Rebirthing Therapy: Candace Newmaker nee Candace Tiarra Elmore, dies in therapy at 10 years-old, a YouTube video

I came across this video while researching. It does not directly connect to Dissociative Identity Disorder, or multiple personalities. It does, however, show how death from fringe therapies happens more often than the psychology industry would have the public know. And, it reminds me of my friends who were treated for multiple personalities and died during treatment.

I attended the trials of the therapists who murdered 10-year-old Candace during a rebirthing session meant to bond her to Jean Newmaker, her adoptive mother. This YouTube video shows the slow torture of Candace during that psychotherapy session that led to her death. Some details I would add:

Jean Newmaker, Candace’s adoptive mother, was head of pediatric nursing at Duke University. Newmaker, however, was unable to assess that Candace was being suffocated during the rebirthing session.

Candace’s birth family (grandparents) attended the trials. I got to know them rather well over the weeks of the trial. They are a loving family. They told me they were hoping that Jean Newmaker, a single woman who had an above average lifestyle compared to their daughter, would give Candace opportunities that they could not. Instead, she killed their grandchild.

After Candace’s death, her birth family took action and were instrumental in getting the practice of rebirthing banned in Colorado where the incident occurred.

The treatment  some patients are subjected to during dissociative identity disorder amounts to torture. When a patient is continually badgered to “remember” their past as a means to heal old wounds, that is torture. When a patient is obviously regressing and getting worse during treatment –  that is torture. When a patient regresses and cannot function after therapy is initiated, is down right medical malpractice.

We must stop this senseless killing and the decline of patients mental stability during psychotherapy.

“YouTube video titled: This is Child Abuse, Not Therapy”

The Millenium Project has more information about the Candace Newmaker murder. Here is a link to where you can find some of the transcript of the session that ended her life after 2 weeks in therapy with Connel Watkins and Julie Ponder.

candace.htm

I remember this conversation that occurred as Candace was struggling to breathe under layers of sofa cushions and tightly wrapped in a flannel sheet. The child screamed, she begged; she pleaded for oxygen; she became silent. Her 10-year-old mind understood the concept of “death” and she accepted her fate after hours of struggling for air. Her last word being “No.”

Jean Newmaker was (and may still be) a pediatric nurse at Duke University. Candace vomited and defecated under the sofa cushions and blanket, yet none of the counselors (there were 4) nor adoptive-mother Newmaker recognized that Candace’s body was shutting down preparing for death.

This was a bone-chilling moment in my life to watch this video.

updated 12-26-14.

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Rebirthing Therapy: Candace Newmaker nee Candace Tiarra Elmore, dies in therapy at 10 years-old, a YouTube video by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealtwww.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.comhmatters2.wordpress.com.
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23 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, as Jean Mercer, Linda Rosa and others have tried to repeatedly point out, banning “rebirthing” in Colorado has done very little to stop these practices because calling it a “Rebirthing death” as the press repeatedly did, is something of a misnomer. It seems to be very difficult to get this message across.

    Actually using rebirthing in attachment therapy intensives is unusual. Yes, she was killed in a rebirthing session but the belief system that allowed her therapists to continue and ignore her pleas that she couldn’t breathe was that of a larger body of therapies called “attachment therapies” and many forms of this are still practiced today. I wrote something about this on my blog:

    http://phtherapies.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/what-caused-candace-newmakers-death/

    I point this out because proponents of the “attachment” therapies still in existence just love to call it a “rebirthing” death because it distances what they do from this. Most attachment therapists do not do rebirthing — that was a quirk added in by Connell Watkins and only a few others, but what they are doing is no less worthy of concern.

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    • Steve

       /  06/05/2011

      Here’s another example of a child killed by mental health staff attempting to “restrain” her.

      http://www.caica.org:80/ANGELLIKA%20ARNDT%20attorney%20general%2012-6-06.htm

      How does something like this happen? A seven year old girl is held on the floor for 1/2 hour, by two full grown adults who literally lay on top of her, until she’s dead.

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      • Good question. I wish I knew how people could rationalize continuing these practices. It seems to have something to do with obedience to people who bill themselves as authorities. One of the therapists I have been criticizing is recommending parents use prone restraint on their children at home for hours at a time, if necessary and he claims the prone restraint he recommends is safe, even though many states have banned all prone restraint even under supervised conditions. The only response I seem to get from followers, aside from their extensive ad hominem attacks, is that he is an “expert” and I am not. Classic argument from authority and anyone challenging this particular therapist gets threats, smear campaigns or in some cases even a lawsuit.

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        • Monica, you are one of the courageous ones out there. Thank you.

          I was restrained face down. It can get pretty scary as oxygen is lost quickly. The more I struggled to get air, the tighter they held me while yelling at me to calm down. If each mental health care provider had to be subjected to this treatment, it would greatly reduce its use.

          The “expert” argument is a good point. I asked the nurse that was going to testify for me during my suit against the psychiatrist why they didn’t stop him. She said that many staff persons thought he was a nut case. If they didn’t follow his orders, they would have been insubordinate. She then told me that the bottom line was that they really didn’t know if he was correct – he was the expert. And, as I’ve said many times on this blog, he was a forerunner in diagnosing and treating MPD. So his opinions weighed heavy.

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        • Steve

           /  06/05/2011

          Why don’t we just send children to Gitmo and waterboard them? They’ve got ” experts” down there also.

          In fact, after reading the website of the Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse, it appears that more children may have died in treatment programs from restraint holds than detainees have died at Gitmo from
          ” enhanced interrogation”.

          I’m no scholar, but this might be a good Masters thesis or dissertation.

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      • Thanks for the link, Steve. I found this group recently and put it on my blog roll.

        Did you see the long list of children killed during therapy? I was surprised that many were teens. We need to keep this in the public eye.

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    • Thanks for the info, Monica. I said some of the same things in my reply to Steve. Appreciate the link.

      I agree, rebirthing is a form of attachment therapy. Instead of calling it a freak “rebirthing death” let’s call it what it is. Murder of a child by psychotherapists.

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  2. Steve

     /  06/04/2011

    I just watched the youtube video you posted, Jeanette. That is one of the most gutwrenching, heartbreaking things I have ever seen. Unbelievable. And this stuff is outlawed only in Colorado?

    I think the mental health profession is chock full of disturbed people.

    The psychiatrist I’ve spoken of in previous comments went on to murder the husband of one of his ” multiple” patients, with whom he was having an affair.

    I rest my case.

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    • Steve, Murder? As in intentionally? I know an MPD psychiatrist who married his client….

      The YouTube of Candace is nothing. I was in court and the prosecutors were excellent – they gathered all the tapes of Candace’s therapy and played them – in full, for the jury. We watched the therapists lying on top of the 70 pound child while chatting about Real Estate. Candace begged them to give her air, they laughed. It was spine chilling as we knew what was coming…. Candace, just before dying was asked by the therapist, Connell Watkins: Don’t you want to be birthed to your new Mom? Candace’s reply: No.

      That child had more courage than most people. To have your last word be No is ….

      Candace’s birth family – her grandparents showed an amazing amount of courage too. They were in court too. They live in N. Carolina and went the full run to get rebirthing banned there too. I don’t know of any other state where it is banned. Think about it though, all therapists do is change the name and continue to rebirth.

      Just like multiple personality disorder. It got a bad rap, therapists were successfully sued, it was called the largest debacle in psychiatry of the 20th century.
      What did they do? Right. Changed the name to Dissociative Identity Disorder and continued doing the same ole’ therapy. I don’t care how many times they change the name – it’s still multiple personality disorder and repressed memory therapy is used to recover alleged memories of child sexual abuse & satanic ritual abuse, ritual abuse and nefarious mind control. Period.

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      • Steve

         /  06/05/2011

        Yes, Jeanette. Homicide, 1st or 2nd degree, I forget which.

        His name is John Adams. He was treating a patient, Michelle Burns, for MPD when he began having an affair with her. He went to the Burns home after he found out she and her husband were planning legal action against him. He had a handgun and shot and killed her husband, Bobby Burns.

        At trial he actually mounted a defense that she killed her husband and couldn’t remember it because of her MPD. No shit. The jury didn’t buy it and convicted him in 2004.

        That man left a trail of destruction twenty years long, with at least one known suicide, and one known homicide, in his wake.

        As a writer wannabe I abhor a cliche’, but you just can’t make this stuff up.

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        • Holy crap! You are right, life imitates art. That is horrific.

          I know several people who died during their MPD treatment. One suicided, one cut herself and upon returning to treatment under Richard Kluft’s care, ran down the hall and collapsed with a heart issue and died right there. She was 24. I know of another patient of my former doctor who he said suicided as well.

          Are these cases of murder? I feel as though I was being set up to suicide after 6 years of DID treatment – which helped me “snap out of it” so to speak. I realized that I was being lead down the same path as those before me. Freaked me out realizing I was going to be next if I didn’t flee. Knowing other women didn’t make it also kept me alive. I was damned if I was going to allow that sick doctor to stand over my dead body and say, “see what child sexual abuse does to these poor multiples?” I refused to give him the privilege of proving himself “right” by using my death as evidence.

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  3. Steve

     /  06/04/2011

    I think the death toll from MPD treatment, (suicide) may be much higher than a lot of folks realize. I know of one for sure, and I suspect there were more.

    There isn’t any doubt in my mind that the treatment constitutes torture, at least it used to.

    What was particularly disturbing in my professional experience is that the patients receiving this treatment/torture were court ordered into this crazed psychiatrists care. They couldn’t escape it. So one of them set herself on fire and died as the result of her injuries.

    I’ll never forget it. It’s haunted me for almost twenty years.

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    • Awful awful.

      The population that is drawn from for “patients” is the foster care system. Those children are being treated, as you probably know, for RAD reactive attachment disorder – like little Candace was. No matter the diagnosis, torture is torture.

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      • Steve

         /  06/04/2011

        It was awful, and still is. I have good reason to believe that a number of these patients are still being treated for DID, even though the original psychiatrist has been gone for a long time.

        What’s even more appalling is that one professional in this system actually told me in 2008 that while he agreed the DID diagnosis is probably bogus, these patients have been acclimated to it for so long that to reverse course now would do more harm than good.

        I thnk people should seek mental health treatment only as a last resort. Your best bet is to find friends, family, community groups, civic organizations, etc, to build and keep a stable life.

        Happiness is not a birthright, contrary to what was once promulgated by so many therapists and self help groups of the 1980’s and 90’s. Life can be tough, so tough it out. And if you think you absolutely need a therapist, scrutinize him or her thoroughly. Ask lots of questions about philosophy, previous complaints, lawsuits, etc. Demand to know how long they think treatment will take. Demand to see your treatment notes every few weeks to see what is being written about you. You might be shocked at the differrence between how you and your therapist view your situation and your character.

        Don’t assume that just because someone has hung out a shingle with an MSW, MS, PhD, or MD behind their name they know what they’re doing. That may not be the case.

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        • Thanks for your insights, Steve. I have not heard of a therapist disclosing what you mentioned about MPD being bogus (although I know there have to be some) – “these patients have been acclimated to it for so long that to reverse course now would do more harm than good.” This statement needs to be repeated often.

          If you have more to offer about this, please, let us know.

          Your statement speaks to what Carol Tavris in her book, “Mistakes were Made, but not by me” discusses about the need to close the cognitive dissonance gap in their own minds. To say oh, but it would hurt them more, absolves them from taking action – as I humbly 🙂 see it. I hate to agree with the notion that to reverse course for many patients may be harmful – to say it would do more harm than good – I couldn’t go that far.. but almost.

          I can attest to the difficulties of trying to recover from traumatic Therapy as can many others. If this particular therapist and others would step forward, it wouldn’t be easy for anyone, but it would have the potential to do good & could do much to restore psychotherapy’s reputation. Women can stop believing they were abused by those who love them. Their loved ones (the accused) can find some peace in the later years of their lives knowing their family member has come to their senses. Some people might be released from jail. Patients would have the option of seeing a way toward a peaceful life, rather than only the darkness of more personalities and chaos – for countless more years.

          The statement you made is HUGH. (I don’t usually scream when writing, lol). Although I don’t know who you are referring to, it gives me hope to think there are more out there with similar opinions. If only. If only, they had the courage to step out of the shadows and defend patient’s rights to quality mental health care. It would take a strong person with high morals and ethics to do it – we may be short on hope here.

          I did demand to see my progress notes while a patient. It made staff very uneasy. I was still brainwashed and sided with the psychiatrist, so I was unable to see the discrepancies in staff notations. My main aim was to let them know they were being watched and expected to treat me honorably – although that wasn’t happening and I didn’t know it.

          However……………. during malpractice litigation, all hospital records were deposed. They arrived at my lawyers office in boxes that, when stacked up, were as tall as I am. When I wrote my memoir, I would take say, one day – then pull all the notes written by everyone at the hospital as well as what I wrote in my personal journal. The information I found was astounding. They contradicted each other, some lied, others wrote one sentence because they had to, and much of the time, it was pure fiction. Everyone put their political agenda and/or beliefs about multiple personalities into their reports. If they believed in MPD the reporter observed X; if they didn’t they said Y. All the opinions and observations went into the puzzle box that was meant to be me when put together. It was nothing but a menagerie of fiction.

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      • It’s also very big in the international adoption community, especially among those adopted at an older age who spent some time in orphanages or worse.

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        • A few years ago I worked with a woman who had adopted an 11-year-old girl. The girl had some emotional issues (and no wonder, evidently her parents were drug addicts and she had been passed around various relatives and foster parents for her whole childhood, poor thing) and her adoptive mother spoke quite openly about “attachment issues” and some exercise that I now recognize is one of these holding/restraint “therapies”. She never mentioned using actual restraints, just holding the child herself for hours.

          At that time I didn’t know about bad therapies, so I didn’t say anything, though I did think it sounded odd. Now it just creeps me out. Of course, this woman, the mother, was a bit of a nutter herself.

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          • Awful stuff for children. Holding therapy is quite intense and as you said, it goes on for long periods of time. Sometimes the parent has the child regress and they hand feed them and make them drink from baby bottles. In Candace’s case, Jean Newmaker actually licked the child’s face. It’s torment for the child and it seems that it continues until the child submits to the adult and complies to their wishes.

            I’m glad that over time, you figured out this was not the way to treat a child.

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          • Oh I never thought it was a good way to treat a child. It was more that I didn’t have all the info about the situation, so I wasn’t inclined to be judgemental. And commenting on people’s parenting practices is pretty dicey at the best of times.

            What she actually said didn’t sound abusive, just weird. But now that I can “crack the code” of what she said – yikes! I do wonder what this woman was leaving *out* of her story.

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          • Hey,

            I wasn’t saying that You didn’t think it was a good way to treat a child – sorry. I meant it in general

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          • No worries 🙂

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    • There are groups keeping track of child deaths from psychotherapy – particularly from RAD reactive attachment disorder, holding therapies, rebirthing therapy, AT attachment therapy, and others.

      People like Linda Rosa, RN, Larry Sarner, and Dr. Jean Mercer (they wrote: Attachment Therapy on Trial: The Torture and Death of Candace Newmaker) and the Children in Therapy group have been attacked legally and in smear campaigns to an unprecedented degree. This is powerful politics at work. These are good people with ethics, morals, and balls to stand up against the psychotherapy industrial complex.

      When we speak out – we become targets. Just read some of the comments here & I know that is just the beginning.

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