Family Courts : Craig Childress PsyD

There’s a problem in the family courts. Professional psychology is not meeting the needs of the families, the children, or the court.

We need a solution. What’s the solution?

We need an established diagnostic assessment protocol that everyone agrees on. We need a clearly established and agreed-to treatment protocol that fixes the pathology.

We need to stop the fight-and-fight surrounding the child, and we need to fix things.

How? How do we do that? What’s the solution?

We need turn to our universities to develop the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols to fix things in the family courts, along with the supporting legal arguments needed to obtain the necessary diagnostic assessment and treatment.

Stop fighting about it. Put it to a top-university to develop the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols for the attachment-related child pathology in the family courts.

Dr. Childress and Dorcy Pruter can provide the structure for an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts. What’s needed is university involvement for the evaluation research, i.e., to provide the organizational guidance in developing the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols, and with developing the legal arguments of support.

We need to stop the fighting.

I’ll serve as the Clinical Director for an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts, and Dorcy Pruter will be a contracted consultant for recovery of children from complex trauma and child abuse using the High Road workshop.

We need university involvement for the organization and evaluation research. The university will need funding for their role in organization and research. They like that, they like receiving money to do research on something.

The best funding source would be state legislatures seeking a solution to the problems and endless fighting in the family courts. Put your best universities on it. Which university would serve as the Principle Investigator for an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts?

In California, I’d give the PI to Stanford’s Forensic Psychiatry Department. Because it’s CA, I’d also fund a second site location at UCLA-Pepperdine-Alliant universities in Southern California for geographic balance and for different focal interests.

My proposal would be to have Stanford Forensic Psychiatry be the PI organizing the multi-site research, with Stanford Forensic Psychiatry taking the leadership in developing the diagnostic assessment protocol (with involvement from a diagnostic team at UCLA in So Cal).

The So Cal site would, in-turn, focus more on developing the treatment protocol, i.e., court adapted Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT; Linehan), informed by court adapted Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT; Johnson). Susan Johnson has an academic appointment to Alliant University in San Diego.

I would anticipate that Sue Johnson’s International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy in San Diego would take leadership in developing the treatment protocol for the family courts at the So Cal site collaboration.

University researchers like receiving money to do things. So let’s bring them here to develop the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols for the family courts – and the legal support arguments for obtaining the diagnostic assessment and treatment.

In a California AB-PA/High Road pilot program, the So Cal location with the EFT Center for Excellence could organize the integration of DBT adapted to the family courts, with the attachment therapy of EFT, coordinating with the diagnostic team at Stanford through the diagnostic team at UCLA.

Both Stanford and UCLA have world-class law schools. So just as both Stanford and UCLA lead two sites in the development of the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols for the family courts, the law schools for those two universities could develop the supporting legal arguments for the diagnostic and treatment approach.

That’s what I’d recommend for a California solution. I would anticipate that this solution then spreads out to other locations nationally and internationally (i.e., the CA-Stanford diagnostic model). In a different state I might recommend only a single university with one big-city and one small-city site coordinated by one university.

In a two university approach in two different locations, one site leads development of the diagnostic protocol. One site leads development of the treatment protocol, i.e., court-adapted DBT informed by the attachment therapy of EFT.

Dr. Childress and Dorcy Pruter can provide the organizing structure through an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts – we need university involvement for the evaluation research.

When we were in the Netherlands in 2019, we proposed an AB-PA/High Road pilot program when we met with the Dutch Ministry of Justice, with Maastricht University for the evaluation research.

I’d propose an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for Canada, and for any state in the U.S. Pick your top universities and fund them to develop the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols for the family courts.

Once they are developed… we can all use them everywhere.

It’s a win-win-win-win-win all the way around. Families win. Children win. Courts win. Everyone who wants to solve the pathology in the family courts, wins. Everyone wins – and we have a solution that everyone agrees to.

We stop the fighting. We now have a path to follow.

I would anticipate a 2-year grant for an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts, but only one year of that is active research. The first six months would be preparation, the last six months would be data analysis and writing up the results. In the middle would be a year of an active AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts.

We’d need about 10 mental health therapists and 10 family law (amicus) attorneys at each site location, and then access to a court referred population based on the entry criteria into the AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts. I’d like about 20 families, but that’s up to the research PI.

The actual program is not all that expensive. The most expensive part is likely to be the university teams and involvement.

I’d serve as the Clinical Director for an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts. I’ve been Clinical Director for two other projects, one a FEMA-DOJ project to develop a diagnostic assessment protocol for a court-involved child pathology. The other was Clinical Director for an assessment and treatment center for children in foster care, i.e., child abuse and attachment pathology.

I have background clinical expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and treating all four types of child abuse – and child abuse is the anticipated diagnosis, the only question is… which parent?

I’ve worked on major NIMH research projects with top university investigators. AB-PA is my work from Foundations. I can develop and implement an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts that can serve as the framework for developing the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols.

Dorcy Pruter would serve as Consultant in recovery from complex trauma and child psychological abuse. The High Road workshop would be delivered at the mid-point between diagnosis and treatment. Once the diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse (DSM-5 V995.51) is made and confirmed, the transition to the treatment phase would be through the High Road workshop into the follow-up maintenance care therapy of court-adapted DBT-EFT.

I anticipate Dorcy would do half of the High Road workshops, and that she’d train the university clinical research team in the High Road protocol, and they’d do half. That allows us to compare and replicate across workshop providers, with the workshop delivered to a high level of fidelity to the protocol developed by Ms. Pruter.

In this way, Ms. Pruter transfers the intellectual property of her approach that she developed with the High Road workshop into the healthcare and educational sectors for further research and development of the model.

I would encourage the applied expansion of Ms. Pruter’s approach into other trauma recovery domains like substance abuse recovery and reducing prison recidivism.

Ms. Pruter would retain her rights to the High Road trademark, but by training a university clinical research team she would also lose her intellectual property rights to the general approach. Following the AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts, the involved university would be free to develop its own versions based on the principles, expanding them, modifying, testing, researching them in any way they’d like.

In return for her intellectual property transfer to the university, Ms. Pruter becomes the recognized goddess of trauma recovery. That is a status she already occupies, it’s just the formal recognition part that’s the addition.

The knowledge and skills of Dorcy Pruter are too valuable to be doing High Road workshops, as valuable as those are. She can train others to conduct the workshops to recover the kids, but it needs to be done properly.

There needs to be university involvement for the evaluation research.

You don’t think Dorcy’s the real deal? Put Dorcy to the test, ask her to recover the children you send to her based on an AB-PA diagnostic protocol. Have you ever seen My Cousin Vinny? You wanna put Dorcy to the test? Paaaleeese, be my guest.

Dorcy knows this pathology better than anyone on this planet. She’s seen it and worked it and recovered it up-close and personal for years-and-years.

I know this pathology better than anyone on this planet. Of course I do. I’m the best because that’s what my kids need. Dorcy Pruter is my first referral. Anytime Ms. Pruter and I are on a matter together, I consider her part of my treatment team in charge of recovery.

I listen to my treatment team. We work together toward a common goal – treatment – fixing things.

What things? Whatever things you have that need fixing? Diagnosis guides treatment. You tell me the diagnosis, I’ll tell you the treatment plan – for anything.

That’s how healthcare works.

Do you want to solve things in the family courts? Bring in your top universities and ask them to develop the diagnostic assessment and treatment protocols. Dr. Childress and Dorcy Pruter can provide the structure of an AB-PA/High Road pilot program for the family courts on which to layer the university evaluation research.

That’s the solution. I recommend the money come from a state legislature who wants to solve the pathology in the family courts. Give the issue to your best universities and let them solve it.

What are the top universities in Pennsylvania? Does Denver have any universities? How about the University of British Columbia?

Dr. Childress can bring a solution. Dorcy Pruter can bring a solution. We just need the invitation to bring a solution to the family courts. Don’t believe us? We’d like university involvement for the evaluation research please.

Put Dr. Childress & Dorcy Pruter to the test. Thank you, that’s much appreciated. I can identify it and Dorcy can fix it. So let’s do that, let’s fix it.

That’s what I think.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist, CA PSY 18857

Author: GreatCosmicMothersUnited

I have joined with many parents affected with the surreal , yet accepted issue of child abuse via Pathogenic Parenting / Domestic abuse. As a survivor of Domestic Abuse, denial abounded that 3 sons were not affected. In my desire to be family to those who have found me lacking . As a survivor of psychiatric abuse, therapist who abused also and toxic prescribed medications took me to hell on earth with few moments of heaven. I will share my life, my experiences and my studies and research.. I will talk to small circles and I will council ; as targeted parents , grandparents , aunts , uncles etc. , are denied contact with a child for reasons that serve the abuser ...further abusing the child. I grasp the trauma and I have looked at the lost connection to a higher power.. I grasp when one is accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like discrimination.. Shame and affluence silences a lot of facts , truths that have been labeled "negative". It is about liberation of the soul from projections of a alienator , and abuser ..

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