Psychotherapy and the Science of Human Excellence
K. Anders Ericsson
K. Anders Ericsson has been widely acknowledged as the world’s leading “expert on expertise.” Popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers and cited by Nobel-Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, Ericsson’s work has revolutionized the scientific study of what it takes to become an outstanding performer in almost any area of human endeavor—sports, surgery, music, chess, dance, even flying fighter jets. Professor of psychology at Florida State University and coeditor of the 900-page Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, Ericsson has countered centuries of received opinion by demonstrating unequivocally that focused, deliberate, sustained practice (at least 10,000 hours worth) of a particular skill, rather than inborn talent or theoretical knowledge, almost always determines the difference between the truly great practitioners of any skill and the merely competent.
In his keynote address, he’ll explore the practical applications of his research and thinking to the craft of psychotherapy, suggesting that, no less than fighter pilots, therapists become outstanding clinicians as a result of the quality and quantity of effort they put into practicing their skills.