Attachment Therapy on Trial
The Torture and Death of Candace Newmaker
by Jean Mercer, Larry Sarner, Linda Rosa
May 2003, 272pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-97675-0
$61, £46, 51€, A88
eBook Available: 978-0-313-05716-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The tragic and shocking story of a 10-year-old girl who was suffocated during a fringe therapy illuminates legal issues that make it difficult to ban such practices.

Candace Newmaker was an adopted girl whose mother felt the child suffered from an emotional disorder that prevented loving attachment. The mother sought attachment therapy—a fringe form of psychotherapy—for the child and was present at her death by suffocation during that therapy. This text examines the beliefs of the girl’s mother and the unlicensed therapists, showing that the death, though unintentional, was a logical outcome of this form of treatment.

The authors explain legal factors that make it difficult to ban attachment therapy, despite its significant dangers. Much of the text’s material is drawn from court testimony from the therapists’ trial, and from 11 hours of videotape made while Candace was forcibly held beneath a blanket by several adults during the therapy. This book also presents history connecting attachment therapy to century-old fringe treatments, explaining why they may appeal to an unsophisticated public. This book will appeal to general readers, such as parents and adoption educators, as well as to scholars and students in clinical psychology, child psychiatry, and social work.

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