Instead of dredging up unhappy memories, focus on present, future

By Elizabeth Bernstein
Aug. 26, 2013 7:22 p.m. ET

Say the words “therapy session” and many people will picture an hour spent on a couch dredging up unhappy childhood memories. A different approach suggests that redirecting the focus onto the present and future can make people happier, healthier and lead to better relationships.

The method, called Time Perspective Therapy, involves figuring out which of six different outlooks a person has: past-positive (you love the past); past-negative (you have regrets and bad things happened in your past—or things that you…

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