Victims of Attachment Therapy and its Parenting Methods
“Attachment Therapy is the worst quackery in our nation today. To our most vulnerable children — adoptive, foster and minority children — ‘Attachment (Holding) Therapy’ and ‘Therapeutic Parenting’ means nothing less than a childhood of relentless torture. How is inflicting fear, pain, humiliation, bizarre notions of reality, threats, forced intimacy, and isolation from friends and family — how is all this expected to lead a child to trust, love, and be happy? We do know it has led to death.”
— Linda Rosa, RN
Attachment Therapy/Parenting is considered an extraordinarily dangerous practice
Attachment Therapy/Parenting is scientifically baseless and useless; it is not guided by research or ethical guidelines. Children are often subjected to Attachment Therapy/Parenting in lieu of a sound diagnosis and possibly effective treatment of their real problems, if any. This abusive treatment can lead to continued or escalating problems with the potential for horrific outcomes in the long run.
It is emotionally and physically abusive, and therefore risks leaving damaged children in its wake.
It invariably involves psychologically and/or physically-enforced coercive restraint as therapy. Some forms of restraint are exceedingly dangerous and have been associated with numerous deaths.
It mischaracterizes and demonizes the children Attachment Therapists diagnose with their unvalidated and unrecognized diagnosis of “Attachment Disorder.” Common myths include: 1) these children do not experience physical pain, 2) these children may be satanists or come from satanic ritual cults, 3) they have repressed memories of abuse and suppressed “infant rage,” and 4) without Attachment Therapy, these children will become psychopathic killers.
Its practices inure caregivers to the suffering of their children during “treatment” so that caregivers more readily slip into a frame of mind where they can and do “go too far,” inflicting physical injury, or even causing death.
Below is a chronological list of some of the known abuse and death cases, linked to summaries prepared from journalistic and other public sources:
Jeannie Warren, Sued therapist at age 19, Fort Worth, Texas.
Andrea Swenson, Suicide 9 November 1990, Evergreen, Colorado.
Bobby Veron, Jr., 7, Severely Injured, early 1990s, Gilmer, Texas
S. M. Abbott, Rescued August 1994, Benton County, Minnesota.
Lucas Ciambrone, 7, Killed 13 May 1995, Bradenton, Florida.
Krystal Ann Tibbets, 3, Killed 7 July 1995, Midvale, Utah.
David Alexander Polreis, 2, Killed 11 February 1996, Greeley, Colorado.
Roberta Evers, Killed 13 June 1998, Bayfield, Colorado.
Roxanne Lee Heiser, 7, Rescued 5 January 2000, Liberty Hill, Texas.
Candace Elizabeth Newmaker (of Durham, North Carolina), Killed 18 April 2000, Evergreen, Colorado.
Viktor Alexander Matthey, 7, Died 31 October 2000, Union Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
Logan Lynn Marr, 5, Killed 31 January 2001, Chelsea, Maine.
“Dallas,” 5, Rescued, Denver, Colorado.
Hansen Adoptees, 4 and 5, Rescued February 2002, Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Cassandra Killpack, 4, Killed 9 June 2002, Springville, Utah.
Jessica Hagmann, 2 years 7 months, Killed 11 August 2003, Prince William County, Virginia
Jackson Brothers, Rescued 10 October 2003, Collingswood, New Jersey.
Christopher Forder, 8, Killed 24 November 2004, Kitsap County, Washington
Dennis Merryman (Denis Uritsky), 8, starved to death 22 January 2005, rural Harford, Maryland
“Sasha” Bignell, 11, abandoned in the Ukraine and brought back to Minnesota, April 2005.
Nina Hilt, 2, Killed July 2005, Manassas, Virginia.
Gravelle Siblings, 11 Children rescued 12 September 2005, Wakeman, Ohio.
Latham Adoptees, 5, 8, 9, and 10, Rescued 2005, Columbus, Georgia.
Vasquez Children, 6, 9, 12, and 13, Rescued 2006, Santa Barbara, California.
Katia Seidel, Rescued as young adult, 2006, Fort Worth, Texas.
Angie Arndt, 7, Killed 25 May 2006, Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
Ms E, Adult, Treatment ended 2006, Auckland, New Zealand.
Engstrom Girl, 13, Rescued 16 January 2007, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Brooklyn Holcomb, Killed 17 January 2007, Princeton, West Virginia.
Hepple Children, 13 and 10, Escaped and rescued June 2007, Valencia County, New Mexico.
Kathryn Amon, Relinquished 2007, North Carolina
Ashley Bunch, 15, Suicide 28 January 2008, Seattle, Washington.
Rhoten Girl, 13, Rescued May 2008, Edwardsville, Missouri.
Alexis Glover, Killed January 2009, Manassas, Virginia.
Corbin Adoptees, 7, 8, 10 and 12, Rescued 2009, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Nathaniel Craver, 7, Killed 25 August 2009, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania.
Ksenia Antonova, 17, Not Rescued, Cherokee County, Georgia
Leschinsky sisters, 12, 13, 14; Rescued 2010, Johnstown, Colorado
Kristoff Beagley, 7, Not Rescued 2011, Anchorage, Alaska.
Firsthand Accounts by Survivors of Attachment Therapy: