AT News
Archived Issue
Originally emailed 26 November 2003

Margaret Singer Dies

Famous psychologist Margaret Singer died Sunday night after a long illness.

She is fondly remembered by activists fighting for an end to Attachment Therapy for her encouragement and for her contribution to the prosecution in the Colorado “rebirthing” trial. Several damning passages from her book
Crazy Therapies were read to the jury.

More about Margaret can be found on
Wikipedia. Her obit in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Margaret Singer, the soft-spoken but hard-edged Berkeley psychologist and expert on brainwashing who studied and helped authorities and victims better understand the Peoples Temple, Branch Davidian, Unification Church and Symbionese Liberation Army cults, has died …

Denver Dildo Doc’s Deserved Demise:
Dicke Discovers Dilatory Delays Don’t Deflect Discipline

Attachment Therapist John Dicke has finally lost his license to practice psychology in Colorado. The Colorado State Board of Psychology Examiners made that decision on 7 November 2003, after an investigation, administrative hearing, and dilatory appeals stretched over some two years. The evidence against him, however, was clear; in fact, it was videotaped.

Dicke is familiar to
AT News readers as the “holding” therapist who was charged with “substandard” care in a case where he restrained a young patient, allowed the child to run around naked in his office, and introduced the boy to “synthetic, anatomically correct penises” (dildos) during therapy. After a hearing last spring, an administrative law judge determined that the case against Dicke had been proven, but recommended to the Psychology Board only that Dicke’s practice be restricted so that he could not deal with sexual-abuse victims. The Board, however, found that Dicke’s attitude and refusal to admit error meant that there was a high likelihood that he would mistreat other patients, regardless of the setting or any restrictions placed on him. So they rejected the judge’s recommendations and lifted Dicke’s license altogether and permanently.

Dicke is expected to appeal the Psychology Board’s decision to the courts. Dicke can apply for reinstatement in three years. In the meantime, he has said that he will return to the practice of law. His law license is unaffected by this ruling. It will be interesting to see if John Dicke, Esq., will be able to (ahem) hold onto enough law clients to make a living at it.
For more:

  • Julie Jargon, “Follow That Story: Doctor No,” Westword, 20 November 2003.

  • Julie Jargon, “Playtime Is Over: The state has barred a child psychologist from using adult sex toys in therapy sessions,” Westword, 14 March 2002.

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