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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Many times I have seen the mistreatment of children who are subjected to horrors within their families, but because they are 'minors', nothing much is done. They are subject to 'endure' their private horor until they reach the age of majority, but by that time many are driven mad, the damage has been done.
Maybe we should redefine what 'family' is? What if children were allowed to build attachments to those they so chose? A child who would leave these scenarios and enter homelessness is once again subject to the horrors and control inflicted upon them by ruthless adults be it through prostitution or other travesty.
Maybe it is necessary to break down the barrier between being a youth and being an adult. Adults certainly have generated actions that have led to great despair and destruction. Maybe the innocence of the child could hold more value. What creates persons of hate? What creates persons who establishes barriers with others? We are not born this way, rather it is what adults teach to their children that causes them to act in these ways. Could it be any worse to give children rights? To respect their autonomy, to guide rather than control? The concept of the kibbutz, where persons live and collaborate together, and in where some kibbutzim, all have all role in guiding the children, could be a concept that expanded could be a better way to conduct a society.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


In my text, ROOTS OF DISTRESS, I described the story of "Alan", a young man who had been painted by many as seriously troubled and unreachable. The excerpt is as follows:Alan was seen by most as an obstinate young man who had completed departed from any sense of reality. His hallucinations had earned him the diagnosis of a psychotic disorder not to mention he frequently displayed aggressive behavior when provoked by authoritarian "in your face' type of individuals. Reading the charts from before, it painted a monstrosity, but gave little detail to what Alan’s experience might have been. When I first encountered Alan, I did not demand that he speak to me or that he not speak to me. I made no demands. I solely informed him that I was a supportive person who wanted to know him for who he is. This opened the door to intense dialogues. Together we explored questions about life that we both may have never thought much on before. The topics would drift to purpose, impermanence, suffering, the human condition. He related to me the pain of years of abuse, how he felt dehumanized and humiliated by the various people he thought would help him. He told me of his feelings of being alone, of being nothing. This feeling of nothing for him was an end at the time, but really it was the beginning. It was the door for him to question life, to question what he had been taught, to become. He related to me about his hallucinations, and his imaginary friends became mine as well. I asked about their habits, and their words. I noticed that these beings he saw were him at various points in time. As I met each of these beings, I learned something a bit more about the experience of Alan. Gradually as his emotional needs were met and he began to see himself once again as a singular person in the present moment of time and space, these beings began to depart. I saw in Alan the resilient human spirit and I will not forget him.

I recall as well the deep intense fear that Alan experienced. I recall on one occassion that Alan's father had been intoxicated and very abusive, Alan would run away from his home with no destination in mind. On one of these occassions, I went to search for Alan. At first, he ran from me, and I called out to him and let him no who I was and that I was safe and he would be safe. In the frame of mind he was in, he saw only enemies and he later told me that though he heard my voice, he was not sure if something ore someone was going to come do him harm. I knew that Alan needed a period of respite, and I admit I was also curious to know how Alan would be apart from the chaos of his family life. Whenever he was seen as 'troublesome', he would be taken to the hospital where he would be injected with anti-psychotics and various other 'treatments' would arise. Alan became accustomed to these trips to the hospital, but admitted that he felt he had no control over his life, he had no autonomy, and he did not feel heard or understood. I desparately wanted to create a sanctuary for Alan, if I could only provide it for a short time. I was able to arrange a situation where Alan could spend a week away from his home, I would meet with him as he so chose, and he would be able to feel he had some autonomy and was not going to be forced into anything or treated abusively. During this period, Alan settled greatly, and he appeared to smile and laugh more, it appeared a time where he was genuinely happy. The behaviors that many labeled as disturbed and disturbing faded. However, as I sadly predicted, when the time arose for him to return leave, he became agitated and depressed. On the evening before Alan was to return home, I was at a dinner gathering at which I delivered a speech. I did not realize Alan would also be attending. Following the dinner, Alan appeared to be angry and he stormed out of the building and began wondering the grounds, and then going into the nearby woods. I went to talk to Alan, he refused to go back to his family home with the person who brought him to the dinner. He told me he would only return if I accompanied him. So, though it was late in the evening, and I must admit Alan wore me out in his escapade through the woods, I rode with him to his home. I met with the family, and tried to mediate the situation, but though it was not possible to remove him from the challenges there entirely again, I sought to establish a support network for Alan, and met with him frequently. As I have also mentioned in some of my past writing, it appears sadly that many young people are trapped in situations that are almost like a prison sentence, and though we seek to be compassionate, and we seek to help ameliorate the situation, there appears many things beyond our control to change. But, if we can offer our time and our willingness to listen, as well as help the individual develop their strengths, their passions, and build for the future when they can part from this 'prison', we have accomplished much.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where did the wraparound programs go?

In my prior research I conducted, I found that wraparound programs were an effective means to reach troubled and distressed youth and was a positive alternative to more restrictive settings. The concept of wraparound was to connect the child and their fmaily to community resources and to 'wrap' services around them to help them navigate through challenges. Today, this has all changed. With managed care companies at the helm, profits come first, not children and their families. Psychiatric drugs are often pushed to remain part of the services. There is no focus on community building and positive resources, everything has succumbed for the most part to the bio-psychiatric establishment and to the interests of a number of elites profiting from the system. Reumbursement rates for those going into the field to seek to help children have not changed in years, and agencies providing wraparound are barely staying afloat, some closing, while the managed care companies rake in money (all coming from taxpayers). What we will soon find with current societal conditions and with this lack of providing real support to families, is a generation of children largely drugged, numb, and apathetic. We will find a rise in anti-social behaviors. The money that these managed care companies sought to cut to put into their pockets will now cost taxpayers far more as children's needs become more costly because they never received the support they really needed.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Senator LeAnna Washington Seeks Sanction on ex-Luzerne County Judges

-Senator Washington has always been a dedicated advocate for children and had been previously involved in legislative hearings on the dangers of psychiatric drugs for children.-

Sanction on disgraced ex-Luzerne judges sought

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 6:17 AM EDT
Senator: This should never happen again

HARRISBURG — A Philadelphia senator is the first to seek a legislative sanction against disgraced former Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan.

Sen. LeAnna Washington, D-4, Philadelphia, has sponsored a resolution condemning the two judges who pleaded guilty last month to taking kickbacks to help develop a privately owned juvenile detention center.

The senators’s resolution raises questions about a miscarriage of justice, citing the 25 percent of juvenile defendants sent in recent years to the detention center run by PA Childcare LLC in Luzerne County and noting that many youths appeared before the judges without legal representation.

“These two administrators of the court blatantly conspired with others to defraud county government and most egregiously conspired to have our youth subjected to confinement when in many instances it was not warranted,” said Ms. Washington in a statement.

The resolution calls on the state Supreme Court to study the state’s juvenile justice system and exercise greater oversight over its operations.

“We as legislators, as well as the Supreme Court, need to take a long critical look at the entire juvenile justice sys�tem to ensure that incidents like this never happen again,” added Ms. Washington.

Ms. Washington is the rank�ing Democrat on the Senate Aging and Youth committee.

Prospects for quick action on the resolution appear uncertain. Some senators and in-house attorneys believe the Senate should refrain from voting on resolutions or holding public hearings until the federal investigation into the Luzerne County courts wraps up.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Within capitalism, there has always existed the exploiter and the exploited. Today's economic crisis is the result of a select few bent on extreme greed being able to accumulate as much wealth and resources from others without consideration of those who they exploited to amass their wealth. There must be 'winners' and 'losers', the winners are those who have been able to play the game and obtain the resources. But this does not take into account that many were never allowed to be part of the 'game' to begin with, and that many of the 'winners' never played by the rules or chose to frequently change the rules. This has also been a part of how our government has interacted with other nations. The government has often occupied other nations or intervened in its affairs solely to advance the 'game' and to protect the interests of corporations and the elite. When our government commits violent acts and attrocities, we are told it is 'war', when others do it, we are told it is 'terrorism'. Both are wrong. While enslaving others, we are told that we are fighting for 'freedom', but whose freedom?
This translates to many going without basic human necessities or at best being in 'survival mode', and such is what is leading to a rise in anti-social behaviors as many are feeling hopeless and in despair, and families are being forced to 'abandon' their children to take on more work and responsibilities just to survive. At the same time, there are others who have accumulated many resources, but it is accomplished by exploiting others.
Hopefully, rather than falling into overwhelming and debilitating despair, we can begin to tackle the core issues, and to strive towards building a society where persons basic human rights and necessities are provided, where we begin to come together in community again, where workers are respected and provided an appropriate wage, where there is freedom and a real sharing together in the future direction of our nation.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.


All human beings have suffered from negative minds and delusions, yet we tend to become focused on ourselves, shifting blame for our errors to others, and creating barriers with others based on our own conceptions. Is it possible for us to love others without exception? Even those who we feel have wronged us? Even those we feel are deluded? Even those we feel are the 'lowest of the low?' If we can begin to look at individuals as having been shaped by their experiences and their circumstances, we will begin to develop love and hearts of compassion. If we realize that we all enter the world the same, but our experiences shape us, we can begin to see how that it is not only others, but ourselves who over time have developed negative minds, have taken upon us deluded thought. Yet, within each of us, lies that innate benevolence, the potential to do that which is good, to be happy, and to have peace with others. If we strive to create peaceful minds and to develop patient acceptance, we will see that this will influence our interactions with others, if even but a small way. This seed, once watered, will grow within ourselves, and if others are influenced and also seek to do the same, it is then possible that we can create a society where poverty, injustice, greed, violence, etc. are no more. We created them in our minds, we can erase them with a new mindset.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.