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David Mars & Karen Pando-Mars — Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy for Couples

Essential Ingredients of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy for Couples (AEDPfC), a 2019 Cape Cod Institute workshop led by David Mars and Karen Pando-Mars July 15-19th, 2019


David Mars and Karen Pando-Mars

Essential Ingredients of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy for Couples (AEDPfC)
July 15-19, 2019

“AEDPfC evokes and amplifies the felt experience of love, and helps couple members shift patterns of insecurity to new patterns that form a secure base.  The movement from fear to love and from survival to thriving, is the expression of transformance: the indwelling biological drive to evolve.” (Fosha 2008, Mars 2011).

To engage transformance in AEDPfC, the clinician guides couple members to talk directly to each other from the first moments of the opening session. For many couple therapists, this is a stretch: What if they start escalating? The AEDPfC therapist shapes, with attentiveness and kindness, increasingly authentic and safe interactions. Facilitating dialogue that helps couple members to speak mindfully and be heard is a cultivated art and practice. 

In this workshop, fitting for clinicians new to AEDPfC and those with experience, we will help participants to learn effective and embodied Process Language to help couples perceive, receive, and express their moment-to-moment somatic experience. Engendering couples to respond lovingly to each other and shift old patterns of distress and disturbance to new pathways of connection and healing.

Each day, participants will learn the essential ingredients of the theory and practice of AEDPfC through clinical video illustrations, live demonstrations, and experiential practices. Throughout, Karen and David will help participants cultivate safe and deep witnessing skills fundamental to co-creating a secure base for transformational couples work.

An Overview Of AEDP and AEDPfC

  • Attachment-based, neuroscience-informed.

  • AEDP’s three-prong model of change based in emotion, relationship, and transformation. 

  • Biological drives that motivate healing, repair, love, and connection.

Facing Each Other

  • Process Language to build safety and help couples speak and listen to each other.

Feeling My Self

  • Deepening connection to one another by connecting to one’s own self and inner experience. 

  • Broadening somatic awareness through seven channels of experience.


Whose Face Are You Seeing Now?

  • Transforming patterns of reactivity by exploring each partner’s internal working models.

  • Illuminating, repairing and re-wiring self-protective adaptations and patterns of connection with others. 

Metaprocess For Lasting Change

  • When change happens, old ways often reassert themselves.

  • Helping couple members to shift, experience what has shifted, notice the impact inside themselves and with their partner.

David Mars & Karen Pando-Mars

David Mars & Karen Pando-Mars

David Mars, PhD, MFT, is the developer of AEDP For Couples. He has specialized in the somatically focused treatment of couples and groups for four decades. David’s style as a presenter is inspiring, warm and deeply personable. He quickly evokes trust from his audiences, which ushers in a deep level of transparent exchange of ideas and points of view about how therapists can more effectively treat the historical trauma and deprivation that underlies marital dysfunction. David develops and presents AEDPFC seminars, webinars, core trainings and workshops nationally and internationally. He teaches at AEDP Immersion and Essential Skills programs. David is an adjunct faculty of the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco.

Karen Pando-Mars, MFT, brings a passionate interest in the attachment dynamics that facilitate deep and lasting connection between Self and Other. Her depth of presence is grounded in a well-honed skill-base, combined with her ability to "feel into” the struggles, strengths, fears and victories of her clients, supervisees and training participants. Karen has been married to the developer of AEDP-for-Couples, David Mars, since 1985. She says, “…the intentions and creative actions of practicing at home what we ask our couples to do in therapy is no small endeavor; it is the ultimate inspirational force in our lives together.” Since 2011, she leads AEDP Essential and Advanced Skills courses, and is a co-faculty of AEDP for Couples courses across the United States and internationally. Her 2016 publication, Tailoring AEDP Interventions to Attachment Style is the basis for her upcoming book, which will be co-authored with Diana Fosha, Ph.D. and published by Norton & Co.

“We are delighted to welcome David and Karen Mars in their first appearance at the Institute!

NJ Social Workers:

Social workers completing this course will receive 15 Clinical Practice continuing education credits. ASWB ACE Individual Course approval statements can be found here.

For all other CE information:

Please visit our CE page and search by discipline.