081: Ask David: What’s the Best Smoking Cessation Treatment? Is there a Dark Side to Human Nature?

“Do I always have to face my fears? Aren’t some fears healthy?”

In this podcast, David and Fabrice answer five challenging questions submitted by listeners:

  1. Galina asks whether we always have to face our fears? Isn’t it okay to be anxious sometimes?
  2. Courtney asks how to find the supplemental written materials, tests, and diagrams if you have purchased the eBook or audio-book copy of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.
  3. Carlos asks about the best treatment for smoking cessation. During the discussion, Fabrice asks if Paradoxical Agenda Setting is important for therapists using hypnotherapy.
  4. Avi asks whether humans have a dark side, with dark negative motives that sometimes compete with positive, loving motives. And if so, how do therapists help patients deal with their own negative motives?
  5. Ben asks what to do if you’re very anxious but simply can’t pinpoint your negative thoughts.

Coming Soon!

In a couple weeks we will begin an exciting series on the powerful role-playing techniques in TEAM-CBT, including

  1. Externalization of Voices with Acceptance Paradox and Self-Defense Paradigm
  2. Paradoxical Double Standard Technique
  3. Devil’s Advocate
  4. Forced Empathy
  5. Man from Mars
  6. And more

These episode will feature students and teachers in David’s Tuesday training group at Stanford, so you will get a taste of what an actual Tuesday group is like and see, first hand, how these methods work. They are unique to TEAM-CBT, and most have been created by Dr. Burns. We will also devote one episode to live Shame-Attacking Exercises, featuring the master of Shame Attacking, Dr. Joseph Towery, and we will all be out on the street doing Shame Attacking ourselves.

These episodes will be designed for therapists as well as your patients, and of course also for the general public.

Also Coming Soon!

May 20th, 2018  Advanced, High-Speed CBT for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety A one day workshop by Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt. 6 CE Credits, $135
You can join in person or online from wherever you live!

You will LOVE this workshop because you will learn and practice techniques you can use in your clinical practice, but you will also have the chance to do your own personal work! And you will also have the unique opportunity to experience the tag-team teaching of David and Jill working together!

Fabrice and I hope you like our Feeling Good Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and five star ratings if you like what we’re doing!


At least one listener has had problems leaving an iTunes review from his i-phone, so Fabrice has created some simple to follow instructions if you need help.



10 thoughts on “081: Ask David: What’s the Best Smoking Cessation Treatment? Is there a Dark Side to Human Nature?

  1. Good morning dear Dr. Burne
    How you are feeling ?
    Thanks a lot for your advice about the book “The anti-depressant book” by J. Towery, MD
    It is very helpful for teen and young adult
    When Dr. Towery mentions your name , I can feel so much love and appreciate for the knowledge that you had share with him .
    Gods blessings
    Thanks a lot again for your knowledge and for helping people by impower them, helping to believe in their own potential and always taking your time to answer the questions that I send to you.

  2. I had a question I have been getting from others when I talk about taking responsibility for your role in creating your own problems, in relationships and concerning your mood. They become critical and say I am victim blaming. How would you respond to this? I’ve noticed this can be a sensitive issue for a lot of people, and as a response to rape culture in our society I can understand their concern. Are their limits to taking personal responsibility, such as in an abusive relationship whether between adults or parents and children?

    • Good question, Don, and it is very controversial. Anything in therapy has a healthy, enlightened side, and an unhealthy, destructive side. In my book, Feeling Good Together, I talk about the two forms of blame, self-blame and other-blame. I am strongly opposed to both. Personal responsibility and accountability are radically different from self-blame. I can’t see how blaming anyone is every very productive. If you are in an abusive relationship, the first question is whether it is better to stay in the relationship vs. leaving and getting out of it. Either way, I would say it is even WAY MORE IMPORTANT to pinpoint your own role and use the Five Secrets of Effective Communication so you can end the violence and protect yourself.

      These issues are complex, and many people like simplistic concepts and solutions, and like to say, “You are wrong!” My opinion only!


      • Thank you that was helpful. I agree it is complex. Are there any podcast or articles you can point me to to learn more about what you mean when you say anything in therapy has a healthy enlightened side and an unhealthy destructive side?

      • A specific question is always best, but reading my eBook for therapists or any of my consumer books might be helpful. d

      • I’m glad it helped! People get pretty hung up on this issue, and do like to see people as “victims.” d

  3. Dear Dr David Burns,
    This is Hrishi from India. Its been a while since I have been planning to write to you. Somehow I would end up procrastinating that I have just started using your techniques and I have not yet understood them completely. I feel glad to be writing to you and for some reason It feels like I am sharing my thoughts with a very close friend.
    I got introduced to your book feeling good about an year ago now by a good friend of mine to whom I am grateful. I have been trying to overcome depression and anxiety for past 8 years. I was also on drug treatment for quiet a long period which I gave up a few months back. I also fell glad that my psychiatrist was quite open and refrained from using drugs beyond a point. He is young by age and not too older than me and hence I could share openly with him. At some point down those years I realised that drugs weren’t helping me anymore. The only solution that used to work was lying in bed under the covers for days along isolating myself till I could find some reason to get up and start getting back to my responsibilities. These were my student days and somehow I manged to drag myself to complete my master’s in physics. I however never could accept what I had achieved and felt I am not good enough. I remember the days when I believed that I am going to take this depression and anxiety all through my life to my grave.
    However I felt delighted and touched when I went through the first few pages of your book felling good just to realise that I really wasn’t worthless after all. My worth as human did not have anything to do with what I achieved or what social status I had. Since then I feel glad to announce that my journey with you hasn’t stopped and I am going to take these lessons along through my life’s journey. Also I dream of taking these methods and teachings to as many people as possible.
    I am truly indebted to you for providing me with such amazing techniques and above all the realisation that I can change the way I feel. Thank you for developing CBT and upgrading it to TEAM CBT. I fell really happy that you choose to focus on tools and schools. Being from science background I see this as a revolution in entire psychotherapy. Science tells us that the only way to validate your theory is to check it in experiment. You, I believe are a true scientist.
    I started following the podcast just a few months back. I really love the dynamics you and fabrice bring to the podcasts. A big thanks to Dr Fabrice for coming up with this amazing idea. The podcasts help me understand what mistakes I am making while applying the methods in practice. After listening to your podcasts I got two more of your books, When panic attacks and Felling Good Together. Both are really amazing and deal with their realms with perfection. Every episode of podcast has been transforming me and my approach towards myself and other people. The podcasts on 5 secrets have been really cool. Thanks to Dr Helen too. Her addition multiplied the already crazy dynamics which you and fabrice share. The 5 secrets are helping me develop a much deeper relationship with people I really want to be close to. A relationship,not just based on love but human compassion and human respect. Big thanks to Tuesday group members for demonstrating the 5 secrets and making mistakes, it takes a lot of courage to accept once mistakes in public, I admire their courage. I kinda fell like, okay I am not the only one struggling in mastering these methods even therapist make mistakes at times.
    For person like me with a history of depression and anxiety i know how difficult it is to come out with my problems in front of people. Merlyin, Mark, Daisy I fell these are great courageous humans. Thanks to them for letting us into their lives and helping us through ours. They have been a motivation and inspiration.
    I am 27. At this stage of my life I find myself stuck working in a company. Not stuck exactly but I am unable to decide my career ahead. I have some questions which I am trying to understand myself and would love If you could elaborate on them:
    1) How does one understand the difference Achievement Addiction and Wanting to achieve a particular career goal.
    2) What exactly is self esteem? Does it truly exist? I find myself worrying about it when I am missing it. Many people seem to go around without bothering much about it and it looks like they have a lot of self esteem.
    I would feel much gladder if you could help me understand these questions.

    Heartfelt Thanks and deep gratitude for your amazing work and work of all members of the TEAM. You have touched my life in wonderful ways.

    Yours Truly,
    Hrishikesh Tadwalkar

    I tried to mail you but I think I got the mail I.D. wrong. Could you please share your mail ID. I have a lot more that I would love to share with you and ask.

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