Presence and Bravery in Action: AEDP interventions to awaken emotional resilience after loss, endings, and death

DATE(S): Friday – Monday, June 7 – 10, 2024 | 11:00 am – 3:30 pm EST USA
LOCATION: Live Interactive Online
PRESENTER(S): Kate Halliday, LCSW 

Course Information

Whether through departure or death, endings and loss are an unavoidable part of human experience. We want everything good to go on forever; staying present to both love and the inevitability of loss is an act of bravery. Avoidance of affective distress, especially relational pain and grief, means that many people are unprepared for inevitable experiences of separation and endings in life, and best efforts at adaptation to this reality have often imprisoned them in defensive or maladaptive patterns and suffering. A deep unacknowledged existential dread of death is a reality most people strive to deny. Pema Chödrön’s insight that “only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us,” resonates with the AEDP position about engagement with suffering: “The AEDP transformational process organically links emotional suffering with flourishing. It connects a biopsychoevolutionary perspective at one end with acceptance, wisdom, aesthetics, spirituality, and the quest for personal truth at the other” (DF, 2020) As findings in the AEDP research project have shown, explicit in vivo exploration of experiences of relational loss is in itself an opportunity for profound healing. It is worth our efforts, for ourselves and for our clients, to engage bravely with even the most painful and terrifying material: to thrive in the present moment demands an open- eyed recognition of impermanence. Metaprocessing what changes as a result of explicit focus on loss in the therapeutic relationship invites multiple layers of unfolding self awareness, and jumpstarts the Transformational spiral into State four, Core State, where we connect to compassion for self and others. This self-transcendence (Danny Young 2010) in turn frees our access to the “big” relationship with Mystery; the ineffable. Not only do compassion and self compassion, but joy and some liberation from fear flow out of this leap into core state. Although our clinical focus begins with loss and grief, joy and liberation are the true heroes of this course. Please join me as we explore and expand our capacities for affective bravery and delight. My intention is that participants of this course build greater trust in the process of AEDP to activate our inherent human potential for joy, even in the face of pain. (There’s a reason a common visual metaphor in AEDP is the vibrant green sprout emerging from concrete.)