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Case Studies in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP):Reflections on the Case of "Rosa"

Shigeru Iwakabe

Abstract


Systematic case studies can benefit understanding of the process and outcome of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP; Fosha, 2000) and other affect-focused and experiential therapies by expanding the scope of investigation from the moment-to-moment emotional change on which these therapies are particularly strong to changes that occur over and across sessions. Systematic case studies are also important because the link between in-session changes and changes in the client behavior and interpersonal relationships in daily life can be explored. In the engaging AEDP case study of "Rosa" (Vigoda Gonzales, 2018), the language switching that allowed Rosa to access painful emotions had an additional relational implication in that the therapist was able to directly connect to Rosa’s child self, which was encoded in a different language than her adult self. I suspect that this prevented Rosa and the therapist from running into difficulties due to the potential mismatch in their backgrounds. Corrective emotional experience seen in this therapy confirmed the finding by my own case study research team (Nakamura & Iwakabe, 2018b) that client therapeutic gains are most clearly reflected in new relationships rather than existing attachment relationships. My commentary concludes with some questions posed to the author relating to the issue of effective training in empathic attunement and working with strong emotions in therapy.

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