119: Can you Change Self-Defeating Beliefs?

In today’s show, Fabrice and David focus on this question: How can you get rid of Self-Defeating Beliefs?

Although any of the 100 + TEAM-CBT methods can be used to modify an SDB, four methods will be highlighted in today’s show.

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Semantic Method
  • Experimental Technique
  • Feared Fantasy

For more information on how to change SDBs, you might want to watch the extremely popular David and Jill  FB Live show on Overcoming Perfectionism (recorded on November 11, 2018).

What research has been done on SDBs?

This topic was not discussed in the show, but individuals with an interest in research might want to read David’s study with Dr. Jackie Persons on the causal connections between depression and SDBs about dependency (attachment) as well as achievement (perfectionism) in several hundred patients in Philadelphia during the first 12 weeks of their treatment at David’s clinic.

The study confirmed That both types of SBS were significantly correlated with depression severity at intake and at the 12-week evaluation. In addition, changes in depression were correlated with changes in SDBs. However, a sophisticated statistical analysis with structural equation modeling techniques did not confirm that SDBs had causal effects on depression, or that depression had causal effects on SDBs. Instead, SDBs and feelings of depression appeared to share an unknown common cause.

  • Persons, J. B., Burns, D. D., Perloff, J. M., & Miranda, J. (1993). Relationships between symptoms of depression and anxiety and dysfunctional beliefs about achievement and attachment. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 101(4): 518 – 524.




Dr. Fabrice Nye currently practices in Redwood City, California and also works with individuals throughout the world via teletherapy (although not across U.S. state lines). You can reach him at fabrice@life.net. You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you may download it here.


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4 thoughts on “119: Can you Change Self-Defeating Beliefs?

  1. Dear Dr. Burns,

    my Name is Haike and I’m a young clinical psychologist from Austria (female, 26 years old). I just finished my licensing this summer. I stumbled upon your work just a couple of weeks ago and I am so thankful that I did. I was questioning if this was the right profession for me. The way most psychologists here work, just didn’t click with me and also it didn’t seem to be super helpful to patients.

    Since finding your work i am so passionate about learning again. I have listenend to 90 of your podcast episodes so far, seen a couple of your facebook broadcasts, read two of your books and read a lot of your blog posts. I just think you are great, the T.E.A.M approach makes so much sense to me and I also love your sense of humor. Your work has also helped me a lot in my personal life, as I am a pretty anxious and perfectionistic person.

    When I am done listening to all the podcasts I will participate more actively and comment and ask questions!

    I’m also a fan of Fabrice and think he is a wonderful host and the two of you make great conversation partners.

    All the best and merry Christmas,


    P.S.: I heard you mentioning in an episode that you liked the impractical jokers, I really like them too!

    • Hi Haike, Thanks so much, and congrats of finishing your licensing stuff, which is so time consuming! I’ll pass your note on to Fabrice. Hope you can come to my summer intensive in SF, which will be in late July and early August this year, 4 days, or perhaps I will offer come online classes this year and you might want to join one! All the best, david PS I strongly agree that most therapy practiced in the community is pretty disappointing!

  2. I simply LOVE YOUR PODCASTS!!! One of my greatest hopes is that my daughter, (who is pursuing a masters in psychology), be interested in will learning the T.E.A.M. Therapy approach! Kindly, Lisa

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