Victims of Attachment Therapy and its Parenting Methods


“Attachment Therapy is the worst quackery in our nation today. To our most vulnerable children — adoptive, foster and minority children — ‘Attachment (Holding) Therapy’ and ‘Therapeutic Parenting’ means nothing less than a childhood of relentless torture. How is inflicting fear, pain, humiliation, bizarre notions of reality, threats, forced intimacy, and isolation from friends and family — how is all this expected to lead a child to trust, love, and be happy? We do know it has led to death.”
— Linda Rosa, RN

Attachment Therapy/Parenting is considered an extraordinarily dangerous practice

  • Attachment Therapy/Parenting is scientifically baseless and useless; it is not guided by research or ethical guidelines. Children are often subjected to Attachment Therapy/Parenting in lieu of a sound diagnosis and possibly effective treatment of their real problems, if any. This abusive treatment can lead to continued or escalating problems with the potential for horrific outcomes in the long run.

  • It is emotionally and physically abusive, and therefore risks leaving damaged children in its wake.

  • It invariably involves psychologically and/or physically-enforced coercive restraint as therapy. Some forms of restraint are exceedingly dangerous and have been associated with numerous deaths.

  • It mischaracterizes and demonizes the children Attachment Therapists diagnose with their unvalidated and unrecognized diagnosis of “Attachment Disorder.” Common myths include: 1) these children do not experience physical pain, 2) these children may be satanists or come from satanic ritual cults, 3) they have repressed memories of abuse and suppressed “infant rage,” and 4) without Attachment Therapy, these children will become psychopathic killers.

  • Its practices inure caregivers to the suffering of their children during “treatment” so that caregivers more readily slip into a frame of mind where they can and do “go too far,” inflicting physical injury, or even causing death.

Some horrific cases of child abuse and death, associated with Attachment Therapy and the parenting methods allied with it, have come to light over the years. Children have suffered and died. Their adoptive and foster parents have lost custody or faced criminal charges. Few therapists have lost their licenses; only two were given prison sentences.

Below is an alphabetical list of some of the known abuse and death cases, linked to summaries prepared from journalistic and other public sources. A chronological list is further below.

  • S. M. Abbott, rescued August 1994, Benton County, Minnesota.

  • Angie Arndt, 7, killed 25 May 2006, Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

  • Ashley Bunch, 15, suicide 28 January 2008, Seattle, Washington.

  • Dallas,” 5, rescued, 2001, Denver, Colorado.

  • Ms E, Adult, treatment ended 2006, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Christopher Forder, 8, killed 24 November 2004, Kitsap County, Washington

  • Alex Gervais, 18, suicide, 2017, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

  • Jessica Hagmann, 2 years 7 months, killed 11 August 2003, Prince William County, Virginia

  • Hepple Children, 13 and 10, escaped and rescued June 2007, Valencia County, New Mexico.

  • Nina Hilt, 2, killed July 2005, Manassas, Virginia.

  • Jackson Brothers, rescued 10 October 2003, Collingswood, New Jersey.

  • Bethanne Johnson, 3, killed 17 March 2017, Grand Junction, Colorado

  • Seth Johnson, 7, died, 30 March 2015, Minnesota

  • Dennis Merryman (Denis Uritsky), 8, starved to death 22 January 2005, rural Harford, Maryland

  • Rhoten Girl, 13, Rescued May 2008, Edwardsville, Missouri.

  • Katia Seidel, rescued as young adult, 2006, Fort Worth, Texas.

Firsthand Accounts by Survivors of Attachment Therapy:

The above list is duplicated below, but in chronological order: