AT News
Archived Issue
Originally emailed 30 August 2003

Not “Respectful, Responsible and Fun to Be With”?

Leading Attachment Therapy “Researcher” Cancelled

Psychologist Elizabeth Marie Randolph, Ph.D., had to cancel a series of workshops in Texas last month when that state’s chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) withdrew its approval for Continuing Education credits (CEUs) for social workers after learning Randolph had no professional license. Cancellation came less than two weeks before the series of day-long workshops in Dallas, Waco, and Houston were to be held by Randolph.

The workshops had been offered by “FRL Counseling” in Littleton, Colorado, run by Forrest R. Lien, LCSW, who is also Clinical Director for the infamous and recently renamed Attachment Center of Evergreen. (ACE is now known as the Institute for Attachment and Child Development). Randolph’s web pages were also apparently removed from FRL’s website the same day the cancellations were announced. Pre-registrants were given the option of a refund or half-price attendance at Lien’s workshops in western Texas.

The Texas NASW action was taken when its officials learned that Randolph had lost her California psychology license in California in 1994 after pleading guilty to aiding and counseling another to commit child-abuse in 1993. In a related action, Randolph also surrendered her nursing licenses. The Texas NASW also learned that in early 2002 Randolph had consented to a cease-and-desist order from practicing psychotherapy without a license in the state of Utah, which she had been doing since 1999.

Randolph, who claims to have a PhD in psychology from California Graduate School for Family Psychology, is often cited by other Attachment Therapists around the country as being the foremost researcher in Attachment Therapy. Her RADQ (Randolph Attachment Disorder Questionnaire), though unvalidated by independently published research, is widely used in the AT community to diagnose and evaluate the unrecognized condition called “attachment disorder.” None of Randolph’s research has been published in peer-reviewed psychology journals.

Randolph moved to Colorado after losing her California licenses. Colorado doesn’t require a license for the practice of psychotherapy in the state, but it does require registration as an unlicensed provider. She so registered in 1996, and “consulted” for several years with ACE, which publishes and sells her RADQ. Then Randolph moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and treated patients there for a couple of years, while she also continued to lecture around the country. She lectured regularly at ATTACh national conferences, for example.

Utah, however,
does require a license for practicing psychotherapy, and regulators there shut down her operation in early 2002. Whereupon she returned to Colorado, renewed her standing as a “registered unlicensed psychotherapist” there, and set up shop with Forrest Lien, an LCSW who was clinical director at ACE while Randolph was with them. She apparently intended to continue lecturing and holding workshops, utilizing Lien’s operation.

Randolph’s recent self-published book,
Broken Hearts; Wounded Minds reports on AT research she did while she has been unlicensed. None of this research has been reported to peer-reviewed journals so that it can be judged professionally and scientifically credible. Nonetheless, the AT community relies heavily on Randolph’s work to justify their clinical practices to regulators and clients. (Broken Hearts also reveals the new “humanistic” AT — in which a child might now be able to momentarily halt the rigors of “holding therapy.”)

Awarding CEUs is the lifeblood of the professional lecture circuit. Professionals need them to meet ongoing licensure requirements. A lecturer who is not accredited to offer CEUs will not be able to reach professionals effectively. It is hoped in this quarter that other states will follow Texas and withdraw approvals for CEUs of Ms Randolph’s future offerings. This avenue for proselytizing AT’s child-abuse outside the immediate AT community will then be shut down.

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