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.

Some horrific cases of child abuse and death, associated with Attachment Therapy and the parenting methods allied with it, have come to light over the years. Children have suffered and died. Their adoptive and foster parents have lost custody or faced criminal charges. Few therapists have lost their licenses; only two were given prison sentences.

Below is a chronological list of some of the known abuse and death cases, linked to summaries prepared from journalistic and other public sources:

  • Jessica Hagmann, 2 years 7 months, Killed 11 August 2003, Prince William County, Virginia

Firsthand Accounts by Survivors of Attachment Therapy: