Upcoming Seminars

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Course Information

Therapeutic Presence in AEDP: Turbocharge your AEDP practice with specific skills and strategies for enhancing and using Therapeutic Presence in both your in-person and on-line sessions



Benjamin Lipton, LCSW, is a founding faculty member of the AEDP Institute. He is based in New York City and travels nationally and internationally to teach and present AEDP to a broad range of professional audiences. Mr. Lipton pioneered the first AEDP Advanced Core Training programs (Bay Area and Seattle) and currently co-leads the AEDP Retreat Style Essential Skills course. His open and engaging teaching style and skill in translating complex ideas into clear and accessible learning points receives consistent praise from his audiences. Mr. Lipton is the editor of From Crisis to Crossroads: Gay Men Living with Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities (Haworth Press) and has published many clinical articles and book chapters in psychology and social service journals over the past two decades. His most recent article, co-authored with Diana Fosha, is on working with attachment in AEDP; Attachment as a Transformative Process in AEDP: Operationalizing the Intersection of Attachment Theory and Affective Neuroscience. Mr. Lipton has held adjunct faculty appointments at Columbia Presbyterian Department of Psychiatry and New York University School of Social Work and he serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. Previously, he was the Director of Clinical Services at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), the world’s first and largest HIV/AIDS service organization. In addition to his expertise in AEDP, Mr. Lipton has training in EMDR, Internal Family Systems, Somatic Experiencing, Solution-Focused therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Mr. Lipton is committed to the foundational principle of human development that change for the better, at every level of civilization, flourishes when people feel safe enough to be curious and take necessary risks. He is passionately dedicated to bringing this alive in both his practice and teaching.



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.



Day 1:
11:00-11:15 Welcome/Orientation to training
11:15-12:45 Introduction to Presence and Therapeutic Presence Didactic and Video
12:45–1:00 Experiential Group Breakout: Intros and Brief experiential exercises
1:15 -1:45 Break
1:45 -4:00 Experiential exercises and Metaprocessing the day

Day 2:
11:00-11:15 Welcome Back/Orientation to day ahead
11:15-1:15 Therapeutic Presence across 4 State Model Client Experience AND Therapist Experience Didactic and Video
1:15-1:45 Break
1:45 -4:00 Experiential exercises and Metaprocessing the day

Day 3:
11:00-11:15 Welcome Back, Orientation to day ahead
11:15-1:15 ACTIVE EMPATHY: A model for cultivating Therapeutic Presence in AEDP Intersectionality and Therapeutic Presence Didactic and Video
1:15 -1:45 Break
1:45 -4:00 Experiential exercises and Metaprocessing entire training