Court-Involved Clinical Psychology and Child Custody Decision-Making

“We do not decide on who is harmed.

But what about the greater good? If the child would benefit from more time with one parent than the other?

Two responses. First, psychologists do not judge people to decide who deserves to have children and who doesn’t. That is NOT our role. Parents have the right to parent according to their cultural values, their personal values, and their religious values. Psychologists should NOT assume a professional role of judging which parent is the “better parent” based on criteria that cannot be supported. If there is no child abuse, then parents have the right to be parents. If there is child abuse and child protection factors are a consideration, then there should be a corresponding DSM-5 diagnosis of child abuse.

Psychologists should not be in a role of judging who “deserves” to be a parent and who doesn’t.

Second, the “greater good” argument for causing harm is specifically prohibited by the APA ethics code. Standard 3.04b prohibits psychologists from consulting for or collaborating with torture practices (enhanced interrogation) of terrorists. Even terrorists, where there is a greater-good argument about the information they possess, psychologists are not allowed to harm terrorists. The greater-good argument for causing harm is specifically prohibited.

Psychologists are not allowed to harm people.”

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

Targeted parents are human beings.  They are people.  Psychologists are not allowed to hurt people.  Anyone.  Targeted parents qualify.

Psychologists are not allowed to hurt people.  We’re not allowed to do anything that would hurt the targeted parent.

Making professional recommendations that would limit the time that targeted parents share with their children to anything less than the maximum time possible, hurts the targeted parent.  It makes them sad, very sad, it takes away from them a fundamental self-identity role of mother or father, it takes from them life experiences with their ever-growing child that can never be recaptured or recovered, the child is only five once, only ten once, only fifteen once, never again.  Lost time is lost, and this hurts the targeted parent.

Psychologists are not allowed to hurt people, not even targeted parents.  They are people.

What is the maximum amount of time?  Following divorce, that would…

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