Future Directed Therapy: Creating Your Tomorrows

Latching-on to a morsel of hope for a decent tomorrow is tough biz when you’re in the throes of depression and anxiety. But it’s a “must do” – and you can learn how…

chipur spares no expense traveling to the very ends of the earth to find relief strategies and techniques just for you. Why just last week I was visiting Tristan da Cunha, and…okay, okay, I’ll reel-in the enthusiasm (and fantasy).

But had I been there; a sage elder would have told me about Future Directed Therapy™ (FDT).

What is Future Directed Therapy?

FDT is a brand-spankin’-new intervention for major depressive disorder (MDD). Actually, clinical research is still being conducted to determine how best to use and enhance FDT. Results to date indicate it significantly improves overall quality of life and reduces symptoms of both depression and anxiety.

The mission of FDT is to teach an individual how to use personal awareness and insight – and choice – in creating their desired future.

FDTs roots are in what’s known as cognitive science. That’s the study of how information concerning perception, language, reasoning, and emotion is represented and transformed in a nervous system (or a machine, such as a computer).

Translation: the power of thought!

The most recent clinical research is being conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. According to the study authors…

“This is the first study that demonstrates that an intervention intended to increase positive expectations about the future can reduce symptoms of MDD in a clinical population without disputing negative thought process. One of the distinctive findings of this study is the significant improvement of quality of life before and after treatment in the FDT condition.”

How Does FDT Work?

As I said at the beginning, someone enduring depression more often than not has difficulty conjuring-up an optimistic view of tomorrow. Replacing enthusiasm and get-up-and-go are doubt, fear, anxiety, poor self-esteem, confusion, and feeling overwhelmed.

Sadly, most remain stuck in the present and/or past because they don’t understand how to create their future.

Foundational in FDT is the belief that the happenings of yesterday don’t have to dictate those of tomorrow. In fact, we all have the right and power to change who we are and where we’re going.

FDT teaches an individual how to use their thoughts and behaviors in the creation of their future. And then it’s on to learning how to gain more in-depth personal insight, and realizing better management of the entire FDT process.

FDT is conducted in a group setting, with personal coaching available. A course of FDT typically runs twice a week for 10 weeks. Sessions are 90 minutes.

More on the Power of the Future

It’s becoming more and more obvious that anticipating – visualizing – good things in the future generates emotional and mental wellness. I wrote a piece some time ago regarding the power of future-oriented thought. A few of the details will fit nicely here.

Oh, I came upon the information during my visit to Motuo County, China.

Okay, I read about it – and the research team was from Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA.

The study revealed that the generation of future-oriented operations – say, anticipation and planning – may actually be based in envisioning oneself in a specific future event.

Interestingly, the research team found that the very same brain anatomy and physiology involved in the recall of past events also generates our visions of tomorrow.

By the way, we know full well that our recall of the past works just fine. So why wouldn’t the visions of tomorrow piece work?

The research also suggests envisioning the future may be a prerequisite for many higher-level planning processes in the brain.

What a fit with FDT!

That’s All Folks!

Future Directed Therapy is a strong and hopeful intervention. And, really, the theory behind it isn’t all that difficult to grasp. I mean, doesn’t it make sense that thinking in a positive manner will lead to positive outcomes?

And it’s obvious that negative patterns of thought only lead to misery.

If you’re working with a therapist, ask her/him about FDT. No therapist? That’s okay, use what you’ve learned – and what you’ll research – to place your future forward in your thinking. And then it’s time to get creative.

Alrighty, then – I’ve booked passage to Alert, Nunavut, Canada for my next discovery mission…

image credit knowhealthnoillness.com