Restraint Therapy Discussion Expected to be Heated, Emotional

Restraint Therapy Discussion Expected to be Heated, Emotional

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News Specialist Sandra Yi reportingThe debate over a controversial form of therapy is heating up again on Capitol Hill.

Tomorrow, a Senate committee will hear discussion on two bills. One would ban restraint therapy in Utah. The other would make it legal here.

That committee meeting is expected to be emotional, and it could get very heated as advocates and opponents of restraint therapy argue their sides.

Today, Representative Mike Thomspon held a press conference to dispute attacks on the credibility of his supporters.

Thompson is sponsoring House Bill 5, which would ban all types of restraint therapy.

Supporters call the therapy child abuse and say there is no scientific evidence that supports its effectiveness.

Don Tibbets, who was convicted in the suffocation death of his 3-year-old daughter Crystal, is in Utah to support the bill.

"I made a promise to Krystal that I'm going to do everything humanly possible that this doesn't happen to any other child," Tibbets says.

Senator Parley Hellewell is sponsoring a bill that would regulate restraint therapy in Utah, making it the first state in the country to legalize it.

Advocates of restraint therapy say it helps people with reactive attachment disorder. Some claim that type of therapy was the only thing that worked for them, and they disagree with Representative Thompson.

"Mike's response is it's all anecdotal ... Well, what more can you ask for than parents who say their kids have been healed?" Hellewell says.

A Senate committee will hear discussion on both bills tomorrow. The House bill to ban restraint therapy passed on the House floor by a unanimous vote.

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