AT News
Archived Issue
Originally emailed 13 October 2002

Houston Press on AT

The Houston Press recently came out with a large article on Attachment Therapy (AT). Journalist Wendy Grossman covers a lot of ground, and though apparently no fan of AT, she attempts a balanced treatment (something skeptics now refer to as “pseudo-symmetry”).
The interviews with AT proponents are quite revealing, and it’s gratifying to see part of a sadistic AT training video made by Neil Feinberg in 1993 at the Attachment Center at Evergreen given some public exposure.
But Grossman’s article shows that Attachment Therapists can continue to shield themselves with a winning 2-point approach:

  • The “These-Kids-Are-Violently-Deranged” Offense

    After Grossman accepted the validity of the diagnosis of “Attachment Disorder,” AT proponents were allowed to do a lot of free-wheeling demonization of “AD” children. (Though validating alleged extreme behavior is quite another thing, as they are said to calculatingly save their worst behavior for their mothers alone.) The message is that we should allow these brave AT therapists and long-suffering parents a free hand in trying to save the world from more Columbines.

  • And the “We-Don’t-Do-That-Anymore” Defense

    Grossman let slide claims by the “Evergreen Institute” (a/k/a the Attachment Center at Evergreen) that they no longer use holding therapy and that they no longer employ holding therapist Neil Feinberg. A simple jaunt around ACE’s website today reveals that:

    • ACE still recommends the most overtly violent of pro-holding materials to parents,
    • ACE’s executive director serves on the board of ATTACh (the national AT/pro-holding organization), and
    • Neil Feinberg is still listed as “PROFESSIONAL STAFF—IN HOUSE.”
Further, Grossman left unchallenged a claim by ACE’s Forrest Lien that ACE hasn’t done holding therapy since 1995, although the journalist was in possession of footage of an ABC 20/20 program demonstrating coercive holding at ACE — in 1998.

  • Wendy Grossman, “Holding On: Families search for a miracle therapy that won’t hurt their troubled children,” Houston Press, 19 Sep 2002 link

  • [Sidebar] “Orphan Souls: Without love or trust, these children can’t connect to anyone unless they get a lot of help,” Houston Press, 19 Sep 2002 link

Caution: links may have aged since this AT News was first emailed.