The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference 2009

I have just returned from The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference hosted in Anaheim, C.A., Dec. 7th-13th.  The conference, hosted every five years, offers the largest gathering of mental health professionals from around the world and brings together the pioneers and geniuses of psychology, philosophy, psychiatry, and psychotherapy.  This year’s conference was wondrous, prodigious, and mind-blowing!  

Keynote speakers included the provocative Deepak Chopra, Aaron Beck, the legendary Salvador Minuchin and Irvin Yalom, Robert Sapolsky, Andrew Weil, & Philip Zimbardo.  

In addition, clinical presentations and lectures where given by the literate and fascinating minds of clinicians and theorists such as Meichenbaulm, Linehan, Weiner-Davis, Johnson, Burns, Madanes, Gottman, Rossi, Polster, Zeug, Kernberg, Hendrix, Siegel, Sue, Amen, Glasser, & many others. 

After hearing directly from some of the greatest philosophers, clinicians & physicians from around the world—many of which I had only read about, written about, or studied through my research and clinical experience during my Masters in Counseling, I am both humbled and emboldened.  It is such an amazing and exciting time to be engulfed in the field of psychotherapy!  

The physiological discoveries of our mysterious and once thought static and hardwired brains are now proving to be fluid and changeable.  Neuroplasticity (the ability of our brains to change in response to our experiences and by utilizing the power of the mind) is now considered not only possible but the “norm” in scientific circles. For all those naysayers who love to say “watch out, people never change,” they couldn’t be more misguided.  Through evolution in the studies of the humanities, sociology, and psychology, we are seeing that no matter what the situation an individual is born into or regardless the experiences they live through, trauma and suffering can be turned into resiliency and strength.  Individuals have the ability to change unhealthy behaviors and self-defeating thoughts and crippling emotions; couples have the ability to enrich their relationship after infidelity or after years of dissatisfaction; and, communities have the ability to reshape disastrous situations and entire environments through altruistic actions.  In the darkest or bleakest of times, anything and everything is possible!

I am excited, energized, humbled and grateful to be in the field of psychotherapy.   

Click on the following link to learn more about The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference 2009, to read bios and excerpts from the conference, and to listen to free audio & video from some of the greatest thinkers of our time!        

Here’s to resiliency in 2010!


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