What is accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (AEDP)?

What is accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy?

Accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (AEDP) is a psychotherapy model based on treatment and transformation. AEDP was developed by the American psychologist Dr. Diana Fosha, and treats crises and suffering as opportunities for you to find healing power and experience life-changing transformations.

AEDP is designed to help people find ways to function and thrive. It usually helps people who have had trauma, depression, anxiety or general pain in the past.

Like many other methods, AEDP integrates multiple therapeutic disciplines, such as:

As described by the AEDP Institute, AEDP’s treatment model aims to “help our patients and ourselves become stronger in broken places. By dealing with the painful consequences of trauma, loss, and human relevance limitations, we discover places where those A place that has always been strong; a place that has never been broken.”

The 4 pillars of AEDP

There are four key pillars that provide basic support for the AEDP model:

  1. Believe in the healing power of the visitor: This healing power and ability is rooted in our hearts and bodies. We all have the ability to access this part of ourselves, even if it is locked and hidden due to an emotionally painful experience.
  2. The power to be seen and understood: This is new to many customers. It helps heal deep injuries and creates space for exploration and change. When we are used to feelings of loneliness, isolation and misunderstanding, this new experience of being seen and heard can make people both excited and fragile. AEDP therapists are here to help clients explore.
  3. Break through defenses quickly and efficiently: This involves exploring the deepest wound. Treatment in these places is most helpful in creating further changes. The AEDP therapist walks gently into these emotions with the client, maintaining safety for the client and allowing them to deal with the pain that is usually hidden in front of others.
  4. Discover a new kind of trust and the ability to experience emotions: this means sharing with another person. Even uncomfortable emotions can be shared and processed. As clients continue to experience emotional safety throughout the consultation process, they will experience corrective emotional experiences. These experiences can help them challenge negative perceptions of themselves. Clients begin to experience themselves in new ways through their healing process.


Clinicians trained by AEDP actively participate in the entire rehabilitation process of the client. This is not a passive or removal treatment, but a way you and your therapist work together throughout the process. During the rehabilitation process, a trained AEDP therapist will do something.

Establish a safe base

The foundation of safety is an essential part of most forms of treatment because it allows you to establish an effective and healthy relationship with your therapist. This is especially true in the AEDP model.

Your therapist will be open and curious about you, and will not be affected by any judgments or prejudices that may cause uncertainty.

For many people, having someone who is truly curious about them and their experiences will feel new and different. It is in this new and different space that you may begin to feel safe and willing to share your emotions and experiences with others.

Let customers know they are not alone

One of the key aspects of AEDP is to “eliminate loneliness.” Most of us know the effects of loneliness and how it affects us when we are already in pain. Our loneliness makes us feel isolated and misunderstood, and can lead to feelings of despair. AEDP therapists create a sense of security through positive contact with clients and help them find the courage to explore.

Walk with customers as they explore

For customers, having a compassionate and emotionally safe person join their explorations, allowing them to discover and experience painful experiences that they may not have experienced before. When the client is dealing with uncomfortable emotions, the therapist will be present compassionately.

Stay here and now

The AEDP therapist will make adjustments according to the client’s experience during each treatment, always paying attention to body movements, facial expressions, eye movements, intonation, etc. Actively following the visitor in this way can give the therapist an opportunity to help the visitor explore what happened to them, even during the exploration process.

Provide corrective emotional experience

Most of the reasons that prevent people from sharing painful experiences and emotions are fear of how others will respond, fear of whether others will see or hear their pain, and whether they will be criticized or judged. All these fears can be eliminated in the AEDP experience. New experiences, such as the feeling of being seen, heard, and understood by the therapist, give you a corrective emotional experience.

Solving thoughts and hearts

Some treatments tend to separate the mind from the heart, or not involve the heart at all.In AEDP, your therapist will maintain a balance between adapting to your cognition and Emotional experience. Doing so will make you feel involved in the treatment process and get rid of old patterns such as rationalization or division.

How can AEDP help

AEDP can be used for all kinds of people. Since treatment is based on a platform of emotional coordination and customer safety, many different problems can be solved, such as:

Benefits of AEDP

Many treatment modalities focus on alleviating pain and emotional distress. Helping people to relieve pain is of course very important in the treatment process. People seek help when they are emotionally distressed, and seek hope and guidance from those uncomfortable spaces. However, the model of AEDP does not stop there.

In addition to simply changing behavior or attitude, AEDP also focuses on treatment and change at the core level. The goal of treatment is not only to minimize negative symptoms or reduce pain; it is to encourage you to find a real transformation through this experience so that you can grow and prosper.

AEDP treatment can help people feel that their symptoms are less painful, but more like their functioning and flourishing. This may apply to people with symptoms ranging from severe to moderate-this means that AEDP may be an effective preventive measure for people at risk of serious mental illness.

AEDP couple

Just as personal AEDP focuses on coordination, safe exploration, and correction of emotional experiences, couple AEDP also provides the same energy to partners. AEDP provides a positive and positive environment that can help clients improve their relationship skills.

AEDP couples can help each partner:

  • Deal with the history of any painful or traumatic experiences that have occurred inside or outside of its dynamics
  • Explore the experiences of everyone in the relationship with the help of a therapist
  • Learn how to become curious, feel connected, and maintain a sense of presence in interactions in relationships
  • Identify possible obstacles that may hinder the establishment of true intimacy and vulnerability with your partner
  • Build a higher level of intimacy and build closer connections


AEDP encourages people to establish secure attachment relationships so that they can experience and deal with difficult emotions firsthand. In this approach, the therapist establishes a safe, supportive relationship with the client that provides the environment needed for change.

Case studies show that AEDP can open doors for people to overcome difficult emotions and past traumatic experiences. Throughout the process, the therapist was present, positive and affirmative, helping the client:

  • Soften their defenses
  • Feel safe enough to experience traumatic memories and feelings
  • Reflect on their experience
  • Difficult emotions
  • Feel relieved
  • Enhance their resilience and improve their functions

AEDP may be especially helpful for people suffering from severe depression, anxiety, mood disorders, pain and avoidance. It seems to be as effective as other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and experiential therapy.

Things to consider

One component of AEDP is called “metaprocessing”, which can be a challenging experience for some people. Meta-processing means the process of noticing and experiencing changes as they occur. During AEDP, your therapist will ask you to adjust your physical sensations when dealing with emotions, and they will focus your attention on your relationship with emotions. This exercise aims to establish a safe and secure attachment relationship between you and your therapist.

Metaprocessing may feel uncomfortable at first, and it may take some time to adjust. Some critics believe that meta-processing may be more difficult for people who have very mature defense mechanisms or who feel hostile.

For people experiencing depersonalization or derealization, meta-processing may also be counterproductive, as it may encourage them to feel more separated from themselves.

How to start

If you are interested in starting AEDP, please look for a nationally licensed professional who is certified to provide this method. The AEDP Institute provides a database of therapists, psychologists, and other mental health practitioners who have received advanced training or certification in this treatment model.

As the number of well-trained AEDP therapists continues to increase, especially in the United States, you can contact established regional communities for help finding an AEDP therapist in your area.

During your first treatment, your therapist may explain more about the expectations of treatment. Your therapist will encourage you to adjust your physical experience throughout the treatment and may ask you to move away from purely cognitive or intellectual thinking. They may ask about your gestures, body language or facial expressions to learn more about what you are going through.

AEDP courses can be emotional, because this form of treatment encourages you to experience feelings related to negative experiences while drawing your attention to the treatment process. Your therapist will help you through the difficulties and act as a positive and affirming supporter.