Befriending the AEDP Triangles

Course Information

Course Description: The experiential focus in AEDP aims to harness positive neuroplasticity. Our effectiveness is tripled in its impact when we make use of the AEDP three representational schemas: The Triangle of Experience, the Self-Other-Emotion Triangle, and the Triangle of Relational Comparisons to guide our interventions and clinical decision making. Additionally, mapping out the insecure patterns of attachment on these three AEDP Triangle further informs and strengthens our therapeutic work. With the four-state transformational process map in the background, this course illustrates the value of these three triangles. Using clinical videotape, we will notice how they provide underlying structure for moment-to-moment therapeutic activities and fortify the AEDP therapist’s use of self: our sensitive attunement, potential blind spots. Therapists’ use of self, and clarity of recognizing markers of our patient’s experience, play a huge part in how we attune to and engage with our patients: 1) how we perceive and respond to how they show up, 2) how we identify transformance motivational forces at play, and 3) how we search to discover the roots of each patient’s suffering and the dynamics that underlie their functioning. Understanding how each triangle provides a window into patterns of emotional regulation, internal working models and relational strategies will help us befriend the triangles: appreciating how they organize experience and help us to meet our clients and help them to feel met. How AEDP therapists lean into the AEDP transformational focus and make use of these three representational schemas maximizes our effectiveness to potentiate positive neuroplasticity in our patients. Orienting our interventions to their presenting pattern of attachment, helps each patient have the specific healing transformation they need. We will have both didactic teaching with new video illustrations and experiential exercises guided by our dedicated and knowledgeable experiential assistants.


Karen Pando-Mars, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Rafael, California, and Senior Faculty of the AEDP Institute. She was irresistibly drawn to AEDP in 2005 and captivated by the depth and breadth of this transformational model. She immersed herself in training and consultation with Dr. Fosha and three years of core training with Dr. Frederick. Ms. Pando-Mars is one of the founders of AEDP West and chaired the AEDP Institute Education Committee from 2011-2018. Ms. Pando-Mars' passionate interest in what cultivates deep connection between Self and Other has been furthered by attachment theory and related neuroscience. She is known for her presence, warmth, and the clarity of her presentations. Videotapes of her clinical work are moving and inspiring examples of how AEDP’s explicit relational and experiential practices can help patients heal from relational trauma. Ms. Pando-Mars arrived to AEDP with background in somatic and experiential therapies, including Focusing, Biofeedback, Process-Oriented Psychotherapy, Sandtray-Worldplay, EMDR, and Authentic Movement. These influences are deeply woven throughout her work. She was a founder of The Sandtray Network and a contributing editor of its journal. As adjunct faculty at Dominican University, in San Rafael, California, she taught AEDP as the overarching theoretical model in the Alternative and Innovative Psychotherapies course. She presents workshops on AEDP,  teaches and leads Essential and Advanced Skills courses, Core training and supervision across the United States and internationally.  Her publication “Tailoring AEDP interventions to attachment style,” 2016 Transformance Journal, 6 (2) is the basis for her upcoming book, which will be co-authored with Diana Fosha and published by Norton & Co.