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

Sunday, January 17, 2010


"People look for pleasure and excitement, instead of joy; for power and propert, instead of growth. They want to have much, and use much, instead of being much."- Erich Fromm

I have seen many clients who have gone through physical, sexual, and emotional abuse yet in spite of these horrid experiences, relate their experience in psychiatric institutions as the scariest and most traumatic. Many of these individuals in childhood were seen according to the 'good-bad-mad' concept as Laing would term it. They were seen as good as they remained quiet and gave no problem to others, but when they challenged the system of things, they were seen as bad, and once the psychiatrist was brought into the picture, then seen as mad.
I recall an evaluation with an 8 year old boy who had been physically abused. In spite of this abuse, he remained a connection with the abuser because they sought to buy his love and affection. This child had been considered 'quiet' until he reached 3 years old, at this time he became more rambunctious and for the parents to continue in their self interest and for him to remain quiet as havoc was created around him, they had him drugged with stimulants and anti-psychotics from that age on. This boy related a psychiatric hospitalization as the scariest event of his short life. In many of the facilities and programs he had been in, no one sought to connect with him, rather they evoked their power and authority, and he reacted with aggression and was frequently restrained. I was told I would have 'difficulty' connecting to him. But, as we spent our time together, and I simply listened, I saw a very kind young man, though a hurt and terrified young man.
If only individuals are able to remove self-interest, and to simply hear the voice of the child, not seeking to control, then it would be possible to help this child through his distress. I worry that with the current forms of 'treatment', this child will sadly have a long term psychiatric 'career'.

I have wondered about our society today. It seems in the 60;s and 70's there was more community, more connection, even when things were going badly, and a regard for others. We see now that young people are complacent, feel disillusioned, and are apathetic. I wonder if this is the result of the "Decade of the Brain", of further alientation by greed and corruption where young people have basically just surrendered. I hope that meaning and purpose can once again be restored to young people.

Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

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