093: 50 Methods in 50 Minutes! (Part 1)

How to Break Out of a Bad Mood

Hi Everybody!

For a long time, Fabrice has wanted to do a show on my list of “Fifty Ways to Untwist Your Thinking” called “Fifty Ways in Fifty Minutes.” So we finally did it, and it was fun!

If I’m helping you overcome depression or anxiety, I’ll ask you to fill out a Daily Mood Log, so you can list your negative thoughts and feelings at some specific moment when you were upset. You may be thinking, “I’m a failure,” or “I should not have made that mistake,” or “I’m unlovable.”

Your negative thoughts will nearly always be distorted, but you’ll still believe them, and that’s why you’re feeling depressed and anxious. And the moment you discover that your negative thoughts aren’t true, you’ll immediately feel better. But that’s not going to be easy, because you’ve probably been giving yourself the same negative messages for years, or even decades.  And friends and family members, and even your therapist, may have been trying, unsuccessfully, to talk you out of them.

That’s why I’ve developed more than fifty methods to help you crush the negative thoughts at the heart of your suffering. So today, you’ll take a look at the landscape!

However, it took two fifty-minute shows to cover all the methods. In today’s episode, David and Fabrice describe and discuss 24 of the 50 techniques, which fall in the following categories:

  1. Basic Techniques
  2. Compassion-Based Techniques
  3. Truth-Based Techniques
  4. Logic-Based Techniques
  5. Semantic Techniques
  6. Quantitative Techniques
  7. Humor-Based Techniques
  8. Role-Playing Techniques
  9. Philosophical / Spiritual Techniques
  10. Visual Imaging Techniques

Next week we will complete the remaining 26 techniques on the list.

Why are there so many techniques? Well, if someone has a negative thought, like “I’m a hopeless case,” or “I’m a worthless human being,” you never know what technique will be effective for that person. So the philosophy is: fail as fast as you can. That’s because the faster you fail, the faster you’ll get to the technique that will change your life!

Hope you enjoy today’s podcast!

* Copyright © 2018 by David D. Burns, MD


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!


Attend a Summer Intensive!

This year, I am offering a July summer intensive in Whistler, Canada, and one in August at the South San Francisco Conference center. The intensives are almost always my most exciting and fun workshops of the year. Hope you can join us at one of these locations.

Here are some details:

Advanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: 

A Four-Day Intensive Training in TEAM-CBT

July 3 – 6, 2018 Whistler, BC, Canada

For more information, contact Jack Hirose & Associates Inc.
Phone: 604.924.0296, Toll-free: 1.800.456.5424

* * *

High Speed, Drug Free Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders–

A Four-Day

Advanced TEAM-CBT Intensive

August 6 – 9, 2018, South San Francisco Conference Center, California

For more information, click here, or call IAHB.org at 800-258-8411

If you can only attend one of my workshops, consider attending one of these intensives!




2 thoughts on “093: 50 Methods in 50 Minutes! (Part 1)

  1. Dear David
    I was listening to your podcast 093 and simultaneously reviewing the relevant section of your book, When Panic attacks, as a memorizing-the-techniques-exercise.

    I noticed in anxiety disorders for example OCD:

    (a) if one uses self-monitoring technique using a counter to count his negative thought or intrusive thought, he/she can click/count and then move on to work at hand like Mind- full meditation. Then, take a,

    (b) Worry Break. You suggested 2 or 3 minutes worry break. I think if he uses the worry break for cognitive flooding or practical flooding, which of course takes more time, may be 15 or 20 minutes or 60 minutes, as you do it until all the anxiety have vanished and you dont quit while you are still anxious.

    In short worry break, flooding (cognitive and practical) all appear same but worry break seems far less advantageous than Floodings.

    Any thoughts on that. I know you are terribly busy and wonder how you find time to answer questions.


    • Hi Rizwan, Yes, you are right, cognitive flooding is much more powerful than worry breaks! But occasionally, worry breaks can be useful, and their purpose is somewhat different. david

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