Michael Alpert graduated from UCLA (BA), UC Irvine (MD), and Harvard (MPH). He interned at NYU Bellevue Hospital and did a psychiatric residency at the University of Colorado.
After training in ISTDP with Habib Davanloo (1980-83) and later directed the STDP Institute at St. Clare’s Hospital. Dr. Alpert directed the New Jersey STDP Institute, whose faculty included Isabel Sklar and Diana Fosha. His work there led to the development of Accelerated Empathic Therapy (AET), which utilizes empathic interaction, more than challenge and pressure, to explore and understand the symptoms of patients.
In the 1990s, professional differences with Dr. Davanloo led Dr. Alpert to establish an independent New York/New Jersey STDP Institute, launch the STDP Discussion List, and run workshops and conferences for therapists interested in expanding the theoretical and technical aspects of the Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapies beyond the framework of Davanloo’s ISTDP.
With the start of the new century, he co-founded the International Experiential STDP Association (IESA). In 2003 he became interested in better understanding the powerful physical sensations associated with love and loss. His new understanding of the interplay of the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system proved to be so useful diagnostically and therapeutically that he began to develop a variant of AET, Sensation Therapy (ST).
From 2005 to 2009, Dr. Alpert trained with Ernest Rossi to learn therapeutic techniques that Dr. Rossi had developed during his many years of work with Milton Erickson, the father of modern clinical hypnosis. While studying with Dr. Rossi, Dr. Alpert noticed a synergism between the Ericksonian techniques, AET/ST, and STDP. For example, when Ericksonian and AET/ST techniques were used to activate the “right brain,” patients resolved dynamic conflicts more quickly.
Dr. Alpert is currently working with other IEDTA members to integrate different therapeutic techniques with the STDPs as part of the effort to create a unified psychotherapeutic approach.
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