Rescuing the SELF: From No SELF to Core Self

AEDP™ Institute Advanced Skills Course (ASM)

with Annika Medbo, Licensed Psychotherapist

Friday – Monday July 14-17, 2023
10:00 AM – 2:30 PM Eastern Time USA

Who the Advanced Skills Course is for:

Advance Skills is for: AEDP Level 2 practitioners who have completed Immersion and Essential Skills (ES1), or Immersion and a Supervision option ( Core training, 20 hours individual supervision, 30 hours group supervision).
Level 3 practitioners are encouraged to participate to refresh AEDP skills and reconnect with faculty and community.

A note from Annika:

How do we find AEDP – when the client cannot, or does not yet dare– to feel their emotions.

How do we do so when healing, growing and becoming need to happen from a place deep within the client who has only survived “outside of connection”, insulated or hidden from their (core) Self as well as from others. 

An important part of learning AEDP is what you learn from the active place of being with your client. It is the ‘being with the client’ that embodies the concept and phenomenology of AEDP. Some of the clients who have taught me the most are those who didn´t respond to the usual AEDP interventions: they required something more. I needed to go even slower, be hyper-present and emotionally available beyond what I had learned. Mini ruptures sprinkled the therapy road and I learned to micro-adjust my attunement with the client, using magnifying glasses, to detect what was missing and-or emergent. What I began to identify in those clients, and what made the work difficult in a certain way, was a lack in the client of connection with their own core desires and needs; also a lack of an embodied experience of agency became increasingly apparent in these clients. The way of using myself and my own clinical creativity in these cases developed my capacity to BE with another on an even deeper level. 

Although this work is challenging and difficult it also gives an opportunity to bring depth and breath to the therapy. This awareness helps provide the tool for making a stronger therapist. It helps develop knowledge and capacities that can reach those SELFs who would otherwise have remained condemned to a life of emotional isolation. It is a work that needs YOU, “We need to act, to do, to be real” (Eileen Russel). AND, that kind of doing and being will inevitably bring forward even more of your SELF, the therapist´s Self. And as Diana Fosha writes in “A heaven in a Wild flower” (Fosha, 2013) in the process, the client’s core self, rooted in the neurobiological core self, gets touched and engaged.

Course Description

The phenomena and the type of attachment wound this course will focus on is the experience of deep emotional neglect. Profound “errors of omission”.  These clients have had the experience of “it´s not safe to feel” their emotions. But even deeper is the experience of “it´s not safe to BE”. To exist is a threat. In my own work I found factors that seem to cause some of the deepest wounds in the child and even leave, what Eileen Russell describes as, holes in the development of self, or-and what Diana Fosha describes as areas of unformed experience…part of “un untried-though-true self”. This is when the child´s vulnerability and/or expressions of Self becomes a threat to the caregiver. The child will have to hide or dissociate everything that they ARE. This break will shut down the connection with their core self in a way that leads to an impaired or absent embodied experience of their own agency, will and desire. The adult client will suffer from a lack of experience as well as something missing in their sense of Self. Shame and fear will stand in the way of the client´s ability to feel and/or express their SELF. As AEDP therapists, we need an additional focus than just simply working through repressed or unprocessed emotions to completion. Russell suggests conceptualizing the phenomena of agency, will and desire as State 2 adaptive core affective experience. 

This course will help therapists increase their receptivity for these clinical phenomena as well as to identify their absence. There will be much emphasis on how to work through the fear and shame in State 2 maladaptive affective experience, how to patiently, gently stay with, “pull and push” in the space between maladaptive and adaptive experience, towards the final goal of a developed sense of agency, will and desire. The sooner we identify the holes the faster we go! To not identify them will most likely deter the process and leave the client alone. 

Each day of the course will be mixture of didactic and experiential learning. Videotaped material will be used to demonstrate different aspects of these processes. The goal is for the participant to leave this training with an increased capacity to differentiate between defenses and lack of emotional experience. New tools will be presented to use in this area of State 2 work. The goal being to help rescue the client’s hidden SELF, to come into existence, for that core to be finally felt and wanted.

This course will be based on the integration of AEDP theory and the theory that Eileen Russell develops in Chapter 9 in AEDP 2.0: “Agency, will, and desire as core affective experience: undoing disempowerment to foster the emergence of the agentic self”.

Diana Fosha´s definition of core self – the neurobiological core self as an organizer of function and experience, with the felt core self as the neurobiological core self in actual experience will underpin the clinical understanding of [core] self. (Fosha, 2013, 2021)

Main Points:

  • Identify “holes in the development of self/unformed experience”, which has led to a void of emotional experience.
  • Determine the difference between defenses and lack of emotional experience.
  • Apply moment to moment tracking to identify transformance-based phenomena, glimmers of aliveness in the darkest places of emotional isolation/exclusion – glimmers from the patient´s “hidden” core self. 
  • Hold a space for the yet invisible, unknown, unformed, unspoken truths, and feelings the patient yet cannot feel.
  • Balance the movement between intra and inter-relational experience. Identify what´s in the foreground, and what would be most helpful to increase the patient´s receptive capacity for their own will and desire.
  • Increase receptivity for mis attunements and (micro-) ruptures.
  • Recognize how to use them to enhance the patients felt sense of their own boundaries, being respected as well as their having a budding sense that they matter. 
  • Recognize opportunities to encourage the client´s differentiation and autonomy.
  • Entrain recognition mechanisms to promote the client´s receptive affective experience of being seen and heard.
  • Recognize emergence; differentiate tremulousness from maladaptive experience.
  • Delight in the client´s littlest step out of emotional isolation, in budding experiences of existing (in the patient’s own right as well as in the heart and mind of another).
  • Expand your own creativity and develop the skills with working with parts/ as well as with Portrayals, as a way to rescue the insulated core self so you can begin the healing and growing part of the work.
  • Expand the Use of your Self. Identify what could be your most challenging and/or activating parts in this kind of deep work. 


Learning Objectives


Empirical Support

Location, Dates & Times

Location: Live Online and highly interactive
AEDP Institute’s Live, Online Learning: Requirements & FAQ’s

Times: Daily (Hours per day)
Friday – Monday July 14-17, 2023
10:00 AM – 2:30 PM Eastern Time USA

Please double check the meeting times for your local time zone if not Eastern Time USA + Canada

Fees & Scholarships

This course is sold out with a waitlist- please email Marilia at to be added to the list.

Non-Member Course Fee $679 USD One time payment
Are you a Member? Log in to get a Member discount

Scholarships are available. To learn more and apply, please go here.

Meet the Presenter

Annika Medbo, Licensed Psychotherapist

Annika Medbo, is an Adjunct faculty member of AEDP™ Institute, Licensed Psychotherapist, Licensed Physiotherapist, AEDP Certified Supervisor and teacher. She has a private practice in Stockholm. Annika´s clinical interests are in trauma and dissociation with a special interest in the use and development of non-verbal processes that can work to enhance and facilitate growth and healing. This interest started before AEDP when Annika was working in psychiatric clinics and striving to meet her patients “beyond diagnosis”, listen to the nonverbal “calls” for connection, rather than focusing on defences and pathology. Her interest for nonverbal processes expanded when she supervised psychotherapy students in Infant Observation at a major Psychotherapy Institute in Stockholm.
(Read More…)

More Information

Level 3+ AEDPers are encouraged to participate to refresh AEDP skills and reconnect with faculty and community.

Advanced Skills Course Overview: Practical in orientation, every Advanced Skills Course focuses on helping you both learn new, Advanced AEDP skills, and cultivate and fine-tune the AEDP skills you already have. Each course will include didactic presentations of theory along with video of actual clinical sessions conducted by AEDP Faculty followed by an afternoon of small group experiential exercises.

In both left-brained and right-brained ways, our Advanced Skills faculty will teach concrete, specific interventions and techniques that will help you with the in-depth practice of AEDP and help you with your more challenging clients.

Instructional Methodology: AEDP skills are introduced with their theoretical foundations and then with illustrations by way of clinical videotapes; skills are then practiced in group experiential exercises. In online courses, exceptionally effective experiential exercises are held in online “breakout rooms.”

Faculty, Experiential Assistants and Clinical Video: These are the hallmarks of all AEDP trainings. In AEDP, we pride ourselves in how thoroughly and deeply we seek to both undo professional aloneness and engage in rigorous clinical teaching.  Our faculty are excellent as academics, clinicians and teachers. Participants deeply appreciate how effectively faculty presenters’ clinical video demonstrates “AEDP in action.” And faculty have skilled accompaniment from a large number of Experiential Assistants – up to and often including one Experiential Assistant for every three participants. Participants rave about the excellent attention and support they receive in this unique learning environment.

To see a listing of AEDP therapists who act as Experiential Assistants, click here.

ADA Accommodations | Attendance | Refund Policy | Questions

Disability Access: If you require ADA accommodations please contact Marilia Rodriguez, or call 813-553-1294 thirty days or more before the event so we can be sure to accommodate you.

Attendance and Makeup Policy & Refunds


Course and all customer service related questions:
Please contact Customer Service Administrator
Marilia Rodriguez