In April 2000, 10-year-old Candace Newmaker began treatment for attachment disorder. Her adoptive mother of four years, Jeane Newmaker, was having trouble handling what she considered to be Candace's disciplinary problems. She sought help from a therapist affiliated with the Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children (www.ATTACh.org) and was told that Candace needed attachment therapy (AT), based on the theory that if a normal attachment is not formed during the first two years, attachment can be done later.
According to the theory, the child must be subjected to physical "confrontation" and "restraint" to release repressed abandonment anger. The process is repeated until the child is exhausted and emotionally reduced to an "infantile" state. Then the parents cradle, rock and bottle-feed him, implementing an "attachment."
This article was originally published with the title Death by Theory.