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

Monday, December 17, 2007


I had the experience of encountering a young man who had been given the diagnosis of 'schizophrenia'. He had been through years of therapy and had been through multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. Mental health professionals spoke of him only in clinical terms and I found this disturbing. His chart was reams and reams of paper painting the picture of an immensely helpless and hopeless character. The scholl system sought to exile him as well. I tossed aside all the clinical records, they only reported on his behavior, not his experience. It is the experience that is the 'soul' of the person. Psychiatrists never really spoke to the young man, they deffred to his parents, or spoke at him, judging his behavior and assign their labels. I embarked on becoming his therapist and in this did not want to judge his behavior, I wanted to know the person. So our sessions involved a process of my merely listening, of connecting. I did not seek to judge him, label him, or dismiss his experience. I only sought to join him where he was at. He began to relate to me his pain, his feelings of isolation and aloneness. He shared with me about the voices he heard and the beings he saw. I would converse with him about these beings, treating them as real as he was before me. Over time, I saw that these things were fragments of himself, they were dreams he had, hopes he envisioned, people he wanted to meet who never arrived. He had immense fear, and I journeyed with him in understanding the roots of this fear. I stood by him as he sought out new ways of living and coping. I understood the circumstances which led to his 'madness' and set forth some new possibilities, but at his pace, at his comfort level.
He has overcome a lot, and we continue to have periods of conversation though we do not see each other as frequently. We forged a bond as two persons with very different experiences, but each seeking to understand the human condition, each seeking to know about this thing we call life.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

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