071: Ask David — anger . . . great thinkers . . . narcissistic bosses . . . social media bullying . . . and more!

071: Ask David — anger . . . great thinkers . . . narcissistic bosses . . . social media bullying . . . and more!

In today’s podcast, David and Fabrice address many thought-provoking questions submitted by listeners like you:

  • Jonny asked two questions: #1: What do I do if I am using the Five Secrets and I feel angry? If I use the Disarming Technique, isn’t there a danger that I might not express my own feelings? And isn’t this the same as your “Hidden Emotion” Model, where we don’t express our feelings due to excessive niceness?
  • Jonny #2: What great thinkers inspired your work when you were creating the Five Secrets of Effective Communication? Were you influenced by Martin Buber?
  • Pilar: How would you use the Five Secrets if you’re attacked in public by a narcissistic boss? Should you use the Disarming Technique? Won’t that make you look weak? should you only use the Five Secrets in one-on-one situations?
  • Harry: You mentioned that the technique of Self-Monitoring is rarely effective. Why is this?
  • JP: Are there books on CBT for children? Do you have assessment tests for teenagers and children?
  • Tom: How would you help young people who are being bullied in social media. Many of them commit suicide, and that probably only represents the tip of the iceberg.

We love your questions. Keep them coming!

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070: Five Secrets Training — Stroking

070: Five Secrets Training — Stroking

David and Fabrice discuss Stroking, the fifth of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. The definition of Stroking is to express some warmth or admiration for the person you’re in conflict with, as well as people you’re NOT in conflict with! Essentially, you say something positive or complimentary about the other person, even in the heat of battle. It can make a huge difference in how the other person feels, and how the situation gets resolved.

In the last four podcasts we went over the  E = Empathy and the A = Assertiveness of the EAR acronym. In this podcast, we will concentrate on R = Respect. Stroking is the technique for the R = Respect. The term is crude, but I’ve never found an alternative that worked better.

Philosophically, Stroking goes back to the work of Martin Buber, the 20th century philosopher / theologian who talked about the difference between an “I – It” relationship and an “I – thou” relationship. In an “I – It” relationship, you think of the other person as an object to be manipulated, and not as a human being. You may compete with the other person, and try to beat or defeat them, or you may try to punish, exploit, or hurt them. For many examples, you only have to turn on the evening news and see how some of our politicians talk about their “enemies.” In contrast, in an “I – thou” relationship, you treat the other person with respect and dignity, even if you’re at odds, even if you’re feeling angry.

In the last podcast, we discussed “I Feel” Statements–sharing your own feelings openly. If you have negative feelings you need to express, you can include Stroking at the same time. Sometimes, that’s the sugar that makes the medicine go down.

Here’s an example. Let’s imagine you’re ticked off at a friend named Jim, and you’ve been arguing with each other and getting frustrated. I’ll give you example of how you might use Stroking, and i’ll put the name of the technique I used in parentheses after each sentence so you’ll know exactly what I’m doing.

“Jim, I’m feeling really ticked off at you right now, and I’m having fantasies of strangling you! (“I Feel” Statement) At the same time, it bothers me when we argue like this because I’ve always admired you tremendously and felt you were one of my best friends. (Stroking)  I know there’s a lot of truth in what you’re saying. and I’m sure when work this out, we’ll be even closer. (Disarming Technique) With that in mind, you can tell me more about how you’re thinking and feeling? (Inquiry) “

Hopefully, you can see that this type of statement conveys warmth, respect and openness, while at the same time clearly expressing your anger. Of course, this is just an example, and the way you express yourself will be very different.

Expressing your negative feelings with warmth requires discipline, because most of the time we get defensive and want to lash out at the person we’re mad at. And you can do that if you want–I give in to that urge every now and then, too! But if you express yourself with warmth and caring, and if you share your feelings instead of arguing or attacking the other person, or putting him or her down, you’ll usually get a far more positive response.

David describes how he used Stroking (along with the Disarming Technique) to good effect when he was ruthlessly put down by a hostile examiner during his oral medical board examination when he returned home to California with his family in 1995.

David and Fabrice describe errors people make when trying to use Stroking, such as saying something “canned” or formulaic that does not sound genuine or specific. All of the Five Secrets have to come from the heart or they’ll backfire.

David and Fabrice also describe the intense resistance that people often put up when trying to learn the Five Secrets. For example, you may tell yourself that you “shouldn’t have to” say something nice to the other person because you’re so mad, or because you’re labeling the other person as “a loser” or “a jerk” and you see that person in an entirely (and distorted) negative light, thinking (wrongly) that there ISN’T anything good or positive about him or her.

Your homework for this week will be to practice Stroking. Say five positive things to people every day, and you can do this easily in your day-to-day interactions with anyone, even strangers. You can find something you like or admire about the other person, and say that to them. People, for the most part, will like that and respond positively! We understand that this is a simple and superficial assignment. Once you’ve practiced it over and over, it will be far easier to use it effectively in the heat of battle!

Fabrice and I hope you enjoy our Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and some five star ratings if you like what we’re doing!

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Does “Absolute Truth” Exist?

Does “Absolute Truth” Exist?

Hi visitors and Feeling Good website members,

I got several questions from an individual that I answered in the comments section of the website, but then i thought I might edit it a little and elevate it to the status of a blog. So I apologize if you might have already read this, but if you haven’t you might find it interesting, especially if you like philosophy.

Here is the email I received from Zly:

Hi Dr. Burns,

I have bought several of your books: Feeling Good, Feeling Good Together, and When Panics Attacks. However, I am not very clear about some of your points, so I want to ask you some questions if you don’t mind:

  1. Does absolute truth exist?
  2. Is there a forth valid use of SHOULD STATEMENTS?
  3. Which laws should I obey? And why is the “legal should” valid?

Let me explain my questions. First, in Feeling Good Together, you said that protecting our TRUTH makes relationship worse. Are you saying that there is no absolute truth in the world?

Second, you have described three valid types of “should statements:” the “legal should,” the “moral should,” and the “laws of the universe should.” I am wondering if there might be a forth, undistorted SHOULD STATEMENT when you are making a choice. For example. recently, I have been bothered about making a choice between two job offers. I don’t know which offer is better, so I frequently ask myself: which job should I choose?

To explain my third question, I have read some books that seem to contradict each other, and I don’t know which book I should believe. For example, the multi-party-political system is legal in America but illegal in China. So, the sentence, “You should not support a multi-party-political system,” would be a valid “should” in China but not in America.

zly

 * * * 

Hi Zly,

Thank you for the thoughtful questions. I edited your email to make it a bit clearer to my readers, and hope that is okay!

I will share my own take on these issues, realizing right away that some individuals may not agree with my ideas. As I came from a very religious upbringing, I am aware of the rigidity of some of those who have conservative religious orientations who believe with all their hearts that there is only one “right” way to think, feel, believe, and behave, and that they are in touch with “absolute truth.” But all too often, this way of thinking can become a justification for aggression toward those who think and believe differently. So I am not much of an advocate for absolute truth, and don’t really even know what that term means!

To my way of thinking, many of our beliefs and values are stipulations, or values that we assert, and not something that can be proven one way or the other. For example, you can choose to value all humans, or you can decide that certain humans are superior, or inferior, to others, based on skin color, race, age, intelligence, achievements, gender, or a myriad of other arbitrary criteria. You cannot prove that black people, or white people, or Jewish people, or Christian people, or immigrants from any country, are inherently superior or inferior. But many people do believe such ideas, because they were brought up to believe, think, or feel this way or some other way. To my way of thinking, many of these beliefs can do a great deal of damage, in terms of depression and anxiety on the one hand, or hatred and violent aggression on the other.

Generally, our laws and moral values are stipulations that we have, for the most part, agreed upon as humans, or as a particular group of humans. Many of our basic moral / religious beliefs can be found in the ten commandments, for example, as well as other basic religious writings. They cannot be proven one way or the other, they are simply rules we agree on.

Many religious or politically zealous people want to elevate their personal beliefs and values to the level of “absolute truth.” Sadly, this type of thinking sometimes leads to prejudice, violence and war, thinking one has the “truth.”

Also, in relationship conflicts, typically the two partners are saying, over and over again in a variety of ways, “I am right and you are wrong,” rather than trying to empathize and find the truth in what the other person is saying, thinking and feeling. As a result, the conflict typically escalates, and sometimes ends in violence. That’s what I mean when I say that “truth” is the cause of most of the suffering in the world today.

This type of absolutist thinking can be viewed, actually, as one of the ten cognitive distortions I first published in my book, Feeling Good. The distortion is called all-or-nothing thinking–that’s where you view and judge things, people, or ideas in absolute, black-or-white categories. This type of thinking can fuel feelings of superiority and hostility, when you think of yourself as being on the “all” side of the equation, as well as severe depression and even suicidal urges, when you think of yourself as being on the “nothing” side of the equation.

For example, when you are depressed, you may tell yourself, and believe with all your heart and mind, that you are “a failure” or “a loser” or “no good.” And when you are angry, you may tell yourself that someone else is “a loser” or “a jerk” or “no good.” Although all-or-nothing thinking is intensely distorted, it can be intensely addictive.

So that’s my take, or my rant, for better or worse, on “absolute truth!”

As far as your second question is concerned, you could just as easily say, “What job would be more desirable for me?” When you say, “What job SHOULD I select,” it sounds like a moral imperative to make the “correct” choice, when often there is no single correct choice. So, the “should” can trap you in a box, thinking that a “right” decision is overwhelmingly important when, it fact, there often is no inherently “correct” decision. All decisions can have unexpected positive and negative consequences, and happiness often has far more to do with how we cope with those consequences than in finding some imaginary “correct” decision.

So, in short, decisions about what job to pursue, or which college to attend, or who to marry, or where to live, are to my way of thinking, not usefully viewed as “shoulds.”

With regard to question three, different cultures sometimes have different values, and different rules which are stipulated and not proven. These are just the rules any society establishes for itself. A legal “should” is just a rule that a culture establishes. For example, when we say, “you should not drive 90 miles per hour on the highway,” we are simply saying that this speed is so dangerous that we have a rule against it, and you will get a ticket if you drive that fast. But it is not thought to be immoral to drive that fast–on a race track it is perfectly okay to drive as fast as you want, for example.

Some states in the United States may have maximum speed limits of 75 miles per hour. Others may have maximum speed limits of 65 miles per hour. It is not the case that one or the other speed limit is based on “absolute truth.” It’s just what the people in that state have agreed on.

Many people with a rigid, inflexible personality style want to insist that their rules, or stipulations, are somehow “absolute truth,” and this is one of the causes of war and hostility, often in the name of God or some higher principal. Rigid thinking is often seen with narcissistic individuals, but we also see rigid thinking in individuals struggling with depression and anxiety. But the rules we establish are just that—rules—and not manifestations of some invisible “absolute truth.”

Before the cause of epilepsy was known, some cultures viewed it as a good thing, and imagined that epileptic seizures were visitations from God, or manifestations of genius, and that those who suffered from seizures were special. Other cultures viewed seizures as visitations from evil spirits, or as defects in the afflicted individuals who were seen as inferior human beings. Later, when the cause of seizures was finally understood in terms of abnormal outbursts of electrical activity in the brain, we began to think about epilepsy as an “illness” instead of a sign of superiority or inferiority in the person with seizures.

Consider old age. In some cultures, elderly individuals are treated with great respect. In other cultures, the elderly are viewed in a negative manner, and old age is feared, while youth is idealized. These are just subjective decisions, not things that can be proven one way or the other. Young people, or old people, are not in any way “inherently” superior or inferior.

Of think about food preferences. I like blueberry pie, but I don’t like pumpkin pie. But it is not “true” that blueberry pie is inherently superior to pumpkin pie. It is simply a preference of mine, and not an expression of “absolute truth.”

It’s the same with racial, ethnic, and religious biases. Some people look down on blacks, Asians, Jews, the Irish, Mexicans, Christians, Muslims, gays, and on and on endlessly. Often these groups are targeted for hatred and mistreatment by rigid individuals who tell themselves and others that they represent “absolute truth.” But you cannot “prove” that any of these groups are, in fact, inherently inferior or superior. It is simply an arbitrary decision to hate. And the bias is often fueled by addictive feelings of moral superiority.

Science works the same way, partly through stipulation and partly through experimentation and testing. You always have to start with a stipulation that cannot be proven as right or wrong. Once you have done this, you can do experimentation based on research. For example, we can decide as a culture that pneumonia is an “illness,” a bad thing, so to speak. Once we have agreed on that, which is simply a stipulation, then we can do scientific work, searching for the causes and cures for pneumonia. That’s where empirical testing becomes vitally important, because you CAN prove that many theories are false, and that many treatments are not effective, whereas other theories and treatments prove more useful.

I don’t really spend any time at all searching for “absolute truth.” As the Buddha so often said, only specific and real problems can be solved. Problems that don’t exist don’t require solutions. All real problems exist at specific times and locations on the surface of the earth. When people come to me for help, or for treatment, we pinpoint specific problems in their lives, and then we solve those problems using a wide variety of strategies and techniques. The recovery is usually pretty exhilarating, but never involves looking for or finding any kind of “absolute truth.”

“Absolute truth,” like the “self,” does not exist. These are simply nonsensical concepts that we use to create misery for ourselves or others.

My take on it, only! Let me know if my rambling makes sense, or if you are still in the trance or enchantment of searching for “absolute truth.”

David

 

My live FB broadcasts have been moved to 3 PM Pacific (California) Time every Sunday afternoon. I hope you can join us! The show is for therapists and the general public alike. If you cannot join us live, you can download the shows and listen any time that’s convenient for you!

Feel free to submit questions you’d like me to cover in these shows. Your questions drive the discussion each Sunday afternoon!

David

How to Find My FB Broadcasts

Click on my Facebook tab on https://feelinggood.com/ if you’d like to watch me each week on my Live Facebook broadcast each Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m. PST. Make sure to “like” my Public Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidBurnsMD/ so you can watch it on my page or yours.

Join me as I answer mental health questions from viewers — therapists and non-therapists alike — from all over the world. Type your question in the Facebook feed and I’ll do my best to answer it.

If you miss the broadcast you can watch the saved videos on my Facebook page! Also, viewers can watch these Live Facebook broadcasts as well as other interesting TEAM-CBT videos on the Feeling Good Institute’s YouTube channel!

The David and Fabrice Feeling Good Podcasts

Fabrice and I hope you also enjoy our Feeling Good Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and some five star ratings if you like what we’re doing! We are already enjoying 25,000 downloads per month from listeners like you. Thank you so much for your support of our podcasts!

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069: Five Secrets Training — “I Feel” Statements

069: Five Secrets Training — “I Feel” Statements

David, Helen and Fabrice discuss “I Feel” Statements, the fourth of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. The essence of this technique is to share your thoughts and feelings openly and with respect, rather than hiding your feelings or acting them out aggressively.

The Five Secrets are organized around the acronym, EAR. E = Empathy, A = Assertiveness, and R = Respect. The last three podcasts were on the E = Empathy techniques. This podcast will be on A = Assertiveness.

David, Helen and Fabrice discuss how the Five Secrets differs from assertiveness training, which has been incredibly popular for the past 50 years, with many best-selling books. Assertiveness is all about expressing your own needs and feelings. Although this is incredibly important, David argues that assertiveness alone can come off as somewhat “self”-centered, since your talking about how YOU feel and what YOU need. In contrast, that the most skillful and effective communication involves a more balanced focus on your own and the other person’s feelings, in a spirit of mutual respect and “oneness.”

David tells a funny story of what happened after he read a book on assertiveness training when he was a psychiatric resident. He dutifully and enthusiastically tried to apply the techniques he was reading about in the assertiveness book during a dispute with a gas station attendant in Philadelphia, and the gas station attendant threatened to break his kneecaps!

Although David does not like formulas, they can sometimes help you when you are learning a technique for the first time. The formula for an “I Feel” Statement would be a statement along these lines: “I feel X, Y, and Z,” where X, Y, and Z are words from the Feeling Words list.

David, Helen and Fabrice discuss the importance of this technique, and how to use it in different settings. Although sharing your feelings can be vitally important in conversations with loved ones, as well as interactions and negotiations with colleagues at work, you would use different kinds of feeling words in different settings. For example, you might say, “I feel kind of hurt and put down right now” during an interaction with your spouse or partner, but you probably wouldn’t say that when talking to your boss, because it would sound goofy!

They also discuss common errors people make when trying to use “I Feel” Statements. A common error I saying “I feel that . . . ” followed by something about the other person, such as “I feel that you’re wrong.” This is not the expression of your feelings, but a criticism of the other person.

They also discuss common sources of resistance to using this technique. For example, you may be afraid that if you share your feelings openly, and allow yourself to be vulnerable, something bad will happen, or that people will take advantage of you or use the information to hurt you.

In addition, many human beings, and perhaps most of us, tend to repress our feelings and hide them from others, thinking we “shouldn’t” feel the way we do. For example, if you feel ashamed, you may feel the urge to hide your feelings from others. David describes how he often feels this way if he makes errors during his teaching–he thinks he has to hide his shame from his students, thinking a Stanford professor should not have such feelings!

David emphasizes that even include famous people who claim to be experts in communication have the urge to hide their feelings. David describes an awkward but funny interaction he had recently with a famous communication expert at the recent Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference.

Your homework for the week is to use five “I Feel” Statements every day. They can be positive as well as negative, and it can something as simple as “I feel great because the sun is shining today,” or “I feel sad and disappointed because my talk wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped, and someone in the audience was critical of me.”

David, Helen, and Fabrice emphasize once again that using the Five Secrets one at a time is artificial, like the practice exercises on musical instrument. So the homework exercises are like that. Once you’ve master each of the Five Secrets, and you have a feel for how they work, you can integrate and weave them together masterfully in challenging real life situations that are sensitive and important to you.

And Helen emphasizes the crucial idea that the Five Secrets will only help you if you have a sincere desire to resolve conflicts and to develop more loving and successfully relationships with others.

Fabrice and I hope you enjoy our Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and some five star ratings if you like what we’re doing!

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068: Five Secrets Training–Inquiry: Helen Returns!

068: Five Secrets Training–Inquiry: Helen Returns!

Secrets of Successful Job Interviewing, Deeper Intimacy, Overcoming Shyness, and Other Interpersonal Goodies!

David, Helen and Fabrice discuss Inquiry, the third of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. Inquiry means asking gentle, probing questions to learn more about what the other person is thinking and feeling. Although this technique sounds simple, it can be incredibly powerful and helpful.

David, Helen and Fabrice give many examples of how to use this techniques skillfully, as well as common errors to avoid. They also explain why and how this technique can sometimes be life-transforming, especially for individuals who feel shy and awkward in social situations.

Inquiry is an incredibly powerful technique to use when interviewing for a job, or for admission to a college or graduate school, especially when combined with Stroking, the fifth of the Five Secrets. David tells a hilarious story of how he got into the Stanford Medical School by using Inquiry and Stroking when he was interview by the Chairman of the Anatomy Department in the dark, spooky basement of the Stanford Museum.

David hikes for several hours every weekend with individuals from his weekly training group at Stanford, and does personal work with them along the way. He describes working with a woman who had crippling shyness since childhood, due to her belief that she was a “loser” and that people would find her boring. The use of “Inquiry” along with “I Feel” Statements (self-disclosure) during the hike was life-transforming when she disclosed her shyness to two elderly men walking with their dogs. The story is inspirational!

David also describes how another hiker could use “Inquiry” to help with a marital problem that had been bothering him for several months.

David encourages listeners (that includes you!) to try using Inquiry five times each day, even in superficial interactions with people in any setting, such as the grocery store, and gives examples of how to do this. Although this will not be the deepest application of Inquiry, the simple daily practice will give you a clear understanding of how this technique works. Practice is the key to growth and learning. You can’t get it just be listening or reading.

You can also accelerate your learning by reading Dr. Burns’ book, Feeling Good Together, and doing the written exercises while you read! You can order the book on Amazon.

Next week, our wonderful Helen joins us again for the Podcast on “I Feel” Statements.

Fabrice and I hope you enjoy our Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and some five star ratings if you like what we’re doing!

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Two Common Five Secrets Errors: Don’t Sound like a Parrot! When to Help and When to Listen.

Two Common Five Secrets Errors: Don’t Sound like a Parrot! When to Help and When to Listen.

 

Dear colleague,

I recently received two emails from a podcast listener named Angela who had excellent questions about the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. Feel free to send me your emails with questions as well!

If you are having trouble using the Five Secrets, the most powerful way to get great feedback is to think of a specific interaction that did not go well. Then if you will send me an example of exactly what the other person said to you, and exactly what you said next, Fabrice and I can give you some hopefully good feedback on what went wrong and how to correct it!

Anyway, let’s see what’s on Angela’s mind . . . .

David

* * *

Hi Dr. Burns,

I have two questions based on your recent podcasts on the Five Secrets of Effective Communication.

1. I’m having trouble with “I Feel” Statements. In fact, I really dislike it when someone says to me, “I can see how you must feel ____”. It sounds so clinical to me! How can I use this technique in a more casual way that reflects empathy without sounding artificial.

2. I Just finished listening to podcast 067 on empathy. You mentioned that one of the errors is trying to correct someone’s cognitive distortions when they are upset. I understand that would interfere with the empathy and listening, but at what point in the conversation is it OK to bring solutions to the conversation?

For example, I was teaching a group of youth and they were talking about all the problems in the church. I let them talk for a bit, but then I directed them by asking what they thought they could do to create solutions. I am second guessing myself now, because I wonder if I may have not had the right empathy for that situation.

Angela

* * * 

Hi Angela,

Thank you for both excellent questions. It really enhances our podcasts when you ask questions. Brings things to life, and allows us to go into more depth.

Fabrice is out on a much needed break, and won’t return for about six weeks or so. The podcasts will continue each week, however, since we have pre-recorded enough ahead of time. I will address your questions here, so you won’t have to wait.

How can I avoid sounding phony or “clinical”?

Let’s look at your first question. The statement, “I can see how you must feel ____” is one of the many errors people make with Thought and Feeling Empathy. You are right in finding that annoying! If you sound “clinical” or “canned” when you use any of the Five Secrets, it probably won’t be very effective, as you know, and will probably backfire. Thought and Feeling Empathy have to be genuine and come from the heart. Sadly, many people are looking for simple gimmicks or formulas, and they don’t get really great responses from others.

If you give a specific example of something the other person said to you, and what you said next, I would gladly make suggestions for how to improve your response! This type of exchange is exactly what is need to make this a better learning experience.

However, just in general, I can make a few suggestions:

  1. First, what you refer to as an “I Feel” Statement is actually Feeling Empathy. An “I Feel” Statement is where you express your own feelings. Feeling Empathy is where you acknowledge how the other person may be feeling.
  2. When you are acknowledging someone else’s feelings, it is rarely or never wise to say, “You must be feeling X, Y, and Z,” because the person may NOT feel that way. In addition, a statement like this has the danger of sounding like you are some kind of expert, and the other person may even feel judged and then respond defensively. So your annoyance, in my opinion, is entirely justified!

I prefer to say something like this:

“Given what you just said, I wouldn’t be surprised if you might be feeling A, B and C, and for good reason. Can you tell me more about how you are feeling?” (A, B, and C would be words for the Feeling Words chart.)

This response combines Feeling Empathy with Inquiry, and sounds a bit more humble and respectful, at least to my ear.

  1. In addition, I almost always try to include an “I Feel” Statement when I’m using Thought and Feeling Empathy, so I will sound human, and not like a robot or a parrot, simply repeating the other person’s words. Here’s an example:

“It’s painful for me to hear that you’ve been having such a hard time lately because I like you and have a lot of respect for you. (Stroking; “I Feel” Statement) You say you’ve been feeling panicky, depressed and angry about the pressure and lack of support at work. (Feeling Empathy) I’d like to hear more about what’s been going on, and what it’s been like for you. (Inquiry)”

When Should I Help? When Should I Listen?

Now I’ll address your second question about helping vs. listening, and when to do what. When I’m working with patients who feel depressed, anxious, or angry, I do pure empathy until they give me an “A” on empathy. Then I ask if they want help with anything they’ve been talking about, and if this a good time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

If the patient says he or she DOES want help and IS ready to get to work, I ask what he or she wants help with. That’s because patients may discuss a variety of problems during the Empathy phase of the session (or conversation if it is with a friend or family member.)

Once he or she states what problem he or she wants to work on, I go through the five steps of Paradoxical Agenda Setting so as to melt away the patient’s resistance prior to using any methods to help the patient.

The difficulty, potentially, with the approach you took is the high likelihood that the kids you were working with will fell you represent “authority” and that you are trying to sell them on your own thinking and values, rather than honoring their complaints about the church, which were likely valid! They didn’t really ask you to help them find solutions to these problems–that was YOUR agenda. Whenever I impose my own agenda on a group or individual, it tends not to work very well.

Paradoxical Agenda Setting is challenging to learn, but extremely powerful. Here are some suggestions if you want to learn more:

  1. My psychotherapy eBook (entitled Tools, Not Schools, of Therapy) might be helpful to you. You can click here for the order form if you are interested.
  2. An online TEAM-CBT course could help. I listed two yesterday.
  3. If you are in the Bay Area, I offer unlimited weekly free psychotherapy training at Stanford. Click here for more information on times, locations, and individuals to contact for free or paid, in person or online, TEAM-CBT training groups.
  4. I offer workshops on TEAM-CBT around the US and Canada. One of the very best is my summer intensive at the South San Francisco Training Center. Watch my website workshop page for updates of topics and locations.
  5. You could find a mentor for supervision and consultation at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, California. They also have a TEAM-CBT Certification program which is excellent!

David

 

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Training Opportunities with Dr. Jill Levitt!

Training Opportunities with Dr. Jill Levitt!

Hi all!

See below for two announcements about two upcoming training opportunities from the Feeling Good Institute. Both presentations will focus on David’s amazing Paradoxical Agenda Setting methods. Hope to see some of you there!

Warmly, Jill Levitt, PhD

Happy Holidays!

Give yourself the gift of renewed energy and excitement in your therapy practice with new motivational and resistance-busting tools. At Feeling Good Institute we have years of experience practicing and teaching Dr. David Burns’ techniques to reduce resistance and boost motivation. These techniques help us avoid power struggles with our patients, increase patient motivation, and energize the work we do. We are excited to share what we have learned with our fellow therapists! Please join me and my colleagues for one or both options:

1. Melting Away Resistance in CBT with Jill Levitt, Ph.D. LIVE ONLINE. Four Mondays. Starts Monday January 22nd, 11am-12:45pm PST (2-3:45pm EST). $245 for four weekly 1 hr 45 min. classes. 7 CEs. Space is limited to 25 participants to maximize individual attention and learning.

Online using group video conferencing

Instruction includes didactic teaching, large group demonstrations and small group role play to reinforce skills learned.

2. Step by Step Methods to Reduce Resistance and Boost Motivation with Challenging Patients: A Daylong Workshop for Therapists with Maor Katz MD, Jill Levitt Ph.D., and Angela Krumm Ph.D. Sunday January 21st 9am-4pm PST (12-7pm EST) $135. 6 CEs. ON SITE OR LIVE ONLINE from Palo Alto, CA.

Step by Step CBT Methods to Reduce Resistance and Boost Motivation with Challenging Patients. A Daylong Workshop for Therapists.

Sunday 1/21/18, 9am-4pm PST (12-7pm EST)

Online using group video conferencing or On-site in Palo Alto, CA.

Both courses can be used towards TEAM-CBT certification.

Click on each link below to learn more

Learn More

Learn More

Click on my Facebook tab on https://feelinggood.com/ if you’d like to watch me each week on my Live Facebook broadcast each Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m. PST. Make sure to “like” my Public Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidBurnsMD/ so you can watch it on my page or yours.How to Find My FB Broadcasts

Join me as I answer mental health questions from viewers — therapists and non-therapists alike — from all over the world. Type your question in the Facebook feed and I’ll do my best to answer it.

If you miss the broadcast you can watch the saved videos on my Facebook page! Also, viewers can watch these Live Facebook broadcasts as well as other interesting TEAM-CBT videos on the Feeling Good Institute’s YouTube channel!

The David and Fabrice Feeling Good Podcasts

Fabrice and I hope you also enjoy our Feeling Good Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and some five star ratings if you like what we’re doing! We are already enjoying 25,000 downloads per month from listeners like you. Thank you so much for your support of our podcasts!

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At least one listener has had problems leaving an iTunes review from his i-phone, so Fabrice has created some simple to follow instructions if you need help.