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Gladwell argued that while the role of practice is critical, and that Ericcson has made a seminal contribution, that Ericsson has overstated his case, and that focused practiced will not lead to excellence, without talent.
It is his thesis that “deliberate practice” is the key to developing excellence, in almost any field.
A more germane example for therapists would be research cited by Scott Miller showing that more experienced clinicians simply become more proficient at doing what they normally do, not more effective in terms of patient outcome (helping clients feel better and accomplish their treatment goals).
What made this show particularly engaging was that Dubner also interviewed Malcom Gladwell, the author of which examined the question why certain people excel in their given field.
This adage is obvious, when we stop to reflect on it, but all too often we lose sight of this wisdom and focus on the inner workings of the individual when the context is the key. Practice versus Talent Earlier today (11/20/16) I had the good fortunate to listen to the Freakonomics Radio Hour on NPR, which featured a discussion between the show’s host, Stephen Dubner, and the psychologist, K.
Anders Ericsson, a professor of psychology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Over the past few decades the focus of psychotherapy increasingly returned to its emphasis on the internal state of the individual.
While psychoanalysis focused on unconscious processes newer models emphasize a focus on thoughts, (such as Acceptance and Commitment therapy), management of emotions/self-regulation (such as DBT and Mindfulness), and even on neurobiological differences.
The parents proceeded, after some struggle, to implement this approach, and over time the child voluntarily tried new foods (in a developmentally appropriate fashion).
Rather than changing the child, the parents changed the structure or context.
However, this argument is likely faulty in that many other skills or areas expertise cited by Ericcson are obviously interactive, from chess master to star athlete.
My second reaction was that focused practice might be more challenging for therapists, in that psychotherapy has always emphasized the “sanctity” i.e., the privacy, of the therapeutic hour, and Ericcson and Dubner both noted that focused practice requires feedback from experts, to help craft and focus one’s skill development.
First, I just finished reading Michael Lewis’ excellent new book, , on the work of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, two psychologists whose work have challenged many of the basic assumptions held by psychologists, economists and others (though there work has never explicitly address issues of therapy).