Friday, April 17, 2020

Can We Master Trading Psychology By Learning the Techniques of Psychotherapy?

Rollo May had it exactly right:  All psychological problems are ultimately limitations on our free will.  We seek help when our patterns of thought, feeling, and action control us.  The role of psychology is to help us control those patterns, so that we can freely pursue our deepest values and goals.

There is a rich research literature on change techniques in therapy and their effectiveness.  My colleagues at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and I have summarized much of this research in the third edition of our textbook for the American Psychiatric Association.  The evidence-based techniques to master stress/anxiety, mood problems, and impulsive behavior patterns are what I teach second year medical residents in the psychiatry department.  Soon, I'll be participating in an overview course for fourth year medical students to help them help others.  The techniques I'll be demonstrating are the same ones I've used for years directing a student counseling service and working for years with traders.

The sad truth is that the majority of what passes for "trading psychology" is nothing more than practical advice.  I find little evidence that those dispensing the advice have actually consulted the extensive research literature on change methods or contributed to that body of knowledge.  Traders deserve more.

For that reason, I will be working with videographer Eli Francoeur to put out a series of "how-to" videos teaching traders the very same skills I'm teaching in Syracuse.  What's more, we will show traders how to integrate those skills into their trading processes.  A little while back, I offered a glimpse of Trading Psychology 2.0...let's use this period of working from home to take a look at Version 3!

Be Well,