Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), developed by Diana Fosha, is a transformation-based, healing-oriented model of treatment. Unlike traditional models of therapy that are psychopathology-based, AEDP as a clinical practice roots itself in transformational theory, a change-based theory of therapeutic action. Transformance, a construct introduced by Diana Fosha, identifies and names the wired-in motivational drive toward healing and self-repair present in all of us. It is at the core of this work.
By studying naturally-occurring transformational processes—in babies and their caregivers, in moments of meeting, in Tibetan monks, in intense emotional situations, in resilient individuals, in people in love—AEDP seeks to apply their lessons to a clinical process where change can, and does, emerge by leaps and bounds. The methodology of AEDP has patient and therapist deeply and emotionally engaged. Closely following the edge of emergent transformational experience, both are involved in the moment-to-moment tracking of subtle and not so subtle fluctuations in experience, energy, and connection. AEDP emphasizes the co-creation of safety: with accompaniment, patients can risk revisiting past trauma and suffering. Healing and neuroplasticity are set in motion through fully experiencing previously-feared emotions in a secure relationship, and through gentle, yet focused, explicit attention to the experience of healing within the patient-therapist relationship. Processing both traumatic and restorative emotional experiences to completion, the AEDP process culminates in vitality, energy, and the non-finite spirals of positive emotion, resilience, well-being and creativity that are so highly correlated with health. The phenomenology of transformational experience thus describes an elegant arc, the transformational work of AEDP seamlessly linking suffering with flourishing.
With the goal of helping clients connect to their own vitality, AEDP engages them in experiential practices designed to integrate mind and body. The therapeutic relationship is used to co-construct safety and then to help bring enhanced vitality and awareness to clients’ felt sense by:
- learning ways to witness and accept emotional processes;
- discovering the glimmers of growth in the midst of a trauma narrative;
- tracking moment-to-moment shifts in emotional connection through dyadic mindfulness;
- deepening the therapeutic alliance through meta-processing; and
- recognizing emergent transformational experience in the consulting room.
To read more about AEDP, go to www.aedpinstitute.org