Psychologists have traditionally focused on the past – what if that’s all wrong?

Psychologists have traditionally focused on the past – what if that’s all wrong?

There’s no doubt positive reminiscing can be very worthwhile, for health and wellbeing and for happiness.

There’s also no doubt that looking back and learning can be useful, for resilience and growth.

But there’s a strong case for saying that psychologists may well have, and may well continue to focus TOO MUCH on the past, and not enough on the future.

This article, via the Conversation by Jolanta Burke, provides a good argument for the benefits of focusing more on the future …

For over a century, psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers focused people’s attention on the past. And so when Mary struggles to maintain romantic relationships, she blames her past boyfriends for it. When Chris battles with addiction, he digs into his memories from childhood when he first felt humiliated. And when Saoirse doesn’t want to settle down, she attributes her free-spirited nature to being the youngest child in her family.

But what if these psychologists got it wrong? What if it is not the past but how we view the future that holds us back, preventing us from becoming the best versions of ourselves?

Psychological research has become obsessed with searching for the causes of mental ill health. However, an increasing body of research suggests that focusing on the future may protect us from depression and help us cope with stress more effectively. Sometimes, instead of dissecting the negative memories, we need to focus on a better understanding of how we view our future.

Many veteransrefugees and other people who have experienced trauma and have mental health issues spend little time thinking about the future. Instead, they are narrowly focused on the negative past…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE