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BOOK DR. EDMUNDS FOR A TRAINING, SEMINAR OR LECTURE



Dr. D.L. Edmunds is now collaborating with Maya Winddancer Noble, L.Ac. of in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, to develop holistic approaches and to help individuals be able to develop resiliency and overcome emotional distress without resorting to the often debilitating effects of psychiatric drugs. Mrs. Noble has extensive training in Oriental Medicine and acupuncture and completed a thesis exploring the Eastern approach towards addressing shizophrenia and psychoses. Dr. Edmunds offers a counseling approach which provides compassionate and individualized assistance, focus onlifestyle changes, developing new purpose and meaning and encourages the use of holistic approaches (acupuncture, meditation) as adjuncts. Dr. Edmunds seeks to create a place of sanctuary, where individuals undergoing serious distress and extreme states of mind may feel supported and validated in a non-threatening environment without force or coercion.

Dr. Edmunds is also aranging counseling retreats for individuals interested in receiving intensive psychotherapy over a week's period combined with meditation, acupuncture, reflexology, and/or massage therapy. To arrange a consultation with Dr. Edmunds, e-mail

e-mail

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CONTRIBUTE TO HELP DISADVANTAGED INDIVIDUALS RECEIVE DRUG FREE, LABEL FREE THERAPEUTIC SERVICES

Dr. Edmunds has sought to provide help to distressed individuals that provides an alternative to psychiatric drugging and labeling. Dr. Edmunds has established a sliding scale to help those lacking financial resources. If you are interested in making a contribution to help individuals be able to receive more compassionate care, please feel free to send an e-mail.

Similar in scope to the highly successful Soteria poject developed by the late Dr. Loren Mosher, M.D. which had a "24 hour a day application of interpersonal phenomenologic interventions by a nonprofessional staff, usually without neuroleptic drug treatment, in the context of a small, homelike, quiet, supportive, protective, and tolerant social environment", Dr. Edmunds is developing a similar project for Northeastern Pennsylvania.

If you are interested in supporting this important and vital project, please contact batushkad@yahoo.com

Our goal is to encourage community based alternatives for emotionally distressed individuals can feel safe, supported, and develop a greater sense of meaning while attempting to resolve challenges and obstacles. "Recovery" in our view is not being a lifelong consumer of psychotropic drugs, but actually being able to journey through and resolve those concerns that led one to distress.

Though many of these individuals come to us with labels of 'schizophrenia' or 'psychotic disorders', we do not seek to look at these individuals through the lens of a label, but as persons needing to be heard and understood.

We work in collaboration with the person's physician in the withdrawal process from psychiatric drugs and provide the support and counsel to be able to cope through their extreme emotional states and crisis.

We are seeking to be able to serve disadvantaged individuals who because of financial circumstances are often left with few options and often are forced or coerced into psychiatric 'treatments' that do more harm than good. We welcome and appreciate persons willing to support our efforts through their time or charitable contributions.





FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE:

INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR HUMANE PSYCHIATRY

AUTISM/DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES

MAIN SITE

  • EXPERIENCE: THE SOUL OF THERAPY


  • JOURNEY THROUGH 'MADNESS'- Dr. Edmunds explores the experience of those who have received the diagnosis of 'schizophrenia' from a existential and relationship based perspective.


  • HEARING OUR SERIOUSLY DISTRESSED CHILDREN


  • SOTERIA AND OTHER ALTERNATIVES TO ACUTE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALIZATION


  • JOHN NASH: RECOVERY WITHOUT DRUGS

    There are a number of studies that show there are other ways of helping these patients, apart from drugs. In July 2002, Dr R Raguram, professor of psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, with his team reported the results of one such study in the prestigious British Medical Journal. They studied a group of severely ill psychiatric patients, including many schizophrenics, at the Muthusamy Temple in In a therapeutic setting, patients underwent a process of falling apart and then emerged on the far side of madness Tamil Nadu. This is a famous place of traditional healing for people with serious psychiatric problems. Patients are not tied up or restrained as is common in mental hospitals and other healing temples in India. They are encouraged to take part in the normal routine of the temple such as cleaning and gardening. At the end of three months, the level of clinical improvement observed was similar to that achieved by modern anti-psychotic agents. The authors attributed these changes to a supportive, engaging, non-threatening, and reassuring environment. Even if one doubts the possibility of spiritual healing, this study shows that many patients can get well without medication in a humane and kindly environment.



    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)

    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?



    Excerpted from Dr. Edmunds' text ROOTS OF DISTRESS, two stories are shared, one about "Alan", a young man who experienced extreme states of mind and auditory and visual hallucinations, and the other "John" who had experienced serious emotional and physical abuse from early childhood. Dr. Edmunds describes his journey with each of these individuals, seeking to understand their experience, and realizing that contrary to many, the behavior of those undergoing extreme states of mind has meaning and significance when understand as a metaphorical representation of the dilemmas these individuals face. These individuals were able to overcome obstacles contrary to the lies of the psychiatric establishment which would dismiss these persons experience and make them life long consumers of psychiatric drugs.


    Dr. Edmunds assisted Thomas Gayley in fulfilling his dream of ministry. Thomas, an individual with Down's Syndrome was ordained to the minor order of cleric in the LCAC and is blazing a trail in his ministry.

    Thomas Gayley induction as cleric


    Dr. Edmunds delivering a lecture at Niagara Falls, New York


    Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.,B.C.S.A. is a noted psychotherapist, child development/behavioral specialist, pastoral counselor, social activist, and author. He is a voice of compassion and ethics in the mental health system. He has explored how individuals construct meaning and the role of oppression in the development of emotional distress. The term 'psychotherapy' literally means 'healing of the soul' but has been hijacked by the pharmaceutical-medical establishment. Dr. Edmunds seeks to restore the proper meaning of psychotherapy. He believes that recovery does not mean making a person a lifelong consumer of psychiatric drugs and keeping them at the 'status quo' but means finding a life of meaning and transformation. He has personally journeyed with many individuals and helped them be able to find their way to true recovery. He has extensive experience in relationship based approaches for autism and has worked with over 80 children who have been given the diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder. Dr. Edmunds is in private practice in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania (in Northeastern Pennsylvania and about 2.5 hours from the Philadelphia and New York City Metropolitan areas and 40 minutes from Scranton and Wilkes-Barre). Dr. Edmunds has often been a critic of the psychiatric establishment where he feels that human rights and experience have been disregarded. He promotes drug free, relational approaches that focus on the experience of the person, respects dignity, and which encourages self-determination and autonomy. He believes that people have great ability for resiliency, that their experience should be heard and accepted, and that persons undergoing serious emotional distress and extreme states of mind do not need to be stigmatized or be lifelong consumers of toxic psychiatric drugs.

    Dr. Edmunds has been involved in aiding children, teens, and adults who have been labeled with serious psychiatric disorders as well as autism and developmental challenges. His work has focused on sociological, political, and familial processes and their impact on emotional well being. Many who come to him are those where psychiatry has often evoked more harm than good. He seeks to create a place of 'sanctuary' for individuals undergoing distress, where their experience can be heard and they can be free from force, coercion, and oppression. Dr. Edmunds believes that social justice and the development of meaning and relationship are the keys for true mental health to arise and has challenged the medicalization of the mental health system. Dr. Edmunds has been a strong advocate and voice for children and their families, psychiatric survivors, and the marginalized.





    Tunkhannock, a small and beautiful community in the Endless Mountains region of Northeastern Pennsylvania is approximately 40 minutes from Scranton and Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, 2.5 hours from the New York City (Manhattan) and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and about 1 hour from the Binghamton/ Elmira, New York area. Dr. Edmunds provides the following services:

    -Existential Psychotherapy
    -Spiritual Counseling
    -Relationship Based Intervention- Autism/Developmental Differences
    -Drug Free Relational Approaches for Children and Adolescents Labeled as ADHD or other behavioral disorders
    -Assistance to individuals labeled with "Schizophrenia", Psychoses, BiPolar, and Extreme States of Mind and those udnergoing traumatic stress.
    -Family Mediation/ Conflict Resolution
    -Educational Advocacy
    -Lectures/ Speaking Engagements/ Teacher In Services
    -Consultation to Special Education Departments and other organizations


    DR. D.L. EDMUNDS INTERVIEWED ON VARIOUS LOCAL AND NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO PROGRAMS

    Dr. D.L. Edmunds speaking at event on psychiatric abuse in Niagara Falls, New York


    RADIO INTERVIEWS


    PSYCHOLOGY BLOG- OPEN UNIVERSITY, ANTWERP, BELGIUM

    BIPOLAR OR WAKING UP?

    VALIDATE LIFE BLOG

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

    If you are seeking consultation with Dr. Edmunds, wish to arrange a lecture or speaking engagement, or for media interview requests, please write to:
    E-mail






    The International Center for Humane Psychiatry was founded in 2006 by Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D., B.C.S.A., and is an emancipatory movement of mental health professionals, psychiatric survivors, educators, activists, and others concerned about human rights in the mental health system.

    Our work is to fight against oppression and coercion in the mental health system, to eradicate the hierarchical barriers between 'doctor and patient', to eliminate the medicalization of emotional distress, and to develop means of helping distressed persons where their autonomy, experience, and dignity is respected. We seek to return a conscience to the field of mental health and create an environment where people undergoing distress feel validated, empowered, and capable.

    We believe in the power of the human spirit and each person's potential to be resilient. We believe that the forging of relationship is a key to emotional healing as well as the ability to help a person explore themselves, their world, society, and the human condition. We we seek to join with people in setting life goals, understanding the human condition and experiences without looking upon the person as defective. ICHP encourages involvement in issues related to social justice and believes that our working together to create a world free from poverty, greed, conflict, and discrimination will go a long way towards the development of true mental health.

    We seek to be pro-active and preventative in our care for persons. We promote drug free, relationship based approaches for troubled and distressed children and adults and encourage the development and implementation of community based programs. We advocate for juvenile justice reform and for an education system that inspires a zeal for learning and is respectful of children's innate strengths and abilities. We believe in the development of community based options. We are opposed to force and coercion in the mental health system.

    We seek to provide a place of sanctuary for people in crisis or undergoing extreme states of mind, where they can feel supported and validated, and not be subjected to any 'treatments' they do not desire. We believe distressed people thrive in environments that are non-threatening and they feel safe.

    We collaborate with and offer consultation to parents, educators, and children and their families to develop relationship based approaches and problem solving towards resolving issues of distress, realizing that people are resilient and capable of healing from distress. We have been successful in helping individuals not have to resort to psychiatric drugs or to be able under the direction of their physicians significantly reduce their use.

    We believe the key to this healing is by the forging of relationship and the construction of meaning. We believe that compassion is one of the highest ideals. We believe that psychiatric drugs do not teach new ways of living, thinking, loving, and being, whereas people do. We are particularly concerned about the vast prescribing of psychiatric drugs (many which carry warnings of suicidal ideation, violence, agitation, and aggression) upon individuals' well being. We are concerned about the unethical conflicts of interest existing between medical psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry.

    We seek to provide to those individuals undergoing serious distress a place where they feel safe, secure, and can begin to begin the process of discovery and overcome fear and emotional chains.

    We do not feel that locking individuals away in institutions solve human problems, rather it is through compassion, empathy, and seeking to understand our human condition that true mental health will arise. We believe that placing persons in mental hospitals is equivalent to incarceration however the distressed person has committed no crime, rather they are subject to a psychiatric ceremonial where the pschiatrist seen as 'sane', interrogates the person, makes a judgment, and then declares a sentence. We believe that psychiatric diagnosis often stigmatizes and limits opportunity for individuals. We believe that modern society is driving people 'mad' and that we must have radical transformation of ourselves and our values as well as return to a greater sense of community. We believe those who call themselves therapists must be actively involved in issues of social justice, helping end oppression and encourage liberation for marginalized persons. We recognize that distressed individuals must be treated as persons with respect and dignity. We believe in recognizing that even the most troubled persons and families have innate strengths. We believe that persons need to be given informed consent and not seen merely by a diagnostic label. We believe that ethics must proceed technology. We believe that bio-psychiatry has often used brutal methods (such as electroshock, insulin coma, toxic drugs, and lobotomy) and has evoked much harm in the lives of individuals and does not provide any true answers to the problems of life. We believe that there is no objectivity and science to the process of psychiatric diagnosis and that those diagnosed are often stigmatized and oppressed in society by virtue of this label.

    We encourage drug free relationship based, problem solving, and holistic approaches and encourage individuals who choose to use helpful adjuncts such as meditation, tai-chi, and yoga. The International Center for Humane Psychiatry is one of few entities taking a strong stand on social justice issues and seeking to create a mental health system that does not treat people as objects, but persons.

    We believe that it is also necessary for us to assume personal responsiblity and accountability for own own actions and choices and to not resort to the use of or embracing of labels to exonerate ourselves and institutions.



    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 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.

    BEING AND BECOMING:
    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 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.

    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.

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

    PARENTS AND INFORMED CONSENT ISSUES



    EXCERPTS FROM DR. D.L. EDMUNDS' WORKS:



    EXCERPTS

    LOCAL AND NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO INTERVIEWS WITH DR. D.L. EDMUNDS

    DR. EDMUNDS' PAST AND PRESENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS AND LECTURES



    Dr. Edmunds viewing the Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida



    "(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 really connects with my son. It is a blessing to have someone like him."-C.T.

    "(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 want you you to know what your patience and understanding has done for (my son). I am very thankful for all your help with (my son)...you went over and beyond..you are truly a godsend for (my son)." -B.U.

    "Even in very complicated situations, and where things may appear hopeless, Dr. Edmunds has remained supportive and dedicated. He tries his best. He has a very big heart and truly feels for people."

    "(Dr. Edmunds) is an exceptional young man, of good character and morality, with high leadership abilities, always manifesting maturity and commitment. He is a unique person in these times of mediocrity and shallowness."-A.J.

    I have been very impressed with (Dr. Edmunds') work ethic and clinical skills...He has an innate ability to connect with many families and help them through multiple complicated issues."- F.A. Bresser, L.S.W.

    "We would like to continue to work with (Dr. Edmunds) due to our current working relationship both with clients and staff. The kids really respond to him and open up and we appreciate his input regarding treatment."- Cynthia Wohlken, M.S.



    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, sociologist and pastoral 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 been interviewed on local and nationally syndicated radio programs in regards to these important issues.

    Dr. Edmunds was born in Tampa, Florida and spent much of adolescent years in Fort Collins, Colorado. 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. In 1991, he served as the youngest legislative aide in 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 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. 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, Dr. Edmunds continues to remain active in political and civic affairs and encouraging a society that is based on equality, peace, and justice.

    State Senator Schaffer letter







    Dr. Edmunds' lecture to Libertarian Party

    He served as a volunteer for the REACH program, a faith based group 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") In 1995, he became a director of the Rose Garden Children's Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting physically, hearing, and emotionally challenged children. The Rose Garden Children's Foundation had been established in 1995 by his now late grandmother, Rose J. Johnsen and his mother, Denise Edmunds. Mrs. Johnsen, the wife of the late Wesley G. Johnsen who served as President of the United Bank of Fort Collins (now Norwest) was an entrepreneur involved in investment banking in China and devoted to philanthropy and humanitarian causes. Dr. Edmunds served 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 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. 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 Religious Studies with the Seminary.

    He is a member of the Board of Advisors and on the faculty of the European American University.

    In 1997, he was ordained as a clergyman. He has served as a chaplain for the elderly as well as a home for disabled 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




    Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church




    He presently serves as a minister of the Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church. Headquarted in the United Kingdom, the Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church is a member of the International Council of Community Churches which is in turn a member of the World Council of Churches. 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' 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.

    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 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.

    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.

    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. 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.



    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 and transpersonal psychology; the thought of the late Dr. R.D. Laing 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 Camus, Sartre, Frankl, Kierkegaard, and Jiddu Krishnamurti.



















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    Dr. Edmunds' has also incorporated use of dreamwork, breathwork, and meditative exercises.

    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 Pastoral 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,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 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 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 has been an advocate of democratic and alternative education (homeschooling, unschooling, Steiner schools, 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 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; 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 district and their special education departments to provide in service trainings as well as therapeutic assistance and consultation for their students.


    QUOTES FROM DR. D.L. EDMUNDS,ED.D.

    "If we truly worked towards social justice, if we addressed the issues of racism, class inequality, poverty, and oppression in all its forms, then most assuredly, true mental health would arise."

    "I have never purported that there is a means that can resolve the distress of every person, but I do know that every person deserves to be treated with respect, compassion, and dignity. I also know that where this is lacking, we are not helping, but oppressing."

    "I am aware that it is often difficult to change the difficult dynamics that impact many individuals, but I know that if I can create with them a place, even if but for a moment, where they feel safe, tranquil, and at peace with themselves, that in spite of the chaos and conflict circling them, much has been accomplished."

    "Our goal as mental health professionals should be selfless and once again to define our work as restoring relationships and resolving conflicts. We must return dignity and respect for individual's experience and depart from biological determinism which defines all thoughts and feelings as chemical accidents. Children in distress need a voice. I seek to do my best to insure this voice. Psychiatric drugs never teach new skills. People do. It is time we invest once again, our time, our energy, and our hearts into the lives of our children. We must stop medicalizing experience and treating people in mechanical ways. For people to overcome distress, we must be genuine and journey with them."

    "Because something can be scientifically validated does not mean it is ethical or good. One could validate many coercive practices. We must enter the realm where we realize that mental health is highly dependent upon our response to issues of social justice. Science must be linked with a strong sense of ethics and respect for the dignity and liberty of persons. Ethics must always proceed technology."

    "We have the choice to look at the problems within the world and to bemoan our plight and to become complacent. We have the choice to become filled with rage and remain in our personal hells, to close ourselves off and allow our difficult experiences to become breakdown for us. Or we can decide to have a breakthrough. We can be courageous, we can actively transform ourselves, our worldview, and by this we can tranform that which is around us and our difficult experiences can be to our benefit and to the benefit of others."

    "Psychiatrists have often completely misunderstood what the term recovery really means. It does not mean being a lifelong consumer of toxic psychiatric drugs. The psychiatric establishment's idea of recovery is based on suppression which lesds to oppression."

    "Young people need a voice. Relationship is a powerful force for healing. Many of our young people are outraged by the injustices perpetrated upon them. Their despair becomes rage, and sadly, they move from victims to victimizing others. We must approach our young people with acceptance, and begin to realize what we can each change within ourselves, within our society, so that we can truly value and respect our young people again."




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