Perspectives from practitioners of AEDP for Couples Therapy

H. Jacquie (Ye) Perman, Ph.D. - Grinnell, Iowa

For many years I pondered why two people would start with love but end up in hurt?

The training in AEDPfC has transformed my work, such that I could finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together with my couples.

From there ample choices emerge, including reversing the path of misery and loss, and strengthening their loving connection to their partner and themselves. 

Polly Ely, LMFTCorte Madera, California.

Partners play a significant and healing role for each other within the practice of AEDP-for-Couples.

As they begin speaking with each other directly in the first few minutes of the first session about what they desire in their relationship together, as well as what gets them “tangled up,” they often find each other’s early relational wounds.

AEDP-for-Couples creates a safe space for the couple to grieve for their own and each other’s younger selves, to take a stand for these wounded parts, and help repair in the present what was wrong or unjust in their partner’s early life. Together they team up to become witnesses and protective “True Others” for each other.

AEDP gets to the heart of the attachment longings which exist for each partner, and sets the couple on a new path, which facilitates the practice of expressing and receiving clear, explicit and FELT expressions of love.

While honoring existing wounds or areas of deprivation, grief or misattunement within the marriage, AEDP for Couples is neither problem-oriented nor is it deficit-based. AEDP-for-Couples helps to discover what is right, just and caring in the way each partner gives love.

The AEDP-for-Couples therapist notices and amplifies the partners' selves-at-best and guides the partners to attune and respond to the other without shame or blame.

The therapy occurs in an environment where healthy relational risk-taking can occur and where new moments of deeply felt nurturing can be celebrated.

Idit Setter, LMFT, MA - Tel Aviv, Israel. .

Working with a couple through AEDPfC, offers the opportunity for the partners to experience the feelings and sensations of being the "True Other" for one another, as well as the spectrum of feelings and sensations related to having their partner be the "True Other" for themselves.

This creates in an expanding array of perceiving, receiving from and expressing to each other their most heartfelt and authentic Selves.

Through working deeply with each partner, focusing on their core emotions and the use of “I” statements, the AEDP therapist is able to help alleviate shame and criticism. As a result, anxiety is lessened and safety emerges.

The AEDPfC therapist encourages direct couple communication between the couple members from the start of the first session and throughout the therapy process, while carefully attending to the affect-regulation of each partner.

Finally, AEDPfC puts emphasis on somatic awareness, creating a space for curiosity and respect. A rich understanding of self and other is promoted through the use of “Seven Channels of Experience,”™ David Mars (2013), which offers a depth and honor to each partner’s experience. This process is about giving birth to new experiences with one's partner – within and between sessions – that help to foster a mutual earned secure attachment.

For these and other reasons, working with AEDPfC is a profoundly moving process and invariably affects the therapist in profound and unexpected ways.

Olga Bloch, LCMFT - Rockville Maryland

What makes AEDP for Couples Unique & Effective? (0.50”)

David Van Kohorn, MFT, CSAT-SAshville, North Carolina.

As a senior couples therapist, I find myself drawn to AEDP-for-Couples for 3 compelling reasons:

1) the sense of immediate relief couple members experience, as the emotional pain they’ve been carrying, sometimes for years, begins to lift;

2) the joy I, myself, feel by sharing in the heartfelt warmth they radiate as they shift into a more generous way of expressing themselves and receiving each other;

and 3) the profound depth of healing that occurs from past trauma and betrayals – those experienced in their relationship, but also wounds sustained long before even meeting…some carried for a lifetime.

In short, the enduring (and fully accessible) presence of mutual love, when gently uncovered by AEDPfC, creates a rich and fertile soil for deep transformation and lasting connection.