View Full Version : The horror that is "Attachment Therapy."


Amtram
05-04-14, 10:32 PM
There has been a lot of discussion here about "attachment disorders," and I realize that there is a legitimate condition that goes by this name (but it's not ADHD!) What I didn't realize that it is yet another term that has been co-opted by pseudoscience. A few bits from a thorough and enlightening article in childrenintherapy.org (http://www.childrenintherapy.org/essays/overview.html):

Attachment Therapy is an unvalidated psychotherapy, meaning that there is no scientifically acceptable evidence for its efficacy. Moreover, because of its violent nature, it cannot be considered safe. Indeed, there have been deaths from it.

Even the condition for which AT/P is an alleged treatment — Attachment Disorder — is unrecognized outside of AT. There is one relevant diagnosis appearing in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), called Reactive Attachment Disorder (http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/reactatt.htm) (or RAD). The AT community has latched onto RAD as a rationalization for using AT (even calling children “RADishes”), but unjustifiably so. The DSM-IV considers RAD to be “very uncommon” (i.e., rare). The diagnostic criteria are very strict and almost no child labelled RAD (in AT) actually meets those criteria. Moreover, a RAD diagnosis must be differentiated from other more established diagnoses, such as ODD, PTSD, ADHD, PDD, bipolar, and autism. The American Psychiatric Association has recently (June 2002) issued a Position Statement warning against the use of AT in the treatment of RAD, pointing out that all of forms of coercive restraint are contraindicated. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, together with a unit of the American Psychological Association, in 2006 strongly recommended against the use of AT/P methods and approaches, even calling for child-welfare officials to consider them “suspected child abuse.”

The "therapies" used to "fix" this disorder, as redefined by the therapists, do indeed constitute torture - or, at the very least, abuse.

What is Attachment Therapy Like?

Attachment Therapy is the imposition of boundary violations — most often coercive restraint — and verbal abuse on a child, usually for hours at a time. Typically, the child is put in a lap hold with the arms pinned down, or alternatively an adult lies on top of a child lying prone on the floor. These are known as “holding” and “compression” therapies, respectively, though many other names have been employed for them over the years (see below). Sometimes a child is immobilized inside a blanket or sheet, which is often called either a “mummy,” “burrito,” or “angel” wrap.

While in control of the child, therapists and/or parents attempt to produce enough discomfort and terror so that a child becomes so enraged, fearful or in pain that he struggles against the adult(s). If the restraint alone does not cause a strong enough reaction from a child, other noxious stimuli may be added, such as knuckling or elbowing the ribs, relentless tickling, covering the child’s mouth, jerking the head, or licking the child’s face.

Verbal abuse during Attachment Therapy includes: belittling, taunts, threats of abandonment by the parents, profane and hateful statements made to the child, requiring the child to repeat similar sentiments over and over, and ignoring the child’s voluntary statements and requests. The therapist frequently holds his face inches from the child’s, yelling like a drill sergeant.

While precise methods may vary from therapist to therapist, the underlying beliefs about child development, as well as the character and goals of the practices, are similar in important respects.

These therapies involve dehumanizing techniques that are truly horrible to read about. There doesn't appear to be an age limit, either, further increasing the opportunities to cause permanent mental anguish to the child.

The next time I hear talk of "attachment disorder," along with the idea that there are treatments that "take the child back" or any other such nonsense, this is what I will be thinking of. Anyone who would advocate these barbaric, humiliating, abusive rituals as somehow curative of any mental illness, IMHO, is probably more mentally ill than the child they advocate "treating."

And here, I acknowledge the great strides we've made in psychology (for those who say I don't) in saying - thank goodness we know enough to recognize that this is not attachment disorder, and this is not how any real psychologist would treat a patient. As well, we have organizations dedicated to informing the public about dubious treatments for imaginary or redefined mental health issues that are respected by professional organizations.

Corina86
05-05-14, 04:52 AM
This was a scary post to read!!! What's wrong with some people!?!

ginniebean
05-05-14, 12:54 PM
Is this still in use I watched A documentary about this YEARS ago. Barbaric.

Amtram
05-05-14, 01:31 PM
Still in use, and expanding. The home page has a notice of a discussion going on at a conference (APA? AAP? I hate nearly identical acronyms) about recognizing and combating these bogus therapies for professionals in 2014.

ginniebean
05-05-14, 01:36 PM
let's hope it gets stamped out.

dvdnvwls
05-05-14, 02:02 PM
It's not just barbaric. There might possibly be a barbaric method somewhere that actually has value. This one is barbaric AND counterproductive.

I believe this method is a valuable example though, in one way: it is the nearest thing I've seen to pure elemental psychological abuse, because instead of forcing fear on the victim for some ulterior purpose, in this case that fear is the abuser's ultimate goal.

Amtram
05-05-14, 02:43 PM
The site is worth exploring further to see the differences between what legitimate psychologists consider attachment disorder and how these brute "therapists" define it. It will make me forever suspicious of the motivations of people who use "attachment disorder" as a cause of anything else, or a common problem that desperately needs treatment.

Fortune
05-05-14, 11:01 PM
I would hesitate to connect that kind of abuse to mental illness, let alone being "more mentally ill" than anyone. It's violent and abusive, and it can be called that without invoking the stigma against mental illness, or suggesting that mental illness is necessarily violent.

I would also say that use of this ~therapy~ is a choice, and linking its use to mental illness perhaps makes it look less like an actual choice.

Amtram
05-06-14, 11:51 AM
Except that the use of this "therapy" is not a choice made by or agreed to by the person receiving it. Even the decision about whether or not the person is "mentally ill" in any way at all is made by people who are neither the person, nor someone who is qualified to diagnose that person with anything at all.

Fuzzy12
05-06-14, 12:09 PM
Horror is a good word. After reading your article I just couldn't understand what anyone might use attachment theory for. This is what wikipedia says:

Attachment therapy is a treatment used primarily with fostered or adopted children who have behavioral difficulties, sometimes severe, but including disobedience and perceived lack of gratitude or affection for their caregivers. The children's problems are ascribed to an inability to attach to their new parents, because of suppressed rage due to past maltreatment and abandonment. The common form of attachment therapy is holding therapy, in which a child is firmly held (or lain upon) by therapists or parents. Through this process of restraint and confrontation, therapists seek to produce in the child a range of responses such as rage and despair with the goal of achieving catharsis. In theory, when the child's resistance is overcome and the rage is released, the child is reduced to an infantile state in which he or she can be "re-parented" by methods such as cradling, rocking, bottle feeding and enforced eye contact. The aim is to promote attachment with the new caregivers. Control over the children is usually considered essential and the therapy is often accompanied by parenting techniques which emphasize obedience. These accompanying parenting techniques are based on the belief that a properly attached child should comply with parental demands "fast, snappy and right the first time" and should be "fun to be around". These techniques have been implicated in several child deaths and other harmful effects.

:eek::eek::eek: This freaked me out even more. I guess the one and only aim of attachment therapy (what a terrible misnomer) is to break the child so that it becomes unquestioningly obedient out of fear.

:(:(:(

stef
05-06-14, 12:19 PM
I guess the one and only aim of attachment therapy (what a terrible misnomer) is to break the child so that it becomes unquestioningly obedient out of fear.

:(:(:(

Terrifying!!! At first when I saw the title of the thread, I thought it was something like "co-dependency" (attachment to a person...). No, LITERALLY, attachment! :(

Fortune
05-06-14, 03:33 PM
Except that the use of this "therapy" is not a choice made by or agreed to by the person receiving it. Even the decision about whether or not the person is "mentally ill" in any way at all is made by people who are neither the person, nor someone who is qualified to diagnose that person with anything at all.

I meant this:


The next time I hear talk of "attachment disorder," along with the idea that there are treatments that "take the child back" or any other such nonsense, this is what I will be thinking of. Anyone who would advocate these barbaric, humiliating, abusive rituals as somehow curative of any mental illness, IMHO, is probably more mentally ill than the child they advocate "treating."


I can think of a lot of labels here, but mentally ill isn't one of them.

Amtram
05-06-14, 04:44 PM
Hmm. I don't think there's a DSM diagnosis for "not behaving with proper deference to superiors."

Sorry, in the middle of watching "12 Years a Slave," and thinking there's not much difference between the attitude of these parents and that of the slave owners portrayed in the movie. Only a slight difference in the therapeutic approaches, too.

Fortune
05-06-14, 05:30 PM
That's not what I meant. I mean, mental illness is heavily stigmatized and for many people having these diagnoses makes them basically discreditable because of such stigma.

So like these people are awful. They're violently abusing children and trying to sell it as "therapy." They really should be stopped. But I don't think it helps to paint them as mentally ill. My point is not based on the children actually having a mental illness or not.

Rebelyell
05-06-14, 07:19 PM
Reminds me of torture, darling world of abuse and my ultra mind control technics.horrible and scared the beejesus out of me.

Amtram
05-06-14, 08:11 PM
I agree, Fortune, it doesn't help, but I have a strong suspicion that there's good reason to think it might be an issue. Sociopathy is a mental illness, and this seems somewhat sociopathic.

mctavish23
05-06-14, 10:15 PM
This is why I didn't do it. However, I do know some very gifted therapists who work well

with RAD's; using Trauma Focused CBT, Parenting, and B Mod.

tc

Robert

salleh
05-06-14, 10:44 PM
As the mother of a child who was placed for adoption ( but I picked the parents out) ....thank gawd, except for his not wanting to know me at all, everything else seems to be OK ) .....but can you imagine if you gave a child up for adoption, and believe me when I say, we don't do that lightly ....,and you find out or suspect that your child was put through something like that ????

the mind boggles ....


...When parents are checked out for adoption, I know they pay attention to how much money the family has, and who clean the house is ....but are there tests of the parent's mental stability???

....Everything I read about adoption lately has led me to believe I lucked out with my choices ....and I had almost no information ....that was 32 years ago, and the internet and it's wonderful open information was in the not seen distant future ....I don't even know where I found out about open adoption ....TV movie of the week maybe ?

Fortune
05-06-14, 11:20 PM
Mental stability isn't the problem Salleh. I can guarantee you that I am not mentally stable but I am also not abusive and would do anything to protect children from harm.

Amtram, I don't think that requires sociopathy. Some of the stories I've read recently feature parents who bought into some extremely toxic dogma that led to them killing children they adopted through extreme beatings (Hana Williams for example). They weren't sociopaths.

The thing about mental illness is that mentally ill people are more likely to be targeted for violence than they are to perpetrate it. The idea that mental illness serves as a primary cause of violence is not just factually incorrect, but is a big part of the stigma that mental illness carries.

Luvmybully
05-06-14, 11:40 PM
Wow. This makes me feel so sad. Hard to believe anyone thinks good can come from such harm to a child!

Lunacie
05-07-14, 12:07 AM
The thing about mental illness is that mentally ill people are more likely to be targeted for violence than they are to perpetrate it. The idea that mental illness serves as a primary cause of violence is not just factually incorrect, but is a big part of the stigma that mental illness carries.


I agree Fortune. The information I've seen is that those with mental illnesses are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators of it.

dvdnvwls
05-07-14, 12:38 AM
I agree, Fortune, it doesn't help, but I have a strong suspicion that there's good reason to think it might be an issue. Sociopathy is a mental illness, and this seems somewhat sociopathic.
Somewhat...

But it's possible and even likely for certain people to "catch" (as in contagion) the sociopathy of the so-called "experts" who advocate this kind of violence, and even for the "experts" to "catch" it from somewhere. I think that among the parents there's more gullibility (and more wishful thinking and more willingness to trust self-styled "experts") built into the cause of this disaster than there is malice or illness.

In other words, when people are taught to suppress their questions and believe, this is one of the ways things end up. It would perhaps (in airy-fairy theory land) be good if "experts" who advocate violence against children were silenced; but in the real world, the solution is to teach people that anyone who asks you to suppress your questions has a bad motive for doing so.

Amtram
05-07-14, 09:47 AM
Yes, I think perhaps I was being too judgmental, but still, I wonder where these parents' minds are at when they are convinced that something which seems so fundamentally wrong is good. Thanks to all for pointing out what I was missing because I was so emotionally caught up.

mctavish is right about RAD and legitimate treatments for it - those are addressed on the site, as well.

But it's yet another reason why I get so angry about pseudoscience and "alternative medicine" - this stuff appeals to people who don't know how to tell if something's fake and/or potentially harmful, and buy into it, and people end up getting hurt. In this case, children.

TygerSan
05-07-14, 10:42 AM
Yes, I think perhaps I was being too judgmental, but still, I wonder where these parents' minds are at when they are convinced that something which seems so fundamentally wrong is good. Thanks to all for pointing out what I was missing because I was so emotionally caught up.

One word for that: desperation. The children subjected to attachment therapy presumably aren't there because they are little angels. They are *hard* children to parent. And when you spend many, many sleepless nights trying to prevent your 5 year old from escaping her room and destroying the living room, when you're screamed at, spat at, bitten and hit by your child, and someone comes to you and says "I can help" with authority and conviction, that's how you start going down paths you shouldn't go down.

I'm not justifying violence against difficult children. Far from it, I think that people who prey on the vulnerable are the scum of the earth, but in this case, I think the purveyors of the therapy are perhaps more culpable than the parents, who are victims as well as perpetrators of violence.

Lunacie
05-07-14, 11:05 AM
One word for that: desperation. The children subjected to attachment therapy presumably aren't there because they are little angels. They are *hard* children to parent. And when you spend many, many sleepless nights trying to prevent your 5 year old from escaping her room and destroying the living room, when you're screamed at, spat at, bitten and hit by your child, and someone comes to you and says "I can help" with authority and conviction, that's how you start going down paths you shouldn't go down.

I'm not justifying violence against difficult children. Far from it, I think that people who prey on the vulnerable are the scum of the earth, but in this case, I think the purveyors of the therapy are perhaps more culpable than the parents, who are victims as well as perpetrators of violence.

My oldest g-daughter wasn't quite that bad - but she was only 3 when I read about attachment therapy.

It only took one time of me trying to hold her, sitting, wrapped in my arms, to see that it wasn't working.

Would I have kept trying if she'd been older/worse? I dunno.

I tried a time-out spot for the younger g-daughter several times before giving up on that as not working.

I'm a very stubborn person and I would have kept going if I hadn't been perceptive enough to
see that these things didn't work for my grandchildren.

Corina86
05-08-14, 10:39 AM
It's only desperation from the parents if they tried everything else, including medication and every other form of therapy. Otherwise it's just an excuse for abuse. And good kids get abused by parents as well, so I kinda doubt that the only people using this method are those with extremely difficult adopted children.

But yes, the "therapists" are the main villains here and I don't understand why there isn't a law against them. Maybe if some will be arrested for child abuse, then it might stop the trend.

As for the parents being mentally ill, I don't think they are and, even if they are, it's not an excuse since it's a premeditated action for which they knew and understood the consequences. I'm not sure that personality disorders are in the "mental disorders" category, but, either way, it's irrelevant, since pretty much all violent criminals could be considered sociopaths or psychopaths.

TygerSan
05-08-14, 11:20 AM
It's only desperation from the parents if they tried everything else, including medication and every other form of therapy. Otherwise it's just an excuse for abuse. And good kids get abused by parents as well, so I kinda doubt that the only people using this method are those with extremely difficult adopted children.

Clearly, there are those who are sadists who gain immense pleasure inflicting pain on others, and they may buy into this form of therapy as a way to justify their abuse.

Not everyone has access, resources (cognitive, monetary, emotional) to accurately judge a situation. The more desperate one is, the more likely one is to buy into alternative treatments and therapies. One of the reasons for this increased buy in is because these are the therapies that make big claims, with charismatic salespeople who claim that their treatment will cure all ills.

Responsible physicians and therapists, if they're doing their jobs correctly, simply don't make such grandiose claims. If you're at the end of your emotional tether, are you going to go with the professional who says, "We'll try X medication for Y days and see if there's an improvement," or will you be taken by the allure of the practitioner who says "After 3 sessions with us, your child will be reborn a different, loving person"?

mildadhd
05-08-14, 11:28 AM
To whom it may concern.

I have had a few threads in the past discussing natural attachment and natural attunement processes, essential for healthy psychological development.

I think it is very important to recognize this is not therapy or anything like natural attachment and attunement processes.

Parent training that involves real natural attachment and real natural attunement are "some of the most powerful factors" involved in treating ADHD and other emotional health issues.


More than just factors, these along with ADHD specific parent training are some of the most powerful factors in the treatment of ADHD.

Without attachment and attunment, all the parent training in the world will do little good.

Take care,

Dizfriz

See thread Origin of ADHD has everything to do with proper treatment. (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1349068&postcount=210)





P

mildadhd
05-08-14, 01:10 PM
The horror that is distress,

"cause the disrupted electrical and chemical circuitry of ADD. Attachment and attunement, two crucial aspects of the infant-parent relationship, are the determining factors".



P

dvdnvwls
05-08-14, 01:22 PM
I believe that classifying all distress as a "horror" would make life un-liveable. Distress will come to all of us. It isn't all horror.

Amtram
05-08-14, 01:24 PM
We have abundant examples of people going for the "easy fix" or taking the word of authority figures (or celebrities. . .) either because "it just makes sense" or they simply don't know how to get the correct information.

The therapists undoubtedly tell the parents that the signs of mental trauma in their children are evidence that the therapy is working, just as homeopaths have told cancer patients that the black suppurating lesions appearing in the skin over their tumors are signs that the "remedy" is "pushing the cancer out of the body."

Amtram
05-08-14, 01:31 PM
Another interesting thing on the site is the explanation of the difference between Reactive Attachment Disorder (a real condition) and "Attachment Disorder," which appears to be what is being referred to in the posts preceding my last.

In the media, in court cases, on the Internet, and in child welfare agencies, there is much confusion about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and an unrecognized, fad diagnosis with a similar name that often poses as RAD.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

RAD is a recognized diagnosis which is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-Tr) of the American Psychiatric Association (it is essentially unchanged in the DSM-V). RAD is considered an "uncommon" disorder (code 313.89) which follows children's experiences of extreme neglect or abuse and which is expressed in one of two ways in while children react to extreme neglect and/or abuse in one of two ways:

Markedly disturbed and developmentally inappropriate social relatedness in most contexts, as evidenced by either of two behaviors:

Persistent failure to initiate or respond in a developmentally appropriate fashion to most social interactions, as manifest by excessively inhibited, hypervigilant, or highly ambivalent and contradictory responses...

Diffuse attachments as manifest by indiscriminate sociability with marked inability to exhibit appropriate selective attachments (e.g., excessive familiarity with relative strangers).


In other words, children with RAD have experienced extreme social and emotional conditions and have become either very withdrawn and clingy or more friendly with unfamiliar people than we would expect of children their age. While there is no validated therapy specifically for RAD, many experts recommend gentle, patient, consistent and responsive parenting for these children, as for all children with special emotional needs. This disorder can be diagnosed while the child is five years of age or younger; as children get older, their behavior matures and changes in ways that make attachment problems much less evident.


“Attachment Disorder” (AD) — An Over-Reaching Diagnosis

Foster Cline, MD (http://www.childrenintherapy.org/proponents/cline.html), the Colorado psychiatrist who popularized Attachment Therapy (http://www.childrenintherapy.org/essays/index.html), is also credited with inventing AD, the unrecognized diagnosis used nearly exclusively by Attachment Therapists. Decades of vigorous marketing of this fad diagnosis to parents and child welfare agencies has positioned it as a dreaded disorder of adopted and foster children, as well as a path to eligibility for "special needs" subsidies.

Proponents of the AD diagnosis frequently refer to it as "RAD," leading to public confusion about the two, but the two are conceptually very different. There is suspicion that Attachment Therapists who treat problems they have diagnosed as AD will charge insurance companies for treating RAD; because AD is not a legitimate diagnosis, its treatment would not be reimbursed by public or private insurers.

Rather than meeting the criteria for behaviors that would receive the RAD diagnosis, the AD diagnosis is characterized by a laundry list of behaviors, making it a typical catch-all "diagnosis" of the sort commonly identified with quack practices. Many of the so-called "symptoms" are extremely violent behaviors; some are normal for certain age groups; and even good behavior can be interpreted and reframed as a child "stalking his prey." The AD diagnosis contains a number of internal contradictions, as when children are said to lack empathy but yet they are believed able to understand people well enough to be clever manipulators and triangulate adults. Likewise both eye contact, or lack of it, are considered problematic AD signs.

Practitioners using the AD model warn parents and prospective parents that if a child does not exhibit all the signs associated with AD he is likely to develop them in the future if not treated with Attachment Therapy/Parenting. Lists of AD signs have been called “wildly inclusive” and commonly include the following.

Signs of “Attachment Disorder”


Superficially engaging and charming
Lack of eye contact on parent's terms
Eye contact when lying or angry
Empty-eyed
A darkness behind the eyes when raging
Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers
Good behavior [interpreted as the child “stalking his prey”]
Views relationships as threatening, or not worth the effort
May be a workaholic, as a way of avoiding relationships
Not affectionate on parent's terms
Resists comforting
Resists being held
Destructive to self, others, and material things
Accident prone
Cruelty to animals
Cruelty to young children
Lying about the obvious or "crazy lying"
Stealing
No impulse controls
Intolerant of rules and authority
Shallow and vain
Grandiose or unrealistic fantasies
Feelings of being unique
Feels unappreciated
Attitude of entitlement
Lacks morals, values, and spiritual faith
Identifies with Satan
Oversensitive to rejection, easily gives in to jealousy
Temper tantrums
Hyperactive, yet lazy in performance of tasks
Prone to depression
Developmental lags
Learning lags
Exceptionally bright, but act "dumb"
Lack of cause and effect thinking
Compulsive caregiving
Overly critical of self and others
Lack of conscience
Lack of empathy and remorse
Abnormal eating patterns, e.g. hoarding and gorging
Poor peer relationships
Preoccupation with fire
Preoccupation with blood and gore
Self-mutilating
Persistent nonsense questions and chatter
Argumentative
Inappropriately demanding and clingy
Abnormal speech patterns
Triangulation of adults
Controlling and manipulative
Bossy
Sees others as being difficult to understand
Unable to understand the concept of altruism
Extreme emotions
Phoniness
Never get sick
Can’t float in water
Can’t feel physical pain
False allegations of abuse
Sneaky
Sneaks things without permission even if he could have them by asking
Child 'forgets' parental instructions or directives
Presumptive entitlement issues
Parents appear hostile and angry
Parents feel used
Parents are wary of the child's motives if affection is expressed
Frequently hyperactive
Targets the adoptive mother for abuse
Narcissistic behavior
Enuresis and encopresis


Only two of these signs ("indiscriminately affectionate with strangers" and "inappropriately demanding and clinging") are consistent with the description of RAD in DSM-IV (http://www.pacwcbt.pitt.edu/Curriculum/303CaseworkwithChildren_ReactiveAttachmentDisorder inChildrenandAdolescents/Handouts/HO2_DSMIVDiagnosticCriteriafor318_89.pdf).

Attachment Therapists also claim children diagnosed with AD are capable of being sexual predators, with the potential to become serial killers as adults. AD has been referred to as "Ted Bundy Disease."

Because of the possible role of this belief in promoting child abuse, it is most disturbing to see among characteristics attributed to children diagnosed with AD the supposed inability to feel pain (while being overly sensitive to light touch).

A discussion of AD and RAD is included in the 2006 Report on Attachment Therapy (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fworks.bepress.com%2Fcgi%2Fviewcon tent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1002%26context%3Dthomaslyon&rct=j&q=APSAC%20attachment%20therapy&ei=d3duTt3BCYausAKkxeSuBA&usg=AFQjCNFmy_o_pSS-flDDLdKfDgyosyp5rQ&sig2=B6_44A1C_zwLJqrtoueKbQ&cad=rja) by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. The task force that authored this report remarked on the tendency to over-diagnosis a “rare” condition such as RAD, plus the problem of the highly inclusive lists of AD criteria:

Clearly, these lists of nonspecific problems extend far beyond the diagnostic criteria for RAD and beyond attachment relationship problems in general. These types of lists are so nonspecific that high rates of false-positive diagnoses are virtually certain. Posting these types of lists on Web sites that also serve as marketing tools may lead many parents or others to conclude inaccurately that their children have attachment disorders.
It is easy to see that any child is likely to be labeled as AD when concerned parents consult with an Attachment Therapist. AD is considered a common condition by its proponents. The diagnosis clearly demonizes adopted and foster children, making parents fearful and suspicious of even normal child behaviors. It sets up a situation where harsh parenting is perceived as justified to head off a child's disastrous future.

Attachment Therapists claim that AD is foundational for a number of other disorders, and that AD must therefore be treated first, and by a practitioner who is committed to the AD concept. They may diagnose AD with the use of any of several unvalidated checklists, such as the Randolph Attachment Disorder Questionnaire (RADQ) (http://www.childrenintherapy.org/essays/radq.html) , the Attachment Disorder Symptom Checklist, Walter Buenning’s Infant and Child Symptom Checklists, and the Evergreen Consultants Check List.

Some parents charged with criminal child abuse have tried to convince juries that their children had AD. As Jean Mercer, PhD — leading critic of Attachment Therapy — commented, "The RAD defense is regrettably becoming more common as a way to extricate abusive, even homicidal, parents from legal difficulties." In a blame-the-child defense strategy, AD is portrayed as a disorder so severe that it would unhinge the most loving of parents.

Journalists don't help to clarify the situation for the public. They rarely question the AD diagnosis — or even consult the DSM — but rather parrot the portrayal of adopted children as "monsters at home."

Given that long list of "symptoms," it's no wonder that parents would be easily led to believe that their child needs treatment. Note that the symptoms of the actual disorder are much more well-defined and reflect conditions that would result in an actual disorder.

In most cases where a child is not 100% attached or attuned to a parent, that's normal, and not going to cause a mental disorder.

TygerSan
05-08-14, 01:54 PM
Hmm... the AD "diagnosis" contains a lot of symptoms of ODD, Conduct Disorder and Anti-social personality disorder, among a lot of unspecific symptoms.

I believe there is research showing that children exhibiting symptoms of the latter two diagnoses above fair much better if there is early intervention, including removal from abusive situations.

It would seem to me that the logical follow-on to that is that Attachment Therapy would be very likely to cause the *most* harm to those children who fit the "diagnosis" to a t.

Amtram
05-08-14, 01:57 PM
I do believe you've hit on an important insight there, Tyger!

Stevuke79
05-08-14, 02:00 PM
We have ways of making you "attach" ..

I wouldn't be too quick to judge. Perhaps this is what works for a certain kind of parent. And who are we to judge if the kid ultimately opens up and attaches .. and gives up the location of the secret of the hidden rebel base which brings the whole family closer together, maybe it's for the best.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=1571&pictureid=11965

ginniebean
05-08-14, 02:00 PM
I watched my father who was a huge proponent of food as medicine read tons of books about how food cures everything. He refused life saving medications because it was 'big pharma". He was a believer in the "alternative" treatments. All of these 'therapies should have to show they work and to what degree if any.

They rely on wholesome narratives and messaging promising glowing health and abundance. Sadly, my father lost years from his life, and our family lost him too early.


The CAM snake oil needs evidence, not just a good story line, it does hurt and does kill people.

Their 'word' is just not good enough.

TygerSan
05-08-14, 02:01 PM
LOL at "Identifies with Satan" and "Can't float in water"

Are they 1700's witches or not? ;)

Amtram
05-08-14, 02:11 PM
Check for funny noses. And see if they weigh the same as a duck.

salleh
05-08-14, 02:44 PM
.....Yah it was the "can't float in water" that got to me too ! .....erm.... WHAT ?????

sometimes, all it takes is a small give away, and the whole game is exposed .....



.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp_l5ntikaU

Fuzzy12
05-08-14, 02:52 PM
The really scary point on that list is:

'not affectionate on parent's terms'

Also 'suPerficially engaging and charming, good behavior, never gets sick'etc. Those kids just can't win.

especially not if 'false allegations of abuse' is also on the list.

Lunacie
05-08-14, 03:07 PM
Scary to me as the grandparent of an autistic child was "not seeming to show empathy."

She feels plenty of empathy, but has trouble showing it appropriately.

dvdnvwls
05-08-14, 03:16 PM
It's too easy to pick apart that list, but...
"Parents appear hostile and angry"?

You know when a so-called mental disorder is causing symptoms in other people that maybe someone is over-reaching a bit. :)

And besides, what about those parents who really ARE hostile and angry, rather than just wearing hostile angry faces but really being perfect angels underneath? :(

Stevuke79
05-08-14, 03:39 PM
Feelings of being unique .. We can't have that now can we?

Most parents have trouble with the difference between discipline and tough love versus just taking your frustration out on the child to get their rocks off. They say that everyone gets "issues" from their parents. But parents get issues from the kids too. Through no fault of the child parenting can be an emotionally scarring experience and most parents don't have the discipline and introspection to avoid taking it out on the child.

Don't these sound like parental frustrations: "Parents are hostile".. "Child 'forgets' parental instructions".."child lacks spiritual faith"

And my favorite: "child doesn't give affection on the parents terms"
WTF??!! No means no!! SERIOUSLY??!! You can't make them do that. Whether it's a kiss or a hug,.. your date, your wife or your child.. it's a common mistake but you can't make them be affectionate.

Stevuke79
05-08-14, 03:51 PM
Seriously, we know who we're dealing with here:
Identifies with Satan .. A darkness behind the eyes ... False allegations of abuse .. Shallow and vain .. Lacks morals, values, and spiritual faith

And I mean, Can't float!!??

Child 'forgets' parental instructions or directives - I can't get over this one.. I did this all the time.. so does my kid.

Dizfriz
05-08-14, 04:31 PM
This is why I didn't do it. However, I do know some very gifted therapists who work well

with RAD's; using Trauma Focused CBT, Parenting, and B Mod.

tc

Robert
I agree, I have seen some very good results with very young (age 2-4)RAD children using Play Therapy, Parenting Training, B Mod and gentle *calm* and consistent structure.

How do you work with RAD children except by helping them form proper attachments as much as they can?

Dizfriz

BellaVita
05-08-14, 04:34 PM
This is sickening.

Lunacie
05-08-14, 05:10 PM
I agree, I have seen some very good results with very young (age 2-4)RAD children using Play Therapy, Parenting Training, B Mod and gentle *calm* and consistent structure.

How do you work with RAD children except by helping them form proper attachments as much as they can?

Dizfriz

Is there a type of Attachment Therapy that HELPS the child form attachments?

The type of Attachment Theory that Amtram has described FORCES an attachment. :(

... if that's even possible to do ... :scratch:

Dizfriz
05-08-14, 05:39 PM
Is there a type of Attachment Therapy that HELPS the child form attachments?

The type of Attachment Theory that Amtram has described FORCES an attachment. :(

... if that's even possible to do ... :scratch:
Yes, what I described (Play Therapy, Parenting Training, Behavioral Management and gentle, *calm* and consistent structure). Is it perfect, no. One of the problems with RAD is that the older the child gets the less chance of success any therapy has so the younger it begins, the better.

At the child gets older, I suspect you cannot turn it around like you can for younger children but you can help them to form attachments as much as they are capable. Perfect, no. Better than no help, very much. Better that the therapy Amtram describes; very, very, very much.

Dizfriz

Lunacie
05-08-14, 05:51 PM
Yes, what I described (Play Therapy, Parenting Training, Behavioral Management and gentle, *calm* and consistent structure). Is it perfect, no. One of the problems with RAD is that the older the child gets the less chance of success any therapy has so the younger it begins, the better.

At the child gets older, I suspect you cannot turn it around like you can for younger children but you can help them to form attachments as much as they are capable. Perfect, no. Better than no help, very much. Better that the therapy Amtram describes; very, very, very much.

Dizfriz

Thank you.

We found that staying in the room while the therapist did Play Therapy with my
autistic granddaughter helped US understand her better and helped all of us connect.

We miss that. The therapist moved to a different branch, different job.
The therapist she sees now does one-on-one therapy with the parents sitting in the waiting room. :(

Amtram
05-08-14, 08:22 PM
Of course, with a list so long, it's inevitable that a parent will find enough symptoms on it to diagnose his/her child with "attachment disorder," and that's the way these practitioners like it. Make the list of symptoms so long that it includes more people than it excludes, and you significantly broaden your potential customer base.