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, October 18, 2010

International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology Conference (ICSPP) in Syracuse, NY

I had the opportunity to attend the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology conference in Syracuse, NY October 7-9. It was a wonderful experience and I commend this organization for their hard work in promoting human rights and dignity in the mental health system. I had the opportunity to meet and hear many bright and dedicated individuals. I took particular interest in Robert Whitaker's (author of "Mad in America" and "Anatomy of an Epidemic") presentation which gave some background as to how we have gotten to the unfortuante point we have in the mental health system. I also appreciated the insights of Dr. David Cohen, and particularly his comment that dialogue with those steeped in the bio-psychiatric paradigm is futile. I had the opportunity to spend two evenings in conversation with Dr. Clancy McKenzie and have been inspired by his work regarding the two trauma mechanism and delayed PTSD as well as programmed dreams and love energy. I was able to present as well at the conference in regards to my recent text, "The Meeting of Two Persons: What Therapy Should Be" which addressed the social, familial, and poitical factors behind emotional distress, challenges the bio-psychiatric paradigm, encourages relational approaches, and asks existential questions. The Gala dinner at the end of the conference was great fun. I hope to become more connected with ICSPP and hope that all organizations that are seeking for the betterment of the lives of others and for dignity in the mental health system will forge together in this common struggle.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.


Dan Lee Edmunds was born in Tampa, Florida. In 1983, he located with his mother to Fort Collins, Colorado and attended public schools there. Edmunds as a teenager developed a keen interest in philosophy and comparative religion and enjoyed visting various religious communities and having discussions and dialogue. Edmunds also developed as a young person a strong interest in social justice and spent alot of time volunteering with various projects (veterans affairs, homeless, program for developmental differences). He became interested in political change, and in 1991 became the youngest legislative aide in the State Senate of Colorado, working in the office of then State Senator Robert W. Schaffer. He later registered as a professional lobbyist and worked on various political campaigns among them the campagin of Corrine Brown for the Third District Congressional Seat in Florida in 1992 which afforded him the opportunity to transport Martin Luther King III to an event at Bethune Cookman College.

In 1993, Edmunds graduated from Fort Collins High School, he returned to Florida, and later entered the University of Florida where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with major in Religion, minor in Sociology in 1997. Edmunds entered the Orthodox Church and was ordained in 1997 and in the same year entered the Master of Arts program in Theology at the University of Scranton and obtained his degree in 1999. He was admitted to a Doctoral program in Community Counseling at the University of Sarasota and completed post graduate coursework at Nova Southeastern University in Dispute Resolution in 2000. Edmunds served as a chaplain for a nursing care facility for the elderly from 2001 to 2003. Later becoming disillusioned with the Orthodox Church, he became affiliated with the Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church and later the Apostolic Church of the Divine Mysteries. Edmunds received his Doctorate of Education in Community Counseling in 2006 from the University of Sarasota.

In 1999, Edmunds had the opportunity to work with Bobbi Gagne, director of the Sexual Assault Crisis Team of Vermont and was greatly inspired by her. Edmunds began work the following year as a therapist for a behavioral health program for children and adolescents in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Edmunds was initially indifferent to the concept of psychiatric drugging of children and rather unaware of some of the abuses in his field. When he first encountered a young man with tardive dyskinesia from psychiatric drugs, and then began to see some of the issues related to power within the field, this had a major impact on his thinking, and he began to set forward to make changes in how to help and interact with distressed persons. In 2002, Edmunds received training in relational approaches to autism/developmental differences and began work with a number of autistic and developmentally different clients. Edmunds received Board Certification in Sexual Abuse Issues in 2003 from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. In 2005, he began lecturing on ways to help children and adolescents without resort to psychiatric drugs. it was also in this year that he worked with a young man with a psychotic disorder and set up an experiment to see if relational and community based approaches would be more effective than traditional hospitalization and residential programs. Edmunds found that during the time of interaction with the young person, the project was very successful, but he began to plummet uppn being returned to his home. This and future experiences shaped his idea that emotional distress is brought forward by social, familial, and political factors, and this became the topic for his 2009 book "The Meeting of Two Persons: What Therapy Should Be" which he also presented as a presentation at the October 2010 conference of the International Center for Humane Psychiatry in Syracuse, New York. In 2006, after completing his doctoral degree, Edmunds began private practice in conjuction with working as a psychological associate (conducting evaluations and assessments) and also began writing and speaking. In 2006, he completed the book "They Say My Child Has ADHD: Thinking Outside the Bio-Psychiatric Paradigm". In 2007, he wrote "Navigating Through the Mainstream" which addressed autism and developmental differences. In 2010, he completed "Mystical Metaphors" which was written with a New Zealander artist and university student who underwent what would be labeled as a 'psychotic episode'. Edmunds sought to make this experience understandable and argued that with the proper support, that this journey, though painful and terrifying could lead to a point of transformation. Edmunds also argued that much of what occurs in the mental health profession is to suppress experience which leads to oppression. Edmunds has focused much of his work presently on extreme states of mind and maintains a private practice in Northeastern Pennsylvania and continues to lecture and provide consultation. Dr. Edmunds is Founder of the International Center for Humane Psychiatry, an emancipatory movement for human rights in the mental health system and has been involved in the Society for Laingian Studies and a member of the International Society for the Psychosocial Treatment of Schizophrenia. Dr. Edmunds is adjunct Professor of Existential Psychology and Comparative Religion for European American University. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 2007 from St. James Theological Seminary.



Tuesday, October 12, 2010


In my work with persons undergoing extreme states of mind, I have established a number of scenarios where we sought to break down barriers between the therapist and client and to provide support outside of a hospital setting. We created an environment where the client would live in the community, have supports to integrate into the community, and to have individuals who would journey with them on a daily basis and accept them 'where they were at' and for who they are. It is not to say that creating this environment was easy or that persons still did not undergo many challenges, but we certainly found it a more humane means of care, where people were not forced and coerced and they had a means to work through their crisis. I do know that these scenarios did produce far better results than the 'traditional' methods, and persons made their way to a better means of functioning and felt that they were treated with dignity.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.