121: Ask David: Do You Believe in Freud’s Notion of Secondary Gain? Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Real?

Answers to Great Questions from Listeners Like YOU!

  1. Dylan asks: Do you believe in Freud’s “secondary gain,” in which patients resist change because they benefit from their symptoms?
  2. Juleann asks: Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) a real thing?
  3. Ismail asks: Should I use the Daily Mood Log just when I’m upset, or at the end of the day, or when? Do I have to stop what I’m doing when I get negative thoughts so I can write them down and work on them?
  4. Abe asks: What about negative thoughts that are valid? For example, I was interested in astronomy and physics as a teenager, but my SAT scores showed I had no aptitude for a career in these areas.
  5. Kevin asks: Can positive flooding be used to change the object of our desires—for example, our sexual desires, like the man in one of your books who had lost sexual interest in his wife?
  6. Valentina asks: Where do cognitive distortions come from? Our parents? Our genes? Societal messages?


Dr. Fabrice Nye currently practices in Redwood City, California and treats individuals throughout the world via teletherapy (but 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.

12 thoughts on “121: Ask David: Do You Believe in Freud’s Notion of Secondary Gain? Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Real?

  1. Hey guys,
    Thanks so much for the new improved show notes for the ask David variety of the Feeling Good podcasts. I appreciate the clear listing of questions answered in the show typed up in the chronological order that they appear in the show given now within the show notes!

    Keep up the awesome work. I love your podcast.

  2. David and Fabrice I want to wish you both a very Happy and Healthy New Year! These Podcasts are wonderful and the tireless work you do will hopefully be rewarded with greater media attention and an overhaul in the current systems. I love that you focus on critical thinking and hard work to get needed results.

    You ROCK!

  3. As always, I loved the podcast. Do you start with positive reframing all the time now with Team CBT? With phobias? If someone is afraid of snakes for example, would you try to melt away resistance by asking what is beautiful about your fear of snakes? My question is either very silly or very profound, not sure which. 🙂

    • The outcome resistance for anxiety has to do with Magical Thinking–this is the belief that the anxiety will protect you. Some the question I would ask there might involve; 1. what are some of the benefits of your phobia? What are some ways that it protects you from danger? 2. Why would you want to be cured of your phobia? 3. What would it be worth to you if I agreed to treat you? For example, would you be willing to confront your fear of snakes, even if this made you intensely anxious? You can also go into what this shows about you and your core values that is positive–such as your desire for self-protection, but the previous three questions are more where the action is. Remember, too, that anxiety is not “treated” with any single method, such as Positive Reframing or Exposure. I work systematically, using TEAM, and always use four treatment models when working with any form of anxiety: the cognitive, motivational, exposure, and hidden emotion models! david

  4. David you are The Man for addressing the issues with the person trying to sell his method of mindfulness meditation! Thanks for always thinking critically and asking questions.

    My therapist introduced mindfulness mediation to me, and I do think it could be A useful tool in the toolbox. For example, I don’t necessarily have to pay attention to every negative thought that pops into my head, and give it time and attention. I can acknowledge it, and hopefully let it “float away.” If it continues gnawing at me, I will address it on the daily mood log.

    You’re the best!

    • Hi Rob, Sounds like a plan! How do you decide which thoughts to attend to? Is it just the ones that don’t float away? d

      • Yes, the ones that don’t float away and continue to cause suffering for more than a few minutes are the ones I will address on the log. Sometimes, through experience, I can jump directly to methods. For example, I may know that when I felt rejected romantically Examining the Evidence helped me quickly. I know from experience to go directly to that method the next time I feel rejected romantically.

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