Holding Therapy

Not effective and harmful.

What is Holding Therapy?

1. Intended to treat attachment disordersjoey-yu-464442-unsplash

2. Began in 1970s

3. Alternative child mental health intervention, for foster/adoption children

4. Not empirically supported

5. Disobedience and perceived lack of gratitude or affection for their caregivers is treated

6. Problems are ascribed to an inability to attach to their new parents, because of suppressed rage due to past maltreatment and abandonment

7. Common form of attachment therapy is holding therapy, in which a child is firmly heldcraig-whitehead-431483-unsplash (or lain upon) by therapists or parents.

8. Therapists seek to produce in the child a range of responses such as rage and despair with the goal of achieving catharsis.

9. 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

10. Techniques have been implicated in several child deaths and other harmful effects.

11. Includes deep tissue massage, aversive tickling, punishments related to food and water intake

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