The pandemic will disrupt visitation.
It shouldn’t, but the pathology of the allied parent will exploit the situation – any situation – every situation – to damage the child’s attachment bond to the other parent and to create emotional suffering, hardship, frustration, and trauma in the targeted parent.
Covid-19 is no different. It will be difficult if not impossible to stop this expolitation in the short-term, because of the delay, delay, delay tactic of the pathogen – the lock-down will be over before the effort to reestablish shared visitation schedules is accomplished.
Deeply unfortunate. No one expects The Pandemic and its two major disruptions to our lives; medical and family, and the economy… three… three disruptions, medical, family, and the economy, and trauma, four disruptions… let me come in again, the many disruptions of Pandemic.
Pandemic caught the world by surprise, and like the trauma of an earlier generation in World War II, the world will not be the same on the other end of the lock-down, our global economy and lifestyle has been changed, our lives have been changed.
We will recover, as people and families recovered (somewhat) from the deep trauma and loss of World War II.
To the extent that you have foresight and planning ability (frontal lobe), there will be lines available in the coming days. The courts will be overwhelmed and backlogged. They will appreciate efficient methods of moving cases through to resolution and out of their courtrooms… a treatment-oriented approach.
The coming stress in the court aligns with a shift to a treatment-oriented approach that moves “high-conflict” post-divorce “child custody” conflict OUT of the family courts, and over to professional psychology for… a written treatment plan.
The court can than review the written treatment plan (get a second opinion if desired) and then make decisions about what needs to happen to fix things – not fight-and-fight-and-fight that destroys the child’s normal and healthy childhood – but to fix things… how do we fix things?
A written treatment plan.
It is a paradigm shift in how we respond to the pathology of high-litigation post-divorce conflict surrounding the child.
It is a paradigm shift.
We are leaving the path of “child custody” and are shifting to the path of child treatment – we need to fix things – everything.
I suspect the court will appreciate a set of step-by-step procedures to reach a solution for the child and family.
A written treatment plan. Hold on to that. This is the worst possible attachment pathology – there is no worse attachment pathology than a complete severing of the child’s bond to a mother or father – that is as bad as it gets for attachment pathology – a primary motivational system of the brain developing its patterns for love-and-bonding during childhood… Childhood is NOT the time we want to see the WORST attachment pathology possible in the child.
We need to fix it. We need a written treatment plan.
Diagnosis guides treatment. Assessment leads to diagnosis. We want a trauma-informed clinical psychology assessment of the child’s attachment pathology so we can develop a written treatment plan to fix it.
Homeostatic Balance: homeo=the same; static=doesn’t change – a same that never changes.
The homeostatic balance of a dysfunctional system is stable – with the symptom present… the symptom acts to stabilize the dysfunctional system.
We cannot change a dysfunctional system by removing the symptom because the entire system will act to keep the symptom – because the dysfunctional system needs the symptom to stabilize its dysfunction.
To change a dysfunctional system – we must first disrupt the homeostatic balance – then, as the system seeks to re-stabilize into a new homeostatic balance, we remove the symptom and direct the system’s reorganization into healthier functioning.
There is little doubt that global pandemic and its consequences have disrupted our homeostatic balance (our non-changing sameness) – things are most definitely going to be NOT the same-unchanging – things are changing, everything.
We can now guide the reorganizing system (the family courts) into healthy functioning surrounding high-litigation family conflict surrounding child custody, away from fighting-fighting-fighting and endless conflict – to solution – to treatment – a written treatment plan – we fix things.
The pathogen is trauma, it cannot reason, it cannot plan ahead, it has no foresight or logic – it is an emotional-limbic brain. We have a significant advantage when we use our frontal lobes – logical reasoning, rational, linear, step-by-step, planning ahead and foresight.
You want a written treatment plan to fix things. To get a written treatment plan, we need a diagnosis, diagnosis guides treatment – the treatment for cancer is different than the treatment for diabetes.
To obtain a diagnosis, we need an assessment – a trauma informed clinical psychology assessment of the child’s attachment pathology to the referral question; Which parent is the source of pathogenic parenting creating the child’s attachment pathology, and what are the treatment implications?
The time of battle appears chaotic, smoke and disorder cloud vision, the din and noise distracts focus, the world is immediate and full of danger, or so it seems.
A warrior on the battlefield is not distracted by the noise and seeming chaos and remains focused on the goal. The chaos is expected, and it’s not really chaotic at all, because we know exactly what we are doing on the battlefield.
We no longer fight in the swamps of “new pathology” but stand on the firm ground of solid foundations. You own all the high ground, you own the battlefield.
You own the DSM-5 and ICD-10 diagnostic systems. You own establishment psychology Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck. You own the APA ethics code. You own child abuse and spousal abuse – you own right-and-wrong, you own basic human morality. You own all the high ground.
I’m not your warrior, I’m your weapon, you’re the warrior, my role is to empower you to be able to protect your children. I’ve done that.
Don’t let the noise and din distract you, the world is changing – no doubt – that’s a good thing. Are the economic consequences severe? Yes. So were the struggles on the home-front during World War II, struggles in the Pacific, and on the beaches of Normandy.
I’m standing with you. I’m standing dead-center on the battlefield, ready for all your adversaries, I’m completely ready, armed and armored for the battle, no worries. This should be… interesting.
Dorcy stands right beside me in the center of this battlefield, I found her here on the battlefield when I first arrived, she’s been here with you and your children since day one. We’re not moving an inch. We will hold the center, no worries, you, stay focused on your goal.
You’re the warrior, you need to protect your children. You were disempowered before from false-allies, the surrounding mental health people – they are your abusers.
Things have changed, you are empowered now, if you choose to live into your power.
Change. Steady. Everything is okay, in fact, everything is moving in exactly the right directions, things are changing, they will never be the same again… and that’s a good thing. There is a period of struggle and hardship to get there, we are on a linear path.
You want a written treatment plan, hold on to that and don’t let go. It will anchor you to solution.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857