163: Ask David: Anxiety, Dreams, Cyclical Negative Thoughts, Secrets of Selling, Exposure, and more

163: Ask David: Anxiety, Dreams, Cyclical Negative Thoughts, Secrets of Selling, Exposure, and more

Can you treat anxiety without meds?

How do you interpret dreams?

Are negative thoughts cyclical?

How can I get over anxiety when selling?

How does exposure work?

Will you teach on the East Coast again?

Hi! We’ve had tons of great questions from listeners like you. Here’s the first:

Question #1. TREATING ANXIETY WITHOUT MEDICATIONS

Hi Dr. Burns,

I would love to talk to you!!!

I have been going to a wonderful counselor for several years, and he is the one who recommended your book. My question is how can you overcome anxiety without taking medicine?

I have been on a very low dose medicine for years and would love to discontinue but when I try the anxiety seems to come back.

Thank you.

Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for your email! This is one of my favorite topics, since I’ve personally had at least 17 different anxiety disorders that I’ve had to overcome. That’s why I love treating anxiety. Whatever you’ve had, I can say, “I’ve had that too, and I know how it sucks! And I can put you on the road to recovery, too!”

Did you read When Panic Attacks, or one of the earlier books? The written exercises would be the way to go, I think.

You will find more than 40 methods in that book. Write back if you have questions after reading it. Focus on one specific moment when you are anxious, and do a Daily Mood Log, as illustrated in Chapter 3.

You can also listen to the free Feeling Good Podcasts on anxiety. Go to my website, FeelingGood.com, and click on the Podcast tab. There, you’ll find a list of all the podcasts, with links. In the right hand panel of every page, you’ll find the search function. You can type in “anxiety,” or “social anxiety,” and so forth, and all the relevant podcasts and blogs will pop right up. You can also sign up in that same right-hand panel of every page so you’ll receive all the new podcasts, along with the show notes.

In addition, withdrawal effects are pretty much inevitable when going off of benzodiazepines, if that is the type of medication you are taking. These are the drugs most often prescribed for anxiety, like Valium, Librium, Ativan, Xanax, and so forth. Typically, the withdrawal, which typically involves insomnia and increased anxiety, take several weeks to wear off.

Your medical doctor can guide you in this. I cannot advise you about medications in this forum, so make sure you check with your doctor!

David

Question #2. How can you interpret dreams?

Hello, Dr. Burns.

I am terrified that this may be the most boring question you have ever received, but, I’ll press on none the less.

I often experience very vivid dreams after listening to your podcasts. In fact, I recently dozed off after listening to one of your podcasts on procrastination (#75) and forgot to turn off my phone. In my dream I was in my childhood house and could hear you talking away in some far corner of the house and I was really getting quite annoyed and angry.

I really wanted to find you to tell you to shut up, but I couldn’t get the words out.

When I awoke, podcast #77 was playing, which seems to explain some of my unconscious hostility. I struggle with most of my relationships and don’t really want to deal with all the hard work I have to do to improve them.

So, there you have it!

Thanks for listening to me and all your Herculean efforts on behalf of all those in the struggle to grow.

Mike

Hi Mike,

I explain how dreams function, and give an example with my dream that I had a broken jaw!

Question #3. Are Negative Thoughts cyclical?

David, I have a question about our strong attraction or inclination to negative thoughts.

Are our psychological processes cyclical? People seem to recycle the same negative thoughts for years. Even if we produce a strong alternative thought or reattribution it may not be a default choice the next time. How can we make the alternative/ positive thoughts a conscious choice?

Thanks,

Rajesh

Hi Rajesh:

Negative Thoughts are not cyclical for the most part, but are an inherent part of our human nature. The podcast on fractal psychotherapy might be useful, since the same Negative Thoughts will tend to come back over and over throughout your life. And once you have learned how to combat those thoughts, you can use the same techniques to smash the thoughts whenever they pop back into your mind.

The written exercises I describe in my books, like the Daily Mood Log, are extremely helpful, even mandatory, in building new brain networks and strengthening them through repeated practice.

Bipolar manic-depressive illness is a little different, and it can be quick cyclical. (David will briefly explain this.)

Thanks Rajesh for yet another great question!

david

Question #4. I’m in sales. How do I combat my Negative Thoughts about each person I approach?

Hi David,

I have been struggling with anxiety for the last 18 months and recently faced up to the fact I have also been suffering from depression. And then I discovered your podcasts.

I have been spending a lot of time on the episodes I believe I can benefit from the most. I have found your solutions to be the most beneficial I have come across. Thank you for sharing your ideas and techniques with all of us!

A couple of questions—How would you advise constructing a work day to reduce anxiety? I work in sales and feel anxious before every phone call or visit I encounter, and the anxiety can be for reasons that seem to be related solely to each sales encounter on individual basis! And my anxiety will grow as the day goes on.

My second point would be, would there be a benefit in monitoring positive thoughts and feelings throughout the day, like happiness and hopefulness, rather than negative feelings?

Hi Rudi,

I’ve done a lot of sales work, including door-to-door sales when I was young. When I was 8 years old, I sold show tickets door to door. When I was a teenager, I sold Fiesta Chips, Cosmo’s Cock Roach Power, tick powder for dogs, and For Econoline Vans door to door in Phoenix. So, I feel a soft spot in my heart for everyone involved in sales! In fact, I’m still involved in sales! But these days I’m selling happiness, self-esteem, and intimacy.

I think it could be useful to do a written Daily Mood Log on the anxiety you feel before one of your calls. I think you will find there are certain themes that are common to each call, such as fears of rejection, disapproval, or failure. Once you’ve dealt with these fears successfully, I think they will help in all of your sales encounters. If you send me a partially filled out Daily Mood Log, perhaps Rhonda and I could provide more specific tips on how to crush your Negative Thoughts. If you listen to Rhonda’s work on performance anxiety, you may find it extremely helpful.

In addition, the Five Secrets of Effective Communication are the keys to successful sales. I used to think that you had to sell yourself, or your product, which is rarely true. I learned that the key is to form a warm relationship with your customers. David will explain what he learned from his mother, who sold women’s clothing part-time at a department store in Phoenix.

Thanks, Rudi, I hope to hear more.

Question #4. Why and how does exposure for anxiety work?

Hi Dr. Burns,

I am a big fan and believe that you are the greatest living psychologist of our time. I have seen you in person and hear your recent PESI presentation (link).

Quick question, when exposure is used to get rid of anxiety, what do you think is the mechanism in the brain? It works paradoxically, instead of strengthening a neuro-network it extinguishes it. Any ideas how.

Thanks for your time, and again I have learned so much from you in my over 30-year career, thank you for that also.

Sincerely, Dr. Mark

Hi Dr. Mark,

With your permission, will include this on an upcoming Ask David on my Feeling Good Podcast, but I think you discover a couple things during exposure:

  1. When you stop running away and confront the monster, you discover that the monster has no teeth, so you go into enlightenment. This is the basis of Buddhism and the teachings in the Tibetan book of the dead.
  2. During exposure, you also discover that after a while the anxiety just kind of wears out, dwindles, and disappears. The brain simply cannot continue creating anxiety for prolonged periods of time, especially when you are doing everything you can to make it as intense as possible.
  3. You discover that you can, in fact, endure the anxiety and survive, and that you do not have to “escape” from the feeling of anxiety via avoidance.

One other thing that is important is that I treat anxiety with four models, not one: 1. The Motivational Model; 2. The Hidden Emotion model; 3. The Exposure Model; and 4. The Cognitive Model. All play vitally important and unique roles in the treatment of anxiety. Exposure alone is NOT a treatment for anxiety, just one tool among many that can be helpful, and often incredibly helpful, as you’ll see in the upcoming podcast on the treatment of Sara, a woman struggling with severe OCD for more than 20 years.

Great question! Hope to catch you in one of my upcoming in-person / online workshops!

Thanks, David

Mark’s reply and a brief final question

Hi Dr. Burns,

Yes, of course you have my permission to use my question! Also, I do understand your impressive approach to treatment (not just exposure), and again it is genius. I also love that you see the connection between Buddhism and cognitive restructuring, where as Dr. Beck only went as far back as Socrates and the Greek Stoic philosophers. I don’t know if you ever read the Dhammapada (best translation I found is Eknath Easwaran) as it clearly states that our life is shaped by our mind, and that our feelings follow our thoughts just like a cart follows the ox that pulls it.

Thanks again! Will you be coming to the East coast again soon?

Hi again, Mark,

Yes, I’ll be coming to Atlanta for a four-day intensive in November! Check my workshop tab at www.feelinggood.com for more information. (https://feelinggood.com/workshops/)

david

David D. Burns, M.D. / Rhonda Barovsky, Psy.D.

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com. Today’s featured photo is courtesy of Nancy Mueller–www.nancymuellerphotography.com.

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

* * *

You may have missed the Calgary and South San Francisco intensives, but there will be one more awesome intensive this fall.

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Sponsored by Praxis

* * *

I also have two tremendous one-day workshop scheduled with my colleague, Dr. Jill Levitt, next year–

Coming up in 2020

High Speed Methods to Reduce Resistance
and Boost Motivation

This is the most important, and least understood, topic in the behavioral sciences. Nearly all therapeutic failure results from the failure to address resistance. Therapists do not understand what causes resistance or how treat it effectively.

Come to this workshop and learn how to melt away resistance for incredibly high-speed recovery!

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Feb 9. 2020 |  7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

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.

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

The November Atlanta Intensive–Four Amazing Days of Training!

The November Atlanta Intensive–Four Amazing Days of Training!

High-Speed Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders

 The Incredible Atlanta Intensive
Is Coming Soon—November 4 – 7, 2019!

 With David D. Burns, MD

Join me in Atlanta and learn how TEAM-CBT can produce extremely rapid and lasting changes for your clients—and for you! You will practice and master powerful new therapy techniques that will boost your effectiveness in the treatment of depression and all of the anxiety disorders.

This workshop will be experiential. You will have the chance to practice many innovative techniques in small groups and get immediate feedback from me and my colleagues so you can refine your skills. You’ll also have the chance to work on your own feelings of insecurity and self-doubt so you can leave this workshop on a high, with renewed confidence and excitement about your clinical work.

This dynamic workshop offers:

  • Amazing TEAM-CBT techniques that will transform your approach to therapy.
  • Innovative resistance-busting techniques to boost patient motivation and eliminate “yes-butting.”
  • Live demonstrations and video clips from actual therapy sessions.
  • Powerful Relapse Prevention Training for lasting results.
  • Lots of fun and the chance to get some emotional refueling!
  • Tons of CE credit–33 hours!

There will be two dynamic and inspiring evening sessions in addition to the four day sessions. You’ll work extremely hard and you’ll be exhausted at the end, but you’ll be feeling greater joy and happiness, with a new vision for life and clinical work.

The intensives are almost always the best workshops of the year, by far. I hope you can join us in Atlanta! But move fast if you’re interested, since the date is just around the corner!

This will be my first east coast intensive in more than 20 years! If YOU can join me, it will be over the top! 

This workshop has been approved for Levels 1 through 3 TEAM-CBT Certification
and is suitable for novice as well as highly experienced therapists and coaches. Graduate students are also welcome.

Click here for more information and registration

David

Participant Feedback at the SF Summer Intensive

  • Awesome
  • The intervention on anxiety was so inspiring. Very powerful . . . a healing and amazing experience!
  • I loved the Stage Fright demonstration. The stage was full of such beautiful people. I love your spontaneity, David, normalizing it with your nightmarish experience. Yeah! Celebrate!
  • Such a safe environment. Vicarious healing. Awesome!
  • Superb at all levels. Dr. Burns’ brilliance shines through even in the difficult moments.
  • The unplanned and spontaneous anxiety (fear of public speaking) group was a real WOW!
  • It was beautiful!
  • It was Fantastic to see all the people with public speaking anxiety get up on stage. Fantastic! They looked at the fear monster in the face and realized it has no teeth!!
  • The Externalization of Voices role-play was awesome.
  • Love the sensibility of joyous failure!
  • Fantastic training!
  • Amazing!
  • David’s integration of philosophy and spirituality into the TEAM-CBT model—absolutely brilliant! An amazing experience!
  • Today was very emotional for me. I didn’t have the courage to get up on stage and speak about my public speaking anxiety, but it was a wonder to watch the other participants share their own struggles. It brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful!
  • During the practice with the Externalization of Voices, I experienced a shift that I did not think would be possible.
  • Demos, role-plays. Helpers were fantastic, supportive. I learned a lot. Lots of tears. Facing my demons. Thank you, Dr. Burns!
  • I think these ideas are light years better than most things that typically happen in therapy! Very motivating!
  • We saw healing happen before our very eyes!
  • Wow, fabulous! To go through the whole exercise was rewarding. The helpers were awesome. Thank you, Dr. Burns, for your awesomeness and helpful, brilliant mind.
  • WOW WOW WOW! No words needed. AMAZING! Thank you for this experience!
  • Thrilling!
  • Superb!! Thank you, Dr. Burns!
  • Our helper was awesome. Loved the night session! A+!

 

162: High-Speed Cure for OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

162: High-Speed Cure for OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

“Yikes! I might get contaminated!”

The Treatment of Sara

Today we are joined by a woman named Sara, who will be featured in one of the chapters from my new book, Feeling Great.

Rhonda begins today’s podcast by reading two heart-warming endorsements from podcast fans. Then we did a brief overview of OCD. OCD consists of two components, obsessions and compulsions. The obsessions are intrusive, anxiety provoking thoughts, like “what if I forgot to turn off the burners on the stove.” Compulsions are rituals that temporarily relieve the anxiety, such as going back into the kitchen repeatedly to make sure that the burners really are turned off. This problem can become more and more severe until the obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals consume massive amounts of the patient’s time and become crippling.

You are probably aware that OCD plagued the life of the billionaire playboy, Howard Hughes, featured in the recent film, “The Aviator.” During the last years of his life, he became totally consumed by concerns about germs, and ended up isolated in the penthouse suite at the top of a hotel in Las Vegas. According to a “psychological autopsy” (https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug05/hughes) published by the American Psychological Association, Hughes lay naked in bed in darkened hotel rooms in what he considered a germ-free zone. He even wore tissue boxes on his feet to protect them, and burned his clothing if someone near him became ill.

Sara, today’s guest, was a victim of the same type of OCD. She describes how her intense fears of germs and contamination came on more than 20 years ago, and the devastating impact of the OCD on her as well as her relationships with friends and family. She also describes her shame about her rituals of constantly washing her hands and desperately trying to avoid contamination.

Sara also describes, in vivid detail, her remarkable and inspiring five minute “cure” one evening at David’s Tuesday evening training group at Stanford earlier this year. She had courageously volunteered to be the patient so David could to demonstrate TEAM-CBT with a problem generally thought to be exceptionally challenging and refractory. And although Sara’s dramatic and mind-blowing recovery only took about five minutes, the treatment required a lifetime of courage!

Fortunately, one of my students had his cell phone in hand, and made a brief video of the last phase of her treatment at the Tuesday group, which involved putting her hands into a slimy, dirty garbage can right outside the front door of our Behavioral Sciences Building at Stanford and then rubbing her fingers on her face. Check it out!

And yes, the effects DID last! Her treatment was many months ago, and she’s been a totally changed person!

Following the podcast, Rhonda and I got two beautiful emails from Sara:

Wow! What a beautiful day! Thank you, Rhonda and David for the amazing opportunity to share my story! I feel very selfish but I enjoyed every minute of it. You both made me feel so comfortable and welcome. You two are so incredibly AWESOME! You make a superb team! 🙂

And here is the second wonderful email:

David, I hope you are feeling better and that you recover from your cold soon, very soon.

I wanted to share an afterthought I had a couple of days after we recorded the podcast. I wish I had thought about it before the podcast because this was so much part of my OCD.

Anyway, for years (many years) I bought sanitized hand wipes and carried them in my purse, car, briefcase, you name it—I had hand wipes everywhere. I was known for having wipes with me all the time.

Not long after the magical treatment of my OCD, I was at the grocery store and proceeded to add three packets of sanitized hand wipes to my basket and I burst into laughter, even though I was by myself! I, then, put them back on the shelf, as I told myself, “I don’t need these anymore!”

Since then, I no longer carry them NOR NEED THEM!

Funny enough, I have been approached on different occasions by family members and friends saying something like, “You always have wipes, can we have one, please?” I have to say, “Sorry, I don’t carry wipes anymore since I’ve been cured!”

What a wonderful feeling that is—not to feel dependent nor a slave to the sink and hand wipes. Not to mention, all the money I am saving by not buying wipes!!!

Anyway, I thought I should share that with you and I’m sad I didn’t remember it until after the recording of the podcast.

Once again, thank you both for the amazing recording, all your support, and all you do for our Tuesday training group and humanity in general!

With Immense Gratitude,

Sara

Sara Shane is a certified TEAM-CBT therapist practicing in the central valley of California (Stockton). She is multi-lingual and offers intensives—extended, single-session treatment of depression and all of the anxiety disorders. And, here’s something fantastic—although Sara is a superb therapist, her fees are modest, thus bucking the current trend of charging outrageous fees for psychotherapy in California. This is something I really admire and appreciate!

If you would like to contact Sara, you can reach her at: 209-476-8867.

David and Rhonda

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You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com. She is a Certified TEAM-CBT therapist and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. She also does forensic work in family court, but finds TEAM-CBT to be way more rewarding!

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

* * *

You may have missed the summer intensives, but there will be one more awesome intensive in November.

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Sponsored by Praxis

 

* * * 

Coming up in 2020

High Speed Methods to Reduce Resistance
and Boost Motivation

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Feb 9. 2020 |  7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

and

 The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 

Should Antidepressants be Used in the Treatment of Depression? . . . No? . . . REALLY?

Should Antidepressants be Used in the Treatment of Depression? . . . No? . . . REALLY?

Dear Colleague,

I just received an awesome article on antidepressants that my esteemed colleague, Professor Mark Noble, from the University of Rochester, sent to me. The authors seem to conclude that these drugs should not be prescribed for individuals struggling with depression! Although I have been leaning more and more strongly in this direction for decades, it is refreshing to see that some of the world’s top scientists have come to the same conclusion.

Check it out! Troubling, for sure, but super-important.

If you are interested in learning some powerful, drug-free treatment methods for depression and all of the anxiety disorders, my November 3 – 7 Atlanta intensive may be of interest to you. The intensives are the best psychotherapy training that I offer, and are tremendous opportunities for personal healing as well!

The intensive will feature powerful new TEAM-CBT techniques presented in a step-by-step way, with opportunities for small group practice with immediate feedback and mentoring from me and a number of expert helpers, as well as dramatic videos and live demonstrations. You will work super hard, with two evening sessions in addition to the four day sessions, and you will emerge exhausted, but hopefully filled with joy, many new skills and insights, and a much deeper understanding of the sudden, dramatic and lasting changes that can happen in effective treatment–even WITHOUT drugs or lengthy treatment.

I know you’ll learn a lot and laugh a lot, too, and I have no doubt we’ll shed some tears together, too. Many people have felt the intensives are among the most rewarding training experiences they’ve experienced. So I hope YOU can join us in Atlanta! 

David Burns (david@feelinggood.com)

* * * 

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Click here for more information and registration

This will be my first East Coast Intensive in more than 25 years. l don’t travel to the east coast for teaching very often any more, as I just turned 77. But I’ve still got tons of energy and I still LOVE teaching, so I hope you can join us! David (AKA the elderly one)

* * * 

Participant Feedback from this year’s San Francisco Summer Intensive.
I will be presenting the same program in Atlanta.

  • Awesome
  • The intervention on anxiety was so inspiring. Very powerful . . . a healing and amazing experience!
  • I loved the Stage Fright demonstration. The stage was full of such beautiful people. I love your spontaneity, David, normalizing it with your nightmarish experience. Yeah! Celebrate!
  • Such a safe environment. Vicarious healing. Awesome!
  • Superb at all levels. Dr. Burns’ brilliance shines through even in the difficult moments.
  • The unplanned and spontaneous anxiety (fear of public speaking) group was a real WOW!
  • It was beautiful!
  • It was Fantastic to see all the people with public speaking anxiety get up on stage. Fantastic! They looked at the fear monster in the face and realized it has no teeth!!
  • The Externalization of Voices role-play was awesome.
  • Love the sensibility of joyous failure!
  • Fantastic training!
  • Amazing!
  • David’s integration of philosophy and spirituality into the TEAM-CBT model—absolutely brilliant! An amazing experience!
  • Today was very emotional for me. I didn’t have the courage to get up on stage and speak about my public speaking anxiety, but it was a wonder to watch the other participants share their own struggles. It brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful!
  • During the practice with the Externalization of Voices, I experienced a shift that I did not think would be possible.
  • Demos, role-plays. Helpers were fantastic, supportive. I learned a lot. Lots of tears. Facing my demons. Thank you, Dr. Burns!
  • I think these ideas are light years better than most things that typically happen in therapy! Very motivating!
  • We saw healing happen before our very eyes!
  • Wow, fabulous! To go through the whole exercise was rewarding. The helpers were awesome. Thank you, Dr. Burns, for your awesomeness and helpful, brilliant mind.
  • WOW WOW WOW! No words needed. AMAZING! Thank you for this experience!
  • Thrilling!
  • Superb!! Thank you, Dr. Burns!
  • Our helper was awesome. Loved the night session! A+!

 

Soon to Arrive–the Atlanta Intensive!

Soon to Arrive–the Atlanta Intensive!

Dear Colleague,

My November 3 – 7 psychotherapy training intensive is coming up soon! This will be the same program that I presented this summer in Calgary and San Francisco, and it was the highest rated intensive in the past 25 years. I am hoping the Atlanta intensive will be just as good.

Below you will find just a few of the unsolicited endorsements I found on the anonymously submitted workshop feedback forms. I have had mixed feelings about sharing them with you, for fear that this will sound hopelessly self-promotional; but at the same time, I wanted you to see what can happen at an intensive. The intensives are the best psychotherapy training that I can offer, and are nearly always tremendous opportunities for personal healing as well!

I’ve always been a huge advocate for doing your own personal work as an absolutely essential part of psychotherapy training. When you’ve faced your own demons, you will no longer be a “technician;” you will be a “healer.”

The intensive will feature powerful new TEAM-CBT techniques for ultra-rapid treatment of depression and all of the anxiety disorders. You will work super hard, with two evening sessions in addition to the four day sessions; you will emerge exhausted, but hopefully filled with joy, many new skills and insights, and a much deeper understanding of the sudden, dramatic and lasting changes that can happen in effective treatment.

David Burns (david@feelinggood.com)

* * * 

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Sponsored by Praxis

This will be my first East Coast Intensive in more than 25 years. l don’t travel to the east coast for teaching very often any more, as I just turned 77 and I’ve grown a bit tired of airports. But I still LOVE teaching, so I hope you can join us! I’ll have a number of trained colleagues helping with the small group exercises, and giving you individual mentoring and feedback throughout the program, and I will be doing the same thing, too! 

* * * 

Participant Feedback at the SF Summer Intensive

  • Awesome
  • The intervention on anxiety was so inspiring. Very powerful . . . a healing and amazing experience!
  • I loved the Stage Fright demonstration. The stage was full of such beautiful people. I love your spontaneity, David, normalizing it with your nightmarish experience. Yeah! Celebrate!
  • Such a safe environment. Vicarious healing. Awesome!
  • Superb at all levels. Dr. Burns’ brilliance shines through even in the difficult moments.
  • The unplanned and spontaneous anxiety (fear of public speaking) group was a real WOW!
  • It was beautiful!
  • It was Fantastic to see all the people with public speaking anxiety get up on stage. Fantastic! They looked at the fear monster in the face and realized it has no teeth!!
  • The Externalization of Voices role-play was awesome.
  • Love the sensibility of joyous failure!
  • Fantastic training!
  • Amazing!
  • David’s integration of philosophy and spirituality into the TEAM-CBT model—absolutely brilliant! An amazing experience!
  • Today was very emotional for me. I didn’t have the courage to get up on stage and speak about my public speaking anxiety, but it was a wonder to watch the other participants share their own struggles. It brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful!
  • During the practice with the Externalization of Voices, I experienced a shift that I did not think would be possible.
  • Demos, role-plays. Helpers were fantastic, supportive. I learned a lot. Lots of tears. Facing my demons. Thank you, Dr. Burns!
  • I think these ideas are light years better than most things that typically happen in therapy! Very motivating!
  • We saw healing happen before our very eyes!
  • Wow, fabulous! To go through the whole exercise was rewarding. The helpers were awesome. Thank you, Dr. Burns, for your awesomeness and helpful, brilliant mind.
  • WOW WOW WOW! No words needed. AMAZING! Thank you for this experience!
  • Thrilling!
  • Superb!! Thank you, Dr. Burns!
  • Our helper was awesome. Loved the night session! A+!

 

161: Listening to a Different Kind of Music

161: Listening to a Different Kind of Music

Hearing the Music Behind the Words

This podcast again features the music of two beloved colleagues we introduced last week, Brandon Vance, MD and Heather Clague MD. We will be listening to music again this week, but it will be, for the most part, a different kind of music—it’s the music behind the words when someone criticizes you. We will be focusing on the most challenging and important of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, the Disarming Technique. This week, Brandon and Heather will help Rhonda and David illustrate how to use this technique when you’re under the fire of criticism. But in addition, Brandon and Heather will also sing one more of their extremely beautiful and fun songs, appropriately entitled, “The Five Secrets!”

When you use the Disarming Technique, you find the truth in a criticism, even if the criticism seems untrue, unfair, or exaggerated. This technique is based on the Law of Opposites. The essence of the Law of Opposites is that if you genuinely and immediately agree with the criticism that seems untrue, you will put the lie to it, and the critic will stop believing the criticism. This is a remarkable phenomenon that can be enormously helpful in conflicts with patients (if you’re a therapist) as well as friends, colleagues, and loved ones. However, it is challenging, because you have to be able to really listen and “hear” the music behind the other person’s words.

If you use the Disarming Technique, or any of the Five Secrets, in a mechanical way, it will backfire. And I (David) have noticed that even trained mental health professionals can have a tremendous difficulties learning to use the Disarming Technique.

Here’s an example of POOR technique. Although this is a therapy example, it is equally valid for conflicts between friends and loved ones.

Let’s say that you’re a therapist, and your patient confronts you by saying, “This is the second week in a row that you’ve been late for my session.”  

I’ve seen therapists respond like this: “You’re right. I have had emergencies which made me late for your sessions last week and today.” 

Is this a good example of the Disarming Technique?

NO! Can you see why?

It’s because this therapist is agreeing with the criticism in a literal way, and not hearing the “music” behind the words. What is this patient really saying? He’s probably saying that he feels a lack of caring from his therapist, and this may be one of his core conflicts,  thinking that the people he cares about never care about him. So the therapist’s “mechanical” answer misses the boat.

Here’s an improved response that addresses what the patient really said. After each sentence, I’ll put the name(s) of the technique(s) I used in the sentence.

“Jim, it’s painful to hear you say that, because you’re right. (“I Feel” Statement; Disarming Technique) I was late and I let you down, and I feel embarrassed. (Disarming; “I Feel” Statement.) I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re feeling hurt and  annoyed, and maybe even a bit angry with me, and for good reason. (Feeling Empathy) This is particularly uncomfortable, because you’ve told me that everyone you care about seems to let you down. (“I Feel” Statement; Thought and Feeling Empathy) I care about you and have tremendous respect for you.  (Stroking) Although I was delayed by emergencies last week and this week, the fact is, you had to wait. (Disarming) I will try to correct the problem of getting emergency calls when I’m in the clinic, which definitely is irritating and unfair to you, and I’ll gladly offer a free session to compensate the fact that you had to wait. (Disarming Technique, Feeling Empathy) I want to know more about how you’ve been feeling, and if there have been other times when I’ve let you down or perhaps said things that seemed uncaring? (Inquiry)”

Can you see that this response addresses the music, or feeling, or message behind the words, and not just the words?

And can you see the Law of Opposites in action? When this therapist agrees that he has let the patient down, and shows some humility, the patient will probably suddenly feel very cared about.

In today’s podcast, Brandon, Heather, Rhonda and David play a kind of Disarming Round Robin, taking turns responding to unexpected criticisms, using the Disarming Technique as well as any other communication techniques that may be needed. For example, one of the therapists is attacked by a patient who is a person of color who calls him “one of the rich white privileged people.” 

You will also hear the immediate grading of each response–was it an A, a B, a C, or a D–along with what worked and what didn’t work, followed in some cases by a second try. If you want to learn the Five Secrets, and especially the Disarming Technique, this type of practice will be a must! You can practice with a colleague, or with a friend. But be prepared to check your ego at the door so you can learn from failure, because it will be very challenging for you at first!

A neighbor who was helping with the recording, Dave Fribush, said that he really liked the podcast, but was disappointed it was so short–he wanted to hear more examples. So Rhonda and I recorded a  brief supplement two days later, which we will edit in. 

Here are the additional criticisms we practiced:

  1. Angry friend who feels jealous / betrayed and says: You were hitting on my girlfriend last night!
  2. Irate mother, who feels neglected / used, and says: Forget it! I’ll just do it myself!
  3. Hurt colleague, who says: You didn’t support me during the meeting!
  4. Indignant patient, who tells her therapist: You just called me Jane, but my name is Lisa!

If you are serious about learning the Disarming Technique, as well as the other Secrets of Effective Communication, I would strongly urge you to study this list of Common Five Secrets Errors in addition to practicing with a friend. I know I’m asking a lot from you, but we are giving you, or hoping to give you, something precious! 

And here are the words to today’s featured TEAM-CBT song! 

She Used the Five Secrets

Lyrics by Heather Clague
to the tune of Blue Velvet by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris.

She used the Five… Secrets

Madder than angry, oh was I

Pissed and unhappy, I could cry

At the start

She used the Five Secrets

She spoke my words to ‘ empathize

She ‘ guessed my feelings, oh she tried 

From the heart

How could I stay harmed

When she so skillfully disarmed

How could I want to fight

When she asked, did I get it right with

With my Five Secrets

she told me plainly how she felt

Her stroking made my whole heart melt

Into tears

And I can still hear her Five Secrets

In my ears

The Five secrets

Now I have learned to use them too

To give up blame and follow through

And face my fears

And I practice my Five Secrets

With my dears

I love the Five Secrets!

Conflict fuels intimacy

Not about me but about we

It’s more sincere!

So with the five secrets

Let love appear! 

More about Brandon and Heather

Brandon Vance, MD and Heather Clague, MD are both psychiatrists and certified TEAM-CBT therapists. They practice in Oakland, California.

In addition to her brilliant work as a TEAM-CBT psychiatrist and teacher, Heather is a singer and improviser who collaborated in the creation of lyrics for some of Brandon’s songs. She is a member of the performance group, The Berkeley Players, and is the director of Berkeley Improv, a Bay Area school of improv that offers improv acting classes for adults and youth. Heather says, “Improv is a lot like TEAM CBT – full of laughter and enlightenment.  The best moments tend to happen when we throw shame to the wind and let magic arise from the ordinary and let our ‘mistakes’ become gifts.”

In addition to his brilliant work as a TEAM-CBT psychiatrist and teacher, Brandon has a musical group that is connected with the Justice Arts Collective at Chabot College in Hayward California. In that group, he works with students to create musical pieces with social justice themes, often in the style of hip hop with Latin beats. Most, if not all of the students have experienced personal trauma and social inequity. Through music, they can share their truths, their hearts and their wealth of experiences with each other and the community, while at the same time working for social change. 

Brandon explains that “we form deep connections with each other, and it’s become something of a family . A couple of years ago, we made a music video for our song, ‘From Mt. Tamalpais to Fruitvale Station,’ and actually won first place in the My Hero International Film Festival and in the World Independent Film Festival, as well as awards in many other film festivals.  Check it out! We’re now working on a new video about immigration with our song, ‘Bring Down the Wall.'”

Brandon has also worked with Amy Specter in the creation of a company called Gameful Mind. He explains that “we wanted playful ways to support adults and kids in developing skills to be and stay emotionally well. So, we made the game TuneIN TuneUP, as well as some other games and playful shirts and such.”

David and Rhonda

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com. She is a Certified TEAM-CBT therapist and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. She also does forensic work in family court, but finds TEAM-CBT to be way more rewarding!

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

 

* * *

You may have missed the summer intensives, but there will be one more awesome intensive in November.

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Sponsored by Praxis

 

* * * 

Coming up in 2020

High Speed Methods to Reduce Resistance
and Boost Motivation

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Feb 9. 2020 |  7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

and

 The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 

This Workshop Will Change Your Life!

This Workshop Will Change Your Life!

Dear Colleague,

My advanced empathy workshop on Sunday, Oct 6, 2019, with my esteemed and incredible colleague and friend, Dr. Jill Levitt, is just one day away. I strongly recommend this workshop. The skills you learn will transform your clinical work and your personal life!

We’re going to have a tremendous and fun workshop on Sunday, and I hope you can join us!

Warmly, David Burns, MD

 

Advanced Empathy Tools for Connecting
with Challenging Patients,
Colleagues, Friends, and Loved Ones

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Oct 6, 2019 | 7 CE hours, $135

Learn More & Register

You can join us in person (just a few slots left)
or online from anywhere in the world via Live-Streaming! 

Do you have a patient, colleague, friend or loved one who:

  • Complains endlessly but doesn’t listen to any of your good advice?
  • Appears irate, but insists s/he isn’t upset?
  • Refuses to express his / her feelings?
  • Never listens?
  • Argues, and always has to be right?
  • Always has to be in control?
  • Is relentlessly critical?
  • “Yes-but’s” when you try to make a point?
  • Insists you don’t really care—or understand—when you think you do?

Then you’re going to LOVE this workshop with David and Jill. You’ll learn about–

  • The Powerful “Law of Opposites”
  • How to find out how your patients really feel about you–if you dare!
  • How to transform therapeutic failure into success
  • How to talk to people who refuse to talk to you

You’ll also learn–

  • Why your worst therapeutic failure is actually your greatest success in disguise
  • The fine points of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication
  • Three Advanced Empathy Techniques: Multiple Choice Empathy, Changing the Focus, and Positive Reframing
  • And more

There will be lots of small group practice with expert feedback and mentoring to help you refine your skills!

Attend in person or
from your home via Live Streaming

Sign up early because we always sell-out for the in-person seats. Of course, there will be lots of skilled trainers to help the online participants with the small group exercises, so you’ll have a great experience either way.

My one-day workshops with Dr. Levitt are usually pretty awesome! It is always an honor to teach with Jill!

Learn More & Register

 

160: Listening to the Music of TEAM

160: Listening to the Music of TEAM

Introducing Brandon Vance, MD 

& Heather Clague, MD

 This podcast features the music of two beloved colleagues, Brandon Vance, MD and Heather Clague MD. Brandon and Heather are both certified TEAM-CBT psychiatrists practicing in Oakland, California. Brandon is a brilliant multi-instrumentalist and singer / song writer / performer who has transformed his vision of TEAM-CBT into music! Heather is brilliant and fun improv acting teacher and performer who is quick in her mind and on her feet! Brandon and Heather have performed at David’s annual South San Francisco psychotherapy intensive for the past several years, and we are delighted to bring them to you up close and personal today!

In today’s podcast, they’ll bring you their songs and amazing personal stories. And what is super cool is that you can follow the words for the music right here in the show notes.

Song #1

 Heather and Brandon begin with music about a familiar but painful theme for nearly all of us—the feeling of failure, and the belief that we are somehow defective or just “not good enough.” Brandon and Heather are extremely talented and successful individuals, but they are not immune from suffering. During the podcast, they describe their own painful personal experiences with depression, anxiety, shame, and defectiveness.

Most therapists, including David, were trained in the psychoanalytic tradition and told that we should NEVER disclose or reveal our own personal feelings or experiences to patients. But we believe that some personal disclosure can be very healing for patients if done with skill and compassion. Most patients want to hear this type of message from a therapist:

“I’ve been there myself, and know how much pain you’re in. And I can show you the way out of the woods, so you can experience feelings of joy and self-esteem again. And what a joy that’s going to be!”

So, with no further ado, Brandon and Heather perform their first song:

The Feel of Failure

Lyrics by Heather Clague and Brandon Vance
to the tune of “The Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon

Hello failure my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again

Because my ego softly creeping

Infects my thoughts while I am preaching

And that vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains; becomes the Feel of Failure

 

Fool, said I, you are so lame

Done something wrong to feel this shame

Perfect is the way that you should be

Self-blame coming like a tsunami

Negative thoughts one hundred – percent on my DML

I was in hell

Suffered the Feel of Failure

 

My self-esteem had turned to shit

I needed the magic button hit

Something told me my feelings weren’t lame

Began to do a positive reframe

Maybe my feelings say something about me that is pretty fly

I set the bar high

So I have a Feel of Failure

 

I saw that I was not alone

Dared go beyond my comfort zone

I took pride in my humility

Welcomed my faults as my humanity

And in a moment of enlightenment I cried and then I laughed

I’d finally grasped

The wisdom… of the Feel… of Failure

Song #2

 The next song is on social anxiety. Brandon explains:

“I wanted to introduce this song I wrote with Amy Specter who was on your podcast on August 5th #152 a month or so ago. It’s called, “Negative Thoughts Shut your Piehole Tonight.” And it’s about social anxiety and the idea that when you’re upset, it’s not the event or the other person who’s “making you” feel upset, it’s your own negative thoughts.

“Where it gets personal for me is that I was bullied in elementary school by a group of my former friends who made up a story that I was gay – as if that’s a bad thing – and then yelled things, tried to get in fights with me, etc., for really the majority of the school year. And I got really down and felt ashamed, and didn’t tell my parents or anyone else about it because of that. But what they did, didn’t make me down – it was my negative thoughts. I wasn’t actually gay, but what was important was that I told myself that I was defective, and people didn’t want to be around me.

“The person who I thought was the ringleader was a blonde blue-eyed (as if those are good things) smart, handsome guy who had great social skills and apparent confidence – both seemingly more than I had. In my mind I made him into an evil person just interested in popularity. But he had many good qualities (and was a friend of mine before this). Seeing his good qualities reminds me of the concept of the disarm.

“In this song, the singer is anxious about going to a party. She feels envious of Anna, a woman who’s thin (as if that’s a good thing) and gets a lot of attention – both because of our culture’s preoccupation with women being thin and also because she has great social skills. So, she feels bad about herself.

“But then realizes it’s just her negative thoughts and also sees that her negative thoughts and feelings helpful to her, and represent good things about her. Then she works successfully on changing the way she thinks and feels.”

 Negative Thoughts, Shut Your Piehole Tonight!

 by Amy Specter and Brandon Vance

Tiny Anna, you’ve been getting me down. But I know it’s not you; it’s the negative thoughts doing their doo-doo. And those negative thoughts I can leave behind. That’s right, you can walk right out of my mind. You can shut your pie-hole, though you’ve given me a lot during my days. But, I don’t need you now; you can get up and walk right out of that door – and shut your pie hole on the way!

 

You’ve been talking since the dawn’s early light

you’re an expert, attention getter, you’re quite the sight!

Anna please teach me

to talk at a party like the talkin’ on the tv screen

Now I’m gonna say something and it may not be polite!

Cause I’ve realized that I’ve got some work to do

But this time I’m not going to shut down and stew.

My negative thoughts are bothering me

much more than Anna Lee

so negative thoughts, shut your pie holes tonight.

Negative thoughts you’ve served me well and

kept me from being in social situation hell

Rejection comfortably kept at bay

I don’t have to put myself out there

I can keep myself at home without judgments to fear

they can let me off the hook

No effort to change, to learn new things or swim in another lane

Negative thoughts you’ve kept me safe

But I’m going to try my mind on a different train

Maybe I don’t need negative thoughts and their kind

to tell me if I can have a good time

I can be myself and go at my own pace

Even with these tiny negative thoughts flapping their tiny lips in my face

Negative thoughts said there’s no room in this world for my kind

well that’s just bullshit created by my negative mind

I laugh about awkward autocorrects, Weird-Al and farting

So why not enjoy, the people, at the party?

So negative thoughts shut your pieholes tonight!

Negative thoughts you’ve served me well

Negative thoughts – farewell!

Negative thoughts shut your pie hole tonight

Tiny Anna will surely get some attention

That may be true

And that doesn’t mean I won’t get affection

But even if I don’t have things to say,

I’ll learn to chit chat the Anna way.

So Negative thoughts shut your pieholes tonight,

Negative thoughts shut your pieholes tonight.

That’s right, negative thoughts shut your pieholes tonight! 

Cause I wanna have some FUN!!!

Song #3

 The last song by Brandon and Heather focuses on the “A” of TEAM therapy, formerly called A = Paradoxical Agenda Setting, and now given the simpler name of A = Assessment of Resistance. We address the patient’s resistance in this very crucial and paradoxical part of TEAM-CBT. When we address resistance up front by arguing for the status quo, the patient paradoxically argues for change, and therapy becomes much easier. After that point, it’s No Resistance No Cry.

NO RESISTANCE NO CRY

 Lyrics by Amy Specter and Brandon Vance
to the tune of “No Woman No Cry.” by Bob Marley.

No resistance no cry

No resistance no cry

No resistance no cry

No resistance no cry

Next week, Brandon and Heather will return for a second podcast on listening to a very different kind of “music,” the meaning behind the words when people are critical of you. We will discuss and illustrate, once again, the incredibly important Disarming Technique, which is arguably the most important of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication.

More about Brandon and Heather

In addition to her brilliant work as a TEAM-CBT psychiatrist and teacher, Heather Clague is a singer and improviser who collaborated in the creation of lyrics for some of Brandon’s songs. She is a member of the performance group, The Berkeley Players, and is the director of Berkeley Improv, a Bay Area school of improv that offers improv acting classes for adults and youth. Heather says, “Improv is a lot like TEAM CBT – full of laughter and enlightenment. The best moments tend to happen when we throw shame to the wind and let magic arise from the ordinary and let our ‘mistakes’ become gifts.”

Dr. Brandon Vance has a musical group that is connected with the Justice Arts Collective at Chabot College in Hayward California. In that group, he works with students to create musical pieces with social justice themes, often in the style of hip hop with Latin beats. Most, if not all of the students have experienced personal trauma and social inequity. Through music, they can share their truths, their hearts and their wealth of experiences with each other and the community, while at the same time working for social change. 

Brandon explains that “we form deep connections with each other, and it’s become something of a family . A couple of years ago, we made a music video for our song, ‘From Mt. Tamalpais to Fruitvale Station,’ and actually won first place in the My Hero International Film Festival and in the World Independent Film Festival, as well as awards in many other film festivals.  Check it out! We’re now working on a new video about immigration with our song, ‘Bring Down the Wall.'”

Dr. Vance has also worked with Amy Specter in the creation of a company called Gameful Mind. He explains that “we wanted playful ways to support adults and kids in developing skills to be and stay emotionally well. So, we made the game TuneIN TuneUP, as well as some other games and playful shirts and such.”

David and Rhonda

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com. She is a Certified TEAM-CBT therapist and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. She also does forensic work in family court, but finds TEAM-CBT to be way more rewarding!

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

* * *

HEY! THERE’S A TREMENDOUS WORKSHOP THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2019!

ACT FAST IF YOU WANT TO ATTEND!

THIS IS ONE WORKSHOP YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!

My awesome colleague, Dr. Jill Levitt, and I are offering you a life- and career-changing (really!) relationship workshop in just a few days. You will learn powerful skills that will boost your clinical effectiveness and deepen your relationships with friends, colleagues, and loved ones.

Advanced Empathy Tools for Connecting
with Challenging Patients,
Colleagues, Friends, and Loved Ones

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Oct 6, 2019 | 7 CE hours, $135

Do you have a patient, colleague, friend or loved one who:

  • Complains endlessly but doesn’t listen to any of your good advice?
  • Appears irate, but insists s/he isn’t upset?
  • Refuses to express his / her feelings?
  • Never listens?
  • Argues, and always has to be right?
  • Always has to be in control?
  • Is relentlessly critical?
  • “Yes-but’s” when you try to make a point?
  • Insists you don’t really care—or understand—when you think you do?

Then you’re going to LOVE this workshop with David and Jill. You’ll learn about–

  • The Powerful “Law of Opposites”
  • How to find out how your patients really feel about you–if you dare!
  • How to transform therapeutic failure into success
  • How to talk to people who refuse to talk to you

You’ll also learn–

  • Why your worst therapeutic failure is actually your greatest success in disguise
  • The fine points of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication
  • Three Advanced Empathy Techniques: Multiple Choice Empathy, Changing the Focus, and Positive Reframing
  • And more

There will be lots of small group practice with expert feedback and mentoring to help you refine your skills!

Attend in person or
from your home via Live Streaming

Sign up ASAP because we usually sell-out for the in-person seats. Of course, there will be lots of skilled trainers to help the online participants with the small group exercises, so you’ll have a great experience either way.

My one-day workshops with Dr. Levitt are the BEST! 
It’s always an honor to teach with Jill!

Learn More & Register

 

* * *

You may have missed the summer intensives, but there will be one more awesome intensive in November.

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Sponsored by Praxis

 

* * * 

Coming up in 2020

High Speed Methods to Reduce Resistance
and Boost Motivation

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Feb 9. 2020 |  7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

and

 The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 

You Can Attend ONLINE and In Person

You Can Attend ONLINE and In Person

Hi, a colleague asked me to remind you that you can attend the upcoming Empathy workshop online from anywhere in the world. We will have skilled online trainers to help you with your small group exercises, so you’ll have the same fabulous experience as those who attend in person.  Thanks! David

Advanced Empathy Training

Dear Colleague,

My advanced empathy training workshop with my esteemed colleague, Dr. Jill Levitt, is just a few days away (Sunday, Oct 6, 2019)! I strongly recommend this workshop because the skills you learn will transform your clinical work and your personal life as well.

If you’re like most mental health professionals, you believe that you already have excellent empathy skills, but research indicates this is not always, or even often, accurate. In fact, when therapists ask patients to rate them on my Empathy and Helpfulness scales for the first time, most receive failing grades from every patient on both scales!

This can be shocking, demoralizing, and anxiety-provoking. But it’s an easily correctable problem. If you’d like to boost your therapeutic skills and develop more loving relationships with colleagues and loved ones, this is one workshop that you won’t want to miss! But move fast, it is filling up quickly. 

Jill and I are super-excited about this particular workshop! And speaking from personal experience, I can assure you that this is one workshop we ALL need!

Although we will focus on the therapy relationship, the methods you learn will apply to all relationships–with your partner, spouse, son, daughter, parent or friend–so feel free to come if you’re interested, even if you’re not a “shrink!” You’ll find the details below.

We’re going to have a tremendous and fun workshop on Sunday, and I hope you can join us!

Warmly,

David Burns, MD

 

Advanced Empathy Tools for Connecting
with Challenging Patients,
Colleagues, Friends, and Loved Ones

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Oct 6, 2019 | 7 CE hours, $135

Learn More & Register

Do you have a patient, colleague, friend or loved one who:

  • Complains endlessly but doesn’t listen to any of your good advice?
  • Appears irate, but insists s/he isn’t upset?
  • Refuses to express his / her feelings?
  • Never listens?
  • Argues, and always has to be right?
  • Always has to be in control?
  • Is relentlessly critical?
  • “Yes-but’s” when you try to make a point?
  • Insists you don’t really care—or understand—when you think you do?

Then you’re going to LOVE this workshop with David and Jill. You’ll learn about–

  • The Powerful “Law of Opposites”
  • How to find out how your patients really feel about you–if you dare!
  • How to transform therapeutic failure into success
  • How to talk to people who refuse to talk to you

You’ll also learn–

  • Why your worst therapeutic failure is actually your greatest success in disguise
  • The fine points of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication
  • Three Advanced Empathy Techniques: Multiple Choice Empathy, Changing the Focus, and Positive Reframing
  • And more

There will be lots of small group practice with expert feedback and mentoring to help you refine your skills!

Attend in person or
from your home via Live Streaming

Sign up early because we always sell-out for the in-person seats. Of course, there will be lots of skilled trainers to help the online participants with the small group exercises, so you’ll have a great experience either way.

My one-day workshops with Dr. Levitt are usually pretty awesome! It is always an honor to teach with Jill!

Learn More & Register

 

Exciting Relationship Workshop Coming Soon!

Exciting Relationship Workshop Coming Soon!

Advanced Empathy Training

Dear Colleague,

My advanced empathy training workshop with my esteemed colleague, Dr. Jill Levitt, is just a few days away (Sunday, Oct 6, 2019)! I strongly recommend this workshop because the skills you learn will transform your clinical work and your personal life as well.

If you’re like most mental health professionals, you believe that you already have excellent empathy skills, but research indicates this is not always, or even often, accurate. In fact, when therapists ask patients to rate them on my Empathy and Helpfulness scales for the first time, most receive failing grades from every patient on both scales!

This can be shocking, demoralizing, and anxiety-provoking. But it’s an easily correctable problem. If you’d like to boost your therapeutic skills and develop more loving relationships with colleagues and loved ones, this is one workshop that you won’t want to miss! But move fast, it is filling up quickly. 

Jill and I are super-excited about this particular workshop! And speaking from personal experience, I can assure you that this is one workshop we ALL need!

Although we will focus on the therapy relationship, the methods you learn will apply to all relationships–with your partner, spouse, son, daughter, parent or friend–so feel free to come if you’re interested, even if you’re not a “shrink!” You’ll find the details below.

We’re going to have a tremendous and fun workshop on Sunday, and I hope you can join us!

Warmly,

David Burns, MD

 

Advanced Empathy Tools for Connecting
with Challenging Patients,
Colleagues, Friends, and Loved Ones

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Oct 6, 2019 | 7 CE hours, $135

Learn More & Register

Do you have a patient, colleague, friend or loved one who:

  • Complains endlessly but doesn’t listen to any of your good advice?
  • Appears irate, but insists s/he isn’t upset?
  • Refuses to express his / her feelings?
  • Never listens?
  • Argues, and always has to be right?
  • Always has to be in control?
  • Is relentlessly critical?
  • “Yes-but’s” when you try to make a point?
  • Insists you don’t really care—or understand—when you think you do?

Then you’re going to LOVE this workshop with David and Jill. You’ll learn about–

  • The Powerful “Law of Opposites”
  • How to find out how your patients really feel about you–if you dare!
  • How to transform therapeutic failure into success
  • How to talk to people who refuse to talk to you

You’ll also learn–

  • Why your worst therapeutic failure is actually your greatest success in disguise
  • The fine points of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication
  • Three Advanced Empathy Techniques: Multiple Choice Empathy, Changing the Focus, and Positive Reframing
  • And more

There will be lots of small group practice with expert feedback and mentoring to help you refine your skills!

Attend in person or
from your home via Live Streaming

Sign up early because we always sell-out for the in-person seats. Of course, there will be lots of skilled trainers to help the online participants with the small group exercises, so you’ll have a great experience either way.

My one-day workshops with Dr. Levitt are usually pretty awesome! It is always an honor to teach with Jill!

Learn More & Register