304: TEAM-CBT, Spirituality, and Beyond: Featuring Angela Poch
Rhonda begins today’s podcast, as usual, by reading two touching emails from podcasts fans, including Coach Teddy, who said that Podcasts 295 and 296 featuring live work with Zeina were incredible, and Carol who was equally enthusiastic about Podcast 297 (on “Homework—Yuck!).
Carol also strongly recommends David’s book, Ten Days to Self-Esteem which is a simplified version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that can be used as a manual for therapy or self-help groups.
Today, we interview Angela Poch, a certified life coach, registered professional counselor, and certified Level 4 TEAM therapist and trainer. She lives two hours north of Glacier National Park in British Columbia, but teaches therapists and treats people virtually from around the world. Her new booklet, “The Truth Shall Set You Free,” integrates TEAM-CBT with a Christian perspective and is available for free on her website. https://www.angelapoch.com/.
She is a regular in David’s weekly virtual psychotherapy training group at Stanford and assists in the teaching. She has also worked tirelessly and selflessly behind the scenes making David’s work way more accessible to lay people as well as mental health professionals wanting to learn more about TEAM-CBT.
For example, she adds links to every new Feeling Good Podcast on David’s website, so you can easily find and link to more than 300 podcasts. Check it out!
She has also transformed a massive amount of David’s work into electronic tools for shrinks, accessible in David’s online shop:
Recently, she has created two amazing new documents you can link to.
One is a spreadsheet that lists 138 of David’s TEAM-CBT tools and techniques, like the “Anti-Procrastination Sheet” and many others, with page links to the descriptions of how to use each tool in David’s books, like Feeling Good, Feeling Great, David’s TEAM-CBT therapist eBook, and many others. Check it out!
This data base will be invaluable to interested lay people, therapists, and teachers who want clear instructions on how to use the Daily Mood Log, Relationship Journal, and numerous additional tools and techniques.
Derek Gurney and Angela are working on an equally awesome database for the Feeling Good Podcasts: Check it out as well!
Angela begins her personal statement in today’s podcast by describing her struggles with depression and irritability, including some very dark days in 2006. Her doctor recommended an SSRI antidepressant, and she went to integrative health program, “Depression: the Way Out” that required participants to read Feeling Good
Although she didn’t love the book, she resonated with the idea that all of our feelings, positive and negative, result from our thoughts, or perceptions, and her depression cleared up. She liked that when she read Feeling Good, she got many new tools she could use to change her negative thoughts and feelings. She also appreciated the ideas in the book didn’t go against her belief system, which many fear about psychology. David pointed out his own father, a Lutheran minister, worried about this, and was very suspicious of psychiatrists. Angela’s thinking, which resonates with David’s, is that the core ideas of religion and psychotherapy are actually high compatible, and even synergistic.
Angela explains that when she was a young child, she didn’t fit in socially or even in her own skin. “I felt like I was a boy in a woman’s body. I felt like I was in the wrong body, and prayed for help.”
She started to see in a very limited, childlike way, her thoughts were distorted, that a body was just a body and she could trust God wouldn’t give her more than she could bear. These new realistic, counter thoughts relieved the negative body dysmorphia she’d been struggling with. She reports, “I decided it was okay to be flawed and not fit in.” The rest of her young childhood was mostly joyful.
In middle school she was the target of mean-spirited bullying because she was a tomboy. She developed intense social anxiety and was relieved when her mom took her out of school. She was homeschooled for a few years and studied Karate to exercise and develop some confidence.
High school brought new challenges. She describes responding with her version of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication to an aggressive bully who threatened her with brass knuckles and challenged her to fight her. However, the girl backed off and started telling people that Angela was her friend!
After a bad relationship, Angela started to struggle with depression and described her suicide attempt when she was 18 because “I wanted the pain to stop.”
She explains that:
I met my husband, moved home, and started reading the Bible. I was impressed by the passage, “the truth shall set you free.” I realized I had to control my own thoughts rather than look for the approval of others, but she still didn’t totally recovery from my anxiety.
The cognitive piece in Feeling Good helped Angela a lot. She states, “I pursued a lot of careers, never holding down a job for more than 6 months, and one day someone asked if I’d considered a career in counseling. . .” She went on to take one of David’s four-day live intensives in Whistler BC where she learned TEAM-CBT and hasn’t looked back since! After learning and applying TEAM, Angela was able to crush her social and other anxieties.
Angela has a deep love for her Creator and has done a great deal of thought about the integration of her Christian faith with TEAM-CBT.
David also has a strong interest in the overlap between TEAM-CBT and virtually all religions and spiritual paths. He described an unusual and overpowerful spiritual experience he had as a medical student crossing the Nevada desert that made a strong impact on him.
Angela would like to mention,
“I have a profound gratitude for David’s work. He makes things so clear and relatable. His approach is applicable to all faiths or no faith if one is truly ready to give up their negative thoughts and feelings. As we aim for the truth, and let go of the so called “self,” we find peace and joy. I will forever be indebted to him because I would not be able to help people without TEAM and that brings me joy every day!”
I, David, would like to thank Angela for her intense and tireless devotion to helping spread the “gospel” of TEAM-CBT in so many ways!
Thanks for listening today!
Angela, Rhonda, and David
If you would like to contact Angela for information about treatment or training, or questions about religion and TEAM-CBT, you can check out her website. https://www.feelinggreat.ca
Angela has several awesome ongoing trainings. One is a drop in Monday practice group that meets for 1 hour each week for therapists, life coaches, and other mental health professionals or students. Participants work through the top 50 TEAM methods over the course of a year. There is a database of past videos from those didactics you have access to when you join the group.
Angela also offers ongoing workshops for therapists on TEAM. She focuses on a variety of topics like ADHD, suicidality, difficult cases, and more, and often does free seminars for the general public. Angela also has a YouTube channel, PsychologyMadePractical. Visit www.teamcbt.ca for more information on trainings she offers.
PS: Angela doesn’t turn down people for financial reasons. If you can’t afford any of the training or materials please let her know.
Dr. Rhonda Barovsky is a Level 5 Certified TEAM-CBT therapist and trainer and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. Check out her website: www.feelinggreattherapycenter.com.
You can reach Dr. Burns at email@example.com.
This is the cover of my new book, Feeling Great.
It’s on sale right now on Amazon, and it’s ridiculously cheap!
The kindle and audio versions are available now too! Check it out!
Wow ! 🙂 Thanks a lot for this podcast. It was magical. Hearing you moved was beautiful, and exactly how you said: your pain, your vulnerability makes me feel closer to you.
It was surprising, since with the dozens of feelinggood podcasts that I have listened since 2-3 years, and specially one the other day where you were losing patience with the non-specific questions (I recognised myself in your reaction :)), I haven’t seen this side of you. I’m glad it happened.
It makes me want to learn with you even more, around relationships, the 5 secrets, the forced empathy etc. I’m gonna ask again because things can change, is there a way to do that with you from Europ ?
It’s amazing the spiritual experience you got. Maybe it’s linked to the fact that you grew up going to church, with your father into a minister.
I wouldn’t say all therapies are spiritual, but yours, probably because of the fact that you are connected, is. It’s true that I have noticed, when doing the daily mood log (it’s been a while though), that what happened is spiritual, an healing. I keep journaling and it’s amazing.
Lastly, I hope the app is going to be available for android, because I’ve never used apple, and I’m not the only one.
Thanks again David, and also to Rhonda and Angela. It was a delightful podcast. I love spirituality as you may see.
Thanks so much. We’re about to start fund raising, and then can hire costly engineers, hopefully, for the android. You can join our weekly trainings if you are a therapist of some kind. All the best, david
Thanks for your reply David. It’s been a long time that I’m interested in psychology. Can we say that I am a therapist of some undeterminate kind ? 🙂
Sorry, I don’t understand your question, but there are tons of free resources, classes and podcasts and more, on my website. Thanks, david
David’s tears are truly powerful and a reminder that we all get a little closer through suffering ONLY if we are willing to sit with it and with each other by setting aside “self!”
Hi David –
I waited to listen to this podcast because the title sparked fear that it would contradict my beliefs as a Christian. I was fearful that I would be left doubting my spirituality. I was so relieved that it was so much more than that!
Your story brought tears to my eyes and made me feel a vindication of sorts as I often worry I’m too empathetic. As a veterinary professional, I deal with many emotions – those of the client when they lose a pet as well as those of the patient. Yes, I’m a kooky cat lady (and love all other critters for that matter) who connects emotionally with animals as well. 🙂
At the risk of rambling on and on, I simply wanted to thank you for all you’ve done for me. I struggle with anxiety and depression but continue to learn new techniques through your podcast (and books). I’m so grateful for you!
Thanks, Katie! Best, david
Thanks, Angela! Warmly, david
Hi David, I hope your app is going well.
Thanks. I was just working on it since 4:30 when I got up! Appreciate the encouragement! Beat, david
David, Thank you so much for sharing your heart on the podcast and thank you Angela for bring this topic to the podcast. The idea that God lives in our shared sadness was profound and I sat with it for some time. It brings so much weight to the EAR model and the choice between sharing in someone’s pain and avoiding empathy in difficult moments. It also shows how much value exists in our painful emotions. Amazingly, two days later I happened to listen to a podcast about a couple of works of Mother Theresa of Calcutta. She taught that real love lives in shared suffering and sacrifice (sound familiar?). She says that the choice and willingness to share in another’s pain is true love. Wow!
This concept seems simple, yet it is incredibly profound. Choosing to share in someone’s pain is difficult and it is a sacrifice. And yet, that is where we find love, connection, and even God. I appreciate the connection of spirituality with the tools and teachings in TEAM CBT. Thank you for all that you and your team does!
Chris Guzniczak, LPC
Flower Mound Counseling
Thanks, Chris, you said it so clearly. Really appreciate your heart and thinking! Warmly, david