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“We all know that misguided celebrities, such as Jenny McCarthy, Oprah, Prince Charles, and Arianna Huffington, pose considerable public health threats. Few know that arguably the most vile form of quackery has been getting the thumbs up from a celebrity hailing from the most rarified heights of power and influence — Representative Patricia Schroeder (D-CO, 1973-1997). The practice I’m referring to is ‘Rage Reduction’. This practice, popular for decades in adoption and foster care circles, claims to help children develop the capacity to love and become attached to their new caregivers. Practitioners believe these children suffer from ‘Attachment Disorder’ because of early abuse and neglect. Typical of quackery, this unrecognized diagnosis consists of an absurdly long catch-all list of signs used to ensnare any child. (Even good behavior is interpreted as sneaky manipulation of parents.)
In a Rage Reduction therapy session, a child is restrained by a therapist – usually a licensed psychologist or social worker – plus one or more assistants. The therapist ‘activates’ a child by yelling, belittling, threatening, relentlessly tickling, bouncing the child’s head, covering his mouth, and painfully knuckling the child’s rib cage and sternum. Such sessions typically go on for two or more hours, until the child is exhausted from struggling and becomes, as one psychologist observed, ‘a whimpering little puddle’. Children, even teenagers, are then swaddled and given a baby bottle by their adopted mother for ‘bonding time’.
The rationale for Rage Reduction consists of several thoroughly discredited notions: the need to regress children back to infancy so that ‘repressed’ memories of abuse can be recovered and repressed ‘infantile anger’’ can be drained out through ‘catharsis’.
There is no reliable evidence that indicates that Rage Reduction would be anything but harmful. To critics, Rage Reduction is indistinguishable from literal torture, i.e. the infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, for a purpose. The purpose here is apparently not the creation of loving relationships, but rather grinding down children until they are grateful and unquestioningly obedient. Think ‘Stepford Children’.”
Linda Rosa, RN, Science Based Medicine (8th October 2010)