Point Of View

Point Of View

The Alphabet Soup: Diana Fosha on the Convergence in Today’s Therapies

By Ryan Howes

September/October 2011

DBT, ACT, IFS, EMDR, SE . . . We seem to have entered The Acronymic Era of psychotherapy. In today’s profusion of therapeutic models, with all their own particularities, there also seems to be many common assumptions about change, consciousness, biology, and the therapeutic relationship. These days, the approaches that generate the most discussion, each in their own way, try to incorporate a core group of new ideas that have emerged in the field over the last decade—about mindfulness, the use of somatic resources, Positive Psychology, brain research, and the nonverbal dimension of the therapeutic relationship. As various modalities borrow effective techniques and concepts from one another, we seem to be forming a common therapeutic language, a postmodern dialect of healing.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in AEDP—Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy—a modality developed by Diana Fosha, a Romanian-born psychologist trained at Columbia, Cornell, and The City University of New York. Her most recent book, The Healing Power of Emotion (coedited with Daniel Siegel and Marion Solomon), was praised by Daniel Stern as “A masterful, panoramic view of emotion.” Fosha lectures around the world, writes, supervises, and maintains her private practice in New York City. In the following conversation, she offers her perspective on how Freud’s “talking cure” has both changed and remained the same during this latest stage of psychotherapy’s…

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