Trauma, Law, and Psychotherapy, Interviews With H. Ernest Stone

In line with its efforts to amplify specific voices within the community, AEON counseling hosted H. Ernest Stone, an attorney resident in Lynn specializing in comprehensive criminal defense. AEON prioritizes the need to address issues such as racism, homophobia, transphobia, police brutality, and other forms of injustice or trauma. 

AEON counseling also provides cognitive-behavioral family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, and a family therapy center.

H. Ernest Stone has practiced as a criminal defense lawyer in Beverly and other areas around eastern Massachusetts.

In summary, a comprehensive criminal defense implies that a criminal case or a charge against a person is a resultant effect of other factors behind the scenes. This means that the criminal charge itself is a minute part of the victim’s life, their whole life. Comprehensive criminal defense tends to look at the other things going on behind the scenes related to the criminal case and the areas of the victim’s life affected by the criminal case. 

 Mr. Stone suggests that comprehensive criminal defense seeks out the individual rather than judge bits and pieces of the individual. In this regard, social factors, mental health, medical and developmental issues, among many other factors, are put under the limelight to ensure a complete address of the criminal case. This is done to try to make a lasting positive impact on the person’s life, not just get the case done and over with. 

How is a comprehensive criminal defense structured?

According to him, the key to obtaining lasting results and changing the person’s future lies in putting together a team around them. In comprehensive criminal defense, the lawyer is just a part of a team that often involves marriage family therapistsrelationship therapists, drug and alcohol specialists. It might even involve forensic experts and medical doctors.

Any expert professional who can help with an identified need in the person’s life may be added to the team. Sometimes, these professionals could be civil lawyers, a housing lawyer, an employment lawyer, or a divorce family lawyer to help address whatever circumstances contribute to the difficulties in a person’s life. 

One point worthy of note is that all team members are seen as equal, and the contributions put forth by each team member must be respected across the board. 

 The need for a comprehensive criminal defense for trauma and the role of counseling centers.

Trauma is a massive subject in law. Many people suffer from trauma and trauma symptoms, and the impact of trauma on people’s lives can be very dramatic or subtle as the case may be. Therefore, there is an increasing need for family counseling centers and other therapy limiters such as cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety.

According to Mr. Stone, certain people may even experience difficulty working with the team because of the trauma. As a consequence, this requires specialized aid in this regard. I.e., in counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, and trauma-related issues.

How did the idea of comprehensive criminal defense come to be?

“The idea of comprehensive criminal defense originally started with the Bronx public defender in New York. They came up with an idea called holistic criminal defense and hired housing lawyers, family child custody and divorce lawyers, therapists, and psychiatrists to build up a team around people. They got amazing results in reducing recidivism, improving people’s lives, and getting them out of the system.”

Some other notes included reduced terms of incarceration for their clients that ended up going to jail. 

H. Ernest Stone himself started as a lawyer who worked in a clinic where he helped defending mitigation cases. This profoundly impacted him as he gradually became aware that many factors contribute to people’s specific actions.

Mr. Stone emphasizes the need for an inclusive society where individuals are seen as people and not criminals or disabled people. He insists that no one ever wakes up in the morning planning to commit a crime.

 Difficulties associated with suggesting family counseling centers.

Some of the difficulties associated with this defense method have to do with clients refusing to participate in counseling and other programs drafted to benefit from specialized family counseling centers.

 Mostly, speaking to these clients about such programs’ benefits beyond the case produces beneficial results, as most clients tend to maintain lessons learned long after the case is over. For most, they continue to imbibe the practices learned from family therapy centers long after probation. 

 Attorney H. Ernest Stone remains a pioneer in the evolving field of comprehensive criminal defense. 

His team can be reached through the website

You can send an email at [email protected], or you can call his office on 978-969-2890.