Read this letter and report in pdf format by clicking here
A Letter and Report to the AEDP™ Institute Community
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder in June 2020, we at the AEDP Institute committed to an antiracism initiative.
In 2021 we reported both what we had done vis a vis that commitment, and a plan for the next year.
Today we continue the practice of sharing a report focused especially on this aspect of our Diversity, Belonging, Equity and Inclusion mission.
First, we want you to know:
— We will continue to offer all licensed self-identified Black therapists Pay-What-You-Wish access to Institute-sponsored training through at least December 31, 2023.
— We will also continue to offer Diversity Scholarships for therapists who self-identify as Indigenous, People Of Color and/or are members of other groups impacted by systematic forms of oppression.
— And we will continue to offer scholarships for therapists in need of financial assistance.
While we are proud of our growth and of the seeds we have planted for ongoing organizational transformation, we continue to grapple with the reality that we still have a long way to go. And, we are as committed as ever to continue our efforts as we see this work becoming more and more embedded in our core values, systems and processes.
We look forward to working with all of you to continue learning and growing from both our mistakes and our successes.
Diana Fosha & the AEDP Institute Administration Team & DBEI Committee
Accountability Report November 2022
The Growing Presence of Self-Identified Black and BIPOC Community Members
Something that perhaps most affects Black and other BIPOC participants’ sense of belonging in our community is a meaningful presence of other BIPOC community members, both in positions of leadership and wherever we are gathered; especially in classrooms, and especially at the front of classrooms.
Here are some highlights of how the presence of BIPOC members has grown in our community during the past year:
The Institute DBEI committee: In June 2021, at the time of our last report, the DBEI (Diversity, Belonging, Equity and Inclusion) committee committed to bringing in more BIPOC committee members. Today, this committee includes the steady presence, minds, hearts and hands of 3 BIPOC community members, plus two white faculty, a white admin team member, and our DBEI consultant, Connie Rhodes, who identifies as Black.
This committee has become more and more active in our community, leading workshops, offering resources, and developing policies. In the spring and summer of this year, the committee offered two trainings for Experiential Assistants, Supervisors and Faculty on working with microaggressions.
Learn more about the DBEI committee and its work here.
The Vision Collective: The existence of this Collective and its growing presence in the AEDP community has been an exciting and enlivening embodiment of our antiracism initiative. Coming about as a result of an invitation to Black-identified community members from Institute founder Diana Fosha, the group of 13 individuals plus Diana and 3 Institute consultants has been meeting regularly since Fall, 2021. Their work has recently culminated in the launching of several exploratory groups working on ‘AEDP and Healing Racialized Trauma.’
Here is a description of the Collective in their own words: We are “a wise, committed and thoughtful group of Black-Identified therapists laying the foundation for a new vision of creating a more diverse and inclusive body of understanding within the AEDP Institute. This Collective has a lot of heart, a lot of grit, and a broad base of experience and knowledge to draw from. We embrace this opportunity to think outside the box of power and privilege and acknowledge that this is the time for AEDP to grow and expand the diversity of the contributors to its emergent growth.” Learn more here .
Teaching: Growing the presence of Black and other BIPOC professionals at the front of Institute classrooms has been a major goal. The vast majority of the Institute’s BIPOC community members started training in the AEDP model of psychotherapy as a result of our 2020 antiracism initiatives and are therefore relatively new to the model.
We have made progress and yet we acknowledge we have a long way to go in diversifying our presenters. Here is some of what has been happening:
- Immersion Guest Presenters. Many BIPOC community members have, since the summer of 2021, become repeat guest presenters in our Immersion courses. This is a big change from the past when guest presenters were almost exclusively faculty and almost always white-identified. All Immersion guest presenters have impressive clinical knowledge and skill as well as teaching/presentation skills. Meet all of our guest presenters here.
- Seminar presenters:
- In May 2022 the Institute sponsored its first ever solo seminar taught by a presenter with no training in the AEDP model. The live online seminar “Black Liberation as a Path to Collective Wellness & Healing” taught by Dr. Della Mosley was attended by over 100 community members. The seminar received fantastic reviews and was recorded and will soon be available at aedpinstitute.org.
- In June 2022 the Institute invited faculty, supervisors, and all Black-identified community members of all training levels to apply to teach seminars that are relevant to our community. We have received several applications from qualified, highly experienced Black and other BIPOC teachers along with many more expressing plans to apply. Watch the 2023 seminar calendar for an increasingly diverse set of presenters and topics.
- In July 2022 faculty member Kari Gleiser invited 6 people of all training Levels, many of them BIPOC, to copresent an innovative Institute-sponsored seminar. See this page to learn more.
- Experiential Assistants. Experiential assistants (EAs) play an essential role in the Institute’s Essential Skills and Advanced Skills courses. Acting as an experiential assistant is an extremely effective way to improve one’s AEDP skills. To become an EA, individuals must complete Immersion, ES1 and have begun supervision.
As the number of BIPOC – especially Black-identified – course participants has grown dramatically during the past two years, more and more BIPOC community members have become eligible to participate in our EA learning community. Today we have many BIPOC community members who have applied, been accepted and assisted, with many more ready to assist in 2023.
Course Participants: We do not ask course participants to tell us their racial identity (or any other other social identity). But we do record the number of therapists who, by virtue of self-identifying as Black, participate in our Pay-What-You-Wish program. We also record the social identities of those who receive diversity scholarships. Based on these measures along with feedback from faculty, admin, participants and other community members, we know the Institute continues to materially increase the diversity of course participants in many ways:
- See the addendum below for the number of Black-identified therapists participating in our Pay-What-You-Wish program.
- Thanks to maintaining our commitment to both a) offering trainings online and b) an extensive Diversity Scholarship and Financial Need Scholarship program::
- We have a growing number of therapists who self-identify as People Of Color and/or are members of other groups impacted by systematic forms of oppression including gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity and more.
- We support increasing numbers of therapists who would otherwise not be able to afford Institute training, especially including younger therapists and therapists who work in agencies.
- The number of participants from outside the United States has grown by leaps and bounds.
The AEDP™ Model and its Practice
In 2020 we did not anticipate that the Institute’s focus on antiracism might lead to broadening the AEDP model or the way it is taught and practiced. However, our model has always been somewhat emergent; it evolves as research and clinical practice reveal opportunities for expansion, deepening and precision. Now we add awareness of social realities to the reasons the model evolves.
Institute faculty and other members of our community have been participating in this effort including:
- Senior Faculty Member, Ben Medley has introduced a new “triangle,” the Triangle of Social Experience. This schematic representation conceptualizes the internalization of social dynamics such as racism, discrimination and oppression on the individual psyche at the different levels of attachment with groups, individuals and one’s self. The Triangle of Social Experience is increasingly being taught in Institute courses.
- The Vision Collective: a committee led by Black-identified members of our community is developing working groups to explore how the AEDP model can specifically address healing racial trauma. (read more here)
We are determined both as individuals and as an Institute to improve Diversity, Belonging, Equity and Inclusion in every aspect of Institute life including deepening our commitment to antiracism.
We have done a lot. We have learned a lot. We have so much more to do and learn.
We acknowledge that some people in our community continue to experience upset and pain as a result of our lack of diversity; and/or have felt hurt by experiences related to microaggressions in courses or other settings, other Institute or community member actions and inactions, communication problems and more.
And more and more we are aware of the joy and pride that some community members are experiencing around our growing diversity and improving policies and programs. If you have spoken up about your experience of hurt, joy or pride, thank you. We have been trying and will continue to try to hear you deeply. If you have not spoken up, we hope you will. Here’s how to contact us:
Write to email@example.com
Send anonymous suggestions or grievances here.
To contact the DBEI committee with your policy or program ideas: DBEIcommittee@aedpinstitute.org
AEDP™ Institute Pay-What-You-Wish program summary
In the first two + years of the program, July 1, 2020 through November 20, 2022:
- The Institute welcomed 173 self-identified Black therapists into the Pay-What-You-Wish program.
- 79 of the 173 individuals have as of today completed both Immersion and Essential Skills, qualifying them for Level 2 status or higher.
- 29 individuals have completed at least one Advanced Skills Module
- By early 2023, at least 8 of these clinicians will have already achieved Level 3.
- 68% of program participants say they are very likely to pursue Certification (see below for survey results); This entails dedicating many hours to both courses and to supervision which is offered privately by faculty and supervisors (see below for a summary of low fee and pro bono supervision currently being offered).
Course scholarships summary – all scholarship types July 1, 2020 through November 20, 2022
1066 Total scholarships including both full and partial scholarships
334 Financial Need
Survey of Pay-What-You-Wish program participants
We surveyed program participants who completed one or more Institute trainings as of June, 2022. 47 people completed the survey. Here are some highlights from the findings:
- Almost 100% of respondents say they are very likely to continue participating in the program
- 95% of respondents were very satisfied with their experience in Immersion;
- 86% were very satisfied with ES1
- 78% of responding participants consider themselves to be part of our community (compares to 69% last year)
- 68% of respondents say they are very likely to pursue Certification;
- 21 of the 47 respondents say they are likely to pursue becoming Experiential Assistants
There’s more. The quotes are especially valuable and filled with ideas of what we might change or do more or less of. Review the results yourself by going here
Increased access to supervision in the AEDP™ model of psychotherapy: facilitating the path to Certification and leadership.
This action item was brought to life as a program advertised through the Institute website in which Faculty and Certified Supervisors agreed to offer free or low cost supervision to BIPOC therapists. The program began in Fall 2020. As of September 2022:
11 individuals were in free individual (1-to-1) supervision with a faculty member or supervisor
18 individuals were in free small group supervision with a faculty member or supervisor
33 individuals were in low cost supervision – either 1-to-1 or group
BIPOC-majority Pay-What-You-Wish Core Training.
In Spring 2022 our second Institute-sponsored Core Training was completed.