AEDP Institute

Dopamine & Being Seen

The Neurobiology of Vitality & Recognition Processes:

A Framework for Working with Dissociation in AEDP

an AEDP New England Seminar
at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum in Lexington, MA
with Diana Fosha, PhD


This course will be available for Live Streaming (First 2-hours ONLY) and the Entire Course will be available via Home Study at a later date.

In working with trauma, the calm-inducing, nervous-system-soothing effects of oxytocin cannot be overestimated. We do not learn and explore and dare to take risks when our nervous systems are in a state of fearful physiological reactivity. Oxytocin is a powerful antagonist of fear. The nervous system calms and the social engagement system comes online. However, dissociation and the de-activation of the autonomic nervous system, and resulting experiences of numbness, deadness and futility constitute a different set of the tragic sequelae of trauma, require something more. In treating dissociation, safety and calm as goals of trauma processing are essential, but not a guarantee that feelings of aliveness will suffuse the experience of the self. That’s the realm of dopamine mediated processes, and feeling the motivation to live life with zest and meaning.

AEDP is well suited to bring both oxytocin-mediated AND dopamine mediated experiences online in safe and regulated fashion. With its orientation toward the co-construction of safety and techniques for the rapid achievement of earned security, AEDP has a systematic methodology for bringing oxytocin online for both patient and therapist. However, AEDP is also distinguished for its metatherapeutic techniques with transformational experience that systematically and reliably give rise to the transformational affects. Feelings of exuberance and curiosity and the motivation to act on behalf of the self reflect the world of dopamine mediated experiences and their power to lead to new learning, greater memory reconsolidation, as well as to the vitally important felt sense of aliveness, for vitality and energy are so needed to counter the deadening numbing effects of dissocation.

This workshop will explore the neurobiology of vitality, i.e., recent advances in the understanding of the neurobiological core self (Damasio, Panksepp), intimately linked with dopaminergic pathways. Making extensive use of clinical videotapes, we will delve into AEDP work, with a focus on the co-creation of relational safety and work with recognition processes. These constitute powerful elements for a neurobiologically based psychotherapeutic process with dissociative phenomena, one that, in the course of co-creating safety and trauma processing, also seeks to bring vitality and energy into the previously depleted system. Clinical work will show how recognition processes can be used to bypass the fragmentation of self experience: by making the most of experiences marked by “the click of recognition” patients who usually rely on dissociative mechanisms are able to have a new “whole self” experience, felt sense of it and all.

You’ll Learn To:

  • Summarize the therapeutic relevance of a core knowledge of of the neurobiology of vitality and of the core self.
  • Utilize three skills in developing a co-created environment of safety.
  • Identify experiences that are characterized by the click of recognition, and develop three skills for metatherapeutic processing of such experience.
  • Identify key aspects of dissociative experiences that reveal opportunities for their transformation, by focusing on glimmers marked by positive affect.

Meet the Presenter

AEDP Developer and Director: Diana Fosha, PhD


Diana Fosha, PhD, is the developer of AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), a healing-based, transformation-oriented model of psychotherapeutic treatment; she is Founder and Director of the AEDP Institute. For the last 20 years, Diana has been active in promoting a scientific basis for a healing-oriented, attachment-emotion- and transformation-focused trauma treatment model. Fosha's work focuses on integrating neuroplasticity, recognition science and developmental dyadic research into experiential and transformational clinical work with patients. Her most recent work focuses on flourishing as a seamless part of the process of transforming emotional suffering.

Based in New York City, where she lives and practices, Fosha has been on the faculties of the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology of NYU and St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Medical Centers (now Mount Sinai) in NYC, and of the doctoral programs in clinical psychology at the Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies and The City University of New York.

She is the author of The Transforming Power of Affect: A Model for Accelerated Change (Basic Books, 2000); co-author, with Natasha Prenn, of Supervision Essentials for Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (APA, 2016); 1st editor, with Dan Siegel and Marion Solomon, of  The Healing Power of Emotion: Affective Neuroscience, Development & Clinical Practice (Norton, 2009), and editor of the soon to be released AEDP 2.0: Undoing Aloneness and the Transformation of Suffering into Flourishing (APA, in press). The author of numerous articles on AEDP’s attachment-emotion-transformation focused experiential treatment model, she has contributed chapters to, among others, Clinical Pearls of Wisdom: 21 Leading Therapists Offer their Key Insights, edited by M. Kerman (Norton, 2009); Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: An Evidence-Based Clinician’s Guide, edited by C. Courtois & J. D. Ford (Guilford, 2009);  Healing Moments in Psychotherapy, edited by Dan Siegel and Marion Solomon (Norton, 2013); Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy: Accelerating Transformation, edited by Loizzo, Neale & Wolf (Norton, 2017), Moments of Meeting in Psychoanalysis: Interaction and Change in the Therapeutic Encounter, edited by Lord (Routledge: 2017) and The Comprehensive Handbook of Psychotherapy, Volume 1: Psychodynamic and Object Relations Therapies, edited by J. J. Magnavita (Wiley, 2002).

Four DVDs of her live AEDP clinical work, including one documenting a complete 6-session treatment, and one on clinical supervision, have been issued by the American Psychological Association (APA). Learn more and purchase here.

Described by psychoanalyst James Grotstein as a “prizefighter of intimacy,” and by David Malan as “the Winnicott of [accelerated experiential] psychotherapy,” Diana Fosha is known for her powerful, precise yet simultaneously poetic and evocative affective writing and presenting style. Diana’s phrases — “undoing aloneness,” “existing in the heart and mind of the other,” “True Other,” “make the implicit explicit and the explicit experiential,” “stay with it and stay with me,” “rigor without shame” and “judicious self-disclosure” — capture the ethos of AEDP.


Watch Diana's Trusting Vitality video here.


Fees, Credits and Registration:

  • $150
  • $175 Walk-In Registration

Event Registration

Live Streaming will be available (First 2-hours ONLY) and a Home Study of the Entire Course will be available at a later date.

LIVE STREAMING price and registration is NOT for the whole workshop, but ONLY for the Didactic portion, which will take place from APPROX  9am-11am EST.

Live Streaming Cost: $39 for the 2 hours (2 CE) of Didactic

Live Streaming Registration

Webinar Cost: $139 for the 6 hours (6 CE) of the recorded event
Registration Coming Soon



This program is eligible for 6 CE Hours of continuing education credit through our co-sponsor R. Cassidy Seminars. To view the CE accreditation statement click here.  CE Credits are included in the course fee. For our cancellation/refund policy click here.

Questions about this Workshop?

Contact Us

Event Details:


9:00 am - 5:00 pm


The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library
33 Marrett Rd
Lexington, MA

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