AEDP Institute

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) for Couples: An Introduction and Discussion

at Macht Auditorium, The Cambridge Hospital,
Cambridge, MA
with David Mars, Ph.D.

Developed by Diana Fosha, Ph.D., Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) is a somatically-based model of psychotherapy with roots in attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, emotion theory and transformational studies. David Mars, Ph.D., has expanded upon Dr. Fosha’s model to develop AEDP for Couples which aims to treat the relational trauma and deprivation frequently underlying dysfunctional patterns in couples’ interactions. By attempting to create a safe container within which even highly dysregulated couples can relate with greater attunement, it strives to create a new model of responsiveness between partners from the first session.

Dr. Mars  will illustrate how to work with couples carrying the effects of early relational trauma in order to heal shame based blocks to intimacy. Clinical videotapes of treatment sessions over time will demonstrate the dyadic change processes central to AEDP. Dr. Mars will address both deactivating (avoidant) and hyper-activating (anxious/ambivalent) attachment strategies. He will highlight other key aspects of AEDP for Couples, including the therapist’s use of self in working with chronically traumatized and reactive couples; detecting and following the healthiest aspect of each member of the couple; and cultivating moment-to-moment somatic tracking of the couple and of the therapist’s own somatic shifts.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Dr. Mars will discuss AEDP for Couples with Dr. Carolynn Maltas and Dr. John Rosario. They will consider what AEDP for Couples has to offer that is different from other models of couple therapy such as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Dr. Mars and the discussants will also address the possibilities and challenges of integrating the AEDP approach into an established psychodynamic couple therapy practice:

Carolynn Maltas, Ph.D.,  is a Founding Member of PCFINE and the Director of Training. She received her doctorate from Boston University and did her clinical training at McLean Hospital, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Kantor Family Institute, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Sensorimotor Institute. In addition to teaching at PCFINE, she has taught advanced trainees at McLean/MGH, Tufts and the Harvard Longwood program. She has written numerous articles on couple therapy and maintains a private practice in Cambridge, MA.

John Rosario, Psy.D.,  is a psychologist in Cambridge, MA, where he sees individuals and couples. He is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis (MIP) and also completed the PCFINE Couple Therapy Training Program. For many years he has worked with college students, first at Tufts University and currently at the New England Conservatory of Music. He also has done training in AEDP and is certified in EMDR.

This is one in a PCFINE-sponsored series exploring different models of couple therapy. PCFINE values multiple perspectives and is interested in learning from diverse therapeutic approaches to dealing with the enormous complexity of troubled couples and families.

This program is open to all PCFINE members and interested mental health professionals. It is intended for those with an intermediate or advanced level of knowledge and experience.


At the conclusion of this program the participants will be able to:

  • Explain how to generate and strengthen the secure base required for effective couple treatment using a somatic focus.
  • Describe how to use a preventative “Early Warning System” to treat dissociation and hyper -reactivity with couples.
  • Articulate how to resolve shame about each partner’s contribution to the deterioration of  the relationship over time.
  • Explain how to help expand the window of affect tolerance and develop other features of earned secure attachment within members of a couple.
  • Describe how to detect and follow the healthiest aspects of each member of a couple.
  • Explain how AEDP for Couples differs from other models of couple therapy.

Meet the Presenter

David Mars, M.F.T., Ph.D.

davidmars-copyDavid Mars, Ph.D. is the developer of AEDP For Couples. He has specialized in the somatically focused treatment of couples and groups for four decades, as an innovator in developing process-oriented, somatically, and empathically focused couple treatment. David has trained, supervised and consulted with Dr. Diana Fosha, the originator of AEDP since 2005.

David develops and presents training seminars and workshops nationally and internationally that focus on the AEDP for Couples model.  He is the lead supervisor of the AEDP for Couples Core Training.  He teaches at AEDP Immersion Courses, the Essential Skills Program and leads two ongoing AEDP for Couples supervision groups.  He is one of the founders of AEDP West. David is also on the adjunct faculty of the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco where he infused AEDP into his teaching of courses on the Clinical Relationship.

David’s style as a presenter is described as inspiring, warm and deeply personable.   He quickly evokes trust from his audiences, which ushers in a deep level of transparent exchange of ideas and points of view about how therapists can more effectively treat the historical trauma and deprivation that underlies marital dysfunction.  Perhaps most importantly, participants are moved to apply what they learn in these training programs, due to the depth of experience they take in while witnessing videos, live demonstrations and engaging in experiential practices.

Fees, Credits and Registration


  • PCFINE Members: $100 if postmarked by March 10; $125 after March 10th
  • Non-members: $140 if postmarked by March 10; $165 after March 10th
  • Students (w/ID): $50

Please mail check payable to PCFINE to: PCFINE, P.O. Box 920781, Needham, MA 02492
Include name, address, telephone number and email.

Date, Time and Location

Date: April 1, 2017
Time:  9:00am – 5:00pm

Macht Auditorium, The Cambridge Hospital
1493 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

Continuing Education

PCFINE is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PCFINE maintains responsibility for the program and its contents. The program fulfills the requirement for 6 hours of CE credit. Social Workers and Licensed Mental Health Counselors may telephone (781) 433-0906 or email  for CE information. Application for professional continuing education (CE) credits from the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Associations for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapy, Inc. (MAMFT) has been submitted.

PCFINE is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination and will conduct all activities in strict conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. If you believe that a violation of ethics has occurred during this program, or if you have concerns about accessibility for people with disabilities, or any other complaints or questions, please contact Justin Newmark, Ph.D.

There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenter, workshop content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as a conflict of interest.

Event Details:


9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Macht Auditorium, The Cambridge Hospital
1493 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA,

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