"AEDP for Couples Essential Skills Intensive: 3-Day Certificate Course"
Presented by Developer of AEDP for Couples David Mars, LMFT, PhD & AEDP Institute Senior Faculty Member Karen Pando-Mars, LMFT
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |19.5 CEs | Level of Learning: Introductory AEDPfC

David Mars, Ph.D., LMFT Karen Pando-Mars, LMFT


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Course Description:

Are you a couple therapist who wants to help couples break through patterns of stuckness and reactivity to rekindle and stabilize fresh experiences of love? 

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy for Couples (AEDPfC) is a powerful, somatically-oriented method with foundations in affective neuroscience and attachment theory. This course has been shown to help couple therapists reach beyond their own internal working models to expand their capacity to access and make optimal use of somatic awareness. Intensive support will be provided each of the three days by highly trained Experiential Assistants in small experiential training subgroups. Each morning, we will introduce theoretical foundations of AEDPfC with clinical videotape illustrations to set the stage for learning new skills. Each afternoon you will practice applying AEDPfC interventions with role-play couples. These small experiential groups are facilitated by highly trained AEDPfC experiential assistants who guide the process step-by-step. You will build on your skills for somatic tracking and affect regulation with two people at a time, to create the secure base necessary for transformative outcomes in treatment.

No matter what your current orientation, this combined left-brain and right-brain learning will enhance your ability to effectively treat couples with greater confidence, enjoyment and ease.

This course offers a certificate of completion of the three-day course and 19.5 continuing education hours. Following this intensive three-day certificate course, participants can add an optional series of six, two-hour live interactive webinar sessions in which participants would receive further training with didactic and clinical videos. This webinar series would provide further supervision and consultation via a HIPAA compliant online videoconference platform. In this way, certificate holders integrate the method into their clinical practices as they work towards the next step in their AEDPfC certification. Cost for the follow-up interactive webinar series is $450 ($75 per live webinar).

What will be covered in the three days?

The theory and practice of the AEDPfC method via combined didactic training with clinical video demonstrations of how to apply the method. Participants will learn how to:

  • Detect and build upon the healthiest aspects of each couple member 
  • Incorporate the seven channels of experience to deepen somatic awareness in couple treatment (Sensation, Emotion, Energetic, Movement, Auditory, Visual and Imaginal)
  • Work with defenses related to each attachment style to build an atmosphere of safety 
  • Regulate emotional reactivity and deepen emotional processing
  • Apply Polyvagal theory in the practice of couple’s therapy 
  • Use AEDP’s map of the four states of transformation to guide couple treatment 
  • Help couple members to process unresolved trauma that interferes with relational health and well-being

Areas of clinical application:

  • Day One: High conflict couples with combined anger issues and dissociation
  • Day Two: Couples with combined polarized avoidant and highly emotional dynamics
  • Day Three: Treating infidelity

Upon completion of this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify two markers between couple members that affirm the felt experience of love.
  • Name one marker of each of the Seven Channels of Experience (Sensation, Emotion, Energetic, Movement, Auditory, Visual and Imaginal)
  • Define two signs of dorsal vagal response (Porges’ Polyvagal Theory)
  • Name two behaviors that point to unresolved early traumatic material that is showing up in a couple member.

is the co-founder of AEDP West and is aSenior Faculty Member at the Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) Institute. Dr. Mars is the developer of AEDP for Couples (AEDPfC) model. He develops and presents workshops world-wide, and has specialized in the somatically focused treatment of couples and groups since 1975. Dr. Mars has co-consulted with Dr. Diana Fosha, the originator of AEDP since 2005. He is the lead supervisor of the AEDPfC Core Training, teaches at AEDP Immersion Courses, the Essential Skills Courses and leads three ongoing AEDPfC small supervision groups. Dr. Mars is also on the adjunct faculty of the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco where he has infused AEDP into his teaching of courses on the Clinical Relationship.

Dr. Mars’ style as a presenter is described as inspiring, warm and deeply personable. He quickly evokes trust from his audiences, which ushers in a deep level of transparent exchange of points of view about how therapists can more effectively treat the historical trauma and deprivation that underlies marital dysfunction. Perhaps more importantly in the process of helping therapists to evolve their clinical skills, participants are moved to apply what they witness in the workshops, due to the depth of experience they take in while witnessing the videos and live demonstrations that Dr. Mars brings. He has also published multiple articles and papers on AEDPfC which are available upon request.

Karen Pando-Mars, LMFT, is a psychotherapist, supervisor, a co-founder of AEDP West, and a senior faculty member of the AEDP Institute. Her background in experiential, relational and somatic psychotherapies and her long-time interest in deepening connection between self and other has been met in consultation and close collaboration with AEDP’s founder Diana Fosha, since 2005. Pando-Mars supervises and trains clinicians worldwide as lead faculty of AEDP Essential and Advanced Skills courses in the SF Bay area, Vancouver, BC, and Tel Aviv, Israel.

Her presence, candor and warmth in her teaching style are complimented by the organization and clarity with which she translates complex theory into user-friendly interventions. Videotapes of her clinical work are deeply moving and stimulating to psychotherapists learning how to cultivate the therapist use of self for transformational outcomes. Her most recent publication “Tailoring AEDP Interventions to Attachment Style,” (2016) Transformance Journal, 6 (2) is the basis for her upcoming book, which will be published by Norton.

Here is what participants are saying about the AEDPfC training:

I came away feeling like I can really do what I'm being taught to do and that's so valuable to come away from a training feeling like okay, there are really concrete skills that are really going to make a difference.”- Paul N.

Coming into this without prior knowledge of this particular model was okay because of the way they structure the lessons and structure the learning, you can meet it where you are and there's plenty of room to grow and tons of support.” - Mimi S.

I keep coming back for more because this training is so… so transformational in my work. I want every couple’s therapist to take this training and to learn how to do this work.” -Jasmine M.

The most important part for me has been the community here. David and Karen are so supportive and really embody the model themselves and not only as they teach it but as they interact with us, that I feel at this point, excited to take it back to the couples that I work with and share that with them."- Susan R.

What other clinicians have to say:

Because of AEDP and AEDP for Couples, the way that I work has been deeply transformed. My couples are experiencing healing in a more accelerated way along with a more grounded felt sense between them of feeling more deeply connected and in love with each other. Love indeed does feel good!” - Tami Chelew, LMFT AEDP San Diego

You opened up the world of the positive for me…I can soar with this work.”

I love seeing the courage, confidence and support for students like me who are newer to both AEDP and couple treatment. David sets an exquisite stage for learning complex skills and material.

The end result is clarity and precision in theory and practical application. My [left and right] hemispheres are in synch…just enough of each

I feel grateful for the clarity, value, scope and responsiveness…I feel excited, tremulous, wanting to continue to learn more."


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