The Milton H. Erickson Foundation organized the first Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in 1985 in Phoenix. It was hailed as a landmark conference in the history of psychotherapy. Faculty included Beck, the late Bruno Bettleheim, the late Murray Bowen, Ellis, M. Goulding, the late Robert Goulding, Haley, the late Ronald D. Laing, Lazarus, Madanes, Marmor, Masterson, the late Rollo May, Minuchin, Moreno, E. Polster, the late Miriam Polster, the late Carl Rogers, Rossi, the late Virginia Satir, Szasz, Watzlawick, the late Carl Whitaker, the late Lewis Walberg, the late Joseph Wolpe and Zeig.
The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference has been, since 1985, an international forum for masters in the field to meet, interact, and discuss a wide range of topics, including their current work and latest research, as well as the future of psychotherapy. The Conference was devised to provide an opportunity for leaders in the field of psychotherapy to present and interact on the topic of "The Evolution of Psychotherapy" by discussing the evolution of their approach to psychotherapy and the evolution of psychotherapy in general.
The Evolution Conference has become iconic, and part of the lore of psychotherapy. It is the largest Conference ever held solely on the topic of psychotherapy.