Sociology Attachment Therapy - the danger of pseudoscience

Discussion in 'Sociology' started by amantine, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. amantine

    amantine Premium Member

    Previously posted on ATS in thread 77028.

    Some people say that even when alternative medicine is proven wrong, we should not do anything against it. "If it doesn't work and it does no harm. Why don't we let people keep going to alternative practioners if they want to do that?" The problem is that usually there is harm.

    Some general arguments that apply to all disproven or unproven (and therefore to be regarded as wrong until proven otherwise) alternative medicine is that people will not seek convential treatment. This can worsen the disease. However, there are also cases where a pseudoscientific alternative treatment does the harm itself. Attachment therapy is one of those.

    The article The Etiology of a Social Epidemic gives a good synopsis of attachement therapy and its problems:

    There is no scientific evidence that attachment therapy works. There are conventional therapies that do work, but they take much longer than the time it takes attachment therapy to work, if we are to believe the proponents of attachment theory. The article Quackwatch: Be wary of attachment therapy ends with the following conclusion:

    Abuse and torture are the right words to use for attachment therapy. There has even been a case of a death caused by attachment therapy: the death of Candace Newmaker, Scientific American: Death by Theory:

    Until they prove that attachment therapy does work, it should be forbidden. In this case the decision is easy. But there are also other kinds of alternative therapy. I have a simple opinion: we should only allow treatments are scientifically proven to work. Is this too much to ask? If attachment therapy, homeopathy or any other kind of alternative medicine work, they will easily be proven to work and they will be used. If they are wrong, they will not be used and we keep our health system free of useless non-working treatments.

    More about attachment therapy: Advocates for Children in Therapy.
  2. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    The only medicine that doesnt work that I would allow are sugar pills, which i have found are great placebos for boo-boos, just like the "kiss and make it better" medicine dolled out by hundreds of mothers every day.

    This is a scary thought that people believe this works, but i do have some questions about it. How could they allow themselves to be videotaped? (This almost belongs in the Ignorance Un-denied section for that. just kidding)

    Also, your logic: "until they prove that attachment therapy does work, it should be forbidden" how would they prove it works? Obviously I am not advocating this, but for other tests and experiments, how would anything get accomplished?

  3. amantine

    amantine Premium Member

    There are tests that can diagnose disorders like RAD. Simply have three groups of patients with RAD, with a similar demographic and social composition. Treat one with AT, one with normal child psychology and do not treat the last group. Check for differences one month, six months, one year and five years later. That would be a good first comparative experiment.
  4. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member

    "Breaking a child" just like some would a horse or a dog. Therapy in this country (and others) has gotten quite creative and reprehensible.

    Is this part of the McDonald's culture - satisfaction on your first visit or your money back? A child with RAD or PDST or any other unacceptable behavior issues shouldn't be forced or coerced into giving up control. Trust of a new caregiver comes with time, patience and actual investment in the child's well-being.

    I'm interested in hearing from any other Board members of their experiences with psychotherapists and the sucess/failure of treatment.
  5. amantine

    amantine Premium Member

    Yes, one of the reasons AT has become popular is that it promises results within a week or two, while normal treatment means years of therapy.