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

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Impact of Abuse

I have always had particular interest in the works of Dr. Alice Miller who discussed the role of childhood abuse and the development later of emotional disturbance, criminality, addiction, and further cycles of violence perpetuated on their children and others. I have argued that aggression breeds aggression.My article "Trauma Model of Psychological Distress" provided a timeline of when trauma occurs in childhood and the resulting impact in the teen years and into adulthood. The mental health establishment often ignores these important factors instead attributing emotional distress to solely chemical processes. Miller discussed the role of the enlightened witness which lessened the impact of the trauma. I strongly believe that this role is crucial and a buffer to the destructive social and familial forces that impact some children. This is a key part of the person developing resiliency. Even in the most serious emotional disturbances the potential for recovery (and discovery) is possible. It is not an easy process, but a possible one. It is sad that in our age we do not provide long term psychotherapy but focus on numbing people's minds and feelings. This is not recovery, it is repression which often leads to oppression.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oppressive Society

For the disadvantaged youth, what are the choices that the ruling oligarchy allows them? Go into military service and fight the wars for the rich so they can possibly receive the 'blessings' of the rich to pursue an education? Or become a slave to them by amassing student loan debt while the wealthy ones path is paved. There is no real opportunity.Efforts are rarely rewarded, but the good conformists are rewarded. Is it any wonder that many poor kids turn to the sale of drugs and crime? When we do not reward effort, the elite oppress, and opportunities are glim, some are willing to assume the risk and danger if only for a moment to be apart from poverty and struggle. And so it is with our homeless and those we often label mentally ill. They seek to be free from oppression, and thus many depart from the reality and standards of corrupt society. As Laing stated, madness may very well be a normal response to a society gone mad. For these persons, the elite drug them into submission, their experience is of no importance, and so they often wander the streets with little chance of recovery as first, no one seems to care, second, they are damaged by psychiatric drugs, and lastly, society refuses to change.
Where is our sense of humanity? Where is our compassion? Can equality truly exist? We are taught not to worry about such things, there is a pill for these worries. No need to change anything, its all in your brain. You have the money, you can be part of the game, and maybe win. If you don't have money, you lose. Whether this be education, health care, or other basic human rights.
-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Through capitalistic greed and corporate power, the United States is slowly being sold out to foreign interests and powers. We are allowing our nation's assets to be given away. Our freedoms and rights are being eroded often under the guise that 'it is for our own good and protection." We lack choices in government, we are controlled by an oligarchic system, a rulin elite, where the very wealthy are the only players. Third party candidates stand no chance, for example in Pennsylvania, The McCain camp knows that the Libertarian candidate Bob Barr could take votes away and lead to an Obama win in Pennsylvania. However, rather than allowing choice, the Mccain camp is fighting for the removal of Barr from the ballot. So as it is in most political equations today, we are not given any real choices, and the politicians hold all the cards, and seek to keep it that way. With the current dynamics and a generation of apathy, we must seriously look at our future. The current institutions are decaying and eroding, and they are driving people mad. It is not that the systems will admit failure. If you do not like the system, too bad, we will force your conformity, hence a large proportion of American children labeled and drugged.
We must change our minds, and we must do it quickly.

-D.L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I recall a story of Buddha Shakyamuni where one of his monks desired to go forth to teach to a cruel and harsh people. The Buddha tested him with various questions as to what he would do if various cruelty came upon him. The monk described how he would seek the good in them and be patient no matter the ways they sought to treat him. The Buddha eventually blessed him to proceed stating that maybe hw would reach a few. This is the true work of the therapist. The therapist must be strengths based, focusing on the potential of benevolence in all beings, to realize the delusions we all possess, and to patiently join with another, but to respect their autonomy.
-Dr. D.L. Edmunds,Ed.D.

The Mental Health Edge Radio Program

Dr.D.L.Edmunds will be speaking on the program THE MENTAL HEALTH EDGE on the topic of the impact of current psychiatric practice on children. The program will air Wednesday August 20 from 8 to 9pm EST on WTAN1340AM in Clearwater, Florida and can be heard on the internet at www.tantalk1340.com

Autonomy and Responsibility

If therapists are to truly respect the autonomy of persons they must allow the person to make decisions on their own, even if these are poor decisions. The therapist should focus the person on seeking their own solutions, taking responsibility for their own actions and choices. The therapist should not allow for overdependence and should not feel 'guilt' if the decisions of their client do not meet to their own or societal approval. If we think this way, then we are not respecting autonomy.
We must also consider that we cannot change the minds of others, only they can do that. -D.L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Boszormenyi-Nagy developed contextual therapy and as a part of this was the concept of destructive entitlement. He felt that many patterns of thought that were problematic and strains in relationship had to do with issues of justice and that people felt a sense of entitlement. This does not mean that feelings of entitlement means that the person is entitled. However, from this destructive entitlement came patterns of revenge. He saw this concept in conduct problems, substance abuse, and as far reaching as world political conflicts. Nagy focused on building conceptions of fairness and believed that ethical conceptions formed a part of the therapeutic process. I have to some degree been influenced by the work of Boszoremenyi-Nagi, particularly this concept of the impact of destructive entitlement.
In my practice, I have sought to develop a synthesis of Nagy's ideas of the needs for ethical principles to be a part of the therapeutic process, while incorporating the ideas of Laing in that extreme states of mind can be understood. In addition, I have brought into practice the thought of existentialism having realized that many distressed person's dilemmas are often problems of meaning and purpose. I am also in agreement with Adlerian ideas on feelings of inferiority being a motivating factor of the development of some destructive behaviors. My friend and colleague, psychologist Jorg Dao from Germany brought forward to me a different way of looking at therapy. His idea is that the therapist does not seek to analyze or 'fix' the problem but to guide the person to identifying the problem clearly and finding their own answers. I believe that all persons have innate strengths and the potential to come to resolution of their own dilemmas. We need to respect the autonomy of the individual and realize the great resiliency that exists within human beings.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Our society does not reward effort and determination, rather we have often developed an idea of entitlement. Our universities are failing because of this. Professors are chosen based on issues of connections and political correctness. The education of our children as well because of this contagion of entitlement. Taxes skyrocket because of this idea. How far do we go to help those who have no desire to help themselves? Should we pay for the medical treatment of one who given knowledge of making poor health choices persists in them? We are a society that feels entitled, wishes not to take responsibility, and prefers to stay numb. Psychiatry provides the concepts to exonerate persons and society of responsibility, and gives them the drugs to escape and be numb, to never have to really address any dilemma. Is it possible we are headed in the direction of the Soviet era where any critical thought was suppressed, often through psychiatric means? Will our society awaken and take responsibility and ownership for its choices and actions? God only knows.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Speaking Engagements and Consultation to School Districts- Special Education Departments

Dr.D.L Edmunds has received numerous requests for media interviews and speaking engagements. Dr. Edmunds has presented at professional conferences, school districts, parent organizations, and other organizations addressing mental health reform, existential approaches, relational approaches, spirituality, self transformation, ethics in practice, diversity, comparative religion, child development and other topics. Fees for speaking engagements within Pennsylvania and New York is $650. The fee for events in other locations within the US is $1000. Please see the website of ICHP for more information and to arrange a speaking engagement.

In addition, Dr.Edmunds has provided consult to school districts in regards to behavioral assessments, individualized education plans, autism and developmental differences, drug free relational approaches for distressed children. To arrange a consultation, please contact via e-mail at:


When I first began academic training as a counselor, I was not exposed to any critical works at all. Part of the training was to accept that mental illness was cased by biological processes, basically chemical imbalances, and that psychiatric drugs were the main avenue of treatment combined with psychotherapy which was seen to be of lesser importance. I did not initially challenge any of this. I like most of my colleagues fell into this pattern of thought. However, it was my experiences visting children's psychiatric facilities, seeing situations of children being abused by staff and staff seeking to cover it up, as well as seeing the devastating effects of some psychiatric drugs (such as a 9 year old with tardive dyskinesia), that many questions were raised in my mind and conscience. From this point, I became exposed to some critical works and began to do thorough research on psychiatric drug effects. Later, I began working with a number of children, some given serious psychiatric labels, and I soon realized that the system really was not listening to their experience, it was not even treating them as human beings. As I began to listen and learn of the experience of many of my clients, I developed a sense of great compassion and vowed that I would take a stand from within the system. This has often been at great cost, but I know that it is my duty to stand up for the vulnerable and to promote social justice and humane treatment.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.


CHICAGO - Cartoons about the psychiatrist’s couch were recently the subject of a museum exhibition. Now, the couch itself may be headed for a museum.

A new study finds a significant decline in psychotherapy practiced by U.S. psychiatrists.

The expanded use of pills and insurance policies that favor short office visits are among the reasons, said lead author Dr. Ramin Mojtabai of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

“The ’couch,’ or, more generally, long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy, was for so long a hallmark of the practice of psychiatry. It no longer is,” Mojtabai said.

Today’s psychiatrists get reimbursed by insurance companies at a lower rate for a 45-minute psychotherapy visit than for three 15-minute medication visits, he explained.

His study found that the percentage of patients’ visits to psychiatrists for psychotherapy, or talk therapy, fell from 44 percent in 1996-97 to 29 percent in 2004-05. The percentage of psychiatrists using psychotherapy with all their patients also dropped, from about 19 percent to 11 percent.

Psychiatrists who provided talk therapy to everyone had more patients who paid out of pocket compared to those doctors who provided talk therapy less often. And they prescribed fewer pills.

'Aura of invincibility' around meds
As talk therapy declined, TV ads contributed to an “aura of invincibility” around drugs for depression and anxiety, said Charles Barber, a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale University and author of “Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry is Medicating a Nation.”

“By contrast, there’s almost no marketing for psychotherapy, which has comparable if not better outcomes,” said Barber, who was not involved in the study.

The findings, published in Monday’s Archives of General Psychiatry, are based on an annual survey of office visits to U.S. doctors. Of more than 246,000 visits sampled during the 10 years, more than 14,000 were to psychiatrists. The researchers analyzed those psychiatrist visits.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Autism and Developmental Differences

Dr.D.L.Edmunds has developed one of few drug free relational programs for autistic and developmentally different children. Dr.Edmunds provides consultation to children, families, and school districts in Northeastern Pennsylvania and is available for phone consultation to those residing in other areas. Dr. Edmunds has worked with over 80 children with developmental challenges, developed a support group, was involved with a therapeutic equestrian program, and has delivered numerous lectures and seminars. His approach encourages autonomy, development of increased independent skills, the forging of emotional connections, and self advocacy. The program is not coercive and respects the dignity of the child. For more information, please see: