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, July 28, 2008


Problems in life are inevitable, we cannot escape them, we do have no choice in this. What we do have a choice in is how we wish to address these problems. We have the choice to decide to allow these problems to make us anger, bitter, depressed, anxious, etc. Our other choice is to become patient, to transform our minds towards total acceptance. When problems befall us we can also think of the causes that we may have created or misguided deeds or actions that may have led to our present experience. We must realize that birth, death, aging, and sickness are events we cannot escape. So many people indulge in various distractions and temporary pleasures to not have to think of these events. However, all pleasures lead to suffering. For instance, we may have one drink that is pleasant and relaxing, but multiple can cause us to become ill or hungover. We must begin to examine our minds. Even if we are not raging, we must examine the angry minds we possess. Simply being impatient is an angry mind, it is a mind based on not being able to come to acceptance, of seeking to change that which cannot be changed. One of my clients, age 14, commented that he felt he has always had 'anger problems' and that he feels that he has always 'had problems in my life." I discussed with him the root of his anger, patience, and the concept of total acceptance. I told him that he can change his mind to not look upon himself as the 'kid with problems' but realize that we all undergo problems, it is the human condition, and that he can transform his mind to accept this fact and develop patience and total acceptance.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


In many of the instances of troubled teens I have encountered in my work, I have noticed that a common theme is that they are lacking meaning and purpose. This does not imply that they must have a particular religiosity. What I am referring to is that they have become lost along the way, somewhat apathetic, and their zeal for life has been squashed. Many of these kids are solely of the attitude that 'whatever happens, happens." Because current psychiatric practice is focused on the medicalization of experience, it may be missing a key component to the resiliency and recovery of these troubled teens. Many of them I have worked with have been involved in numerous psychiatric programs, they go through the motions, or they become distrustful, questioning genuineness and sincerity in the system, and still on a quest for something more. The defiant interactions of these children are only fueled more by these problems inherent in current psychiatric practice. When persons feel they are unheard and become desparate, they often adopt a defiant stance. If we sought to create places of sanctuary, places of understanding, places where experience is heard, we may be on a better track to meeting the needs of troubled teens. I have been confused many times how that drug addicted teens are weaned off of street drugs only to be psychiatrically hospitalized and given prescribed drugs. I wonder what message we are sending.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Dr.D.L.Edmunds is the leader of the worldwide movement for a more humane mental health system. An existential therapist working mainly with children and teens, he has developed approaches focused on restoring relationships, developing meaning, and resolving conflicts. His focus has also been in regards to consciousness, extreme states of mind, developmental differences, and exploring the human condition. He has been a strong advocate for social justice issues.
1991- Edmunds serves as a legislative aide to State Senator Robert W. Schaffer. He later serves as the youngest registered professional lobbyist and involves himself in various political campaigns. He becomes a member of Students for Peace and Justice.He serves as a volunteer for the Larimer County Veterans Affairs Office.
1992- gains approval for the creation of a Youth Commission in Ormond Beach,FL. He serves as a campaign coordinator for a congressional campaign. Meets Martin Luther King III.
1993- volunteers with Peninsula Medical Center and as part of the REACH program for developmentally challenged children at St.Brenden's Catholic Church in Ormond Beach.
1994- organizes a student ministry at the University of Florida.
1995- completes coursework in Chinese Buddhism with Dr. Chih wa Chan as well as Comparative Religion and Christian Mysticism with Drs. Dennis Owen and Gene Thursby.
1996- is ordained as a deacon in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
1997- earns a BA in Comparative Religion, minor in Socilogy from the University of Florida. Receives ordination to the priesthood in Greek Old Calendar Orthodox Church.
1998- publishes journal article on the State of the Soul After Death in University of Scranton's Journal for Eastern Christian Studies.
1999- receives MA in Theology from the University of Scranton. Received into National Honor Society for Theological Studies.Begins doctoral program in Community Counseling at University of Sarasota.
2000- completes doctoral level coursework in Dispute Resolution via Nova Southeastern University. Spends a period attached to an Eastern Orthodox monastery.Begins practice as a therapist with a private agency.
2001- hosts local radio program addressing family issues and needs of children.
2002- begins autism support group and publishes articles on relational approaches.
2003- begins delivering lectures on autism and developmental differences as well as drug free relational approaches to ADHD.
2005- presents at ICSPP conference.serves as clinical coordinator for therapeutic equestrian program. Begins work as a psychological evaluator.
2006- delivers a number of speeches and presentations on human rights in the mental health system. Receives Doctorate of Education in Community Counseling from University of Sarasota. Publishes text- Children Our Treasure.
2007- appointed Dean of Faculty and Professor of Religion and Human Services for St. James Theological Seminary. Receives honorary Doctorate of Education.
2008- appointed as faculty and member of Advisory Board for European American University. Received as a clergyman in the Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church. Performs ordination to minor orders of a person with Down's Syndrome. Begins work on development of Lazarus House project.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Forces That Drive Us Mad and Being Human Again

There are powerful social forces which are heeped upon us. We cannot escape them. Children are told to behave 'appropriately'. Yet, what is appropriate? What does this mean? It is a social construct, and the most powerful of these social forces is the family. From the earliest point, a child is taught what are the 'appropriate' responses- when and what to laugh at, when to cry and when not to, and often how to feel.The family defines what is 'appropriate' but is it? One family may condone violence, another abhor it. The dynamics of the family shape us for life. What has been the experience of the parents may be forced upon the child to be their experience. Hence why adolescence is often a turbulent time as the teen seeks to become autonomous and create an experience apart from their parents experience or what they have been told to experience. But what of those who are stifled to the point where they can experience nothing but what the other has told them to experience? Here lies some of the root of what we may term 'insanity'. Being that each seeks a level of autonomy, each seeks to have their own experience, when this does not arise, then the person must cast off the shackles of these familial and social forces, often to the extreme of departing from all accepted notions of reality or what is termed by the mainstream as 'acceptable'. Once again, what is 'acceptable'? The message can be contradictory. We may be taught through our familial faith to not harm another, yet we are exposed to the forces of violent society, the prevalent self centeredness and greed, and we may then ask, what is 'acceptable'? Is the 'acceptable' necessarily what we have been taught? Is it necessaerily what we have learned? What is it that we have learned? Is it possible that we may have to unlearn? Behavior results from our experience. If a behavior is deemed by some as maladaptive, it can only be seen in light of experience. But can we really know the experience of another? Will we only choose to judge the experience of another by our own experience? Will we invalidate the other because they do not share our perception of experience? Will we force them to have 'our experience' and thus behave as we do? Are we right? Are we wrong? Who is to say? Could there be commonality in our experiences that we can recognize? Can we journey with each other? To find what is 'acceptable' is to find our humanity, to find our inner being, to find those links of experience which remain in spite of the social forces that cause us to sway this way and that, and for some tear at their core being and identity. When we are free, we can experience the other, when we are free, we can be ourselves. If we are free, we can reshape these social forces, and they will not be storms, but unifying forces helping us to recapture our sense of what it means to be human and to truly love again. How do we be free? Must be become 'mad' to be free? But are the 'mad' really free or have they been driven to this barren place? We can only be free once we have come to a state of unlearning, of unknowing, a rebirth where we are not bound by blame and shame and the darkness of past traumas or of ideas we have learned and carried forward because it is all we knew.