Orr devised rebirthing therapy in the 1970s after supposedly re-experiencing his own birth while in the bath. He claimed that breathing techniques could be used to purge traumatic childhood memories that had been repressed.
Rebirthing-breathwork is one of the practices critiqued by anti-cult experts Margaret Singer and Janja Lalich in the book Crazy Therapies: What Are They? Do They Work?. Singer and Lalich write that proponents of such "bizarre" practices are proud of their non-scientific approach, and that this finds favor with an irrational clientele. In 2006, a panel that consisted of over one hundred experts participated in a survey of psychological treatments considered rebirthing therapy to be discredited.
- Carroll RT (2011), Psychotherapies, New Age, The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (John Wiley & Sons): 317, ISBN 978-1-118-04563-3
- Radford B (2000). "New Age 'Rebirthing' Treatment Kills Girl". Skeptical Inquirer 24 (5): 6.
- Turner S (30 May 1988). "Echoes of the age of Aquarius; Festival of Mind-Body-Spirit". The Times.
- Norcross, J.C., Koocher, G.P., & Garofolo, A. (2006). Discredited Psychological Treatments and Tests: A Delphi Poll. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 37: 515-522.