Fake News and Fabrications

I am in Holland today, training a group of practitioners to understand and work with parental alienation.  As I do so, I am also receiving messages from people who are concerned about information coming from the Childress blog.

In the summer I issued a statement about Craig Childress’s misrepresentations of my work, after which I got on with my work.

I would like to get on with my work again now, as I have a large group of vibrant and interested practitioners who care little for blog wars and a whole lot about alienated children.  I do not have time to respond to all of the people who have sent messages of concern however and so I am going to make one more statement about Childress and then I am going to go back to my focus upon children and families in the UK and Europe as well as around the world.

During the summer I was attacked by Craig Childress publicly on the basis of his manufactured argument that he has THE solution to the problem of parental alienation and others are deliberately preventing that solution from being implemented.  It is an untruth.  It is a manufactured argument which allows a distortion of reality to become a widely believed truth.

I used to respect Craig Childress, I felt that his model of work had roots in that which has been used in the UK by psychiatrists and psychologists for many years.  It is certainly a fact, which can be evidenced by case law, that in the UK, removals of children from alienating parents in pure cases, are undertaken on the basis of a child being influenced by a parent with a personality disorder, in which encapsulated delusional disorder or shared delusional disorder or folie a deux are diagnosed.  I have undertaken removals of children in such circumstances over several years.  I understand the model because I have worked with it.

Unfortunately, his sustained campaign of denigration, misinformation and personal attack, has left me in the same position as many other experts in this field who have suffered at his hands.  It leaves me with little respect and a whole lot of concern.

In his latest attack, he uses the news about CAFCASS’s announcement about parental alienation as a manipulative attack on me and once again, takes words out of context in order to try and convince his audience that my work should be delegitimised.  This behaviour is the action of someone who appears to me to be increasingly lost in desperation to be acknowledged.  So much so that he will misrepresent to the outside world, an issue which for the UK is causing significant concern amongst parents and practitioners, in order to present himself and his model as the only true way to approach the horrible problem of parental alienation.

I know that those who know our work will recognise that the things he writes today are absolutely untrue.  I know that those who know me, understand that my concern about CAFCASS is based upon absolute reality and experience in the UK family courts for over twenty five years.  I know that I do not need to persuade many people because the work we are doing and have done speaks for itself.  I know that the parents whose children I have returned to them through my reunification work, know the truth and that, at the end of the day is what really matters to me.

But I also know that people who use misinformation and fake news do so for a reason.  One of the reasons that Childress is using the CAFCASS issue is, I believe, a further effort to force me into accepting that his model of work is the only true answer to the problem of parental alienation.  In the summer he wrote to one of his supporters, telling her that he was going to ‘rehabilitate me.’  I consider that this continued campaign of denigration and harassment is part of that ongoing project.

Let me be absolutely clear.  I will not be bullied and I will not be dragged into a blog war with a man who uses such tactics.  Craig Childress has not once picked up the phone to me, he has not once emailed me, he has not ever made any effort to communicate with me.  Instead what he has done is embark upon a campaign of threat, pressure and the use of misinformation to try and force his model upon me.  A model which, by his own admission, is not his, but which he has set up as being the only answer to the problem of parental alienation.  It is not.

Beyond this statement, which is written only to reassure those who have written to me today, I will not give this manufactured argument the oxygen that Craig Childress seeks.  I wish him well with his work and his campaign but I will not be joining him now or at any time in the future because I do not agree that his solution is THE solution.

As for the hog wash and bluster about me not undertaking or supporting forced removal of children in pure alienation cases.  Well, those who know, know the truth.  The rest is just the projection of a fantasy worthy of the very best of alienating parents everywhere.

I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who has written to support our work over the past few hours.  And those concerned about the CAFCASS announcement about parental alienation being about high conflict which requires therapy.  Please do not worry.  This world in which we do this work is full of schisms and splits but it will not detract us from keeping the focus where it absolutely needs to be.  Childress’s blog commentary does not disguise the fact that CAFCASS are about to deliver a pilot project based upon the assumption that PA is about high conflict which needs intensive therapy. (If you think about it, if he actually read what was written instead of seeing this as an opportunity for self aggrandisement, he’d be as concerned as I am about this move).

 And those who have written to urge me not to enter into another round of blog wars don’t worry.   This statement is all I will say, respecting myself and the families I work with is far more important to me than a spat with a clinical psychologist who really should know better.


18 thoughts on “Fake News and Fabrications

  1. EXPOSING malignant envy and unbridled malice

    How is the term straw man defined:

    Noun: straw man;

    an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent’s real argument.”her familiar procedure of creating a straw man by exaggerating their approach”

2. a person regarded as having no substance or integrity.”a photogenic straw man gets inserted into office and advisers dictate policy”

    I thought i’d look at Dr C’s latest splenetic jeremiad, inaccurately entitled ‘Exposing the pathogen’. It is more accurately termed a ‘malignant rant of the day’ and subtitled ‘I will harangue and bully you until:
    the cows come home;
    Seffield win the FA cup;
    I have an embolism;
    insert an unlikely event of your choice that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

    To begin, let’s ignore the writer for the time being and identify and count the straw men. They are easily spotted despite being hollow and lacking substance or a heart.

    Straw man 1 – ‘Gardenarian PAS.’

    This is Childress’s first pre-school and blatant attempt to mischaracterise, influence and mislead. Karen has to my knowledge never claimed to be an adherent of Gardner or anyone else for that matter. Like most PA writers she draws influences from a wide range of authors. Her writings acknowledge a wide range of sources.

    Straw Man 2 – “experts’,

    The double inverted commas are normally used to denote speech. By using these Childress is imputing that he is quoting spoken words. He is not. This is another silly attempt to mislead readers. It implies that experts are self aggrandising by claiming that they are experts when they are not.

    Straw man 3 – ‘The Gardnerian PAS diagnostic model offers no solution whatsoever.  They know it, and I know it.  Now everyone knows it.’

    Has anyone, apart from Dr C argued that it has offered a solution. The suggestion is that they have but Dr C is really talking to himself. All i know is that Dr C is telling me what i should think without giving me any evidence.

    Straw Man 4 – ‘So then why do the Gardernian PAS “experts” hold onto a failed diagnostic model of the pathology that offers NO solution whatsoever?’

    Who has? The fact is that Gardners 8 points have been used by expert witnesses in the UK courts and their evidence has been accepted. ‘Suck it up snowflake / Dolores’. If you don’t like it then write to your MP or the FJC. Alternatively, argue the toss in court if anyone is gullible enough to pay for an expert that only provides an answer for roughly 5% of alienation cases.

    Straw Man 5 – “Because they don’t want a solution’.

    Dr C is attempting to put words in people’s mouths and gas lighting in the process. He forgets and ignores the many parents who have obtained solutions in the UK courts by following Karen’s advice. How many has he achieved?

    Straw Man 6 – ‘They are enabling allies of the pathogen whose role is to sow discord and division, thereby disabling the mental health response to the pathology.’

    In reality they use an identical response to Dr C when dealing with the small cluster of cases involving PD affected alienators.

    ‘They’ use a different response when alienating behaviours are not manifested by people with PD’s. This is merely using horses for courses. and applying differentiation to determine the appropriate path unlike Dr C who surveys the landscape with one eye clossed and the other not even half open whilst wearing blinkers.

    Straw Man 7 – ‘Past History:  In sowing discord and division with establishment psychology for the past 30 years, the Gardnerian PAS “experts” have allowed the pathology of “parental alienation” to continue unsolved and unabated – for 30 years – and they have created a culture of ignorance and incompetence in professional psychology surrounding high-conflict divorce that invites the profound professional ignorance and incompetence we currently witness.’

    Complete invention. and a florid psychotic rant. Karen is based in the UK where the judicial formulation of ‘implacable hostility’ was that accepted by the courts in 1983. ‘Parental alienation’ was accepted by Wall J in 2003 and ‘PAS’ was comprehensively debunked by Sturge and Glaser in 2000.

    Straw Man 8 – ‘Current Behavior:  Now that AB-PA is leading us into a solution, the Gardnerian PAS “experts” are trying to hide AB-PA in confusion and obscurity so that professional psychology does not learn that AB-PA even exists to solve the pathology.  They seek to sow confusion by actively co-opting constructs from AB-PA without acknowledgement that these constructs emerge from AB-PA.  This is not about who gets “credit” for what (with AB-PA credit belongs to Bowlby, Minucin, Beck,…) – it’s about sowing confusion by fusing the constructs of AB-PA onto PAS in order to hide the existence of AB-PA – as if AB-PA is nothing more than Gardnerian PAS.  It is a conscious and premeditated strategy to disable the solution available from AB-PA.’

    This paragraph is thoroughly delusional. The fact is that Karen frequently acknowledges Bala et al and the differentiation approach in order to ensure that appropriate treatments are matched to the right pathologies. Dr C has in fact provided a neat summary of his dogma and modus operandi whilst simultaneously leaving out any mention that his approach is restricted to a small cluster of individuals who manifest alienating behaviours. It’s unoriginal, in the DSM 5 and not much use unless your case matches the very exacting criteria Dr C bores a glass eye to sleep with on a nightly basis.

    etc etc etc

    This was after the equivalent of just one side of A4. I got the picture and so would anyone else other than a fanatic crank.

    I smell snake oil!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Karen – as per usual, I am impressed with your articulate and educated response to a dynamic that splits the Parent Alienation movement. We so sorely need to be united in this heartbreaking experience of losing our children. I understand we want someone to promise to eradicate Parent Alienation by a certain date when our suffering will finally over and we will be vindicated and established once again as a loved parent, friend and worthy and righteous individual. But things change only through the persistence and consistency of those who are not in the movement as opportunists.
    When I was being trained I had the good fortune to have a supervisor give me a book to read called “If you meet Budda on the Road, Kill Him”! Childress is a false prophet. I find if I don’t read his writing I am not missing anything. I know you and Nick will keep fighting the good fight and for what it’s worth you have my full support.
    Lynn Steinberg, PhD

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lynn, If you see Buddha on the road kill him…. Great read. I remember the author describing the time when he woke up after surgery.

      Padrestevie, spot on. Thank you for articulating a few of the salient issues with the psycho ‘Dr’ CC.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The decision not to post abusive comments or those simply ranting about pathogens and flying monkeys is mine. I don’t write this blog to be abused or to provide a space where splitting dynamics are furthered. I wish those of you who believe in Craig Childress the very best, I know you come at this from a painful place but I will not allow this place to become unsafe for parents who come here looking for help.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Karen I remember nearly six years ago you advised me to read the works of Craig Childress. Then two years ago I said just ignore the man as he is only interested in promoting himself. You Karen have restored a childhood to many children while C C promotes his egotistical behaviour.

    I like many more people know you, your husband and all the staff at the family centre in London have done more than anyone else to highlight the dangers of Parental Alienation. As I have said previously support the vulnerable and ignore the doubters.

    Children deserve people like you Karen who always put the children first.

    Just keep on fighting Karen and save as many children as humanly possible

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Keep up the good work Karen. It is truly appalling that just when the issue of PA is finally becoming recognised in UK along comes this egotistical Donald Trump of the psychology community to trample on everything and try to get his way by threatening when a touch of communication and diplomacy would help everyone.


  6. Ted, on your use of my personal and private information in an online public space.

    I was not brought up by a feminist mother at all and I was not alienated from my father either. You are straying into harassment territory now. Armchair psychology is one thing, making things up about a person and stating them to others as if they are true is something else entirely.

    Please desist.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love your work Karen. Thank you for helping me understand and come to terms with what it means to be a alienated Daddy. Loved reading Upside down, truly great write up.


  8. From my understanding of Childress and Gardnerians I see that both point to the same ‘solution’ in severe pure alienation cases (I believe Childress’ main focus is on severe cases giving little thought to hybrid situations or other types of alienation — mild and moderate). Both conceptualizations look at child protective measures such as custody reversal and no-contact (at least, temporarily) with the alienating parent as part of the solution followed by specialized ‘reunification’ treatment (Family Bridges, Conscious Co-Parenting Institute (High Road to Family Reunification), Family Separation Clinic, Turning Points for Families, etc.), and finally, steps to try to make all family relations whole again with alienating parent. Bottom line is that I see THE Solution as being the same for both Childress and Gardnerians.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES, let’s work on it TOGETHER. I am working in the field since the 1990, starting with Daniel Levy in NY. I am a member of the PASG since its foundation. Hundreds of experts have described the dynamics leading to the loss of contact between normal range parents and their children. They related to existing scientific concepts, they developed new ones, they named it suiting their research.
      The last thing that parents and children need is a battle between researchers in this field, a denigration campaign, another splitting into the good, the right ones and the bad, the wrong ones.

      There is no such thing as the one and only truth, the one and only expert, narcissistically claiming a dominant position with a lack of respect for different positions, findings, practice of others.

      Integration instead of splitting, cooperation instead of concurrence – that’s what experts too need.


  9. Well said Karen. The danger of Childress opinions, I think, is that he does not differentiate the types of alienation and claims that the alienation parent is always narcissistic/borderline. Stating that without diagnosing parents I think is dangerous and does not help children or the parents. With divorce parents can be temporarily so emotional that they need help to cope and mourn the previous relationship. That does not mean that such parents in need are perse narcissistic/borderline… In the pure cases I think there may be mental issues or unresolved trauma certainly in my experience if you look at the servere damaging behaviors of some parents. But let us all focus on how we can save children en also help both parents being the parents their children need….. Anybody who thinks that Karen does not do a very good job I recommend that you follow her excellent training and than you decide…..


  10. I am surprised that Dr Ch feels the need to attack Karen at all, seeing as he knows what it is like to be persecuted for no reason other than malice of the offender!
    Instead of attacking, in this nauceaus way, we should unite in order to get Parental Alienation eradicated, we definitely do not need more strive and bother from anyone.
    Dr Ch. perhaps not every female is a borderline and not every male is a narcist, but when you are making comments like you have been making, you tend to sounds rather narcistic with whiffs of Borderline and that makes me wonder about your state of mind!


  11. My opinion of Dr Childress is that he’s a QUACK! The things he tells parents to do are so bizzare and deranged. This man is criticizing a family that has endured a life of hell with the biological mother. He is believing her story that she is “alienated” just from her word! If he had seen what this mother has done to her children he would think different. But he’s going by someone who is actually the abuser. She has put 2 children in mental institutions when each was 4 yrs old. She has used social media claiming one of her sons had Autism and Aspergers. Children’s services removed her kids from her home due to neglect and other factors and the day after the hearing she reported to the police that the father molested the 4 yr old daughter. The police talked to the girl and so did children services and said there was no evidence of abuse. She then took the 4 yr old to the hospital for a rape test! KNOWING the father would never do anything to hurt those children. But she did it anyway. This is the type of people he protects and then publically criticizes the proactive parent! He really needs to watch who he cuddles up to or he’s going to end up in a law suit and a discipline hearing with the psychiatric board!


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