Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist residing in Fallbrook, California. He is internationally recognized for his work in developing strategic, outcome-focused psychotherapies, the advanced clinical applications of hypnosis, and active, short-term non-pharmacological treatments of depression. He routinely teaches to professional audiences all over the world. To date, he has been invited to present his ideas and methods to colleagues in more than 30 countries across six continents, and all over the United States.
Dr. Yapko is the author of 15 books and editor of three others, as well as the author of dozens of book chapters and journal articles. These include his two newest books, The Discriminating Therapist and Keys to Unlocking Depression, as well as his popular text Trancework: An Introduction to the Practice of Clinical Hypnosis (4th edition), and the award-winning Mindfulness and Hypnosis.
Dr. Yapko is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a member of the International Society of Hypnosis, and a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He is a recipient of lifetime achievement awards from the American Psychological Association, The International Society of Hypnosis, and The Milton H. Erickson Foundation for his many contributions to the fields of psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis.
Dr. Yapko has been a passionate advocate for redefining how we think about and treat peoples’ problems, especially the most common ones of anxiety and depression. He has been a vocal critic of medicalizing such problems by calling them illnesses when there is substantial evidence that they are about much more than biology alone. He further questions the all-too-common treatment approach of simply medicating people with drugs whose safety and efficacy are highly questionable.
He emphasizes all we have learned from studying effective treatments, especially how important it is to empower people to evolve better skills in coping and problem solving, as well as other key life-management skills. Therapy isn’t just about feeling better – it’s about being better. Dr. Yapko’s major point is both simple and compelling: Tough things happen in life and people who have the skills to manage their lives, including their moods and behavior, do better than those who don’t. Beyond effective treatment, he also highlights the role of skill building in developing strategies of prevention.
On the personal side, Dr. Yapko is happily married to his wife, Diane, a pediatric speech-language pathologist who specializes in the treatment of autistic spectrum disorders. Together, they enjoy traveling and hiking in the Great Outdoors in their spare time.