Forrest Lien

Forrest R. Lien, LCSW, ACSW, is a clinical social worker. He has long been the clinical director of the Institute for Attachment and Child Development (IACD) in Evergreen, Colorado. The IACD is still better known by its earlier name: the Attachment Center at Evergreen, the leader in Attachment (Holding) Therapy, founded by Foster Cline, MD. IACD has trained therapist in Attachment Therapy, rented out treatment rooms to Attachment Therapists, and offered in-home therapy. Lien also maintains a private practice in Littleton, Colorado, with Margaret Meinecke, LCSW, called FRL Counseling and Associates, which also provides training.

Lien attended graduated with an MSW from University of Nebraska Graduate School of Social Work in 1983; he trained at Casey Family Program in Tucson, Arizona; and in 1995, he joined the Attachment Center at Evergreen. Lien states he was also trained in Attachment Therapy by Priscilla Misner of Esperero Counseling and by Lani Tolman of The Family Attachment Institute.  Lien advertises that he is a “Certifed Provider for Advanced Brain Tecnologies” [sic].

Lien claims to have presented “over 100 workshops internationally on Attachment Disorder” and to have “consulted” with numerous television programs regarding child abuse issues.
In September 2009, Lien was placed on probation by Colorado Board of Social Work Examiners; he was ordered to take additional education courses and be supervised by a practice monitor. (Four months later, John Alston, MD, the psychiatrist serving ACE/IACD, was also disciplined regarding children brought to Colorado for “intensive” therapy.)

Lien has worked with numerous well-known Attachment Therapists, including Connell Watkins and Neil Feinberg, both of whom have permanently lost their ability to legally practice in Colorado.

Lien wrote a description of Attachment Therapy (“Corrective Attachment Therapy”) which was submitted for evaluation, along with other various mental health practices, by the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. Attachment Therapy alone was given the lowest ranking, i.e. “concerning treatment.” These therapy evaluations were
published in 2003 by the US Department of Justice, in which is it stated that, “Practitioners should refrain from using experimental, concerning, or potentially dangerous treatments.”

In 2018, Lien’s speaking engagement on “
RAD” at the campus of the University of Wyoming (Laramie) was cancelled, at the urging of the school’s Psychology Department (see below).

In 2019, it was noted that IACD declared on its website that it would begin to use the (also unrecognized) diagnosis invented by Bessel van der Kolk called “Developmental Trauma Disorder” (DTD) instead of “
RAD.” IACD reassured the public that, “We will continue to provide children and their families with the same family-based treatment model that has transformed the lives of children for nearly 40 years.” That would mean more Attachment Therapy.

In His Own Words

— Most Telling —

Holding Therapy —

— Clip of Holding Therapy —

— “Attachment Disorder” —

— Diagnosing Attachment Disorder —

Conflating “Attachment Disorder” with RAD:

Attitude Toward Children:

— Alarms —

— Dismissing Birth Parents —

— Psychodrama —

Lien quote
— Treatment Families —

— Contracting and Threats of Abandonment —

— Compliance Training —

— Institute for Attachment and Child Development: More Methods —

— Dismissing Standard Therapy —

[A]cademia is way behind as far as understanding these children. – From "Saving Children, Saving Families, Saving Lives.”

— Attachment (“Needs”) Cycle —

— “Body Memory” —

— Parenting —

— Stuck Development —

— More Dubious Claims —

— Forced Age Regression —

— Endorsements —

— On His Background —

University of Wyoming Psychology Department Letter 4/17/2018

UW letter re Lien*