What is Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)?
Accelerated experiential-dynamic psychotherapy, or AEDP, is a unique form of psychotherapy that helps individuals to deal with mood and mind-based issues using a range of healing-oriented techniques. The goal is ultimately to transform client behavior by exploring the way that a person processes their relationship experiences and difficult emotions.
AEDP was first developed by Dr. Diana Fosha, and links to a range of other therapeutic strategies including affective neuroscience, attachment theory, and body-focused approaches to treatment. It works by recognizing the importance of trying emotional experiences on our personal paths to discovery, leading to a better understanding of ourselves, and greater confidence in our future.
How AEDP Works
In accelerated experiential-dynamic psychotherapy, the aim is generally to help clients develop the skills and techniques that they need to address emotional issues and traumas, rather than resorting to unhelpful tactics. By giving clients the necessary tools to confront the issues they’re facing, AEDP helps individuals to function more productively, and believe in their own internal strength.
AEDP rests primarily on an underlying faith in a client’s ability to recover and heal from emotional scarring. It also draws attention to the ways in which difficult experiences help us to find ourselves, and create a platform for change and exploration. Additionally, during AEDP, clients will often explore the deepest, most wounding emotional experiences that they have ever encountered, to help to improve healing at a deeper level, and therefore set the path for change. In these frightening and emotional experiences, AEDP encourages people to embrace self-acceptance, love, and understanding.
The principles of AEDP focus on the idea that people are far more than just the sum of their parts. In other words, we all have untapped resources inside of us that can help to naturally kick-start the process for emotional and mental healing. Accelerated experiential-dynamic psychotherapy concentrates on uncovering those underutilized resources so that they can occur as natural and courageous responses to difficult situations that we all face.
The ultimate goal of AEDP is to provide experiential and affirming techniques that teach a person how to live a more well-adjusted life, accepting the life experiences that they have accumulated over the years. AEDP has been used by clinicians in a range of environments to treat a wide variety of psychological conditions and mood disorders, including:
- Feelings of shame and guilt
- Trauma and PTSD
- Relationship issues
- Attachment issues
What Research Informs AEDP?
The AEDP Institute currently leads the charge in providing therapists with the skills that they need to offer unique support to those suffering from a range of psychological concerns. AEDP is grounded within the psychodynamic theory for therapy, but it’s also informed by attachment theory, neuroscience, body-focused therapies, and emotional therapy.
The aim of AEDP is largely to bring to the therapeutic relationships new information about the way that the brain works in securely attached relationships, and responses to certain experiences. Every time we encounter something new, the brain wires together new responses to change the way that we feel, act, and think. This is true throughout all stages of life, and if we can learn how to adjust the way that we respond to certain stimuli, we may be able to better regulate stress and emotion.
The best AEDP therapists are those that can come to the therapeutic relationship using attuned, caring, and authentic strategies for repairing ruptures in behavioral responses and relationships. Together, therapists and clients in an AEDP format can explore the inner strengths of a client, the experiences that he or she has had that might have shaped their current neuro responses, and the changes that can be made to allow for more positive opportunities in the future.
Should You Consider AEDP?
Perhaps the best way to understand AEDP is to say that AEDP therapists work to help their patients understand their experiences and become stronger in the places where they feel most broken. By working with those who suffer from loss, trauma, and painful past experiences, the aim of this therapy is to uncover your existing internal resources and strength, so that you can better move forward into the world feeling courageous and prepared.