The American Psychological Association (APA) will be holding its annual convention next month in Toronto, Canada; it begins August 7th and continues through the 10th.

But who would think this prestigious bastion of psychologists and mental health professionals would allow a purported anti-Semitic organization frequently called a “cult,” numerous slots within its schedule of programs.

Lois Holzman a prominent proponent of so-called “Social Therapy,” which is closely associated with the “New Alliance Party,” is a devoted follower of notorious “cult leader” Fred Newman.

Holzman will be presenting four programs at the APA convention beginning on August 9th. She is currently the director of Newman’s East Side Institute for Short Term Psychotherapy.

Holzman starts on the morning of August 9th with a program titled “Impact of Participatory Youth Programs on Youth and Communities.” She then continues later with “Ensemble Meaning—Making, Constructing the Therapy Through Improvisation, Collaboration and Performance.”

Later that same day in the afternoon Holzman presents a one-act play about Karl Marx and Jesus seeking help through therapy — “Odd Couple Seeks Professional Help.”


Eventually on the last day of the APA convention Holzman offers her final program, which seems to sum up neatly her agenda. It is a discussion to answer the rather contrived and self-serving question; “Can Therapy Promote Human Liberation? A Humanistic—Postmodern Marxist Dialogue.”

Holzman’s mentor and leader Fred Newman is a self-proclaimed “revolutionary Marxist.”

Controversy swirls around Newman and his followers who are often called “Newmanites.” Some former members claim they were victimized through Newman’s organizations such as social therapy, which seems to mean working for Fred for free.

Many also question the potential harm of Newman’s philosophy and its influence upon young people.

Newmanites also have been scrutinized regarding their handling of funds through nonprofit tax-exempt charities, which included a probe, by New York’s Attorney General.

It seems that the founder of “Social Therapy” may be looking for new recruits amongst the ranks of the APA.

Holzman’s behavior can easily be seen as an effort to act as a stand-in or proxy for her leader. But what was the APA thinking when they provided a platform for this bunch?

Can it be that the respected professional association didn’t examine this speaker’s background before approving her for programs at their convention?

The APA has been known historically for its due diligence and research.

However, Holzman’s close and historic association with Newman is glaringly evident through her own website and the largely promotional links she provides for Newman enterprises elsewhere on the Internet.

Within Fred Newman’s book “Power and Authority” he explains the essence of “Social Therapy.”

Newman states, “The therapist, again, functions in the therapeutic interaction as a revolutionary leader, leading by forming a revolutionary relationship of sisterhood or brotherhood with the worker patient and together becoming a proletarian authority, which overthrows the bourgeois authority or proletarian ego…Working to help the struggling slave go through the insurrectional act of overthrow of the proletarian ego and [then] helping the worker during the long period of withering away of the proletarian ego.”

Does this sound like something the APA would endorse?

Is this a description of the ethical practice of therapy? Or is Newman’s approach actually an unethical breach and/or blurring of boundaries in the therapist/patient relationship?

A mental health professional once involved with Newman, but who later left his Social Therapy organization concluded, “Therapy should be empowering and inclusive; it should help people build the lives they want. It should not be used as a recruitment tool for a particular movement.”

The same professional also offered the following advice:

“Anyone considering cooperating or working with Fred Newman and/or practicing Social Therapy should first read whatever historical and critical information is available.”

“And mental health professionals have a responsibility to their clients and profession to carefully consider what and whom they are supporting.”


Did the APA convention planners and organizers “first read” about Holzman and Fred Newman and then “carefully consider” their history before agreeing to provide them a platform?


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