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CalSouthern Open Lectures

Founded in 2009, CalSouthern’s Master Lecture Series is a forum that inspires learning, the free exchange of ideas and creative thought. Each month, nationally and internationally acclaimed scholars, authors and practitioners deliver lectures on fascinating topics in the fields of psychology and business, as well as interact with attendees in dynamic question-and-answer sessions.

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Treatment of Attachment-Based "Parental Alienation"

Filmed at the California Southern University School of Behavioral Sciences. Please visit

Treatment of Attachment-Based "Parental Alienation"

Presented by Dr. Craig A. Childress

This lecture will outline the diagnosis and treatment of an attachment-based model for the psychological and family processes in high-conflict divorce, traditionally described as “parental alienation.” This is a follow-up presentation to an extremely well-received introduction that described, among other things, the attachment-system foundations that lead to parental alienation. You can watch that lecture here. In this presentation, Dr. Childress will set forth a clear framework for diagnosing the presence of attachment-based parental alienation, as well as the components necessary for its effective treatment and resolution.

Those who view this lecture will learn:
- The diagnostic framework for identifying when attachment-based parental alienation is, and when it is not, responsible for producing the parent-child conflict involved in high-conflict divorce

- The four key treatment phases necessary for the effective treatment and resolution of an attachment-based model for parental alienation

- The essential features of the child’s psychological experience surrounding parental alienation that are key to the child’s therapy and a restoration of the child’s affectional bond with the currently targeted-rejected parent

- The role of the alienating parent in the child’s treatment and recovery, and approaches to managing and working with the alienating parent during and following treatment

Dr. Craig Childress is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in child and family therapy, parent-child conflict, marital conflict, and child development. Dr. Childress has an additional background specialty in early childhood mental health involving the attachment system and the neuro-development of the brain during childhood.
Prior to entering private practice, Dr. Childress served as the clinical director for a children’s assessment and treatment center operated under the auspices of California State University, San Bernardino. He also was on medical staff at Children’s Hospital of Orange County as a pediatric psychologist, where he served on a collaborative project with the UCI Child Development Center regarding the early identification of ADHD in preschool-age children.
In addition to his private practice, Dr. Childress currently teaches graduate-level courses in child development, diagnosis and psychopathology, psychotherapy and treatment planning, and research methodology through the University of Phoenix. He has written extensively on an attachment-based model of parental alienation on his website ( and blog (, and he has served as an expert consultant and witness in legal cases involving parental alienation across the United States and Canada.