149: Is Cognitive Therapy a Cure-All for Everything?

149: Is Cognitive Therapy a Cure-All for Everything?

I recently published the results of a survey of Feeling Good Podcast fans like yourself. The findings were overwhelmingly positive and illuminating. However, there were a few criticisms as well, like the excellent and thoughtful comments Rhonda and I will address in this podcast. I appreciate negative feedback, as this provides the greatest opportunities for growth and learning. 

However, like most people, I sometimes find criticisms emotionally challenging  and want to lash out, defending myself! Do you sometimes feel that way, too?

When I feel defensive, its because I think I have a “self” or some cherished “territory” that’s under attack. When I let go of this “self,” it can be incredibly liberating to find truth in a criticism and discover that the feedback is really coming from a trusted colleague or friend, rather than some enemy who is trying to destroy or defeat you! 

Here’s what s/he wrote:

Dr. Burns, you seem to disregard healing modalities outside of CBT. CBT is wonderful and nobody teachers it better than Dr Burns—I believe that it is a foundational practice to well-being. However, working with difficult emotions is very important and not always well addressed through CBT alone.

Thinking CBT is the answer for most issues is loaded with cognitive distortions. Example–Discounting the Positive in other practices, All or Nothing Thinking, Magical Thinking, and seeing CBT as a “cure all.” In my personal healing journey CBT has been absolutely essential–as has self compassion, learning to let things go, inner child work, mindfulness, somatic awareness and more. I have noticed there has repeatedly been a dismissive tone for other valuable practices.

Obviously. the Feeling Good Podcast is about CBT and sticking to your expertise is essential. However, I would be careful not to disregard other healing practices that could potentially help someone out.

I have such respect for Dr Burns and his team-but your words carry weight- please be thoughtful about discounting other methods that could be helping someone.

Thank you, whoever you are, for this thought-provoking feedback. And you are SO RIGHT. Cognitive Therapy has value for some problems, but it is definitely NOT a panacea. In fact, no treatment is! The belief that you have THE ANSWER for everything is incredibly misguided but unfortunately, way too common in our field. 

I have no doubt that many people have shared your concerns. Let us know what you think after you hear today’s podcast! 

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.

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

* * *

There will be two more intensives
for you this summer and fall! The SF program is starting soon, so act fast if you want to attend.

 

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

The intensives are always THE BEST!
I hope you can join me at one of these incredible events!

 

148: Ask David: What’s in your new book? What’s a nervous breakdown? How fast is fast? And more!

148: Ask David: What’s in your new book? What’s a nervous breakdown? How fast is fast? And more!

How would you overcome the fear of aging?

Can you use TEAM for sports psychology?

Describe your typical day, David–
do you ever get down or anxious?

Hi Listeners:

Thanks for your many and awesome questions. I love to answer them! And there will be more to come in future podcasts. Your questions are GREAT! 

  1. Vipul: Tell us about your new book, Feeling Great. How will it be different from Feeling Good? And can people with schizoaffective disorder be helped? (story with Stirling Moorey)
  2. Guy: What’s a nervous breakdown?
  3. Rob: How would you treat a field goal kicker who’s afraid of missing the winning field goal? Would you use positive visualizations?
  4. Michael: How would you treat someone with the fear of aging? I turn 60 in a few months, and have been experiencing anxiety around not be able to do some of the things I love as I age.
  5. Hidem: How fast is fast? I notice your frequent use of the term “High Speed Recovery” (and even Warp Speed) when describing the benefits of TEAM CBT. How rapidly does the average patient recover?
  6. Brittany: I had an idea that I think would benefit a lot of us. I’d like you to do a podcast on a week or a day in your life. The ups & downs of your moods, triggers, etc., & most importantly how you deal with them. Do you write out your own Negative Thoughts a Daily Mood Log?

Thank you for all of your great questions, comments, and testimonials! Rhonda and I really appreciate that!  

David and Rhonda

PS Here’s a great question we did not get to today. We’ll do it in a future Ask David, as it’s really important. 

  1. Rubens: What can you do when you can’t identify your negative thoughts? I get anxious, but don’t seem to have any negative thoughts. Is it really true that our feelings always result from negative thoughts?

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.

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

* * *

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

 

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

 

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

147: High-Speed Treatment of PTSD?

147: High-Speed Treatment of PTSD?

Is it REALLY Possible? And Can the Effects Last?

Rhonda and David interview Garry, a veteran who David treated for PTSD several years ago at a trauma workshop in Michigan. Garry describes how a repressed horrific memory from his childhood suddenly and forcefully re-emerged when he smelled some Queen Anne’s Lace that were in blossom. He suddenly remembered how a school bus he was riding home on hit a horse with a boy, Tommy, who was riding bareback, when the horse suddenly lurched in front of the bus. Tommy was Gary’s classmate.

The bus driver said, “Don’t look!” But Garry watched as his friend, who was trapped under the dead horse, “bled out” and died.

Once this totally forgotten memory re-emerged decades later, roughly 18 months prior to Garry’s session with David, it constantly intruded into Garry’s every interaction for the next year and a half. Garry says,

“I was seeing Tommy all the time, and having symptoms of anxiety, intrusive memory and dissociation experiences. I would often see the image of Tommy lying on the pavement superimposed over conversations I was happened with people in an intimate way. It was quite disturbing and anxiety provoking.”

Garry tearfully describes what he experienced during his TEAM-CBT session with David, including his dissociation at one point during the session, and the profound changes he experienced by the end of the session.

Can severe PTSD be treated in a single therapy session? Did Garry really improve? Were the changes real? Did they last? And how did the therapy work?

You’ll find out when you listen to this amazing and inspiring interview! We are incredibly indebted to Garry for his courage and openness to share this experience with all of you!

 

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.

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

* * *

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

 

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

 

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

146: When Helping Doesn’t Help!

146: When Helping Doesn’t Help!

Hi Listeners:

Most people do not do a very good at helping loved ones, colleagues, or friends who are upset and complaining. Have you ever noticed that when you try to help or give advice they just keep complaining? This can be very frustrating–fortunately there’s a fabulous solution to this universal problem. 

This special podcast features our guest, Dr. Jill Levitt, the Director of Clinical Training at the Feeling Good Institute. Jill is also one of the teachers at David’s Tuesday evening psychotherapy training group at Stanford, as is our esteemed podcast host, Dr. Rhonda.

Jill describes the “helping” errors she made when her son became despondent after some painful foot surgery. Following the surgery, he was in a cast for weeks, and when the cast was removed, he discovered that he could not move or feel his toes. This is common, and results from muscle atrophy when you are in a cast, and is not dangerous.

However, Jill’s son was very discouraged and frustrated, and told his mom that he didn’t feel like going to school and thought he wasn’t ever going to get better. Jill felt exhausted from all the demands on her that day, trying to get him off to school, and trying to get to work on time, and so forth, and gave in to the urge to say things like, “You’re going to be fine,” which were totally ineffective. 

Jill describes a similar error that she made when her mother also complained about foot problems and the need for surgery. Her mother loves to hike and was upset that she’d be unable to hike for some time. Jill, perhaps feeling a little impatient with her mom, suggested other forms of exercise, like swimming, and this simply increased her mother’s complaints.

I’ll bet you’ve experienced this same thing when you tried to “help” someone who was complaining. Even therapists make this type of error all the time. 

Rhonda, Jill, and I discussed the most common errors we all make when we lose patience with someone who’s complaining, and illustrated the techniques that are effective. As usual, they involve the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, especially Disarming, Stroking, and Feeling Empathy, along with some compassionate I Feel Statements.

We also discussed the phenomenon of drifting in and out of Enlightenment, a concept first described by the Buddha. It is easy to drift out of enlightenment when we are rushing around, trying to get breakfast on the table, lunches made, kids to school, and ourselves off to work. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated at those moments.

Part of the process may include forgiving ourselves when we make mistakes, and using the 5-Secrets to repair relationships with our loved ones when we do. In fact, this can even lead to deeper and more loving relationships. 

We also discussed a closely related and possibly controversial theme–is it okay to use the Five Secrets just to get someone to stop complaining, especially if you’re angry with that person and they tend to complain most or all of the time? Do you always have to use the Five Secrets in a totally sincere manner? 

I want to thank Dr. Levitt for joining us in this inspiring and illuminating podcast. Whenever Jill teaches, the heavens open up, and this podcast is no exception. Jill is simply a fabulous therapist, teacher, and human being! 

Click here if you are interested in some online training with Jill!

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.

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

* * *

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

 

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

 

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

145: The TEAM Therapy Paradoxes

145: The TEAM Therapy Paradoxes

Hi Listeners:

Many of our podcasts are inspired by listeners like you who send us really cool emails with show ideas. Sometimes the emails are from people wanting self-help with emotional or relationship conflicts. And sometimes, they are from therapists wanting more training and information about TEAM. Rhonda and I love your emails!

Yesterday, I got the following email from Dipti Joshi, one of our listeners and TEAM-CBT therapists from India. Dipti flew all the way from India to Canada with her lovely daughter last summer for my intensive in Whistler, Canada. I am hopeful that Dipti will one day create the first TEAM Treatment and Training Center in India. How cool would that be!

Here’s the email that Dipti sent me:

Dear David,

I am really enjoying all the educational materials available on your website. Thank you! I will soon be taking my Level 3 TEAM certification exam, and am seeking your kind blessings for the same!

Also, I have a special request for you. Is it possible to have a workshop or podcast on “paradoxical techniques?” I feel this is a very challenging area, and that a lot of skill is needed. Perhaps you can also talk about why paradoxical techniques can be so effective.

Meanwhile can you suggest me something to read or listen to for this?

Regards, Dipti 

Thanks, Dipit! Today’s podcast will be an introduction to the use of paradox in TEAM therapy, a kind of overview. When my new book, Feeling Great, comes out, I am hoping to do a series of workshops on a variety of powerful paradoxical techniques. And of course, the new book will have a great deal of instruction on paradoxical techniques as well.

These are the four key components of TEAM:

T = Testing

E = Empathy

A = (Paradoxical) Agenda Setting

M = Methods

In today’s podcast, Dr. Rhonda and I will explain why each of these components is inherently paradoxical. For example, when you do the T = Testing, you assess changes in the patient’s symptoms from the start to the end of the session, and the patient rates you on the Empathy and Helpfulness scales as well, When you look at the ratings, you will probably discover that you aren’t helping your patient much, if at all. You may also discover that your perceptions of how the patient feels, and how the patients feels about  you, are off-base, and sometimes alarmingly so.

This can be very disturbing, especially if you’re not use to this kind of information. However, in TEAM, we are actually hoping for failure, and welcome that kind of “disturbing” information. Why is this? Isn’t therapy all about recovery and making positive changes? Why in the world would the therapist want to know that he or she is not helping?

It’s because many of the most important breakthroughs in therapy come from the therapist’s discovery that he or she is failing. We WANT to fail! Why? 

David illustrates this paradox by describing his discovery that he was not actually helping a patient he thought he’d helped enormously. David explains how and why this shocking information led to a tremendous breakthrough.

When you review how your patient rated you at the end of the session, you may discover that your patient gives you failing grades on the E = Empathy scale. The patient’s ratings may indicate that he or she didn’t experience you as sufficiently warm and caring, or completely trustworthy, and that you didn’t really “get” how she or he was feeling inside.

Once again, as TEAM therapists we welcome failing grades on the Empathy Scale. Why? It’s because your worst therapeutic failure will nearly always be your greatest success in disguise.

How can this be? It seems absurd, or impossible. Karl Rogers told us that empathy is the necessary and sufficient condition for personality change. So why would a TEAM therapist hope to discover that he or she is failing in this category?

You’ll discover the explanation for this paradox on today’s podcast.

When the patient asks for help during the A = Agenda Setting phase of the session, the TEAM therapist doesn’t jump in and offer to help, using this or that therapy method. In fact, the TEAM therapist will often assume the role of the patient subconscious resistance and argue for the status quo, sincerely encouraging the patient to cling to the feelings of depression, anxiety, shame, worthlessness, hopelessness, and anger. The therapist will bring out all the reasons why the patient should RESIST change.

Why in the world would a therapist want to do that? It sounds crazy! You’ll find out on this podcast.

And finally, during the M = Methods phase of the session, the TEAM therapist will be working with the patient on his or her negative thoughts, like, “I’m worthless,” or “I’m not as good as I should be,” or “I’m hopelessly damaged because of the abuse I experienced as a child.” And the TEAM therapist’s goal is not success, but rather failing as fast as you can, trying technique after technique that DOESN’T work and the patient’s belief in the Negative Thought is still 100%.

Why would a therapist want to fail over and over? Isn’t that the opposite of what a skillful, compassionate, and effective therapist would want to do?

Listen to this podcast and you’ll discover the answer to these questions. You’ll also see that the patient, not the therapist, is the expert in TEAM, and discover how the patient, and not the therapist, guides all the changing.

David and Rhonda talk about the important difference between healthy and unhealthy use of paradoxical ideas and techniques in therapy, and describe how narcissistic therapists may use paradoxical techniques in an effort to manipulate “resistant” or annoying patients. This dysfunctional use of paradox is unfortunately common, and will rarely or never be effective. 

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.

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

* * *

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

 

If you have ever dreamed of bringing extremely rapid healing to your patients, this is a workshop you won’t want to miss. David Burns, MD, will present TEAM-CBT: a new, powerful treatment approach that can produce rapid and lasting changes in mild or severe depression and anxiety. Lectures, videos and live demonstrations by a master therapist will be followed by opportunities to practice the techniques with your colleagues.

These exercises will leave you with a deeper, richer appreciation of the practice of psychotherapy as well as a variety of innovative new tools you’ll be able to apply right away in your clinical work. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to do your own personal work during the workshop so you can experience greater self-esteem and joy in your professional work and in your personal life as well.

High-Speed Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

w/ David Burns, MD

32 hrs of CE credit available

Workshops in S. San Francisco and Atlanta!

Register with friends and save 20%!

<Register>

There will also be a four-day intensive in Calgary, and it’s coming up SOON, so act fast if you’d like to register. The Calgary intensive will be similar to the SF and Atlanta intensives, but there will be no evening sessions. Instead, Dr. Burns will lead informal evening hikes for those who are interested, followed by dinner. On the hikes, you can do personal work, ask questions, practice techniques, or just schmooze with colleagues and have fun!

Or, you can just relax and unwind every evening, and absorb all the wonderful new ideas and methods you’re learning!

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

David Burns, MD

 

144: Ask David–Relationships, Relationships, Relationships!

144: Ask David–Relationships, Relationships, Relationships!

 

My wife claims that I never listen! How can I possibly agree with her? 

My wife left me! How can I correct the distortions in her criticisms?

How can you deal with people who constantly wallow in self-pity?

And more!

Hi podcast fans,

Today we’ve got some terrific Five Secrets questions that you have submitted.

  1. Mike #1: I love your Five Secrets of Effective Communication. Why does secret #4, “I Feel” Statements, not include Thought Empathy?
  2. Mike #2: I have seen communication models that include expressing and listening for needs. Aren’t needs and wants important and important to express?
  3. Al: How can I help my wife recognize her many cognitive distortions, like All-or-Nothing Thinking? It seems hopeless!
  4. Guy: If a loved one says, “You never listen,” how could I possibly find the truth in this statement? How could you genuinely agree with an All-or-Nothing statement such as, “You never ….”?
  5. Both Sonja and Eileen asked: How can you deal with someone who constantly wallows in self-pity and plays the role of victim. It’s exhausting!

Thanks for tuning in, and keep the great questions coming!

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.

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

* * *

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

 

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

 

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

 

143: Performance Anxiety: The Conclusion

143: Performance Anxiety: The Conclusion

Session with Rhonda, Part 2

Last week we published the first half of the session with Rhonda, who was struggling with severe performance anxiety about her work as the new host of the Feeling Good Podcast host. We did the initial T = Testing, which indicated many intense negative feelings, as well as E = Empathy phase of TEAM therapy session.

This week, we include the conclusion of the session, with A = Paradoxical Agenda Setting and M = Methods, plus final T = Testing to see how effective, or ineffective the session was.

As a reminder of the work we did on the last podcast, you can review Rhonda’s Daily Mood Log here.

When you listen, you will see that the changes Rhonda experienced were amazing. But were these changes real? It almost seem too easy, and too fast, especially for a problem that started in childhood and persisted right up to the present moment. Was the session just a publicity stunt, perhaps, or some kind of superficial quick fix? David asks Rhonda about this, as well as this question: ‘If the changes were real, what caused such rapid and profound changes?

David and Rhonda used many TEAM-CBT techniques they during the session, including these:

  1. David Empathized with the Five Secrets of Effective Communication at the start of the session during the E = Empathy phase. Of course, good empathy is necessary throughout a therapy session.
  2. David melted away Rhonda’s resistance during the A = Paradoxical Agenda Setting. These techniques included:
    1. Straightforward Invitation
    2. Miracle Cure Question
    3. Magic Button
    4. Positive Reframing
    5. Pivot Question
    6. Magic Dial
  3. The M = Methods that were helpful in this session included:
    1. The Individual Downward Arrow to identify the Self-Defeating Beliefs that triggered Rhonda’s feelings of inadequacy.Rhonda enjoyed this exercise and felt it was on target.  We identified many Self-Defeating Beliefs, including:
      1.  Perfectionism
      2. Perceived Perfectionism
      3. Achievement Addiction
      4. Approval Addiction
      5. Love Addiction
      6. Fear of Rejection
      7. Submissiveness
      8. Inadequacy schema
      9. Spotlight Fantasy
      10. Brushfire Fallacy
      11. Superwoman
    2. The Interpersonal Downward Arrow to illuminate how Rhonda saw her relationship with her father, with David, and with some other people, including the podcast listeners. This is kind of like Psychoanalysis at warp speed. Rhonda said this felt uncomfortable, perhaps because it cast David somewhat as a dangerous ogre!
    3. David and Rhonda smashed several of Rhonda’s Self-Defeating Beliefs with the Feared Fantasy Technique
    4. Identify the Distortions
    5. Paradoxical Double Standard Technique
    6. Externalization of Voices
    7. Acceptance Paradox / Self-Defense Paradigm
    8. Self-Disclosure / Exposure
    9. The Experimental Technique
    10. Thinking in Shades of Gray

Finally, if the changes were real, will they last? Or will Rhonda just slip back into more performance anxiety and self-doubt?

You can click on this link if you’d like to review the evolution of Rhonda’s Daily Mood Log during the session. Please notice that the link is several pages long.

You can also see Rhonda’s ratings on the Brief Mood Survey before and after the session and review her ratings of David on the Empathy and Helpfulness scales at the end of the session. You might want to read her interesting comments on what she liked the least, and what she liked the most about her session with David.

I want to thank Rhonda, my esteemed colleague, friend, and wonderful podcast host, for giving all of us this incredible gift of her humanness.

And I, Rhonda, want to thank the most marvelous, compassionate and incredible David Burns, for the gift of healing and facilitating me experiencing enlightenment and peace from these difficult feelings and negative thoughts that were devastating me.  I feel so much gratitude for all of our work together, for your trusting me enough to invite me to be the host of these podcasts, and for the gift of your friendship.  Words can’t express the full depth of my love for you and for everything you have given me both personally and professionally!

Did you like the personal work we did? Was it helpful for you personally? Rhonda took a chance and was courageous to share this intensely personal experience with you. Let us know if you liked the podcast!

If you are a therapist, or an interested patient, let us know if this was it a good learning experience. Would you like to hear more podcasts with live personal work?

We are here to serve you, so share your thoughts and feelings with us, as well as your wish list for future podcasts!

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.

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

* * *

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

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

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

“I sound stupid! . . . Ouch!”

Have you ever struggled with performance anxiety, thinking you might fail or not be good enough? I think it is fair to say that every therapist in my Tuesday training group at Stanford has struggled with fairly intense feelings of anxiety and self-doubt, and perhaps you have, too, thinking you should be smarter or better than you are, and fearing that others would judge you if they saw your “true self.” In fact, I would suspect that most of our podcast fans have struggled with these feelings at some time during your life, and maybe even recently or now.

Well, today, we’ve got a wonderful program in store for you. Our own Dr. Rhonda Barovsky asked me for personal help with her own anxieties about being the new podcast host. I asked if she wanted to do it live, on a podcast, and she generously agreed!

In this heart-warming and very human session, Rhonda shares the negative thoughts and feelings she had when she listened to herself on several podcasts and begin noticing this or that error she made. She felt intensely down, anxious, ashamed, inadequate, rejected, embarrassed, discouraged, frustrated, and angry, to name just a few of her negative feelings, and her mind was flooded with negative thoughts like these:

  1. I sound stupid and inarticulate, and some of my comments were inaccurate, like when I said psychiatric diagnoses are meaningless labels.
  2. I’ve had feelings of insecurity ever since I was a child, and should be over this by now!
  3. David is going to regret having me as the podcast host!
  4. Everyone will know I’m a fraud, and no one will like or respect me.
  5. People will judge and reject me, and I’ll end up ostracized and alone.

She believed these thoughts at 100%. You might recall that the Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for emotional distress are:

  1. You have one or more negative thoughts.
  2. You believe the negative thoughts.

In today’s podcast, you will hear the first half of the session, which included T = Testing as well as E = Empathy. During the Empathy phase, David also included two Uncovering Techniques, the individual Downward Arrow Technique and the Interpersonal Downward Arrow Technique, so that he and Rhonda could identify the Self-Defeating Beliefs under the surface, like Perfectionism, Perceived Perfectionism, the Approval Addiction, Superwoman, and more.

This is because there are two goals in TEAM-CBT. The first goal is to crush the negative thoughts in the here and now, so that you’ll feel relief. The second goal is to modify the Self-Defeating Beliefs so you’ll be less prone to similar thoughts and feelings in the future.

In next week’s podcast, you will hear the second half of the session, which included A = (Paradoxical) Agenda Setting and M = Methods. You’ll also hear the final T = Testing to find out how effective the session was, and how Rhonda rated David on Empathy and Helpfulness.

I think you’ll find that both sessions are incredibly inspiring and wonderful sources of learning as well. I want to give a shout out to Rhonda for being so courageous and vulnerable and real, and for making this live therapy session possible! After you’ve heard Part 2 next week, let us know what you think!

You’ve all responded very positively to the live therapy we’ve done on the Feeling Good Podcasts, and you’ve asked for more. Rhonda and I are committed to making that happen for you, and we are both so grateful for your support, which means a lot to both of us. Thank you!

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.

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

* * *

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

141: Two-Year Follow-Up with Mark: “I’ve been a failure as a father.”

141: Two-Year Follow-Up with Mark: “I’ve been a failure as a father.”

Are the rapid changes real? And do they last?

In the Spring of 2017, we published our first live TEAM therapy session so our listeners could peak behind closed doors to see an actual TEAM therapy session. Although the session lasted about two hours, we broke it up into seven consecutive podcasts including expert commentary on each segment of the session.

If you have not yet heard them, they were Feeling Good Podcast #29, published on April 10, 2017 through Podcast #35, on May 1, 2017 which was exactly two years from the time today’s podcast was recorded.

My co-therapist for this session was Dr. Jill Levitt, the Director of Clinical Training at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, California. Our patient was a physician named Mark who’d had two goals for his life when he was growing up. The first goal was to become an outstanding doctor. The second goal was to have a large and loving family.

At the start of the session, Mark confessed that although he’d achieved his first goal, he’d failed to achieve his second goal because he wasn’t able to get close to his sons, especially his oldest son. At the start of the session he rated his relationship with his son on the Relationship Satisfaction Scale as only 2 out of 30, an extraordinarily low score. In addition, his scores on the Daily Mood Log indicated he felt very sad, unhappy, guilty, and ashamed. He also felt very inadequate, lonely, self-conscious, discouraged and defeated, frustrated, and somewhat resentful and upset, too. He confessed that he’d felt this way for years.

By the end of the session, these feelings had largely disappeared, and Mark was in a state of joy. In fact, we all felt elated—but will it last?

Many people complain that the rapid and dramatic change I experienced when I do TEAM therapy cannot be real, and cannot last, and that it has to be superficial or fake. They insist that real change can only unfold slowly, over years, or even after a decade or more of talk therapy. I respect critical thinking, and if you’d told me that such rapid and dramatic changes were possible ten years ago, before TEAM had emerged with all the new technology, I would have thought you were a con artist too!

Of course, others have argued the other side of the coin, pointing out that TEAM is research-based and genuinely appears to represent a significant, or even amazing breakthrough in psychotherapy for depression and anxiety, and that the changes ARE real. They have also argued that rapid change should be the goal of treatment, rather than just nursing people along for prolonged periods of time without tangible and measurable changes.

Rhonda and I had the wonderful opportunity of sitting down to interview Mark this last Sunday, following one of my Sunday hikes, so we could try to get some answers to these questions. We asked Mark whether he now felt that the changes were real, and how he’d been doing in the two years since the session. Did the changes last?

The interview with Mark was pretty mind-blowing. He confessed that at the start of the session he, too, was very skeptical that years and years of negative feelings could be reversed in a single therapy session. Then he summarized the session he’d had with Dr. Levitt and me in May of 2017, and his tears flowed once again, as he recalled his feelings of failure at being unable to connect with his sons.

Rhonda asked Mark what happened after the session. Did he just relapse back into the same way he’d been feeling?

Mark said that right after his session, there was an amazing and almost instantaneous transformation of his relationships with all of his sons. He used the Five Secrets of Effective Communication for the first time in his interactions with his sons, and they opened up immediately. He has felt extremely happy, over joyed, really, and reported that:

  1. The changes were VERY real!
  2. The changes DID last.
  3. His relationships with his children and grandchildren are now fantastic.

Rhonda and I are incredibly indebted to Mark for giving us such a transformative and inspiring interview! It probably won’t quiet all of the critics, but this information may be illuminating and inspiring for those who are intrigued by the many new developments in TEAM-CBT.

And my message to those who are still critical of TEAM, or critical of me—please continue to use your critical thinking and skepticism when you evaluate TEAM or any other approach. It was my own skepticism about the things I learned during my residency training and clinical work that actually led to the emergence of TEAM therapy. I don’t want to quiet my critics, I want to praise all of you!

David and Rhonda

Coming Up Soon

Follow-Up with Gary: Rhonda and David interview Gary, a veteran who David treated for PTSD several years ago at a trauma workshop. Gary describes how a repressed horrific memory from his childhood suddenly and forcefully re-emerged when he smelled some Queen Anne’s Lace that were in blossom, and what he experienced during his TEAM-CBT session with David.

Can severe PTSD be treated in a single therapy session? You’ll find out when you listen to this amazing and emotional interview with Gary!

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.

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

* * *

Would you like to learn how to do TEAM-CBT?

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

140: Ask David–Hypochondria, Abuse Survivors, Healthy Euphoria, Mania, ADHD, LSD, and more!

140: Ask David–Hypochondria, Abuse Survivors, Healthy Euphoria, Mania, ADHD, LSD, and more!

Do I have ADHD? Is it a real disorder?

Hi podcast fans,

Today we’ve got some terrific questions that you have submitted.

General Questions

  1. Jose and Bri both asked: How would you treat hypochondria?
  2. Christian: How would you treat an abuse survivor? I’ve heard that talk therapy is inadequate for healing trauma!
  3. Ted: Is there such a thing as healthy euphoria?
  4. Hillary: Would you do a podcast covering the treatment of mania?
  5. Jim: I think I have ADHD, but some doctors claim it’s not a true diagnosis. What do you think?
  6. Dan: What your thoughts are on LSD in the treatment of depression and anxiety?

I could not get to all of your excellent questions in the time provided. The next time we do Ask David with general questions, we will include these:

  1. Guy: What’s a nervous breakdown?
  2. Rob: How would you treat a field goal kicker who’s afraid of missing the winning field goal? Would you use positive visualizations?
  3. Michael: How would you treat someone with the fear of aging? I turn 60 in a few months!
  4. Hidem: How fast is fast? You seem to get super-fast recoveries from your patients most of the time. How about other therapists? How rapidly does the average patient recover>
  5. Rubens: What you can do when you’re upset but can’t identify any negtaive thoughts?

Next week, our Ask David will focus on questions about relationship conflicts and problems. Rhonda and I have lots of other cool programs planned in upcoming weeks.

Thanks for tuning in today, and over the past months. We will hit one million downloads in a week or two (this is April, 2019). Rhonda, Fabrice, and I deeply appreciate your support!

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.

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

* * *

FOUR COOL UPCOMING WORKSHOPS FOR YOU

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

Coming in less than one week. Act fast if you want to reserve a seat!

by David D. Burns, MD and Jill Levitt, PhD

jill-david

Dr. Jill Levitt and I are offering what I think will be an outstanding workshop on the treatment of anxiety disorders on Sunday, May 19, 2019. IT IS LESS THAN ONE WEEK AWAY! Our Sunday workshops can be tremendously rewarding, so consider attending if you are interested.

The last Sunday workshop in February was really fun! We are SOLD OUT fin person, but still have spots online, and you can join us from anywhere in the world. Register soon if you are interested, as the online slots are also limited.

THERE WILL BE MANY EXPERT TRAINERS TO GUIDE THE ONLINE PARTICIPANTS DURING THE SMALL GROUP EXERCISES

We will have expert trainers in person as well, including David and Jill!

WHEN: May 19, 2019, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm PST
(11:30 am-7:30 pm EST)

WHERE: Join us live online or in person at the Creekside Inn, Palo Alto, CA.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? $135,

WILL I GET CE CREDITS? YES! 7 CE hours available

WILL I GET CREDIT IN THE TEAM LICENSURE PROGRAM? YES!
Completion of this workshop also counts towards TEAM-CBT Level 1, 2 or 3 Certification

WHO CAN ATTEND? Therapists of all levels are welcome

CAN I REGISTER IF I’M NOT A THERAPIST? Although the workshop is geared for therapists, it will be taught in a clear and basic way that anyone can benefit from.

WILL I HAVE FUN? Yes!

WILL I HAVE GET TO HANG OUT WITH SOME COOL COLLEAGUES? Yes!

WILL I GET AN AWESOME FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH? Yes!

You will love this lively, amusing, and immensely useful day of training with Drs. Burns, Levitt and the Feeling Good Institute Staff. The trainers will use a combination of didactic teaching, live demonstrations, video, and breakout group practice to enhance skill-building.

REGISTER / LEARN MORE

Act fast if you want to attend!

* * *

There will be three awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall!

July 15 – 18, 2019
Calgary, Canada four-day intensive
Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Assoc.

July 29 – August 1, 2019
South San Francisco four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis

November 4 – 7, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia four-day intensive
Sponsored by Praxis