Returning to the past has fallen out of fashion among mental health professionals over the last 15 years. Research has convinced many therapists that understanding the past is not required for healing. Despite this profound change, the cliché of patients' exhaustively revisiting childhood horror stories remains. "Average consumers who walk into psychotherapy expect to be discussing their childhood and blaming their parents for contemporary problems, but that's just not true any more," said John C. Norcross, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania."

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