AEDP Institute

Seeing the Invisible The Role of Recognition in Healing from Neglect and Deprivation

Transformance Talk by Kari Gleiser, PhD

Access to this recording is available for AEDP Institute Members Only.


Attachment experiences between caregiver and child are powerful sculptors of personality, and become key determinants in how an individual relates to self, other and emotions over a lifetime. When a child’s early attachment relationships are characterized by recurrent “errors of omission” ­– neglect, deprivation, misattunement, and lack of affection, recognition and/or affirmation — that child can develop areas of psychic darkness or invisibility, in which parts of the self that are not seen and mirrored become dissociated. Such children, and later adults, may struggle with chronic and profound feelings of emptiness, detachment, unbearable aloneness, identity diffusion and avoidant attachment patterns. Because such attachment wounds are, by their very nature, absences, they can easily go undetected, leaving individuals who have lived through them with incomplete life narratives. Such “invisible” traumas are hard to heal because they are hard to see, and left unrecognized, can become self-perpetuating, both relationally and intra-relationally.

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Meet the Presenter

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Kari Gleiser, PhD, completed her doctoral work at Boston University and her internship through Dartmouth Medical School with a focus on trauma and PTSD. In her practice, she specializes in applying AEDP to the treatment of complex trauma, dissociative disorders and personality disorders. Dr. Gleiser is the co-founder and co-director of the Center for Integrative Health in Hanover, New Hampshire, a trauma center dedicated to multi-modal healing of mind, body and spirit. She has served a term on the board of directors of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation (NESTTD), where she chaired a committee on education and outreach. In collaboration with Jerry Lamagna, Dr. Gleiser has developed an “intra-relational” model of therapy, which imports AEDP’s relational and experiential interventions to patients’ internal systems of dissociated self-states. Dr. Gleiser has written several clinical papers and book chapters and has presented on applying AEDP to treat dissociative disorders at various international conferences.