The AEDP™ Immersion Course

The AEDP Immersion course is a Level I training in AEDP psychotherapy. It is considered the first step toward becoming an AEDP Certified Therapist. Participants learn the theory and practice of AEDP and learn how to apply specific AEDP techniques effectively and intentionally with diverse patient populations.

AEDP Immersion: Theoretical Framework, Clinical Teaching from Videotapes, Experiential Exercises

The Immersion course is an individualized but structured training of AEDP psychotherapy’s rigorous transformational phenomenology and its experiential psychotherapy techniques. During this intensive training, the Institute’s highly credentialed and skilled faculty teach theoretical underpinnings and practical methods for the application of the AEDP model. Participants in the course learn AEDP techniques for working experientially with relatedness and emotional experience including: undoing their patients’ aloneness, dyadically regulating intense emotion, and processing emotional experiences including corrective moments when care, support, affirmation and compassion are emotionally “taken in”. Course participants witness, track, discuss and begin to practice these AEDP hallmark techniques. Case examples are used throughout to demonstrate therapeutic interventions using videotaped sessions of the presenter’s own AEDP work with clients, including making use of many of the videos of AEDP clinical work that are part of APA’s Clinical Videos series. For a half a day on the 4th day of the course –by which time participants have been exposed to ample didactic materials and clinical videotapes illustrating the principles being taught in live clinical action, participants’ new skills are practiced in small group experiential exercises bringing AEDP theory and clinical practice to life: furthermore, these hands-on practice exercises are conducted under the close supervision of certified AEDP therapists and are an important aspect of AEDP’s deliberate practice approach to teaching and training.


  • Introduction to AEDP: AEDP as a transformational, healing oriented model of therapy.
  • Transformance (i.e., AEDP’s term for the innate, wired in drive to heal) vs resistance as motivational constructs in AEDP.
  • Present empirical evidence showing the transdiagnostic effectiveness of AEDP to both significantly diminish negative symptoms of psychopathology, e.g., depression, maladaptive cognitions, and enhance positive aspects of functioning, e.g., self-compassion, and self-esteem.
  • Present empirical evidence showing the long-term effectiveness of AEDP and the maintenance of therapeutic gains (significantly diminishing negative symptoms of psychopathology, e.g., depression, maladaptive cognitions, and significantly enhancing positive aspects of functioning, e.g., self-compassion, and self-esteem) at one year.
  • The AEDP Road Map: The phenomenology of the four state transformational process.
  • The Triangle of Experience: Using the Triangle of Experience to guide AEDP work with defenses, inhibitory affect and other obstacles to emotion processing.
  • The Triangle of Experience: Using the Triangle of Experience to map patients’ emotion regulation strategies in AEDP clinical work.
  • The Triangle of Social Experience: Using the Triangle of Social Experience to map patients’ internalization of experiences of marginalization, oppression, and racialized trauma and to guide work to acknowledge, validate and transform experiences of invisibility.
  • The Therapeutic Stance of AEDP: affirmation, validation, dyadic mindfulness, dyadic affect regulation, judicious self disclosure, cultural humility, developing cultural comfort, curiosity and advocacy for the patient’s experience.
  • Relational work, moment-to-moment tracking and the dyadic repair of attachment trauma: the focus on receptive affect.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain AEDP’s healing oriented transformational theory of transforming emotional suffering into flourishing and distinguish it from traditional models of therapy.
  2. Discuss how AEDP metapsychology draws from research on neuroplasticity, and studies of positive emotion.
  3. Define the AEDP term, “transformance,” and contrast it with the concept of psychological “resistance.”
  4. Describe what distinguishes the first session in AEDP and identify three elements of “healing from the get-go.”
  5. Describe how the descriptive phenomenology of the four-state transformational process informs the moment-to-moment tracking that guides therapist interventions in AEDP.
  6. Name the main features of the four states of AEDP’s 4-state transformational process.
  7. Define moment-to-moment tracking as it applies to AEDP relational and experiential work
  8. List 3 aspects of AEDP’s therapeutic stance aimed at building safety and trust between patient and therapist.
  9. List 3 aspects of AEDP’s therapeutic stance aimed at building safety and trust between patient and therapist where there are differences of power, race, culture, gender, and/or privilege between patient and therapist. 
  10. Identify 3 aspects of AEDP’s therapeutic stance aimed at developing the therapist’s cultural competence.
  11. Summarize key aspects of AEDP theory and the four-state map that guides AEDP’s transformational process.
  12. List two AEDP interventions used to assist patients in tracking affective experience in their body. 
  13. Name the three main categories of experience represented by the Triangle of Experience.
  14. Contrast the concepts of “core affect”, “inhibitory affect and “defensive affect”.
  15. Describe how to map out aspects of experience linked to racialized trauma (emotions, internalized inferiority/superiority, perception of other groups) using the Triangle of Social Experience. 
  16. List 3 ways to restructure defenses.
  17. List three AEDP interventions relevant to addressing defensive responses to feeling & connecting.
  18. Define the term “receptive affective experience” in AEDP relational work.
  19. Give 3 examples of “receptive affective experiences in AEDP relational work.
  20. Name three AEDP interventions used to regulate anxiety and overwhelming affect.
  21. Discuss therapeutic tasks and interventions to help patients tolerate, experience, and express emotional experience.
  22. Name three interventions that promote experiential processing of State 2 core affective experiences to the point of completion.
  23. Define the experiential technique of portrayal and discuss how to guide patient to a direct encounter w/imagined other in language & action, setting the scene and deepening their contact with salient emotional experience.
  24. Describe the AEDP intervention of meta-therapeutic processing.
  25. Explain the difference between AEDP State 2. (Processing of Emotional Experience) and AEDP State 3 (Meta-processing of Transformational Experience)
  26. Utilize meta-therapeutic processing in clinical work to expand and consolidate in-session moments of therapeutic change.
  27. Name three transformational affects.
  28. Provide 3 examples of meta-processing questions inviting reflection on positive changes in thinking, feeling, somatic experience, or relational connection. 
  29. Define the AEDP concept of an “Upward spiral” of vitality and energy and name the states most associated with this intervention.
  30. List six, phenomenologically distinct positive affective states (i.e., transformational affects) of AEDP State 3.
  31. Describe 3 characteristics of the integration that we witness in State 4. i.e., core state.

About AEDP™

AEDP™ psychotherapy is an empirically supported model of psychotherapy that utilizes current research on positive neuroplasticity to support its foundational belief that the capacity for healing is wired into all humans. The model seeks to rapidly catalyze this capacity to transform psychopathology from the first session of psychotherapy onward. AEDP understands psychopathology as a reflection of compromised internal working models, born out of insecure attachment experiences that now thwart adaptive functioning in adulthood, and manifest transdiagnostically in depression, anxiety, PTSD, interpersonal difficulties, etc. AEDP therapy aims to give patients corrective emotional and relational experiences that mobilize changes in the brain, thus resolving negative emotions and implicit learnings associated with trauma and emotional suffering. These changes in the brain are further amplified by one of AEDP’s hallmark techniques, meta-therapeutic processing: Meta-therapeutic processing involves experientially processing the positive affects associated with experiences of change-for-the-better as systematically as the negative affects associated with psychopathology, i.e., emotional suffering. The result of meta-therapeutic processes is that changes achieved through the processing of transformational experience become broadened, deepened and reinforced, resulting in flourishing, i.e., a heightened sense of wellbeing and greater capacity to thrive. The objective of clinicians practicing AEDP is to be therapeutically present with their patients, help their patients’ dyadically regulate and experientially process both the negative emotions and emotional pain associated with psychopathology and the positive feelings and relational experiences linked to moments of positive transformation– thus restructuring memory and capacity to rework internal working models of attachment. Skillful use of AEDP methodology has been empirically shown to effect meaningful and significant improvements across a range of psychological problems, a transdiagnostic effectiveness which has been shown to be maintained over time after the termination of therapy. Thus it can be said that AEDP works to transform emotional suffering into flourishing, and the AEDP Immersion course teaches and clinically illustrates all aspects of that process.