NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Saturday, August 8, 2020

What is Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) and How Does AEDP Heal Trauma? Part 1

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) is a cutting edge, evidence-based, in-depth therapy that focuses on the healing and transformation of clients' traumatic experiences (see my article: What is a Trauma Therapist?).

What is Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)?

What is Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)?
AEDP was developed by New York City-based psychotherapist and researcher, Dr. Diana Fosha, who wrote the book The Transforming Power of Affect: A Model of Accelerated Change.

AEDP is based on many different disciplines, including:
  • attachment theory
  • affective neuroscience
  • trauma research
  • developmental research 
  • mind-body/somatic therapy
  • emotion theory
  • phenomonology 
  • transformational studies
How Does AEDP Heal Trauma?
The primary goal of AEDP therapy is to help clients to have a transformative experience in order to  overcome psychological trauma. 

An AEDP therapist recognizes that the original experience of the trauma left clients feeling alone and overwhelmed, so one of primary goals of AEDP therapy is to "undo aloneness" in the therapy (see my article: What is the Corrective Emotional Experience in Therapy?).

In contrast to a more traditional psychotherapists, AEDP therapists are active and dynamic participants in the therapy with their clients.

Active empathy is also one of the hallmarks of AEDP therapy so that clients have a felt sense of being cared about by the therapist (see my article: Why is Empathy Important in Psychotherapy?).

In doing so, the therapist is directly involved with helping clients to bear the weight of overcoming traumatic experiences (see my article: The Healing Potential of the Therapist's Empathic Attunement).

In contrast to many traditional psychotherapists, who tend to pathologize the original strategies clients developed to cope with trauma, an AEDP therapist recognizes that these strategies helped clients to get through overwhelming experiences as best as they could at the time (see my article: A Strengths Based Perspective in Psychotherapy).

There is a recognition that the clients' strategies saved them from being completely overwhelmed by traumatic events.  There is also a recognition in AEDP that, although these coping strategies were the best that clients could do at the time, they no longer serve clients and, instead, they are now obstacles to living a full life.

How Does an AEDP Therapist Work?
AEDP's stance is that from the get-go everyone has an internal capacity to heal.  They believe that this internal capacity to heal is inherent in everyone.  So, an AEDP therapist helps clients to access this inherent healing capacity.

This means that the therapist helps clients to access their self-at-best in order to begin processing trauma (see my article: Developing Internal Resources in Experiential Therapy). So, part of the AEDP therapist's job is to help clients to access these untapped internal resources.

From an AEDP perspective, there are many ways to help clients to tap into these internal resources.  For instance, the AEDP therapist might help clients to remember times when they felt strong and confident, which would be an experience of their self-at-best.

This would include helping clients to have an emotional, embodied experience--not just an intellectual experience--of what it's like to feel strong and confident based on clients' own memories.

This is important because we now know that positive transformation, which is the primary goal of AEDP therapy, occurs on an embodied, emotional level--not just by intellectual insight alone.  In other words, clients need to have a visceral and emotional sense of transformation.

From this experience of feeling strong and confident, clients are able to approach traumatic memories in a more internally resourced way.

AEDP helps clients to overcome obstacles to healing, including maladaptive coping strategies, so that their true, authentic selves can emerge (see my articles: Becoming Your True Self and Living Authentically).

See Part 2 of this topic.

Getting Help With AEDP Therapy
If you have been struggling emotionally, you're not alone.

An AEDP therapist can help you to heal from trauma.

The AEDP Institute maintains an international directory of AEDP psychotherapists in the United States and all over the world.

Rather than struggling on your own, seek help from an AEDP therapist so you can heal from trauma and live a more fulfilling life.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, AEDP, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing and Emotionally Focused therapist (see my article: The Therapeutic Benefits of Integrative Therapy).

I work with individual adults and couples.

I believe that everyone has an inherent capacity to heal from trauma, and the therapist's role is to help clients access that ability to heal.

I am currently providing teletherapy, which is also known as online therapy, telemental health and telehealth (see my article: The Advantages of Online Therapy).

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624  during regular business hours or email me.

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