Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Mental Health Center

Font Size

Just What Is 'Rebirthing' Therapy?

WebMD Health News

June 28, 2000 -- Alternative therapies must follow a long and arduous road to get into the mainstream, often for good reason. Nonconventional medications and therapies can sometimes be useful, but at their worst, they can be dangerous, even life-threatening.

Take the process called "rebirthing." One such procedure recently proved lethal to a 10-year-girl in Colorado. But a different technique that goes by the same name has many believers who say it has changed their life.

Before the tragic incident in Evergreen, Colo., this April, few people had even heard of rebirthing therapy. But the process made national headlines after the girl died while undergoing what was termed a rebirth.

She was an adoptee named Candace Newmaker, and she was being rebirthed to overcome a mental condition called reactive attachment disorder, in which children lack the ability to develop a loving, intimate relationship with a guardian.

The rebirthing therapists reportedly pushed Candace's body against pillows and wrapped a blanket around her head to simulate the womb. She was told to push against the pillows and blanket, to recreate her birth in an effort to heal her past and begin anew with her adopted mother. Instead, she suffocated. Four workers at the rebirthing clinic, along with the girl's mother, are now facing charges in her death.

Reactive attachment disorder is a difficult condition to treat, and the standard treatment is an intensive regimen of psychotherapy. There are treatment centers around the country that specialize in the disorder.

One such clinic in Evergreen issued a press release about the rebirthing incident, saying that, except for what was reported by the media, "we are unfamiliar with this technique and have never engaged in this practice. We are not aware of others in the attachment field who are using this technique."

Gregory C. Keck, PhD, of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, tells WebMD he is familiar with the tragedy in Colorado, but "I really have no idea about this practice. ... It's not something that we do in our office."

Rhea Farberman, communications director for the American Psychological Association (APA), tells WebMD the process "is outside of the mainstream of what psychologists do ... and honestly, until this story broke, I had never heard of it."

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

Differences between feeling depressed or feeling blue.
lunar eclipse
Signs of mania and depression.
man screaming
Causes, symptoms, and therapies.
woman looking into fridge
When food controls you.
Woman standing in grass field barefoot, wind blowi
senior man eating a cake
woman reading medicine warnings
depressed young woman
man with arms on table
man cringing and covering ears

WebMD Special Sections