Duke University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, AEDP Institute, & AEDP Southeast present:

 The Heart of the Matter: 

Transformational Change in Psychotherapy

The Polyvagal Theory & the Theory and Practice of AEDP


Presenters:  Stephen PORGES, Ph.D. & Diana FOSHA, Ph.D. 

April 17, 2015 Plenary Session 5:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

April 18, 2015 All Day Workshop 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Love Auditorium, Levine Science Center,

308 Research Dr., Durham, NC


Register Online at: http://events.duke.edu/heartofthematter2015

Register by Mail:  print the attached Registration Form and send check payable to Duke University to: Conference and Event Services, Box 90847, Durham NC 27708

Contact Us: 919-660-1760 or email:  conferenceservices@duke.edu

In recent years, Polyvagal theory has revolutionized our understanding of the human nervous system. It has garnered the interest of both researchers and practitioners in the fields of medicine, psychiatry, psychology and mental health in general. In this conference, Stephen Porges will explain his theory and how it can help inform clinical interventions, guide clinical practice, and re-conceptualize trauma and its treatment.  His work will provide clinicians with new perspectives as well as new tools to help clients with affect regulation problems.

Diana Fosha is the creator of AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), a revolutionary new healing oriented approach to psychotherapy informed by advances in affective neuroscience and attachment research.  A powerful and innovative clinical theory underlies AEDP’s therapeutic action and practice. Through relational and experiential processes and the in-depth processing of emotion, AEDP works with transformational experiences that heal trauma. The further metaprocessing of these transformational events results in the emergence of new experiences for our clients marked by enhanced resilience, vitality, and a renewed zest for life.  In other words, AEDP’s methodology seeks to clinically work the edge of neuroplasticity to make change happen.

This conference provides a novel opportunity to hear these two important innovators discuss their work and the connections between them.


  1. Describe how the social engagement system compliments the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
  2. Understand the therapeutic power of facial expression, eye contact, voice modulation, and active listening.
  3. Understand the polyvagal theory as it relates to therapeutic change.
  4. Define core characteristics of AEDP theory.
  5. Describe the way in which advances in neuroscience and particularly polyvagal theory have contributed to the development of AEDP theory and practice.
  6. Discuss how the practice of AEDP facilitates rapid and transformational change.
  7. Through a video of an actual AEDP session, demonstrate the “neuroception” occurring in both client and therapist.



Friday Plenary Session

5:30-6:00 Registration and Reception

6:00-6:15  Welcoming remarks (Weisberg)

6:15-7:00  Connectedness as a biological imperative: Understanding trauma through the lens of the Polyvagal Theory (Porges)

7:00-7:45  AEDP: Healing at the edge of transformational experience

The dyadic repair of attachment trauma and the emergence of the resilient self (Fosha)

7:45-8:00 Dialogue (Porges and Fosha)

8:00-8:15 Q & A


Saturday Workshop

8:30-9:00  Registration

9:00-9:10  Welcoming remarks (Weisberg)

9:10-12:30  Therapeutic Presence and Receptive Affective Experience

9:10-10:25  Porges

10:25-10:30 Fosha commentary

10:30-10:45 Q & A

10:45-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:15 Fosha

12:15-12:20 Porges commentary

12:20-12:40 Q & A

12:30-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30-4:30 Trauma and It’s Healing: From Safety to Exploration

1::30-3:00 Part 1:

Videotape of  Dr. Fosha demonstrating experiential therapeutic work highlighting connectedness and receptivity.

Commentary by Dr. Porges,followed by dialogue between Drs. Fosha and Porges;Q & A.

3:00-3:15 Coffee Break

3:15-4:30  Part 2:

Videotape of Dr. Fosha demonstrating experiential therapeutic work facilitating transformational experience;

Commentary by Dr. Porges followed by dialogue between Drs. Porges and Fosha; Q& A.



Stephen-Porges-picture-for-blog-583x640Stephen W. Porges is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Professor Porges formerly was the Director of the Brain-Body Center in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also held appointments in the Departments of Psychology, BioEngineering, and the Program in Neurosocience. Dr. Porges also served as Chair of the Department of Human Development and Director of the Institute for Child Study. He is a former President of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and has been President of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences. (now called the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences).  He is a recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, Dr. Porges is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation (Norton, 2011).


Diana_Fosha2Diana Fosha is the Director and Founder of the AEDP Institute and the creator of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy, a healing based, transformation oriented psychotherapy rooted in recent developments in affective neuroscience and attachment research.  She is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at New York University and St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital.  Two DVDs of her AEDP clinical work have been released by the American Psychological Association Systems of Psychotherapy Video Series.  In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, Dr. Fosha is author of The Transforming Power of Affect: A Model for Accelerated Change (Basic Books, 2000) and senior editor along with Dan Siegel and Marian Solomon of the Healing Power of Emotion: Affective Neuroscience, Development, and Clinical Practice (Norton, 2009).


Continuing education

This conference will be of interest to all mental health professionals and as well as to those in the fields of neuroscience.   While the conference is open to all levels of experience, it is geared towards an intermediate or advanced level of experience.

CE/CEUs are available through R. Cassidy for an additional $20 fee for psychologists, social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists as well as other specialties. To register for CE/CEUs go to http://tinyurl.com/mr34xlpFor these disciplines, 8 contact hours are available (Friday: 2 credit hours, Saturday: 6 credit hours).

For Physicians, CME credits are available for an additional $35 fee by registering on the conference website. Physicians who complete this activity are awarded 8 contact hours.

In support of improving patient care, the Duke University Health System Department of Clinical Education & Professional Development is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), to provide continuing education for the health care team.

**Physicians: Duke University Health System Department of Clinical Education and Professional Development designates this activity for a maximum of 7 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

***Nursing: Duke University Health System Department of Clinical Education and Professional Development is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

*Important disclosure information: None of the planners or presenters of this CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose 

Registration Fees

                                            *Early         Student      Regular     On-Site

Complete Conference:     $200             $120             $220           $240

Plenary Only:                     $40               $20               $45             $50

Workshop Only:               $185            $100             $195           $205

**Saturday Box Lunch: $15 (specify:     Vegetarian___      Non-vegetarian___   Gluten-free__)


* Registration received before April 1

*Optional box lunch is available and recommended. Restaurants are available within a 15 minute walk.

Complete conference registration includes Friday reception and Saturday Continental breakfast and refreshments.

Confirmations will be sent via email.

Cancellation Policy:  Refunds (less a $50 administrative fee for full conference, $20 for plenary) will be granted upon written request postmarked on or before April 10.

Hotel Reservations

A block of rooms has been reserved for the conference at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Raleigh-Durham, 2515 Meridian Parkway, Durham, NC 27713 for $109/night. A shuttle to the conference will be provided. For reservations, go to www.RaleighDurhamSuites.DoubleTree.com, select your dates, and scroll down to Special Accounts. In the field for Group/Convention, enter ASC. Pick room type, enter credit card information to hold the reservation. Cancellation policy is 24 hours before date of arrival. OR Call 1-800-HILTONS and request DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Raleigh-Durham. Say you are with the AEDP Southeast Conference or use code ASC.

Cut-off date for reservations is March 23, 2015.


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