ARTICLES AND RESEARCH BY DR. D.L. EDMUNDS
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>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 Alanís 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 Johnís 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.
Meaning and Empowerment
The Meeting of Two Persons: What Therapy Should Be (Lecture at 13th Annual ICSPP Conference, Syracuse, NY) by Dr. Dan L. Edmunds
The Process of Unlearning
The Value of a Relationship Based Approach to Autism
Entering Their Imaginative World
Examining Drugs For ADHD
Journey Through "Madness"
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 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:
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.
Dr. Edmunds examines the political and social processes within some family structures
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.
EXCERPTS FROM 'ROOTS OF DISTRESS'
PARENTS AND INFORMED CONSENT ISSUES
EXCERPTS FROM DR. D.L. EDMUNDS' WORKS:
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