News Release about Dr Childress


For more information contact:
Howie Dennison, Advocate for Children
Central Ohio Parental Alienation

Breakthrough in Fighting Child Abuse

8/24/2015, Columbus, OH - Dr. Craig Childress of Pasadena, CA, has made a scientific breakthrough that will help countless children worldwide who have been subjected to psychologically distorted parenting, according to Howie Dennison, an advocate for children at the Central Ohio Parental Alienation.  Dr. Childress' theoretical model explains what happens to these children and how to help them.

Dr. Childress, a clinical psychologist, explained to Howie Dennison that, in simplified terms, some parents are so afraid to face their buried fears of being unlovable and unwanted, that when they face significant rejection during a divorce or breakup, they retreat into a fantasy world. In that fantasy world, they imagine that their ex partner is the unlovable and unwanted person, an abusive parent, and a fundamentally bad person. To build their fantasy, they coerce their children to reject their other parent by bringing them into the adult relational conflict through triangulation. To complete their fantasy, they then assume the coveted role of being an “all wonderful” parent who is ostensibly trying to protect their children from their “abusive” former partner. The “wonderful” parent then uses their children to satisfy their own emotional needs.

Dr. Childress has made it easy for professionals to identify when a child is a victim of this type of psychological abuse, because the child will show a unique behavior pattern: 1.) a rather sudden, unwarranted lack of attachment (feelings of love and affection) for the “rejected” parent 2.) feelings of being superior to the “rejected” parent which appear as arrogance, entitlement, a lack of empathy, and splitting (black and white thinking that one parent is all bad and the other parent is all good)  3.) a fixed but false belief that the “rejected” parent is inadequate.

In the language of standard psychology, a parent suffering from a narcissistic or borderline personality disorder can, under unrelenting stress or pressure, decompensate into a persecutory delusional state. These parents then expel their feelings of inadequacy or abandonment onto their former partner by using the defense mechanisms of projection and splitting. Through triangulation, psychological enmeshment with their children, and the formation of a cross generational alliance with their children, they influence their children to share their delusion. These parents then use their children as a narcissistic supply (or regulatory-other), creating a role reversal relationship that shows a lack empathy for their children’s own developmental needs.

Dr. Childress calls this pathogenic parenting or an attachment model of “parental alienation.” His theoretical formulation avoids controversy because it uses only accepted psychology about attachment, family systems, and personality disorders. He refers to it variously as Pathogenic Parenting, An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation, and the Trans Generational Transmission of Attachment Trauma.

This fundamental advance in understanding will help abused children worldwide.