The British Journal of Social Work have published an article which attempted to rehabilitate Holding Therapy in the UK. The original study, which concerned the same organisation described elsewhere in this blog, was undertaken a number of years ago. The recently published findings have been critiqued in an article by Professor Jean Mercer which can be found at –
My sense is that the publication of this article will be a key event in the campaign to raise awareness of Holding Therapy in the UK.
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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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As far as I am aware this is the first time a first-hand account of Holding Therapy in the UK has been published on the internet. I have seen and heard evidence from a number of sources that reassures me that this description is genuine. This child would have experienced this treatment on a regular basis between the ages of 11 and 13 and the sessions sometimes could last for several hours, usually only ending when the child submitted to the authority of the therapists. Holding Therapy will probably have taken place today with a number of different children, sometimes as young as 8.
The Therapy sessions them selves were quite traumatic
One other adult usally one of the unit residential staff had to lie down feet on the one adult who would then hold the feet down on the top half one hand behind the therapist back been held by the person sat next to her one hand place on my chest held down my the therapist and constant forced eye to eye contant if i looked way my head would have been pinned in the direction of the therapist and if i tried to say no another hand would firmly clasped over my mouth which would send me into a fit of rage all this was also backed up with alot of shouting and swearing the therapist would say things like is this what your fucking birth mum did to you did she and the hand would come of my mouth for a responce this seemed to go on for ages
in the end i was so drained and broken and scared i just said yes in therapy i was constanly prevented from rubbing my eye if i had an itch prevented from stretching prevented from doing all nataural that i human being does to relive a discomfort and sureley that is taking away a basic human right
but at the end of each session broken tired it was kind of drilled in that all this was ok and they always managed to manipulate you to feeling ok when you left the session. another time i was wrapped in a blankett pind down and held so tight all i could feel was fright so i responded again with agression looking back this is what they wanted break you down to comply. i also attented so called intensive therapy where there would be 2 therapist again pinned down basicly given torrents of abuse poked proded until i reached agression again. I was i liveley lad growing up always trying to push boundries but during my time at …………… turned into this agressive monster attacked so many staff bit them punched them hit i had many bruises from this place and sometimes looked quite ill and run down i kept getting told they would help me but infact it was there methods that were turning me into somthing else in one instance i had splints put on my arms to imobilise me then they woud start laughing at amd humiliating me and again i went into a rage put power less as i was splinted in the end my violence got so out of contol i as kicking off every day staff were hospitalised in the end it was decided ……. couldnt meet my needs due to the increase in violent behaviour which now but that is what they turned me into after meeting and meeting its was decided i should go into a secure unit but then at the last second …………… said i want to foster this boy my therapist and director of ………fostering well that is a different story for years in the placement with them was ruled by fear and attachment therapy was never mentioned in her home she would bring kids back from work and make them sleep on the stairs on the floor and make them look after her disabled son who would often beat them up just to make them apprciate there own home this therapy is not about helping children its about making a child love or attach through fear! i tried to tell my head teacher in the late 90′s about what was going on she seemed concerned but again ……. and …….. got away with it and i got the biggest bollocking of my life. as for the staff in the units them selves were taken young carers with no experience been manipulated to work the ………. way alot have staff have left as they felt this was wrong and one member of staff in my defence reported the dog bone incident and also reported doctoring of ……. logs to put ……….. in a better light which i have in …………………whilst in the care of ………and ………… to my knolledge never had an inderpendent evaluation until i was 14 when i went to the ……….. with ……….. to be assed which was not inderpendent as the doctor was a freind of ………… once these people have these children in there care its kept very close to…….. the ouside world was totally oblivious to what was going on in my mind as social workers didnt understand the practices now i am left with anixety and never 100% trust anyone i am rid with guilt i feel stupid as i said am trying another therapy through the NHS to fix all the crap ……………….and …………….. did to me
i hope this is ok for starters if there is any direct question you wish to ask please do so as i do seem to rambble on some what
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