Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy

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September 12, 2018 -- From the Editor 


The Merits of Integrating Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy and Cultural Competence Strategies in the Treatment of Relational Trauma: The Case of "Rosa"  

*** Nicole Vigoda Gonzalez, Counseling and Psychological Services, Columbia University  


*** Shigeru IwakabeHuman Science Division, Faculty of Core Research, Ochanomizu University   

*** Karen Riggs Skean, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ     

For Table of Contents and access to articles: go to the bottom of this page; or click on the "Current" button at the top of this page. 


The Case Study

      Rosa is a bicultural, bilingual, mid-60s, divorced, Hispanic woman living alone, who retired 4 years ago after working as a school administrator for more than 2 decades. She presented to the Clinic complaining of overwhelming anxiety and depression in the context of her son’s worsening alcohol use, which was triggering disturbing memories associated with a variety of family-based, prolonged and repeated relational trauma she had suffered as a child.

      The present case study describes Dr. Nicole Vigoda Gonzalez’s conduct of 23 sessions of therapy with Rosa using Diana Fosha’s Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP; Fosha, 2000) model. With a focus upon establishing an intensely warm, empathetically attuned, compassionate, and validating therapy relationship with Rosa, Vigoda Gonzalez helped Rosa to successfully explore and work through the deeply painful emotions, experiences, and attachment difficulties from her past that were blocking her access to self-esteem, positive energy, and successful functioning.

      Vigoda Gonzalez’s case study explores ways in which she as the therapist employed her own bilingualism and ethnic identity in the treatment for connecting with Rosa to enhance their therapeutic bond and to facilitate Rosa gaining special access to buried emotions from her past, which were encoded in Rosa's native Spanish.

Part 1 Commentaries, 
Published in This Issue of PCSP

      The present issue of PCSP contains two commentaries and a response to them by Vigoda Gonzalez. The first commentary, by Shigeru Iwakabe, who is a member of Diana Fosha’s research team, explores issues such as: (a) specific ways in which case studies enhance understanding of the process and outcome of AEDP and other affect-focused and experiential therapies; and (b) how students can be taught the emotionally and interpersonally demanding skills and sensibilities involved in conducting successful AEDP.

      The second commentary, by Karen Riggs Skean, the clinical supervisor of Rosa’s case, speaks to a variety of issues and processes that emerged in the therapy, including how the combination of expertly conducted AEDP together with culturally competent strategies, particularly the use of a shared second language of origin, specifically potentiated the transformation of early affectively and bodily held memories and facilitated a successful outcome.

Part 2 Commentaries,
to Be Published in the Next Issue of PCSP 

      The second group of commentaries are of particular interest because they include two by the developer of AEDP, Diana Fosha, along with three by other members of her research team: Raymond Rodriguez, Yamilka Urquiza Mendoza, and Jacquie Perman. Fosha’s first commentary addresses ways in which the case of Rosa embodies “moment-to-moment guidance of clinical interventions by AEDP’s healing-oriented transformational phenomenology.” Fosha’s second commentary is an introduction to the other three, which focus on AEDP and cultural competence in developmental trauma treatment.      


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PCSP is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal and database. It is intended to provide innovative, quantitative and qualitative knowledge about psychotherapy process and outcome, for both researchers and practitioners.

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Conceptual Overview

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Editorial Board

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Call for Papers

** Manuscripts. Two types of manuscripts are desired: those consisting of one or more case studies, and those consisting of case method articles.

** Suggested Author Guidelines. These can be found by clicking on the link Instructions for Authors, as described above. Note that we suggest 11 common headings for case study manuscripts:
1. Case Context and Method
2. The Client
3. Guiding Conception with Research and Clinical Experience Support
4. Assessment of the Client's Problems, Goals, Strengths, and History.
5. Formulation and Treatment Plan
6. Course of Therapy
7. Therapy Monitoring and Use of Feedback Information
8. Concluding Evaluation of the Therapy's Process and Outcome
9. References
10. Tables (optional)
11. Figures (optional)
Also note that on the Instructions for Authors page,  there are substantive guidelines within each heading. However, these should be viewed as suggestions only, not as requirements.

** Author Policies. For author policies about manuscript submission, copyright, and confidentiality, click on the link Authors Guidelines, as described above. 

** Format. In the initial phase of the journal, manuscripts should be submitted if possible as Word documents using the manuscript style guidelines of the American Psychological Association.

** Submitting Manuscripts. During the initial phase of the journal, authors should submit manuscripts by emailing a Word file to the Editor, Daniel Fishman, at  

** Note: the PCSP web site has an automated method for submitting manuscripts, which will be activated after the initial phase of the journal.

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Vol 14, No 1 (2018)

Table of Contents

Case Study

The Merits of Integrating Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy and Cultural Competence Strategies in the Treatment of Relational Trauma: The Case of "Rosa" Abstract PDF
Nicole Vigoda Gonzalez 1-57
Case Studies in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP):Reflections on the Case of "Rosa" Abstract PDF
Shigeru Iwakabe 58-68
AEDP and Cultural Competence in Developmental Trauma Treatment Abstract PDF
Karen Riggs Skean 69-76
The Case of "Rosa": Reflections on the Treatment of a Survivor of Relational Trauma Abstract PDF
Nicole Vigoda Gonzalez 77-86