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Children subjected to coercive techniques often have histories of severe abuse, neglect, multiple out-of-home placements, and adoption. Practitioners of coercive therapy often tell [adoptive] parents these methods are the only ones that will work to keep their child from becoming a serial murderer or sociopath.
We know that people with a history of abuse and traumatic losses are more sensitized to traumatic experiences and retraumatization when exposed to stimuli or physical coercion that is likely to remind them of the original abusive situation. Coercive therapy is terroristic and abusive as well as dangerous. Literature confirms that similar techniques are used in brainwashing: The subject is degraded, belittled, may be physically abused, is told it is for his benefit, and is thus coerced to consent. Hacker (1976), an acknowledged expert in terrorism, writes, “Coercion, having obscured its brutal origins, is then at its most triumphant when the victims are compelled to experience submission as a voluntary decision.”
Coercive techniques are antithetical to all we know about helping survivors of trauma. Trauma treatment is intended to empower survivors—not to frighten them, have them give up control, and make them assume a submissive posture. Coercive techniques foster the development of trauma bonds based in terror; they do not facilitate healthy attachment.
We would not be permitted to use these methods on prisoners of war or convicted felons, but we permit it for our children—children who have no voice.
[TRIGGER WARNING: child abuse & humiliation, sensory & food deprivation, torture, ableism]
“By taking away control, I mean taking away the right to decide anything: what to do, what to eat, when to go to bed, what to wear — everything!”
“Only when the child gives in to the idea that control belongs to the adult, can healing begin. If you cannot take away the control, you might as well give up. One of the foster mothers I recently worked with established the number-one rule in her home as, “I am the boss and your job is to learn to love it.”
”[…]When a new set of foster caregivers took [the boy] in, I had them take everything away right down to the bare mattress on the floor and a bucket to sit on. His caregivers picked out what he would eat, what he could do and what he could wear. He had to ask permission to talk or to use the bathroom.”
— Catherine S. Cain, Attachment Disorders: Treatment Strategies for Traumatized Children (2006)
“The rule of thumb when dealing with an unattached child in the classroom or elsewhere, is Believe the parents, not the child.”
“The adoptive mother often becomes the target of rage that would be more appropriately directed at the birth mother.”
“One parent purposely allowed a child to become lost in a mall, but kept an eye on her as her distress level increased before being ‘found’… a recreation of the early distress/relief bonding cycle.”
— Foster Cline, Can This Child Be Saved? Solutions for Adoptive and Foster Families (1999)
“These children need a different kind of love — the type that forces them to love others.”
“Intrusive therapy involves physical holding and sometimes verbally provocative techniques that bring on expressions and feelings of loss, pain, rage, helplessness, and finally hopelessness — the process through which a person must go to form attachment.”
“God used intrusive techniques himself.”
“This six-hour session [of a 150-lb. mother sitting on her prone 8-year-old son, as described by therapist Milton Erickson] would be illegal in some states.”
— Foster Cline, Conscienceless Acts (1995)
“Not only do many religions emphasize that accepting suffering is beneficial, many prescribe specific ordeals such as fasting, rigorous prayer rituals and ‘turning the other cheek’ to create both an intellectual acceptance as well as emotional and behavioral acceptance of the belief system.”
“The child needs to be confronted, ‘manipulated’ if necessary through paradoxical and other interventions, some of which may have the appearance of ‘ordeals,’ in order to achieve the greater good of maintaining the placement by quickly bringing about change.”
“‘Ordeals’ are stressful, trying, troubling, difficult and make people miserable and uncomfortable. Using paradoxical techniques can often be perceived then as undesirable and torturous, with no rationale.”
Deborah Hage, “Paradoxical Techniques” Foster Care & Adoptive Community Training Program (2005 - 2013)
“Many therapeutic philosophies argue that when children have been physically or sexually abused they have a heightened need for boundaries to be respected. These theories maintain that to touch an abused child is to re-traumatize the child. Holding therapists would be philosophically opposed to that line of reasoning. Rather, they would argue that child who have been touched in abusive ways need to be touched and have the touch followed by a loving, positive, resolution. They need to be held close through a high state of arousal, thus duplicating the high state of arousal which occurs during the height of the abuse.”
“Generally, the best course of action is to let the adoptive parents decide which child/children they have been able to achieve some sort of attachment with and then remove from the home the child/children they consider to be less functional.”
— Deborah Hage, For What It’s Worth: Philosophical and Theological Musings (1999)
“Parents must take complete control[…] Often, this also requires therapeutic holds. There are Sequence One and Sequence Two holds which may seem scary and even barbaric at first.”
“More often than not, the child will resist. At this point, one parent applies gentle but firm pressure on the shoulder in a small “pinch” manner. (Remember Mr. Spock’s famous Vulcan shoulder grip from Star Trek? Think of this.) […] Next, you instruct the child to go to his or her knees and ultimately lie face down on the floor.”
“If a pillow, jacket, or towel is available, place it under the child’s face because it is very important for the child to lie face down during the therapeutic hold to prevent spitting, biting or direct eye contact. It is often overwhelming and guilt-inducing for the parents when direct eye contact occurs with the child. In order to avoid the tendency to abandon the holding time technique, make sure the child is lying face down.
“While one of you jockeys your weight over the child’s buttocks and lower legs (thus straddling the child), the other parent lies across the child’s upper torso and pins the child’s arms down by the sides of the body[…]”
“Total Adults Only. Isolation from any type of activity, friend or other sibling. Early bedtime, no talking to others, no television, play or any type of recreational activity. No hiding out in their room which is often preferred. Must stay in immediate sight and close proximity of parents or responsible adult at all times. Hard labor activities occupying any and all free time.”
— Ronald Federici, Help for the Hopeless Child: A Guide for Families, With Special Discussion for Assessing and Treating the Post-Institutionalized Child (2003)
Programs founded and/or propagated by Cain, Cline, Hage, Federici & co. have collectively received millions in taxpayer subsidies, with their published works often promoted as “bibles” in adoptive and foster parent circles. Some states have officially required the recommended treatments as a condition of adoption.
Excepts posted per request.
Making this rebloggable and divvying up the “recommendations” of sorts among my responses to this ask and your subsequent one.
As I stated earlier, one cannot get a sense of the adoption industry’s inner workings and consequences via text without including the books and manuals officially issued by federal and state organizations that set the standards for treatment of both international adoptees and domestic foster children.
The tricky part is that these documents happen to be ones that any literate, humane, and scientifically-minded person will eschew.
My next post will contain selections of direct quotes from figures commonly cited as experts on international adoption and/or foster care.
Linda Rosa, RN (via iwasthesilentgirl)
fyi: Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on what the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children officially disavows as institutionalized child torture masquerading as therapy.
14 notes (via bastardplanet & iwasthesilentgirl)
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