY teams of mental health and legal professionals in collaboration with The Childress Institute for addressing high-conflict divorce and custody-related family conflict.
There are also preliminary discussions for hosting training and Certification seminars across a European tour, to establish European professional expertise in AB-PA.
As these AB-PA training and Certification processes begin to develop and move forward, if additional training of High Road facilitators is engaged through Dorcy Pruter, then High Road augmented recovery of children in high-conflict families who are evidencing AB-PA will also become more extensively available, and a comprehensive solution can be implemented.
I have only about another decade of active shelf-life on my professional career, perhaps less depending on the will of that-which-leads in calling me home. I have been studying and working out the nature of this pathology (AB-PA) for the past 10 years. I know this pathology.
When I leave the planet and return home to that-which-leads, I hope to leave a legacy of expert mental health professionals who can ensure that all families make a successful transition to a healthy separated family structure following divorce, and that all children are ensured their fundamental right of childhood to love both parents, and to receive the love of both parents in return.
I will rely on these expert mental health professionals to train the next generation of experts, and to lead professional psychology into a future that solves the trans-generational impact of childhood trauma.
When I embarked upon this journey to solve the family pathology of “parental alienation” I was a lone psychologist in private practice in Southern California. We now stand at the point of solving “parental alienation” in high-conflict divorce. The only barrier is ignorance. The solution is simply knowledge.
My hope is that through The Childress Institute, not only will we ensure the highest caliber of professional expertise in treating children and families surrounding divorce, but also that through understanding the impact of childhood trauma we will ultimately be able to unlock the trauma-related pathology of the terrorist mind and pathological anger and that this will ultimately lead to trauma-informed interventions that resolve terrorism and the extremism of pathological anger; that we will be able to resolve the psychological-behavioral regulatory disorder of ADHD through relationship-based (not behavioral) parenting approaches, alleviating the need to medicate tens of millions of our children; that we will develop a 10-year roadmap for fundamentally restructuring the foundational infrastructure and approach to educating our children (think Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the moon), creating a 21st century approach to education; and that we recover our children lost in the criminal justice system by creating trauma-informed interventions that effectively resolve the impact of unresolved childhood trauma.
Audacious goals. All achievable. I see clearly the path toward achieving each of these goals. It’s just a matter of enacting the solution, step-by-step. This is the mission of The Childress Institute.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857