Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 303–314 | Cite as

Child Psychotherapy Involving Physical Restraint: Techniques Used in Four Approaches

  • Jean Mercer


This paper describes four forms of child psychotherapy that are unusual in their use of physical restraint as a therapeutic technique rather than simply as a safety procedure. Detailed information about these approaches was derived from published material, from training and parent education videotapes, and in one case from testimony in the trial of two practitioners following the death of a child during restraint. Caution in referring families to these types of therapies is advised, and it is suggested that parent education is important when families learn of restraint-oriented treatments through the Internet.

Physical Restraint Attachment Therapy Holding Therapy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alston, J. (2000). Correlation between Childhood Bipolar I Disorder and Reactive Attachment Disorder, Disinhibited Type. In T. Levy (Ed.), Handbook of attachment interventions (pp. 193–243). San Diego: Academic.Google Scholar
  2. Buchanan, A. (Producer/Director) (1997). Understanding attachment (Videotape). Available from Beech Brook Spalding Adoption Program, 3737 Lander Rd., Cleveland, OH 44124.Google Scholar
  3. Cline, F. (1992), Hope for high risk and rage filled children. Evergreen, CO: EC Publications.Google Scholar
  4. Crowder, C. (2000, July 29). Prosecutors add charges for rebirthing therapist. Denver Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved July 29, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http// Scholar
  5. Federici, R. (1998). Help for the hopeless child. Alexandria, VA: Dr. Ronald S. Federici & Associates.Google Scholar
  6. Ladnier, R., & Massanari, A. (2000). Treating ADHD as Attachment Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In T. Levy (Ed.), Handbook of attachment interventions (pp. 27–66). San Diego: Academic.Google Scholar
  7. Levy, T., & Orlans, M. (2000). Attachment disorders as an antecedent to violence and antisocial patterns in children. In T. Levy (Ed.), Handbook of attachment interventions (pp. 1–16). San Diego: Academic.Google Scholar
  8. Mercer, J. (2001). “Attachment therapy” using deliberate restraint: An object lesson on the identification of unvalidated treatments. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 14(3), 105–114.Google Scholar
  9. Thomas, N. (2000). Parenting children with attachment disorders. In T. Levy (Ed.), Handbook of attachment interventions (pp. 67–111). San Diego: Academic.Google Scholar
  10. Thomas, N. (2001). Retrieved May 1, 2001 from the World Wide Web:http// Scholar
  11. Welch, M. (1983). Retrieval from autism through mother-child holding. Appendix I in N. Tinbergen & E. Tinbergen, “Autistic” children: New hope for a cure (pp. 322–336). Boston: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  12. Welch, M. (1989). Holding time. New York: Fireside.Google Scholar
  13. Zaslow, R., & Menta, M. (1975). The psychology of the Z-process: Attachment and activity. San Jose, CA: San Jose State University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Mercer
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Social and Behavioral SciencesRichard Stockton CollegePomona

Personalised recommendations