A core element of the innovative psychotherapies of Milton Erickson was his emphasis on helping patients gradually shift from a focus on the unchangeable past to a focus on the positive potentials of the future. In recent years, substantial evidence has accumulated that makes it clear that a focus on the future is far more than just a philosophical preference. In fact, an orientation to the future has been associated with some of the most fundamental aspects of clinical practice ranging from an individual’s personality traits to his or her treatment response. In this address, then, we will consider some of the many facets of a future orientation and some of the ways Dr. Erickson was prescient in his encouraging a future focus in psychotherapy.
*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*
Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D. (professional psychology, clinical specialization), is internationally recognized for his innovative work in applied clinical hypnosis, developing brief psychotherapies, and the strategic treatment of depression. He has been invited to present his work in more than 30 countries across six continents. He is the author of 15 books, including his most recent, The Discriminating Therapist. He is a recipient of numerous awards for his many contributions to the field, including the Milton H. Erickson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.