Associated Clinical Signs: ACS-1 “Forced”

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Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

In my afternoon talk in Dallas, I began to more fully unpack the diagnosis of AB-PA.

Professional diagnosis is more than simply the identification of symptoms. Diagnosis involves recognizing the underlying causal origin of the pathology that leads to the pattern of symptoms.

In my Dallas talk, I drew the analogy of diagnosis to putting together the pieces of a puzzle.  The symptoms are the variously shaped and colored puzzle pieces.  The diagnosis is the completed picture that’s made when all the puzzle pieces are put together.

Imagine different types of puzzles (analogous to different types of pathology).  There’s the puzzle Cats in the Garden that depicts three cats playing in a garden among flowers and butterflies.  There’s a different puzzle depicting a train traveling through the mountains, and there’s another type of puzzle of boats sailing on a lake. 

With each puzzle there are a set of characteristic puzzle…

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Dambusters Blog hits the million!

Dambusters Blog

At about 10pm BST today, the Dambusters blog registered its millionth hit. I can’t be sure exactly who was the visitor who took us over the magic figure, but it seems likely to have been someone from the UK who ended up on our front page having followed a Google search. By an amazing coincidence, this event occurred nine years to the day since the first ever post, which was published at 8.35 am on 7 May 2008.


Checking back through the daily statistics (which through the wonders of WordPress are still available to me) I see that I got just 4 hits on that first day. But within nine days, I had got to a total of 163 which, I recall, I was pretty chuffed with at the time. The fact that this occurred on 16 May 2008, the 65th anniversary of the Dams Raid, probably explains the upwards…

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Compulsive Liars: The Truth About Lying

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Parental Alienation

Compulsive or pathological lying is in a whole other league. There is much ambiguity about whether “pathological lying” exists as a disease in and of itself (Dike, 2008). It is often thought to be a secondary feature of some other condition, and is not listed in the DSM-5 as a distinct disorder.  A German physician, Anton Delbruck, was the first to identify the abnormal behavior we now call “pathological lying” and he termed it “pseudologia phantastica” in 1891. There is not a clear distinction in the academic literature between “compulsive lying” and “pathological lying” so I will use them interchangeably. There is general agreement in the psychiatric community that the characteristics of pathological lying include: “a long history (maybe lifelong) of frequent and repeated lying for which no apparent psychological motive or external benefit can be discerned. While ordinary lies are goal-directed…pathological lies often appear purposeless” (Dike, 2008).

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From a victim of a compulsive liar

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Parental Alienation

Anyone who has been shocked or devastated by the actions of a adept liar knows the shame that follows. You are outraged, but deep inside you feel stupid and naive for having misjudged someone’s character so profoundly. Compulsive liars shake off the chaos, confusion, damage they inflict on others much like the snake who sheds his skin. They may be agitated while wriggling out of a lie, but once this accomplished, they move on; smarter and smoother from the experience. A good rule to remember is that all the power in any relationship lies in hands of the person who cares the least. It seems dark-hearted and wrong, but it is the truth.

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