The League to Fight Neurelitism

Autism and Voodoo Science Treatments

by Gina Green

Autism, a disorder of brain development, was first identified more than a half-century ago but remains mysterious. In most cases of autism, the cause has not been pinpointed. Autism is characterized by impairment, ranging from slight to substantial, of communication, social interaction, and learning. Unusual behaviors are common among persons with autism.1 Such behaviors include repetitive actions, nonfunctional vocalizations, obsessive or ritualistic behavior, and destructive acts. Yet autism is not necessarily a conspicuous disability: Most persons with autism do not have obvious physical or sensory abnormalities.

Notwithstanding popular belief, autism can be treated effectively. Research of more than 30 years has shown that intervention with applied behavior analysis (ABA)?a natural-science approach to understanding and changing behavior?can result in large, lasting improvements in cognitive, social, and communication skills. Indeed, with early, intensive, and comprehensive ABA intervention, many children with autism who had serious developmental delays2 when they were diagnosed with the disorder have moved into the normal range in all skill domains.

Findings from longitudinal studies3 suggest that without effective intervention, it is likely that a substantial majority of persons with autism will require specialized services throughout their lives. Even with early, intensive ABA intervention, some persons with autism continue to require such services. Moreover, although some drugs may help to reduce some problem behaviors in persons with autism, no biomedical treatment has proved ameliorative of the core deficits of the disorder. The short- and long-term effects of most educational, psychological, and pharmacologic interventions for autism have not been evaluated thoroughly in scientific studies.

For these and other reasons, autism has long attracted conjectures, and promises, regarding causes and treatments. Many families and others struggling with this difficult disorder are seduced by claims of quick fixes and "miracle cures." This problem is compounded by the widespread reluctance among autism professionals and autism organizations to distinguish publicly between science and what physicist Robert L. Park, Ph.D., has termed "voodoo science." According to Park, "voodoo science" encompasses fraud, junk science, pseudoscience, and "pathological science"?in which scientists yield to the natural human inclination to see what they expect.

Although the scientific method is not fail-safe, the answers it yields to questions of efficacy and mechanism, in fields of research ranging from physics to psychology, are more reliable than those of any other method known to humankind. But not all activities designated "research" are scientific or yield reliable evidence. The results from any study are only as sound as the methodology used to produce them. Thus, one should not regard the reported results of a study of an intervention as credible if the study lacked:

explicit and unambiguous definitions of the intervention and its effects, direct and objective measurements of such effects, controls for the biases of human measurers, and means of ruling out possible explanations rival to the hypothesis that the intervention had the observed effects. To date, the vast majority of autism treatments have not proved effective in studies having the aforementioned attributes. Many of the claims of effectiveness for particular autism treatments are based only on anecdotes, testimonials, and statements of opinion. Others are based mainly on studies that did not conform to accepted scientific standards.

In methodologically rigorous studies, several autism interventions promoted extensively with unscientific evidence have proved ineffective, even harmful. According to several independent reviews of the evidence by professional organizations and task forces, these interventions include Auditory Integration Training (AIT) [see page 24], facilitated communication (FC), and the application of dimethylglycine (DMG) or secretin [see page 25]. Below I address AIT and FC.

Auditory Integration Training

In a letter published in this issue of PfH [see page 4], Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., stated that "three controlled studies . . . [show] the benefits of AIT." Citing one of these studies?a study he co-conducted?he suggested that these benefits included "normalization of brain wave activity" and "significant reductions in behavioral problems." Edelson omitted, however, that the alleged benefits of AIT in the participants had emerged not during the treatment phase of that study, but three months afterwards. The claim that participants in the study benefited from undergoing AIT is very questionable:

Edelson and his coauthors stated in their report that the parents of the participants with autism had been asked not to initiate other interventions for their children during the three months after the treatment phase of the study?but there had not been any controls for such an eventuality, and any number of other events (e.g., continuation of educational and other interventions) could have accounted for any changes in participants that might have arisen during those three months.

Behavioral changes and daily functioning of the participants with autism were never measured directly and objectively?they were measured only indirectly, via questionnaires of three kinds. Parents or guardians completed questionnaires of each kind on four occasions.

Statistically significant differences between the AIT group and the control group were found only three months after AIT treatment had discontinued in the study?and then, only with one kind of questionnaire.

Outside professionals did not verify reports of improvements in participants.

Brain wave measurement was completed on only 5 of the 19 participants with autism, three of whom underwent AIT and two of whom were members of the control group. The investigators averaged those data. The report does not provide enough detail for sensible interpretation of the data. In any event, the investigators did not present any evidence that brain wave changes affected the functioning of any participant in any way.

Another recent study of AIT featured: (a) a true experimental design, (b) 16 treatment participants and 16 control participants, © 14 monthly measurements of behavior both by direct observation and by ratings from parents and teachers, and (d) multiple objective measures of functioning before and after treatment. The researchers (O. C. Mudford et al.) found that the AIT participants had not benefited significantly, in terms of problem behaviors or skills, from undergoing the treatment. Indeed, they found that social and language skills objectively measured in the AIT participants had deteriorated.

In 1998 the American Academy of Pediatrics said of AIT, (a) that ". . . there are no good controlled studies to support its use," and (b) that "[a]lthough AIT practitioners declare the technique to be safe, there is some information about both the quality control characteristics of the equipment used and potentially unsafe sound levels produced by it."

A multidisciplinary panel arranged by the New York State Department of Health to conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence on interventions for autism in early childhood found that only one study of AIT had met established criteria for scientific evidence of efficacy, and that it had yielded no evidence that AIT is more beneficial than a placebo. In the treatment guidelines it developed, this panel stated: "Because of the lack of demonstrated efficacy and the expense of the intervention, it is recommended that auditory integration training not be used . . . ."

Facilitated Communication

The evidence against FC is clearer and more substantial than the evidence on AIT. In FC, a nondisabled adult, called a "facilitator," maintains physical (typically manual or digital) contact with a hand, arm, or shoulder of a person with autism or another disability. At the same time, the latter person's index finger is used to create messages on a computer or typewriter keyboard or something analogous thereto. The process is much like using a Ouija board.

Since the early 1990s, FC has been hyped through the mass media, popular newsletters, self-published books, and "workshops" as a miracle?a breakthrough that enables legions of persons with severe difficulties to display remarkable literacy and other skills they do not otherwise manifest. But the most plausible explanation for FC's appearance of utility is that the so-called facilitators are the source of the messages FC allegedly brings forth from disabled persons. At least 40 controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals since 1992 have validated this hypothesis. Various control procedures were used in those studies to identify, directly and objectively, the source of the messages, for example:

having facilitators look away from the letter device; presenting objects, instructions, or questions only to disabled participants; and presenting to the facilitators something different from whatever is presented to their disabled partners. In controlled studies whose findings were disaffirmative of FC, investigators often (a) engaged facilitators in the development of test procedures; (b) involved facilitators who had been trained by prominent advocates of FC, © used both methods and materials that were very familiar to the participants, and/or (d) conducted multiple tests of message origination ("authorship") over extended periods. In short, many investigators tried to "stack the deck" for FC.

These controlled studies revealed that accurate, coherent FC messages were made reliably only when the facilitators looked at the letter device and had knowledge of whatever was presented to their disabled partners. Some studies have shown that the more strongly the facilitators professed that they were not influencing message formation, the likelier they were to control it completely.

An exquisite study E. Kezuka conducted in Japan demonstrated that only tiny cues are necessary to control FC message formation. Very subtle changes in touch or pressure suffice to signal the disabled FC participant to move his extended index finger over a letter device and then to make it settle on a particular letter.

In a letter published in this issue of PfH [see page 3], Barbara A. Cunningham, Ed.D., cited "quantitative, empirical studies that proved FC statistically." But no methodologically sound study has done so. The handful of studies represented as controlled and as validating FC were conducted by proponents of FC and published in one journal only: Mental Retardation. For the most part, the FC responses attributed to the disabled participants in those studies were fairly simple?after extensive practice, copying printed words or pointing to particular letters marking items on a multiple-choice document. Additionally, the procedures used in these studies preclude ruling out chance, educated guesses by facilitators, preexisting skills in the disabled participants, and other factors that might well account for the seeming successes. In short, the evidence that Dr. Cunningham and other proponents of FC cite in support of the method does not even approach, in either quality or quantity, the evidence against it.

Regrettably, widespread uncritical adoption of FC by many professionals in disability services, special education, and speech-language pathology has meant FC's frequent displacement of validated interventions for autism and other communication-related disorders. Moreover, promoters of FC advise facilitators to expect messages indicating that their disabled FC partners are being abused by caregivers. Many messages of this sort have been produced through FC, often without any hard evidence whatsoever of such abuse. Simple controlled tests of message origination conducted in several legal cases have shown that the disabled individuals could not have originated the allegations. Nevertheless, on the basis of accusatory FC messages, long and costly lawsuits have been launched, caregivers have been jailed, and disabled persons have been separated from their families. Such incidents, and reviews of the scientific evidence on FC, have together led several professional organizations to issue position statements to the effect that FC is not a valid or reliable way of dealing with the communication problems of autism or other disabilities. These organizations include the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association on Mental Retardation, the American Psychological Association, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the Association for Behavior Analysis.

The Bottom Line

In autism, as well as in other chronic disorders, treatments based on "voodoo science" sell widely. But autism is a very complex disorder, and history and common sense should make it clear that fast and easy interventions are unlikely to dent it?and that advances in understanding and treating autism probably won't result from investments in pseudoscientific theories and treatments.

Gina Green, Ph.D., BCBA,4 is Director of Research at the New England Center for Children, in Southborough, Massachusetts, and Research Associate Professor at the E. K. Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is on the Board of Directors of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT), on behalf of which this paper was written. For information about this nonprofit organization, call ASAT at (516) 466-4400.


1 - Editor's note: Dr. Green has sympathetically stated to me that, in her field, use of the expressions "autistic person," "autistic participant," and/or?in reference to any study participant?"subject" is considered not politically correct and, therefore, is likely to mislead readers conversant with autism research and may conduce to eliciting nonproductive, hostile criticisms. Although I am not at all averse to the use of any of these expressions, I have deferred to the author on this matter. Back

2 - "Developmental delay" refers to lateness of reaching any particular milestone of development in early childhood. Back

3 - A longitudinal study is a study in which individuals or classes of individuals are followed, or in which a phenomenon is observed (continuously or intermittently), for a set period. Back

4 - Board Certified Behavior Analyst Back


nonfunctional vocalization: Any use of the voice that has no apparent communicational aim.

autism (infantile autism): In medicine and psychology, a pervasive developmental disorder that shows up in early childhood and is marked by repetitive movements (e.g., spinning), resistance to change, shortness of attention span, lack of eye contact, inability to treat other persons as persons, and non-seeking of comfort in times of distress.

pervasive developmental disorder (PDD): Any of a group of nervous-system disorders characterized by deficits in communication and in diverseness of activities.

developmental disability: Any of a group of lasting incapacities, mental and/or physical, that arise before adulthood.

apraxia: Inability or underability to move coordinately, and/or to manipulate objects, even without problems related to bones, muscles, the senses, and/or comprehension.

pilot study: A relatively small-scale experiment designed as a prelude to large-scale scientific research (more specifically, to test research procedures and an initial hypothesis, for example).

randomized controlled trial (randomized controlled clinical trial, randomized control trial, RCT): An experiment (a) involving at least one tentative treatment or tentative preventive and one control (e.g., a placebo) and (b) in which subjects are allocated randomly into such groups.

secretin (incretin, oxykrinin): A hormone made in the mucous membranes of the duodenum and jejunum that can stimulate the stomach, liver, and pancreas to secrete certain digestive substances and can inhibit gastric acid secretion.

double-blind study (double-blind clinical study, double-blind trial): Any clinical experiment designed so that none of the participants (e.g., the subjects and those treating them) knows the identity of the treatment any subject is undergoing.

crossover study: A study in which subjects undergo different treatment courses sequentially.

Some Dubious Mental-Health-related Methods

by Jack Raso
Alternative medicine?which is among the grandest pseudoscientific movements in the history of the world?features numerous methods that are clearly related to mental health. Below are some of the many relevant descriptions in A Dictionary of Alternative-Medicine Methods (

Acceptance Acupressure Method[TM] (AAM): A variation of Emotional Freedom Techniques. The postulates of AAM are that forgiveness (acceptance or "non-judgment") is the key to healing; that one is healed permanently when one "releases" all of one's grievances; that humans are sick because of unawareness of being whole; and that judgments create blockages in the judge's "energy system."

Acu-POWER (Acu-POWER Emotional Technique, Dr. Durlacher's Acu-POWER method): One of the tapping therapies and the subject of Freedom From Fear Forever: The Acu-Power Way to Overcoming Your Fear, Phobias and Inner Problems (Van Ness Publishing, 1997), by Dr. James V. Durlacher. Roger J. Callahan (see "Thought Field Therapy") pioneered the method.

auditing (pastoral counseling, processing): A psychotherapeutic technique introduced in 1950 by L. (Lafayette) Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) in his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. The procedure is central to Dianetics and may include use of an "E-meter" ("electropsychometer"; also called the "Hubbard Electrometer"), a quasi lie detector. Practitioners are called "auditors."

Be Set Free Fast[TM] (BSFF): One of the tapping therapies. Larry Phillip Nims, Ph.D., developed it. According to BSFF theory, in adults any specific problem typically has 700 to 1,900 emotional roots. Each BSFF treatment series allegedly eliminates all of a problem's roots. (See "energy therapies.")

biblical counseling (nouthetic counseling): The use of devotional instructions in the Bible to treat psychological problems. Proponents equate psychological and spiritual problems and claim that all such troubles are solvable merely by cultivating obedience to Jesus Christ. The term "nouthetic" derives from a Greek word, "noutheteo," which means "to admonish or warn." Promoters of Calvinist fundamentalism introduced biblical counseling in the 1970s. Hybrids of the fundamentalist mode and folkloric ostensive psychology have largely superseded biblical counseling.

biodynamic psychology (Biodynamic therapy): "Therapeutic approach" developed by Gerda Boyesen, a clinical psychologist and physiotherapist born in Norway. It is related to bioenergetics. One of its postulates is that, when bodily fluids do not circulate efficiently or tissues are not "properly cleansed," "emotional tensions or blockages" show up and keep "bioenergy" from vitalizing the body.

bioenergetics (Bioenergetic Analysis, bioenergetic method): Offshoot of Reichian Therapy developed by psychiatrist Alexander Lowen (b. 1910), author of Language of the Body (1958). Its theory posits "bioenergy" ("life energy"), and its postulate is that all bodily cells record emotional or "energetic" reactions. Proponents hold that such cellular "memories" are adaptable to healing and consciousness-raising, and that patients can release them by crying, screaming, and kicking. Practitioners may be called "bioenergeticists."

A Course in Miracles: Form of spiritual psychotherapy based on A Course in Miracles, whose three volumes?The Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual for Teachers?comprise well over a thousand pages. "The Course" originated in 1965, was completed in 1972, and was first published (as a photocopy of typescript) in 1975. It allegedly is the fruit of channeling from Jesus Christ to Helen Cohen Schucman (1909-1981), a research psychologist at Columbia University.

Dianetics? (dianetic therapy): Forerunner and a major "technique" of Scientology. Proponents of Dianetics have described it as a mode of pastoral counseling. The name "Dianetics" is based on Greek words meaning "through soul." The method's postulate is that "engrams"?traumas that occurred in early childhood, in utero, or during previous incarnations?are the cause of all psychosomatic and mental illnesses. Its purported design is to erase "engrams" by auditing (see above).

dreamwork (dreamworking): Any systematic inquiry into or use of dreams with the purported purpose of healing or self-development. Dreamwork theory posits "archetypal energy" and "life energy." Practitioners are called "dreamworkers."

EDxTM[TM] (Energy Diagnostic & Treatment Methods): A "bioenergy technology" created by psychologist Fred Gallo, Ph.D. It includes the manual muscle testing1 of applied kinesiology and procedures from meridian therapy.2

Emotional Freedom Techniques[TM] (EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique): A variation of Thought Field Therapy. Gary Craig developed EFT. (See "energy therapies.")

energy therapies (energy psychotherapy, Energy Therapies/Psychology, energy therapy, energy therapy methods): A group of methods exemplified by Be Set Free Fast, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and Tapas Acupressure Technique. With these three methods, the subject gives attention to a problem and then taps or otherwise handles "meridian points," upon which the "meridian points" allegedly release "negative energy" that the subject's "energy field" captured. According to these methods' theories, the released "negative energy" dissolves the negative emotions and thoughts it contains.

est (Erhard Seminars Training, est system): Mystical "human potential" system founded in 1971 by Scientologist Werner Erhard (born John Paul Rosenberg in 1935). Est included "consciousness projection" and, in 1985, became The Forum. The Latin word "est" means "it is." Est theory held that everyone is perfect deep down and, in a godlike fashion, creates his or her own reality.

hand psychology: A form of scientific palmistry.3 Its postulate is that one's hands reveal vast psychological information. Hand psychology features dermatoglyphics: the study of fine ridges on fingertips and palms.

Holotropic Breathwork[TM] (Grof breathwork, holonomic breathwork, holonomic therapy, holotropic breath therapy, holotropic therapy): Psychotherapeutic technique developed in the 1970s by Czechoslovakian-born psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, M.D., and his spouse, Christina Grof, author of The Thirst for Wholeness: Attachment, Addiction, and the Spiritual Path (HarperSanFrancisco, 1994). It involves breathwork4 (hyperventilation), sound technology (mainly loud music), and the drawing of mandalas (aids to meditation), and it may include "focused bodywork." Holotropic Breathwork is an alleged access to one's "natural healing energies." It purportedly can induce "transpersonal experiences," which, according to Dr. Grof, can provide information about any "aspect" of the universe in the present, past, and future.

Hypnoaesthetics[TM]: Purported application of hypnosis to establishing and maintaining "intimacy" between one's subconscious and one's biochemical and cellular processes. It supposedly increases "body harmony." Its theory posits "subconscious energy" usable for "physiological enhancement."

inner child work (Inner Child, inner child therapy): Form of psychotherapy pioneered and popularized by Texas-born theologian John Bradshaw, a former aspirant to the Roman Catholic priesthood. Bradshaw is the author of: (a) Bradshaw On: The Family; (b) Healing the Shame That Binds You; © Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child; and (d) Creating Love: The Next Stage of Growth. In Homecoming, first published in 1990, Bradshaw states that all children of dysfunctional families lose their "I AMness": their assurance that their parents or guardians are healthy, able, and eager caregivers. He recommends that victims of this loss or "spiritual wound" reclaim their "inner child" by reliving their developmental stages and finishing "unfinished business." He terms such reclamation a Zenlike experience. Toward this end, he suggests having conversations with one's "inner infant," writing letters to it and reading them aloud, and writing letters to oneself?with the nondominant hand?as if the infant were writing them. Through such methods, the "wounded inner child" supposedly evolves into a "wonder child," which Bradshaw describes as one's "Imago Dei?the part of you that bears a likeness to your creator." In late 1996, Bradshaw hosted "The Bradshaw Difference," a talk show on UPN.

Jungian psychology (Analytical Psychology): System of psychoanalysis founded by psychiatrist and reincarnationist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), of Zurich, Switzerland. Its theory posits a collective unconscious,5 synchronicity,6 and "life energy" ("libidinal energy," the "primal energy"). Jung held that studying the (alleged) "racial unconscious" could enhance understanding of the individual unconscious.

meridian based psychotherapies (acupuncture meridian based psychotherapies): Modes of psychotherapy exemplified by Acu-POWER, EDxTM, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and Touch And Breathe.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP[TM], neurolinguistics): Quasi-spiritual behavior-modification (or "performance psychology") technique whose crux is "modelling," or "NLP modelling": imitating the behavior of high achievers. Richard Bandler and John Grinder initially formulated NLP in 1975, reputedly duplicating the "magical results" of several top communicators and therapists.

organic process therapy (OPT): A purported way to rediscover one's "body-feelings," mind, and spirit, and to return to one's unobstructed, unfractured "Organic Self."

organismic psychotherapy (humanistic body psychotherapy): Spinoff of Reichian Therapy developed by Malcolm Brown, Ph.D., and Katherine Ennis Brown, in Europe. Its theory divides human anatomy into four "dynamic Being Centers" of the "embodied soul": (1) The Agape-Eros Being Center consists of the upper frontal portion of the body and purportedly mediates feelings of openness toward others. (2) the Hara Being Center, the abdominal portion of the body, supposedly permits self-love. (3) The Logos Being Center, the upper dorsal portion of the body, allegedly has unfathomable intuitive faculties. (4) The Phallic-Spiritual Warrior Being Center, which consists of the lower back and the limbs, supposedly enables resoluteness (perseverance).

past-life therapy (Past Life Regression Therapy, PLRT, past lives therapy, regression therapy, transformational therapy): A form of psychotherapy that emerged in the 1960s and usually involves hypnotism. Past-life "therapists" purportedly trace physical and psychological problems to traumatic events the patient experienced during previous incarnations.

pranic psychotherapy: "Subspecialty" of Pranic Healing. It includes four "healing techniques" besides those of Pranic Healing: (1) a "cleansing technique," purportedly for the removal and disintegration of "traumatic psychic energy" and such; (2) an "advanced form of energizing," supposedly for the disintegration of "etheric parasites" and the repair of external "etheric webs" that lie in a one-to-one relation behind chakras; (3) alleged activation and inhibition of chakras; and (4) creation of a "positive thought entity" for the patient.

primal therapy (primal scream therapy): Mode of psychotherapy developed by child psychologist Arthur Janov, author of The Primal Scream (1970). Primal therapists dispense with analysis and, through a process of painful catharsis, purportedly attempt to resolve neuroses. Janov maintained that, to be effective, psychotherapy must uncover repressed "primal pains"?unpleasant events undergone not only during childhood and infancy, but even in the fetal and embryonic stages. According to Janov, patients can dispel "primal pains" only by re-experiencing them and giving them physical expression (e.g., by screaming). The crux of primal therapy is rebirthing. Variations of primal therapy include Bio Scream Psychotherapy and the New Identity Process (NIP).

process psychology (Dreambody approach, Dreambody Work, process oriented psychology, Process-Oriented Psychotherapy, Process Work): Spiritual form of psychotherapy developed by American psychotherapist and author Arnold Mindell, Ph.D., at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. Process psychology involves bodywork, dreamwork, and meditation. Its theory posits a "dreambody," and its purported design is to heal the source of illness "as it manifests in the unconscious."

Psychoenergetic Healing: A metaphysical, purportedly advanced mode of psycho-therapy. Its theory posits a "spiritual, healing energy or Light" that all humans can access. Apparently, it also posits reincarnation.

psychology of evil: Nascent Christian psychological philosophy endorsed by M. (Morgan) Scott Peck, M.D. Peck is the author of The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (Simon & Schuster, 1979), People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil (Simon & Schuster, 1983), Further Along The Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Toward Spiritual Growth (Simon & Schuster, 1993), In Heaven as on Earth: A Vision of the Afterlife, and The Road Less Traveled and Beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety (Simon & Schuster, 1997). In The Road Less Traveled, Peck equated laziness with original sin, an alleged condition that Christianity ascribes to the first human's act of disobedience to God. Peck stated that the "lazy part of the self . . . may actually be" the devil. In People of the Lie, which he called a "dangerous book," Peck claimed that he had "met" Satan. He stated: "As well as being the Father of Lies, Satan may be said to be a spirit of mental illness." In Further Along The Road Less Traveled, he asserted (pp. 186-187): "Spiritual/religious ideas and concepts are necessary in the treatment of many people . . . . I realized that there was no way to treat . . . people [with phobias] effectively without trying to convert them to a more benign worldview: a view of the world . . . as . . . at least . . . a place in which they . . . . had some kind of protection in the form of God's grace."

Psycho-Pictography: Subject of the bestseller Psycho-Pictography: The New Way to Use the Miracle Power of Your Mind (Prentice Hall, 1996), by "self-help" guru Vernon Linwood Howard. It is a purported means of using the "miracle power" of one's mind, through mental images, to decipher spiritual and psychological truths.

psychosynthesis (psychosynthesis therapy): Form of spiritual psychotherapy originated in 1910 by Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli, M.D. (1888-1974), and developed by Johannes Schultz. Its purported design is to effect the "integration" and "growth" of the self and to release and direct "psychic energies" allegedly generated thereby. Its theory posits chakras ("energy centers").

rebirthing (circular breathing, conscious breathing, conscious-connected breathing, free breathing, vivation): A form of bodywork that involves hyperventilation. Leonard Orr developed rebirthing in the 1970s. Its purported goal is to resolve repressed attitudes and emotions that supposedly originated with prenatal and perinatal experiences. Practitioners, called "rebirthers," encourage patients to reenact the birth process.

Reichian Therapy (psychiatric orgone therapy, Reichian bodywork therapy, Reichian massage; called "vegetal therapy" in Europe): Psychoanalytic form of bodywork developed by Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), the "discoverer" of orgone.7 According to Reichian theory, blockages to orgone cause neuroses and most physical disorders. Muscular contractions ("body armor") in various parts of the body supposedly manifest such "blockages." The Reichian "therapist" intuitively decides where the greatest "body armor" is and supposedly seeks to "dissolve" or "dismantle" it. Approaches to "dissolving" this "armor" include massage and having the patient breathe deeply, cry, gag, kick, make faces, scream, and roll his or her eyes. Apparently, Reichian Therapy is also called "Reichian vegetotherapy."

sacred psychology: "Experiential psychology" developed by psychologist Jean Houston, former president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology. Its theory posits three realms of experience: ordinary reality, a collective unconscious,5 and "the realm of God," which purportedly is immanent in the "High Self."

shamanic psychotherapy: Mode of "spiritual healing" based on shamanism and the doctrine of reincarnation. Its theory posits "missing soul parts."

Silva Mind Control (Silva Mental Dynamics, Silva Method, Silva Method of mind development, Silva Mind Control method, Silva Mind Control Method of Mental Dynamics, Silva Mind Control program of Mental Dynamics, Silva Mind Control system, Silva mind method): Brainchild of Jos? Silva codeveloped by Burt Goldman. Silva, an unschooled electronics engineer born in Texas in 1914, expounded his method with different coauthors in The Silva Mind Control Method (1978) and The Silva Mind Control Method of Mental Dynamics (1988). Silva Mind Control is a "positive thinking philosophy" of meditative "self-help" that purportedly effects alpha rhythm, a brain wave that occurs in humans during wakeful relaxation. Proponents of Silva Mind Control have claimed that it enables telepathy. One of its principles ("universal rules") is that the universe is a "mental creation" of God. Another is that "vibration" is the root of health, illness, success, and failure.

soul-centered psychology: Afrocentric mode of psycho-therapy advanced by John Bolling, M.D. Its theory posits: (a) "soul perception" and (b) "archetypal energies of the psyche" that are susceptible to harmonization.

spirit releasement therapy: Form of psychotherapy developed by William Baldwin, author of Spirit Releasement Therapy: A Technique Manual/Second Edition (Human Potential Foundation Press, 1992). It is a treatment for "spirit attachment": alleged complete or partial takeover of a "living human" by a discarnate being. Spirit releasement therapy includes past-life therapy.

tapping therapies (tapping treatments): Apparently, treatments that involve tapping acupuncture points. Tapping therapies include Be Set Free Fast, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Tapas Acupressure Technique, and Thought Field Therapy.

Thought Field Therapy (TFT, Callahan Techniques[TM], tapping therapy, tap therapy): One of the power therapies. According to clinical psychologist Roger J. Callahan, Ph.D., quoted in the November 1996 issue of Visions Magazine, TFT is "the study of the structure of thought fields and the body's energy system as they pertain to the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems." Callahan originated TFT in the 1980s. It involves sequentially tapping specific "acupuncture meridian energy points" with fingertips.

Touch And Breathe (TAB, TAB approach): A "natural" treatment purportedly used to facilitate chi influence along acupuncture meridians. With TAB, the subject fingers "diagnosed treatment sites" along such meridians and lightly keeps the fingers there as he or she respires once.

Transformation (Transformations, Transformation: You'll See It When You Believe It): One of psychotherapist-author Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's audiocassette programs for self-development (? 1987). Its postulates include the following. (a) Thought is everything. (b) Thoughts "interconnect" the universe. © One can become able to bring about "almost anything." (d) One has chosen everything around oneself. (e) One can be anything.

transpersonal psychology (transpersonal counseling, transpersonal counseling psychology): Combination of Jungian psychology, psychosynthesis, and Eastern mysticism. It emphasizes meditation, prayer, and self-transcendence. Carl Jung (see "Jungian psychology") apparently was the first to use the expression "transpersonal" (ueberpersoenlich), in 1917. Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, the codeveloper of Holotropic Breathwork, coined the name "transpersonal psychology."

Twelve Steps (12-Step path, 12-Step program, 12-Step way): Theistic system that purportedly advances recovery from various addictions and compulsive behaviors. It involves meditation and prayer. The 12-Step path of Alcoholics Anonymous emphasizes cultivating a relationship with one's conception of God, a "Higher Power," a "Creative Force," or a "Oneness in the Universe."

Whole Life Healing (WLH): One of the energy therapies. Stephanie Y. Rothman developed it in California. It includes breathwork,4 Emotional Freedom Techniques, meridian therapy, muscle testing, and spiritual healing. WLH theory posits a "body/mind/ spirit" and "the Divine."

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