AEDP Institute

Using Experiential Dynamic Therapy with Addicted People

Abstract. Addiction has been conceptualized as a disorder that hijacks the person and is best treated by cognitive or behavioral intervention. It is better conceptualized as a disorder of emotion and attachment which responds well to therapies that build emotional literacy and capacity for connection. Experiential Dynamic Therapies (EDP), including Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), do just this and require minor modification for working with addictions. This article has three aims: (1) to examine the reasons why therapists have shied away from working with addictions, (2) to describe a model of experiential treatment that draws on the evidence base and contemporary theories of addictions and psychotherapy effectiveness, including neurobiology, and (3) to encourage experiential therapists to accompany these clients as they change their lives.

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