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, June 30, 2008


Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice. Tonglen means 'giving and taking". It is a selfless meditation where the person envisions and takes in the suffering of another person and gives back compassion and thinking of the happiness of others. This is a practice in virtue and is very useful in our developing not only a greater sense of our own happiness, but further empathy for others. The practice is similar to homeopathy or vaccination in that we take in a small mount of poison that helps to innoculate us from future misery.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ADHD, BIPOLAR,SCHIZOPHRENIA, PSYCHOSIS- Drug free psychosocial approaches and counseling

Dr. Edmunds is expanding his consultation to school districts, families, and organizations in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York.Please see the following sites for more information:


If I could but change your heart...

If I could but change your heart- to leave behind attachment and greed- If I could but change your heart- to love your fellow man and perform a good deed- If I could but change your heart- to accept with compassion all in need.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Talking with Papouli

To the town, he is the local 'crazyman' who wonders about, at times engaged in conversation with himself. An elderly man with olive complexion, he is seen by some as a hopeless reject. Tonight I sat with him who I refer to as 'Papouli'. We chatted about religion, politics, and his past in the Vietnam War. What a beautiful man, but with such a broken spirit. The psychiatrists and others have said here is a man beyond reason, a schizo with no hope. Yet, I approached him with compassion, and found our conversation most relevant and of interest. Here is a man who has seen the pain of the world and felt it too! We had a wonderful exchange and as he parted he thanked me and said thanks for being there and for a good conversation. Would many even dare speak to him? Would any dare to be his acquiantance, much less his friend? I do not see a crazy man but a man who knows suffering, a man who knows loneliness, a man who knows what man inflicts upon his fellow man. But in him, I see hope. In our conversation, he gives me the vision of what we must change to truly be human and to love again.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


In today's American society, we form about 5% of the world's population yet 80% of drugs used for persons given the diagnosis of ADHD are prescribed in the US. Recently, it was reported that the psychiatrist Biederman was reported to have withheld information about his receiving vast amounts of financial incentives from pharmaceutical companies. This same Biederman has promoted the diagnosis of bipolar and it was his work that the psychiatrist for Rebecca Riley relied upon. Rebecca Riley died from the massive drug cocktail she received. She was only 4 years old. There has been increases in the use of untested anti-psychotic drugs in children. These drugs can cause diabetes, tradive dyskinesia, and even lactating breasts in males. Persons are rarely given informed consent and most are unaware of these dangers. Psychiatry has become one of the most greedy and dangerous forces in our culture. It is being looked upon as a new religion and a means to address the human condition. Yet, it ignores the human condition, it ignores person's experience. We have come to the point of pathologizing much of human experience. There has recently been suggested that compulsive shopping and internet addiction are now 'diseases' in need of drug treatment. Psychiatry has become a money making machine geared at social control. American society is becoming a drugged society, a numb society. As a result, America is plummeting within the world scene. Americans are becoming less motivated, less driven, apt to believe the lies told to them, led to believe that there is something wrong within their brains rather than seeing our society as disordered. There has become an apathy, an acceptance of this disordered society as 'the way things are'. Persons are giving away their freedoms, expecting that the State will protect them or that psychiatry's 'technologies" (drugs) will make able to cope with the societal trends. Rather, it is forcing them into compliance to a system needing radical change. People are being made into victims, taught to feel helpless. As Noam Chomsky states, "All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume." We have become a society which shuns individual responsibility. The rich become richer and ride the backs of the poor, yet the poor have accepted their slavery and become apathetic. There is no critical thinking, no questioning of the way things are. Rather than question, there is ready acceptance of what the 'experts' tell us. Some of the disadvantaged see no way to survive but to accept the fact of slavery. It has become profitable for schools, families, foster parents, and others to have a child labeled and drugged. It is a means to keep everyone in their place. Make the child sit down and shut up, so they may be 'educated'. But what has education become? Critical thinking is not part of our current education system, rather it is based on a rote system of once again keeping people in their place and having them continue to keep the machine operating. People are being treated as machines, without thoughts and feelings, merely dispensible objects that are really but a conglommerate of chemical processes, nothing more. We spend billions to intervene in the affairs of other nations and with the guise that this is for our own good, that we are being 'protected'. But if we were to use our own definitions of terrorism to apply to our own policies and actions, we would find that our governmental policies may be some of the worst terrorism of all. But let's play semantics- when we kill, it is war, when they kill, it is terrorism. Change the language and we can deny responsibility and make it 'justifiable.'
When do we decide to wake up? When do we decide to no longer be controlled? When do we decide that we must again think critically? When do we decide to be human again?

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Making peace with teens and creating sanctuary within a family

How do we make sense of the troubled teen? Particularly those who enter the world of addiction, whose family relationships are torn, and who are often seen associating with 'negative' peers? Many will assume that these teens can be easily identified by their style of dress or maybe by their class, but these struggles can be found in many families. Behavior can be seenn but not experience. What the child may interpret as their experience may be very different from the parent and vice versa. What may have been gravely traumatic to the child may not have been seen as such by the family. In our society today which causes us immense stress and pressure to survive (if we are poor) or attain more (if we are well to do) has diverted attention away from understanding experience. Society has now sought to medicalize experience where any thoughts and feelings, any part of our human condition need not be understood but numbed by a pill. We are a numb society responding to societal pressures. These pressures become unleashed on our children. A parent may fear that their child will endure hardship that the parent may have endured so the parent seeks to force and coerce the child 'out of love' to achieve and do what the parent desires. The teen in a state of exerting autonomy feels threatened and thus rejects in toto the guidance of the parent and seeks after peers who will understand their experience and their pain. As I mentioned that we are taught to be a numb society, some teens choose to numb their emotional pain by illicit drugs. This idea has been instilled by our society. The teen may not realize the self destructive course they are taking because they have convinced themselves that they are free. But it is not freedom they possess, for freedom comes with responsibility, rather they have traded one slavery for another. Parents must take the time to understand the world and experience of the teen, to build communication which seeks to understand their desire for autonomy and which respects their experience. An overprotective stance and coercion leads to the breakdown of communication which is vital for any relationship to survive. We often distrust children, we do not allow them the ability to make decisions and when they are poor ones to see the logical consequences. Why is it that adults assume they possess the wisdom when adult society has engaged in numerous conflicts costing many lives? Could children make the right decisions or better decisions if we solely gave them support and listened and journeyed with them rather than seeking to take away their autonomy they so desparately desire? We all seek to be free. When we seek to create the identity and destiny of the teen, we will fail. They will not be able to develop an identity of their own but will grapple with who they are, meaning, and their purpose. We must allow them to find themselves as we as adults function as coaches in this game of life. We cannot think we can play the game for them or can manipulate the results. When we can become involved with children again in a relationship of trust and respect, then it is possible that what is seen as troublesome behavior will diminish. When the child feels validated, supported, heard, and able to have a voice, they will in turn give the same to the parent. We must be cautious of what we model. If we seek to coerce and manipulate the child to meet our desires as adults, we will have manipulative children. Our methods of communication will be the childs methods. If we focus our time on the mundane, we will find children to do likewise or seek to rebel against this system. Because of the imbalance in power, the child's rebellion is never successful but mostly self destructive but they rarely recogbize this. We can restore sanctuary to families, but it is up to each to take ownership and responsibility for creating it.

Dan L. Edmunds,Ed.D.