Four unlicensed therapists were charged in the death of a 10 year old girl who died during "attachment therapy" in Golden, Colorado. It's not the first time that a child died because of so-called "holding" or "rebirthing" treatment for emotional disorders
There are gentler and easier methods to achieve the benefits that some children get from holding therapy. Sensory treatment should be used in conjunction with standard educational progress. Behavioral, social, and cognitive problems must also be treated.
Preceding her 2001 trial for the suffocation death of Candace Newmaker, Connell Watkins was asked by the Assistant District Attorney whether she had ever experienced this "therapy" herself. She replied, "No, I thought it would be too traumatic."
'Holding' as seen in these treatments is far from a matter of extra hugs and family affection, and members of the helping professions should be aware of these facts before they refer clients to practitioners who use physical restraint.
CRT is defined as a mental health intervention involving physical restraint and is used in adoptive or foster families with the intention of increasing emotional attachment to parents. Coercive restraint therapy parenting (CRTP) is a set of child care practices adjuvant to CRT. CRT and CRTP have been associated with child deaths and poor growth. Examination of the CRT literature shows a conflict with accepted practice, an unusual theoretic basis, and an absence of empirical support. Nevertheless, CRT appears to be increasing in popularity. This article discusses possible reasons for the increase, and offers suggestions for professional responses to the CRT problem.
There is no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of such interventions. In addition, coercive therapy techniques are contrary to most State and mental health facility regulations that prohibit the use of physical intervention...
It can be immensely difficult for a child to regain full, genuine trust after being forcibly held -- regardless of the parent's 'good intentions' or the resulting surface behavior.
At one time Jeane, a large and heavy woman, lay on top of Candace for an hour and forty-five minutes, licking her face and grabbing and shaking her head and threatening her with abandonment. In another session, Candace's long hair was hacked short, and she was threatened with a shave and a tattoo if she did not shape up.
The last decade has seen a sharp rise in the number of cases of gross child abuse, some resulting in death, by or under the direction of "psychotherapists" - many unlicensed or delicensed, who practice a form of pseudotherapy called Attachment Therapy.
Videotapes showed at least two holders with the child, who covered the child's face 48 times, shook or bounced the child's head 83 times, and shouted in the child's face 68 times.
To me, holding therapy seems like a form of 'sensory rape'. I have seen photos of children undergoing 'holding therapy' and I can't bear to look at them for more than a few seconds, because the pain and terror on their faces is so strong.
The best way you can best help them regulate their emotions is to provide a self-container, where you are the person they can rely on to soften their emotions, rather than exacerbate them.
"Coercive restraint" means personal, physical, or mechanical restraint, including the application of physical force without the use of any device, for the purpose of restraining the movement of the patient's body; or any manual method or physical or mechanical device, material, or equipment attached to or adjacent to the patient's body that the patient cannot easily remove that restricts freedom of movement or normal access to one's body.