Learning TEAM-CBT Requires Hard Work — But the Results Can Be Amazing!

This is a terrific email I received this morning.

Hi Dr. Burns,

I first attended your 2-hour workshop at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in Anaheim in 2013. That got me started!

Then I took your 2-day training on High Speed Trauma Treatment in Pasadena 2015. That got me hooked!

Since January 2017, I’ve listened to your podcasts, each about 4 or 5 times.

I’ve read your Feeling Good Handbook – did all the exercises.

I’ve read your Feeling Good Together – did all the exercises – and my wife is practicing these.

Working through your book, When Panic Attacks, now.

Changed my life! My marriage went from pretty good to perfect! I mean perfect! All the complaints I had about my wife disappeared. She didn’t change anything!!!

What changed?

In my marriage I realized I was creating the problem I was fighting against. Yes, that’s the truth. The Five Secrets showed me my mistakes: 1. Defensiveness 2. Truth 3. Solving the Problem, and others. As a result of the Five Secrets my wife has now become my best friend. I use the Five Secrets at work too and have never felt more confident and relaxed.

My therapy practice continues to change dramatically. Finally, I’ve begun to use the Paradoxical Agenda Setting effectively. This was tough for me to learn. After a few failures, and soul searching, I’m beginning now to truly see and feel the strength and beauty of my clients’ resistance. The energy of our alliance is amazing, and you’re right, when you have that power, it’s a short jump to the elimination of symptoms.

One quick example: An African American woman in 40s had suffered from feelings of inadequacy 100% of the time since she was little. After listing the beauty of her inadequacy, she decided that she was ready to get rid of it. Why? She said it was “a thorn in my flesh.” We used the list of Cognitive Distortions, with positive thought replacement, and the Acceptance Paradox to defeat her feeling of inadequacy.

She realized that she had a choice: Live with trying NOT to be inadequate (“a thorn in my flesh”) or accept feeling inadequate in some things. Upon realizing this, she laughed and said, “I’m not feeling inadequate anymore. Feeling inadequate is normal.” She couldn’t believe it. Her scores on the depression and anxiety tests went to 0, and she left session elated. I also received perfect empathy scores. All of this transformation happened in one (2 hour) session.

I already have 4 or 5 other examples recently.

I am just so grateful to you. You’ve been generous in correspondences as well. You are truly a treasure.

All the best,


(Case study disguised to protect identity.)

Michael Mikulski, LMFT
Director of MFT Training, Pacific Clinics
Pasadena, CA 91107

Thanks, Mike! You’ve “got it,” so to speak, thanks to your hard work and commitment. That’s what it takes to learn TEAM-CBT! Keep up the fantastic work you are doing! I am so glad that at least some therapists are learning these new methods and bring rapid relief to so many people who are suffering!

Your fantastic email also illustrates the importance of Healing Yourself. If we, the presumed experts, can use our techniques to bring more joy and intimacy into our own lives, then we have credibility, and our status changes from technician to healer. That is one reason why I emphasize the importance of doing personal work in my Tuesday psychotherapy training seminar at Stanford, on my Sunday hikes, and at my workshops. It is, to my way of thinking, an essential ingredient of psychotherapy training.

I also want to thank my esteem podcast host, Dr. Fabrice Nye, for making the Feeling Good Podcasts a reality! We just finished another recording session at noon today and really enjoy bring this information to all of you!

All the best,