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Science-Based Medicine Blog: Patricia Schroeder and Rage Reduction Therapy

October 8, 2010

Interesting article from the Science Based Medicine Blog on a foreword former Congresswoman Patricia (Pat) Schroeder wrote for a book on Rage Reduction therapy, a discredited form of attachment therapy that employs brutal holding therapy techniques. Schroeder wrote the Foreword to the book, High Risk Children Without a Conscience authored by Ken Magid and Carole McKelvey which depicts the methods that were used by Foster Cline founder of what was formerly known as the Attachment Center at Evergreen.

It is typical of politicians to not want to admit to mistakes. This goes back to the fallacy that people who change their minds about things, even when there are good reasons to do so, are “flip flopping” or “wishy-washy”.  I was recently accused of this because I changed my mind about Thought Field Therapy but I am not a politician and understand how this issue of commitment and consistency can be used to manipulate people into foolishly staying with something even after it has been discredited. Social psychologists such as Robert Cialdini have written about how this leads people to be foolishly consistent. Patricia Schroeder presents us with a salient example of this phenomenon. Real scientists respect people who change their minds with good reason, rather than rigidly adhering to discredited notions for the sake of their public image.

Schroeder has recently moved from politics to scientific circles and needs to understand that in the scientific community, although there are people who are trying to sweep this under the carpet, she will ultimately be held accountable for what she has written. She has been approached on this topic but thus far, refuses to admit she made a mistake. This might be acceptable behavior for politicians, but with all due respect, Ms. Schroeder, this is not acceptable behavior for people who wish to be part of the scientific community.

A training videotape demonstrating this brutal so-called “therapy” can be viewed by clicking  here. The therapist, Neil Feinberg, has since permanently surrendered his LCSW license after repeated disciplinary actions by the State of Colorado. Documentation on Feinberg’s many disciplinary actions and ultimate loss of license can be obtained at the Colorado DORA website by searching on his name.

  1. Dr. Cathleen Mann permalink

    What specific qualifications does Pat Shcroeder have to be a member of any scientific community? I’m sorry to see this behavior, because she’s from and works in Colorado.

  2. Apparently she was involved in a study that she’s going to speak on at the Cochrane conference, but to date, no publications have resulted from that study and based on the way she has brushed off challenges to her stance on this book thus far, she doesn’t seem to have a good understanding of how scientists view errors and their correction.

    • Pignotti:

      the whole article does make that “foolish consistency” point very strongly.

      Cochrane conference?

      What challenges have scientists made to the book thus far?

      (Blindsided in an election year. I can see that).

      • Here’s a link to the Cochrane conference:

        They are a highly reputable organization and have done much excellent work and I’m sure they will have many excellent, science-based presenters, which is why it was surprising to me that they would have someone such as this as their keynote speaker and brush off complaints just because this is not the exact topic of her speech. In my opinion, if someone does not exemplify the values of science, such as being willing to admit when they have made a mistake, they do not deserve to be accepted in the scientific community and need to be called on it. Had she publicly admitted that she had made an error in writing the Foreword and done all in her power to correct it, she would well deserve to be not only recognized but also commended by the scientific community for having the courage to admit being wrong, but as the science-based medicine article states, so far she has not indicated any willingness to make such an admission. I have to wonder what the response to this would be, had Schroeder been a religious conservative Republican or a Tea Partying Libertarian.

        As for Neil Feinberg, he surrendered his license in 2009 and in 2010 the State of Colorado issued another order where they also revoked it. Not sure why both actions were necessary but his license is gone now, at least in Colorado and documents can be obtained through the Colorado DORA website I linked to in the article.

  3. Dr. Cathleen Mann permalink

    I’d have rage and anger too if someone held me like this, especially if it’s a bigger person. I’d feel this way, and I don’t have an attachment disorder. How very presumptous to treat children this way!

  4. I just added a link to a video demonstrating this brutal so-called “therapy”

  5. Dr. Cathleen Mann permalink

    Oh yes, Neil Feinberg. Finally got his license suspended permanently here in Colorado. He had lots of chances to change his behavior after multiple complaints — they sent him to retraining, he had a practice monitor, etc., but he continued to practice the same outrageous behavior toward children. His license is now gone!

  6. Dr. Cathleen Mann permalink

    It is clear from my post, Adelaide, that the state of Colorado finally took back the license of Neil Feinberg.

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