The needed risk assessments for the family pathology surrounding court-involved family conflict are for:
- Child Abuse: potential child abuse by the targeted parent (to be specified), or potential psychological child abuse by the allied parent (DSM-5 V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse)
- Spousal Abuse: potential IPV emotional abuse of the ex-spouse and parent using the child as the weapon (DSM-5 V995.82 Spouse or Partner Abuse, Psychological)
Whenever child abuse is a diagnostic consideration, the diagnosis returned from the mental health care system must be accurate 100% of the time. The Court needs an accurate diagnosis for its decisions, and the child needs an accurate diagnosis when the potential diagnosis is child abuse by a parent.
There are four DSM-5 diagnoses of child abuse, each DSM-5 diagnosis of child abuse warrants a proper risk assessment;
Child Physical Abuse (V995.54),
Child Sexual Abuse (V995.53),
Child Neglect (V995.52),
Child Psychological Abuse (V995.51).
All of these child abuse diagnoses are equivalent in the severity of the damage they do to the child, they differ only in the type of damage done, not in the severity of damage done to the child. Psychological child abuse destroys the child from the inside out.
- Psychologists’ work is based upon established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.
The established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline surrounding court-involved family conflict is:
- Attachment – Bowlby and others
- Family systems therapy – Minuchin and others
- Personality disorders – Beck and others
- Complex trauma – van der Kolk and others
- Child development – Tronic and others
- Self psychology – Kohut and others
- ICD-10 & DSM-5 diagnostic systems