185: Ask David: How do you talk to girls? What’s the best way to express anger? The fear of vomiting cure, and more!

More Great Questions from Listeners like You!

Rhonda and David address five fascinating questions in today’s podcast, including these:

  1. “I’m incredibly shy. How do you talk to girls?”
  2. How did you get over your fear of vomiting?
  3. Do you still use behavioral techniques like Exposure?
  4. Should I try to include the E and A of TEAM when trying to crush my negative thoughts on my daily mood log? And how would I do this?
  5. Please give us a podcast on how to express anger.

A podcast fan writes:

I have zero experience dating and talking to girls. I don’t know how to even make girl as friend.

Whenever I talk to a girl, the next day I think “How should I talk to her?”

Should I go to her because now she wants me to talk to her?

Which makes me very nervous.

And also. if am talking to a girl I think about when I will have to go to her next time. When I’m doing my work, I think should I go to her, because she works in our office.

Means I don’t know how to do that! Can you help?

Rhonda and David respond with some simple advice, but encourage all listeners to use the search function on his website to get lots of great links to helpful material on just about any mental health topic, including flirting, dating, shyness, or just about anything.

In additon, my book, Intimate Connections, could be really helpful to Nandini, as well as my books, When Panic Attacks and The Feeling Good Handbook, that all have extensive sections on anxiety. You can find all of them at my books page (

In addition, we’ve recently featured several podcasts on shyness and social anxiety, including:

128: Intense Social Anxiety–I’m Losing Control! What Can I Do?

134: Smashing Shyness: Part 1

135: Smashing Shyness: Part 2

169: More on Social Anxiety–the Case for Vulnerability

142: Performance Anxiety: The Story of Rhonda, Part 1

143: Performance Anxiety: The Conclusion

088: Role-Play Techniques —Feared Fantasy Revisited

  1. How did you get over your fear of vomiting?


I know you probably don’t remember me because it’s been years since we emailed, but you helped me via your Ask The Guru section of your old website years ago and we occasionally emailed back and forth after that. Which reminds me to once again thank you for your books and how you’ve dedicated your life to your work. It has made a difference in my life and I would imagine literally millions of others. What a wonderful thing.

I stumbled upon an article about you in the Stanford Magazine from 2013 and learned something I didn’t know — you suffered at one time from a fear of vomiting. I’ve dealt with that since I was a kid. It’s not as severe now as it once was, but I’m wondering what CBT methods might be useful for that particular issue. (No chance I’m taking ipecac syrup!).

I know you’re busy so I understand if you can’t answer, but wanted to reach out anyway.

Thanks in advance,


  1. Do you still use behavioral techniques?

Dear Dr Burns,

I really appreciate your efforts in this area cognitive behavioral therapy, but your efforts and techniques are so powerful and you use them so efficiently that almost no time you have to use the behavioral part of it as patients seem to be relieved enough with cognitive work.

One thing I am curious about is that if you can’t get enough response with cognitive work, and if you have to use the exposure model, and the patient is afraid of exposure because he or she goes into a severe state of anxiety, depersonalization or derealization symptoms and feels like gonna go crazy and lose control, would you still push him or her to the cognitive exposure and are there any risks of it?

Thank you very much.


  1. Should I try to include the E and A of TEAM when trying to crush my negative thoughts on my daily mood log? And how would I do this?

Dr. Burns,

It would be impossible for me to heap sufficient praise over you and your podcasts because I’ve really gained an intangible amount of benefits and continue to learn something actionable from both on a weekly basis. I’m currently finishing Feeling Good Together and am finding the experience transformative.

I wanted to see if I could ask you a question regarding the Daily Mood Log and crushing negative thoughts. I’m completely on board with the notion of fractal psychotherapy and the idea that all of our negative emotions will be captured in a single negative thought and by crushing it, we will feel substantial relief and even euphoria.

I’ve been using the Daily Mood Log to inconsistent effect. I write down my negative thoughts, identify the distortions and then identify statements to attack that thought that are 100% true. Perhaps I am rushing through the exercise too quickly, as I try to make it a daily habit. But is it possible I’m missing an element?

I’ve noticed in your live therapy that you allocate a sizable chunk of time to Empathy and Agenda Setting. Is it possible that the E and A in TEAM’s absence in my Daily Mood Log is stunting my progress? Is there a way and should I be implementing both into the exercise?

I would appreciate any input you have on this question and I look forward to continuing to listen to the podcast as new episodes come out, along with your new book and App!

Best regards,


Dr. Burns,

Thank you! I’d be happy for you to use my first name. I’ll look out for it in the upcoming podcasts. Have a great rest of the week.


  1. Please give us a podcast on how to express anger!

Hey Dr. Burns, I’m loving the podcast, and my favorite podcasts are the Ask David and Live Treatment ones! Also, I can’t wait for the new app and book!

I did have a question, which I can go into more detail if need be. Specifically, what podcasts and book would you recommend for anger? I’m unsure how to express anger in a productive way (in my relationship), and would love more guidance and practice prior to trying to use the 5 secrets “live”. Thanks in advance!

Thanks for listening today, and thanks for all the kind comments and totally awesome questions!

David and Rhonda


You can reach Dr. Burns at Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at She is a Level 4 Certified TEAM-CBT Therapist and Trainer and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems.

If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you may download it here.

* * *

This is the cover of my new book, Feeling Great. It will be released in September of 2020, but you will soon be able to pre-order it on Amazon, possibly by the time you read this! 

Need Training or CE Credits?

Check Out these Awesome Upcoming Workshops!

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135 (online only)

TEAM-CBT includes more than 100 powerful techniques to change the distorted thoughts that trigger negative emotions. But what techniques should I select for my patient who feels depressed, anxious, or angry?

As you know, in my book, Feeling Good, I listed the ten most common cognitive distortions, like All-or-Nothing Thinking, Should Statements, Emotional Reasoning, and more, and you probably use that list all the time in your clinical work. But do you know which techniques work the best for each distortion?

Come to this workshop and find out! You’ll learn with tons of cool techniques you can use every day to boost your clinical effectiveness.

This workshop will be live-streamed (and in person in Palo Alto, CA) so you can join from anywhere in the world! There will be many expert online helpers to assist you with the small-group exercises.

Move rapidly if you want to come. We are already SOLD OUT in person, but there are still slots available online.

There will be many helpers from the Feeling Good Institute to assist and guide you in the small group exercises in person and online as well.  Our last workshop on resistance in February was our most highly rated ever! We hope to make this a terrific and fun learning experience for you, too!

Learn More & Register

* * *

2-Day Clinical Master Class

Rapid Recovery from Anxiety Disorders–
GAD, Phobias, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety,
OCD, PTSD and Health Anxiety

by David D. Burns, MD

June 4 – 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington

* * *

The All-New Annual South San Francisco Intensive!

Enhanced Empathy Training

August 10 – 13, 2020

It’s Going to Be Awesome!

Videos, Live Demonstrations

Small Group Practice with

Personal Feedback and Mentoring,

and Chances for Personal Work and Healing

During this four-day intensive workshop you will learn:

  • How to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with challenging, difficult clients.
  • How to deal skillfully with people who refuse to open up and talk to you; won’t listen; are relentlessly critical, narcissistic or controlling; always have to be right; use, abuse, or exploit you; complain endlessly; are hostile, threatening or violent; as well as clients who are overwhelmed, hopeless and suicidal.
  • How to develop more loving relationships with the people you care about—as well as the ones you don’t.
  • Powerful new techniques to help clients who are struggling with conflicts with loved ones, friends, or colleagues.
  • How to deal with the inner chatter and powerful feelings that make it so difficult to deal with conflict when you feel angry or hurt.
  • How to identify and modify the self-defeating beliefs that make us vulnerable to conflicts with others.
  • How to identify and melt away the intense outcome and process resistance that make the treatment of relationship problems so challenging.

Learn More and Register

* * *

Watch for the Awesome

December Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference

Anaheim, December 9 – 13, 2020

Sponsored by the Erikson Institute

It is always spectacular and I’ll be presenting, too!

Details TBA

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