Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.
e-mail: batushkad@yahoo.com

Friday, October 26, 2007


At a hearing that began Thursday morning, Dr. Joseph Glenmullen of
Boston testified that since those trials, FDA studies of the side
effects of antidepressants, including Zoloft, culminated in a 2005
warning that children and teens taking the drugs can experience
aggressiveness and hostility.

The so-called "black box" warning, because it appears in a black box at
the top of use instructions, is "the highest level of warning the FDA
issues," Glenmullen said. "It's just short of removing the drug from the

Defense attorney Roy Black also led Glenmullen through a transcript of
the 1999 trial in which expert witnesses for the prosecution called
Zoloft a safe and effective treatment for depression.

That might have been the general knowledge about the drug at the time,
Glenmullen testified, but Zoloft "is neither effective nor is it
entirely safe for use among children and adolescents based on the FDA
warnings we have now."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Fear leads to great emotional turmoil. Other so-called mental disorders also often arise from a sense of fear. A fear of individuals, a fear of society, a fear of having been hurt and maybe being hurt again, a fear of life, a fear of death, a fear of not understanding who we are or maybe even being afraid of discovering who we are or what we were, a fear of the uncertainty surrounding what we may become. A fear of persons, a fear that maybe we are not a person, or our identity as a person. A fear of challenges, a fear of not knowing the answers, or maybe a fear of not understanding the question, or even a fear of not knowing what questions to ask. A fear of not being loved, or maybe a fear of not knowing what love really is, or what it could be, or what we have been told that it is. A fear of being controlled, a fear of our freedom being taken away. A fear of what others may do to us, or have done to us, or will continue to do to us.
This is the human condition, we all have levels of fear, some more, some less. We all have the desire for security, for safety, for solace. If we begin to understand this, we will then begin to understand life, we will be able to connect with others, and realize that the only way out of this fear is for us to journey together. Life is a journey, it is filled with moments where we stray into thorns, yet it is filled with moments of delight. To truly describe day, we must see night. To truly describe that which is beautiful we must have something to compare it to. Thus, we have the conditions of suffering. We would not know joy fully, unless we had something to compare it to.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I recall working with a young man who had undergone sexual trauma at the age of 4. He lived in a chaotic family with an aggressive, addicted father. There was little positives spoken to this young man. He had an extensive history of psychiatric hospitalizations. What I began to note was that within the hospital setting he was able to 'conform' and was discharged in only a few weeks, but problems would erupt again once sent home leading to further hospitalizations. In one instance, this young man stayed in the home of those outside his family. Though there remained some challenges, he apeared calmer and more able to communicate.
I recall a similar instance with another child. The step-father was abusive both verbally and physically. The mother often because of her own fear would 'cover' for the step-father's actions. The child in one on one settings never created any disturbance. However, his behaviors in the home were often 'disturbing'. I was pleased that during my work with him he was not hospitalized at any point nor on psychiatric drugs. However, I was aware that he had a prior history of this many times over. In both of these situations, I saw the fmaily dynamics as oppressive and detrimental and tried my best to help the children navigate through the challenges with the system doing little to collaborate in meeting these children's needs.
In light of these two situations, and hearing of others from colleagues, I determined that it was the home, the family dynamics that was the catalyst for making these children 'mad'. When apart from these dynamics, they were able to conform to the rules of the institutions because they were forced to do so. But really what were the psychiatrists accomplishing for them? They merely subdued them with drugs, forced their compliance, and returned them to the same oppressive environment which led to their being hospitalized in the first place. It became evident that the psychiatric establishment could really care less, for each admission added to their coffers. The family was pleased to create a scapegoat rather than addressing the core problem and to ahve a place to send the 'disturbed child' to so that they could continue in their own self-interest.


The medical model was derived to address physical ailments of the body. In order to attempt to gain credility, psychiatrists adopted this same model to utilize with events related to the human soul, of how people live, cope, adapt, and find meaning. It is interesting how the term 'psyche' means 'soul' yet is not present within the current psyxhiatric establishment. The medical model thus reduces human experience to categorization and mere chemical processes, there is nothing explored or examined beyond this.
I believe it is important to differentiate the roles of psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychotherapist.

First, all require a certain level of educational training. However, ot should be noted that the psychiatrist and the psychologist do not necesaily know how to conduct psychotherapy or are even remotely interested in doing so. The psychiatrist iperates solely under the medical model, prescribes drugs or in some instances makes use of electroconvulsive 'therapy' to address a categorization of behaviors that the psychiatrist subjectively views as maladaptive. Psychiatry has no cures and does not purport otherwise. Psychology is basd on research of animal and human behaviors, and is intertwined as well into the medical model for its categorizations. It is more focused on subjective tests to assess human actions. Psychotherapy literally means 'healing of the soul', and in the right sense is a partnership between two individuals where the psychotherapist employing empathy and relaitonship seeks to help the other to develop meaning in life, understand their experiences, and develop a life map that will lead them to a greater sense of fulfillment.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


One of my clients had posed to me some interesting thoughts. He expressed to me that he felt that in the past mental health professionals saw him 'as a dollar sign'. He told me he did not feel I viewed him in this way, however suggested that if I did not have a professional relationship I would probably not associate with him or others who are disadvantaged. It is unlikely I would encounter him outside of a professional relationship but I cannot say I am one who is an elitist.
This caused me to think about the issues of power and class and how they impact the therapeutic relationship. Within the current psychiatric establishment, the psychiatrist is almighty and holds all the power as well as the supposed knowledge to 'fix life' for the person. The problem is that much of what has led to individuals being oppressed, distressed, and disadvantaged was created by those in power. So, it is evident that those in power prey on the vulnerable, and only become more powerful.
It is necessary to eliminate hierarchies and the sense of power and control vested only in the psychiatrist or therapist. There must exist mutual understandings and sharing on an equal level.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.