Feeling Good Podcast | TEAM-CBT - The New Mood Therapy-logo

Feeling Good Podcast | TEAM-CBT - The New Mood Therapy

Health & Wellness Podcasts

This podcast features David D. Burns MD, author of "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy," describing powerful new techniques to overcome depression and anxiety and develop greater joy and self-esteem. For therapists and the general public alike!

Location:

United States

Description:

This podcast features David D. Burns MD, author of "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy," describing powerful new techniques to overcome depression and anxiety and develop greater joy and self-esteem. For therapists and the general public alike!

Language:

English


Episodes
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405: Ask David: Why does my father try to control me? Why do women ghost me? And more!

7/15/2024
Special Announcement #1 Attend the Legendary Summer Intensive Featuring Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt August 8 - 11. 2024 Learn Advanced TEAM-CBT skills Heal yourself, heal your patients First Intensive in 5 years! It will knock your socks off! Limited Seating--Act Fast Click for registration / more information! Sadly, this workshop is a training program which will be limited to therapists and mental health professionals and graduate students in a mental health field Apologies, but therapists have complained when non-therapists have attended our continuing education training programs. This is partly because of the intimate nature of the small group exercises and the personal work the therapists may do during the workshop. Certified coaches and counselors are welcome to attend. Special Announcement #2 Here's some GREAT news! The Feeling Great App is now available in both app stores (IOS and Android) and is for therapists and the general public, and you can take a ride for free! Check it Today's Ask David Podcast We have lots of great questions today. The answers in the show notes were written prior to the podcast, and the answers in the live podcast as we discussed these questions may differ somewhat or amplify the written materials in these show notes. We love your questions. Remember to send them to David@feelinggood.com. Ask David Questions for Today Bosley asks: My father can be very critical of my plans for the future. What’s the best way to respond to him? Willie asks: I have a dating questions. Why do women keep ghosting me? Should they be more willing to work out differences with the Five Secrets of Communication? 1. Bosley asks: My father can be very critical of my plans for the future. What’s the best way to respond to him? "To explain somewhat concisely, I just want to move to the nearest major city (Seattle) since I feel really really happy there. I also love volunteering for a specific organization and have some community there that I care about, and I feel very isolated having been away from for months. I'm willing to carry the load of all the work I would need to do to make it happen, and do a business training my dad wants me to complete. He has other thoughts. He looks down on volunteering and his thoughts on friends are simply that I can make new ones anyway. He is very aggressive and intimidating in his arguments, full of insults and many factually incorrect statements that are difficult to disarm on the fly. He shoots down the idea upon mention, so it's difficult to collaborate to find mutually beneficial solutions. He is a successful businessman, despite recent financial issues, and has a sort of strict plan for me that he has wanted me to follow, although I really don't feel this conflicts with his goals to have me run things in the future. I'm just worried since he has a long past of being emotionally abusive and of going back on his word. Plus, I just want some autonomy. In the end, it's his way or the highway. He says “You keep scheming and going down a twisted path instead of doing what I tell you.” David’s reply I suggested he might complete the first four steps of the Relationship Journal so we could see how he’s communicating with his dad. Here is Bosley’s partially partially completed Relationship Journal (showing steps 1 to 4, but not 5.) Step 1 – S/he said: Write down exactly what the other person said. Be brief: You keep scheming and going down a twisted path instead of doing what I tell you! Step 2 – I said: Write down exactly what you said next. Be brief: What? S/HEYOUSad, blue, depressed, down, unhappypanicky, nervousrejecteddespairingFrustrated, stuck, thwartedFrustrated, stuckAngry, madupset, furiousannoyed, irritated Step 3 – Good Vs. Bad Communication: Was your response an example of good or bad communication? Use the EAR Checklist to analyze what you wrote down in Step 2 Step 4 – Consequences: Did your response in Step 2 make the problem better or...

Duration:01:21:17

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404: Raw Emotion: Dad, I let you down! Part 2 of 2

7/8/2024
A Riveting Story of Raw Emotion. . . “Dad, I let you down!" Part 2 of 2 Special Announcement The long awaited Feeling Great App is now available in app stores. IOS and android! Check it out. Take a free ride! And now, on with the exciting conclusion of the personal work Dr. Jill Levitt and I did with Chris, along with a fabulous followup interview you will hear at the end of the session. I hope you enjoyed the session with Chis, and hope you found it inspiring. His message of hope and joy could be helpful and inspiring to any of you who may be struggling, and feeling, as he was, that you're just "not good enough." His work is, of course, important from a psychological perspective, because it illustrates the powerful steps of TEAM in a sequence that brought Chris from the depths of despair to the peaks of enlightenment. However, as you will hear in the postscript dialogue, the work for sure takes on a spiritual and mystical quality for sure! When you hear Chris live during the follow-up interview at the end of Part 2 of this two-part podcast, you will not be disappointed! Postscript As I mentioned earlier, I was overjoyed when I learned that Chris had unexpectedly changed his mind and offered us the chance to publish his personal work and provide a follow-up recording of how he’s doing now. Here’s my email to him just prior to the follow-up recording. Hi Chris, I’m assuming that Rhonda will coordinate this and she has us scheduled for this Friday, I believe. When it is 4 PM in your time zone, what time is it in our time zone? Are you two hours later? I just reviewed my chart notes from a year or so ago, and it will be terrific to reconnect with you. I deeply appreciate the chance to share your session with our many listeners, as it is full of raw emotion and is riveting. You are making a super strong statement to the world, to my way of thinking, and it takes incredible courage to say, “This is me! I am very real, and sometimes very raw!” I think many people suffer due to thinking that everyone else is somehow “better” than they are, and that they are somehow “not good enough.” That is perhaps the main theme I hear when doing clinical work, and that includes my work with mental health professionals who are equally vulnerable to this kind of thinking. What triggered your decision to go public, so to speak. And how might this impact your students, and their parents, and so forth? Hopefully, we can chat this Friday about those and any other questions or topics that touch or interest you. It will be great to get caught up on your past year! If Jill or Rhonda want to add your thoughts, please do! To me, this is a very significant occasion to have the chance to connect with you, Chris, again! The work you did is among the most powerful and impactful ever in my memory, although every time we do live work it is pretty incredible to my way of thinking, especially when people become “real,” whatever that means! Humans have a dark side, to be sure to my way of thinking, but something incredibly beautiful and amazing can emerge. I am babbling so will stop. But I am so excited to talk to you again, Chris! Warmly, david Thank you for listening, and please let us know what you think. if you are a therapist, and want to learn how to do this, consider attending the summer intensive from August 8 to 11, on line, or in person at the South San Francisco Conference Center (ten minutes from the SF airport.) See the details and a link below, or go to www.cbtintensive.com. Chris, Rhonda, Jill, and David Click for registration / more information!

Duration:01:25:36

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403: Raw Emotion: Dad, I let you down! Part 1 of 2

7/1/2024
A Riveting Story of Raw Emotion. . . “Dad, I let you down!" Special Announcement The long awaited Feeling Great App is now available in app stores. IOS and android! Check it out. Take a free ride! And now, on with today's podcast! Part 1 of 2 Our work with Chris started with this email: Hi David and Jill, I am 40 years old and have never been in a relationship. I've only had a handful of sexual experiences. I used to carry a lot of shame around this, but have done some work on myself, have more or less come to terms with where I'm at, and actually really enjoy my life and am pretty happy most of the time. However, I recently developed some strong feelings towards a coworker, and this led me to re-evaluate my stance on being single. The DML (LINK) details an incident from last week concerning this coworker. I haven't had extensive interactions with her and she works at a different site. Our clinical team meets twice monthly for online zoom meetings. She recommended a book to the team a few months ago, I read the book and enjoyed it, and was hoping to meet up with her and talk about it sometime. I was feeling a little terrified and didn't know if it was the right thing to do, but ultimately sent her an email asking if she'd like to speak with me about the book sometime. She politely declined the invitation. The daily mood log documents the hour or two immediately after I sent the email, as well as some of the thoughts that happened after I received her reply. There were a lot of negative thoughts, so I only included a few. There were also a number of hidden thoughts/beliefs that occurred to me over the last few days, which I have not included. It seems worth noting that for 2-3 hours after I sent the email, I experienced a lot of emotional turmoil. However, at 4pm when I got off work, from the long drive home until I went to bed, I was in a euphoric state. I was happy about what I did, how I responded to the rejection, and was optimistic about my future. I was working out at the gym and had a hard time keeping a smile off my face. I went to bed feeling great, but woke up in the middle of the night and felt terrible again, the painful sting of rejection kept me from sleeping. Since then, I've mostly felt just fine about it, only a few brief moments of really feeling that sting and they don't last long. My goal isn't to necessarily get into a relationship or have more sex; it's to feel more confident in my interactions with women. After being rejected, I think 15 seconds of agony is enough, no need for more than that. In the past, when I've developed strong feelings towards a woman, I notice that I am prone to both negative and positive distortions, some version of: I think I'd be better off without these distortions, but find the positive distortions to be somewhat addictive. They also make it hard for me to let go and move on. I still feel somewhat attached to this woman and haven't been able to let go and move on. Also, I want to note that there are a few experiences from high school that really impacted my sexuality, relationship with women, and probably inform some core beliefs on these subjects that have recently come to surface. I'm not sure how much to share about this or whether it's even necessary to, but I suppose that could be addressed in the empathy phase on Tuesday. One other thing that I didn't include in the DML, is when I'm in that negative state, sometimes I have intense thoughts directed at me that come in the form of the second person, like I don't really believe these thoughts, but they do make me sad. Hope this all makes sense, let me know if you have questions or if I'm missing something. Looking forward to working with you. Thanks, Chris This email led to personal work with Chris in our Tuesday TEAM-CBT training group, roughly one year ago. Dr. Jill Levitt, the Director of Training at the Feeling Good Institute in Mountain View, California, was my co-therapist. It was one of...

Duration:01:14:34

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402: Ask David: Unfairness; Erasing Depression with Lasers; TEAM in the UK; Most Powerful Technique

6/24/2024
Ask David Unfairness Worthwhileness Erasing Depression with Lasers TEAM in the UK What's the Most Powerful Technique? We have lots of great questions today. The answers in the show notes were written prior to the podcast, and the answers in the live podcast as we discussed these questions may differ somewhat or amplify the written materials in these show notes. We love your questions. Remember to send them to David@feelinggood.com. Special Announcement Attend the Legendary Summer Intensive Featuring Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt August 8 - 11. 2024 Learn Advanced TEAM-CBT skills Heal yourself, heal your patients First Intensive in 5 years! It will knock your socks off! Limited Seating--Act Fast Click for registration / more information! Sadly, this workshop is a training program which will be limited to therapists and mental health professionals and graduate students in a mental health field Apologies, but therapists have complained when non-therapists have attended our continuing education training programs. This is partly because of the intimate nature of the small group exercises and the personal work the therapists may do during the workshop. Certified coaches and counselors are welcome to attend. But there's some good news, too! The Feeling Great App is now available in both app stores (IOS and Android) and is for therapists and the general public, and you can take a ride for free! Check it out! Today’s Questions Kiernan asksBrittany asks:James asksBrian asks 1. Kieran asks (slightly edited for clarity): How would you talk back to negative thoughts like this one: “It's not fair that I can't afford quality food when there are millionaires that will have access to better food and a healthier lifestyle which has an effect on overall health and longevity'”? Or what if you feel like it’s unfair that you should have to pay a lot of money for an expensive dental treatment that you can’t afford? Kieran also asks (slightly edited by david): What if worthwhileness is not based on achievement but there are still things you would like to have and enjoy? They would buy and own things that they happen to like and not to impress others. Hi David and Ronda, and if Matt is on I have been listening to your wonderful podcast for about the last 3 years as I drive to work. It has really opened my eyes about how your thoughts create your interpersonal reality. Loved the podcasts on jealousy addiction, perfectionism, achievement addiction and many more. My questions would be: What about if someone wants to achieve more but it isn't based on worthwhileness? They would buy and own things that they happen to like and not to impress others. Let's say they wanted to be able to afford a nice house, healthier higher quality food and water. As the quality does have an effect on health especially in the US as the regulations are not the greatest. However, the fact that they couldn't afford to buy these upsets them? Thoughts: 'It's not fair that I can't afford quality food but there are millionaires that will have access to better food, lifestyle which has an effect on overall health and longevity' Or if someone has to pay for unexpected expensive dental treatment. Thoughts: 'It's not fair that I have to pay £14,000 for this treatment'. 'It should be more affordable to lower income households, as it is essential to have functional teeth' I hope I have explained this well, I would love to hear your thoughts. Keep doing what you are doing and all the best. Kieran David’s response Sure Kieran, if you like I will make this an Ask David question for a podcast. LMK if that’s okay, and if it is okay to use your first name. Great question, and has to do with the theme of acceptance: should I or shouldn’t I? Here are the quick versions, but we can discuss in more detail on the live podcast. First, I do not find it useful to base my worthwhileness on my achievements or on my failures. I do work hard and like creating things...

Duration:01:12:46

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401: Ask David: Bipolar, the Dark Side, Changing Behavior

6/17/2024
Ask David Bipolar, the Dark Side, Changing Behavior We have lots of great questions today. The answers in the show notes were written prior to the podcast, and the answers in the live podcast as we discussed these questions may differ somewhat or amplify the written materials in these show notes. We love your questions. Remember to send them to David@feelinggood.com. Announcement: Our awesome summer intensive is returning after a long, five years due to the pandemic. It is typically the most outstanding and rewarding TEAM-CBT training of the year, and it will take place again and the wonderful South San Francisco Conference Center from August 8 – 11, 2025. You can attend in person if you register soon, since in-person seating will be strictly limited and only a small number are still available. You can also attend the online, live-streamed version of this program at a substantial discount. The online experience and small group exercises will be similar for the in-person and online participants. Check out the details, including early-bird discounts, at www.cbtintensive.com www.cbtintensive.com Hope to see you there! Warmly, david Today’s Questions Alison asks:NAME WITHHELD asks:Trainor asks: I 1. Alison asks: I have bipolar Disorder and I have had trouble challenging my negative thoughts. I’m suffering. What can I do? Hi David, Many years ago I used your book to beat depressive thinking… in the last three years I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and have found my depressive thinking too difficult to budge with your book. I’m really suffering; any ideas about what I could do? Thank you for your service to humanity. I always recommend your book. David’s response Hi Alison, A therapist could help. The new Feeling Great App could help. And tons of free resources at www.feelinggood.com. In addition, can you please give me an example of the negative thoughts you can’t budge. Then we can point things out in the podcast and try to figure out why you’re getting stuck! I have found that doing cognitive therapy / TEAM-CBT with individuals with Bipolar Disorder is exceptionally helpful during the depressed (not manic) phase, and works pretty much the same way as with anyone who’s feeling down. Best, david 2. NAME WITHHELD asks: Can or should a person really and truly accept their dark side? Hello David, My name is NAME WITHHELD and I am doing my PhD degree in Neuroimmunology in LOCATION WITHHELD. I had come across your book feeling good and your podcasts by one of my therapists - they have had an immense impact on my way of thinking. I really love disarming and using “I feel” statements to connect! I had also realized that by finding some genuine truth in a person’s belief even if it sounds ridiculous, I would automatically develop certain level of respect for that person! I really love that! I feel really happy that I can respect a person even without accepting his/her beliefs!! I am now working on my distortions. I really love working on my mind that way. Anyway, I have wanted to ask you if a person CAN accept his/her dark side? I seemed to have loathed myself for quite a long time and couldn’t stand living alone without a partner or a person around. I hated myself for disrespecting my mother whilst growing up. But, sometime during Dec last year, I had had an epiphany of why things happened the way they did and somehow, I learnt that the reason why I had disrespected my mother was because my father, after their separation, kept filling my mind about how wrong my mother was for breaking up the family and I believed him because I had a good rapport with him, than I had with my mother. Also, my mother was very awkward in building a relationship with me and I had misconstrued that with her indifference towards me. After that, I stopped hurting myself over it because I had learnt to empathize with myself then. I sobbed profusely that day. Is it really possible to truly accept yourself? I feel at ease a...

Duration:00:44:33

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Celebrating Podcast #400

6/10/2024
#400! Yippee! Today, Rhonda has prepared a special celebration for our 400 podcast, and still going strong! She has invited a number of our favorite people and podcast guests to celebrate with us, starting with our beloved friend and frequent Ask David contributor, Matt May, MD, who officially joined us in early 2000. Matt’s presence on the show had meant a great deal, personally and professionally, because I supervised Matt when he was a Stanford psychiatric resident, and had been missing our weekly chats! Our reunion via the Feeling Good Podcast has been special for that reason, but also because of Matt’s kindly but scholarly answers to the many questions all of you submit. Keep them coming, and send them directly to Rhonda or David. We love reading and answering them! Next, we were joined by two more extraordinary psychiatrists and human beings, Drs. Heather Clague and Brandon Vance, who song their rendition (with guitar accompaniment) of “Help Dr. Burns!” (Based on Beetles’ Help, I need somebody!” With their kind permission, here are the brilliant lyrics! Help! I need a podcast! Help! Not just any podcast! Help! Pushing the Magic Button for .... Help! When I was younger, 8 years younger than today I thought I could help everybody; help them in every way. I got so grandiose; I was so self-assured. I’d push my brilliant techniques, but my patients were never cured. So, Help me not to Help oh Dr. Burns Will they like me if they have to do the work? If I set an ultimatum, am I a jerk?! Won’t you please, please stop me?! So many times, I tried to help, but then got stuck I didn’t know but my patients were also thinking what the #?@! Your podcast said to test at the start and after every session. And then my eyes they opened wide Boy, was that a lesson! Oh Help me not to help, oh Dr. Burns! Help me unlearn the bad habits I have learned I’ll do homework when my urge to help returns Won’t you please, please help me?! Now I explore my patients’ reasons not to change. I learned to sit with open hands if they choose to stay the same. Only when they fight for change and want to do the work, That’s when I offer tools, and know the changes will endure. You’ve helped me not to help, oh Dr. Burns ‘Til my patients show me that they really yearn To do the work and ask me really firmly Won’t you please, please help me? Your podcasts helped ME! Oooooooh! Much warmth to each of you! Heather and Brendan Our next guest was the brilliant and beloved Dr. Jill Levitt who joined my weekly Stanford training group when she and her husband, Brian, and two boys moved to the Bay Area from New York in 2007. Jill has moved up in the ranks and now co-leads the Tuesday group with me, and also joins me as co-therapists in a great many live sessions we have published as two consecutive podcasts. The idea is to document exactly how TEAM-CBT works, and how we can nearly always get such blow-away results in a single, extended session. That was my dream as a young man, since the methods I was taught as a psychiatric resident almost never got rapid results, or even any noticeable changes in my patients. Now that dream has become a reality, and a great many people in our TEAM-CBT community have contributed to that evolution. Next we were joined by our beloved Dr. Amy Huberman. Her riveting personal work on perfectionism was published recently on two consecutive Feeling Good Podcasts. Amy was glowing and filled with joy, which gave us great feelings of joy as well! And then we were graced by a visit from Mina, who has starred in many Feeling Good Podcasts on a number of personal issues. I will be seeing Mina and her beloved husband in a few minutes for our Sunday morning hike and dim sum feast afterwards. It is always a highlight of my week! Next was another Amy Berner who reported on her recent and wildly successful Intimate Connections Book Club with yet another psychiatrist, Dr. Leigh Harrington. Amy did some personal...

Duration:02:00:26

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399: The Deep Freeze, Part 2 (of 2)

6/3/2024
FROZEN: Part 2 of 2 Featuring Personal Work with Cody Today, you will hear the exciting conclusion of the work that Jill and David did with Cody, a young man who sometimes freezes in social situations due to feelings of anxiety. He actually froze up when Jill and David were working with him in part 1 last week. What will they do? Tune in today and you'll find out! Before I describe Cody’s session, I want to remind you that I am bringing back my annual, four-day summer intensive at the South San Francisco Conference Center this year, for the first time in five years. We had to abandon it due to the pandemic, and this year we are bringing it back to life on August 8 to 11. It will cover TEAM-CBT for depression and anxiety, but with a few changes, hopefully innovations and further improvements. For one thing, you can attend in person or online this year, and Dr. Levitt will be teaching with me. This will make the experience even better, since Jill is a brilliant psychotherapy teacher, certainly among the top in the world! The in-person seating will be strictly limited to 100, so register early if you are interested, at Intensive Information / Registration The online version will be identical, with many skilled experts to guide you in the many interactive exercises, making both the in person and online versions identical. However, the online will be roughly half the cost, so that could be an appealing option if you are cost-conscious or if you live far away. No travel needed this year! But perhaps most important, this annual intensive always proves to be the best training experience of the year, with chances to learn sophisticated and magnificent TEAM techniques to use with your patients. But you will also have the chance to do your own personal work. Many, many people have said that the intensives are absolutely magical, and I totally agree! In fact, the summer intensive might be the training you always dreamed about, but never really received, in graduate school!. Sadly, this workshop is a training program which will be limited to therapists and mental health professionals and graduate students in a mental health field Apologies, but therapists have complained when non-therapists have attended our continuing education training programs. This is partly because of the intimate nature of the small group exercises and the personal work the therapists may do during the workshop. Certified coaches and counselors are welcome to attend. Beginning of Part 2 with Cody You will hear some of the tools that seemed especially helpful, including Whether you are a shrink or general citizen, I think there might be a lot for you to learn from Cody, not only about techniques to treat social anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, but also about enlightenment as well. ‘ That’s because the goals of a TEAM-CBT session are not just the reduction of negative feelings, but the complete obliteration of negative feelings, along with jumping on a psychic trampoline that catapults you into a state of profound self-acceptance and enlightenment. At least, that’s my take on it! Did it really happen? Here's how Cody was feeling at the start of the session, along with his goals for each feeling at the end of Positive Reframing, and his feelings at the end of the session. As you can see, all of his negative feelings went to zero. Emotions% Before % Goal% After40 Angry, mad, resentful, annoyed, irritated, upset, furious 30 Confused 0 What explains these seemingly impossible changes in a single therapy session? And are they real, or is this all just a bunch of hype? Stay tuned and let us know what you think at the end! Early, I had a challenging exercise to do on Cody’s SDBa. Here’s the solution. To my way of thinking, Cody’s Downward Arrow chain of thoughts suggest a number of related Self-Defeating Beliefs, including: You always have to be the patient’s point of view about the SDBs, so these are just my guesses. End of Session Thanks...

Duration:00:50:22

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398: The Deep Freeze, Part 1 (of 2)

5/27/2024
FROZEN: Part 1 of 2 Featuring Personal Work with Cody In today’s, and next week’s, podcasts. we present the next episode of live work with Cody. The first, which featured Rejection Practice for social anxiety, was published as Podcast #326 on January 9, 2023 at this LINK. My co-therapist for this session was the wonderful Dr. Jill Levitt, the Director of Clinical Training at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, California (LINK.). Before I describe Cody’s session, I want to remind you that I am bringing back my annual, four-day summer intensive at the South San Francisco Conference Center this year, for the first time in five years. We had to abandon it due to the pandemic, and this year we are bringing it back to life on August 8 to 11. It will cover TEAM-CBT for depression and anxiety, but with a few changes, hopefully innovations and further improvements. For one thing, you can attend in person or online this year, and Dr. Levitt will be teaching with me. This will make the experience even better, since Jill is a brilliant psychotherapy teacher, certainly among the top in the world! The in-person seating will be strictly limited to 100, so register early if you are interested, at Intensive Information / Registration The online version will be identical, with many skilled experts to guide you in the many interactive exercises, making both the in person and online versions identical. However, the online will be roughly half the cost, so that could be an appealing option if you are cost-conscious or if you live far away. No travel needed this year! But perhaps most important, this annual intensive always proves to be the best training experience of the year, with chances to learn sophisticated and magnificent TEAM techniques to use with your patients. But you will also have the chance to do your own personal work. Many, many people have said that the intensives are absolutely magical, and I totally agree! In fact, the summer intensive might be the training you always dreamed about, but never really received, in graduate school!. Sadly, this workshop is a training program which will be limited to therapists and mental health professionals and graduate students in a mental health field Apologies, but therapists have complained when non-therapists have attended our continuing education training programs. This is partly because of the intimate nature of the small group exercises and the personal work the therapists may do during the workshop. Certified coaches and counselors are welcome to attend. Now, back to the podcast, in which you’ll hear some additional TEAM-CBT magic. Cody asked for help with a problem that’s been bugging him for some time. He sometimes freezes up when asked to do a role play or answer a question during psychotherapy training sessions. This typically leads to an awkward silence, and feelings of intense anxiety, inadequacy, frustration, embarrassment and more. Here's how he described it: Upsetting event: I was doing a suicide screening role-play with our clinical supervisor and other therapists. After working through the first step of the role-play, I froze and did not say a word! Here's how Cody was feeling. Emotions % Before% Goal% After60 As you can see and might imagine, the most intense feelings were anxiety and embarrassment, but several other feelings were fairly intense as well: such as feeling alone, discouraged, frustrated, and confused. These were some of his negative thoughts on the Dailly Mood Log that he brought to the session, and the percent he believed each one. Thought 5a, b, and c are an Individual Downward Arrow series, designed to get at the Self-Defeating Beliefs underneath the Negative Thoughts. What do you think Cody’s SDBs are? Take a guess, and then you can look up the answers, or at least my own thinking, at the end of the show notes. Negative Thoughts % Belief Although freezing in social situations is fairly common, it can be incredibly challenging...

Duration:01:21:24

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397: Ask David: Assertiveness; Suppressing your Feelings; the "Miracle Cure" question

5/20/2024
Ask David, Rhonda and Matt Assertiveness, Suppressing your Feelings, and the "Miracle Cure" question Questions for today’s Ask David podcast. Chris asks if I have a book about assertiveness. Brian asks: Is there anything to the theory that "suppressing emotions" is harmful or is that just Freudian mumbo jumbo? Matt asks about the “Miracle Cure” question in the Assessment of Resistance portion of a TEAM therapy session. Rhonda began with a lovely endorsement and a cool reminder of the classic book, Robinson Crusoe, who created cognitive therapy (the double column technique) when he was stranded on a deserted island! I believe I wrote about it in one of my books, possibly Feeling Good. It’s pretty cool! You will hear Matt playing the role of the “evil” thoughts, like, “I am stranded alone on a deserted island,” and Rhonda will play the role of the “good” thoughts, like, “Yes, but my life was spared, and all of my shipmates died.” Here's what it looks like in the novel: Evil.Good. I know this novel is a couple hundred years old, so it certainly deserves nomination of the earliest cognitive therapy! Now, for the answers to today’s Ask David questions. Keep in mind that these answers were written BEFORE today’s recording, so the actual live answers will differ in some regards from the written answers below. 1. Chris asks if I have a book about assertiveness. Hi Dr. Burns, I hope you're doing well. Do you have a book on assertiveness training? I've used your books to help me with my hidden "should" statements, which has enabled me to be less angry or anxious whenever someone treats me less than satisfactorily. While this has helped immensely, I realize it's still in my interest to reduce the behavior I disagree with. For example, my sibling scheduled an early morning shift after I had a long day of work. Because they can't drive, they expect me to take them to work, which means I'll only get about 5 hours of sleep; this in itself isn't a bad thing... except this is the 3 time in a row they've done this. After using your techniques, I'm less angry and anxious, but I still want to address the behavior to reduce the likelihood that they do something like this again, which is why I'm reaching out. Thanks for your help. Kind regards, Chris David’s Reply Sure. I like my own book, Feeling Good Together, and have often recommended Manuel Smith’s When I Say NO I Feel Guilty. There is a LOT to be said about assertiveness training, including the fact that it doesn’t always work! I can give a great personal account of that! Sometimes, or always, skillful listening is also effective. Assertiveness without listening makes it sound like only your own feelings are important, which is obviously pretty self-centered. One of the most helpful things to me is the difference between healthy and unhealthy anger, and how to express tough messages in a loving, respectful way. Can discuss more on the show. For example, what are the problems with the assertiveness movement? And where can it be helpful? And what mistakes do unassertive individuals make when trying to be more assertive? Do they sometimes overdo it? Warmly, david 2. Brian asks: Is there anything to the theory that "suppressing emotions" is harmful or is that just Freudian mumbo jumbo? Thanks!! David’s reply. Thanks, Brian. Great question! You can listen to the podcasts on the Hidden Emotion Technique, or read about it in my book, When Panic Attacks. Will make this an Ask David question if that’s okay! 3. Matt asks about the “Miracle Cure” question in the Assessment of Resistance portion of a TEAM therapy session. Hi David, I've noticed that when I ask the 'miracle cure' question or 'magic wand' question, I'll sometimes get a response that isn't all that useful and I might waste time trying to figure out what the person is really asking for. An example might be, 'I want to be able to support and understand my husband, who is addicted to video games and...

Duration:00:57:18

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396: The Magnificent Summer Intensive Returns!

5/13/2024
Incredible Voices from the Past! Plus: David's Amazing Summer Intensive Returns August 8 - 11, 2024 Today, David and Rhonda are joined by Dr. Jill Levitt, the Director of Clinical Training at the Feeling Good Institute in Mountain View, California, and two incredible voices from the past: Dr. Karen Radella, a clinical psychologist who volunteered to do personal work at the 2013 summer intensive at the South San Francisco Conference Center, and Jacqueline Ong, LCSW, who volunteered to do personal work at the 2019 summer intensive. That was the last summer intensive, due primarily to the Covid pandemic. Karen Radella, PhD But here’s some fantastic news. The intensive returns again this summer, from August 8 to 11, 2024, at the same location. And Karen and Jacqueline give testimonial today, along with Rhonda, to the magic of the intensive, by describing the phenomenal impact of the personal work they did years ago, and the tremendous impact that work has had on their personal and professional lives. Both Karen and Jacqueline had been suffering from the devastating emotional impact of severe personal trauma for many years. Nine years earlier, when Karen’s daughter was 12, she asked Karen if she could go out to play after dinner. She’d done this for years, but Karen had the thought that it was late and cold outside, but gave in and let her daughter go out to play. Minutes later, some neighborhood boys snuck up on her and shot her in the mouth with a high-powered pellet rifle that blew out one of her teeth and did considerable damage to her mouth which triggered PTSD and required many dental surgeries to correct. Both Karen and her daughter had been suffering emotionally for the nine years since that incident. Karen was telling herself that she was a bad mom, that she “shouldn’t have” let her go out to play on that particular night, and that her daughter’s horrific trauma was her fault. She was also convinced that other people, including the 100+ in the audience that evening, would be judging her as harshly as she was judging herself, and her feelings of fear and despair were palpable at the start of her live work. Karen described the techniques that were so helpful to her in her fantastic recovery that evening during her two hour session with Jill and David, including the Survey Technique, which she said was the “coolest experience of my entire life.” She was also helped by other techniques, including Explain the Distortions, the Double Standard Technique, and the Externalization of Voices. Jacqueline had suffered a different but equally severe traumatic event of a personal nature, but also disclosed it and worked it through with great courage in front of an audience of the same size in 2019. Like Karen, she experienced a complete elimination of her symptoms in the 2 hour session with Jill and David. She describe the keys to her suffering and recovery involved perfectionism (the need to be flawless) and perceived perfectionism (a term David coined that refers to the belief that others expect us to be perfect in order to be loved and respected.) Jacqueline emphasized that “failing as fast as you can” is one of the keys to the rapid recovery we so often see in TEAM. Instead of meeting once a week for an hour, which sets you up for very slow progress with relapses between sessions, you use technique after technique in one session until you find the one that works. Of course, following “recovery,” your negative thoughts will return over and over throughout your life, because no one is entitled to be—or would even want to be—happy all the time. But once you’ve experienced your own enlightenment, you know the tools that work for you, so you get better and better at heading off the relapses at the pass. Jacqueline and Karen both said they’d heard that the personal work at an intensive can be life-changing, but they “wouldn’t have believed it” until they experienced it. Rhonda said, “I saw both live demonstrations. My...

Duration:01:05:15

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395: Ask David: More on Insomnia; Porn Addiction Guilt; Help with Rage

5/11/2024
Ask David, Rhonda and Matt More on Insomnia; Porn Addiction Guilt; Rage Questions for today James asks for help with insomnia. Arjun Asks: How can I stop blaming myself for my porn addiction as a teen? Stephan asks: How do you treat feelings of rage? And what if you are simply very angry, but you don’t have any thoughts? James asks for help with insomnia, Hi Dr. Burns, I enjoy your newsletter and have experienced moments of clarity with your book. However, my current struggle is that I have developed terrible sleep anxiety. I feel nervous tension in my stomach and trembling limbs as nighttime approaches. Some nights I can put these feelings aside and dose off and others I just cannot stop dwelling on the negative body sensations and it does not allow me to sleep. I wonder if you can offer some advice on how to get over this fear and accompanying sensations. Best, James David’s reply Thanks, James. Sorry you’re struggling with trouble sleeping. Yes, a Daily Mood Log can help, to find out what you are telling yourself that makes you so anxious about not sleeping. Also, the Hidden Emotion Technique may be important to find out if there’s a problem in your life that’s bugging you. There are also the typical sleep hygiene tips that can be useful for some folks, too! You can find these with an internet search. Can I use this as an Ask David question for a podcast, with your first name or a fake name? Best, david Arjun Asks: How can I stop blaming myself for my porn addiction as a teen? Hi Rhonda, I Really appreciate the work that you guys do and I listen to most of the feeling good podcasts. I'm 27 and have struggled with depression and anxiety since my teens. I'm currently in therapy with a TEAM certified professional from India, but I'm still grappling with feelings of being stuck in my past. During my pre-teen years, I battled a porn addiction for about a year, which has left me with ongoing feelings of anxiety, guilt, and depression. Despite trying various therapies, I haven't found relief. I keep fixating on the thought: "I shouldn't have indulged in porn addiction in the past. It's led me to develop anxiety and depression." How do I debunk this thought, reduce its hold on me, and cope with the regret it brings? It feels like I'm trapped in my past. and constantly blaming myself for that one mistake. because that indulgence in porn really did change my life. I wasn't the same as before. and never could go back to being who I was. How do I put the lie to this thought? Any methods you'd recommend putting in the recovery circle? Your insights would be invaluable in helping me move forward. Thank you, Arjun David’s reply: The key concept is that the problem is perfectionism, plus the beating up on yourself in the here and now, and not the behavior or misbehavior in your past. In the live podcast, we can discuss the importance of T = Testing (with DML), E = Empathy and A = Assessment of Resistance, and M = Methods, like explain the distortions, Perfectionism / Self-Blame CBA, D. Standard, EOR, EOV, etc. etc. The issue, as I see it, is that you are looking for a technique to help you accept yourself, but in reality, it is a decision for you to make. The choice is to accept yourself with compassion or continue to beat up on yourself. There are many really GOOD reasons to beat up on yourself, and we can perhaps outline some on the podcast. You would then have to explain why you’d really want to accept yourself, given all the good reasons to keep beating up on yourself, and given all the positive things your self-criticisms show about you. Also, I will try to remember to tell one of my favorite Buddhist stories that relates to this problem. Stephan asks: How do treat feelings of rage? And what if you are simply very angry, but you don’t have any thoughts? Hello Mr. Burns, I hope this email finds you in good spirits. I’ve just begun your book “Feeling Good” and I have just reached the point where...

Duration:01:16:17

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394: Report on Social Anxiety Marathon

4/29/2024
Featured photo is Dr. Jacob Towery Report on the 2nd Annual Social Anxiety Marathon Finding Humans Less Scary 2.0 Led by Jacob Towery, MD (above) and Michael Luo, MD (below) Today, Drs. Jacob Towery and Michael Luo report on the second annual “Finding Humans Less Scary” 2-day marathon in March of this year. As you all know, I am partial to offering valuable experiences for therapists and the general public for free, and my website (feelinggood.com) and life are focused pretty strongly on this goal, although I realize it isn’t always possible since we all have to support ourselves and our families. That’s why Rhonda and I are so proud of our colleagues, Jacob and Michel, who have now completed their second annual social anxiety marathon, which was open to therapists and the general public alike—in fact anyone struggling with shyness, public speaking anxiety, and other forms of social anxiety. And the total cost of admission both years had been a simple, $20 tax-deductible contribution to one of the charities listed on the FHLS website. That’s pretty darn cool, since the leaders are among the world’s top experts in the treatment of social anxiety, and there were, in addition, numerous highly trained TEAM therapists providing small group supervision and mentoring as well! They described a number of highlights from the event, including group exercises, both within the auditorium and also outside, on the streets of Palo Alto, doing exercises designed to help participants overcome fears and build feelings of confidence and self-esteem, including, but not limited to: And many more Michael explained that the program was sold out, and that participants came from a wide variety of backgrounds, and many had life-change experiences. Many provided testimonials on what the experience meant to them, including: “I grew as a person and experienced a dramatic increase in vulnerability and genuineness in my interactions with others.” “My son attended Jacob Towery's two-day social anxiety workshop, Finding Humans Less Scary, and found it life changing. He asked me to come along for moral support, which meant I witnessed the transformation in real time. I have never seen anything like it in my life! Quite literally, one person went into the conference room that morning and a different person came out at the end of the day. He was elated. He met amazing people and had transformational conversations. He walked down the street hooting like a bird. He looked and acted like he had thrown off some old moldy coat. “Day two seemed to deepen and solidify the gains. On our drive home he taught me what he had learned (I got some trickle down wisdom!) and he was able to trace how the roots of his social anxiety got started and grew. He reflected on the fact that some people in the room were nearly 70, and that he felt lucky to be learning this stuff at 23. “I can highly recommend this experience to other people who are struggling with social anxiety and want to try a novel approach to breaking the pattern.” I’m of the belief that, in a sense, we’re all one. That means that you can’t bring joy to another person without bringing joy to yourself. And Jacob and Michael both seemed to be on a high from their efforts to touch so many people. If you’re also excited, make sure you register next year well ahead of time so you, too, can have this life-transforming experience, which is (almost) totally free! Thank you for listening today! Rhonda and David

Duration:00:50:27

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393: TEAM for Insomnia

4/22/2024
393 Marina Dyck on TEAM for Insomnia Today we feature Marina Dyck, a TEAM-Certified Clinical Counselor in private practices in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. She works with individuals and families struggling with trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. She combines the latest research in neuroscience, powered by TEAM-CBT, and what she calls the "whole person" approach. Marina describes her innovative TEAM-CBT treatment for patients with trouble sleeping. Many of them toss and turn at night, unable to turn off their anxious and agitated brains, so they ruminate over and over about problems that are bugging them. Sound familiar? Here’s David’s quick, step by step overview of Marina's treatment approach, which is based on the steps of TEAM and the Daily Mood Log. Step 1. Let’s imagine you’re the patient (or the shrink), so you start with a brief description of the Upsetting Event at the top of the Daily Mood Log. It could be something as simple as ”Lying in bed for several hours, unable to get to sleep because I keep ruminating about a report I have not finished for work,” or some other problem. Step 2. Identify your negative feelings and estimate how intense each one is on a scale from 0 (not at all) to 100 (the worst.) For example, you may be feeling: Step 3: Record your negative thoughts and how strongly you believe each one from 0% to 100%. For example, you may be telling yourself: Step 4. Identify the distortions in these thoughts, like All-or-Nothing Thinking, Fortune-Telling, Should Statements, Emotional Reasoning, Magnification, and more. Now, if you’re a shrink, after you’ve empathized, do the A = Paradoxical Agenda Setting or Assessment of Resistance. If you’re a general citizen, you can do Positive Reframing. In other words, instead of trying to make your negative thoughts and feeling disappear entirely by pushing the Magic Button, you can ask two questions about each negative thought (NT) or feeling: Example. In the current example you are 95% anxious and panicky about your report for work as well as the fact that you can’t relax and fall asleep. Could there be some positives in your anxiety and panic? For example, these feelings might show You could make similar lists for other feelings as well, like feeling down, guilty, discouraged, angry, and so forth. At that point, you can set your goals for every negative feeling. For example, you might decide that 15% or 20% might be enough anxiety and panic, and that 15% shame would be enough, and so forth. You can record your goals for each negative feeling in the goal column of your Daily Mood Log. This is much easier than if you try to reduce them all to zero by pressing the Magic Button. And even if you could, then all of the positives you listed would go down the drain, right along with your negative thoughts and feelings. Instead, you can aim to reduce them to some lower level that would allow you to relax while still maintaining your core personal values. Now we’re ready for the M = Methods portion of the TEAM session. You will enjoy this portion of the podcast. Marina led Rhonda in three classic TEAM methods: The Paradoxical Double Standard Technique, the Externalization of Voices, and something Marina calls Distraction Training, which is actually a mix of Image Substitution, self-hypnosis, and relaxation training. Essentially, you focus on something positive and relaxing, as opposed to ruminating about all you have to do. This approach will come to life when you listen to the podcast, and I think you will agree that it IS innovative and significantly different and from 99% of what is currently sold as “insomnia treatment!” Marina emphasizes that you, the client, will have to agree to spend 15 to 20 minutes per day doing written work with the Daily Mood Log, or all bets are off. In addition, I would like to add that you and your shrink (or you and your patient) will have to find effective ways to combat each patient’s...

Duration:01:23:50

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392: The Empty Nest Cure

4/15/2024
392 The Empty Nest Cure Featuring Jill Levitt, PhD Plus BIG NEWS! The Magical Annual Intensive Returns this Summer at the South San Francisco Conference Center August 9 -13, 2024 You can Review the Exciting Details Below Or click this link! Today we are proud to feature our beloved Dr. Jill Levitt. Jill is the Director of Clinical Training at the Feeling Good Institute in Mountain View, California, and co-leader of my Tuesday evening psychotherapy training group at Stanford. She is a dear friend, and one of the world’s top psychotherapists and psychotherapy teachers. Today, Jill joins us to discuss the so-called “Empty Nest” syndrome. According to Wikipedia, this is the “feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children move out of the family home, such as to live on their own or to pursue a higher education.“ Jill emailed Rhonda and me to explain why she thought a podcast on this topic might be of some value. She wrote, Recently, I was working with two different women around the same age who were having similar feelings of guilt and shame about the choices they made around parenting versus working. Jane is a 60 year old high level executive with two boys who was super successful and is now retired. She is telling herself, “ Stephanie, in contrast, is a 60 year old stay-at-home mom of four adult kids, and now that her last kid has left for college, she is telling herself: Jane and Stephanie both struggled with feelings of guilt, shame, sadness and inferiority, and they were both telling themselves that they should have made different choices. I’m sure your life is very different from their lives, but you may have also looked in to the past and beaten up on yourself for what you should or shouldn’t have done. Or, you may be beating up on yourself right now with shoulds, telling yourself that you should be better, or smarter or more successful or popular than you are. In fact, according to the late Dr. Albert Ellis, these “Should Statements” are responsible for most of the suffering in the world, and there are several different types, including: Self-Directed ShouldsOther-Directed Shoulds I’m sure you can see that both women were struggling with Self-Directed Shoulds. What can you do about these shoulds and the unhappiness they trigger? Jill explains how both women experienced rapid recovery when she used simple TEAM methods systematically, including empathy and Positive Reframing as well as other basic techniques like the Double Standard Technique and the Externalization of Voices, and more. I, David, then described a woman he treated who fell into a depression when her two daughters went off to college. And she was perplexed, because she’d always had a super loving relationship with them, just as she’d had with her own mother when she was growing up. When I explored this with her, a Hidden Emotion suddenly emerged, as you’ll hear on the podcast, and that also led to a complete recovery in just two sessions. Then Jill had a sudden “eureka” moment and realized that the Hidden emotion phenomenon was also central to the anxiety that one of her two patients was experiencing. One of the neat things I (David) really like about TEAM is that we don’t treat people with formulas for “disorders” or “syndromes.” These three woman all had the same “Empty Nest Syndrome,” but the causes and the cures for all of them were unique, as you’ll understand when you listen to this podcast. Our 400th podcast is coming up soon, and we want to thank all of you in advance for your support and encouragement over the past several years, which we all DEEPLY appreciate! We’ll be joined by a number of our podcast stars from the past 100 shows, as well as our beloved founder, Dr. Fabrice Nye! And we have one VERY special event coming up this summer that might interest you if you’re a shrink. I (David) have done very few workshops over the past five years because of the pandemic as well as the intensive demands...

Duration:01:00:06

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391: Ask David: Evolution of TEAM from CBT; Porn; Compulsive Liars; and More!

4/8/2024
Evolution of TEAM from CBT Porn Compulsive Liars Angry Patients Who Resist Where's the App? and More! Note: The answers below were written by David prior to the podcast, just to give some structure to the discussion. Keep in mind that the actual live discussion by Rhonda, Matt and David will often go in different directions with different information and opinions. So, please listen to the podcast for the more complete answers! Today's live discussion was especially fun and lively, so make sure you listen to the actual live podcast. Questions for this Ask David Podcast 1. Stan asks about new approaches in TEAM for habits and addictions, as well the evolution of TEAM, as compared with the much earlier classical CBT. 2. Stan also asks if mild porno is helpful or harmful. Hi David. I read in the eBook (I think it was) that you have radically changed your approach and have many new methods for Habits and Addictions. I actually have many of your books such as: I wonder if you could please tell us in one of your Ask David podcasts which methods described in your earlier books you no longer recommend, because they have been superseded by more effective ones described in Feeling Great for example. I am sure there must be a lot of material that is still valid in those earlier books and which is not mentioned in Feeling Great. It would be great to know which ones you no longer recommend for the general public. I also want to ask you about Porn Addiction. Do you think occasional mild porn use is harmful or beneficial? I read in a BBC article that porn probably isn’t harmful for most men, and can even be positive for couples. For example, some couples start to engage in oral sex after seeing it on the internet. Porn seems a bit like alcohol, if you abuse it it will be bad for your health but if you don’t go for the strong stuff and don’t over use it, it could be OK. I think some people might misinterpret your references to porn addiction as being any kind and intensity of porn use. Maybe these people feel anxious and shameful for using it as a result. I would welcome your clarification on this issue. Finally, even though I know you have heard it thousands, or hundreds of thousands of times, your work is having a really positive effect on my life. I am truly grateful for all that you do. Thank you, David. Warm regards Stan David’s Reply Hi Stan, I can turn this into a couple Ask David questions for the podcast if you like. There have been many upgrades of the therapy ideas and techniques over the years, as we develop greater understanding of how people change, and what works and what tends not to work. In addition, I would say that we develop new methods and ideas on a weekly basis. The TEAM models lends itself very nicely to evolution, perhaps one of the strong points. I can speak in more detail on the podcast, but here are two ideas. First, I have come to appreciate more and more that all change in emotions comes from a reduction in belief in the negative thoughts that trigger negative feelings with few, if any, exceptions. In addition, any reduction in belief in negative thoughts will case an immediate reduction in the negative feelings that thought causes. This insight angers many people who don’t really “get” it, so I don’t push it. I find that people sometimes do not take kindly to statements that challenge their sacred beliefs. A simple example would be jogging, or aerobic exercise. Some people believe on faith or personal experience that exercise has a mood elevating effect due to release of endogenous “endorphins” in the brain, and many even claim that exercise is the most effective antidepressant known. While some people do experience a mood lift after strenuous exercise, I believe this is due to the change in their thoughts, telling themselves and believing that this is going to be good for the health and outlook. So that thought can have potent effects on mood. I can describe some experiments on...

Duration:01:05:03

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390: Ask David: Self-Acceptance, People who Resist, Transgenderism, Job Interviews, and more

4/1/2024
Self-Acceptance, People who Resist, Secrets of Dynamic Job Interviews, Five Secrets with your Boss, Do Cognitive Distortions Cause Transgenderism? Note: The answers below were written by David prior to the podcast, just to give some structure to the discussion. Keep in mind that the actual live discussion by Rhonda and David will often go in different directions with different information and opinions. So, please listen to the podcast for the more complete answers! Questions for the this Ask David Podcast 1. Rizwan asks I have a question about the Acceptance Paradox that came to my mind during our Tuesday training group on 19 Dec, 23. As homework, will it be useful to ask clients to make a list of things which they have already accepted in life and made peace with? At the next stage, in the session, would it be useful if the therapist asks them, "why did you accept and make peace with those things? “Can you use the same criteria to accept other things in your lives which you are not accepting now?" Sincerely, Rizwan David’s take Yes, you can certainly try that and let us know how it works out? I do lots of spontaneous and “new” things in almost every therapy session. Some things work out, and others do not. That way, I learn from my clinical work. One thing to be aware of is that your proposed approach might overlap with “helping,” when a paradoxical approach might have more “punch” / impact, After all, the Acceptance Paradox is arguably more of a decision, than a skill. But try, even with yourself if you like, and let us know what you discover. TEAM constantly evolves, and you can be an important part of that process! Best, david 2. Anonymous asks how to convince someone that depression is not due to a chemical imbalance in the brain and that you can change the way you FEEL by changing the way you THINK? Hi David I love listening to your podcasts. And now I am seeing differences in my life but not my father who has been depressed for around 40 years. He is on medicines and has an extreme belief that it's on the basis of chemical imbalance. He is a pharmacist by profession, and loves to learn about how chemical changes mood swings. I am not able to convince him to read your books. He just take sleeping pills every single and sleeps all day. He is learning something about neuroplasticity which is actually the case that happens in cbt. But he think it's some kind of thought changing therapy which cannot change the chemical in our brain. Please help David. I would love you to answer this. Regards, Anonymous David’s Response Hi, I once gave the keynote address at a research conference at the Harvard Medical School. When the department chairman introduced me, he something like, “Dr. David Burns is going to show us how you can change brain chemistry with CBT, and without drugs!” It was pretty cool! That’s one dimension. And we could add more evidence and research findings to support our side of the argument. But on another level, we see the underlying issue of trying to convince someone who is taking an adversarial position and content with their own thinking and beliefs, and determined to argue no matter what evidence you present. In my experience, spending time trying to convince them is almost always a losing cause. All you do is engage in a frustrating philosophical debate, at least that’s my thinking! The podcasts on the theme of “How to Help and How NOT to Help” might be useful, in case you are looking for help with your relationship with your father. Your love and concern for him is huge and very touching! Okay to use in an Ask David? I will not use your first name! Best, david 3. Marc asks for tips on job interviewing. Hi David, I hope you are keeping well. I am wondering if you have any tips / strategies/resources that you recommend for an upcoming job interview? Also, you once told a story of someone who worked in the tech industry that you counselled, and you recommended some questions...

Duration:00:57:27

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389: The Story of Amy, Part 2 of 2

3/25/2024
Featured Photo is Dr. Amy Huberman The Amy Story, Part 2: The Joys of Doing the Laundry! Amy and her exuberant son, Sasha, and wife, Alena Last week you heard Part 1 of the Amy session, which included T = Testing, E = Empathy, and A = Assessment of Resistance. Today, you will hear Part 2 of Amy's exciting journey from perfectionism to JOY. M = Methods We used a variety of Methods to help Amy challenge her negative thoughts, starting with the first, “I’m failing my patients.” We started with Identify and Explain the Distortions, then went to the Double Standard Technique, and ended up with the Externalization of Voices. As a reminder, you can see Amy's Daily Mood Log at the start of her session here.. As an exercise, see how many distortions, or thinking errors, you can find in her first Negative Thought, “I’m failing my patients,“ using the list of cognitive distortions on the bottom of her Daily Mood Log. You’ll find the list of the ten cognitive distortions if you click here. After you’ve identified each distortion, see if you can explain two things about it: You’ll find my list of the distortions in this thought at the end of the show notes. But don’t look until you’ve made your list! These techniques we used were effective , as you’ll hear on the podcast, especially the Externalization of Voices. You’ll hear us doing role-reversals with Amy, and the method that “won the day” was the CAT, or Counter-Attack Technique, combined with the Acceptance Paradox. The Acceptance Paradox involves finding truth in a negative thought with a sense of peace or even humor. The CAT involves confronting the hostile voice in your head and tell it to go fly a kite, or other gentle but firm message You’ll enjoy seeing some striking changes in Amy, as her tears and feelings of intense self-doubt are suddenly transformed into joy and laughter. Those changes created strong feelings of joy for Jill and me as well. We both have incredibly fondness and admiration for Amy, and feel great joy as well when she feels joy. Here are Amy’s final scores at the end of the session. Emotions% Now% Goal% After The Joyous Dr. Amy! Sudden and dramatic change is pretty trippy, but it isn’t much good if it doesn’t last. And it won’t! Negative thoughts and feelings will always return, because no one can be happy all the time. That’s why some relapse prevention training and ongoing practice and refinement of what you’ve learned can be vitally important. In our follow-up session with Amy one week later she said she’d felt way better during the week, but did, in fact, have some relapses and had to challenge her negative thoughts again. She’d been helped a lot by the idea that it was okay to fail, to seek consultation, and learn, and that failing with patients gave us endless opportunities to learn and grow as therapists. And it was also okay not to have to listen so intently to the attempts of the negative self to put her down. In fact, our misery almost never results from our failures, but from telling ourselves that we “shouldn’t” ever fail, and from punishing ourselves mercilessly when we do. One of her most exciting statements in our follow-up session was that she discovered that even something as humble as putting the dirty clothes into the washing machine could be a joyous experience without that negative voice in her brain constantly hollering at her that she wasn’t good enough! Teaching points I have often said that feeling anxious and depressed is a lot like being in a deep hypnotic trance, telling yourself and believing things that just aren’t true. For example, Amy is doing beautiful work with the great majority of her patients, and is doing the exact same thing with the patients who are responding beautifully as she is with the two who are stuck. So, when she tells herself she’s a failure, she’s clearly involved in All-or-Nothing Thinking. In other words, she’s thinking that if she’s not perfect, she’s a complete failure and a...

Duration:01:28:05

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388: The Amy Story, Part 1 of 2

3/18/2024
Featured Photo is Dr. Amy Huberman The Amy Story Part 1: True Confessions of a “Fraud” and a “Failure” Part 2: The Joys of Doing the Laundry Amy and her exuberant son, Sasha, and husband, Poppy Today’s podcast, and next week’s podcast, include a single, two-hour session with Amy Huberman, MD. Amy is a psychiatrist in private practice in Baltimore, MD. She also serves on the volunteer faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Amy specializes in brief, intensive psychotherapy to help people overcome struggles with anxiety, OCD, and trauma, but today comes to us to get some help with her own anxiety. Often doing our own work can be a vitally important part of our training and growth as mental health professionals. Amy has been upset because she is stuck with two of her patients, and she’s telling herself that she’s a “fraud” and a “failure.” Although her life is undoubtedly very different from yours, the root cause of her problem might be very similar to the source of your unhappiness, especially if you sometimes get down in the dumps and tell yourself that you’re just not good enough. My co-therapist for this session is Jill Levitt, Ph.D. co-founder and Director of Clinical Training at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View California. Jill also serves on the Adjunct Faculty at the Stanford Medical School and is co-leader of my weekly TEAM Therapy training group at Stanford, Tuesdays from 5-7:00 pm pst. If you are interested in joining David and Jill's Tuesday group, please contact Ed Walton, edwalton100@gmail.com. That group is now virtual and therapists from the Bay Area and around the world are welcome to attend. It is free of charge. Rhonda Barovsky also runs a free weekly training group with Richard Lam, on Wednesdays, from 9-11:00 am pst, which is also free of charge. If you are interested in joining the Wednesday group, please contact Ana Teresa Silva, ateresasilva6@gmail.com. Because the groups are virtual, they are open to therapists from around the world. Amy has been a member of our Tuesday training group, and is a highly skilled, certified TEAM therapist. Like nearly all the mental health professionals who come for training every Tuesday, Amy has incredibly high standards and is sometimes harshly self-critical when she feels she is not living up to them. At the same time, those high standards can be strongly motivating, and this can create strong feelings of ambivalence when it’s time to change. Sound familiar? If you’re struggling with perfectionism, you might want to check out these two podcasts! Part 1. The True Confessions of a “Fraud” and a “Failure” Amy opened by saying she was anxious and telling herself: I’m about to reveal my weaknesses and my inner self—This is something I’ve never done before in such a public setting. . . I also have to confess that I’m struggling with social anxiety right now. I’m afraid that my patients might see this and think, “I don’t want to work with her! I want to work with a competent psychiatrist.” I Included that because I am hoping you will appreciate Amy’s incredible courage and gift of sharing her true inner self today! Amy described the problem that’s been bothering her for several weeks. Although she specializes in the short-term treatment of anxiety, she has been struggling with two patients with OCD symptoms who have been stuck and not making significant progress for a long time. This has triggered feelings of shame and intense anxiety which have invaded Amy’s every moment when she’s NOT seeing patients, and has even prevented her from getting restful sleep at night. She keeps ruminating and beating up on herself. You can see Amy's Daily Mood Log Amy here.. As you can see, she was feeling intensely sad, panicky and ashamed, and rated these three feelings as 80% on a scale from 0 (not at all) to 100 (the most severe). She was also feeling worthless and defective which she rated at 100%, as well as hopeless (90%) and stuck (80%). As...

Duration:01:03:23

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387: The Acceptance and Resistance Survey, Part 2 of 2

3/11/2024
Why Do We Resist Accepting Ourselves Other People, and the World? The Five Most Common Reasons! Rhonda and David are joined in today’s podcast by Dr. Matt May, a super popular and loved guest on our show, to discuss the resistance findings in David's recent survey on acceptance and resistance. The following is a summary of some of the statistical findings, but the actual podcast dialogue was wide ranging and tremendously engaging, and won't require a lot of statistical smarts! We also discussed the vitally important difference between healthy and unhealthy acceptance. The group brought the five most common reasons to life with engaging stories. Why should you accept yourself? We are not saying that you "should," and it's really a decision. However, the statistical models the I (David) developed indicated that healthy acceptance can trigger a 49% reduction in negative feelings and a 39% boost in positive feelings, which is tremendous. Matt told an inspiring story about two strategy for training the dolphins at SeaWorld. One strategy involved trying to shape the behavior of the dolphins with little shocks, in much the same way that some people train horses. Sadly, the dolphins went to the bottom of the pool and appeared depressed, not moving much. It was a complete failure. Then they tried a radically different strategy--they gave a new group of dolphins fish to reward them for doing the things the trainers wanted them to do. This strategy was tremendously successful. So, the question is whether you want to shape your own life with frequent shoulds and self-criticisms, which can have the effect of electric shocks every time you fail or screw up or fall short of your goals, or whether you want to shape your life with love and rewards. Some of us have discovered that acceptance is way more fun and vastly more effective! Quick Bottom Line The typical survey respondent endorsed 1/3 of the 12 Resistance Scale items, and seemed to believed that Acceptance would be foolish and lead to a life of misery and mediocrity. The actual causal impact of the Non-Acceptance and Resistance scales on positive and negative feelings was massive and appeared to be in the exact opposite direction. Findings The respondents in the Resistance survey endorsed an average of 33.8%. (+/- 0.1%) of the items, ranging from 0 to all 12. The most commonly endorsed was, “Acceptance is easy for rich and famous, but hard if you’re struggling just to pay the bills.” 47% (+/- 2%) endorsed this item. The least endorsed was, “If I beat up on myself, people will love me more,” although 25% (+/- 1%) of the people endorsed this item, so it was fairly popular. The high scores on the resistance scale items is also pretty consistent with my experiences over the years—the people in the study, and the people I’ve worked with, have expressed MANY reasons to beat up on themselves. You can see the list of the 12 Resistance Scale items below. I have bolded the five most often endorsed. As you can see, many people surveyed believed that acceptance is fine for people who are rich and famous, but terribly painful and foolish for people who struggle with real problems. Many respondents were convinced that acceptance leads to pain, robs you of motivation and does not make sense in a the world that’s falling apart. If I accept my flaws and shortcomings, I’ll lose all my motivation to learnIt would be tremendously painful to accept my flaws and shortcomings. That would be like giving up and having to live with a heavy load of inadequacies.Life has many real disappointments and losses. I don't want to feel happy and chipper by “accepting” all those negatives when the world is falling apart all around me. That just doesn’t make sense!I am never going to accept myself as just another average or below-average person. That would be awful!Acceptance is fine and easy for people who’ve enjoyed tremendous success, but it’s really hard if you’re struggling to pay the bills, or if...

Duration:01:19:23

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386: The Acceptance and Resistance Survey, Part 1 of 2

3/4/2024
Accept this Sh__? Hell No! Rhonda and David are joined in today’s podcast by two dear friends, Dr. Matt May, a popular regular on our show, and Matt Pierce, a co-founder of the soon-to-be-released Feeling Great App Brief bio sketch of Matt Pierce goes here, should you wish to include it in the show notes. Matt,. A pic would also be great, but not required. People get tired of the same pics each week, so a fresh face to illustrate this episode would be cool! You’ve probably heard about acceptance. It’s a popular buzzword in the mental health space these days. In fact, some experts claim that it’s THE key to happiness and enlightenment. It’s NOT, but it can be incredibly helpful. I wanted to learn more about Acceptance and put some numbers on it’s effectiveness, or lack of effectiveness, so I recently sent an invitation to the 45,000 people on my mailing lists to complete a new survey on acceptance and resistance. More than 1,000 quickly responded, which was great. I hoped the data could provide some answers questions like these: Thanks for listening, David, Rhonda and Matt

Duration:00:50:30