Note: This seminar is an updated version of “Clinically Oppressed: Addressing the Trauma of Marginalization with AEDP” presented by Ben on February 29, 2020.
People belonging to oppressed social groups experience high levels of stress and negative life events. Oppression denies people involvement in economic, political, cultural and social activities due to their identification in regard to race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, socio-economic status and/or religion. The more these aspects of identity intersect, the more there can be an increase in oppression and psychological distress. This stress occurs not only as result of direct experiences of discrimination and prejudice, but also from a lack of connection to others and the culture at large.
AEDP views trauma as being alone with and overwhelmed by unregulated affective experiences. Oppression can not only result in disconnect from others on an institutional, societal and inter-relational level, but also from the self on an intra-relational level. The external messages associated with racism, ableism, sexism, cissexism, heterosexism, classism and xenophobia (to name a few of the “isms” and “phobias”) can also be internalized and negatively affect views of self and others. In essence, an insecure attachment relationship can be formed on any or all levels of connection (institutional, inter-relational and intra-relational), causing distress, emotional suffering and unbearable aloneness.
With a focus on undoing aloneness and creating secure attachment in the therapeutic relationship, AEDP, when employed with an anti-oppression approach, offers the clinician the theoretical knowledge and operational tools well-suited for addressing experiences of oppression. By explicitly recognizing and exploring the effects of oppression, and the emotions associated with these experiences, the AEDP therapist seeks to dyadically co-create new, positive experiences by deeply processing core affect in relationship to a supportive, authentic and emotionally present therapist. For the client, and perhaps even therapist, this creates the possibility of undoing internalized oppression and relating to self and others in new, healing ways.
This workshop offers 8.5 CE hours.
There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.