AEDP for Couples: From Stuckness and Reactivity to the Felt Experience of Love
This paper offers a highly condensed description of the theory and practice of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) for Couples. It describes and demonstrates a somatically focused orientation of tracking the intersubjective field phenomena of both members of the couple. The paper further describes how AEDP for Couples brings explicit awareness to the felt experience of love between the couple members beginning in the first session in order to set a safe container for the transformative work to follow. It describes and shows examples of working with “edges”, the paradoxical and initially non-conscious embodied reactions that are both “for” and against the very changes the couple members want and need to make in treatment. The paper shows the theory and practice of catalyzing in couples: a.) being more attuned, more self-reflective, loving and responsive to the needs of the other partner within sessions and at home, b.) cultivating new capacities of perceiving and receiving the other partner’s differing ways of experiencing and expressing not only “affect” per se, but also in a whole range of other “channels of experience” c.) providing a secure “harbor” of safety and support when the other partner is vulnerable and in core affect or a transient dissociation d.) creating sufficient safety in sessions to work through historical antecedents of trauma and deprivation in the company of and with the active support and often physical holding of the marital partner.
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