This seminar aims to address three sets of inter-related questions: What is the Spirit of AEDP? How do we cultivate the spirit of AEDP? Is it only for AEDP therapist? Or is it applicable for humanity at large? Why care about the spirit of AEDP? Is it specific only to AEDP treatment? Or could it be humanity’s way of being in the world?
Going beyond the therapeutic skills and stance, or the doing of AEDP, this spirit of AEDP is the being of the AEDP therapist, that which wells up from one’s deep soulful place. This embodied spirit is that which fundamentally inspires the person’s art of being-in-the-world and only secondarily informs the person’s therapeutic way of being-with-the-other in the clinical context.
Interhuman and humanizing, Buber’s I-and-Thou experience, emerging as AEDP State 4 phenomenology, could be deepened by and expanded with the Zhuangzian inspired I-and-Dao experience. Intersubjective and ecologically oriented, the sense of I-and-Dao experience opens one to spirituality – the transcendent sensibility to the higher dimensions of reality.
Dao, conceptualized1 as the “infinite generative field”, manifests at two levels of reality: the cosmic/transcendent/universal and the personal/immanent/existential. It is the personal level or the immanent/existential Dao that is near identical to AEDP’s transformance.
I-and-Dao experience, referring to an intersubjective encounter to all of existence, is situated in that which is emergent “here” and that is in the present “now” moment. It is this sense and sensibility of the I-and-Dao in the Here-and-Now that the person of the AEDP therapist cultivates as the art of being-in-the-world.
Why so passionate about the Spirit of AEDP? I-and-Dao in the Here-and-Now: exemplified by the intersubjective encounter emergent in each present moment, through an AEDP therapist’s soulful way of being-in-the-world, is the most powerful antidote against the objectifying, dehumanizing fragmentation and alienation of our contemporary narcissistic anthropocentric civilization.
Heartfelt listening, a coined equivalent of AEDP’s “drawing attention inwardly”, is the way or how to cultivate contact with our innermost self. The phenomenology of heartfelt listening is consonant with the interoceptive self, neuroanatomically situated on the heart wall and the gut wall. And it is this interoceptive self that is connected directly with the neurobiological core self.
Ultimately, heartfelt listening is the AEDP therapist’s soulful cultivation of I-and-Dao in the Here-and-Now, an embodied art of being-in-the-world and exemplified as the spirit of AEDP in the clinical situation.