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Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) for Couples ? Treating Relational Trauma

Trudy Jacobsen

At the foundation of every healthy relationship lies an infrastructure of security.

The bricks that make up the core of this base include trust, attachment, love, and the confidence that your partner has your back.

Knowing you can count on someone to be in your corner is an irreplaceable feeling. But what happens when that person fails you?

For instance, maybe you take an emotional fall only to find that no one is there to catch you. As you thud on the ground, the impact produces veins of distrust and disappointment throughout your relationship’s core.

Your mind might suddenly feel like a whirlwind of thoughts.

?How could he do this??

?Why wasn’t she there for me??

Unanswered questions and feelings of aloneness can quickly replace your relationship’s firm base with what is known as relational trauma.

What Is Relational Trauma?

Relational trauma is an emotional wound inflicted on you by another person. In essence, it violates that special and intimate connection you have with your partner.

More often, relational trauma is a type of attachment injury. It’s when someone close to you hurts you in a profound way. To be more specific, it could be sexual betrayal, verbal abuse, a misunderstanding, or even a lie.

Because each person responds to pain and disappointment differently, it’s not uncommon to experience relational trauma in a marriage or partnership. This doesn’t mean that your partner purposefully meant to hurt you. What this means is that through the vulnerability of an intimate connection, you’re more open to emotional wounding.

What Is AEDP?

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy, or AEDP, is a kind of psychotherapy focusing on healing deep emotional wounds primarily caused by relational experiences. This method largely has its roots in attachment theory, which is the theory that our adult relationships follow the pattern established early on in life.

A better way to understand this therapeutic approach is to look at it from the inside out. When you experience trauma, it opens a part of you that would most likely have remained untouched. At least, untouched in the deep and impacting way that it was touched by trauma.

As uncomfortable and emotionally painful as this type of traumatic experience can be, it provides an enormous window of opportunity for a dynamic transformation. AEDP facilitates this opportunity by attempting to tap into formerly untapped emotional resources.

In short, AEDP reaches out to help the part of you that was most deeply injured by the relational trauma.

How AEDP Can Help Relational Trauma

Like mentioned before, a healthy relationship doesn’t exist without an incredible sense of vulnerability. After all, no vulnerability means no emotional closeness. And emotional closeness is one of the main aims in an intimate relationship.

When your partner betrays that emotional closeness, it not only cuts you to the core, but it also promotes each of you to resort to defensive tactics. Brick by brick, these defensive tactics can quickly shake the core of your relationship.

AEDP can help you to rebuild that foundation. It does this by helping you to develop the necessary skills needed for you to face the relational trauma rather than resort to defensiveness.

Not only does it empower you as an individual, but it can strengthen your relationship with your partner. In a way, it grants you the courage to embrace coping skills. In fact, most people participating in AEDP discover that they’ve had the skills all along. They simply didn’t know how to use them because of some type of emotional blockage.

AEDP helps you to remove the blockage so you can let down your guard again without feeling exposed. With the blockage removed, you can reclaim that emotional closeness you once had with your partner. Plus, you’re armed to better manage conflict in the future. Thus, helping you to maintain your connection.

If you’re ready to embrace your own inner-strength to help heal your relationship, please Get in touch with us and together we can strategize a way to help you reach your goals.