Yes, mainstream psychology/psychiatry certainly recognizes that early childhood attachment is an essential component of normal human development. It’s the “reactive attachment disorder” label (sometimes just “attachment disorder”) and “attachment therapy” that raises a red flag. It’s a diagnosis that does exist in the official book of psychiatric disorders (DSM-IV), but legitimate professionals in the field say that its severe forms are rare, and they certainly don’t prescribe bizarre “treatments” that amount to torture. The scammers and cultists who peddle these expensive “treatment” programs invariably point to the DSM-IV listing as evidence that this is a legitimate psychiatric disorder, but invariably fail to mention that it is rare, cannot be diagnosed by the casual “my kid’s driving me crazy” criteria that the peddlers promote, and certainly cannot be successfully treated by the bizarre methods they advocate.
According to one source, 8 children are known to have died from this sort of “therapy”, and with that number of deaths you have to think that a huge number of others have suffered irreparable psychological harm. The Quackwatch page on this topic is well worth reading:
This page has a long list of quotes from one of the leading proponents/developers of this “therapy”. You can’t help but conclude that this woman belongs in a secure mental hospital. She advocates that the “therapy” be used on all children from birth onwards: “It is a good idea to begin holding in the first years of life. But how do you hold a baby who cant talk to you? Is it good to make the baby angry?
You will not be making your baby angry. You will be allowing your baby to express anger in order to become better attached. . . . You might wonder how to hold a baby who cant talk.
If he arches his back, averts his gaze, or squirms to be put down, tighten your grasp. He will fight you. You must resolve not to let go until he relaxes happily in your arms. He will most likely become very frustrated. He may cry and scream. Most babies turn pink or purple from intense crying.
Some babies fall asleep
If he awakens still fighting, then you must hold on until he feels better.”
This page features a picture of another facet of this bizarre “therapy”, bottle-feeding of children through adolescent age, and a terrifying video clip of a “rage reduction therapy” session (be sure to turn up the volume so you can fully appreciate the terrified child’s screams as he is tortured by 3 adults).
This link includes info on another victim, Krystal Tibbets, as well as one of the forced water drinking victims, Cassandra Kilpack.
This link has more details about the Cassandra Kilpack case. Unlike Krystal’s remorseful father, Mr. Kilpack maintains he and his wife did nothing wrong.
I QUITE AGREE
about CRAZY “THERAPIES.”
But PLEASE avoid allowing the crazy responses and “treatments”
to obscure the larger importance of PREVENTING such dynamics.
ATTACHMENTS by Drs Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy has 10 or so points in the latter half of the book for adults to work through such a history. Sadly, the book is not a cheap book. Check the library where you live.
Attachments: Why You Love, Feel, and Act the Way You Do by Tim Clinton and Gary Sibcy