Live Therapy with Cody, Part 2 of 2
Last week we presented the first of our session with Cody, a young man wanting help with his fairly severe social anxiety since childhood. My co-therapist for this session was Dr. Rhonda Barovsky, the Feeling Good Podcast co-host, and Director, Feeling Great Therapy Center.
Today, you will hear the exciting conclusion of his session, and the follow-up as well!
M = Methods
We focused on cognitive work and interpersonal exposure techniques as well. I will leave it to you to listen to the podcast, as I became so engrossed in what we were doing that I stopped taking notes. However, we used a number of tools within the group, including:
Identify the Distortions in his thoughts
Examine the Evidence
Externalization of Voices
The Experimental Technique
The Feared Fantasy
Cody received an abundant outpouring of love, respect, and encouragement from those in attendance (LINK).
We also gave Cody two “homework” assignments to complete following the group.
Do at least three Rejection Practices in the mall and notify the training group members via email within 24 hours that he had completed this assignment.
Complete the Positive Thoughts column of your Daily Mood Log.
If you’d like to see Cody’s complet4ed Daily Mood Log, you can check this LINK.
If you’d like to see Cody’s intimal and final Brief Mood Survey plus Evaluation of Therapy session, check this LINK. As you can see, there were dramatic changes in all of his negative feelings. However, he wanted to retain some anger toward his childhood friends who made fun of him.
Here’s the email we received from Cody about his homework assignment.
Hello groupers, I can proudly say mission accomplished! Although it took me around 7 hours to do it, I did it.
A lot of emotions came up as I kept trying and chickening out. I really feel like something has changed in me, by the last person I felt almost no anxiety and now I keep asking myself why I was ever afraid of this (I hope it sticks. I know I’ll need to keep up this momentum I’m sure).
Having to do this email and being held accountable to you all was what drove me to the finish line. Thanks again, see you all next week!
Thanks to you, Cody. You were incredibly inspiring in group and after and the work you did will touch the hearts of many people, just as you have already touched the hearts of all the people in our group!
And thank you all for listening!
Cody, Rhonda, and David
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.
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Hello, I’m reading your book. I respect your methods and believe in their outcomes. The patients you’ve written about have been good people who have had something bad happen to them. But what about bad people who have done the bad things but want to change? Do they, I, even deserve to feel great?
I’m not involved in making rules for the universe, and simply work with people who come to me for help. But still, thanks for a cool question. I DO need help, however, since I can’t figure out what a “bad person” is. Is that someone who does ONLY bad things, or someone who does SOME bad things?
Hi, Doc. A bad person is shorthand for someone who does very bad acts.
For example: Murder. Rape. Arson. Child abuse. Genocide. Any of these would qualify.
That’s right. I call it “thinging.” (NOT “thinking”) The attempt to transform bad behaviors into “bad selves,” or bad “objects” or “things.”
One can argue these things endlessly on the philosophical level, but my almost exclusive focus is on bring relief to individuals who are suffering due to labeling themselves. Labeling others more often leads to conflict, anger, and often violence. Best, david
Thanks, David, for your thoughtful analysis. Very cool. Albert Ellis did the REAL rejection practice, and so did I when I was in medical school. An also shy friend and I spent two weeks, all day long, approaching women and asking them for a date, with 100% rejection rates. Later, a friend showed me the ropes and my life radically changed. I think that Dr. Cai Chen’s spin on it, actually ASKING them to reject you, also takes courage and is really cool, and perhaps a helpful stepping-stone. Better than hanging out in the shadows feeling awful! But it is just one of 50 or more technique I use to treat social anxiety, and I always use the TEAM structure, treating the human systematically, rather than throwing techniques at someone. Some techniques might not be good for some individuals, but one way or the other, we can usually get the job done. Please keep your terrific questions coming in! Best, david
Hello. Dr Burns I am currently using your books ( Feeling Great and When Panic attacks to be exact) to get rid of my general worrying. As much as they did help with some Negative thoughts regarding feeling inferior i have a question about Cognitive Flooding. I have intrusive thoughts about life in general being meaningless and that I fool myself thinking my actions have meaning. I think this thought is idiotic and doesn’t have any logic behind it, nevertheless it often pops in my mind with terryfing ideation that I will lose control, hope and either end up in a psychiatric ward or taking my life in a moment of desperation . Is it safe then to use Cognitive Flooding when the terryfying fantasy includes suicidal ideations?
Stanley, It is fairly easy to evaluate a patient in person to rule out any serious suicidal or violent intentions, and then the skillful use of exposure can be invaluable. Also, when one obsesses about the meaning of life, the Hidden Emotion Technique is screaming for use! It is described very well in many of my podcasts and in When Panic Attacks, my anxiety book. Best, david
One quick comment, and a question.
Comment: Another fabulous show. I really enjoyed it.
Question: I’ve listened to three of your programs on rejection practice, and have one question.
It seems to me that by directly soliciting rejection from these women, these men appear to be facing their fears while not actually doing so.
Their fear is they’ll try to succeed with women but then fail. Instead, they (or their anxiety) cleverly asks the women to reject them, and so then there is absolutely no possibility of failure. Consequently, they never allow themselves to disconfirm their fears, and I think that explains why they seem to continue experiencing anxiety afterwards. In the back of their mind they’re saying, “But what if I honestly asked a woman out and got rejected? That would be terrible!”
In one of his famous Friday night workshops, I heard Dr. Albert Ellis say to someone suggesting he deliberately court rejection to get over his fears, “But that will never work, because you’re controlling the f— up. You have to really try, and actually risk the possibility of failure, and then see that nothing bad actually happens, even if you never learn to like it.”
Does this analysis seem correct to you?