Orr devised rebirthing therapy in the 1970s after he supposedly re-lived 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; they considered rebirthing therapy to be discredited.