Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Therapy

AEDP (Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy) is aimed at helping individuals develop the skills needed to properly address their emotional issues and traumas, so they don’t resort to unhealthy defense mechanisms.
AEDP therapists typically treat a myriad of psychological, mood, relationship, career, family, and personal issues.

What is AEDP?

Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy is a unique form of therapy that helps individuals cope with mood-based, adjustment, personal, and psychological issues. AEDP therapists use a wide range of “healing” approaches, methods, tools, and techniques to help individuals conquer any issues they are having. The ultimate goal of AEDP is to improve an individual’s behavior by exploring the way he/she “processes” personal, work, life, and relationship experiences, along with how challenging and “difficult” emotions impact his/her thought processes and behaviors.

Who Originally Formed AEDP & When Was It Formed?

In 2004, Dr. Diana Fosha originally formed the AEDP Institute in New York. As of today, AEDP Satellite Institutes can be found throughout the world – in the United States, Canada, France, Brazil, Sweden, Italy, China, Israel, and even in Japan. AEDP Institutes use a variety of therapeutic strategies, approaches, techniques, and methods, such as Affective Neuroscience, Attachment Theory, and Body-Focus Therapy to treat individuals, who struggle with a variety of personal, relationship, work-related, and psychological issues.

AEDP therapists recognize the importance of attaching emotional experiences to personal paths of discovery – with the primary goal of helping others better understand themselves, and develop greater confidence in their futures.

What Issues Do AEDP Therapists Typically Treat?

AEDP therapists typically treat a myriad of psychological, mood, relationship, job-related, family, and personal issues.

Listed below are some of the issues AEDP therapists typically treat:

  • Feelings of Shame, Embarrassment & Guilt
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Relationship Issues
  • Attachment Issues
  • Stress
  • Financial Issues
  • Health Issues
  • Work-Related Issues
  • Low Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
  • Personal & Family Issues
  • Parenting/Child-Related Issues
  • Addiction
  • Disassociation & Many Others

How Does AEDP Work?

The aim of Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Therapy (AEDP) is to help individuals develop the skills and techniques needed to recognize and properly address emotional issues and traumas, so they do not have to resort to unhealthy, dangerous, and possibly destructive behaviors.

These therapists believe that by teaching individuals the proper skills and tools to confront and conquer these issues, they will be able to believe in their own internal strength, and thus, function more productively – in their personal lives, relationships, and in their jobs.

Therefore, AEDP rests primarily on an underlying faith in an individual’s ability to “heal” from the “emotional scarring” they have experienced. It also rests on the belief that by teaching others how to cope in a healthier way with challenging or “difficult” experiences, these individuals can create realistic outlets that will allow for “change” and “exploration.”

What are the Main Principles of AEDP?

The main principles of AEDP center on the idea that people are more than just the sum of their parts. In other words, we all have “untapped resources” inside of us that can naturally “kick-start” the process for emotional and mental healing.

Therefore, Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Therapy (AEDP) focuses on helping distressed individuals “uncover” those underutilized resources, so they can properly, bravely, and openly respond to distressing and/or uncomfortable situations.

What is the Goal of AEDP?

The ultimate goal of AEDP is to teach individuals “affirming” techniques aka healthier emotional responses and behaviors. In other words, tools that individuals can use to improve their lives – i.e. have well-adjusted lives, while accepting past and present life experiences.

What Happens During AEDP Sessions?

Well, during AEDP therapy sessions, individuals are encouraged to explore their deepest, most painful emotional experiences. The goal of this technique is to help them “heal” at a more in-depth level, therefore setting the path for “change” in their lives.

Although this is a frightening and emotional experience for many, the goal of AEDP is to create a safe and comfortable environment, so individuals can fully embrace self-acceptance, love, and understanding – from themselves and others.

What Psychotherapies is AEDP Grounded In?

The AEDP Institute is the current leader in providing therapists with the skills needed to offer individuals the support they need to address, combat, manage or eliminate their psychological concerns. AEDP is grounded primarily in Psychodynamic Theory, however, many AEDP therapists also include Attachment Theory, Neuroscience, Body-Focus Therapy methods, and Emotional Therapy tools into their therapy processes.

Ultimately, the aim of AEDP is to help individuals analyze and understand how their brains true function –  i.e. in relationships, and during new and/or challenging situations. Every time someone encounters something “new,” the brain connects the “new” responses to a “change” in the way he/she feels, thinks, and behaves. Studies suggest that these “changes” occur throughout all stages of life, so if people learn how to adjust their ways of responding to certain stimuli, they can better control their stress levels, emotions, and behaviors.

Should I Seek AEDP Therapy for My Issues?

If you are having personal, family, relationship, financial, physical health issues, child and/or parenting issues, work-related issues, self-esteem and self-confidence issues, and/or mental health issues, you may want to “check out” this form of psychotherapy. Perhaps, the best way to explain how AEDP truly works is to say that the primary aim of AEDP therapists is to help individuals better understand their emotions and experiences, so they can become stronger in the areas that make them feel the most broken.

It is important to understand that AEDP therapists are trained to help those suffering from loss, trauma, and painful past experiences – with the goal of helping these individuals “unleash” their “hidden” or subconscious internal strengths, tools, and skills. The hope is that with these new conscious resources, these individuals can move forward in their lives, feeling braver and more prepared for whatever life throws at them.

What Should I Look For in an AEDP Therapist?

If you are considering AEDP therapy, the first thing you will need to look for in a therapist is education, training, and experience. Next, you’ll want to ask for referrals or references from previous clients. Then, success rates, possible approaches and techniques, the therapy process, and the cost of services and length of therapy.

FYI: The best AEDP therapists remain attuned, caring, and authentic towards their clients at all times. In addition, they use customized strategies that help individuals repair any “tears” or discrepancies in their emotional responses and behaviors.

These therapists believe in developing customized AEDP treatment plans together with their clients. The goal of these plans is to explore any “unhealthy, unconscious emotional scripts” that an individual may have adopted over the years.

“Unhealthy, unconscious emotional scripts” may have shaped how this individual’s current neural-responses. The aim is to help these individuals make positive changes in their thought processes and behaviors, so they can experience happier and more successful lives in the future.

If you are looking for an AEDP therapist to help you with your concerns it is important to find a therapist that makes you feel safe, secure, and receptive to the therapy process. Search and find your AEDP therapist on

Post-COVID Update

The COVID-19 pandemic was extremely challenging for psychotherapists, who wanted to provide excellent care for their patients and clients during this stressful time. Rapidly changing COVID-19 beliefs, mandates, and guidance put many therapists into a quagmire when it came to treating people experiencing nervous breakdowns, emotional distress, anxiety, or depression. 

Circumstances that were beyond the psychotherapists’ control made treating vulnerable populations, such as trauma survivors, difficult. As a result, many psychotherapists were “forced” to adapt their counseling techniques, and the therapeutic process, in general, to accommodate people in distress due to the fear, angst, depression, and uncertainty surrounding COVID. 

One psychotherapy that was especially beneficial during COVID and post-COVID was accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (AEDP). This form of therapy helped and continues to help people, who experienced or are experiencing physical, mentally, and/or emotional traumas because of the coronavirus. 

During the pandemic, the goal of AED therapists was to help people adjust to the new reality of COVID, especially those, who were experiencing a crisis due to a loss of employment and money issues, child-rearing issues, relationship problems, etc. This therapy is especially helpful for those, who were or are struggling to make sense of this mysterious and life-changing virus. 

During the height of COVID, AED therapists used “telehealth” services to help ease the concerns, stress, depression, and angst caused by the virus. These therapists promoted a hope that AEDP would ease people’s COVID-related worries and concerns. Because AED therapists could not treat people in-person, they decided to use “telehealth” services to solidify and maintain the therapeutic relationship, which is important for processing experiences and emotions, and triggering tangible changes in the client or patient. 

“Telehealth” services helped clients and patients address the psychological, emotional, and physical chaos largely caused by the pandemic. COVID caused turmoil in many lives – turmoil that perhaps was not there before COVID, and for people, who were struggling with past traumas, mental illnesses, the pandemic exacerbated these issues. 

AEDP helped these individuals cope with what was happening in the world – things that they had no control over. AEDP also helped people process their thoughts and feelings, and identify their beliefs toward COVID and COVID vaccines, so they could live healthy and productive lives, despite their current circumstances. AEDP is beneficial because it helped and continues to help people process how they felt during COVID and how they feel now. 

In other words, AEDP helps these people look at COVID in a different, more accurate way, thereby, reducing its effects or “power” over them. In other words, it has helped people adjust to the post-COVID world we now live in. It is easy to allow the fear and uncertainty of COVID to cloud one’s judgment. AEDP clears the fog so people can think more rationally and go on about their lives.   


Fosha, D. (2006). Quantum transformation in trauma and treatment: Traversing the crisis of healing change. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(5), 569–583. Retrieved from

Fosha, D. (2004). ‘Nothing that feels bad is ever the last step’: The role of positive emotions in experiential work with difficult emotional experiences. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 11(1), 30-43. Retrieved from

Fosha, D. (2000). The transforming power of affect: A model for accelerated change. Basic Books/Hachette Books. New York. Retrieved from

Greenberg, L. S., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2006). Emotion in psychotherapy: A practice-friendly research review. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(5), 611–630. Retrieved from

It’s not always depression: Working the change triangle to listen to the body, discover core emotions, and connect to your authentic self. (2017). Publishers Weekly, 264(52), 119. Retrieved from

Ronen-Setter, I. H., & Cohen, E. (2020). Becoming “teletherapeutic:” Harnessing accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (AEDP) for challenges of the Covid-19 era. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 50(4), 265–273. Retrieved from