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

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


First, I must say how thankful I am to be a clergyman of the Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church and to have a supportive and loving Archbishop. Archbishop John Kersey has greatly supported my efforts for a humane mental health system and the Lazarus House project is now mentioned at the Church website at
The Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church is an indepedent catholic body respecting freedom of conscience and seeking to share and live Divine Love.
Lazarus House needs to raise funds towards becoming a reality. We need your help. Lazarus House will be a safe and loving environment for distressed people where they can reduce dependency on psychiatric drugs and feel respected and heard. Please contact me if you can help.

Dan L. Edmunds,Ed.D.


I am collaborating with Connie Shuster of Artists for Recovery in establishing a residence in Philadelphia that will offer a safe and supportive environment for people undergoing serious emotional distress. It will be a place where they can be heard and validated and focus on inner discovery. It will also help in reducing dependency on psychiatric drugs. We greatly need support to make this happen. Please contact me or Connie if you would like to help this effort. See the website below for contact info:



Scranton, Pennsylvania and Human Rights

As a resident of the Scranton metro area, it has been exciting for me to see the expansion of our efforts for a more humane mental health system locally. In addition, I was informed that the Institute for Religion and Public Policy will be locating to the Scranton area. It is great to see efforts for the promotion of human rights flourishing in the Scranton area.

Dan L.Edmunds,Ed.D.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Creating a Sanctuary to Safely Come Off Psychiatric Drugs

Connie Shuster of Artists for Recovery is working on a great project in Philadelphia. The project will be similar in scope to Soteria and provide distressed persons a safe and supportive residential environment in which to come off of toxic psychiatric drugs. This is a huge undertaking. I am pleased to support Connie's efforts and hope others will support this project. If you can assist or would like more information about the development of LAZARUS HOUSE, please contact me via the ICHP website:

Dan L. Edmunds,Ed.D.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


At times and by some, when I have shared ideas about a more humane and compassionate mental health system I have been looked upon as a radical. These are not radical ideas but common sense ideas. They are ideas based on our human potential to love and be benevolent. Force and coercion never solve problems, it only creates more trauma. I sadly see this in the children's mental health system where children are vulnerable and have no voice. I have seen the abuses firsthand. Mental health services have become not about mental health and well being but about control through drugs. If a person shakes and convulses because of the drugs, too bad, we will force you because we 'know what is best for you' Giving people a sense of empowerment and choice and building a relationship is what truly helps in recovery, the Soteria project proved this. But there is much money to be made in drugs, compassion does not pay. We want a quick fix or we want not to be troubled by disturbing people. Sedate them, what value do they have anyway? This is how our present society operates. I see this in some families where they seek to create their model child through technology (drugs) but destroy the child and his spirit in the process. What is normal? As Laing statedn normal man has killed millions of his fellow normal men. Hopefully in time we can come to the realization that compassion is not a radical idea, it is rather a noble idea and the best quality of being human.

Dan L. Edmunds,Ed.D.


I recall my interactions with a number of veterans living together in a group home. A number carried a diagnosis of 'schizophrenia'. I served as a chaplain for some of these individuals and many of them became my friends. I fondly remember Joe in particular. He had been in the Vietnam War and came back with serious emotional scars. He would often repeat at times, 'the shock was awful and tremendous'. I would later learn that he had been subjected to electroshock 'treatments'. Joe used to come to the chapel and we would sit and have coffee. Joe enjoyed coversation and I invited him to help set up for services and to participate as an altar server. Joe always was helpful. There were times that Joe would have some unusual behaviors but I tolerated them, and sought to know his experiences and who he was as a person. I recall one of the more unusual experiences was finding Joe in the middle of the road, kneeling, and looking towards the sky. I stopped my car and asked Joe what he was doing in the road. "I am praying." I jokingly said, 'well, I hope you are praying not to get hit by a car." Joe laughed and I took his hand and led him back to his home. I told Joe that if he wanted to pray that his room would be a far better setting. I saw the immense power in joining in, building a relationship, and seeking to understand. I remember as well that there as a veteran who frequently could annoy others and be disruptive when there was a religious service. He would ask me, "can I have some wine" and repeat this as a mantra. Though I was not sure if he was allowed to have the wine, I agreed to give him a cup at the end of the service if he would agree to respect the others. He was very respectful and together we shared a cup of wine. From there, we began a conversation, and he also began to be more kind to to the others in the group home.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.



First, we must stop looking through the eyes of a medical model, where we see children as broken and disordered and attempts are made to attributing their behaviors and emotions solely to a malfunctioning brain. There is no evidence supporting the psychopathology of a number of disorders. The linkage between the pharmaceutical companies and psychiatry needs to be evaluated as well as the information that is disseminated via the research and materials provided by pharmaceutical company money. One such example is CHADD, the 'support' group for parents of children diagnosed with ADHD that has received a great deal of his funding from the pharmceutical companies. The goal should be to examine the underlying factors of a child's behavior, looking at the child with dignity and respect, and seeing the child as one in conflict rather than a person who is disordered. Such stigmatization remains indefinitely, and labels can often become a self fulfilling prophecy and will follow our children for years to come and shape the way that they view themselves and also the way others view them, particularly the educational system. We cannot look to solely the most cost effective solution when our children's lives are at stake. Indeed, providing a prescription may control aspects of behavior and be though to have a 'therapeutic effect' but never gets to the root cause, and whereas it is far less expensive to medicate than to provide ongoing psychotherapy, it is appropriate and compassionate counsel that will make the difference. Second, the realm of psychotherapy must return to its orginal roots. The word psychotherapy literally means the healing of the soul. We must return the soul to therapy, encouraging therapists to instill within themselves the principles of compassion and empathy that are crucial for any therapeutic relationship to blossom forth. Therapists need to be compassionate and creative, and willing to give additional time and effort to see that a child's needs are met and to also provide community linkages and ongoing support within their environment and to encourage the least restrictive setting for our children. The coercion of parents and families into forced 'treatments' needs to be eliminated. Third, the educational system must be willing to accomodate to meet the various learning styles of children and not seek to place them in a box of rote learning or limit them to one particulat style. Some children may falter in a visual setting and need a hands on approach, whereas others may need other methods of encouraging their effective learning. We must return time, attention, and individuality to the classroom. Fourth, parents need to continue to take an active role in the lives of their children, providing ongoing guidance, validating emotions and not taking a dismissive, disapproving, or hands off approach. Rather, parents must be involved in helping the children develop their own sense of being, and being able to assess themselves. Parents need to avoid nagging their children and becoming entrapped in the propaganda that their children are disordered and need drugs to function. Fifth, our society must change in it attitudes. We are a society where we try to find our answers to ailments within a simple pill. We are a society that has unfortunately lost sight for the welfare of our children. We are a societry where we are prosperous, yet greed often blinds us. Such disorders such as ADHD can be looked upon as a social construct. 90% of Ritalin sales are in the US. This tells us that there is something to be examined within our society that needs correction. Somewhere along the line we have failed our children. This is not to lay blame on any particular individual but to understand that our children are in crisis, and it is up to all of us to take the steps for change. We need to rely less on psychiatry and its devices to solve our problems and more on what we can do within ourselves- to take a holistic approach, to understand the child as a whole person- physical, emotional, and spiritual, and to examine in each of these areas where there may be difficulties that can be alleviated. We need to rely less on others dictating the course of our own and our children's lives and develop workable plan within our own family structure. Nothing will ever be perfect, but even in the most serious disturbances, love and compassion can heal much. We must realize that in some situations within society and within our own lives, we may never be able to evoke complete change. This is the cause of much distress, not problems themselves but how we respond to them. To battle those things beyond our control can lead us to emotional distress, but if we seek live as principled individuals, we can make a difference. What we model to our children and to others has a lasting impact.

Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I am deeply inspired by the work of British psychologist Rufus May. Here is a gentleman suffering psychiatric abuse, diagnosed as schizophrenic and given no hope and fed the lie that he must always takepsch drugs yet recovers and becomes a psychologist! How does biopsychiatry explain such occurrences? I am pleased to support Dr. May and his work to truly understand those undergoing extreme states of mind.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Respect for Autistics Program

In the desire to offer support to autistic and developmentally different children, I have initiated a consultation program to school districts and families in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York that focuses on relational approaches and encourages self advocacy, self determination, and helps the person be able to navigate through the mainstream. Please view the ICHP website for more info or contact me at DoctorEdmunds@DrDanEdmunds.com to arrange a consult.