AEDP Institute

Journeying From Shame to Serenity: Intro

“Journeying From Shame to Serenity I” with Danny Yeung
This video is taken from part of an AEDP West presentation given on 1/30/2011

Four Pillars of AEDP

AEDP (i) rests on a deep faith in clients’ innate capacities, hard-wired and always recoverable, to self-right and heal into their authentic True Self; (ii) privileges the power of new experiences of being seen and understood to heal the deepest injuries and create a new platform for exploration and change; (iii) lasers through defenses to the deepest levels of wounding where healing can be most catalytic to further change; (iv) evokes new trust in the power of experiencing any and every emotion, no matter how frightening, sharing, reflecting, processing, with a safe other to full and sweet self-acceptance and love.

Linda Graham, San Francisco CA

On the Mind

AEDP takes seriously and literally the plasticity and fluidity of the mind. Moment to moment the AEDP therapist notices, tracks and seizes upon areas of health and hope in the patient and sets about capitalizing upon them. This focus on the adaptive wired-in already present vitality of the patient leads to an organic resourcing of our patients from the very beginning of treatment.

From infant-mother research, AEDP takes the stance of a real, relating, caring other. A real person who responds authentically and honestly is inherently a secure base. From this place the AEDP therapist is always working with a dual attention: the relationship and the emotional experience of patient and therapist. This dual focus accelerates change.

The AEDP therapist has a protocol to follow and a phenomenology to anchor the work: the theoretical flowchart of AEDP tracks the patient from (i) anxiety and defense, to (ii) core affect, and then (iii) core state. As an emotion-based therapy the focus is always on helping the patient feel, and have the experience of feeling. Finally, metaprocessing teaches patients that there is value in talking about experience, that everything can be talked about, and that talking cements experience.

Natasha Prenn, New York NY

On Transformation

A patient arrives for her appointment, angst-ridden, full of despair and diffuse pain. She is ashamed and feels weak for not being able to pick herself up by the bootstraps and cope. The AEDP therapist invites fuller disclosure of her feelings, emphasizing her perseverance and courage for sharing them. The patient looks up surprised, a new light in her eyes, as she holds the gaze of her therapist, drinking in permission, understanding, new self-perception. Then, as the therapist gently leads the dyad deeper into the pool of pain and grief and aloneness inside, always maintaining a shared, tolerable edge to the emotional experience, the patient sobs deeply. In the wake of this wave of emotion, they explore the patient’s sense of relief, self-compassion, lightness, gratitude. She leaves feeling transformed, freer, cared for and full of hope.

Kari Gleiser, Hanover NH

On Imagery

In AEDP reflexive defenses originating deep in the brain of the patient are brought to conscious awareness. Long-standing blocks and walls against felt experience soften into states of emotional flow that lead to relief and heightened clarity and freedom to initiate corrective action in the lived life of the patient. The AEDP therapist advocates and encourages the clear formation of the patient’s corrective impulses, often in the form of imagery of how to apply new behavior in the patient’s current life or in revisiting past situations of helpless aloneness, overt trauma or deprivation. Like a volcano whose eruption creates new land in the ocean, the patient’s unconscious surprises and recognizes itself in AEDP, so the patient’s agency and inner authority take hold and gain freedom to live in new and remarkably stable and resilient ways.

David Mars, San Francisco CA