Never Let Me Go: Raising Awareness of Holding Therapy in the UK

Are you aware of Holding Therapy? If not, I wouldn’t be surprised, many social workers psychiatrists and psychologists are not either. This is despite the fact that substantial amounts of public money have been spent on it over the last decade in the UK. Holding Therapy is a highly intrusive therapy which is used with some of the most vulnerable children in the country. Originally developed in the USA, particularly around the area of Evergreen in Colorado, it involves the holding of a child in a lying position by two therapists. A description of this practice can be found in Wikipedia (Holding Therapy is also known as Attachment Therapy).

In  2006 the British Association of Adoption and Fostering issued an extensive position statement that highlighted the fact that Attachment Therapy is “neither justifiable or effective”. It states that the nature of the therapy “effectively makes it impossible to withdraw consent”. The statement also contains a final paragraph headed “The dangers of institutional abuse of children”. The British Journal of Social Work has recently published an article attempting to rehabilitate the practice and an article will shortly be published in the journal in response to this.  This blog will later provide more information on the history, politics and economics of Holding Therapy but, in the meantime, it may be helpful to look at the information available through the links (Wikipedia is a good place to start).

This is a call for people in the UK to find out more about Holding Therapy. As UK taxpayers we are funding this highly controversial practice and, as responsible citizens, I feel we are responsible for understanding what is being done to our most vulnerable children.

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2 Responses to Never Let Me Go: Raising Awareness of HoldingTherapy in the UK

  1. Hello!

    I came here from Monica Pignotti’s blog, where you put your link.

    I do feel it is very important for social workers and for everybody to understand holding therapy and related coercive treatments.

    And I look forward to following this blog as you uncover more.

    3.4 in the BAAF statement is an important statement. And so of course is point 6.2 – the first bullet point.

    I would like to see some examples of 6.7. [institutional abuse].

    Let this aspect of England be invisible no more!


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2 responses to “Never Let Me Go: Raising Awareness of Holding Therapy in the UK

  1. Leigh

    I was a child in care who went through holding therapy the therapist was evil forced me to lie across her knees while she held me down forced me to look into her eyes while sagging my birth mother off she had another therapist I can remember her name but she held my legs down sometimes the carers of the childrens home I was in at the time had to help hold me down to I know of at least 4 homes where kids went through this, they make you believe it was your fault, they make you believe there the only ones who are there. They had no idea the lasting effects and damage they caused with what they did every relationship has failed I can’t feel close to my children Iv constantly suffered with anxiety since I was about 11 wat ever age I was when I went into the said children’s service. As daft as it sounds but little fings like a cuddle if someone holds me to tight I get flash backs n then questioned wats up how do you tell oh its coz wen I was a kid blar blar. Thank god someone has come forward it’s giving other people the strength to come forward. Holding therapy ruined my life and changed me as a person. The therapist handed me a life sentence of misery and lonlyness and she became a millionaire at mine and other kids expense.

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