Diana Fosha, PhD, Co-Chair of AEDP Research Committee
Diana Fosha, Ph.D., the developer of AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), is also Co-Director, with Shigeru Iwakabe, Ph.D., and Jenn Edlin, MF., of AEDP research. For the last 20 years, Diana has been active in promoting a scientific basis for AEDP’s healing-oriented experiential therapy. AEDP’s transformational theory, a basis for putting neuroplasticity into clinical action, is similarly receiving increasing recognition. Drawing on affective neuroscience, attachment theory, mother-infant developmental research, and research documenting the undreamed-of plasticity in the adult brain, AEDP has developed an experiential clinical practice which reflects the integration of science, research and practice in psychotherapy.
Diana has always been a phenomenological researcher, meticulously examining the process of therapy by repeatedly watching and tracking micro change processes. This is a qualitative phenomenological research of its own kind, which has resulted in an extensive and original phenomenology of the transformational process, and the close and detailed description of transformational affects, e.g., the healing affects, the tremulous affects, and core state. These concepts are closely aligned to and grounded in observational data and they turn out to be universal: their experiential validity is evident in that the subjective experience of therapists from many cultures across the globe — Brazil, China, Israel, Japan, Sweden, to name just a few– resonate with these phenomena.
Her deep commitment to research has extended to include more formal empirical research methods in recent years. Diana Fosha’s collaboration with Shigeru Iwakabe and Nuno Conceicao resulted in a series of conference presentations that tapped into features unique to AEDP, such as metatherapeutic processing, clients’ subjective experience of change, the phenomenology of AEDP therapists’ professional growth and wellbeing, AEDP supervision, etc. Manuscripts of these conference papers are now being prepared and readied for publications.
From these research activities, in collaboration with her colleagues, Diana has been evolving AEDP’s basic research stance: Like AEDP itself, research into AEDP processes and outcome is a collaborative creative endeavour amongst researchers, clinicians, and patients, based on mutual respect and appreciation, highest rigour and precision, open investigative attitude, and finally, the shared and generative joy of discovery.
In 2013, she invited Shigeru Iwakabe PhD and Jenn Edlin MFT to join her in the endeavour of conducting formal research into AEDP and the research committee was formed. Now, the AEDP research program is set and launched.