Kate Halliday, LCSW, has been offering biweekly AEDP Exploration groups here in Ithaca since 2015. Her goal was to form an AEDP community around Central New York State, in part to undo her own aloneness as an AEDP therapist here. It worked, and now AEDP of the Fingerlakes represents a deep, inter-related, and supportive web of therapists, many of whom attend regular two-hour trainings with Kate at various times throughout the week.
Members of all the exploration groups range in experience from relatively "new" clinicians to very seasoned therapists. They share a devotion to their clients, and a desire to offer the most effective treatment possible. As people learn the skills of AEDP, they report that not only are their sessions with clients more productive and engaging, but they see remarkable shifts in their own personal lives.
The group meetings are generally formatted as follows:
· A brief didactic component to teach an AEDP concept or skill · Video tape of actual AEDP sessions to demonstrate · Experiential exercises to practice skills learned · Discussion and processing
New training groups are forming all the time. To add your name to a list for an upcoming group, contact Kate: firstname.lastname@example.org / 607.279.5439 (phone or text)
CEUs are available upon request.
Once every few months, the various training groups that meet regularly to study and practice AEDP gather as a large group for a day-long or weekend retreat. Retreats include teaching, watching video tape of AEDP sessions, experiential practice opportunities, and rounds of processing and metaprocessing woven in to consolidate the fruit of our efforts. (If you want to know more about metaprocessing, one of the key transformational pathways in AEDP, click here to read an article by AEDP creator Diana Fosha, PhD, on this concept.)
In March 2019, Kate Halliday led the retreat for the day, and described it in this way:
The plan for this time was for us to make a step towards educating ourselves about how AEDP theory and stance equips us (or not) to meet the internal and external experience of marginalization and disempowerment, for ourselves and our clients. Recent discussion in the public discourse has developed the term “cultural humility." (Cultural humility is a re-definition of the concept of “cultural competency." It was created by Chrystal Two Bulls, a social worker from the Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation.) This feels to me like language that speaks to an ideal stance, as humans and as clinicians. Since AEDP’s started goal is the development of a model of human development and of healing that goes “beyond mirroring” to the arena of shared, co-constructed understanding, we were excited to begin this conversation as a community.
The intention for our first local community discussion of marginalization and inequity was to stay with internal self focus; to stay present moment to moment with our own responses. We began with recognizing the vastness of cultural and societal pain from which most of us realized we detach ourselves much of the time. Then we participated in practice sessions and experiences as well as watched videotape, designed to promote "bottom up" learning.
We made this beginning by keeping the lens wide, personally and generally. We have committed ourselves to tightening the lens in future retreats to work specifically with racism, but for this day the decision was to hone attention to our own embodied experience on both sides of marginalization. (NOT to say "bad people on both sides!" but "yes, inside me live parts who are injured, have witnessed injury, who have benefited from inequity, and may even have committed harm.")
During another recent retreat, we watched Kari Gleiser, PhD’s, Transformance Talk on The Role of Recognition in Healing from Neglect and Deprivation. (Free access to Transformance Talks is one of the many benefits of being a member of the AEDP Institute. Go to the AEDP Institute’s homepage, aedpinstitute.org, for more information.) Kari presents on how “errors of omission” in our early attachment relationships can create a sense of aloneness and invisibility, and condition dissociation. After discussing her talk, we enjoyed a lunch together, and then practiced a set of AEDP skills designed to undo aloneness, repair relational trauma, and make these transformational experiences explicit.
Retreats have also focused on working with parts in AEDP, using portrayals, and the spiritual phenomenology reflected in AEDP, among many other topics.
Quarterly retreats are open to everyone who has participated in or is currently participating in an ongoing AEDP Exploration group.