Upcoming Seminars

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Course Information

The Wounds We Cannot See: Transforming the trauma of oppression with AEDP

Note: This seminar is an updated version of “Clinically Oppressed: Addressing the Trauma of Marginalization with AEDP” presented by Ben on February 29, 2020. 

Seminar Description:

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.

For more information about this course please visit;



Ben Medley, LCSW loves supervising clinicians learning AEDP! He has a private practice in NYC where he works with individuals and couples and supervises both in-person and online. In addition to being a certified AEDP Supervisor, Ben is also a certified Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples (EFT) Supervisor. He has presented nationally and internationally, including co-presenting with AEDP faculty member Ben Lipton the workshop Feeling Like a Man: Using AEDP to Overcome Shame and Heal Attachment Trauma both with AEDP West in California and in New York City. He has also taught/presented with the Essential Skills course in Parma, Italy; taught/ presented in Ithaca with the Central New York AEDP community; has assisted with the NY Immersion Course with Diana Fosha; and has assisted in Essential Skills courses with Natasha Prenn, Ben Lipton and Eileen Russell. Ben also created and launched AEDP Jumpstart, a short-term AEDP supervision group for those beginning AEDP supervision and/or beginning to review video of clinical material. Before private practice, Ben began a mental health program for study abroad students with the Scuola Lorenzo di Medici in Florence, Italy; worked in the Jewish Board of Family Services LGBTQ Unit; and worked in Greenwich House's HIV Mental Health and Chemical Dependency programs. His paper "Recovering the True Self: Affirmative Therapy, Attachment and AEDP in Psychotherapy with Gay Men" is being published with the SEPI Journal: the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration and, in 2019, Ben will be helming the five-weekend ES2 training in New York City. Ben earned his degree in Clinical Social Work with the NYU Silver School of Social Work.


Target Audience:

Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Psychiatrists, Psychoanalysts, Social Workers, Counselors, MFTs, MD’s, Nurses, Creative Arts Therapists, in mental health and the healing arts and sciences. This course is for Beginning/Intermediate levels.


Course Objectives:

  • Define how oppression can be traumatic
  • Name and define 3 types of microaggressions
  • Describe how oppression can negatively affect a client’s relationship to the self
  • Recognize and know how to explicitly explore experiences of oppression with your clients
  • Demonstrate the AEDP stance, undo aloneness and foster secure connection with clients from oppressed social groups
  • Identify and work with experiences of oppression explicitly in each of the 4 States of the AEDP model
  • Recognize your own experiences of oppression, power and privilege and how this can intersect with your clients’ own social identities and experiences




Friday, October 9, 2020: Day 1, four hours, (USA Eastern Time)
10:00–10:15 am  Welcome and Seminar Overview
10:15–11:45 am   The Trauma of Oppression
11:45–12:00 am   Break
12:00–1:45 pm     Overview of AEDP and video presentation
1:45–2:00 pm       Group Discussion

Saturday, October 10, 2020: Day 2, five hours, (USA Eastern Time)
10:00-10:15 am    Welcome and Agenda
10:15–11:45 am    Being an Anti-Oppression AEDP Therapist
11:45-12:00 am    Break
12:00–1:25 pm     Video Presentation
1:25-1:30 pm        Short break
1:30–2:30 pm       Panel Discussion
2:30-3:00 pm       Group Discussion and Closing

Optional: Sunday, October 11, 2020: Day 3 three hours (USA Eastern Time) 

Optional Bonus Panel Discussion: Minnesota focused panel discussion – Optional, CE not available | For more information go here.
10:00–10:15 am         Welcome and agenda
10:15 am-11:00 am    Review of content and implementation planning
11:00 am-12:00 pm   Panel discussion with Minnesota providers
12:00 pm-1:00 pm    Post panel discussion and questions