This Advanced Skills Module will address the role of Therapeutic Presence in the service ofpsychological healing and provide participants with specific tools to cultivate andstrengthen their Therapeutic Presence. We will learn effective clinical strategies for usingTherapeutic Presence to help clients transform unbearable aloneness and psychic dangerinto a felt sense of accompaniment and capacity in their movement toward thrivingand resilience. In this era in which online therapy is now commonplace and necessary,particular attention will be paid to the unique demands related to Therapeutic Presencein the context of providing online psychotherapy.
Therapeutic Presence is a way of being that reflects a therapist’s full, embodied engagementin the moment in relationship with their clients. It is essential to developing ahighly attuned and mutually coordinated healing relationship—a fundamental requirementfor effective therapy. Parallel to the implicit processes of caregiver-infant securityengendering attachment relationships, the explicit cultivation of TherapeuticPresence encourages clients to acknowledge, explore, process and transform difficultand often painful terrain of relational trauma from the base of a safe and supportive relationalconnection.
AEDP considers therapeutic presence not only as a relational precondition to therapy,but also as a specific, healing, affective change process in its own right. From the getgo,AEDP therapists strive to actively and explicitly foster secure attachment by offering anew experience of emotional safety. An AEDP therapist cultivates Therapeutic Presencein order to embody the characteristics of a loving, attuned and self-possessed Other.And the AEDP therapeutic stance is welcoming, encouraging, affirming, transparent andexplicitly emotionally engaged. It is focused not only on the patient’s intrapsychic experience,but also on the relational “we-ness” of the therapeutic process. The therapeuticemphasis is on “being there” and becoming a trusted companion in a shared, affectiveexploratory journey that promotes a client’s mastery and experientially heals trauma.
In this Advanced Skills Module, we will walk the talk of healing, in heart and mind andbody, by helping you to develop and deepen your own capacities for Therapeutic Presenceand practice using them in clinical work through experiential modules on each dayof the training.