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

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Empathic Therapy- Autism/Trauma/Attachment/Extreme States- Scranton/Binghamton

batushkad@yahoo.com Born in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Dan L. Edmunds is a noted psychotherapist and traumatologist, existential psychoanalyst, social activist, Professor of Existential Psychology and Director of the Critical Psychology Certificate and Alternative Mental Health Services programs at European-American University. Dr. Edmunds for the past 12 years has been dedicated to drug free relational approaches to help those undergoing extreme states of mind (schizophrenia and psychoses, bipolar) as well as aiding autistic and developmentally different persons. Dr. Edmunds has worked with other 80 autistic and developmentally different clients and developed the Autism Acceptance Coalition to promote autonomy, understanding, and dignity of autistic and developmentally different persons. He encourages dignified and respectful ways to help autistic and developmentall different persons. Dr. Edmunds recently published an e- book to BEING AUTISTIC: AN APPROACH TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE which explores autism as a way of being rather than an 'entity' and detail the interactions with over 80 developmentally different clients. Dr. Edmunds has developed relational approaches for autistic and developmentally different persons and had often amzong breakthroughs with these persons all while keeping a focus on the need for acceptance, respect, and dignity. Dr. Edmunds currently resides in Dunmore in Northeastern Pennsylvania and has his private practices in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania in the Endless Mountains region and Kingston, Pennsylvania. Dr. Edmunds pioneered an amazing project where persons who would be typically institutionalized and given large amounts of suppressive medication could instead live in the community or with other supportive individuals and be supported in a way where barriers between therapist and client are broken down. This project has been termed "The Sanctuary project/Prince 104" and has been particularly helpful to persons undergoing extreme states of mind. These individuals often came with severe psychiatric labels (schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar) and prescribed many psychiatric drugs. Dr. Edmunds was able to develop a relationship with them where they were able to feel empowered and reduce their dependency on these psychiatric drugs. Dr. Edmunds wrote the book MYSTICAL METAPHORS in collaboration with a young person who had undergone a psychotic experience. MYSTICAL METAPHORS helps to make this experience intelligible. It is one of the most dynamic and personal stories clearly relating the experience of psychosis. Dr. Edmunds is a contributor to PSYCHOLOGY TODAY in the area of Extreme States of Mind and writes for the Mad in America website. Dr. Edmunds attended elementary school in St. Petersburg, FL and Fort Collins, CO. Dr. Edmunds graduated from Fort Collins High School in Colorado. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Florida and received a Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Scranton. He completed post graduate work in Dispute Resolution at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Edmunds completed his Doctorate of Education in Community Counseling at University of Sarasota. He received Board Certification through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Dr. Edmunds, from a young age, has always sought for an ethical society based on dignity and compassion. He won a writer's award for Ethical Reasoning sponsored by the Fort Collins Coloradoan in 1987. In 1991, at the age of 16, he was the youngest legislative aide to serve in the Colorado State Senate (working in the office of then State Senator Robert W. Schaffer) and became involved in social activism. He was involved with the Students for Peace and Justice at Fort Collins High School. In 1992, he was on the campaign staff of US Rep. Corrine Brown in Florida and had the opportunity to transport and dialogue with Martin Luther King III. Also in 1992, he organized a Youth Commission in Ormond Beach, FL and been a speaker at various political events. His political commentary has been focused on social justice/equality and civil liberty. He has spoken at numerous political events including a talk to the Pocono Libertarian Party in 2003. Politically, Dr. Edmunds is a left libertarian. He continues to reach out to young people and engage in the activist community through his lectures. Dr. Edmunds spoke at the Wooden Shoe Bookstore in July 2011 and at the Bluestockings Bookstore and Activist Center in New York City on November 26, 2011. Dr.Edmunds has been actively involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement and a speaker at the movements events in Scranton, Pennsylvania and New York City. Dr. Edmunds has served in the past in ministry and as a chaplain for the elderly and veterans. In 1998, he was inducted into the National Honor Society for Theology and Religious Studies and published an article in the University of Scranton's Diakonia Journal for Eastern Christian Studies. He was ordained in the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1997, later leaving and entering the EADM, a denomination in the Liberal Catholic tradition and the Society for Humanistic Potential. Dr. Edmunds began to challenge dogmatism and developed a more pluralist outlook. He became interested in Buddhist meditation and in 2007, participated in a Mahayana Refuge Vow Ceremony at the Kadampa Buddhist World Peace Temple in Glen Spey, New York. Dr. Dan L. Edmunds is the compassionate voice in the mental health system. He is a leading figure in the worldwide movement for a more humane psychiatric system and for progressive mental health services. He is a noted psychotherapist, child developmental specialist, sociologist and counselor working with both children and adults. His prolific books have discussed the social, political, and familial processes that create emotional distress and he has developed drug free approaches to aiding individuals undergoing extreme states of mind. Psychologist and Professor Eddy Regnier, Ph.D. remarked that Dr. Edmunds "(has) wonderful openness (and is able) to find calm even in the most troubled situation" and Psychologist and author John Breeding, Ph.D. has stated that Dr. Edmunds is a very clear thinker and writer who has defended and supported the spirited nature of children. Dr. Edmunds' social psychological work has focused on the political, social, and familial dynamics leading to emotional distress and he has frequently commented on the 'numbing' of our society. Dr. Edmunds is Professor of Existential Psychology and Comparative Religion for the European-American University and Director of the Critical Psychology Certificate Program and the Graduate program for Alternative Mental Health. Dr. Edmunds is a member of the International Society for Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy. Dr. Edmunds has posed critical questions to the psychiatric establishment and to society as a whole and has developed approaches towards helping distressed individuals that are compassionate and empowering and encourage self-determination and autonomy. He has been an advocate for social justice and for human rights in the mental health system. He has helped many individuals given various serious psychiatric labels live a more fulfilling life and be able to reduce or eliminate their dependency on psychiatric drugs. Many persons who have been damaged by bio-psychiatry have come to Dr. Edmunds for consultation as a last resort. Dr. Edmunds was one of the first to alert to stimulant induced mania and has been an expert witness in cases of involuntary intoxication by psychiatric drugs and has also assisted in situations where persons were to be involuntarily committed. Dr. Edmunds has extensive experience aiding those undergoing extreme states of mind (what is commonly diagnosed as schizophrenia, bipolar, schizoaffective) and those who have the experience of hearing voices. He has worked with over 80 autistic/developmentally children using a relational approach and has been a proponent of the autistic rights movement. Dr. Edmunds' articles "Entering Their Imaginative World" and "The Value of a Relationship Based Approach to Autism" and his book , "Navigating Through the Mainstream" detail some of his loving, respectful, and supportive work with autistic children and their families. Dr. Edmunds has also been involved in successful drug free intervention for children and teens with challenging behaviors, particularly those who have received such labels as Bipolar, Conduct Disorder, ADHD, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Dr. Edmunds has been involved in family mediation and offered expert testimony in family courts. Dr. Edmunds' has been active in issues of social justice for some time. Dr. Edmunds' work has become known internationally. He has been featured in various news articles and nationally syndicated radio programs. He previously hosted a local radio program addressing children's mental health. In 2002, while still a doctoral candidate, he was the one of the first mental health professionals to alert to stumulant induced mania and the rise of ADHD labeled children being labeled with bipolar as a result. In 2006, Dr. Edmunds founded the International Center for Humane Psychiatry, an emancipatory movement of mental health professionals, survivors and others seeking to replace biological psychiatry with more humane and dignified therapeutic means of helping those in distress. Dr. Edmunds' article, "Restoring the Soul to the Mental Health System" was published in the Aaina Journal of the Center for Mental Health Advocacy in Pune, Maharashtra, India and he is currently collaborating in research with the Bapu Trust for Mind and Discourse in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Dr. Edmunds has been involved in mental health reform efforts in Ireland. He is the author of "The Meeting of Two Persons" and "Mystical Metaphors" as well as numerous articles related to humane psychiatry, ethics in mental health practice, family dynamics, child and adolescent development, and autism. "Mystical Metaphors" was written in collaboration with a young person who had undergone an experience labeled as psychosis. The text seeks to make the experience understandable to convey the emotional distress and needs this person had. "The Meeting of Two Persons" discusses the social, familial, and political factors leading to emotional distress, the role of oppression in our lives, and the role of the therapist as activist and advocate. Dr. Edmunds has served as a pastoral counselor, Professor of Existential Psychology, psychological associate/evaluator, psychotherapist for community based agencies, clinical director for a therapeutic equestrian program, coordinator of therapeutic communities, and was previously a legislative aide and registered professional lobbyist. He is Board Certified in Sexual Abuse Issues through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and is a member of the International Society for the Psychosocial Treatment of Psychoses. Dr. Edmunds hold Diplomate status with the American Psychotherapy Association. In addition, he has been a consultant to special education departments and provided educational advocacy services. Dr. Edmunds has lectured and delivered seminars throughout North America and has been a guest on radio television programs among them the nationally syndicated radio program "Take America Back", Talk of Connecticut WRDC-AM (Hartford, CT); The American Law Journal television program on Philadelphia CNN Affiliate; Highway to Health (Tropic Wave Radio, Melbourne, FL), PsycheWhisperer with A.J. Mahari, AM Radio in Clearwater, FL , WHO AM 1040 in Des Moines, Iowa; Paranormal Science on WILK-FM (Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA), WPUL-AM 1590 (Daytona Beach, FL), KFNX (Phoenix, AZ), Naturally Autistics New Generation Radio program, and Freedomain Radio. Dr. Edmunds is a contributor to Psychology Today in the area of Extreme States of Mind. Dr. Edmunds' radio broadcasts are available on ITunes. In 2006, Dr. Edmunds was the keynote speaker at a protest of a psychiatric conference in Niagara Falls, New York. This conference had been promoting psychiatric drugging of infants. Dr. Edmunds presented at the 4th Annual Alternative Education Resources Organization Conference in June 2007 at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York and at the 2005 and 2010 conferences of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. Dr. Edmunds has guest lectured or presented at the University of Scranton,Pennsylvania State University (Worthington-Scranton), Russell Sage College, Keystone College, and the University of Florida. He has delivered training seminars and offered consultation to a number of mental health agencies. Dr. Edmunds' approaches have helped to return a 'soul' to the mental health system. With a combined background in community counseling, philosophy, activism, and comparative religion, Dr. Edmunds has sought to integrate new ways of finding meaning and purpose for the persons he serves. Much of his work has been in helping people undergoing emotional and mental distress come to a greater sense of wholeness through personal growth and self-transformation processes. Dr. Edmunds is a member and supporter of the Unconventional Foundation for Autism, an organization for research on alternative therapies. Dr. Edmunds is also a member of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Dr. Edmunds can be contacted by e-mail for consultation at batushkad@yahoo.com Dr. Edmunds provides counseling and consultation to children and families from Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York from his office in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, USA, near Scranton, Pennsylvania and approximately 2 hours from Philadelphia and New York City. Dr. Edmunds is available to provide telephone and internet consultation to those residing in other locations. Dr. Edmunds is also available for lectures and seminars.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


by Dan Edmunds, Ed.D., B.C.S.A.,DAPA Being Autistic: Acceptance and Understanding Autistic persons need acceptance and understanding. Published on December 27, 2012 by Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D., B.C.S.A. in Extreme States of Mind Autism is not a disease or an entity. It is not something that we must seek out to eradicate. Rather, it is a mode of being, an umbrella term to describe how one relates (or does not relate) to the world. If we look at autism as an entity, a ‘thing’, then this leads us to develop programs that will seek to alter the person into something they are not nor will or can ever be. It causes us to seek to alter the person by force, coercion, and manipulation. Behavioralism has sought to modify the person, the existential approach rather seeks to understand. How the autistic person behaves should be seen as a form of communication, possibly the only form of communication they may possess to describe their joys, sorrows, or distress. The world of the autist is often misunderstood, one may see the person flapping their arms, and see this as ‘strange’ and in need of suppression. But if we look inwardly and explore the meaning behind this action, we may find it is telling us of something, it is indicative of how that person feels. It is one of their few ways to be able to share their experience. A commonly used approach with autistic persons is Applied Behavioral Analysis where the child works on drills for up to 40 hours a week with a therapist. This type of program separates the child from their parents. The repetitive drills often lead to depression, humiliation, and rage. The entire system is built on this concept of altering the person by force, seeking to gain their compliance to an arbitrary ‘norm’ of what a child must and should be. Instead, we should realize and respect the various developmental stages both perinatal and postnatal that occur and understand that developmental differences exist. These developmental differences exist, and those wanting to aid the person must realize this, and then help the person in discovering their being, of who they are, and to be able to embrace who they are. Early intervention programs sometimes force children into meaningless, repetitive tasks and are geared towards conformity, solely seeking to prepare the child for the classroom, but not taking into account other aspects of the person. A child with cerebral palsy may be autistic, a child placed under conditions of sensory deprivation may be autistic, a child exposed to a toxin may be autistic. Autism is merely a term we have decided to use to label how a person has developed and relates differently to the world. If I am an American and travel to a foreign country and know nothing of the culture or language, I am bound to struggle. If I am an American and travel to a foreign country but have learned something of the language and culture, it will be far easier. This is the direction I believe that programs to aid autistic persons should be geared. Not to alter the person, but rather to help them to be themselves while also having an understanding of the ‘mainstream’ and being able to navigate through it. -from Dr. Dan L. Edmunds' blog EXTREME STATES OF MIND at Psychology Today Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.,B.C.S.A,DAPA batushkad@yahoo.com