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.