Welcome, you’ve reached the professional website for Dr. Craig Childress, a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in treating children and families. My specialty areas of focus include the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD-spectrum issues, treating excessive child anger and defiance, resolving marital conflicts, early childhood psychotherapy, and assessing and consultation for Parental Alienation Dynamics.
In the PRIVATE PRACTICE area of my website you can learn more about my practice and my areas of particular specialty focus. The PRIVATE PRACTICE area also contains a link to administrative intake forms used in my practice, and sample treatment plans for child therapy issues. Treatment plans are developed individually to the specific needs of each family, but these samples provide a general sense of my work.
The PARENTAL ALIENATION area of this website provides information on a particular type of family dynamic that can emerge during divorce in which the child becomes excessively hostile and rejecting of one parent. In the PARENTAL ALIENATION section of the website I provide a professionally focused discussion of the trans-generational dynamics involved with this especially troubling family process and an assessment instrument to aid mental health clinicians in the forensic evaluation of the Parental Alienation Dynamic.
The DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOTHERAPY section of the website discusses the scientific research on neuro-development during childhood, and the implications of this research for child therapy. The traditional “behaviorist” approach of punishing misbehavior and rewarding good behavior is based on animal research conducted in the 1940s and ‘50s modifying the behavior of lab rats and is not an appropriate treatment paradigm for use with children and families, although concepts regarding the communication of authority hierarchies remain valid. The limitations of the behaviorist paradigm for child therapy are discussed in the BEHAVIORISM section of the website. Scientific research in the past 30 years regarding the neuro-development of the human brain during childhood directly challenges the basic premises of the behaviorist approach to treating children, and the scientific evidence on neuro-development during childhood offers more effective treatment alternatives beyond merely rewarding “good behavior” and punishing “bad behavior.”
The DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOTHERAPY section of the website contains articles and seminar handouts discussing a developmentally supportive psychotherapy that is based in the scientific research regarding the development of brain systems during childhood. Science now understands how the human brain grows and develops during childhood, and how inter-related brain systems for emotion, motivation, communication, authority, and social relationship operate to determine children’s social, behavioral, and emotional expressions; and we now know how to resolve many of the traditional problems of childhood, including excessive anger and defiance, impulsivity, depression and withdrawal, and poor self-motivation at home and school. Developmentally supportive child therapy addresses the primary causes of child behavioral and emotional problems, behaviorism simply suppresses the symptoms.
The SEMINARS & TRAININGS area of the website provides information and handouts regarding my community and professionally oriented trainings, lectures, and presentations. I hope you find the information on the website helpful.