K. Anders Ericsson
It’s long been argued whether the profession of psychotherapy is more of an art or a science, but what if it’s neither? The theme of this year’s Networker Symposium, “The Therapist’s Craft,” offers a third possibility.
As Bill Doherty put it in a recent issue of the Networker, “We often assume that if therapists are trained in good models of therapy or in common factors of all successful therapy, they’ll just know how to execute the skills. But what if we think of therapy as a conversational craft that we hone over a career with our clients a community of conversational healers?”
And if psychotherapy is more of a craft than a science or an art, what are the tools of the craft? And, even more importantly, how can we learn to more fully develop our craft over the course of our careers? The reality today is that, from our overly academic grad school training to the rushed, pressured atmosphere of most of our work settings to the increasing emphasis on protocol-based therapy methods, there is probably less support for therapists’ truly enhancing their craft than ever before.
With that thought in mind, we’d like to introduce you to our opening Symposium keynote speaker, K. Anders Ericsson. Widely regarded as the world’s leading “expert on expertise,” Ericsson has pioneered in identifying the principles and methods that enable people to become truly excellent at whatever complex skill set they wish to master. Whether you aim to excel at being a therapist, become a chess master, or achieve basketball superstardom, Ericsson knows what it takes to hone your particular craft.
In his research, Ericsson has demonstrated over and over the fallacy of the widespread belief that natural talents are the key to mastery. In his best-seller Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularized Ericsson’s finding that 10,000 hours of practice is one of the keys to excellence. But sheer persistence in itself doesn’t lead to superior performance. As Ericsson himself said, “Just because you’ve been walking for 50 years doesn’t mean you’re getting better at it.” At the core of his work is a focus on “deliberate practice,” the disciplined attempt to aim for objectives just beyond one’s current level of proficiency.
In his Symposium keynote, “Psychotherapy and the Science of Human Excellence”, Ericsson will explore how therapists can apply his decades of research in enhancing their own effectiveness and professional development. He will also join Scott Miller in teaching an all-day workshop on the nuts-and-bolts of bringing the principles of professional excellence into everyday clinical practice.
In addition to Ericsson’s presentations, you can explore a range of new methodologies for advancing along your own path toward excellence at the 2013 Symposium. Please join us.
2013 Networker Symposium is now open!