401 Keynote : The Science of Human Excellence

K. Anders Ericsson

K. Anders EricssonWe all know of therapists who are considered experts in the field, but how exactly did they get there and how can we join them? According to Symposium 2013 Keynote Speaker Anders Ericsson, focused, deliberate, sustained practice (at least 10,000 hours’ worth) of a particular skill almost always determines the difference between the exceptional and the merely competent, even in the therapy room. Ericsson explores:

  • the practical applications of his research and thinking on expertise to the craft of psychotherapy
  • the quality and quantity of effort therapists put into practicing their skills and how this impacts their practice
  • the importance of accurate feedback to the development of expertise


K. Anders Ericsson, widely acknowledged as the world’s leading “expert on expertise,” is a professor of psychology at Florida State University and coeditor of the 900-page Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance. His work, which has revolutionized the scientific study of what it takes to become an expert has been popularized by author Malcolm Gladwell and cited by Nobel-Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. Website: http://www.psy.fsu.edu/faculty/ericsson.dp.html

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