DR. DAN L. EDMUNDS, ED.D.
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, USA
e-mail: DoctorEdmunds@DrDanEdmunds.com

Internationally Renowned Existential-Humanist Psychotherapist for Children, Adolescents, and Adults
Professor of Counseling Psychology and Comparative Religion
Child Development Specialist/Behavioral Consultant
Psychological Evaluator/Associate


The European-American University

Lecturer, Speaker, and Public Intellectual
Consultant and Expert on Autism, Asperger's and Developmental Differences
Activist for Social Justice
Author of ROOTS OF DISTRESS; CHILDREN OUR TREASURE: MEETING OUR CHILDREN'S TRUE NEEDS OUTSIDE OF THE BIO-PSYCHIATRIC PARADIGM; COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF A DRUG FREE APPROACH TO ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER; NAVIGATING THROUGH THE MAINSTREAM; and THE ODDITIES OF RELIGION

as well as numerous articles on mental health reform, ethics in practice, autism/developmental differences, extreme states of mind (schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar), traumatic stress, and emotional health.

Speaker on local and nationally syndicated radio programs


Board Certified in Sexual Abuse Issues, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress

To arrange a consultation in person or by telephone, to arrange a lecture or seminar, or for media interview requests, please contact:

E-mail: DoctorEdmunds@DrDanEdmunds.com

PSYCHOTHERAPY/COUNSELING FOR CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS

RELATIONSHIP BASED APPROACHES-AUTISM/DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES SERVICES

DRUG FREE RELATIONAL APPROACHES TO ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)

PSYCHOTHERAPY/ PSYCHO-SOCIAL INTERVENTION FOR EXTREME STATES OF MIND (SCHIZOPHRENIA, BIPOLAR)

MEDITATION/ RELAXATION TECHNIQUES

ASSISTANCE WITH POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS AND DEPRESSION
FAMILY MEDIATION

EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES

EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY

WORKSHOPS/LECTURES/SEMINARS
TRAINING/MENTOR PROGRAMS

CONSULTATION TO SPECIAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENTS, EDUCATORS, PARENTS, MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AND OTHERS

PSYCHO-SOCIAL ASSESSMENTS

FORENSIC ASSESSMENTS (with specialization in situations of SSRI anti-depressant induced violence and suicidality and psychiatric drug adverse events and behavioral abnormalities)

FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENTS

FAMILY THERAPY/MARITAL COUNSELING

GLBT ISSUES

EXISTENTIAL THERAPY

CONSULTATION ON PSYCHIATRIC DRUG INDUCED MENTAL/EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE

MENTAL HEALTH REFORM ADVOCACY

DRUG FREE, PSYCHO-SOCIAL INTERVENTIONS FOR THE DIFFICULT CHILD

DISPUTE RESOLUTION/MEDIATION
Photo of clinic in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania where Dr. Edmunds practices.


"With much compassion and understanding, Dr. Edmunds has an innate ability to connect with distressed persons, aid them through challenges and seek to understand their experience. His work with autistic persons and persons undergoing extreme states of mind is unique and amazing. Dr. Edmunds is controversial and often iconoclastic as he is a critical thinker. He believes that people's experience needs to be compassionately heard rather than being readily prescribed psychiatric drugs and labeled. Dr. Edmunds has not been afraid to speak out and tackle irrationality, oppression, and injustice. From his youth, Dr. Edmunds has involved himself in struggle for human rights and the dignity of persons. He has never been one to back down when confronted with a challenge, and he does not accept things at face value, rather he has a brilliant and critical mind of reason."



DR. DAN L. EDMUNDS' BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE

Order books by Professor D.L. Edmunds,Ed.D.

A number of Dr. Edmunds' books are also available to be ordered through Amazon.com.


Order THE ROOTS OF DISTRESS: Dr. Edmunds explores how social problems often evoke great emotional pain on individuals. Discusses (with case studies) the impact of trauma, familial dynamics, and social factors upon well being and our need to respond with loving, compassionate means. This is an iconoclastic and powerful book that challenges how our society deals with our youth and how we may be very well driving them 'mad'.

DR. EDMUNDS' RECENT LECTURES AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Contact to arrange a speaking engagement or lecture

Degree programs, training, and mentorship via European-American University- Counseling Psychology, Human Services, Comparative Religion and Philosophy

If you are interested in exploring a mentor study program with Dr. Edmunds, please write to DoctorEdmunds@DrDanEdmunds.com

E-mail







Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Autism Acceptance Project
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Autism Acceptance Project is a dynamic and unique program providing drug free, relationship based assistance to Autistic persons and those diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Services are dignified and encourage autonomy, understanding, tolerance, inclusion, self-determination, and meaning. Dr. Edmunds has worked with autistic self advocates to seek to understand their experience and be able to relate it to others.

Dr. D.L. Edmunds' private practice of psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and adults is located in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. Dr. Edmunds is one of few offering a holistic, drug free, relationship based approach that encourages self determination, autonomy, and dignity. Dr. Edmunds' work has focused on drug free approaches to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, relational approaches for autism/developmental differences, resolving traumatic stress, assisting troubled children and teens, and helping individuals be able to understand and manage extreme states of mind (schizophrenia, bipolar). Dr. Edmunds has developed the Northeastern Pennsylvania Autism Acceptance Project

that focuses on autonomy, understanding, tolerance, inclusion, self-determination and meaning. It is a dynamic and innovative program serving autistic and developmentally different persons in Northeastern Pennsylvania and offering support and consultation to special education departments, educators, parents, and others. In addition to his private practice of psychotherapy, Dr. Edmunds serves as a consultant to special education departments and as a psychological evaluator for various community based programs for children as well as a forensic consultant conducting assessments of individuals where psychiatric drugs caused involuntary intoxication and has led to adverse events, particularly violence and/or suicidality. He is also involved in conflict resolution and mediation. Dr. Edmunds devotes time to scholarly research of consciousness studies, Comparative Religion and the Sociology of Religion, Philosophy, and Psychology. A committed social activist, Dr. Edmunds works diligently to encourage an end to poverty and a society that is dedicated to compassion, ethics, human rights, equality, and dignity. He had been the youngest legislative aide and later registered professional lobbyist to serve in the State of Colorado. In 2006, Dr. Edmunds established the International Center for Humane Psychiatry to encourage ethics and compassion in the field of mental health and to address issues of psychiatric abuse and promote more humane and dignified approaches towards helping distressed persons. Since 2006, Dr. Edmunds has delivered workshops and lectures, conducted radio interviews, participated in rallies and protests, attended professional conferences and meetings focused on mental health, juvenile justice, and foster care reform and in promoting caring approaches for distressed individuals and meeting our children's true needs. In 2008, Dr. Edmunds began organizing the Humanist Center for Freethought and Social Activism

to promote scientific inquiry, exploration of philosophical concepts, examination of comparative religion, and mythologies. In addition, to promote holding beliefs based on logic and reason rather than ascribing to dogmatism, authority, or tradition. The Center encourages the skeptical questioning of ideas, concepts, beliefs, and authority.

The Center also encourages social activism. The Center is committed to erasing oppression in all its forms and is dedicated to radical democracy where racism, homophobia, sexism, class divisions, and inequalities cease and where there is true justice, not just for an elite few. It strives for the liberation of oppressed persons, for basic human rights,civil rights, cultural freedom, and ecological responsibility.

Tunkhannock, a beautiful town in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania is located approximately 40 minutes from the Scranton and Wilkes Barre region and about 2.5 hours respectively from the New York (Manhattan) and Philadelphia Metropolitan areas and approximately one hour from Binghamton/Elmira, New York. Dr. Edmunds is accepting new clients. Clients have traveled from throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, and New York State for personal consultation and Dr. Edmunds has had telephone consultation with individuals throughout the United States and abroad. To arrange a consultation, seminar/lecture, or for media interview requests, please write to:

DoctorEdmunds@DrDanEdmunds.com



Connect with Dr. Edmunds on Facebook and receive information on recent events and speaking engagements




Professor Dr. D.L. Edmunds is a noted child and family psychotherapist, expert on autism and developmental differences, Comparative Religion scholar, public intellectual, humanist, philosopher, critical thinker, social activist, and author. Dr. Edmunds is a radical voice encouraging critical inquiry and challenging the psychiatric, political, and societal establishments. Dr. Edmunds strives for human rights, compassion, and dignity in the mental health system. He is an ally of the psychiatric survivor movement and a social activist promoting the need for understanding and equality and ending oppression in all its forms. His work is part of an emanicipatory movement to encourage freedom, dignity, and choice in the mental health system. In addition to his work as a psychotherapist, Dr. Edmunds conducts extensive study into the sociology of religion and belief, and has explored various religious groups (Jewish, Muslim, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Old Catholic, Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Hindu, Baha'i, among others.) He has published a number of articles exploring religious belief and traditions. He is the author of the recent book, THE ODDITIES OF RELIGION

which critically examines religious dogmatism. Dr. Edmunds has explored meditation practices as well as ayurveda. Dr. Edmunds collaborates with a number of individuals in the holistic healing arts, among them Maya Winddancer Noble, a licensed acupuncturist and scholar of Oriental Medicine. Together, they have sought means to manage physical and emotional pain and encourage wellness. Dr. Edmunds completed undergraduate studies at the University of Florida in Comparative Religion and Sociology. He completed post graduate coursework in Dispute Resolution through the Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Nova Southeastern University. He received his Master of Arts from the University of Scranton and earned his Doctorate of Education in Community Counseling from the University of Sarasota. Dr. Edmunds lectures extensively and has been a guest on local and nationally syndicated radio programs broadcast in Los Angeles, CA; Melbourne, FL; Tampa/St.Petersburg/Clearwater, FL; Hartford, CT.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds with the Dunkle Family at the opening of an exhibit on psychiatric abuse held in Center City, Philadelphia. The Dunkle family's daughter, Shania, sadly died in the office of her physician from a psychiatric drug.

MORE ABOUT DR. D.L. EDMUNDS' BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE

BECOME A MEMBER OF ICHP

ARRANGE A CONSULTATION WITH DR. D.L. EDMUNDS


Dr. Edmunds speaking at event in Niagara Falls, New York, USA

DR. DAN L. EDMUNDS SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT SCHEDULE:

January 20th: Radio Interview- Clearwater, Florida
March 26th: Scranton, Pennsylvania
May 26: Montrose, Pennsylvania
June 1: New York, New York
August 7: Ithaca, New York


Dr. Edmunds is seeking to coordinate a lecture tour for the United Kingdom and in Bosnia-Herzegovina for 2010 as well as seeking to arrange other speaking engagements. If you are interested in arranging a speaking engagement or guest lecture for your organization or institution or are interested in being a sponsor of the lecture tour, please contact:
DR. EDMUNDS LECTURE TOUR 2010

DR. EDMUNDS' PRESENT AND PAST SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

BOOKS BY DR. D.L. EDMUNDS

BOOK REVIEW OF "DONT MIND ME" BY JUDITH HAIRE- CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING, UNITED KINGDOM

EXCERPTS FROM SOME OF DR. D.L. EDMUNDS' BOOKS

ARTICLES BY DR. D.L. EDMUNDS

PURCHASE DR. D.L. EDMUNDS POSTERS, T-SHIRTS, AND OTHER MERCHANDISE

AUTISM, ASPERGER, DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES SERVICES FOR NORTHEASTERN PENNYSYLVANIA AND SOUTHERN TIER OF NEW YORK REGION- THE AUTISM ACCEPTANCE PROJECT- providing training and instruction to educators, parents, and others on understanding developmental differences, encouraging inclusion, and developing approaches that respect dignity, autonomy, and self determination.

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FURTHER INFORMATION ON NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA AUTISM ACCEPTANCE PROJECT
The Northeast Pennsylvania Autism Acceptance Project helps autistic, Asperger, and developmentally different persons be able to navigate through the mainstream with dignity. It is focused on the principles of autonomy, understanding, tolerance, inclusion, self-determination, and meaning. Our objective is to provide education and consultation to special education departments, educators, parents, mental health professionals, and others that promote relational approaches and which are respectful to the person.

DR. EDMUNDS' ESSAY "RETURNING THE SOUL TO THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM" PUBLISHED IN THE AAINA JOURNAL OF THE CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY- PUNE, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA

CENTER FOR FREETHOUGHT AND SOCIAL ACTIVISM

HUMANIST CENTER BLOG

DR. D.L. EDMUNDS FEATURED ON CIRCLES OF LEARNING FOUNDATION SITE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR HUMANE PSYCHIATRY- UNITED KINGDOM- Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT AND PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS

DR. D.L.EDMUNDS MEDIA INTERVIEWS

DR. D.L. EDMUNDS FEATURED ON CRITICAL PSYCHIATRY NETWORK- UNITED KINGDOM

PARENTS FOR LABEL AND DRUG FREE EDUCATION

JOIN DR. D.L. EDMUNDS' CRITICAL PSYCHIATRY GROUP ON FACEBOOK


A FEW STORIES FROM THE THERAPEUTIC WORK OF DR. D.L. EDMUNDS,ED.D.

A 5 year old boy who had been given a diagnosis of autism began working with Dr. Edmunds. He was completely non-verbal when Dr. Edmunds encountered him. He came into the office and began to bang on the computer keyboard. In the main room of the clinic was a large pit of plastic balls. Dr. Edmunds told him, "I am going to have to scoop you up and throw you in the ballpit." He smiled and walked away, only to return to the keyboard with his hand outstretched towards the keyboard, not touching it, just grinning. Just as he touched it, Dr. Edmunds picked him up and said, "yep, to the ballpit with you." He giggled and smiled, and then returned to the keyboard again, but this time he did not touch it, he just fell into Dr. Edmunds arms and then for the first time spoke "throw me in."

From Dr. Edmunds text: ROOTS OF DISTRESS (2008) REGARING DR. EDMUNDS' WORK WITH A YOUNG MAN WHO EXPERIENCED THE HEARING OF VOICES
Order your copy of ROOTS OF DISTRESS

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. 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 was contacted on one occasion to conduct an assessment and consult with a family in regards to their son who was in his early twenties who had been involuntarily committed by his father to a state mental hospital. As I entered the facility, wondered how any in this place could not feel worthless, depressed, and mad. I entered to meet John. He appeared somewhat lethargic because of the cocktail of psychiatric drugs he was being given, but he greeted me warmly and with a smile. John began to immediately speak and told me how he was an African American infant who when he was around two years old was turned white. (John was quite pale in complexion). He then proceeded to tell me about the mind control he felt he was experiencing, that his freedom was taken away, he could no longer think for himself. I asked him who he felt was controlling his mind. His answer did not surprise me- it was his father. I later asked the mother if John's father was a racist and if John had been abused. The answer was yes to both; the father had been linked to racist organizations. The abuse began around the age of 2. It was clear that John had a powerful message, though surrounded in metaphor. To the person only wanting to categorize behavior and ignore experience, would they have known what John was seeking to communicate?

Aaron was a delightful 10 year old boy with a great sense of humor and alot of creativity and imagination. However, Aaron looked at himself as a 'bad kid'. His step-mother was filled with negativity towards him and his parents were embroiled in constant conflict. Aaron had been sexually abused when he was 3 years old. The memories of his trauma continued to haunt him. Aaron developed a challenge of encopresis that was occurring on a daily basis and it only furthered the negative relationship with his step-mother. After getting to know Aaron, I began to realize that he felt stifled and was often told to be quiet and was never allowed to really express himself. He told me that he felt he could not be himself and he was afraid to share any of his feelings, he did not feel safe and secure. I saw his encopresis as a reflection of the negative emotions he so deeply wished to share and it was no surprise for me to learn that this seemed to only occur in his home environment. I felt it was necessary for him to build a trusting relationship with someone, and sought to build him up and encourage his resiliency. Though our periods meeting together were short, I hoped that it would be a period of respite, a period where he could truly be himself and express himself without any fear of judgment. I believe Aaron will face many more challenges, but I remain hopeful that pointing him to an understanding of the roots of his distress and challenges, and giving him a spirit of overcoming, and with his own innate strengths, that he will be able to survive the violence so sadly inflicted upon him.



Initially, James was brought to me as he was having violent outbursts with peers. James had Downs Syndrome but was high functioning in many areas. I came to learn that James had been prescribed Paxil. I was convinced that because he had no prior history of violence that Paxil was contributing to the violence he experienced and I arranged for him to be seen by his physician to discuss this. The drug was discontinued and amazingly the violence discontinued. James was very religious and had a dream of being a minister. I thought of a creative way to help James feel that he could accomplish his dream. I organized for his ordination to a minor order in his church and James decided to put a small 'chapel' in his room where he could reflect. I taught James some meditation and relaxation exercises that he consistently used whenever he began feeling frustrated. I began spending some time with James in various community activities and helping to foster further skills. He is an amazing individual with much kindness and compassion and it appears that with the ability to feel that he was 'part of something' and making a contribution that most of what was looked at as problematic behavior resolved.




DR. EDMUNDS HAS BEEN RESEARCHING THE LINK BETWEEN ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS AND VIOLENCE AND SUICIDALITY PARTICULARLY AS THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) HAS ISSUED BLACK BOX WARNINGS ON A NUMBER OF THESE DRUGS. DR. EDMUNDS IS PRESENTLY CONSULTING IN REGARDS TO A CASE WHERE THE SSRI DRUG PROZAC CONTRIBUTED TO SUICIDAL AND VIOLENT BEHAVIOR. DR. EDMUNDS OBTAINED A MEDICAL REPORT INDICATING THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WAS A POOR METABOLIZER OF THE SSRI DRUG PROZAC MANUFACTURED BY THE ELI LILLY COMPANY. DR. EDMUNDS CONDUCTED AN INTERVIEW AT THE STATE PRISON WHERE MR. DANYSH IS CURRENTLY HELD. HE IS COLLABORATING WITH DR. YOLANDA LUCIRE, A FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST FROM AUSTRALIA. TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS CASE, PLEASE SEE THE LINK BELOW. THIS CASE WILL REQUIRE MUCH TIME AND RESOURCES, IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING THIS EFFORT, PLEASE E-MAIL DR. EDMUNDS AT THE E-MAIL ADDRESS LISTED BELOW:

Dr. Edmunds with Mr. Danysh and Juvenile Justice Advocate Knightgale LaCross

CASE OF KURT DANYSH

STOP ANTI-DEPRESSANT VIOLENCE FROM ESCALATING

E-MAIL



"(Dr. Edmunds) is gifted with intellectual curiosity, a well ordered mind and humility. Perhaps his best skills are his wonderful openness and ability to find calm even in the most troubled situation."-Eddy Regnier, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

"I have known Dr. Edmunds for about 10 years, and am very familiar with his work. In my opinion, he is man of high integrity. He is firm in his convictions and not easily swayed by political pressure or public opinion. Regarding theology, I think these qualities are quintessential as the spirit speaks from the inside out, and a truly religious man must have the courage to trust and follow his inner guidance. (Dr. Edmunds) is also a very clear thinker and writer. And shows plenty of initiative. I especially admire his devotion to defending and supporting the spirited nature of our young people. I know he has a wealth of experience working with people, and I know he communicates his ideas well. He is not a closed system, but able to listen and open to new ideas...Dr. Edmunds is a great ally... He has confronted folks within the mental health system for awhile and chose integrity and truth over security and passivity more than once." -DR. JOHN BREEDING, PH.D, psychologist and author of "Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses" and "True Nature and Great Misunderstandings"

"Dr. Edmunds has developed a strong rapport with (my child). He even waits at the corner of our street in anticipation of his visits. More importantly, over the course of the summer we saw a definite improvement in (his) socialization and behavior at home...I have been extremely impressed with Dr. Edmunds' extensive knowledge...I also appreciate the comfort we receive in learning of positive results he has achieved with other children. Although I have read extensively myself and spoken with his developmental pediatrician, Dr. Edmunds has been able to translate his theoretical understanding into practical steps that have helped (my child) and us."-S.J., Pennsylvania

"(Dr. Edmunds) message is so vital, and so inspiring."- H.M., United Kingdom

"I really like what you are doing and have done. Congratulations, and keep up the good work!" -Dr. Clancy D. McKenzie, M.D., Professor of Integrative Medicine, Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, author of the Unification Theory of Mental Illness

"I think (Dr. Edmunds) insights are RIGHT ON and deserve a place in canon psychological, growth, and child development texts. The patterns he describes and the reactions I experienced, and have witnessed others experiencing, could not have been more accurate and profound. I think a great goal would be entirely replacing the DSM with the patterns and reactions (Dr. Edmunds) observed because those present dilemmas that can actually be nurtured and solved.- J.K., California

I first learned of Dr. Edmunds in February 2006, when I read an article on the Internet that he had written: “The Value of a Relationship Approach to Autism.” In an age when psychiatry and psychology have tried to reduce man’s hopes, his goals and his emotions to the biochemistry of the brain, I found Dr. Edmund’s article to be a breath of fresh air and I wrote to him and let him know that.

He responded saying that as a mental health professional, “I have fought to return a conscience to the profession where we understand that our work is not to subdue and label individuals and function as 'social police' but to aid in resolving conflict, restoring relationships, and helping individuals to become empowered and find meaning in their lives. Bio-psychiatry does not understand this and is completely incompatible with such a conception.”

Since that time, Dr. Edmunds began working with CCHR and was invited to become a member of the CCHR advisory board (a Commissioner) and he accepted. In that capacity, he has been interviewed about his work with Autistic children for a CCHR radio show, “Take America Back” and has assisted several CCHR chapters in their activities. One activity was to serve as a keynote speaker at the Grand Opening of the CCHR traveling exhibit in Buffalo, New York. I was told that his speech there was inspirational and was very well received by the audience.

-Carla Moxon, Director of Field Activities
Citizen's Commission on Human Rights International

"I have since KNOWN all that you are working on and it gives me a great sense of hope to finally hear that people are understanding and working towards a better, more humane way to care and prevent the kinds of horror and de- humanisation of beautiful people like L.! Thank you!---M.M.
New Zealand


I read your paper with great interest and appreciation for your putting forth the issues with such clarity. I, too, work with children and am deeply concerned about the number of children who are on drug "cocktails" and the frequency with which parents are told medicating is the treatment of choice. Most of these children started with an ADHD diagnosis and an ADHD drug and then progressed to the "cocktail" and more severe diagnoses as their brain and bodies reacted negatively to the initial drug and subsequent drugs, much as you describe in your paper.

I have been forwarding the link to your paper to other mental health professionals I know.

If possible, your very important point about the NIH concensus report needs attention. As written it says " we have do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD. Some people may not know how to decipher this statement, especially if they are not already knowlegeable about this report. Thank you for your timely contribution. --R.P.
Clinical Psychologist
Illinois


"I admire your compassion and willingness to listen to the voice of children. I find your work very inspiring and it has helped my own family immensely!"

"I really appreciated attending your lecture. You really listened to my concerns and seemed interested in my child's well being which I have not always found from other professionals.


wanted to let you know that I have been reading and enjoying your articles to no end. My daughter is 13 and she actually has done some "cutting".... I will elaborate more later. Just know that what you are doing is truly helping my family. I do ride her alot and am not very positive with her like I should be."


Dr. Dan, Thanks for being there in my darkest times and giving me the courage and direction to overcome challenges and create a new and better life.


Thank you for your wonderful expertise in regards to autism. We have implemented many of your suggestions with great success.


My child experienced many nasty side effects from medication. We are relieved that we have escaped this nightmare and thank you for your words of encouragement and methods that have helped us to address our son's needs. Thanks!



Professor Dr. D.L.Edmunds is a radical psychotherapist, a friend and advocate of psychiatric survivors, and a critic of the mental health establishment.

Dr. Edmunds is a voice for the marginalized and for the many who lack a voice within the psychiatric system. A person of deep compassion and principle, Dr. Edmunds is a noted psychotherapist, child development/behavioral specialist, Comparative Religion scholar, sociologist and counselor working with both children and adults.

Dr. Edmunds speaks truthfully and directly and has posed critical questions to the psychiatric establishment and to society as a whole. He 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, informed consent, and for human rights in the mental health system.

Dr. Edmunds has become deeply concerned with the medicalization of human experience and how mental health services have often become 'mechanical', not seeking to truly be caring and empathic, limiting consumer choice, and often not providing informed consent. He has sought for care that is recognizes people's experience and treats them as people, care that is holistic,which recognizes the mind-body-spirit connection, and which takes into account issues of social injustice and how they impact our emotional well being and often shape our possibilities and who we become. Dr. Edmunds has challenged the mental health system establishment to respect persons experience and once again a common healing ground betwen the therapist and client. His writings have often focused on the need for building of community, holistic approaches, and the role of the family as well as social and political processes that lead towards emotional distress. He has challenged stigmatizing labels and exposed the violence that is often inflicted upon individuals by those who claim to be in the role of 'helper'. He encouraged a mental health system which does not force people into treatments that they do not want, which respects their dignity, and which allows their experience to be heard and validated.

Dr. Edmunds has also been a tireless child advocate particularly for traumatized children and those who in the juvenile justice system. He has volunteered much time assisting children in need.
JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM

KIDS IN COURT- Helping Juveniles being tried as Adults in the Court System

Dr. Edmunds has been interviewed on local and nationally syndicated radio programs in regards to these important issues.

Of Scottish-Irish descent, Dr. Edmunds was born in Tampa, Florida and spent much of adolescent years in Fort Collins, Colorado where he graduated from Fort Collins High School. As a youth, he was involved in a program for exceptional students and was awarded by the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper for his essay as a sixth grader on Ethical Reasoning. From his youth, he became active in community and civic affairs and social and political change. Dr. Edmunds seeks for a society that places people before profits and treats all with compassion and equanimity. He served as a director of the Students for Peace and Justice and was involved in various political campaigns as a teen including that of Colorado Governor Roy Romer, Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, and the Clinton campaign for President in 1992.

Photo of Dan L. Edmunds with Colorado Governor Roy Romer (who later served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and as Superintendent for the Los Angeles Unified School District)

In 1991, he served as the youngest legislative aide ever to serve the Colorado State Senate, serving in the office of State Senator (later U.S. Representative) Robert W. Schaffer. He later became the youngest registered professional lobbyist, being registered in the States of Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona. He held his first press conference at the age of 16 being interviewed by the Fort Collins Coloradoan, KUSA-TV, and Columbine Cable Channel 14 in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was a volunteer for the Larimer County, Colorado Office of Veterans Affairs. In 1992, he obtained the permission of then Mayor Nicholas Fortunato to develop the Ormond Beach, Florida Youth Commission. He served as a county campaign coordinator for U.S. Representative Corrine Brown's campaign in 1992 which allowed him to work within the African American community. This accorded him the opportunity to transport Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain civil rights leader, to an event at Bethune Cookman College and exposed him to diversity, civil rights, and social justice concerns. As a public intellectual and left libertarian, Dr. Edmunds continues to remain active in political and civic affairs and encouraging a society that is based on equality, peace, and justice. In 2008, Dr. Edmunds organized the Humanist Center for Freethought and Social Activism in order to encourage an end to oppression, promote ecological responsibility, freedom, equality, and respect for diversity.

State Senator Schaffer letter







Dr. Edmunds' lecture to Libertarian Party

He served as a volunteer for the REACH program, a program for children with developmental differences through Saint Brendan's Roman Catholic Church in Ormond Beach, Florida and also with the Peninsula Medical Center in Ormond Beach, Florida.

Dr. Edmunds is a graduate of Fort Collins High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, having also attended Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Religion with a minor in Sociology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. While at the University of Florida, he developed and coordinated a campus ministry and various community outreach programs. He also as part of his studies in Comparative Religion, visited and conducted study of various spiritual communities, among them- the "Rainbow Family", a community of individuals dedicated to non-violence and non-hierarchical egalitarianism; and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness ("Hare Krishna"). His undergraduate study in Comparative Religion included coursework in Church-State Relations, American Religious Diversity, American Religious History, African Religion, Islamic Civilization, Chinese Buddhism, Christian Mysticism, Cults, Sociology of Religion, and Asian Religion. As part of his minor in Sociology, Dr. Edmunds participated in coursework in Latin American Studies. He had many courses with Dr. Dennis E. Owen who studied American religious history and diversity and assisted in the compilation of information on various religious denominations in America. In 1995, he became a director of the Rose Garden Children's Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting physically, hearing impaired, and emotionally challenged children. Dr. Edmunds himself later became involved as a clinical director for a therapeutic equestrian program.

From left to right: Frances Liu, Rose J. Johnsen (late grandmother of Dr. D.L. Edmunds), Bruce E. Thomsen (step-grandfather of Dr. Edmunds)

University of Florida

He received his Master of Arts from the University of Scranton and was inducted in 1998 to the Theta Alpha Kappa National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology. His article, "The State of the Soul After Death According to St. John Chrysostom" which examined Eastern Orthodox Christian views on death was published in the University of Scranton's Diakonia journal for Eastern Christian Studies.Dr. Edmunds became exposed to issues of death, dying, and the bereavement process during his period as a chaplain and pastoral counselor for the elderly.

He completed post-graduate coursework in Dispute Resolution via the Department of Conflict Resolution and Analysis at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He received his Doctorate of Education in Pastoral Community Counseling from Argosy University of Sarasota in Sarasota, Florida. This program was identical that of the Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on spirituality. Dr. Eddy Regnier, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, a clinical psychologist, and a member of Dr. Edmunds' dissertation committee has remarked,"(Dr. Edmunds) is gifted with intellectual curiosity, a well ordered mind and humility. Perhaps his best skills are his wonderful openness and ability to find calm even in the most troubled situation."

Dr. Edmunds was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 2007 from St. James Theological Seminary for his humanitarian service and he serves as a Professor of Counseling Psychology and Comparative Religious Studies with the Seminary.

He is a member of the Board of Advisors and on the faculty of the European American University. He has lectured to various organizations and mental health professionals throughout the United States and served as a guest lecturer for a Sociology course at the University of Scranton. Dr. Edmunds' work has been utilized in a psychology course at the University of Minnesota and is featured on the Habermas Site hosted by the University of California-Dominguez Hills and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Dr. Edmunds has received guest lecturer invitations to speak at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan; Keystone College in LaPlume, PA; and Hodges University, Naples, Florida as well as to organizations in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, and Bosnia-Hercegovina. He was contacted by a physician of the People's Hospital of Xi'an, China in regards to his work with autism and developmental differences.

In 1997, he was ordained as a clergyman. He has served as a chaplain for the elderly as well as a home for disabled military veterans, many being assigned the labels of schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder. In 2005, he served as an interim pastor for a congregation of the United Church of Christ.

ORDINATION CERTIFICATE
LETTER OF FACULTIES IN LCAC

Dr. Edmunds has conducted critical inquiry into religion and belief and feels it is necessary to break down the dogmatism and barriers in belief that lead people to misunderstandings and violence. Dr. Edmunds is an advocate of humanistic thought and is a member of the Society for Humanistic Potential.

Dr. Edmunds' book THE ODDITIES OF RELIGION addresses the dangers of religious dogmatism and offers a critical examination of religion as well as humorous anecdotes from Dr. Edmunds' encounters with various religious groups.



Dr. Edmunds' knowledge in comparative religion, contemplative studies, beliefs, and studies of consciousness has not derived just from academic study, rather from the age of 13 he personally encountered and experienced various systems of belief, joining in the religious experiences of various faith communities- (Jewish {Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist}; (Christian {Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Old Catholic and Roman Catholic}; Buddhist; Hindu; Sikh; Muslim; Baha'i, and others). Dr. Edmunds has developed particular interest in Buddhist psychology and meditation and has participated in various programs at the Kadampa Buddhist World Peace Temple in Glen Spey, New York.

Dr. Edmunds has particular interest in how individuals construct meaning and a number of his articles and his research reflect this interest.

In 1999, he began collaboration with Bobbi Gagne, director of the Sexual Assault Crisis Team of Vermont. Beginning in 2000, Dr. Edmunds began work with community based agencies providing mental health services to children and their families. In 2001, Dr. Edmunds developed a local radio program in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre metropolitan area addressing parenting issues and mental health reform concerns. He has lectured extensively across the United States and in Canada and has been interviewed on nationally syndicated radio programs as well as local radio programs in Los Angeles, California; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Clearwater, Florida; Melbourne, Florida; and Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Edmunds was interviewed by Russian television in regards to the link between antidepressants and violence in youth and has been interviewed at various times by local television media.


After further training, Dr. Edmunds began work with autistic and developmentally different children. He has presently assisted over 80 autistic and developmentally different children as well as adults with Downs Syndrome utilizing relationship based interventions. He has developed the Northeast Pennsylvania Autism Acceptance Project encuraging autonomy, understanding, tolerance, inclusion, self-determination, and meaning for autistic and developmentally different persons. A colleague suggested that Dr. Edmunds was high functioning within the autism spectrum. Whereas Dr. Edmunds never chose to assume this label for himself, he has unique insight into the experience of autistic and developmentally different persons. He has authored the book "NAVIGATING THROUGH THE MAINSTREAM" which discusses autism/developmental differences and gives examples of some of the breakthroughs and emotional connections Dr. Edmunds made in his work with these children. Dr. Edmunds has worked with autistic self advocates in seeking to understand their experience and be able to relate it to others.

Dr. Edmunds has successfully helped individuals experiencing extreme states of mind (those who have received labels of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic disorder, and bipolar) in being able to understand their experience, develop resiliency, and decrease their dependency on psychiatric drugs and in a number of situations in collaboration with their physicians be able to eliminate the use of psychiatric drugs. His article "Journey Through Madness" was completed in collaboration with three individuals who had been given the label of a psychotic disorder, one who had the experience of auditory and visual halluncination. Dr. Edmunds' work with this young person was not to repress his experience but to support and understand him and to determine the unmet emotional needs leading to his distress. In the same spirit as that of the late Dr. R.D. Laing, Dr. Edmunds has supported the development of communities for persons undergoing extreme states of mind where they can work through areas of distress in an environment where they feel safe, that is without force or coercion, and where they are not subjected to any 'treatments' they do not want. Similar to the Kingsley Hall experiment and the Soteria Houses, Dr. Edmunds spent 10 days in with a young man diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. Residing with other supportive individuals, the hierarchical structure between client and therapist was broken down and Dr. Edmunds took part in daily activities with this young person and sought to understand and validate his experience. Dr. Edmunds has been concerned about the psych-pharmacological complex where persons experiences are sought to be repressed by psychiatric drugs and understood. Dr. Edmunds is in agreement with the thought of Dr. R.D. Laing in that much of what is termed 'madness' is a persons attempt to live in an unlivable situation and as a result we should be seeking to support the person, not repress.

Dr. Edmunds is on the Board of Advisors for the Society for Laingian Studies. The Society for Laingian Studies is directed by Dr. Brent Potter and includes advisors who had direct collaboration with Dr. R.D. Laing such as Andrew Feldmar and Theodore Itten. The Society for Laingian Studies seeks to further the humane approaches towards understanding and helping distressed persons that was begun by Dr. R.D. Laing.
Society for Laingian Studies







In 2002, while completing doctoral studies, he dialogued with the now late Dr. Loren Mosher, M.D., founder of the Soteria Houses and former director of Schizophrenia Research for the National Institutes of Mental Health. He also had contact before his untimely death and was greatly influenced by the pioneering and humane work of Dr. Kevin McCready
who established one of the first drug free, psychosocial treatment clinics. He has collaborated with his friend and mentor, Dr. Clancy D. McKenzie, M.D., a psychiatrist and neurologist who developed the unification theory of mental illness, the delayed post traumatic stress disorder model for schizophrenia and depression. Dr. McKenzie studied with Dr. O. Spurgeon English, an esteemed psychoanalyst and the head of Psychiatry at Temple University. Dr. McKenzie's textbook on the Unification Theory of Mental Illness was nominated for a Pulitzer.

Dr. Edmunds' therapeutic work is integrative and creative but has some influences from existential-humanistic (Rollo May and Abraham Maslow) and transpersonal psychology (Stanislav Grof); the thought of the late Dr. R.D. Laing (particularly his work with Aaron Esterson) who promoted therapeutic communities aimed at treating mentally distressed persons with dignity; Stanislav Grof and transpersonal psychology; Eric Berne and transactional analysis; Bateson and games theory; Boszoromenyi-Nagi's family contextual therapy; Jungian psychology, Adlerian child guidance concepts; Carl Rogers and Person Centered Therapy; Dr. Silvano Arieti, Dr. Franco Basaglia and democratic psychiatry; the educational principles of New York State Teacher of the Year and author of 'Dumbing Us Down, John Taylor Gatto, among others. Dr. Edmunds has been greatly inspired by the work of his friend and colleague, Dr. John Breeding, PhD, a psychologist and author of "The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses" and "True Nature and Great Misunderstandings" as well as the work of Professor Clancy D. McKenzie, M.D. In addition, he is pleased to work in collaboration with Maya Winddancer Noble, a licensed acupuncturist and scholar of Oriental medicine. Mrs. Noble completed a thesis studying schizophrenia from an Eastern perspective and she is the author of "Recipe for the World's Greatest Kids.". Dr. Edmunds has been particularly influenced by the philosophical ideas of existentialism (Camus, Sartre, Frankl), and Jiddu Krishnamurti and the political ideology of Professors Noam Chomsky and Cornel West.

In 2003, he received Board Certification in Sexual Abuse Issues from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and is presently a member of the National Center for Crisis Management.




Dr. Edmunds received his Doctorate of Education in Community Counseling from Argosy University of Sarasota. His dissertation provided groundbreaking research on a social reinforcement based discipline plan for children given the label of ADHD than proved more effective than use of psycho-stimulant drugs. In addition, it demonstrated the efficacy of community based wraparound programs as an alternative to more restrictive settings. His doctoral study included coursework in Psychopharmacology, Adolescent Psychology; Brief Psychotherapies, Child and Adolescent Counseling; Pastoral Counseling; Models of Clinical Supervision; Theory and Practice of Motivation; Addictions Counseling; Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods; Multi-Cultural Counseling and Community Development.



University of Scranton

Argosy University of Sarasota

European-American University

Dr. Edmunds published his first book CHILDREN OUR TREASURE: MEETING OUR CHILDREN'S TRUE NEEDS OUTSIDE OF THE BIO-PSYCHIATRIC PARADIGM in 2006. This text addresses the subjective nature of th diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the hazards of psychotropic drugs, and means to meet the needs of distressed children in humane ways. CHILDREN OUR TREASURE was the expansion of a lecture delivered at the 8th Annual Conference of the ICSPP- International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry (founded by Dr. Peter R. Breggin) held in Flushing, New York in October 2005. Among other presenters at this conference were William Glasser, M.D. (Reality Therapy); Joseph Glenmullen, M.D., Clancy McKenzie, M.D., and Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America.

Dr. Edmunds' other books include EXPERIENCE:THE SOUL OF THERAPY and ROOTS OF DISTRESS. ROOTS OF DISTRESS is an exploration of the social, familial, and political processes and methods of communication that can lead to emotional distress. ROOTS OF DISTRESS also explores ways we can transform ourselves and our society and explores the role of oppression in the lives of individuals. Dr. Edmunds also recently published THE ODDITIES OF RELIGION which is a collection of his direct experiences with religious groups and presents an argument against religious dogmatism and fundamentalism as well as encouraging rational and critical inquiry.

Dr. Edmunds has sought for reform and family rights in the child protective services and foster care systems. In February 2008, he participated in a meeting in Miami, Florida with advocates and foster care officials presenting needed reforms and means to meet our children's needs more effectively. Particularly in light of recent developments where two Luzerne County, Pennsylvania judges pled guilty to taking kickbacks for sending youth to detention facilities, Dr. Edmunds has been an advocate for juvenile justice reform as well as community based options for troubled youth.



In July 2008, Dr. Edmunds presented alongside Vicky Dunkle at an exhibit detailing situations of psychiatric abuse held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Dunkle sadly experienced the death of her daughter, Shaina, due to toxicity that developed from despiramine that was prescribed to her. Dr. Edmunds has been an advocate for individuals in situations where psychiatric drugs have induced violence, suicidal thought, or led to other adverse events.

Dr. Edmunds work has also focused on aiding persons undergoing extreme states of mind who have received the labels of schizophrenia and bipolar and he has frequently been a consultant in this regard. He has also assisted individuals who have developed various adverse emotional reactions to psychiatric drugs and has studied and written extensively on the harmful effects of many psychiatric drugs on persons' emotional health. Dr. Edmunds has worked in collaboration with physicians to help individuals reduce dependency on psychiatric drugs.

Dr. Edmunds' holistic and integrative work has become known internationally. His article,"Restoring the Soul to the Mental Health System" was published in the November 2007 Aaina Journal of the Center for Mental Health Advocacy in Pune, Maharashtra, India. His work is listed on the United Kingdom Critical Psychiatry Network. Dr. Edmunds has lectured extensively across North America.

He presented a paper entitled, "Thinking Outside the Bio-Psychiatric Paradigm" at the 8th Annual Conference of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (founded by Dr. Peter R. Breggin, M.D.) held in Flushing, New York. Dr. Edmunds has published COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF DRUG FREE APPROACHES TO ADHD, CHILDREN OUR TREASURE, THE ROOTS OF DISTRESS, EXPERIENCE: THE SOUL OF THERAPY, and NAVIGATING THROUGH THE MAINSTREAM and has written numerous articles addressing ethics in practice, child development, childhood trauma, drug free relational approaches, autism/developmental differences, schizophrenia and extreme states of mind, critical psychiatry issues, and spirituality/ consciousness studies. Dr. Edmunds and the International Center for Humane Psychiatry are also listed in Judith Haire's book, "DON'T MIND ME", a story of Ms. Haire's recovery from psychosis and trauma which was published in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Edmunds' review of DON'T MIND ME by Judith Haire, published by Chipmunka Publishing, United Kingdom

Dr. Edmunds has been an advocate of progressive democratic and alternative education (homeschooling, unschooling, Steiner schools, Krishnamurti, Montesorri, free schools) and was a presenter at the 4th Annual Alternative Education Resource Organization conference held in June 2007 at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York. He has been inspired by the thought of A.S. Neill on education of young people and his Summerhill School in the United Kingdom. Dr. Edmunds believes it is necessary for us to inspire an education system where children have a zeal for learning and their individual differences and learning styles are encouraged and respected. As an educational advocate, he has offered testimony in a number of due process hearings where significant compensatory education was awarded to children.



Dr. Edmunds began his counseling work aiding children and adults who were victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. He has served as a chaplain and pastoral counselor, psychological associate and evaluator, therapist for community based agencies, assessment clinician for family court and juvenile probation; family mediator; autism specialist; and clinical director for a therapeutic equestrian program. He has provided expert testimony in child custody and juvenile hearings. He has assisted children and adults given serious psychiatric diagnoses as well as troubled adolescents, some of whom have been adjudicated delinquent. He presently serves as a psychological evaluator, a therapist for community based programs, and in private practice as an existential psychotherapist and developmental/ behavioral consultant in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Edmunds has contracted with various school districts and their special education departments to provide in service trainings as well as therapeutic assistance and consultation for their students.

Dr. Edmunds is on the Board of Advisors for the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, a mental health watchdog organization. He has spoken at a number of CCHR events. On March 31, 2005, Dr. Edmunds attended the Fight for Kids Gala in Chelsea, New York City hosted by Ports 191 designer, Tia Ciabani and the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights to raise funds to create awareness of the the dangers of psychiatric drugging of children. Also in attendance were John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Arianna Huffington (of the Huffington Post), Danny Masterson, among others.


Citizen's Commission on Human Rights International

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DR. EDMUNDS' INTERVIEWS ON VARIOUS RADIO PROGRAMS AND IN THE NEWS





Dr. Edmunds presented on the work of the International Center for Humane Psychiatry and the impact of current mental health practice on children on August 20, 2008 on the program THE MENTAL HEALTH EDGE WTAN-AM RADIO in Clearwater, Florida.

LISTEN TO PROGRAM

Dr. Edmunds was a presenter on the TALK OF CONNECTICUT WRDC-AM RADIO in Hartford, Connecticut on July 21, 2008 at 2:30pm addressing issues of informed consent and human rights in the mental health system.

WRDC-AM HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT RADIO BROADCAST WITH DR. D.L. EDMUNDS

DR. EDMUNDS INTERVIEW ON NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO PROGRAM 'TAKE AMERICA BACK'

DEFENSE FOR CHILDREN RADIO INTERVIEW WITH DR. D.L. EDMUNDS

LISTEN TO RADIO INTERVIEW -  Melbourne, Florida radio interview with Dr. D.L. Edmunds regarding Psychiatry and Religion




Dr. Edmunds was a keynote speaker at the opening of an exhibit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on psychiatric abuse held July 13, 2008.

Youth Advocacy Program a relief to parents- Scranton Times

Police break up 'fight club' in Tunkhannock, PA

NAMI ENHANCES STIGMA- DR. DAN L. EDMUNDS LETTER TO THE SCRANTON TIMES-TRIBUNE 5/2/08

Scholarship program for youth

DR. EDMUNDS IN THE SCRANTON TIMES REGARDING 'COPS AS COUNSELORS'

DR. EDMUNDS QUOTED IN NEWSLETTER FOR WIDER HORIZONS SCHOOL

TRAGEDY SERVES AS A REMINDER- WYOMING COUNTY NEW AGE EXAMINER

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RETURNING THE SOUL TO THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM BY DR. D.L. EDMUNDS- APPEARING IN AAINA JOURNAL OF THE CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY/ BAPU TRUST IN PUNE, INDIA

DR. EDMUNDS' ARTICLES FEATURED ON CRITICAL PSYCHIATRY NETWORK- UNITED KINGDOM

CHILDREN OUR TREASURE: MEETING OUR CHILDREN'S NEEDS OUTSIDE OF THE BIO-PSYCHIATRIC PARADIGM by Dr. D.L. Edmunds

DR. EDMUNDS BLOG- commentary on the current climate of the mental health system

DR. EDMUNDS ARTICLE ON AUTISM/DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES FEATURED AT HABERMAS SITE- UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN (PARKSIDE) AND CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY- DOMINGUEZ HILLS

Dr. Edmunds' drug free relational work with children given the label of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is featured in a number of articles, among them

EXAMINING DRUGS FOR ADHD
, MEETING THE TRUE NEEDS OF CHILDREN DIAGNOSED AS 'ADHD'- in this article Dr. Edmunds discusses ways to meet the needs of children who are having attentional and/or behavioral challenges (what is typically labeled as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or Disruptive Behavior Disorder) without resorting to psychiatric drugging and refutes the misconceptions of those such as Barkley.


In addition, COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF A DRUG FREE RELATIONAL APPROACH, a study demonstrating the efficacy of a drug free social reinforcement based program as an alternative to psychiatric drugs as well as the benefits of community based wraparound programs as an effective alternative to more restrictive settings (such as residential treatment) can be ordered at the following:
ORDER TEXT

ENTERING OUR CHILDREN'S EMOTIONAL WORLD- Dr. Dan L. Edmunds gives practical guidance on understanding our children's positive and negative emotions and ways to understand our children and provide to their needs as well as enhancing healthy familial communication.

BEING AND BECOMING:
Written from an existentalist perspective, this article explores the human condition, our existence, who we are as persons, and the ideas of meaning and relationship. Also examines how our definitions of 'success' shaped by familial and social processes have a major impact on our thoughts and actions.

HEARING OUR SERIOUSLY DISTRESSED ADOLESCENTS
Dr. Edmunds offers guidance in how to reach teens with serious emotional struggles and psychiatric labels (psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar), teens who would typically be considered for psychiatric drugs and/or treatment in institutionalized in a residential facility.

RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

THE VALUE OF A RELATIONSHIP BASED APPROACH TO AUTISM-
Dr. Edmunds explains the importance of relationship and helping autistic and developmentally different children to make emotional connections.Encourages an approach that respects the dignity and autonomy of autistic and developmentally different persons.

ENTERING THEIR IMAGINATIVE WORLD-
Dr. Edmunds addresses autism/developmental differences and relational approaches

AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES

HEARING OUR SERIOUSLY DISTRESSED CHILDREN-
an examination of how to help our children undergoing extreme states of mind and who have received serious psychiatric labels (schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar, post traumatic stress disorder) and explores community based alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization and residential treatment.

CHILD'S PLAY: TREATING THE INSANITY OF THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM BY DR. EDMUNDS
In this article, Dr. Edmunds gives actual stories of abuses of children within the psychiatric system, the need for and the ways to evoke change and reform, and what we must do to truly value our children.

EXAMINING DRUGS FOR ADHD
Dr. Edmunds explores the stimulants and Straterra, hazards, and psycho-social means to reach children who have received the diagnosis of ADHD. This article examines current research and FDA warnings on the stimulant drugs. Explores the subjective nature of the diagnosis.

THE ROOTS OF DISTRESS: Dr. Edmunds explores how social problems often evoke great emotional pain on individuals. Discusses (with case studies) the impact of trauma, familial dynamics, and social factors upon well being and our need to respond with loving, compassionate means. This is an iconoclastic and powerful book that challenges how our society deals with our youth and how we may be very well driving them 'mad'.

PSYCHIATRIC POLITICS AND SOCIAL CONTROL:
Dr. Edmunds offers criticism of the medicalization of the mental health system, issues of psychiatric abuse, and proposes solutions to the current crisis in the mental health system.

EXPERIENCE: THE SOUL OF THERAPY
In this essay, Dr. Edmunds discusses how that it is important to understand the experience of individuals and that due to the medicalization of the mental health field, persons are often evaluated and treated as objects rather than human beings. Dr. Edmunds explores what actual mental health means and the need for the therapeutic relationship to be a journeying together.
MEANING AND RELATIONSHIP: THE HEART OF THE THERAPEUTIC PROCESS
Dr. Edmunds examines how creating a place where two individuals can meet genuinely and the development of relationship are key components to emotional healing. Explores ways people create meaning and address human problems.

FAMILY DYNAMICS:
Dr. Edmunds examines the political and social processes within some family structures

TRUE FRIENDSHIP-
Dr. Edmunds explores the levels of friendship and the means of building and sustaining genuine relationships

WHAT IS RELIGION'S PURPOSE?- Dr. Edmunds examines what religion and spirituality should accomplish for individuals and others and the ways that religion and spirituality can become distorted and become to a person's detriment rather than benefit.

RITALIN AND ADDICTION

AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES
Dr. Edmunds discusses autism and developmental differences.
EXPLORING THE HOLISTIC PRACTICES OF INDIA- As part of Dr. D.L. Edmunds exploration of consciousness studies, alternative medicine, and comparative religion, he completed this essay which explores the holistic practice of Hindu ayurveda.

DR. D.L. EDMUNDS' OUTLINE FOR PRESENTATION ON ETHICS IN PRACTICE- This presentation has been delivered to various mental health agencies and considers the ethical implications in the helping profession.

"THE ODDITIES OF RELIGION"- Dr. D.L. Edmunds humorously explores religious dogmatism and encourages critical and rational examination of belief.

DR. D.L. EDMUNDS' LECTURE IN HONOR OR REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR AND ENCOURAGING RESPECT AND TOLERANCE FOR DIVERSITY.

Dr. Dan Edmunds's Storefront - Lulu.com
POST PSYCHIATRY JOURNAL-  Center for Meaning and Relationship

POST PSYCHIATRY JOURNAL- Center for Meaning and RelationshipPOST PSYCHIATRY JOURNAL- Center for Meaning and Relationship (book)

Print: $24.99

Download: $19.99

A compilation of articles from mental health professionals and psychiatric survivors challenging the bio-psychiatric paradigm.

CHILDREN OUR TREASURE: Meeting Our Children's True Needs Outside of the Bio-Psychiatric Paradigm

CHILDREN OUR TREASURE: Meeting Our Children's True Needs Outside of the Bio-Psychiatric ParadigmCHILDREN OUR TREASURE: Meeting Our Children's True Needs Outside of the Bio-Psychiatric Paradigm (book)

Print: $19.99

History of psychiatry, exploring psychiatric human rights abuses and the impact of psychiatry on children. Offers way to create a more humane mental health system. Discusses the hazards of psychiatric drugging of children and offers alternatives. Discusses the subjective nature of such diagnoses as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

THE ODDITIES OF RELIGION

THE ODDITIES OF RELIGIONTHE ODDITIES OF RELIGION (book)

Print: $19.98

A rational but also humorous look at religious belief. Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, psychotherapist and Comparative Religion scholar details his own personal experiences with religious belief

DR. DAN L. EDMUNDS SPEAKS

DR. DAN L. EDMUNDS SPEAKSDR. DAN L. EDMUNDS SPEAKS (book)

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Thoughts on social change, mental health reform, spirituality/meaning.

NAVIGATING THROUGH THE MAINSTREAM

NAVIGATING THROUGH THE MAINSTREAMNAVIGATING THROUGH THE MAINSTREAM (book)

Print: $19.99

Relationship based approaches to autism, Aspergers, and developmental differences.

THE ROOTS OF DISTRESS: Exploring The Social And Familial Processes Leading to Emotional Distress

THE ROOTS OF DISTRESS: Exploring The Social And Familial Processes Leading to Emotional DistressTHE ROOTS OF DISTRESS: Exploring The Social And Familial Processes Leading to Emotional Distress (book)

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Explores the roots of emotional distress and what is labeled as 'mental illness', seeing the roots being within social and political processes. Discusses the role of oppression in the development of emotional distress. Discusses ways to reach distressed persons with compassion, humanity, and dignity.

EXPERIENCE: THE SOUL OF THERAPY

EXPERIENCE: THE SOUL OF THERAPYEXPERIENCE: THE SOUL OF THERAPY (book)

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exploring the the importance of experience in the therapeutic process.

DRUG FREE APPROACH TO ADHD- COMPREHENSIVE STUDY

DRUG FREE APPROACH TO ADHD- COMPREHENSIVE STUDYDRUG FREE APPROACH TO ADHD- COMPREHENSIVE STUDY (book)

Print: $59.99

study of the efficacy of a drug free approach to ADHD and the benefits of a community based wraparound program in preventing more restrictive treatment settings for troubled teenagers.

 






   

 




DR. D.L. EDMUNDS ADDS NAME TO LIST OF SIGNATORIES FOR INTERVOICE LETTER TO OPRAH WINFREY

16th October 2009

Open letter to Oprah Winfrey

From INTERVOICE (The International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices)

Dear Oprah

We are writing this open letter in response to your programme about “The 7-Year-Old Schizophrenic”, concerning Jani, a child who hears voices, broadcast on the the 6th October 2009. We do so in the hope we can provide a more hopeful and positive alternative to the generally pessimistic picture offered by the members of the mental health community that you featured in the programme and in the accompanying article on your website. What disturbed us most is that as a result of the programme, parents of children who have similar experiences to Jani will be left with the impression that they are powerless and will not be able to do anything constructive to help their children to come to terms with their voice hearing experience. This is not the case. We say this because we have been researching and working with adults and children like Jani and their parents for the last twenty years and in doing so have reached very different conclusions to the ones put forward by the experts in your report. We have written this open letter primarily for parents and carers in the hope that it will enable them to develop a new and more empowering way of thinking about the their children´s experiences and that it will help them to find ways to assist their children in their emotional development and recovery from hearing overwhelming voices. Unfortunately, there is very little practical advice available about children who hear voices that addresses the needs of parents and family members, this is a shame because they are the most important form of support to their children. So, we want you to know that there are some simple common sense things that parents can do to help children who hear voices, even children in seemingly hopeless situations, like Jani. We would like to make the following observations: One of our founding members, Dr. Sandra Escher from the Netherlands, is an expert on the issue of children who hear voices and has spent the last fifteen years talking to children who hear voices and to their parents and carers. Sandra has carried out the most detailed and thorough research into the phenomenon in the world to date. As a result of her work she offers a new perspective on what the voices may represent and how parents can help their child cope if they are hearing voices. First things first, From the research that we have carried out into the experience of adults and children who hear voices it has became apparent that: • To hear voices is in itself is a normal though unusual experience • However, it is possible that you can become ill as a result of hearing voices when you cannot cope with them • For most children (60%) the voices will disappear over time as the child develops and as they learn to cope with the life's problems (and the emotions and feelings involved with these problems) that led to the voices starting in the first place Several large scale population (epidemiological) studies have shown that about 4 % of the population hears voices. Of these 4% of the people who hear voices about 30% seek assistance from mental health services. Amongst children however, even more of the “normal” population hears voices (8%) and as with adults about 30% are referred to mental health services. What this means is that there are apparently many more people who hear voices who do not require the support of mental health services then those that do. This is because they can cope with the voices and function well in in their everyday lives. Unfortunately, most of the information that we have about the experience of hearing voices comes exclusively from research with patients; people who obviously cannot cope with the voices and needed help. These are people who feel that the voices made them feel powerless and who were overwhelmed by them. This is the case for research for adults and children who are hearing voices. In our research we found that a common theme in both groups (adults and children) is the high percentage of traumatic experiences that have been found to have been the trigger for hearing voices. In adults around 75% began to hear voices in relationship to a trauma or situation that made them feel powerless. Examples of the kinds of traumas that trigger voices include the death of a loved one, divorce, losing a job, failing an exam, but also longer lasting situations like being physically, emotionally or sexually abused. With children the percentage was even higher at 85%, with some traumas specifically related to childhood. These traumas might include being bullied by peers or teachers, or being unable to perform at a certain level at school, another commonly reported traumatic incident related to hearing voices is being admitted to a hospital for long periods because of a physical illness. We would say that hearing voices is mostly a reaction to a situation or a problem the child or young person cannot cope with. Voices act as messenger – it maybe mistaken to try to kill the messenger, for instance through administering medication. Another striking finding is that what the voices say often gives an indication of the problem that the child has.An example: The voices told an 8-year-old boy to blind himself. This frightened his mother. But when we discussed whether there was something in the life of the boy he could not face, she understood the voices message. The boy could not cope with the problematic marriage of his parents. He did not want to see it. What we saw in our research is that if attention was given to the problems the child was facing, they will be able to establish a more constructive kind of relationship with the voices. As a result children become less afraid of their voices. When a child is able to consider the problems that are at the root of their distress and with the emotions and feelings involved, the voices stop being the child's only focus of attention. Recently, Sanda conducted a 3-year follow up study on 80 children who heard voices who were aged between 8 and 19 years of age. Half of this group of children were receiving mental health care because of their voices, however, the other half were not in care at all. She interviewed the children 4 times at yearly intervals. At the end of the research period 60% of the children she interviewed reported that the voices had disappeared. Of course figures and statistics like this do not directly relate to Jani. But the overall message is that the chance that the voice might disappear is quite high. We saw that the children's problems often stopped their development through the voice experience. However, if the problems were handled or their situation changed; for example because the child changed schools, the voices disappeared. It is important that we appreciate that the the desire to make the voices disappear is a goal of the mental health care services and not necessarily that of the children themselves. There are some children who did not want to lose their voices. This is OK, for the most important thing is that the voices no longer remain at the centre of their attention. This is because as the relationship with the voices changed and became more positive, instead of hindering the child the voices start to take on an advisory role. If children find within themselves the resources to cope with their voices and the emotions involved with hearing them then they can lead happy and balanced lives. The most important element in the process of positively changing ar child's relationship with their voice is the support they got from the family. Unfortunately, our research has shown that being in the mental health care system had no positive effect on the voices, although we did find that being referred to a psychotherapist who accepted the reality of the voices and were prepared to discuss their meaning with the child did have a positive influence on how the child coped with their voices. We also saw that “normalising” the experience can help parents to deal with the voices – try not to think of it as a terrible disaster, but as a signal for something that is troubling your child and that can be resolved. On the other hand, if parents cannot accept that voice hearing in itself is normal, but believe the voices to be an illness and are afraid of the voices, then the child naturally picks up this feeling. Imagine for a moment if you were the child and were afraid of the voices and when you looked for support from your Mum and Dad you found that they were even even more afraid of the voices then you were. This would obviously put you under great pressure and probably mean that you would become reluctant about talking about your experiences at all. There is a second problem,at if you are afraid of the voices then you can become obsessed with the fear of the voices alone and not what the voices mean. When you are distressed and anxious you cannot listen very well to the story your child tells about their experiences and may fail to pick up on the related problems and emotions that the voices represent. In our experience what helps children the most is a systematic approach to understanding the voices. So to help we have developed an interview to help map the experience. This can be used as a way to understand the stress the child is under and then to work together to find solutions for the problems raised by the voice hearing experience. We would like to offer this 10 point guide for parents for what they can do if their child tells them they are hearing voices: 1. Try not to over react, although you will be understandably worried, work hard not to communicate your anxiety to your child. 2. Accept the reality of the voice experience for your child: Ask them about their voices, how long they have been hearing them, who or what they are, do they have names, what they say etc. 3. Let your child know that lots of children hear voices and mostly they go away after a while. 4. Even if the voices do not disappear your child can learn to live in harmony with his/her voices 5. It is important to breakdown your child's sense of isolation and differentness from other children. Your child is special, unusual perhaps, but normal. 6. Find out if your child has any difficulties or problems that they are finding very hard to cope with and work on trying to fix these problems. Think back to when the voices first started, what was happening to your child when they first heard voices? When did the voices arise for the first time? Was there anything unusual or stressful that might have occurred? 7. If you think you need outside help, find a therapist who is prepared to accept your child's experience and work with your child in a systematic way to understanding and cope with their voices better. 8. Be ready to listen to your child if they want to talk about their voices and use drawing, painting, acting and other creative ways to help them describe what is happening to them. 9. Get on with your lives and try not to let the voice experience become the centre of your child's life or your own. 10. Most children who live well with their voices have supportive families living around them who accept the experience as part of who their child is. You can do this too! We would like to stress that in our view labelling a 7 year old child as schizophrenic and subjecting her to powerful psychotropic medication and periodic hospitalisation is unlikely to help resolve her problems with her voices, indeed the opposite effect is probable, Jani will become only become more powerless in finding ways to cope with her voices. Because your well respected, award winning show reaches out to so many people, we are concerned that viewers will be left with the impression that the kind of treatment Jani recieves is the only choice available, if this is the case then there will be children who will be subjected to an unnecessary lifetime in psychiatric care regime because their families believed there were no alternatives. We hope you will give consideration to the possibility of making a future programme showing the other side of the story, one of hope, optimism and with the focus on the possibility of recovery. Perhaps you could make a programme about a child with similar voice expereinces to Jani, who has been helped to come to terms with her/his experience and to discuss with the parents and therapists how this was acheived? If there is anyway we could help make this happen please contact us and we would be happy to discuss ways we could work with you to introduce these ways of working into the USA. We look forward to hearing from you.

aaron center dickson city, friendship house, scranton counseling center, children's behavioral health service, monastra, breggin, ICSPP, anti-psychiatry
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