Childress well thank you so much.I want to start by thanking california southern university for this opportunity to talk today.The issues surrounding what has traditionally been defined as parental alienation are extremely tragic family circumstances and to the extent that this talk today might help lead to a resolution of those family tragedies it is much appreciated.Now today, i’m going to be talking about the theoretical underpinnings for a different approach to defining what parental alienation is than what has traditionally offered or described.I have limited time today, only.
About an hour and a half or so and then some questions period.I’m going to limit my discussion today to just those theoretical underpinnings and the theoretical framework and structure for an attachmentbased model to understanding what’s traditionally been defined as parental alienation.I’ll be talking next week at a different seminar for about five hours where i will apply the model then to the diagnosis, to treatment, to the legal setting.I won’t be able to get into those issues today, but if you’re interested on more information along those lines i suggest i have my website, i have a lot of writings.
Up on my website.I also have a blog that you can access and i recommend that.I’ve already got what i believe are some interesting posts up there and i anticipate getting some more very intriguing posts on my blog.To start today regarding an attachmentbased model to parental alienation, i’m going to start by talking about the current or the previous structure that was purposed for understanding parental alienation.The construct of parental alienation is essentially a child initiated cutoff in the child’s relationship with a normal range and affectionally available parent and this typically occurs as part of highconflict.
Divorce.Now in the mid 1980s psychiatrist richard gardner proposed a model, he recognized a al phenomena having to do with what he called parental alienation and he proposed a model by which it would be identified.He referred to it as parental alienation syndrome.He discussed a set of anecdotal al indicators by which it could be recognized and he also went into describing how oftentimes in these situations there are false allegations of child abuse involved in this.His model however has generated a great deal of controversy.First because it moved beyond.
Standard and accepted psychological principles and he proposed this new syndrome of al indicators that weren’t really based in any standard or established psychological constructs or principles.Then secondly by purposing that parental alienation could often involve false allegations of child abuse the whole dialogue and discussion with array, away from parenting into child abuse allegations and those sorts of things.It’s generated a lot of controversy.It’s been about thirty years now and it’s still semiaccepted in the professional community.In my view, gardner’s model of pas while he did identify a al phenomenon, it represents a failed paradigm.It’s a failed legal paradigm.
Because it fails to produce the changes necessary to solve the family problems.Families have to litigate whether or not there’s parental alienation.That can takes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.If families can’t litigate, then it simply is unsolvable.It’s a failed theoretical paradigm because he too quickly abandoned established psychological constructs and principles and the rigor necessary to define what the al phenomenon is within those principles.By doing that, he’s constructed a model that’s founded on the shifting sands of anecdotal al indicators.
When we try to leverage his model in the legal system or in the mental health system, the sands shift beneath our feet and the whole structure collapses.We’re not able to leverage the model because it’s not based in established psychological constructs.It’s a failed diagnostic model, because by going to anecdotal al indicators rather than established constructs it’s hard to determine whether or not parental alienation exists.There’s according to the current or his model there are degrees of parental alienation.It could be mild or moderate or severe which can be very hard to prove within the legal.
System and there’s a lot of controversy within mental health as to whether it’s alienation or whether it’s really what’s called estrangement which is a problematic construct in itself.It’s a failed therapeutic paradigm because it does not tell us what to do about it.It’s a new thing.Parental alienation syndrome it doesn’t exist within any established constructs.Whereas if we base our understanding within standard, established and accepted psychological principles and constructs, then those constructs lead us to what the therapy is.We can then understand the underlying foundations and resolve the issues because we know what they.
Are.What i have done as i ran into this tragic family circumstance because my background is in parentchild conflict.I deal with the angry, grumpy kids.Kids throwing chairs through the walls, adhd kinds of family conflicts.That’s what i deal in an everyday sort of way.I recognize what authentic parentchild conflicts looks like.In my private practice when i ran into this parental alienation, it’s fairly easy to recognize inauthentic conflict that’s being induced through family relationships, but when i try to address these issues the controversy surrounding parental alienation syndrome undermine the.
Solution.I set about over the last couple of years of redefining what the construct is from within standard and established principles.An attachmentbased reformulation of parental alienation offers the foundation, a theoretical foundation that’s grounded on the bedrock of established and accepted and scientifically supported principles that we can then use to leverage the legal interventions and to leverage the therapeutic interventions necessary to solve this issue.An attachmentbased model of parental alienation provides the theoretical framework that can bring mental health back together into speaking with a single voice.
As to what it is as opposed to this conflict that currently occurs within the mental health field regarding whether parental alienation even exists and if so how to define it.Let me now turn to defining the theoretical foundations for this alternate paradigm to the gardner’s model.This is the overall structure of it that i will be explaining throughout this seminar here today.It starts with a disorganized preoccupied attachment of the alienating parent that led the alienating parent to develop personality disorder pathology centering around narcissistic borderline personality dynamics.Now don’t get too hung up on the.
Labels of the categories because increasingly personality disorders are being understood as having their roots in the attachment system.They’re dimensional.They’re not categorical and so don’t get too hung up on the actual labels.More so the labels are just descriptive categories or descriptive shorthand to be able to talk about some of the features.Also kernberg one of the leading figures in personality disorders recognized that narcissistic and borderline personality dynamics are flip sides of the same coin.Underneath in the attachment system, they’re the same dynamic, but they just have different outward manifestations.
For various reasons.Disorganized preoccupied attachment of the alienating parent during childhood constellated into personality disorder traits, narcissistic and borderline.It also involves an attachment trauma, a relationship trauma embedded in the neurological networks of the narcissistic borderline parent.That trauma is going to be reenacted in the parental alienation.The attachment system mediates both bonding relationships and also the loss of those relationships.When the divorce occurred, we have a reactivation of the alienating parent’s attachment system to mediate that loss experience and so all of those trauma networks having to do with internal working models of attachment also.
Get reactivated.It’s just complex blend of personality disorder dynamics and attachment trauma that then get reenacted in the current family situation.In organizing the theoretical foundations, there are three levels to analysis of what’s going on.It can seem complex at first, but if we look at the different layers of things we can get greater clarity of what’s taking place.At the surface level, there’s a family systems dynamics.I’ll talk about those in a second of what the family system relationships look like.Underneath those and driving those family systems processes are the personality.
Disorder dynamics.Underneath those are the attachment system problems and the attachment trauma.Starting with the family systems level from a family systems theory, families go through transitions.For example, the birth of the first child creates a transition for the family.The growth of the child maturation into school years or into adolescence where we now have an adult, a new adult in the family or the launching of the child into adulthood, all of those periods involve transitions in the family.If a family fails to make a successful transition symptoms emerge.
Well the divorce and dissolution of the marriage represents another transition in the family.That’s where this family from a family systems perspective is having difficulty.They’re not transitioning in the family’s transition, not successfully transitioning to the loss of the marriage.Just because the marriage dissolves doesn’t mean the family dissolves because once you have children, the family remains forever because what’s happening is the family is transitioning from an intact family structure that’s united by the marriage and because of the conflict or drifting apart of the spouses the family transitions to a.
Separated family structure that is now united by the children.The marriage is dissolved, but the family hasn’t.In successful transitions, the parents are able to resolve their conflict and animosity and allow the child to serve their unifying function as the parental roles of mother and father remain even though the spousal roles have ended.In conflicted families though, when the parents cannot resolve their conflict that provides this splitting energy or this conflict energy that’s dividing the family while the child is trying to serve their role uniting the family and so the child can experience.
That inner conflict and we wind up with a whole bunch of symptoms in the child.In some cases, in pathological cases, there’s a split in the relationships, a cutoff in the family relationships and so that the parental relationships mirror the cutoff in the spousal relationships.The person becomes an exhusband as well as an exfather and that’s what parental alienation involves.It’s a cutoff in the family relationships as a means to manage the family conflict in the situation.The reason for the difficulty to drop a little bit down in this, the reason for the difficulty in the family making the transition is because.
There’s an underlying narcissistic personality structure in one of the parents.The narcissist, there’s two features about narcissism that are going to make it difficult for the family to transition.First the narcissistic is character logically unable to experience sadness and grief.That’s just not capable for them.The second is the splitting dynamic that occurs with both narcissistic and borderline personality dynamics.In terms of the narcissist inability to experience grief, kernberg talks about that.They say, they the narcissist are especially deficient in the genuine feelings of sadness and mournful.
Longing.They’re incapacity for experiencing depressive reactions is a basic feature of their personalities.When abandoned or disappointed by other people, they may show what on the surface looks like depression but which on further examination emerges as anger and resentment loaded with revengeful wishes, rather than real sadness for the loss of the person whom they appreciated.The narcissistic parent is unable to genuinely experience loss and sadness.What happens is they influence the child to interpret the child’s own loss and sadness at the loss of the intact family structure in the same way.
The narcissistic parent is, as anger and resentment towards the other parent.Typically the narcissistic parent frames for the child, it’s the other parent who’s responsible for the divorce.Now we’d like for people to avoid that, but the narcissist doesn’t do that.They engage the child and tell the child it’s the other parent.Meanwhile, the targeted parents says, well it’s both of us.They don’t give the child a reason.The child adopts the belief system of the narcissistic parent because they’re not hearing any differently that it’s the other parent who was responsible for the divorce.
In that process, the narcissistic parent can influences the child to interpret the child’s authentic grief and sadness as anger and resentment against the other parent.The second feature about the narcissistic borderline parent that inhibits the ability of the family to transition is the splitting dynamic.The splitting to understand its core foundation it’s within the attachment system that is the origins of splitting.What happens in the attachment system in the attachment relationship is the child experiences a parent who is simultaneously both nurturing, activating attachment bonding motivations and frightening,.
Activating avoidance motivations, so a frightening parent, the child seeks to flee from that parent and seek protection with the protective parent who happens to be the frightening parent.The child is caught in this conflict where the parent is simultaneously frightening and the source of nurturance.You have the simultaneous activation of these two bonding motivations.Various studies from beck et al, aaron beck various studies have found that patients with borderline personality disorder are characterized by disorganized attachment representations.Such attachment representations appear to be typical for persons with unresolved childhood.
Traumas especially when parental figures were involved with direct frightening behavior by the parent.Disorganized attachment is to consider to result from an resolvable situation for the child when the parent is at the same time the source of fright as well as a potential haven of safety.What happens for these kids is that because they have both systems activated at the same time, attachment bonding motivations and avoidance motivations, they psychologically split those two motivating systems so that there only one is on at any given time.At a neurological level what’s happening is.
You’re not actually splitting physically, you’re getting an intensive inhibition, cross inhibition.When the attachment bonding motivations are on, they entirely inhibit the avoidance motivations.When the avoidance motivations are on, they entirely inhibit the bonding motivations so that for most of us we can have both systems on at the same time.We can have bonding motivations on and avoidance motivations on and recognize that people are a blend of good and bad.Now if i mostly think you’re good i’m going to get a little halo effect and i’m going to see a lot of good things about you, but i still recognize there’s.
Problems.If i don’t like you i’m going to see a lot of bad things about you, but i’m still going to recognize there’s some good things about you because both systems can be on simultaneously.However for the narcissistic borderline parent or the disorganized attachment, that’s not possible.One system on or the other system on, that’s what we see, a splitting.Either you’re idealized as all wonderful or you’re demonized as all horrible.What the implications for this in the divorce with a narcissistic borderline parent is that they are unable to maintain this ambiguity of relationships.
The exhusband must become the exfather.The exwife must become the exmother.They cannot allow.They just can’t experience the i don’t like you as a spouse, but the child can like you as a parent.That’s not capable for their neurological structure.Additional level of family systems understanding for this process has to do with triangulation of the child.A lot of literature on this, manucha and haley bo and others that when there’s conflict in the family, or in the spousal relationship, sometimes the child is drawn into the spousal conflict.It’s referred to as a triangulation.There’s two types of.
Triangulation that can occur.The first is when the two parents unit against the child.In that case, the child is referred to as the identified patient and the child’s acting out behavior serves to bring the parents together in the coalition against the child and so can oftentimes save a troubled marriage.If it wasn’t for the child acting out, the parents may split up, but the child serves to maintain the marriage.The second type of coalition is referred to as a crossgenerational coalition.This involves a parentchild coalition against the other parent in which the one parent channels their.
Anger at the other parent through the child and so could covertly express their anger towards the other parent and the child.It’s referred to as a crossgenerational coalition.Jay haley refers to it as a perverse triangle because it’s crossing generational boundaries.The haley defines what a crossgenerational coalition.The people corresponding to each other in the triangle are not peers, but they’re from a different generation.One is from a different generation than the other two.In the process of their interaction together, the person of one generation forms a coalition with the person of the other generation, so.
The parent forms a coalition with the child.By coalition, it’s meant a process of joint action which is against the third person.The coalition between the two persons is denied.This idea of asking the child in parental alienation is your parent influencing you no.The child is going to say no.The coalition is denied.We know that ahead to time.It’s pointless to ask is the other parent influencing you.It’s going to be denied.That is there is a certain behavior which indicates a coalition which when it is queried will be denied as.
A coalition.In essence, the perverse triangle is one in which the separation of generations is breached in a covert way.When this occurs as a repetitive pattern, the system will be pathological.Now this coalition, the cross generations is extraordinarily destructive.Pat kerig who talks about the breakdown of the parentchild relationship or the enmeshment of parentchildren the breakdown of appropriate generational boundaries between parents and children significantly increases the risk for emotional abuse.When parentchild boundaries are violated, the implications for developmental psychopathology are significant.Poor boundaries interfere with the child’s capacity to progress through development which as anna freud suggested.
Is the defining feature of childhood psychopathology.A theme that appears to be central to the conceptualization of boundary dissolution is the failure to acknowledge the psychological distinctiveness of the child.That is going to be particularly vulnerability to narcissist parents.Kerig goes on to talk about that rather than telling the child directly what to do.Speaker 3 one second, one second.We’re going to inaudible on real good.Sorry about that.You’re good to go.Childress.Rather than telling the child directly what to do or think as does.
The behaviorally controlling the parent the psychologically controlling parent uses indirect hints that respond with guilt induction or withdrawal of love if the child refuses to comply.The narcissistic parent isn’t just controlling the child’s behavior, they’re controlling the child psychologically.In short, an intrusive parent, strives to manipulate the child’s thoughts and feelings in such a way that the child’s psyche will conform to the parent’s wishes.In order to carve out an island of safety and responsivity in an unpredictable harsh and depriving parentchild relationship children of highly maladaptive parents may become precocious caregivers who are adept at reading the cues.
And meeting the needs of those around them.The ensuing preoccupied attachment with the parent interferes with the child’s development of important ego functions such as selforganization, affect regulation, emotional object constancy.The child in parental alienation is actually taking care of the alienating parent.What appears to be a bond between the two of them is actually a manifestation of an insecure attachment, a preoccupied attachment where the child is being engaged in a role reversal relationship of being used as what’s called a regulatory object for the psychopathology of the alienating parent.The bonded relationship.
Is not a good thing.It’s not really.It’s not a healthy relationship, although superficially it looks like oh isn’t everything wonderful.Let’s drop down a level to the personality disorder dynamics that are involved.First off there’s an association between narcissistic and borderline personality.Kernberg talks about one subgroup of borderline patients namely the narcissistic personalities seem to have a defensive organization similar to borderline conditions and yet many of them function under much higher psychosocial level.The defensive organization of these patients, the narcissist is quite similar to that of.
A borderline personality in general.What distinguishes many of the patients with narcissistic personalities from the usual borderline patient is their relatively good social functioning, their better impulse control and the capacity for active consistent work in some areas that permits them to partially fulfill their ambitions of greatness and obtaining admiration from others.There’s an association underlying association between narcissistic and borderline processes.As we’ve come to understand the attachment system, we can understand that association much better at the lower level of the attachment system.In addition, the personality disorders go across categories so millon talks about.
Several personality disorders covary with the narcissistic spectrum, various personality disorders as well as borderline so we see those two show up a lot.Then beck et al talk about how borderline personalities can be associated with as many as five other different personality structures, so don’t get too hung up on the categories just recognize that there’s an underlying narcissistic borderline personality structure.For the narcissist to talk about what their core dynamics are beck refer to it as schemas, bowlby refers to them as internal working models.The failure to be superior or regarded.
As special activates underlying beliefs of inferiority, unimportance or powerlessness and compensatory strategies of selfprotection and selfdefense.The core belief of the narcissist personality is of an inferiority or unimportance.This belief is activated only under certain circumstances and thus may be observed mainly in the response to conditions of selfesteem threat, otherwise the belief is a compensatory attitude of superiority.Until the divorce takes place, these parents may appear fine.Nobody recognizes a narcissist.They’re involved in the community.They’re grandiose.They present well.They’re articulate, maybe even intelligent.It’s when the vulnerability hits, the divorce which is spot on to the.
Inferiority.The parent is being rejected as the spouse.Oh then you get the full display of their narcissistic borderline process.Millon talks about the decompensation of a narcissist.Under conditions of unrelieved adversity and failure, narcissists may decompensate into paranoid disorders.Owing to their excessive use of fantasy mechanisms, they are disposed to misinterpret events and to construct delusional beliefs.Unwilling to accept the constraints on their independence and unable to accept the viewpoints of others, narcissists may isolate themselves from the corrective effects of shared thinking.Alone they may ruminate.
And weave their beliefs into a network of fanciful and totally invalid suspicions.Among narcissists delusions often form after a serious challenge or setback has upset their image of superiority and omnipotence.Can we say divorce they tend to exhibit compensatory grandiosity and jealousy delusions in which they reconstruct reality to match the image in they are unable and unwilling to give up.Delusional systems may also develop as a result of having felt betrayed and humiliated.Again that’s spot on to divorce.Here we may see the rapid unfolding of persecutory delusions and an arrogant grandiosity characterized.
By verbal attacks and bombast.We’re not just talking normal range psychopathology here.There’s an underlying delusional process that’s occurring.I’ll talk about that more as we get into the attachment trauma that takes place.The borderline personality.From beck et al, the diagnosis of borderline was introduced in the 1930s to explain patients who are on the borderline between neurosis and psychosis.The patients with borderline personality are characterized by hypervigilance, feeling vulnerable in a dangerous world where nobody can be trusted and dichotomous thinking.You’ll see that in parental alienation where the parent feels the other parent is abusive and they get this.
Persecutory idea that there’s a threat or a danger emanating from the other parent.Some traumatic experiences may have taken place at an early age, notably the kind of punishing, abandoning, and rejecting responses of the caregiver that lead to a disorganized attachment.As we drop to the attachment system level in a few minutes one of the fundamental aspects of what’s going on is what’s called the transgenerational transmission of attachment trauma that we have an attachment trauma in the alienating parent that is getting manifested in the alienation dynamic.It’s moving across the family and across generations.
Another feature associated with a borderline personality is what’s referred to as the invalidating environment so marsha linehan one of the experts in borderline personality defines the invalidating environment.A defining characteristic of the invalidating environment is the tendency of the family to respond erratically or inappropriately to private experience.In particular, to be insensitive or unresponsive to private experience.Invalidating environments contribute to emotional dysregulation by failing to teach the child to label and modulate arousal, by failing to teach the child tolerate stress and by here’s a the two important ones for parental.
Alienation failing to teach the child to trust his or her own emotional responses as valid interpretation of events and instead actively teaching the child to invalidate his or her own experiences, by making it necessary for the child to scan the environment for cues about how to act and feel.There’s an article or an essay written up on my website having to do with a metaphor of the hostage for kids with parental alienation that describes how that occurs, the invalidation of the child’s selfexperience in the chaotic world of living with the borderline or the very hostile world of living with a narcissistic.
Parent.Fruzzetti, shenk and hoffman described the profound effects that the invalidating environment can have on a child.In extremely invalidating environments, parents or caregivers do not teach children to discriminate effectively between what they feel and what the caregivers feel, what the child wants and what the caregiver wants or wants the child to want, what the child thinks and what the caregiver thinks.Now within family systems literature, this is referred to as enmeshment.With a borderline personality or a narcissistic borderline, this is the invalidating environment in which.
The child’s authentic experience is nullified.The narcissistic borderline personality dynamics associated with parental alienation.This diagram looks at that or explains that process.At the top, we have a disorganized attachment system with the alienating parent that produces the personality disorder dynamics, borderline narcissistic or narcissistic primarily with borderline features.The divorce activates both of those personality dynamics and we get an activated borderline and an activated narcissist who’s decompensating in the paranoid persecutory delusions.The invalidating environment off the borderline personality dynamics combines with the persecutory delusions that are coming from the narcissist.
To terminate the child’s attachment bonding motivations towards the other parent.I won’t have time to get into how that quite works today, but in terms of the attachment system, the attachment system evolved because of the selective predation 003437 of children so it’s a predator driven system.When a parent signals that there’s a threat in the environment, the child seeks proximity to the protective parent.If i have a narcissistic borderline parent signaling to the child that the other parent represents a threat to the child, the child’s attachment system will be motivated to flee the threat and seek protective.
Proximity to the parent.That’s essentially what’s happening relative to the attachment system.In addition, the borderline vulnerability having to do with abandonment fears and the narcissistic vulnerability having to do with dysfundamental inadequacy are expelled onto the other parent.I’m not the inadequate parent, you are.I’m not the abandoned parent, you are.It’s the child’s rejection of the other parent serves to projectively displace the personality disorder dynamics onto the other parents.Let’s drop down a level to the attachment system level.At the attachment system level, involves the transgenerational transmission.
Of relationship trauma from the attachment system of the alienating parent to the current attachment system of the child.The child’s attachment system in the current situation represents an inauthentic display of the attachment system.Now my background, i was doing adhd.That’s my specialty area and over the years i kept tracking younger and younger in the age group to see if we got it early enough, could we solve it, could we cure it.About the mid ’90s i dropped below the age of five and when you do that you have to come.
The other direction up from early childhood up and so i developed a secondary background in early childhood mental health.When you do that you have to become familiar with all the different brain systems because they’re opening up all over the place during early childhood.I have a background in both angry grumpy kids and parentchild conflict as well as early childhood attachment system kinds of stuff.I swore i would never get involved in high conflict divorce.It’s too dangerous.That’s why i chose adhd.I went into private practice and started to run into some of these kids.
Because there’s a lot of family conflict.I immediately recognized this attachment system of the child’s inauthentic.That’s not the way the attachment system works.It’s not an authentic brain i’m looking at.If you understand how the attachment system works, this is so easy to spot because it’s not authentic and i’ll explain to you the underlying structure of that.The attachment system, first identified by bowlby back in the ’60s and ’70s is a neurobiologically embedded primary motivational system.It’s akin to the primary motivational systems for hunger and reproduction.It’s a basic motivational.
System.It developed across millions of years of evolution having to do with the selective predation of children.Predators are seeking the old, the weak, and the young.When they’re coming through the grasses, they’re not looking at the adults.They’re looking at the kid.Because of that, the attachment system strongly motivates children’s bonding to parents because children who didn’t bond to parents were eaten by a predator.Mary ainsworth one of the leading figures in attachment literature and attachment research defines the attachment system.I define an affectional bond as a relatively long enduring.
Tie in which the partner is important as a unique individual and is interchangeable with none other.In an affectional bond, there’s a desire to maintain closeness to the partner.In older children and adults, that closeness may to some extent be sustained over time and distance and during absences but nevertheless there at least an intermediate desire to reestablish proximity and interaction and pleasure often job upon reunion, and explicable separation tends to cause distress and permanent loss would cause grief.Now a couple of things about this quote i want to point out is first it’s to a unique.
Individual, my mother, my father, interchangeable with none other.One of the things you’ll see in parental alienation sometimes is the child will reject the mother and take on the stepmother as the new mother, start calling the stepmother by calling her mother and starting to call the biological mother by her first name or conversely the father and the stepfather.You will see this weird thing.Children don’t do that.You can’t replace people.Ooh the narcissist can.Narcissists are very shallow relationships.The people are interchangeable.The idea that i’ve got the child who’s interchanging people suggests i’ve got a narcissistic parent.
In there that’s influencing the child.The second thing i want to point out about this is that notice mary ainsworth talks about attachment system in older children and adults.People think the attachment system is just about early childhood, oh, no, no, no.It’s a primary motivational system throughout our life spans.You can think of it in terms of the language system as a metaphor.The language system, another regulatory system of the brain, develops in early childhood.We call it experience expectant and experience dependent.The brain expects language.It’s experience expectant.
It’s got brain networks already set up to acquire it, but what specific language it learns russian, german, french is dependent upon what it hears.It’s experience expectant and experience dependent.Now we learn language in early childhood, somewhere been two and six we learn language, but we use language throughout our lifespan.Similarly for the attachment system, the grammar of the attachment system that we learn are called internal working models.We learn expectations for self and other in relationship.We learn that grammar in early childhood, but we use that grammar throughout our lifetimes.The.
Attachment system mediates spousal relationships and it mediates our own relationship when we have children.We use it throughout our life spans.Mary ainsworth goes on an attachment is an affectional bond and hence the attachment figure is never wholly interchangeable or replaceable by another even though there may be others to whom one is also attached.If you ever see a kid calling a parent by the parent’s first name, that’s weird.That’s not an authentic attachment system.Something is going on.In attachments as in other affectional bonds, there’s a need to maintain proximity,.
Distress upon inexplicable separation, pleasure and joy upon reunion and grief at loss.Now if i have a child who’s rejecting a parent, no i don’t want to be going on visitations with that parent, where is my joy upon reunion.Where did it go it’s not real.I don’t care.Parents can be grumpy parents.I’m sure we’ve all had difficult parents and difficult childhoods and yet we still maintain a bond to that parent.We still want that parents love.Where’s the grief at loss the child is rejecting a relationship with the parent.The attachment system will.
Respond with grief.That’s just the way it works.Where’s the grief children do not reject parents.Let me run that by you again.Children do not reject parent.Children who rejected parents were eaten by predators.Genes that allowed children to reject patents were selectively removed from the gene pool.Children do not reject parents.The moment you see the child judging a parent and rejecting a parent, that’s not an authentic attachment system.Who rejects parents the other spouse.Husbands reject wives.Wives reject parents so i’ve got parental influence going down to the child and suppressing.
The child’s natural attachment bonding system because i’ve got a child rejecting a parent.Children do not reject parents.Now i deal with angry, grumpy kids all the time.Is it is a parentchild conflict oh absolutely.Oh big time conflict, but it’s still consistent with an authentic attachment system.In children, children are motivated to bond to parents.When that bonding is interrupted or there’s a barrier to that bonding, children experience grief and mourning.They experience sadness and loss.That grief and mourning produces what’s called protest behavior designed to elicit greater parental involvement to.
Help regulate the child’s distress.Authentic parentchild conflict is actually consistent with the attachment system.The child wants to bond to the parent.There’s some sort of barrier that’s preventing the child from bonding to the parent which produces the protest behavior, there’s your conflict.What we do in psychotherapy is we figure out what the barrier is and remove it and that’s called therapy.What we see in parental alienation though is a detachment behavior.The child actually wants to detach from the parent.That doesn’t happen.There’s a predator out in those grasses that is more than happy to.
Eat the child.Millions of years of evolution have selectively removed detachment behaviors from children’s nervous systems.Don’t kids have problematic parents and stuff yes and you see characteristic displays.They’re called insecure attachment and it’s insecure avoidance, insecure ambivalent or disorganized attachment.Bowlby talks about all of those distorted relationships are goal directed adjustments.In other words the child wants to form a relationship with a parent, the parenting behavior is somehow distorted so the child distorts in an effort to get as much parental involvement as possible.All of the conflict, all of the difficulty.
Is consistent with the child wanting to bond with the parent but being unable to.We do not see detachment behavior.It just doesn’t happen.Children do not reject parents.They’re eaten by predators if they do.Authentic parentchild conflict results from a barrier and it’s designed to elicit greater parental involvement.What happens in parental alienation is you will see a detachment behavior in which the child is trying to sever the bond which is not authentic to how the attachment system works.It’s not an authentic brain.There are two characteristic features of the.
Attachment system.The first a possessive ownership to the relationship, my mother, my father, my husband, my wife, my son, my daughter.That person belongs to me and i belong to that person, because if i run to any old adult in the community that adult may not protect me from the predator.I have to run to a specific person, my mother to get protection and i protect my son or my daughter.I don’t protect any old kid and so there’s quality of possessive ownership to the relationship.What happens in parental alienation the child is rejecting a parent.That doesn’t happen.
That’s still my mother.Oftentimes, they will take on the stepparent as my mom or my dad, that’s not authentic to how the attachment system works.It doesn’t happen.The second is the grief response that mary ainsworth referred to.When an attachment relationship is severed there’s a grief response.In parental alienation where is the child’s grief response the child has separated from a parent.What happened to it that’s a critical feature for understanding what’s going on.The child has a grief response at the loss of the parent, initially at the loss of the entire family structure.The narcissistic.
Parent distorted the child’s grief response into anger and resentment against the other parent.Then the child rejects the other parent and has an additional compound now of a great grief response at the loss of the relationship with the parent.The narcissistic parent distorts that.Your parent is bad.That other parenting is bad, that’s why you hurt because they’re a bad parent.They’re abusive.Every time the child goes on visitations with the targeted parent they want to bond with them but they don’t.It hurts more.Ow it’s.
Something about being with you hurts.I can’t put my finger on it but something hurts.Then when they go back to the alienating parent, there’s no bonding motivation with the targeted parent because they’re not available so their pain goes down.I feel better when i’m with the alienating parent.It hurts more when i’m with the targeted parent.It must be something about you, the targeted parent that is abusive.The narcissistic alienating parent is right.You’re a bad parent.You hurt me, but it’s not true.It’s a misattribution of an authentic grief response that the child is having.If we just.
Straightened that out again and help the child orient to what their authentic experience is, it’s not because you hate the other parent.You actually love them very much and you want to bond with them.You want to get hugs.If you get hugs and bond to that parent all of your pain is going to go away.That’s the therapy for parental alienation in a nutshell.The child’s symptoms in parent alienation are not authentic to how the attachment system, a neurobiologically primary motivational system works.It’s not authentic, but that means.
Anybody who is looking at this a child custody evaluators, treating therapists all of those folks need to understand how the attachment system works.It is fundamental to professional competence working with this special population of children and families that professionals who work with this have to understand, have a pretty competent level of understanding for the attachment system.Let’s drop down into the alienating parent’s attachment system.The psychology of the alienating parent is a scary place to go.With the borderline processes, you have one whole set of things.With the attachment processes, you have a.
Whole new level of understanding for the psychopathology that’s emerging.I find this level the most fascinating.In going back to our diagram here we have the triggering of the personality disorder and then that terminates the child’s attachment bonding motivations, but an additional line coming through the pathology is this attachment trauma in the internal working models of the alienating parent’s attachment system.The attachment system forms these internal working models of relationship expectations for self and other in relationship.These internal working models then coalescent during childhood and adolescence into the personality traits and features.The attachment system.
And its internal working models of relationship mediate the responses both in terms of the formation and the loss of closely bonded emotional relationships.Bowlby talks about this, no variables, it is held, have farreaching effects on personality development than have a children’s experiences with his or her family.For starting during the first months of his relationships with his mother figure and extending through the years of childhood and adolescence in his relationships with both parents and others, he builds up working models of how attachment figures are likely to behave towards him in.
Any of a variety of situations.On those models are based all of his expectations and therefore all of his life’s plans for the rest of his life.Notice again, he’s not talking about early childhood.The attachment system is embedded into us and mediates our relationships throughout our lifespan.What happens with the trauma relationships is the narcissistic and borderline personality processes are the coalesce product of the disorganized preoccupied attachment of the alienating parent.The internal working models for the attachment figures in the alienating parent’s traumatized attachment networks are in the pattern of.
Victimized child who is the alienating parent’s child, abusive parent who’s that attachment avoidance motivation of the disorganized attachment and so the frightening parent that’s the abusive parent internal working models and then the nurturing protective parent who is that split off attachment bonding motivations of the child that now are either cross inhibited so one is either on or one is all off and so in the internal working models of the alienating parent’s attachment system i’ve got two representational networks for the parent, the abusive parent and the nurturing protective parent.That’s my splitting dynamic.
At the divorce, when there’s a divorce, the narcissistic borderline parent’s attachment system activates to mediate the loss experience.Now i have in the brain, i have two sets of representational networks activating.One in the internal working models of the parent’s attachment system and the other for the current people.Look my goodness there’s an actual one to one correspondence there which is what happens.The coactivation within the attachment system of two sets of representational networks, one for the persons in the current family relationship and one set embedded in the internal working models creates a psychological fusion.
Of these two networks.There’s an equivalency between the internal working models and the current people.If you think about the brain, i’ve got the internal working models activating and i’ve got the current people activating at the same time, well they mean the same thing.There’s a loss of differentiation.The activation of the two become equivalent to each other.I have the victimized child, the abusive targeted parent and the protective alienating parent.This is critical to understand how this induction of the alienation occurs.People right now think that the alienating parent bad mouths.
The other parent and don’t say bad things about the other parent.That’s not how it occurs.What the alienating parent does is gets the child to adopt a victimized role.The alienating parent isn’t doing this out of badness.They actually think this stuff.Remember millon talking about the delusional disorder.They actually believe the other parent is abusive because they’re activating through their trauma networks.That’s the delusional process.The delusional process isn’t just that the parent’s abusive when they’re not.It’s the activation of childhood relationship patterns that are being reenacted.
In current relationships.That’s the psychosis, borderline, the difference between neurotic and psychotic.We have an underlying psychotic process of a reactivation of the trauma networks and reenactment narrative.By getting the child to adopt a victimized child’s stance relative to the other parent, that automatically defines the targeted parent as abusive.The moment you define the targeted parent as abusive then the alienating parent can become the protective parent.This whole reenactment trauma or this reenactment narrative centers on getting the child to be the victim.The moment the child accepts the victim everything.
Else falls into place.This automatically the abusive parent and i now become the protective parent.By becoming the protective parent, the narcissistic borderline parent is able to manage their anxiety around this trauma because they’ve had this traumatized network about the abusive parent and their own and so now it gets activated again, they’re anxious.They’re really anxious plus the anxiety off of the borderline fear of abandonment and the narcissistic inadequacy so they’re just a ball of anxiety, but by displacing the abandonment fears and the inadequacy onto the other parent they’re able to reduce.
Their anxiety, but they’re still left with this trauma anxiety out of the attachment system.By making the other parent the abusive parent so that i become the protective parent of the child, the internal working model of the child and the current child, i can now manage my anxiety.The child has a protector from the abusive parent.It’s a script from long ago that’s just being reenacted, but then they put the child out there as the abusive child.Therapists and everybody go, oh wow we’re so concerned about.
Abuse maybe the other parent is abusive.We focus on the targeted parent looking at whether or not they’re abusive.The focus goes off the pathological parent.The child is bonded to the patho.Oh you’re my wonderful parent.No, no they’re the best parent in the world, because the child is serving as a narcissistic object for the parent.I need to be the wonderful parent so that child sees me as the wonderful parent and so i’m using the child as a narcissistic object.It’s not an authentic relationship, but it.
Looks close.It looks bonded, and so people just totally miss it.They think that child actually is bonded to the supposedly favored parent and that the other parent, there must be something wrong why else would the child reject the parent.That’s not how the attachment system works.Does the other parent influence you no.Not at all.Because it’s denied.What’s happening the features of this is that rather than responding to the actual people in the current family relationships, the narcissistic borderline parent is responding to and reenacting past childhood relationship trauma.Here we have.
As understanding what is occurring with parental alienation we have three different levels to understanding this.At the core level is the attachment system that creates the personality disorders but also the trauma networks that are being reenacted.Then we have the level of the narcissistic borderline parent who is displacing their own inadequacy and abandonment fears onto the other parent and is distorting the child through the inability to process grief and the splitting dynamic.Then we get up to the top surface level of the family systems level where you have the family being unable to.
Transition from an intact family structure to a separated family structure.To put out or to lay out the dynamics of parental alienation, the divorce activates the attachment system of the alienating parent to mediate the loss experience associated with divorce.The activation of the attachment system activates the childhood trauma in the pattern of abusive parent, victimized child, protective parent.The activation of the attachment system activates the internal working models of attachment that have coalesced into the narcissistic and borderline personality traits.You have the loss experience activates the attachment.
System which activates both the personality disorder traits and the attachment trauma that are embedded in the attachment system.Divorce creates a narcissistic injury that activates the narcissistic personality experience of core selfinadequacy.You’re the inadequate spouse.At the attachment system level, this is the internal working models of selfinrelationship.You’re inadequate.The divorce activates the borderline personality fear of abandonment which at the attachment system level is the expectation of otherinrelationship.You get the activation of the two personality disorder features.Then because of the stress, you get the decompensating narcissistic and.
The persecutory delusions supported by the attachment trauma of the victimized child, abusive parent and then you get the invalidating environment coming off the borderline where the child’s experience is nullified so that the child becomes a reflection of the narcissistic personality.I’m the wonderful parent.You’re the wonderful parent.The activation of the abandonment fear and the narcissist inadequacy.The excessive anxiety that’s activated for the alienating parent that’s associated with a narcissistic inadequacy, the borderline fear of abandonment as well as the attachment trauma that’s embedded in there is misinterpreted or misattributed as representing an actual threat posed by the.
Other parent.The alienating parent authentically experiences an intense anxiety.They’re not making this up.They’re not because they’re a mean person.They actually feel an intense anxiety coming off all of these networks but they misattribute it as an authentic signal of the other parent representing a threat.Now is it a threat to me because i’m a narcissist, no i’m wonderful.They’re no threat to me.What’s the threat then in the attachment system, the threat is to the child.This other parent represents a threat to the child.They’re.
An abusive threat to the child.They reconstruct reality to create that threat.Now how does that actually occur with the kid all they have to do with the kid coming back from a visitation with the other parent is get the kid to adopt the victim’s stance.How did things go with your parent oh, okay.Oh.The parent goes in drops affect.They indicate to the kid, signal the kid that’s not the right answer.The kid says, well it was boring.Oh my goodness.They didn’t provide things for you.
To do.Oh, they only get to see you so rarely how come they don’t take care of you better and give you things to do.I can’t believe them.They’re so selfcentered and so selfish.In that, the alienating parent overreacts to what are essentially normal range stuff, but they over react and communicate to the kid that this is somehow abusive parenting that they’re receiving, that they’re not being treated special enough, that’s the narcissist.You’re not being treated so special and they give the kid the themes to which the kid can.
Then the other parent is selfish.The other parent has anger management problems.The kid says, yeah dad told me to empty the dishwasher and got really upset with me when i didn’t, got really angry and then punished me.Normal range parentchild stuff.Oh, i can’t believe that.He’s having you do his work for him.Oh i can’t believe.He has so little time with you, why doesn’t he just spend his good time with you.Why does he think.Oh he’s so selfish.He has these anger management problems, just like that with me and during.
Our marriage.Now on the surface, is the parent criticizing the other parent no, they’re being wonderful and understanding to the child who is criticizing the other parent.They get to hide behind the child and the child believes that.The child comes to believe i’m the one criticizing the other parent.This parent is just being wonderful and supportive of me.They’re listening to me, so therapists and evaluators who ask the child is the other parent criticizing the other, no i’m the one criticizing.They take responsibility for it, but it’s a distortion coming through, the narcissistic parent, one.
Of the symptoms of narcissism is exploitation.They’re inducing the child’s symptoms and then exploiting the child’s symptoms.One of the great exploitation on this is because the child is symptomatic they can effectively, the narcissistic parent can effectively nullify the rights of the other parent for custody and visitation and nullify court orders because it’s not me.It’s the child.The child refused to get out of the car.What am i supposed to do, drag the child from the car they hide behind the child’s symptoms.Courts don’t sanction children for defying court orders and they won’t sanction the alienating.
Parent because how can you prove it’s the alienating parent causing this to the child.The child is saying i’m doing it.That’s how this whole dynamic emerges.The alienating parent gets the child to adopt the victimization role.The moment the child adopts the victimization role, the other parent is automatically defined as abusive which allows the alienating parent to be the protective parent so you have the trauma networks feeding into the delusional process the persecutory delusions off of this.The internal working models of the alienating parents attachment networks are in the pattern of all bad abusive parent, victimized child.
And all good protective parent and then through the distorting invalidating environment communications coming off of the alienating parent via this whole reenactment to the child is induced into adopting the victim, my child role which automatically defines the other parent as abusive which automatically allows the new parent to become the protective parent.That’s an important feature, that protective parent role because that’s the role that’s allowing this parent to manage their trauma anxiety.You will see that prominently displayed by the narcissistic borderline parent.I’m the protective parent.The abusive will be carried by the child.It’s the child who’s accusing the other one.
Of abusive.Occasionally, the narcissistic borderline parent will toss in a little a little side they were just like that with me and my marriage.I know just how the child feels.They’re offer a little support for the child for doing that, but really the core role is the protective parent.Interesting, a phrase you will often hear with a narcissistic borderline parent in this is i just want what’s best for the child.It sounds wonderful doesn’t it you know what we all want what’s best for the child.
It has the implication, i want what’s best for the child as opposed to the other parent who’s so selfish and just think of their own needs.They just want to be with the child when the child doesn’t want to be with them.They won’t let the child come spend all their time with me, how selfish of them.That’s the underlying message that’s being communicated by i just want what’s best for the child.They’re trying to present as the all wonderful parent.If you get a parent coming in and presenting it’s all wonderful be suspicious.
Sometimes i will use a detective metaphor for al psychologists.We come on a crime scene and we gather information, al data and then try to figure out what took place.If you look at that metaphor for a detective, imagine a detective going on a murder scene and finding a type written unsigned note that says, my name is bill smith.I committed this murder.Would you go, case solved.I’ve got a confession from bill smith.That’d be a pretty lousy detective.If you get a kid coming in saying, i hate.
My other parent, they’re mean to me, it would be a pretty lousy psychiatrist if you just go, oh okay i guess so.There’s all sorts of complicated dynamics, role reversal relationships, crossgenerational coalitions, reenactment trauma.We need to look much deeper into this.The trauma all of this stuff produces this victimized child, abusive parent reenactment that then suppresses the child’s attachment system.The child sees themselves as victims.The attachment system does not bond to the predator.It bonds to the protective parent.If the alienating parent defines the other parent as the threat, as the predator, it.
Turns off the kid’s attachment system.That’s why we see the inauthentic attachment system.It’s been turned off by defining that parent as the threat or the predator.What you see is the bonding or proximity seeking to the protective parent, the alienating parent.They do not want to leave that parent.Now again if you understand anything about the attachment system secure attachment the child explores the world and it comes back to check in and then goes back out to explore the world, then comes back to check in but.
They engage in normal range exploratory behavior because they are safe from predators.If we’re looking at parental alienation, the child is not engaging in normal range exploratory behavior of forming an independent relationship with the other parent.They’re seeking to maintain continual proximity to the protective parent.That’s an indication of insecure attachment.Yet people look at the relationship and say, oh look how bonded they are, as if it’s a sign of secure attachment.It’s not.It an insecure attachment.If you understand the attachment system, this stuff just jumps out at you.The way the child.
Is forming because the child has an insecure attachment with a narcissistic borderline parent the way to strengthen that attachment is by forming that coalition that us versus them.Now i’m bonded to the parent because it’s us versus the other parent is a way of managing that insecure attachment.The child’s induced symptomatic rejection of the other parent defines the targeted rejected parent as the inadequate or entirely abandoned parent.You are the bad parent.The narcissistic borderline parent psychologically expels through projected displacement onto the other parent the narcissistic fear of inadequacy and the.
Borderline fear of abandonment.You’re the inadequate parent and person, not me.You’re the abandoned parent person, not me.I’m the ideal all wonderful parent who’ll never be abandoned by the narcissistic object of the child.The child is both serving to bolster the narcissistic defenses that have been challenged by the divorce as well as expelling the anxiety regarding the fear of abandonment and inadequacy onto the other parent.Kernberg talks about the narcissistic object.The need to control the idealized objects to use them in attempts to manipulate and exploit the environment.
And to destroy potential enemies is linked with an inordinate pride in the possession of these perfect objects totally dedicated to the patient.Now he’s talking about narcissistic personality disorders.I think that’s spot on to alienation what’s happening that the child is when the child surrenders to the narcissistic parent and to the belief systems of the nar the child is granted narcissistic indulges.The child is just seen as the oh, you’re the wonderful child because i’m the wonderful parent and aren’t we wonderful.We’re just wonderful in this inaudible.
The idealized object, the parent idealized, narcissistic parent idealizes this wonderful idealized object of the child and uses them in attempts to manipulate and control the environment.I don’t care what the custody order says, you’re not getting custody.I get to possess the kid as a symbol of my victory over you.I’m the better parent, see i’ve got the kid and to destroy potential enemies, the other parent.You didn’t appreciate me for my narcissistic wonderfulness.You deserve to suffer.You deserve it.That’s another feature of the narcissist.It linked the inordinate pride in the possession.
Of the child.I have possession of the child dedicated who’s totally dedicated to me the parent.It’s a very destructive relationship for the child.The issue of parental alienation is not one of child custody.It’s one of child protection.That’s critical that we begin to understand this isn’t a child custody issue.This is a child protection issue.The child is being used in a role reversal relationship with a narcissistic parent to meet the needs of the narcissistic.That’s very destructive to the healthy emotional development of the.
Child.Here’s your full diagram.Here’s the complete process.Disorganized attachment activates a personality disorder, activates a trauma network, feeds into the persecutory delusions and the decompensating, the narcissistic inadequacy and the fear of abandonment are expelled from the narcissistic borderline parent by being projectively displaced onto the other parent.On the back of this there are a set of references.If there’s more information you’re interested about this, i’ve written some stuff on my website about this, applying it to therapy in terms of working with the grief response of the kid, looking at some of the legal implications.If there’s one thing that i would suggest.
As to our approach to an attachment based model of parental alienation is to begin to recognize that these child and family processes are a special population of children and families that requires specialized professional expertise, knowledge and training to effectively diagnose and treat in attachment theory, in personality disorder dynamics and in delusional processes.We need to improve our understanding of this in order to be able to effectively treat it.The other feature is it shows, hopefully this shows if we ground the theory in established constructs it leads to a much greater understanding than simply running around with pas and gardner’s.
Model and we just continue to argue about that.Let’s stop arguing about it.Let’s bring mental health together to recognize the psychopathology and then what do we do about it.With that i’ll open myself up for questions from people.Tom dellner great thank you so much Childress, i’ll start with some from the virtual audience and i’ll apologize in advance, there’s no change i’m going to be able to get to all of them.We’ve had almost a hundred questions come in from the virtual audience.Anyway let me get started here.What sort of psychopathology.
Is commonly found in children in which parental alienation occurs and what tends to manifest immediately and what might tend to emerge later on in adulthood Childress i would use a metaphor of a ventriloquist puppet.The child has lost the authenticity and their selfauthenticity.That’s going to have implications because it’s a transgenerational of attachment trauma, it’s going to have implications for their future marital relationships and for their future relationships with their own kids in which this trauma is being reenacted.I have a post up on my blog.One of the things having.
To do with the source origin of the trauma, one of the things about my work because i work, kind of a brain guy, is there are files within the attachment system, the internal working models or the schemas and as i work with people i’ll ping those files and see what the ripple comes back and start reading what the source code is within those files of the attachment system.What’s distinctive is some of the source code in there, the role reversal relationship, using the child, the cutoff in the child’s.
Relationship is characteristic of sexual abuse victimization.Interestingly, borderline personality disorders are also associated with sexual abuse victimization.I suspect, now i’m not saying that the kid in this current situation was sexually, i want to be very clear on that.That’s not what i’m saying.What i’m saying is there was a trauma possibly a sexual abuse trauma that entered the family a generation or two earlier and is rippling through the family.What we see now with alienation is a second or third generation iteration of sexual abuse trauma previously.In terms of the pathology.
That we will see, we will continue to see it ripple through the generations.A little less with each generation as it works its way through, but you will see the role reversal relationships with the current child when they grow up with their kids they’ll use their kids in the role reversal relationship, they’ll probably be spousal difficulties.A lot of times because of the unprocessed grief down the road, you’ll see depressive reactions, possible substance abuse.There’s some in the literature about this that we need to be doing more research about this sort of thing.
At the current situation and this is where i go into the diagnosis of it what you will see in the child symptom display is a characteristic set of five narcissisticborderline personality symptoms.What the child is exhibiting, isn’t oppositional defiant behavior, it’s borderline grandiosity of judging the other parent, a sense of entitlement a haughty and arrogant attitude, a loss of empathy and the splitting dynamic.Actually we got a child who is developing a personality disorder as we watch.That’s the pathology that’s currently going plus the child has a delusional disorder about.
The targeted parent being a bad parent so i’ve got a delusional disorder.I’ve got an attachment system disruptions.I’ve got personality disorder dynamics all from the pathogenic parenting of a narcissistic borderline parent.This is not child custody issues.This is child protection issues.Tom i’ll ask a couple of more from the virtual audience before turning to the in person group.This question has come in articulated a number of different ways but it’s a commonly asked question.A learner notes that he found it very helpful that you tied the narcissistic and borderline features to the attachment.
Model to explain the process and many wondered do you often see parental alienation in the absence of a narcissistic borderline parent Childress it depends how you define parental alienation.I am defining it as part and parcel of narcissistic borderline personality so no i would not see an attachment based model of parental alienation in the absence of narcissistic borderline personality.Now you may have something else, but it’s not an attachment based model of parental alienation.In doing that we can begin to circumscribe what we’re talking about.
It’s not everything under the sun.It’s about this specific thing.Now what i have seen because personality disorders are dimensional.They can blend across because they’re all embedded in the attachment networks and so they’re not distinct categories.I have seen complex blends.I have seen narcissistic borderline primarily narcissist, narcissistic borderline primarily not borderline, the primarily narcissist tend to men.The primarily borderline tend to be women.They have a different kind of featuristic displays.The borderline display will have a stronger fear of abandonment process.The narcissistic display will have.
More of a grandiose narcissistic object i’m the wonderful parent than revengeful quality.I’ve also seen narcissistic borderline antisocial.That combination is really nasty and it has a domestic violence quality to it where the child is being used as a retaliation against the other parent.I had the dad in that case say, i’m out to destroy the mom.I’m going to bankrupt her.He said that in an interview with me.It’s like wow okay.I’ve seen narcissistic borderline histrionic.The father was so fragile and oh my mother treated me so badly.There’s.
A histrionic quality to that.I’ve seen narcissistic borderline obsessive compulsive, that was with a parent who was very religiously oriented.Again the dad was very critical of the mom for being sinful and leaving the divorce and leaving the rela so he had this very anal retentive obsessive compulsive quality along with the narcis and so there could be a complex blend of personality dynamics.Tom one more.What personality traits or other factors might make a child more or less susceptible to the narcissistic borderline parent and ultimately parental alienation.
Childress the narcissistic borderline parent is extraordinarily good at what they’re doing.They’re extraordinarily pathological and that pathology can be induced on any old kid.Kids are designed to socially reference parents for meaning construction.Because the child’s brain is immature the brain realizes that.It does not independently attribute meaning as a child because if i as a child attribute meaning to something i could be totally wrong.I can fall off a cliff, get eaten by a tiger, all sorts of bad things.Children are designed to socially reference parents.A lot of studies on that.The child’s.
A little confused, ambiguous situation, they look to their parent.What this mean a divorce in family dissolution, highly ambiguous situation.The child is going to look to the parent.What does this mean they look to the targeted parent and the targeted parent does what we tell them to do which is essentially say, oh, it’s not about you.They give a vague answer, don’t triangulate the child in.The narcissistic parent says, it’s about the other parent.This is what it means.They were a bad parent.They give them an answer.
The child adopts the answer, plus if the child surrenders to the narcissistic borderline parent they avoid the pathology of that parent.There’s nothing as toxic as a narcissistic rage.Narcissistic anger combines anger and disgust.It’s a very disturbing for a child to see anger and disgust.Borderline anger is this intense flaming anger that’s very chaotic and it’s just out of control.The child wants to avoid that parental anger.By surrendering to the parent they then become the idealized object and they can so it’s a very powerful seductive process.Notice the word seductive again that’s my view it’s.
The ripple, the source code out of sexual abuse some generations before.There’s a seduction of the child.Damian i’m damian nathope and my question was to your addressing the evolutionary perspective and evolutionary perspective as i far as i understand for child bonding was actually towards the mother and not towards both things.In fact evolutionary perspective would also say monogamy has never been the common, only a current thing and so evolutionary there wasn’t a guarantee of who the father was or the father being there or the father being a massive role in the child.
In fact, i know that there’s two cultures in south africa that are the oldest.One fifteen thousand years hasn’t changed, one ten thousand.The haz people they don’t even consider a child to be one family.In fact the whole tribe raises the child, and they’ve done that for fifteen thousand years.The sand people of south africa, the sand bushmen they actually have a relationship where the parents come and go.The father stays but the mother comes and goes depending on who can support enough food.I was also wondering even in our western culture is there a multicultural element to this because.
I just hear father and mother, how about if it’s adoption because that wouldn’t be the original birth parents, so would there be no attachment or would it affect your attachments or i also was wondering what if the parents were homosexual and was two females or two males.Childress here’s how the attachment system functions.The brain is experience expectant and experience dependent.There are experience expectant areas that are expecting a relationship with a mother figure, expecting a relationship with the father figure.Now is the father, now in addition to being experience expectant.
The brain is experience dependent.The brain expects language, but what language it learns it learns through experience.The attachment system expects the attachment bonds.There will be adults who care for me.A predisposition to male, a predisposition to female because it learns a little bit better, attaches has a biased towards those.Now if it gets an experience of two mothers okay fine.I learned german.I learned german with a northern germany european accent.I learned five different accents of chinese.We can learn dialects.We can learn accents.We can learn from experience dependent.Underneath.
That is an experience expectant.Fundamental to the attachment system and understanding it is that it’s a primary motivational system that promotes child bonding to parents.How that’s actually expressed in any given situation is going to be unique and individual.Now is there a difference between mother and father yes, in early childhood but now i don’t have the research on this because we’re still early on our process of understanding the attachment system but from my understanding of child development and my experience there’s a stronger bonding that begins to open up for children to parents in the referred called.
The latency years, right around the adopple period and all of the sudden the child goes, oh there’s dad out here too.There’s more of a predisposition for dads to become involved in little league soccer all those sorts of things.Then there’s changes that take place in adolescence and all those.We need to look at a developmental line to things.We need to understand that things are not hardwired into the child’s brain, but to understand the underlying attachment system and how it functions.The other feature that i want to caution about is saying, oh the child is bonded to the mother and the.
Dad is not all that important so a child who rejects a relationship with the dad isn’t a problem.No that’s a problem.Dads are as important.The fatherdaughter relationship is hugely important.Fatherson relationship hugely important.Just because we think of early childhood as being mostly the mom doesn’t denigrate the roles of dads in lives.Now uncles are important.Other extended family, yes and we get a lot of that.Adoption i think it’s interesting that adoptive kids oftentimes want to go back and find their birth parent.I think that’s just a ripple of the experience expectant.
In them.They know that this is my dad.This is my mom.This is who raised me, so the experience dependent says, i have a mom and dad, but a little bit of the ripple off experience expectant says, i wonder who my bio mom was this has a question about that so it’s complicated.Bonnie good afternoon or morning.My name is bonnie delgado and i’m here with psychology eighty i forget.It doesn’t matter.A hypothetical situation, a young girl in a situation that you described say at fourteen stays with the narcissistic parent and totally eliminates.
The other parent in her life, but then in ten years let’s say she comes back but then eliminates the narcissistic parent in her life, and first off is there a realization that happens or a growth in the personality that has actually seen what has happened then also she may display borderline personality problems and that would come from what you were saying correct Childress mmhmm affirmative.One thing of concern for me borderline personalities produce borderline personalities.Narcissists produce narcissists.If we leave a child with a personality disorder parent, there’s a high.
Likelihood that those symptoms are going to come up with the child.Once you allow the cutoff, bowen as a family system therapist talks about the emotional cutoff and so that’s the construct i would be using.The cutoff in a family relationship is pathological.There’s a problem, and so allowing any cutoff is problematic.In terms of therapy, i want to get rid of those.I want to restore family relationships.I’ve worked with one mother who had schizophrenia.That’s okay.The children love the mom with schizophrenia, stay on her medication and we adjust for it and the child needs to bond.
With the parent.If i’ve got a child with a narcissistic or borderline parent, we want them bonding with that parent.We just want to adjust for the pathology of the parent, so it doesn’t distort the child.One of the influences that can adjust for that is the relationship with the healthy range parent.I want to eliminate all cutoffs.I don’t like cutoffs anywhere.Once there is a cutoff with the targeted parent one of the hurdles you will find to restoring the relationship is the child’s grief response.
Because the child grieves that parent.In normal development, the parent dies and the child grieves.In parental alienation, the child grieves and so psychologically kills the parent in order to process and manage the grief response.If the child reopens that, they’re going to have reopen to all of their sadness and grief.The parent’s dead, i just assume they stay dead because then i don’t have to deal with anything.When you get parental alienation there’s a high likelihood it’s going to be a lifelong thing.Now there is also a development curve that i work with in normal families, adolescents.
And young adulthood.The child goes out into the world and there’s this separation from the family, but typically developmentally around age twentyfive to thirtyfive there’s a reunification and restoration of the relationships so no matter how bad adolescent was when the kid’s thirtyfive they’re having barbecue with the mom and everything is restored and they laugh about what a troubled childhood they had.There is a rhythm to that return after separation.That could possibly play a role in this.The other feature i’ve noticed sometimes is the narcissistic borderline parent is so over.
The top that the child recognizes the pathology.When that happens they just go wow that parent is really pathological and they escape that parent, but oftentimes it’s too insidious and it’s difficult to escape.Tom see if i can articulate this are the dynamics of attachment disorder parental alienation and your role in providing therapy or treatment are those complicated when the parents, when their marriage is still intact, when there’s no intent to divorce Childress that can happen.Prior to the alienation, you’ll see a lead up into that process.Now going back to established constructs,.
The family is essentially from a family systems perspective, the child is being triangulated into the spousal conflict through a crossgenerational coalition with one parent against the other parent.That’s exceedingly common.That’s no big deal.We see that all the time.From a parental alienation syndrome model, i would say that that’s what that mildtomoderate looks like.It’s negative parental influence that we see all the time, parents have influence on kids and it’s problematic.It crosses a boundary line though when we have a narcissistic borderline parent who begins to really distort the kid.Now we’re.
Looking at severe pathology.That’s where i would draw a dichotomous cutoff.I would look at the symptom display of the child that i’m seeing a specific set of symptoms in the child as serving that cutoff.When it occurs in the family then i’m looking at broadly family systems kind of stuff of a crossgenerational coalition and prior to the divorce, i don’t yet have the full activation of the narcissistic inadequacy and the fear of abandonment because they’re still in the family.That parent or that spouse is still a very problematic spouse.
It may be headed for divorce down the road, but yeah it gets really complex.Bucatta my name is bucatta logby.I’m in psychological assessment i, Rich’s class.I want to thank you for such a volume, volume of information that you’ve given us this afternoon.I’m wondering if there would be any influence of extended family.The gentleman had mentioned the african cultural influence.In order to mend it because it sounds like if something is not done it’s just going to be a cycle on and on and on, narcissistic children, narcissistic.
Grandchildren, narcissistic great great grandchildren, where do we stop should there be an influence coming from the extended family where thus a child does not see himself as the only, that he’s connected to somebody that it’s just not me alone in the this world i’m old enough.Childress under the dsmiv they had a diagnosis of a shared psychotic disorder which is essentially a shared delusional disorder.Under the dsmiv, i would say the child merits the diagnosis of a shared delusional disorder that they have a delusion shared with the parent regarding what they believe these abusive.
Parenting of the other parent that’s essentially normal range.One of the issues around the shared delusional disorder is the isolation of the family.It gets very closed in on itself.There’s no extended networks up.You notice millon’s quote talks about reject shared thinking and alone they ruminant and create these fanciful beliefs so that isolation quality enhances the pathology within the family.Any embedding into social context is healthy.One of the neurobiologically again is the brain evolved in the context of a tribe where you’re known from birth to death and so over millions of years the human brain expects.
Those relationships.What we understand now from shore and others is that there’s mirror neurons and things, the brain is actually going into a resonant state with each other.The social brain actually stabilizes my individual brain.When i work with adhd, one of the problems with my kids with adhd is they drop out of the social field.I’ve got an isolated brain that goes all over the place and has impulse control problems and it’s all because they’re not being regulated by the other brains.To the extent that we can get the child into.
A social network, then the other brains can help regulate and get rid of the pathology.The problem is the narcissistic parent pulls the child away.The other problem is a narcissistic parent will pull them into their own family of origin which produced the narcissistic parent so i’ve got grandparents with pathology and they all support the pathology and now i’ve got a whole enmeshed what bowen describes i think as an undifferentiated ego mass.Everybody is just all over here.The other thing that gardner noted as one of his anecdotal symptoms is that the children of parental alienation reject a relationship.
Not only with the targeted parent but also with the family of the targeted parent.I find that interesting.I haven’t quite figured that one out.It may have something to do with the attachment system but i’ve seen it.They not only reject you.They reject the grandparents or the uncle that they used to have a relationship with.There’s intentional isolation of the child.Yeah, we need to get them back out there.The other feature that i would extend off of that is as therapists we are extended family.
In a tribal context, we’re the tribal elders.You have a problem you bring it to the tribal and so we have an influence, at least my perception as a family systems therapist we have an influence on the child to help balance the child out and say no your targeted parent that’s fine.They took your iphone away well you were being a little jerk.Parents take away the iphones.It’s not a big issues.It’s not abusive.They help balance the child out regarding the distortions coming off the other parent.Tom dellner i’ll try to squeeze in two more.
We had a couple of questions come in regarding in your experience what impact if any does birth order have on what we’re talking about today Childress it has some.The narcissistic borderline parent is trying to manage their pathology.They’re not and they actually believe what’s going on so they’re not thinking in a malicious way about things.They’re just responding, and so they will target the eldest child.It’s the eldest child that they will go for the rejection and the alienation with.The other two or the other kids in the family will be spared the alienation to start with.
You’ll see the eldest kid reject the parent and they’ll still maintain a relationship with the other two.Gradually over time once this child flips and is fully on board with the psychopathology, then these two will start to flip the other kids down the road, but at least initially it’s just the older kid and the two younger ones remain.That’s one of when i see cases or when i’m assessing cases along this line is how far along is this alienation process.First does the child have some doubt.Is there.
Some ambivalence in the child that’s a good thing or has the child flipped and has a delusional disorder, that’s less good.Then where’s the status of the younger kids in this flipping process gives me a sense of how long it’s been.Tom dellner i’ve been hanging on to this one for last.A learner writes in she’s been treating a family of three for more than a year.The parents announced in an imminent divorce.The narcissistic favored parent spoke with her in private about testifying in court regarding the poor parenting of the targeted problem parent and ask you to stop therapy.
With that parent.What would your approach be in that situation Childress no, i need permission from both parents to testify.If i don’t get permi both parents have to understand what my testimony might be.It has to be informed consent.It has to be in the best interest of everybody.There’s a lot of considerations to take into account as a treating therapist going into a court situation.It’s walking a minefield.The other walking a minefield is the idea of making custody recommendations with the therapist.That’s a dangerous minefield.You haven’t evaluated somebody who have been.
In a different role.The therapist needs to be very careful about talking about where the child should go or what the child should do.The challenge with parental alienation is i’ve said before is i don’t see it as a custody issue.I see it as a child protection issue.In my practice, i’ve evolved somewhat on this over time after treating cases and trying to treat cases and stuff is if i see a case of parental alienation, attachment based parental alienation at this point, i would diagnose with the v code of child psychological abuse.I believe that the role reversal relationship.
With a narcissistic borderline parent represents, meets the standard for child psychological abuse.If that’s the case, i’m also a mandated reporter, i’m allowed to report child psychological inaudible, i’m not mandated to report and so it opens up a whole new ball of wax.In addition as i would be called to testify or something, that opens up another ball of wax or can of worms regarding testifying in terms of abuse kinds of things.It gets extraordinarily complicated.My hope is that the therapist in this situation can just take a hands off approach and say, nope i’m the therapist.
And i’m work with the family and that’s how it is and i work from a family systems perspective and so if the family fragments one of the things i would think about is that transition from an intact family structure to a separated family structure.I’ve found that explaining that to families and to children helps them understand that the family isn’t disappearing.We’re just transitioning.How do we make that transition in the most healthy way for everybody involved the other feature to recognize and this may be where i’ll be going in the next five years or whatever is with the alienating parent,.
They’re not a bad human being, no one is really a bad, they’re a traumatized human being who comes off of their own trauma history and childhood that’s created a personality disorder that annoying and irritating but that is troubling.As mental health professionals, there’s a pull to help them as well.In this situation with a narcissistic or borderline, there’s a tremendous anxiety around the divorce.I’m inadequate and i’m being abandoned and things 014316, and that activates the pathology.Understanding that i want to go in with that parent and rather than just pathologizing or rejecting them i want to go in and see what.
I can do about relaxing that anxiety, relaxing that trauma that they have inside to allow them to permit them to allow the transition of the family into a healthier kind of position.That’s where the parent i hear there saying, they go to the pathology of the cutoff, so cutoff relationships, you’re no longer a spouse and now you have to be an exparent as well.Now they’re saying, you were the therapist for all of us and we need to cut off that relationship, and to address that pathology and say, no, no, no.That’s not healthy,.
And so let’s see what we can do about maintaining this family even as it transitions to a new family structure and so compensating for that.The other interesting thing i’ll just add to that is borderline personality is known for splitting narcissist also has splitting.One of the things that we recognize is as supervisors, as a lot of times as al supervisors or as team approaches in therapy is the potential for the infection of the splitting to the supervisory staff and so you get staff splitting.You get a borderline.
Trait supervisee into a supervision group situation and one supervisor will be on the favor of the intern and the other will be hostile to the intern and they’ll start fighting amongst themselves and so you get this parallel process in the supervisory staff to what’s going on to the splitting dynamic.That’s what i believe is occurring quite right now in mental health regarding parental alienation.We have a borderline process.The professional community are all arguing amongst ourselves.Oh, there’s parental alienation.No it’s junk science and we’re fighting that splitting dynamic.As therapists we need to cognizant.
Enough to recognize that and not do that.I’m not going to give a split.I’m not going to do this stuff.We need to stay unified in our approach to the psychopathology and not demonize the psychopathology.We’re treating it and so to maintain that balanced approach for the therapist would be my recommendation.Tom thank you.Unfortunately we’re just about out of time but before we go a couple of quick items and first and foremost thank you so much Childress for a fantastic lecture.Childress thank you.
Treatment of AttachmentBased Parental Alienation
Barbara today we’re very pleased to have Childress speak about the topic of attachment and parental alienation in a revolutionary way.Just very briefly, according to.I was reading helen fisher, who is a professor at rutgers university, and she’s a biological anthropologist.She talks about having three brain systems, one for lust, a system for romantic love, and a system or a drive towards attachment.As young children, when they’re growing up, that secure bond between a parent is correlated with emotional wellbeing. childress is here today because what happens when that is ruptured what happens when there’s.
A divorce so without further ado, let’s.I’ll turn it over to Childress.Craig a.Childress thank you.Thank you barbara.Let me start by thanking california southern university for the opportunity to talk today about an issue that i believe is very important to a set of children and families going through what’s called high conflict divorce that involves.Traditionally, it’s been called parental alienation, and it involves a child’s rejection of a relationship with a normal range in affectionately available parent, because of the distorting practices of the other parent during the high conflict.
Divorce.It’s a very tragic situation, and it’s a situation that’s not particularly well understood at this point.This is a companion lecture to my previous talk on the theoretical foundations for an attachment based model of the construct of parental alienation.In this particular talk today i’m going to be addressing diagnostic issues and treatment issues related to an attachment based model of parental alienation, but to begin with here i’d like to just review some of the theoretical foundations.For a more thorough discussion of that you can go back to my other previous talk.The construct of parental alienation.
Was first put forward by a psychiatrist richard gardner back in the 1980s, who identified this process involved in family dynamic involved in high conflict divorce that he called parental alienation syndrome.It was a set of anecdotal al indicators that he identified related to one parent inducing the child’s rejection of the other parent.Since the time that gardner put forth the idea of parental alienation syndrome, it’s received a lot of controversy.There are supporters for it, but there’s also a number of detractors.It was labelled junk science, it didn’t have a scientific foundation to it.He also put.
Forward some ideas about false allegations of sexual abuse that also generated considerable controversy.The construct of parental alienation syndrome from my perspective is a failed paradigm.In the thirty years since its first been introduced it has failed to solve the problem associated with parental alienation in high conflict divorce, and from my perspective, while gardner was accurate in identifying a al construct, he too quickly abandoned establish psychological principles and constructs in defining what was going on.He proposed, in my view, too quickly this idea of a new syndrome out there that was.
Not based in any established psychological principles, and because of that we have been unable to leverage the construct of parental alienation syndrome to solve the problem.Over thirty years we are still mired in a lot of controversy, and a lot of difficulty for the targeted parents who are rejected by their children.Gardner’s model for parental alienation syndrome, is in my view, a failed theoretical paradigm, because it does not establish what the processes are within established and accepted psychological principles and constructs that we can then use to understand what’s happening in the family.
It’s a failed diagnostic paradigm, because his anecdotal set of eight al indicators, things like a campaign of denigration, or borrowed scenarios don’t have any foundation in any other theoretical principles, and so whether or not it’s present or absence is open to debate, and often times leads to the third problematic issues regarding parental alienation syndrome is that it’s a failed legal paradigm, because it requires that we litigate whether or not parental alienation is occurring.That can be tremendously expensive for the targeted parents.It can involve years of litigation trying to prove parental alienation.
In court, and it can only be proven in the most egregious cases.Very insidious and subtle forms we are unable to prove it in the legal system, and having to prove it in the legal system unduly burdens targeted parents so that many of them cannot afford to do that, and so then lose a relationship with their children.It’s also a failed therapeutic paradigm, because even if we accept parental alienation syndrome, it doesn’t guide us as to what it is and how to treat it.From my perspective, when i first ran into this about.
A decade ago, and decided that this was an issue that needed resolution, i went back to the foundations and began to redefine what the construct of parental alienation is, but from within standard and accepted psychological principles and constructs.Now my background is in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as early childhood mental health, and in that early childhood mental health i have a background in attachment theory and the attachment system.It became, when i first ran into this, it was pretty obvious to me that this is a distortion to the child’s attachment system.A child rejecting.
An affectional bond with a normal range and affectionally available parent is a problem in the attachment system.Then i also recognized in the system display the.I’m a family systems therapist, so the cross generational coalition, the child’s triangulation to spousal conflict, as well as some key personality disorder symptoms in the child’s symptom display.Particularly, an absence of empathy and splitting, which are both characteristic of narcissistic borderline personalities.I’m seeing those in a child’s symptoms i’m going, uhoh, and we have this enmeshed relationship with the allied and supposedly favored parent, and.
So there’s personality disorder dynamics involved.I set about understanding an attachment based model, or parental alienation from an attachment based framework.The attachment based model, as i’ll be talking about today and in the previous lecture, acknowledges the al acumen, the accuracy in richard gardner in identifying something, but it goes back and reformulates what he identified as parental alienation from within standard and established psychological principles and constructs.An attachment based model of parental alienation returns to the theoretical foundations that define the construct of parental alienation, and corrects the earlier limitations by redefining the construct from within established principles.
And constructs.As such, it represents a new paradigm for understanding and defining the construct of parental alienation in high conflict divorce.Let me now talk about the paradigm shift.Here’s a model or a diagram of what we’ll be talking about in terms of an attachment based model.It starts with the disorganized preoccupied attachment of the alienating parent, and that’s technical but that’s the attachment system of the alienating parent is categorized or the category of how we would define as disorganized preoccupied, and that’s what led to the formation of the narcissistic and borderline personality.
Traits that we later see as the adult, but it also involves an attachment trauma.There’s trauma networks in there as well that are both being activated.We have two lines moving down in the dynamic, one having to do with the personality disorder manifestations of the alienating parent, the other having to do with the attachment trauma.What’s going to happen in the attachment trauma is there’s going to be a reenactment in the current family relationships of that attachment trauma.That’s going to be critical to understanding both the diagnosis and its treatment, that we’re dealing with a trauma issue here.From.
The personality disorder side, we’re getting an enactment of the narcissistic inadequacy fears and the borderline fears of abandonment.Those are beginning to distort the family processes.In understanding this complicated or complex psychological dynamic, it’s valuable to approach it with some degree of organization.The way i’ve organized an understanding of it is along three levels.There’s the surface level, which involves the family systems dynamics, and what’s happening in the family systems.Beneath that is the underlying personality disorder issues that are driving the family systems processes.Underneath the personality disorder level is the attachment system dysfunctions that.
Are driving the personality disorder that are driving the family systems.As we discuss an attachment based model of parental alienation, it’s helpful to get clarity as to which level we’re talking about so we don’t get all confused all over the place.The attachment system drives the narcissistic borderline personality processes which then drive the family dynamics.At the family systems level, the surface level, what’s going on is the inability of the family to transition from an intact family structure to a separated family structure.This is classic family systems work that when the family has difficulty transitioning, for whatever challenges.
They face, symptoms emerge within the family to help balance it, and maintain homeostasis within the family.I discuss this a lot of times with my clients, just because there’s a divorce doesn’t mean the family is disappearing.What we’re moving.We’re transitioning from an intact family structure that’s united by the marriage, to a separated family structure that’s now united by the child, but the family is still there because this child serves a uniting function.The more conflict in the parents, the more conflict in the child trying to serve that uniting function.What we would hope is that.
The parents can reduce their conflict, so the child can serve that uniting function in a peaceful way, and we can move from an intact family structure to a separated family structure.The problem that’s emerging within this construct of parental alienation is the triangulation of the child into that spousal conflict, through the formation of what’s called a cross generational parentchild coalition of the child with a narcissistic borderline parent.Here’s salvador minuchin talking about that cross generational coalition, the boundary between the parental subsystem and the child’s becomes diffuse, and the boundary around the parentchild triad, which should be diffuse,.
Becomes inappropriately rigid.This type of structure is called a rigid triangle.The rigid triangle can also take the form of a stable coalition.One of the parents joins the child in a rigidly bounded cross generational coalition against the other parent.That’s essential what parental alienation is.It’s a cross generational coalition of one parent with the child against the other parent.The little tweaking difference is that the parent who’s in the coalition has a narcissistic borderline personality disorder, and that transmutes that coalition into a particularly malignant and virulent form that is lethal.
To the other parent’s relationship with the child, because of the severe pathology of the narcissistic borderline parent.Jay haley, another preeminent family systems theorist also describes this cross generational coalition.The people responding to each other in the triangle are not peers, but one of them is from a different generation from the other two, so the parent and the child.In the process of their interaction together, the person of one generation forms a coalition with the person of the other generation against his peer.By coalition is meant a process of joint action, which is against the third.
Person.The coalition between the two persons is denied, that is there is a certain behavior which indicates a coalition, which when it is queried will be denied as a coalition.In essence, so salvador minuchin calls it a rigid triangle, jay haley calls it a perverse triangle because it’s crossing generational boundaries, and you should never cross generational boundaries.In essence the perverse triangle, is one in which the separation of generations is breached in a covert way.When this occurs as a repetitive pattern the system will be pathological.Rather than gardner’s model that says it’s a new syndrome, no, no, it’s.
Standard family systems kind of stuff.It’s just a cross generational coalition with a narcissistic borderline parent.There’s a quote, so the addition of parental narcissistic andor borderline pathology to a cross generational parentchild coalition transmutes the coalition into a particularly virulent and malignant form of the family dynamic that acts to terminate the child’s relationship with the other parent.Now, at the personality disorder level of things, one of the things that’s important to understand is the equivalency of the narcissistic borderline process.I’m going to be using those terms together.They’re not actually.
Separate personality dynamics, kernberg noted that.If you drop down to the attachment system level, we form expectations about ourselves in relationship and others in relationship.For both the narcissistic and borderline process, self is inadequate.I’m inadequate in the relationship, and my expectations of other is that i’m going to be abandoned.The difference is that borderline experiences that directly, and gets very chaotic in their emotions.The narcissist has developed a narcissistic defense that experience, and so i’m grandiose and so they reject others.Kernberg here says, one subgroup of borderline patients, namely,.
The narcissistic personalities seem to have a defensive organization similar to borderline conditions, and yet many of them function on a much better psychosocial level.The defensive organization of these patients, narcissists, is quite similar to that of the borderline personality organization in general.What distinguishes many of the patients with narcissistic personalities from the usual borderline patient is their relatively good social functioning, their better impulse control, and the capacity for active consistent work in some areas which permits them to partially fulfill their ambitions of greatness and of obtaining admiration from.
Others.The under stress, both the narcissistic borderline types personalities can decompensate into delusional belief systems.Theodore millon, one of the preeminent experts on personality disorders, author of the gold standard for assessing personality disorders the mcmi, comments or discusses the decompensation of a narcissistic personality under stress into delusional beliefs.Under conditions of unrelieved adversity and failure, narcissists may decompensate into paranoid disorders.Owing to their excessive use of fantasy mechanisms, they are disposed to misinterpret events and to construct delusional beliefs.Unwilling to accept constraints on their independence and unable to accept the.
Viewpoints of others, narcissists may isolate themselves from the corrective effects of shared thinking.Alone, they may ruminate and weave their beliefs into a network of fanciful and totally invalid suspicions.Among narcissists, delusions often take form after a serious challenge or setback has upset their image of superiority and omnipotence, that’s the divorce.They tend to exhibit compensatory grandiosity and jealousy delusions in which they reconstruct reality to match the image they are unable or unwilling to give up.Delusional systems may also develop as a result of having felt betrayed and humiliated,.
Again the divorce is going to absolutely trigger that.Here we may see the rapid unfolding of persecutory delusions and an arrogant grandiosity character by verbal attacks and bombast.I’m going to come back to this again when we talk about the reenactment narrative, and so it’s important to recognize that narcissistic borderline personalities decompensate into delusional beliefs.A lot of people think of the psychotic domain around schizophrenia or something that’s very flamboyant, not necessarily, this would be considered an encapsulated delusion.Aaron beck and his colleagues note that the diagnosis.
Of borderline was introduced in the 1930s to label patients with problems that seemed to fall somewhere between neurosis and psychosis.We’re dealing with a decompensation into a false belief system that is intransigently held, coming out of these internal working models of attachment, and we’ll talk about that in a little bit.With the narcissistic dynamic what we have is we have three sources of excessive anxiety being triggered for the narcissistic parent.The first is that reactivation of the attachment trauma, and i’ll deal with that later, but for the personality disorder level we have.
The activation of the narcissistic inadequacy fears.The divorce triggers, you are inadequate spouse, you’re an inadequate person, and because of that you’re being rejected which triggers the borderline fears of abandonment.The narcissistic borderline parent around the divorce, has these two excessive anxieties, sources of anxiety to cope with.The narcissistic parent misinterprets this excessive anxiety as representing an actual threat posed by the other parent, who is the triggering source of the anxiety, and so anxiety signals threat.They have a lot of anxiety, it must be something about you that is threatening, and because.
Of that narcissistic personality organization begins to decompensate into persecutory delusional beliefs that the other parent represents a threat to the child.Why a threat to the child we’re going to understand that when we go into the attachment trauma.It’s going to be funneled through.The anxiety’s going to be funneled through the attachment patterns into a threat to the child.The narcissistic borderline parent, at the personality disorder level, has to cope with these excessive anxieties, and they psychologically expel through projective displacement onto the other parent the narcissistic fear of inadequacy and the borderline fear.
Of abandonment by means of the child’s induced symptomatic rejection of the other parent.So that you’re the inadequate parent, not me.You’re the abandoned parent, not me.The child is rejecting you, the child wants me.I’m the ideal allwonderful parent, who will never be abandoned by the child.The whole process of what we call parental alienation, where the parent induces the child’s rejection of the other parent, the narcissistic borderline parent is using the child in what’s called a role reversal relationship to regulate that parent’s own anxieties.It’s not me that’s inadequate, it’s you.It’s not me that’s abandoned,.
It’s you.I’m the wonderful parent who will never be abandoned.The child’s induced rejection of the targeted parent is being used by the narcissistic borderline parent to regulate the parent’s own excessive anxiety of activated narcissistic inadequacy and borderline fear of abandonment that was triggered by the rejection of the divorce.That in early childhood, the phrase is, the child is being used as a regulating other for the parent, by projectively displacing these inadequacy and abandonment fears on to the other parent through the child’s rejection of the parent.Now let’s drop the third level.
Down to the foundations, which are the attachment system level.At the level of the attachment system, the attachment system creates internal working models of relationship expectations during childhood.Internal working models are bowlby’s phrase, beck uses the word schemas, and so they.Creates these patterns of expectations about self and other in relationship.These internal working models then coalesce, as we move into adulthood, into what we would call personality factors, and if its trauma involved we’re going to get some personality disorders.More and more we’re moving towards personality.
Disorders, particularly narcissistic and borderline personality.We’re beginning to understand them at the attachment system level, rather than the personality disorder level.The attachment system and its internal working models of relationship expectations mediate all of our future responses regarding both the formation and the loss of close emotionally bonded relationships throughout the lifespan.We have these patterns, they go quiet in most of our everyday life as adults, but whenever we form new relationships, a spousal relationship or any, the attachment system will glow warm, and our patterns of expectations will begin to mediate the formation.
Of those relationships.Or, whenever we lose somebody that’s close to us the attachment system will also start to glow warm and mediate the loss, and how we deal with the loss of situations, so that the divorce triggered the alienating parent’s attachment system to mediate that loss experience.The formation of narcissistic and borderline processes is the product of attachment drama during childhood.That’s just the way it is, we don’t get narcissistic and borderline personalities unless we have attachment trauma, that’s how it’s produced.The internal working models for attachment figures in the alienating parent’s.
Traumatized attachment networks have three components.There’s the victimized child, the abusive parent, and the protective parent, and the split between abusive parent and nurturing protective parent is called splitting, and i discussed that more in my previous talk on this.In that psychological process of the abusive trauma, the child psychologically splits their representational network for the parent into the abusive parent and the protective parent, so that as a way of managing the anxiety around a parent who’s both a source of nurture and a source of threat.In terms.
Of the alienating parent’s attachment networks, at the point of divorce we have the coactivation in the brain of two sets of attachment representations.One coming out of the internal working models from childhood, that involves victimized child, abusive parent, protective parent, and one in the current relationships which is the current child, the other parent, and the alienating parent.Notice there’s a one to one correspondence there, and so in the brain when you have the coactivation of two sets of brain networks, one from the past one from the current situation,.
There is a psychological fusion of these two brain networks.An equivalency between these two coactivated networks, so that the coactivation within the attachment system of two sets of representational networks, one for the persons in the current family relationships and one set embedded in the internal working models of attachment system, create a psychological fusion, or psychological equivalency between the patterns embedded in the internal working model and the current people in the current relationships.These two sets fuse into one, and so we have the victimized current child, the abusive.
Targeted parent, and the protective alienating parent.Within the distorted psychology of the narcissistic borderline mind, this becomes reality.This is the reactivation of their trauma, and this is what they see, and this is the decompensation into that delusional belief system.They lose track of what real people are actually the situation, and they begin to see the world in their trauma networks.One of the key elements of this is that victimized child scenario, because that’s the alienating parent as a child.That’s the source of their tremendous anxiety.They were the victimized child, and so now.
This current child is become symbolically their representation of themselves as a child, which they have to then protect from the abusive parent.They begin to act out all this nonsense, so that rather than responding to the actual people in the current family relationship, the personality disorder alienating parent instead reenacts past childhood trauma attachment through the current relationships, with the victimized child being one of the key components of this.In terms of representing the importance of this reenactment, the victimized child role is central to this whole reenactment trauma, because it then defines the other.
Two roles.The moment the child is victimized, that automatically defines the targeted parent as being abusive, and the moment the child accepts the victimized child role, that automatically allows the alienating parent to be the protective parent, and so the critical feature in this whole dynamic is getting the child to adopt the victimized child role, so understanding the reenactment narrative.The divorce triggers three separate but interrelated sources of tremendous anxiety for the narcissistic borderline parent.The narcissistic anxiety associated with activation of primal selfinadequacy, the borderline anxiety surrounding a tremendous fear of abandonment, and also a trauma anxiety.
Around the internal working models of attachment that are in the pattern of victimized childabusive parent.The narcissistic borderline parent misinterprets the meaning of this anxiety as falsely representing a threat posed by the other parent as a triggering origin for the anxiety.The original of the delusional processes lay in the misattribution of causality for an authentic experience of immense anxiety.The subsequent activity of the alienating narcissistic borderline parent essentially represents efforts at anxiety management regarding these three tremendous sources of anxiety, and then we see our full display of what’s going on in terms of parental alienation.The intense anxiety of the narcissistic.
Borderline parent is being channeled into and through the reactivated trauma network patterns of the internal working models, the organizing schemas of the attachment system, abusive parent, victimized child, protective parent, and so that’s why the child, the other parent represents a risk to the child, because it’s coming through those attachment networks.Now, the way the narcissistic borderline parent induces a child’s symptoms is complex and subtle.There’s a lot of ideas within the current issues surrounding parental alienation in high conflict divorce, that it has to do with the other parent, the alienating parent.
Bad mouthing the other parent, or saying bad things in front of the child.Not how it happens, it’s much subtler, it’s much more complex than that, because if it was just a matter of that the kid would go, no, i like my mom, she’s fine.It’s a much subtler process that happens.The reenactment narrative of abusive parent, victimized child, protective parent that essentially represents the symptoms features of parental alienation is created by inducing the child to adopt the victimized child role.That’s the critical element, if i can get.
The child to believe they’re a victim then it automatically defines the other parent as abusive, and automatically defines me as the protective parent, so that’s the critical feature.Yeah, so the key to creating the reenactment narrative is to induce the child into adopting the victimized child role, everything else flows from that.The way that that’s induced is you first, the alienating parent will first elicit a criticism from the child.The narcissistic borderline parent will elicit the criticism through motivated overanxious and directed questioning such as, how did everything go at your father’s house did.
Everything go okay and you get this anxious, did everything go okay child will say, yeah, everything was fine.Really you two got along okay nothing happened so the parent won’t accept that response.They’ll keep probing, they’ll keep come on tell me something, give me something, give me something.Even if it’s very mild such as, well it was kind of boring.Okay, how mild of a criticism is that, it was kind of boring the next phase is where the alienating parent distorts that and exaggerates that, so you know it was kind of boring.Oh i can’t believe your father didn’t have anything for.
You planned, planned for you to do.He only has one weekend with you, and he can’t come up with anything for you guys to do together.Oh gosh, he’s only thinking of himself, i can’t believe that.Okay, so in the response of the narcissistic borderline parent they exaggerate and distort this, and communicate to the child that the other parent is something wrong with the other parent.Yeah in addition, it’s supposedly it’s the child who is offering the criticism.The narcissistic borderline parent is simply sort of.Supposedly.
Being a supportive parent for the child, which allows the narcissistic borderline parent to adopt that coveted role as the all wonderful, protective, supportive parent.This presentation offered to the child, i’m your supportive parent.I’m the one who care about you, is in direct contrast to the presentation of the other parent that they’re abusively inadequate.They’re not caring enough for you.The narcissistic borderline parent can.Acquires the proper answers from the child through subtle communication queues, such as the loss of emotional tone if the child doesn’t give the right answer.So, how was everything at your mom’s house.
it was good.Oh, okay, and just that drop in emotional tone signals that’s the wrong answer.Or, because we’re dealing with narcissistic borderline, they may get a little angry at the child.So, how was everything over there fine.Really, okay, you need to clean your room.You need.You need to do this, and all of a sudden they get a little hostility angry because they gave the wrong answer.Through that process it’s very easy to communicate to the child what’s the right answer to give mom, what’s the wrong answer to give mom, what’s the right answer to give dad, what’s.
The wrong answer to give dad.The child begins to pay attention to what the parent wants, because it can be dangerous living with a narcissistic borderline personality.The narcissistic range and the borderline angry is very sharp and very intense.Then on the reverse side, the emotionally animated responses of the parent signal you gave me the right answer.Okay, so when the child says, oh, they got mad at me for not cleaning the dishwasher, it’s like, oh my goodness, oh, and the child recognizes that the parent loves that.That’s a good answer, because now the parent gets all upset, and.
Oh how terrible things are, but to all external appearances supposedly, the narcissistic borderline parent is simply being supportive of the child.They’re not bad mouthing the other parent.They’re simply being an understanding and wonderful parent, and that’s the communication to the child as well.If therapists or the attorneys or the judge asks the child, is your parent bad mouthing no, i’m the one doing the bad mouthing.They’re not doing it it’s me.Which is a source of that independent thinker kind of thing regarding the child.The child is led into a belief that they are a victim, and that they’re the ones that are.
Making the criticism.In addition, the narcissistic borderline parent conveys meaning to the child that the parenting practices of the other parent are abusively inadequate to the child.The parental outrage of, oh, they’re treating you so terrible, communicates to the child that they are the victim.It’s this process, of inducing this belief in the victimization of the child, in which the narcissistic personality processes is grandiose entitlement are transferred to the child.Later we will see that narcissistic grandiosity of judging the other parent, and from an top down position, and the sense of entitlement that the targeted parent has to.
Meet my needs to my satisfaction or else i get to judge them.Well, all of that’s being communicated through this, the attitudes of the narcissistic borderline parent as they convey that to the child.Finally, a final component of conveying meaning is that the narcissistic borderline personality conveys the appropriate themes for criticizing the other parent.You have, oh, i can’t believe your father didn’t have anything for you to do.He only has the one weekend, you’d think he could arrange to have something to do, so there’s your sense of entitlement.He’s just so selfish, he only things about what.
He wants.They slip in that criticism, oh she has anger management problems, she was always this way, and there’s your theme.As the child is getting this influence that they’re supposed to criticize the other parent along these themes.Pretty soon the child comes home from visitations parent says, how were things the child feeds right the theme, right the stuff, and it just feeds that whole reenactment narrative so that the alienating parent the narcissistic borderline parent, since the child is fulfilling their roles as a victimized child, the alienating parent can then adopt the role of the supportive.
Nurturing parent.Oh, i so care about you.Oh, it’s so terrible that you have to put up that, and then they display that to all the therapists, to all the attorneys, this coveted roles as the all wonderful, perfectly nurturing parent.Through the continual repetitions of this motivated and directive questioning process, the child is induced into adopting the victimized child role.The moment the child adopts this victimized child in the reenactment narrative, this immediately and automatically defines the targeted parent into the abusive parent role, and so all the therapists when the child.
Presents and says, i’m a victimized child, all the therapists believe that and go, well, you must be an abusive parent then.Immediately the focus is taken off of the narcissistic borderline parent, and the distorted parenting practices of this parents, and their inadequacy and all this, and is put on the other parent.You’re a bad parent, now the other parent has to prove a negative.They have to prove, i’m not an abusive parent, i’m actually a good parent.Everybody’s focused, and they have to.And it keeps the focus.
Off the pathology of the narcissistic parent, which is what it’s designed to do.The narcissistic parent puts the child out front in a role reversal relationship, and then hides behind the child, and presents as the nurturing parent, which is the role they want as the all wonderful narcissist.That’s where the victimized child role allows that narcissistic parent to adopt that protective parent role.The attachment system, and the suppression of the child’s attachment system, the attachment system evolved across millions of years of evolution involving the selected predation of children.Predators are seeking the old, the weak, and the young.
Children who bonded to parents got protection from predators, children who didn’t were eaten by predators.It’s a very strong and resilient system.We all live an attachment system, we all know what it’s like to love our parents even though they were messed up, even though there were problems, we still love them.We still love our children even though they’re annoying at times, because of the strength of that attachment system.We understand how strong it is, but in this situation we have a child rejecting a relationship with a normal.
Range and affectionately available parent.How do we get that how do we suppress the attachment system of a child well this is how it occurs.By inducing the child into adopting the victimized child role, the other parent, the targeted parent, is immediately and automatically defined as the abusive parent.By defining the other parent as a threat to the child, as abusively inadequate parent, this automatically suppresses the child’s attachment bonding motivations towards this supposedly abusive parent, because children are not motivated to bond to the threat, to the predator.Instead, children are motivated.
To flee from the threat, and to bond to the protective parent.The moment the child is induced into this belief that they’re a victim, then his attachment system is turned off towards that predator, and they are motivated to bond to the supposedly protective parent, which is the role of the narcissistic borderline parent.These are exactly the symptoms of parental alienation right there.The child is fleeing from the threat, and they will say, oh, they’re horrible to me.They’re a really bad parent, and they are hyper bonded to the narcissistic borderline parent, they don’t separate.Now,.
If you know anything about the attachment system, a secure attachment the child ventures out into the world and then comes back.A child who is preoccupied on maintaining a relationship with the parent, that’s called an insecure attachment.Insecure preoccupied or anxious ambivalent, because of a variably available parent, but that’s what we see with parental alienation.The child’s hyper bonding motivation towards the narcissistic borderline parent isn’t a symptom of health bonding, it’s a symptom of pathological bonding.It’s an insecure attachment, the child’s not going out and forming new relationships with.
The other parent.Instead, the child’s hyper focused on the alienating parent.The child seeks to flee from the supposed threat posed by the abusive targeted parent, and the child seeks the continual protective proximity of the supposedly protective parent, which is the role being prominently displayed and adopted by the narcissistic borderline parent, but none of this narrative is true.The child is not a victim.The parenting practices of the targetedrejected parent are not abusive, and the narcissistic borderline parent is not the ideal, wonderful, all nurturing protective parent.
It is a false narrative created by a narcissistic borderline parent as an outward recreation of this parent’s own attachment trauma history.At its core, the very processes of what we would traditionally describe as parental alienation represent an outward manifestation of psychotic delusional processes of a narcissistic borderline parent arising from the distorted internal working models of attachment, in which past childhood trauma is being recreated and reenacted in current relationships.This is very serious psychopathology.Not only is it personality disordered psychopathology, the reenactment out of childhood of these trauma shifts it.
Over into a delusional psychotic process within the family.Now i will remind you of what theodore millon said about the decompensation of a narcissistic personality into delusional beliefs, into persecutory delusional beliefs.That’s exactly what’s going on, is we have this psychotic process within this family, and what astounds me is that mental health therapists are entirely missing the extent of the psychopathology within this family.Holy cow, this is really serious, and they just think it’s normal range parentchild stuff, and they don’t recognize it, they don’t see it.The schematic diagrams.
For describing this process, first you have the three levels at the attachment system level, personality disorder level, the family systems level.Then this particular schematic shows how the disorganized preoccupied attachment of the alienating parent moves into both attachment trauma and the personality disorder processes, that are then reactivated in the divorce as a borderline fear of abandonment, and the narcissistic inadequacy.The borderline fear of abandonment leads to what’s called the invalidating environment, discussed by marsha linehan, and the narcissist decompensants into persecutory delusions that are also being fed by the attachment trauma that then create.
The suppression of the child’s attachment system, and the projection of the narcissistic inadequacy and borderline abandonment fears onto the other parent.Complicated, complex, because the inner world of a narcissistic borderline parent is a complicated, complex place.With trauma histories and all this kind of stuff, but while it may seem complicated on first blush, it stays the same.This will be the same tomorrow as it was yesterday, it’ll be the same next week, six months from now, this is very structured, it’s very continual, this is what it is.It will always stay this way, so as you become more and more familiar.
With it you go, okay, i get it.The clarity begins to move through, because it’s not something that’s highly variable or changing all the time.Now, understanding what is going on, then allows us to identify where should we look to diagnose this.What features stand out in this that we can diagnose this reliably and in every case there’s a set of three diagnostic indicators by which we can reliably diagnose this every time it occurs, and deferentially diagnose it when it’s not occurring.The presence in the child’s symptom display, so i’m not worried about how these two are interacting.I don’t.
Need to diagnose a narcissistic personality, that’s going down a rabbit hole if i try to diagnose a parent.I’m looking at the child’s symptom display, because i’m looking at the influence of that onto the child.The presence in the child’s symptom display of three specific diagnostic indicators represents definitive al evidence for the presence of pathogenic parenting.Now, the word parental alienation is not a al term.As a al psychologist i don’t know what that means.The correct al term is pathogenic parenting.Patho is pathology, genic genesis the creation,.
It’s parenting practices that are creating a pathology in the child.The word pathogenic parenting is used a lot in attachment work, because that’s what messes up the kid’s attachment system is pathogenic parenting, so that’s the correct al term.The three diagnostic indicators are definitive al evidence of pathogenic parenting practices by the allied and supposedly favored parent that are directly responsible for the child’s symptomatic cutoff of a relationship with the other parent.Cutoff is a term out of bowen family systems work.Notice that definition there never uses the word parental alienation, we don’t need.
It okay, we can define this entirely within standard psychological constructs.The three diagnostic indicators are, the attachment system suppression, which you don’t see, that’s an aberrant display of the child’s attachment system, you will also see a set of personality disorder symptoms in the child symptom display that are being acquired from the influence of the narcissistic personality, and then you will see this delusional belief that the child is a victim, that represents the trauma reenactment.So, criterion one, the attachment system suppression, the child symptom display evidences a selective.
And targeted suppression of the normal range functioning of the child’s attachment bonding motivations toward one parent, in which the child seeks to entirely cutoff a relationship with this parent.That doesn’t happen, children who cutoff a relationship with a parent were eaten by predators.The attachment system motivates children’s bonding to parents, even bad parents.In fact, especially bad parents, because if i have a bad parent that puts me at risk of predation, so i develop an insecure attachment where i’m more strongly motivated to bond to the bad parent.Cutting off the relationship is indicative.
That there’s a narcissistic parent somewhere.It’s either that parent, you’re a narcissistic and so you’re abusive to me, a sexual predation, or physical violence or something, and so now it’s authentic.Or, if you’re not the problematic parent it’s the other one that’s a narcissistic.One way or the other that’s how we see cutoffs in relationships.The additional criteria is that we have the absence of severely dysfunctional parenting by the targetedrejected parent.A al assessment of the parenting behavior of the rejected parent provides no evidence for severely dysfunctional parenting, such as chronic parental substance.
Abuse, parental violence, or parental sexual abuse of the child that would account for the child’s complete rejection of the parent.So if i got a child rejecting a parent, i’m going to look at the parent and say, are you physically abusive was there a history of domestic violence is there a methamphetamine addict is there something that would account for that level of distortion to the child’s attachment system in the absence of that if you’re roughly normal range, well then that doesn’t account for it.The third element.
Is that roughly normal range.That the parenting practices of the targetedrejected parent are assessed to be broadly normal range, with due consideration given to the broad spectrum of acceptable parenting practices typically displayed in normal range families.We need to get away from microanalyzing parenting of the targetedrejected parent.It’s respect for what represents broadly normal range practices, and to the legitimate exercise of parental authority and parental prerogatives in establishing family values, and the exercise of normal range parental authority, leadership, and discipline within the parentchild relationship.One of the ways i conceptualize this is if you put parenting practices on a scale from.
Zero to a hundred, with zero into the spectrum being lax and permissive parenting, and the higher end being firm and structured parenting, normal range parenting practices would somewhere be between twenty and eighty is normal range.The abnormal range is zero to twenty and eighty to a hundred.Now, as mental health people, we like balanced parenting.We like parents to use some degree of dialog on the permissive side of things, but also to be firm and structured, and provide guidance to the child.We think the best parenting.
Practices are in the middle, and combine a blend of those two qualities, listening to the child is also providing structure.We like parenting between the forty to sixty range, okay that combines some sort of blend, but that doesn’t mean that the twenty to forty and sixty to eighty are not normal range.The more you start to move towards those extremes, you’re going to get more problems, but we shouldn’t be micro analyzing and telling parents what they should do.Some parents like firm structure, that’s their prerogative in establishing family values.Some people like a little bit more lax and.
.That’s their right in establishing their family values according to their culture, belief systems, according to who they are.We shouldn’t get in, if the parenting practices are broadly normal range then we should see an attachment system bond.It’s only those very extreme ones that we’re concerned about.The second set of symptoms, or symptom diagnostic indicator are narcissistic personality symptoms in the child’s symptom display.The child’s symptom display toward the targetedrejected parent evidences a specific set of five narcissistic and borderline personality disorder symptoms that are diagnostically indicative of parental.
Influence on the child of a narcissistic borderline personality.So, five a priority predicted symptoms, those symptoms are the grandiosity, that the child will display a grandiosity where they’re elevated in the family hierarchy above the targeted parent to where the child feels entitled to judge that parent, and judge that parent as both a parent and as a person.There’s an absence of empathy, the child will say and do very cruel things to the targetedrejected parent without any sense of caring or compassion or empathy for the parent.A sense of entitlement, that the child expects a targeted parent to.
Meet their every need to the child’s satisfaction, or else the child feels entitled to exact a retaliatory revenge upon the parent.The child will display a haughty and arrogant attitude towards the parent, of contemptuous disdain for who that parent is as a person, and then the splitting.The child will see the targeted parent as the all bad parent, and the narcissistic parent as the all wonderful parent.These are what i refer to as the psychological fingerprints of control on the child by a narcissistic borderline parent.The only way.
The child acquires narcissistic personality disorder symptoms is from the influence of a narcissistic parent.They do not arise endogenously to a child, never occur, and a lot of therapists who don’t get it, who don’t understand this look at this set of symptoms and think they’re oppositional defiant symptoms, or normal range conflict stuff.They’re not aware of personality disorder dynamics.One of the key areas that should provoke a look at this is this child’s absence of empathy.That’s a very unique symptom.You don’t see absence of empathy except in autism, narcissistic personality, or antisocial personality.Any.
Other kids, i deal with angry grumpy kids all the time, adhd, oppositional defiant, throwing chairs through walls, big argument, the child still has empathy once they calm down from their angry.This kid, no empathy.No compassion for the targeted parent, and the splitting dynamic, all good, all bad.Things once defined don’t change.Okay, that splitting should trigger any mental health professional to begin to look for the narcissistic borderline personality.Now there is an anxiety variant of this, and especially occurs in younger children, typically children around four, five, six years old,.
Where the child displays an excessive anxiety towards the targetedrejected parent.It’s not this grandiose judgment of them, they’re terrified of being with that parent, and the source of that is because the narcissistic alienating parent is communicating the other parent’s a threat to you.The little four year old goes, oh really, they’re that bad a threat to me, and so they’re terrified.Recognizing this particular symptom is as you go down the child’s anxiety, it will meet dsm criteria, dsm5 criteria for a phobic anxiety.You just walk it down, you look and say, i.
Have a child with a phobia, but the type of phobia will be this bizarre and unrealistic mother type or father type.The child has a phobia towards their father, that’s just weird.That just doesn’t happen.The attachment system would prevent that from happening.You don’t have a phobia towards your parent, because predator’s going to eat you, you’re going to fall off a cliff, bad things are going to happen.It is an induced phobia coming from the emotional signaling of the narcissistic borderline parent.The third symptom criteria,.
The diagnostic criteria is the existence of a persecutory delusional belief.The child’s symptoms will display an intransigently held, fixed and false belief i.E., a delusion, call it an encapsulated delusion, regarding the fundamental parental inadequacy of the targetedrejected parent in which the child characterizes a relationship with the targetedrejected parent in which the child characterizes a relationship with the targetedrejected parent as being emotionally or psychologically abusive of the child.The child may use this fixed and false belief regarding the supposedly abusive inadequacy of the targeted parent to then justify the child’s rejection of the targeted parent.That the targeted parent.
Deserves to be rejected because of the supposedly abusive parenting practices of this parent.Very characteristic, if you hear that theme coming forward, that the parent deserves to be rejected, deserves to be punished, think attachment based parental alienation.It almost so characteristic that it becomes a diagnostic sign.I didn’t include it as part of it, because you may not always display, but boy that attitude is just prevalent, the parent deserves it.Now, let me make a comment at this point, which is that the actual underlying psychotic process supporting the delusional belief system is the reenactment narrative originating in.
The traumatized attachment networks of the narcissistic borderline parent’s attachment system, in which there is a psychological equivalency of past internal working models of attachment and, and the current family relationships.The narcissistic borderline parent is reenacting past trauma in current relationships by inducing the child into adopting the victimized child role.That’s the psychotic process, that’s the source of the delusion, that’s the iceberg.What we see on the surface is the child has acquired that belief system, and that abusive inadequacy, but if you’re diagnosing this you can look for the actual psychotic process in the family.Look for that reenactment narrative,.
And all the themes of that reenactment narrative, and then you just have the cherry on the top of the kid’s actual belief system.The presence of all three of symptoms in the child’s symptom display represents definitive diagnostic evidence for the presence of pathogenic parenting emanating from the allied and supposedly favored parent as being the direct causal agent for the cutoff of the child’s attachment bonding motivations toward the other parent.There is no other explanation possible for the presence in the child’s symptom display of all three of these symptoms together, other than pathogenic parenting associated with.
An attachment based model of parental alienation.If you see this, it’s the only way you get to these symptoms.It’s a very clear dichotomous diagnosis.You see this set, that’s what we’re looking at.If you don’t see this set, then something else is going on.The dsm5 diagnosis, if we see this set of symptoms in the child’s symptom display, the appropriate dsm diagnosis, and i have an essay article on my website that goes into this in more detail, it’s essentially an adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct.
This requires a stressor, the stressor is not the divorce.The stressor is living with a narcissistic borderline parent.It’s a chronic stressor of living with a narcissistic borderline parent that’s producing an adjustment disorder to adjusting to the family’s transition.Then we have some v codes, a parentchild relationship problem with both parents.A child affected by relationships distress, and child psychological abuse confirmed.Let me talk about that for a second.The process of parental alienation represents pathogenic parenting by a narcissistic borderline parent that is inducing significant developmental.
Pathology, the suppression of the attachment system, personality pathology, narcissistic and borderline personality traits in the child, and psychiatric pathology, a delusional belief in the child that’s resulting in their loss of a relationship with the parent in the loss of an affectionally bonded relationship with a normal range and affectionately available parent.That when you have parenting practices that are inducing that degree of pathology in the child, that attachment based parental alienation ceases to be a child custody issue, and becomes a child protection issue.That we have personality disorder symptoms.
Beginning to emerge in the child, a delusional belief system where they’re losing a relationship with a normal range and affectionally available parent, and the suppression of their attachment system that’s going to mess up not only their life, but potentially the lives of their child and their spouse, and the attachment system’s going to mess up a number of different relationships in their life, that’s a child protection issue.Moving to therapy, that therapy requires that we know what we’re treating, and that’s one of the major problems out there right now,.
Is people don’t know what they’re treating with this.They don’t know it’s a psychotic disorder.They don’t know it’s a personality process, or that it’s a trans generational transmission of attachment trauma.That children and families evidencing the diagnostic indicators of attachment based parental alienation represent a special population requiring specialized professional knowledge, training, and expertise to competently diagnose and treat.That mental health therapists and evaluators working with this special population of children and families should possess a professional level of competence in the following areas, the attachment system.It’s characteristic patterns of function and dysfunctioning.Personality.
Disorder dynamics, with a particular focus on narcissistic and borderline personality processes.Delusional belief systems, particularly surrounding narcissistic and borderline personality disorder processes and trauma reenactment, and family system theory, focused on recognizing crossgenerational parentchild coalitions.Let me take that a little bit deeper.With the attachment theory, to be professionally competent working with this special population, the therapists and child custody evaluators, anybody working with this group of kids and families, should have the professionally competent assessment and treatment to the child’s attachment system requires a knowledge of the developmental origins of the attachment system, the interpersonal.
And psychological functions served by the attachment system across the lifespan.People tend to think of attachments only relevant to childhood, no it’s not.It mediates relationships across the lifespan.Characteristics features of the attachment system and the characteristic patterns of dysfunctioning, so that child’s bonding to the supposedly favored parent is not a sign of secure attachment, that’s actually a sign of insecure attachment.We need to understand these sort of things if you’re going to work with the attachment system, and the attachment system expression in parentchild relationships, particularly with regard to the neurodevelopmental role of protest behavior.Protest behavior.
Is designed to elicit greater parental involvement, and there’s reasons for that.The child acting up is designed to elicit parental involvement.Here we have a child acting out to detach, to sever parental involvement, that’s not normal, that’s not how the brain works.With regard to personality disorder dynamics, professional familiarity with the al display of narcissistic and personality dynamics.Such as beck and his colleagues, kernberg, linehan, millon, including the expression of these personality dynamics in family relationships, and the features of conarcissistic behavioral displays in children.Rappoport has an article.
About that, the conarcissistic and what that child looks like.The decompensation of narcissistic and borderline personality dynamics into delusional beliefs systems under stress, and the invalidating environment, as discussed by linehan, relative to the borderline process.At the delusional level, competent professional practice with this special population requires a professional understanding for the formation of delusional belief systems, particularly those associated with the psychological decompensation of narcissistic and borderline personality organization.Including the interpersonal relationship and communication processes by which these false beliefs can be transferred to a child within a parentchild relationship.
Things like parentchild enmeshment, parental emotional signaling, selective and differential parental attunement and misattunement to the children’s behavior and to their inner experience, as well as children’s previous position to socially reference parents for meaning, particularly in ambivalent situations, or in situations where there’s a parent signaling there’s a threat or a danger.Understanding child development, and how the children work in that parentchild relationship works is critical.Now, on this issue of attunement and misattunement, let me just explain those words for a second, comes out of early childhood stuff.If a child is hungry, and the parent feeds the child, that’s an attuned response.
If the child has a messy diaper, and the parent comes changes the diaper, that’s an attuned response.If the child is hungry, and the parent changes the diaper, that’s a misattuned response.If the child has a messy diaper, and the parent feeds the child, that’s a misattuned response.It’s not a behavior per say, it’s how synchronous and aligned that parental behavior is with the child’s experience.It’s like if you think of wave forms, if the parent is attuned to the child that amplifies the wave, because their troughing and peaking.
On the same rhythm.If the child and parent are misattuned, that dampens the child’s inner experience, because the parents peaking and the child’s troughing, or the child’s peaking and the parents.And so the child’s misattuned responses suppress the child’s inner experience, attuned responses amplify it.That’s how the alienating parent, when the child says, how was the time with your dad and the kids says, oh great, wonderful, and the parent goes, oh, and gets all dejected, that’s a misattuned response to the child’s happiness, which will then suppress the child’s experience of happiness.
When the child says, oh, it was kind of boring, and they go, really, it was so boring, that’s attuned response to the child’s criticism, which will amplify the child’s criticism.That’s how this process is transmitted.It’s not through just overtly bad mouthing the other parent, and if you’re going to work with this special population, you have to understand how this stuff works.Family systems theory, that professionally competent assessment and treatment of this special population requires a knowledge of family systems theory, because you’re dealing with family systems.Structural and strategic family systems are highly recommended,.
And particularly focused on this issue of the cross generational coalition.The child’s triangulation and cross generational coalition.Failure to possess this specialized professional knowledge, training, and expertise to appropriately diagnose and treat this special population of children and family processes represents practice beyond the boundaries of professional competence in possible violation of professional practice standards.Ethical standards for psychologists standard 2.02, psychologists provide services, teach and conduct research with populations and in areas only within their boundaries of competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study or professional experience..
Humanistic child therapy that focuses on validating the child’s feelings is absolutely the wrong thing to do.The family processes of parental alienation represent a shared delusional belief in which the child is being induced into adopting and accepting the false role as a victim within the trauma reenactment narrative of the narcissistic borderline parent.Validating a patient’s delusional beliefs as a result of professional ignorance regarding the necessary areas of professional expertise required for treatment is colluding with the pathology and represents incompetent therapy.Professionally incompetent therapy as a product of professional ignorance, and from practice beyond the boundaries of.
Professional competence, in violation of professional practice standards, that results in harm to the client, the unresolved developmental, personality, and psychiatric pathology and the loss for the child of a relationship with a normal range and affectionally available parent, would likely represent irresponsible and negligent practice that could expose the therapist to a malpractice lawsuit from the targeted parent.You’re not allowed to treat stuff that you don’t know what you’re doing.If a patient has cancer, and a podiatrist diagnoses and begins treating the cancer with blood pressure medication, and the patient dies, that would be considered malpractice.We need to begin.
To develop professional competence in treating this domain of parent and family issues.Therapy requires knowing what we’re treating.Children and families evidencing the al and diagnostic indicators of attachment based parental alienation represent a special population requiring specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently diagnose and treat.Let’s talk about therapy from an attachment based model.An attachment based model of parental alienation provides a coherent description of what we’re treating at the family systems level, at the personality disorder level, and the attachment level.At the family systems level we’re treating.
The child’s triangulation into a cross generational coalition with a narcissistic borderline parent that is against the other parent, and the two impediments to the transition are an unprocessed grief response, and the splitting dynamic of the narcissistic borderline parent, and i discussed those in the previous series, in previous lecture.At the personality disorder level, we’re treating anxiety management efforts of a narcissistic borderline parent through the projective displacement of the narcissistic fears of inadequacy and borderline fears of fears of abandonment onto the other parent by means of the child’s induced rejection.
Of the other parent.The narcissistic borderline parent is decompensating under the rejection of the divorce into delusional beliefs regarding the supposed abusiveness of the other parent.At the level of the attachment system, it represents the trans generational transmission of attachment trauma from the childhood of the narcissistic borderline parent to the current family relationships.The transmission process involves creating a reenactment in current family relationships of the childhood trauma embedded in the internal working models of the alienating parent’s attachment system.Pathogenic parenting practices by a narcissistic borderline parent that are inducing significant developmental, personality, and psychiatric.
Pathology in the child, in order for the parent to use the child in a role reversal relationship as a regulatory object, to regulate the parent’s own anxieties, and in which results in the loss for the child of a relationship with a normal range, loving, and affectionally available parent, represents the psychological abuse of the child.Therapy, central to the understanding therapy is the misattribution of grief.The central feature of the child’s experience in attachment based parental alienation is the misattribution by the child of an authentic grief response.Initially this grief is triggered by the loss.
Of the intact family, but then this grief and loss experience for the child is increased exponentially once the child begins rejecting an affectionally bonded relationship with the beloved but now rejected targeted parent.The attachment system, described by mary ainsworth here, i define an affectional bond as a relatively long enduring tie in which the partner is important as a unique individual, and is interchangeable with none other.In an affectional bond, there is a desire to maintain closeness to the partner.In older children and adults, notice she talks older children and adults.The attachment system is relevant across the lifespan.In.
Older children and adults, that closeness may come to some extent or may to some extent be sustained over time and distance and during absences, but nevertheless there is at least an intermittent desire to establish proximity and interaction, and pleasure often joy upon reunion.Inexplicable separation tends to cause distress, and permanent loss would cause grief.An attachment is an affectional bond, and hence an attachment figure is never wholly interchangeable with or replaceable by another, even though there may be others to whom one is also attached.In attachments, as in other affectional bonds,.
There is a need to maintain proximity, distress upon inexplicable separation, pleasure and joy upon reunion, and grief at loss.In parental alienation where’s the child’s grief response at losing the targeted parent it’s not there.The child shows no grief response, but the attachment system is going to produce a grief response.The attachment system’s like the hunger system, it’s a primary motivational system.If you don’t eat you’re going to get hungry.If you break a parentchild bond, you’re going to have grief.Where’s the child’s grief response that’s the critical question, and that’s where therapy needs to focus, because.
Once we get that grief response everything’s going to be resolved.Kernberg talks about narcissistic processing of sadness.They, narcissists, are especially deficient in genuine feelings of sadness and mournful longing.Their incapacity for experiencing depressive reactions is a basic feature of their personalities.Narcissistic borderline personalities don’t experience that sadness.When abandoned or disappointed by other people they may show what on the surface looks like depression, but which on further examination emerges as anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes, rather than real sadness for the loss of a person whom they appreciated.Under the distorting influence of the narcissistic.
Borderline parent, who interprets sadness as anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes, the child is led into a similar misinterpretation as the narcissistic borderline parent, regarding the child’s authentic feelings of sadness, loss and grief, as being anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes against the other parent.That the child misinterprets an authentic grief response as something bad the targeted parent is doing to cause the child’s sadness, because we hurt when people do bad things to us.When the child is with the targeted parent, the child’s attachment system motivates them to bond to the parent,.
But they’re not bonding to the parent so they feel a greater grief response, and they hurt more.When the child is away from the targeted parent, over with the alienating parent, the targeted parent isn’t there, their attachment system quiets down for bonding, so they have less grief response, they hurt less.I’m with the parent, i hurt more.I’m away from the parent, i hurt less.It must be something about that parent that’s bad, because i can feel it for myself.I can feel, and under the influence.
Of the narcissistic parent who’s telling the child there’s something bad about that parent, the child comes to believe that.No, it’s not true, that’s not true.The reason you hurt with this parent is because you love them.You want a hug, you want to bond with them, that’s why.And you’re not allowing yourself to do that, that’s why it hurts.The child has acquired a misattribution of the grief response under the distorting influence.All therapy is is helping the child recognize what’s going on.No, that parent’s fine, you.
Just need to love the.And the moment the child bonds to the parent their sadness and grief goes away, and the child goes, oh is that what it was oh, silly me, okay.Now we got a healthy family.It’s not all that complicated to treat, we just need to rebalance the child out of the distortions of the narcissistic borderline parent.Under the distorting influence of the narcissistic borderline parent, the child interprets this rise and fall in hurting as evidence that it’s actually the other parent, because i hurt more with you, and i hurt less.
Without you.Now this is the origins of what gardner called the independent thinker phenomenon.That the child actually believes that no it’s me, i know it’s not my dad who’s influencing me, i actually believe this, because the child has authentic, what the child believes is evidence of the bad parenting.No, no, no, it’s actually because of the misattributed grief response.Once we understand this within established psychological principles, i can then explain the independent thinker phenomenon as what it actually is, a misattributed grief response, and then we know how to treat it.
And what to do about it.The central feature in therapy is helping the child acquire an accurate attribution for their feelings of hurt relative to the targetedrejected parent.Phases of therapy, what we would call reunification therapy, there’s basically four different phases that we want to go through.The first is the rescue of the child, a protective separation from the pathology of a narcissistic borderline parent during the active phase of treatment.Once we get treatment resolved we reestablish that.Then we recover the child’s authenticity, we recover the parentchild relationship,.
And then we reintroduce the pathology of a narcissistic borderline parent.The protective separation, professional responsibilities require that the child be protectively separated from the pathogenic parenting practices of the narcissistic borderline parent during the active phase of treatment.First, because it’s an appropriate professional response to the existence of psychological developmental child abuse, in which we should take a protective response.Second, it’s to protect the child from emotional, psychological, and developmental harm during the active phase of therapy of the child’s treatment and recovery.Initiating therapy with children in this special population without first acquiring the child’s protective.
Separation from the ongoing pathogenic parenting of the narcissistic borderline parent, places the child at risk of harm from two sources.First, from the ongoing psychological abuse of the narcissistic borderline parent that’s inducing these symptoms in the child, but also during therapy, if i’m trying to restore the child’s normal range balanced functioning, and the narcissistic borderline parent is trying to keep the child pathological, we’re going to be forcing the child, and we’re going to rip the child apart psychologically.In order to change the child, i need to remove the pathogenic influence of the parent.That.
Will then allow me to restore the child’s balanced functioning, and then i restore the parent.The breakdown of appropriate generational boundaries between parents and children significantly increases the risk for emotional abuse, this is kerig.When parentchild boundaries are violated, the implications for developmental psychopathology are significant.Poor boundaries interfere with the child’s capacity for progress through development which anna freud suggested, is the defining feature of child psychopathology.Only moor and silvern talk about narcissistic use of the child.Only insofar as parents fail in their capacity for empathic attunement in responsiveness can they objectify their.
Children, consider them narcissistic extensions of themselves, and abuse them.It is the parents’ view of their children as vehicles for satisfaction of their own needs, accompanied by the simultaneously disregard for those of the child, that makes the victimization possible.The issues, parental alienation are not child custody and visitation, they’re child protection.The pathogenic parenting that’s inducing sever distortions to the child’s attachment system, personality formation, and a delusional belief system, where the child is losing a relationship with a loving and affectionate parent, represents a form of psychological development child abuse that warrants a child protection response.That,.
And so the presence in the child symptom display of the three diagnostic indicators shifts it from child custody and visitation over to a child protection issue.We want to protect the child from being turned into a psychological battleground.Between our efforts to restore the child, and the efforts of the narcissistic parents to continue the child’s pathology.The narcissistic parent will actively resist therapy, because the child is serving as a regulatory object for them, and so it’s not us who’s turning the child into a battleground, it’s the efforts of the narcissistic borderline parent to keep.
The parent pathological that is resulting in the destruction of the child.Turning the child into a psychological battleground runs a considerable risk of harming the child emotionally, psychologically, and developmentally.Standard 3.04 of the american psychological association ethics code says, psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients and patients, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable.Standard 10.10 on terminating therapy, psychologists terminate therapy when it becomes reasonable clear that the child client patient no longer needs the service, is not likely to benefit, or is being harmed by continued service.Requiring protective separation of the child.
From the ongoing pathogenic parenting practices of the narcissistic borderline parent during the active phase of treatment meets the professional obligation to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable.Without protectively separating the child first, and trying to conduct therapy, will either expose the child to psychological, emotional, and developmental harm by turning the child into a psychological battleground as a result of the continuing pathogenic influence of a narcissistic borderline parent, in possible violation of standards 3.04 and 10.10.Or, avoid turning the child into a psychological battleground by remaining ineffective, which would then require termination of therapy.
Under standard 10.10a.The therapy itself, once we get the protective separation, we recover the child’s authenticity.This involves processing that grief and sadness.Helping the child rebond to the parent, and learn that, oh that’s what it was, it was grief and sadness.I would attune to the child’s expressions of bonding, and i would misattune to all the narcissistic symptoms, all the pathology that the parent’s a bad parent.No, they’re not, they’re fine.We want to restore the child’s empathy okay.That’s a critical feature, that’s a very concerning symptom.The absence of empathy has been associated.
With the capacity for human cruelty, and so it’s critical to the child’s healthy development that we restore that child’s empathy for the targetedrejected parent.In my own therapy i talked about issues of values, issues of compassion, those sorts of things.As you talk about those things, or you bring up issues about compassion and empathy, i’ll sometimes use quotes from the dalai lama or from other people, what i’m doing is i’m bringing this emotions through cognitive mediation.I’m decreasing the emotional intensity of their angry, and bringing up the cognitive mediation, and talking to the child about.
Who do you want to be as a person.You don’t want to be this angry and hostile, no you want to be a kind person, and so helping them recover that empathy.Challenge their psychopathology, so when they’re judging of the parent from this top down position, or a sense of entitlement, or the haughty and arrogant attitude, all those narcissistic symptoms i want to misattune to those, and when i get normal kid, i attune to that.Which leads to the final point here, which is supporting the child’s authenticity.Normal.
Kids are annoying sometimes.Normal kids don’t pick up their rooms.Normal kids don’t follow parental instructions.I don’t want simply to recover a child who’s obedient to the narcissistic parent, and now they’re obedient to us.I don’t want to replace one overlord with the other.I want a healthy kid, and so when i hear normal range healthy parentchild conflict, i’m going to take the kid’s voice and say, you know what, kid doesn’t want to clean their room.As long as the child is talking up to the parent, rather than talking down.
To the parent, i will take the voice and bring it to the parent, because that’s appropriate.It’s an adult talking to an adult.I don’t have a child judging a parent, and then the child can hear me bring their issues to their parent in a mature and responsible way, and then the parent responds, and i dialog with them, and then i’ll turn back to the child and talk about what the parent brought up.I’ll begin to help this family develop normal range conflict resolution that doesn’t involve all this pathological judging, and rejecting,.
And all this other stuff.It’s restoring the authenticity of the family relationships that have been distorted by the narcissistic borderline parent.Restoring the relationship with the targeted parent, in this i want to revalidate the targetedrejected parent as a nurturing protective parent.When the child says they’re abusive, i say, no they’re not, no that’s normal range parent.They took my iphone away.Well, you were being a little jerk.You were giving them attitude.Parents do that all the time, that’s not abusive parenting, and in doing that, in misattuning with their haughty and arrogant.
Judgments that they deserve to be.All those distortions are coming from the narcissistic parent, i misattune to those and i say, no, they’re normal range.They love you very much.They just care about you, and i highlight that.The moment i revalidate them as a protective parent the child’s attachment system turns on again, because they’re no longer the predator, they’re no longer the threat.The moment i say they’re normal range parent, the attachment system goes on, and then all i have to do is just give a little boost to say, love them, boom, love them, the child’s grief.
Response goes away, and the child goes, oh, is that what this was all about i go, yeah, okay, and then we move into the final phase once that takes place, which is to reintroduce the pathogenic parent.Kids love both parents, even the narcissistic borderline parent, kids love them.In fact, the kid loves them so much they’re willing to almost sacrifice themselves because they realize that parent needs them.They’re willing to submit to being a role reversal, a narcissistic object to that parent, because they love them so much, so we introduce.
That parent.Now, i do need to make a few adjustments to make sure the other parent doesn’t distort them back into their pathology, but a few little tweaks and stuff about how to cope with that parent’s stuff.What do you do when the parent wants you to criticize the targeted parent, and how do you manage that.A little coping skills on that.I think of it this way, is the attachment system, the brain is like a computer, and the attachment system is like a software program like microsoft word that’s being downloaded from the more.
Mature nervous system of the parent to the child’s nervous system.We have a computer download of a software program, the attachment system.The problem is that in the parent’s attachment system there are some corrupt files with some bad code in them, that are crashing the child’s attachment system when they get downloaded.Essentially with therapy is we’re like norton antivirus or mcafee, we’re going in to those corrupt files of the child’s attachment system, doing a little cleansing, taking out a few of the corrupt codes, and then the child’s attachment system starts to operate again,.
And now we’re going to reintroduce the virus.Oh we just need to put in the little virus scans and some stuff on the surface so that it doesn’t reinfect the computer.There we go, that’s the therapeutic process.My references at the end, that’s me on the slides.If you want more information i have it on my website.There’s information on my blog, and my email’s there.Now, i don’t want to scare you away from saying, oh, this is professional boundaries of competence, and issues, and all these sorts of things, if.
You have watched this seminar and the other seminar, you are more knowledgeable than any other therapist out there.I don’t want to.We just simply know what we’re treating, and this framework gives you the support to know what you’re treating, so then you can do it well.If you have any questions, if you want consultation there’s my email address.Drop me an email, put in your title professional consultation so it pops up on my thing.I will consult with you free of charge, for an initial consultation.You want to consult.
About a diagnosis or a treatment or something, just pop me an email, we’ll talk a little bit.If you want to set up something longer, we’ll talk about that, but initial consultation i will just absolutely be happy to consult with you on this sort of stuff.I don’t want to scare people away from treating, who know what they’re doing, but people who don’t know what they’re doing, yeah stay away.This is very serious psychopathology, and it’s hurting kids if we don’t take care of them.That’s me, open it up for questions here.
Speaker 3 great, thank you so much that was fantastic.We’ve got probably more questions than i’ve ever fielded.I’ll start with a few from the.As i normally do, from the online audience, and i’ll give you a chance to gather your thoughts here in person.The first question, when there are multiple children in the family, does the narcissistic borderline parent typically target one or more than one of the children, and as a follow up what are some of the factors that lead the parent to target that particular child or children amongst.
The others Craig a.Childress they will typically target one, because you notice the reenactment has three characters.Okay, and so they will fill the three characters, abusive parent, victimized child, protective parent.Typically they start with the oldest child.Now that’s not always the case, and it may be variable on different families, and a mother may have issues around the male child, or father or whatever it is, and so you may see variations of that, but typically you see the older child is the one that’s targeted for rejection first.They’re the child that’s a victimized child.
The other younger sibs are spared for the time being.Once this pathology is locked into place, then the parent and the alienating parent will grab the other kids and draw them in to this, because it has to do with the splitting dynamic.For the narcissistic borderline parent ambiguity is impossible.It’s either all good or all bad, so if you are the exhusband, you must also become the exfather.If you are the exwife, you must become the exmother.There’s no ambiguity, and so eventually all the children will move into that role.
Tom this question just popped up as i was going down my list here, i thought it was interesting.During protective separation does the child go with the targeted parent where does the child typically go Craig a.Childress there’s no problem with the targeted parent, of course.There’s no problem with that parent, inaudible 013513 fine.The child will display all sorts of protest, but that’s only indicative of how severe the pathology was.All that protest was under the surface, and then once we do something the child will display their grandiosity.
They will defy court orders, and run away from the parent.Court orders say you have to be over there, but i don’t have to listen to court orders, that’s your narcissism.I don’t have to do.And they will get very angry and display all of this, but it’ll calm down.As it calms down we then open up the grief response upon to the child, everything’s fine.As long as everything’s fine, everything’s fine.Speaker 3 is there potentially a risk physical, psychological, to the parent if they do not.
Reject the targeted parent to the satisfaction of the narcissistic borderline parent Craig a.Childress is there a risk to the child if they don’t reject the targeted parent to the.Yes, it’s a hostage situation, and the narcissistic angry is referred to as narcissistic rage.It’s angry combined with disgust, and for a child to get that signal from a parent of disgust mixed with angry, it’s very disturbing, and borderline range is just very hostile and very chaotic, and so the child living with a narcissistic borderline parent learns to read that parent, and keep that parent regulated, because it’s.
Survival living with that parent.If that parent needs me to make displays at visitation transfers, no, no.Don’t make me go with that parent, i don’t want to, that’s what i’m doing, because i have to live with this narcissistic borderline parent, and it’s very dangerous.That’s why, unless we can protect the child, how can i ask that child to show love for that person, unless i can protect him from the retaliation of a narcissistic borderline parent who is absolutely tied into using that child as a regulatory object i have to be able to protect the child before i can ask.
The child to bond.Protective separation is essential to treatment that is in the best interest, and doesn’t harm the child.Speaker 3 another question i thought was really interesting.Have you seen cases where both parents display narcissistic borderline behavior, and are almost simultaneously trying to establish a coalition with the child Craig a.Childress i have not seen that, because very rarely do two narcissists marry each other.Okay, but i have seen distorted family processes where both parents are trying to get the child in the coalition and stuff, but you don’t see the three diagnostic indicators.
In the child.You’ll see a child who’s messing up at school, a child who’s acting out, a child who’s using drugs, all these other stuff, but you don’t see the three diagnostic indicators under that case.The other thing i have seen in about twentyfive to thirty percent of people who come to me, because of my background in parental alienation, is it turns out the supposedly targeted parent is the narcissist who says, i can’t understand why the child would reject me i’m wonderful, but the parent has no empathy for the child.
The child is going, ow, it hurts to be in a relationship with you, because you have no empathy.I’m the wonderful parent, what do you mean it must be the other parent who’s turning you against me because i’m so wonderful.But again, in those cases you do not see the three diagnostic indicators.You don’t see the personality disorder traits in the child’s symptom display.You don’t see a suppression of the attachment system.The child still wants to bond with that parent, but they can’t because that parent’s a narcissist.If you.
Know what you’re looking for you see it in the targeted parent, that oh you’re the narcissist aren’t you that’s where it’s so helpful to move away from gardner, and move into standard psychological processes.Speaker 3 okay, we have a student who has an adult client that is the product.Comes from a high conflict divorce, but significantly in the past, years and years ago, displays all the indicators of having been the victim of pathogenic parenting.How might.What might be some strategies for working with this adult client years after the fact regarding.
This dysfunctional system and his maladaptive beliefs Craig a.Childress the critical issue on that goes back to that grief response.That they have an unmetabolized, unprocessed grief, and what happens in parental alienation is.What happens in normal range grief, a parent dies the child grieves.In parental alienation the child grieves, and so must psychologically kill the parent in order to resolve their grief.It’s reversed, the problem is that parent’s not dead, the parent’s available, but they can never restore a relationship with that parent, because then they have to.
Overcome that.Open up that grief and get through it.They just want to seal it over, and keep it down.The early cutoff is likely to remain a lifelong cutoff because the person doesn’t want to process it, but then they have this sadness buried in them, and so that depression or substance abuse or other issues will coalesce around that unprocessed and unmetabolized grief.Helping them process that grief response, and recognize what it is, and the reach out and resolve to that parent that was in the.
Past.Okay, so it’s not wonderful, it’s not great, but at least you’ve opened up the ties and bonds, and you can move on and resolve.Speaker 4 aloha.Craig a.Childress hi.Speaker 4 i’m william, i just retired from the air force, and one of the things in my training, i’ve been taught to treat the family as a system, which you’re inaudible 014102, system oriented, and in this case what i’m hearing is that you treat the child.What is happening to the parents while the child’s being treated are they under also therapy.
As well Craig a.Childress yeah, in terms of the child, i treat the child and targetedrejected parents.I’m working in the relationships.I’m always doing family sessions between the two.Sometimes i might have a little individual session here and there, but for the most part i’m dealing with their relationship, but i think it’s also important, and i do.Am mindful of incorporating the narcissistic parent, because the fundamentally issue from the family systems perspective is the inability of the family to process grief, and therefore make a transition from an intact family to a.And it’s the narcissistic parent who’s.
Having that problem processing the grief and sadness about the loss of the intact family, and what it means for their selfesteem and this all other, abandon.If possible, i like to meet with that parent, and see if i can relax their stuff.In some cases, i’ve been actually been able to work with the two parents, and work with the couple to help them process the meaning of their divorce and marriage, so that we can metabolize that sadness without blame, and so move this family over into the separated family structure.
That’s bonded by the child.That’s the best approach, if i can work that and help everybody then it frees the child, and inaudible 014235 having to do that.Issues come up though, sometimes with the narcissistic borderline parent who’s in this delusional belief system that the child is being abused, and they filed three different child protective service cases, all of them unfounded, and you say, all of these have been unfounded, and they say, well they might become abusive.Well, there’s not much i can do with that parent.It depends on how flexible or workable that parent is, the narcissistic borderline.
Parent to resolve things, but fundamentally my client is the kid.I need to make sure my kid’s back on a normal developmental line.The other feature that’s important on this in terms of taking care of my kid, is that maturation processes go in phases of about every two years.So, eight to ten, ten to twelve, twelve to fourteen, if we spend too long treating this, kids are losing whole maturational periods with a bonded, loving, affectionate parent, that are just messing up their later.We need to get a jump on.
This and get this done pretty fast.I’d prefer within six months of getting everything solved, and then we can bring the other parent back in, and move forward on things.Speaker 4 yeah, especially when the child is a symptom bearer of the.Of what’s been happening in inaudible 014349 in the family.Appreciate your guidance.Craig a.Childress thank you, thank you.Speaker 5 i have a question about protective separation.How easy is that to achieve given the court system and.Craig a.Childress it’s right now, it’s impossible to achieve through the court system.
Okay, and that needs to change, but it won’t change until mental health begins to realize the nature and degree of the pathology, and can speak with a single voice to the courts, and say this is what we need for treatment.Now, for me right now in terms of my practice, ethical practice, i will not treat a case of this without a protective separation, and i would recommend that to all therapists out there, because we’re putting the child at risk of harm.Problem is, we’re going to have a lot of incompetent therapists who will.
Until we get the incompetent therapists to also stop treating, to recognize what the pathology.Then if mental health therapists go to the court and say, you know what, i’m looking at these three diagnostic indicators, attachment based parental alienation, treatment needs a protective separation, nobody’s treating.The court will say, oh, okay.Then we need a protective separation with.That would be really easy to achieve.Right now though, we got to spend five, six years in litigation, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on attorneys to try to get the court to.And.
Then custody evaluations and say, well you know it’s going on, but what do we do about this, and so right now it’s a failed paradigm.Gardner’s model is a failed paradigm.Once we switch over an attachment based paradigm the solutions begin to emerge.Speaker 6 hi, my name is inaudible 014526, my question is what if the targetedrejected parent really does have a problem like substance abuse, and the child really is a victim, how would this affect their diagnosis Craig a.Childress the child would probably not show narcissistic borderline symptoms.
They’re not going to show an absence of empathy, they’re not going to show a sense of entitlement.The child won’t show a suppression to their attachment system.They’ll say, i want to have a relationship with dad, but it’s hard because he’s an alcoholic, or it’s hard, because he’s.One of my questions sometimes is, let’s say i’m a pretty good therapist, and i’m able to fix your dad, would you then be okay with having a.The kid inaudible 014607, well you can’t, and i say, well let’s say i’m really good and i can, and.
The kid says, well if you can fix him yeah.Okay, and it makes sense to me.I’m seeing an alcoholic dad, i’m seeing a substance abuse, i’m seeing some sort of.It makes sense to me.It’s not normal range parenting, this is problematic, and so i’m working for my client, my kid, and i say, i see what you’re talking about, okay i got it.I don’t see, and it’s not delusional, because the kid is a victim.That’s not.So i don’t see my three diagnostic indicators, and so now we’re just dealing with normal.
Parent Alienation Syndrome OR Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Parent alienation syndrome or narcissistic personality disorder,Here i raise the question if parent alienation syndrome is a separate disorder or if it is a behavior of a narcissistic personality disorder we know that the. Parent alienation interview of reno lee brandt,Parental alienation is a social dynamic when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent making access by the rejected. Parental alienation syndrome reflection of a bitter parent is child abuse,Parental alienation syndrome is extremely concerning for myself my innocent child mother step brother step sister have structured a silent form of child.
Parental alienation an attachmentbased model,Filmed at the california southern university school of behavioral sciences please visitcalsouthernedupsychology presenter dr craig childress. Treatment of attachmentbased parental alienation,Filmed at the california southern university school of behavioral sciences please visitcalsouthernedupsychology treatment of attachmentbased. Dr amy baker her research on adults children of parents who used them parental alienation,Abusive parenting by isolating the child from the other parent reality and pressuring the child to reject other parent through numerous practices perfected by the.
Parental alienation and the child of war,Together we can fight the war on familiesbrainsyntaxddcatall stand up speak out family courts are destroying innocent lives allowing. How the narcissistic virus works part i,This tutorial is about my understanding about how victims are chosen by narcissists and infected with the negative energy from them which i call a virus i have.
Dr Amy JL Baker Speaks About PAS On Vimeoavi
Dr amy jl baker speaks about pas on vimeoavi,Dr amy baker speaks about parental alienation syndrom source. Tutorial 3 child custodytheft of childrenparental alienationwhat you need to know now,This is an informal chat tutorial which is part of a series please review all the tutorials in this series the thumbnail photos on this series of tapes parental. Tutorial 2 child custodytheft of childrenparental alienationwhat you need to know now,This is an informal chat tutorial which is part of a series please review all the tutorials in this series the thumbnail photos on this series of tapes parental.
Washington adult child alienated from father,Petitionwashingtonsharedparenting this washingon adult child speaks to the effect of being alienated from her father by falsehoods told by her. Children need both parents,Stop parental alienation syndrome and false charges of child abuse which are never investigated by family courts and child welfare in israel support shared. Malicious mother syndrome,As pointed out by alfaqual and others the bad behavior that is the subject matter of this tutorial is not attributable to one genderthis tutorial is not particularly. Who opposes shared parenting the hurt the emotionally disturbed and lawyers,Shared parenting just makes sense so why would anyone oppose it people who are hurt by the ending of a relationship those who are emotionally disturbed.
What are indigos,Characteristics are intelligent though may not have had top grades are very creative and enjoy making things always need to know why especially why. Narcissistic abuse breaking no contact rule,Narcissistic parents do some crazy stuff when things are going their way i had forgotten just how truly vile these people are when they feel like theyve been. How to coparent with a narcissistic parent after divorce wendy behary lcsw,Watch more tutorials on how to help children through divorce playlistlistplvwrixtadoyrju8ir6vuix4waeo1bdf5q wendy behary.
My life with narcissistic parents 6,Paypal spaypalcgibinwebscrcmdsxclickhostedbuttonid4a6h7s326kdhl sfacebooktherealolliemathews. Elizabeth vagnoni,Presentation by elizabeth vagnoni on parental alienation.