“The roots of resilience...are to be found in the sense of being understood by and existing in the mind and heart of a loving, attuned, and self-possessed other.”
AEDP is a modality created by Diana Fosha that integrates elements from experiential therapies such as EFT and sensorimotor psychotherapy. It maintains a here-and-now focus wherein clients are directed to pay attention to their inner experience as a means of accessing core states and transforming them with new affective experiences. AEDP has a strong focus on attachment, such that the therapeutic relationship creates an environment where relational wounds from the past can be healed and processed in new ways. AEDP implements findings from affective neuroscience that suggest that when we move aside blocks and defenses and experience our deeper emotions fully and viscerally, new states can emerge that lead to positive transformation.
Some of the basic assumptions of AEDP include that emotions hold important information and when we can successfully focus on the experience of emotions we can unlock powerful transformative mechanisms, that the body is a vehicle through which emotions are expressed and that by attuning to inner sensations, feelings and action urges we can glean information as to our inner state. The therapeutic relationship serves as a secure attachment in which experiences that may have previously been discouraged can be completed in the context of a safe bond. An experiential approach can lead to rapid, transformative changes as new states are integrated and processed in the here-and-now.
In AEDP, therapists aid clients in tuning in to their inner experience through focusing on sensations, emotions, physical impulses, and relational experience. AEDP also utilizes a technique called “metaprocessing” where the process of therapy itself is reflected on to further crystallize positive change. AEDP is set apart by its focus on positive emotions as well as negative, and clients are encouraged to attune to and make space for new, adaptive experience such that it can be fully integrated and new neural networks are formed to make those states more readily accessible over time.
References: Fosha, D. & Siegal, D. J. (2009). The healing power of emotion: affective neuroscience, development & clinical practice. New York: W. Norton & Company Inc.
Hendel, H. J. (2018). It’s not always depression: working the change triangle to listen to the body, discover core emotions, and connect to your authentic self. New York: Spiegel & Grau.
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