Childress Radio Transcripts

See also Dr. Craig Childress interviewed on Mommy Interrupted on 6/10/2017.  Length: three hours.

Unofficial transcripts of Dr. Childress' radio interviews, by Howie Dennison, done on 5/4/2016

Smart Talk: Track B and C  covering 17 counties in Pennsylvania April 22, 2016

Track B 06:21 -> 07:42 

"Yeah, that’s very typical. One of the misconceptions is that it arises because of one parent badmouthing the other parent. That’s not actually how it takes place. It is much more manipulative and insidious. It involves eliciting a criticism of the other parent from the child, and then the allied parent hides behind that child criticism. They say 'it is not me who is criticizing the other parent, it’s the child who is doing it.' But the child’s criticism is actually elicited by this directed and motivated questioning, the leading questions from the allied parent. And so, once they get the child to believing they are somehow victimized by the supposedly abusive other parent, that defines a story line within the family, that the child is being victimized, and the other parent is automatically defined as being abusive, and that allows the allied parent to take on the coveted role as being the protective parent. And so that, it is a false story though, it’s a false narrative. But unfortunately, it is not recognized as that, and a lot of mental health professionals actually accept and believe this false narrative that is being put forward."

Track B 08:09 -> 09:24

"No. And in fact, I don’t endorse it [PAS]. What happened in the 1980s was a psychiatrist, Richard Gardner, proposed that it represented this new syndrome, this new form of pathology. And that created a lot of controversy and people are still talking about it 30 years later. What I have done in my work though is gone back and diagnosed the pathology within standard and accepted constructs within psychology.  What it actually … the clinical term for this, I am a clinical psychologist, is pathogenic parenting (pathos is pathology and genesis is creation). So what the allied parent is doing is creating psychopathology within the child as a means of meeting the parent’s own needs. And once we go back to standard and established psychological principles, it is easily diagnosable and easily recognizable, and so I would, that is what I am doing right now, I am urging professional mental health to reestablish or recognize this pathology as a form of standard and existing types of psychopathology within the family."

Track C 00:48 -> 02:35

 "When people go to that term [brainwashing], and again that's not a defined clinical term within clinical science .... the defined clinical term is a role reversal relationship , in which the parent is using the child to meet the parent's needs. And the parent ... so,  imagine the child just comes back from visitation, like Suzanne described, and the parent just hounds them. What went wrong at the other parent's house? What was the problem? Tell me what happened.    and eventually the child offers a criticism. then the parent inflames that criticism, and goes,  OMG, I can't believe your mom did that, oh she is so insensitive to what you want. And they just make it a blown up issue. To where the child is going,  gee I wonder if the other parent is really a bad parent. I wonder if I am being psychologically abused by the other parent. and the false narrative that develops, when you probe for specifics, the child says "I don't want to be with my mom, and because she is abusive".  And a lot of therapists will just take it and accept it from there.  But if you probe it a little further and ask why, tell me what happened. "Well she took my iPhone away." Why did she take your iPhone away?  Well because I did not do my chores. That's not abusive, that is not a reason to reject the other parent.   But because of the distorting influence of allied parent, the child has come to believe  that abusive parenting that deserves the rejection of the other parent. And so it is very distorting of the child's perception of reality."

Track C 05:44 [Host: How do you rescue that relationship or how do you try to approach the children and maintain a relation with them?]

"What's ... first by, mental health understanding what the pathology is. And what happens in this high conflict divorce, all divorces involve separation and loss which causes sadness and grief. So everybody in the family is feeling sadness and grief. The problem with this particular type of pathology is that one parent, the allied parent, translates their own sadness and grief into anger and resentment towards the other parent. They blame the other parent and they are very angry and hostile towards the other parent.  And under their influence, the child comes to interpret the child's own sadness and grief at the loss, as being anger and blame and resentment directed towards the other parent. And what we are actually dealing with is that the child has a misunderstood grief response, a misunderstood sadness, that becomes even more inflamed with they lose their relationship with their beloved parent, the other parent. But they don't understand what that sadness and grief is. They think it's anger.  They think it's coming from something bad the other parent is doing that is hurting them.  So to recover the children is actually relatively simple, once we get them into therapy, which is just helping them understand that it is not anger and resentment that they are feeling, it is sadness and loss. And the moment we restore that attachment bond to the beloved parent, things resolve themselves, the child no longer feels the sadness and the anger goes away and things restore themselves back to normal. [Host: but how are you going to get them into therapy if the allied parent says there is nothing wrong with these kids, they are bright and perceptive, they see you for what you are. How are you going to do that?] Mental health needs to make an accurate diagnosis of this pathology. That if you know what you are looking for, if you know what the pathology is, it is a trauma pathology transferred from the parent to the child, there are clear indicators of the false narrative, of the pathology in the child. And once you recognize the diagnostic indicators of this, then we can go ahead begin to treat the child. Diagnosis guides treatment.  Right now we are not making an accurate diagnosis of the pathology. Too many mental health professionals are not expert enough in this type of family pathology. So they are winding up accepting and colluding with the false narrative that is being created by the allied parent, rather than recognizing it and appropriately diagnosing  it .....  [Host: but for those parents out there who are saying, okay I'd love to be able to get my children into therapy to talk about this, but the other parent will not allow that, or keeps them from doing it]. I know. The, that is a major problem, so then you have to go to court get a court and get a court order to do that.  But even when you get into therapy, the therapist is not accurately diagnosing the pathology. The accurate diagnosis of this pathology is a DSM diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse. And once we make the diagnosis of child psychological abuse, this shifts our dialog and discussion from child custody and visitation over to child protection concerns.

Dr. Childress on Houston TV   The underlying link is here.