What is AEDP?
Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) is a gentle yet direct form of therapy that helps you learn to manage and use your emotions to feel better, more whole, less anxious, and more connected to self and others. An AEDP therapist is always looking to expand and build on the glimmers of wholeness and positive change that are already in you (glimmers that you may not have ever recognised!)
AEDP is explicitly about undoing aloneness. Many of our problems stem from the fact that at key difficult times in our life, we felt horribly alone with our feelings. AEDP therapy works to undo the aloneness of the past, aiming to help change the way that painful experiences live on in you. It’s experiential, which means there’s less ‘talking about’ things, and more attention on what’s happening in the here-and-now moment.
AEDP therapy aims to help you to get clearer on what you are feeling (even if you normally tend to feel puzzled, confused or overwhelmed by your emotions). It helps you express your emotions in healthy, manageable ways that allow you to resolve stuckness and move on.
AEDP is an attachment-based and strongly relational type of therapy. For emotional safety, it’s important that you can sense the therapist’s genuineness and ‘real self’. As part of this, the therapist may sometimes directly share with you how they feel in response to something you are telling them (for example, if they feel moved, touched, etc). In AEDP therapy, both client and therapist sometimes feel very ‘seen’, understood, and deeply connected in that moment.
AEDP was first developed by Dr Diana Fosha in the USA over 20 years ago and is now used worldwide. Dr Fosha’s unique four-stage model structures the work, guiding the therapist to help the client to recognise their blocks and defences, move past anxiety, and express their emotions all the way through to completion and satisfaction.
Who benefits from AEDP?
AEDP could benefit anyone who wants a therapy that actively helps with harnessing emotions for healing and positive change, rather than only focusing on ‘what’s wrong’. It can be helpful for anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, relationships, stress, emotional problems, difficult childhoods, and self-harm.
Written by welldoing.org AEDP therapist Emma Cameron
Last updated 23 February 2021