Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.,B.C.S.A.
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, USA


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 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 where he graduated from Fort Collins High School. 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 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, 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. 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. His mother, Denise Edmunds, overcame the challenges of a serious hearing impairment to be an owner and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses and to later earn a degree in Paralegal Studies and is presently continuing study in Organizational Management. Both Dr. Edmunds' parents had been involved as well as his paternal grandfather in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. 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 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 and was a guest lecturer for a Sociology course at the University of Scranton.

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.


Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church

He is presently affiliated with 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 is a member of the Brights movement.

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.

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. He has developed the Northeast Pennsylvania Autism Acceptance Project encuraging autonomy, understanding, tolerance, inclusion, self-determination, and meaning for 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 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 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 International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry held in Flushing, New York in October 2005.

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.

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; 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.