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189: How to Crush Negative Thoughts: All-or-Nothing Thinking

This is the second in a series of podcasts by David and Rhonda focusing on the best techniques to crush each of the ten cognitive distortions I first published in my book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Today, we focus on All-or-Nothing Thinking. that’s where you look at the world in black-or-white categories, as if shades of gray do not exist. For example, if you’re not a complete success you may tell yourself that you’re a complete failure.

All-or-Nothing Thinking is one of the most common cognitive distortions, and it causes or contributes to many common forms of emotional distress, including:

  • perfectionism
  • depression
  • Social anxiety–
    • performance anxiety
    • public speaking anxiety
    • shyness
  • hopelessness and suicidal urges
  • anger, relationship conflicts, and violent urges
  • habits and addictions
  • and more

However, this distortion can be also be helpful to you, and may reflect some of your core values. For example, your perfectionism

  • shows that you have high standards, and won’t settle for second-best
  • may motivate you to work hard and do excellent work
  • prevents you from glossing over your failures and mistakes
  • intensifies your emotional life, which may feel like a glorious roller coaster ride, with intense ups (when you do well) and equally intense downs (when you fall short.)

So, before you can challenge a negative thought with this, or any distortion, you’ll have to decide why in the world you’d want to do that, given all the benefits of your negative thoughts and feelings.

One of the possible down sides of All-or-Nothing Thinking is that it simply does not map onto reality. There is little in the universe that is 100% or 0%. Most of the time, or even all of the time, we’re somewhere between 0% and !00%. For example, this podcast is not incredibly fantastic, or absolutely horrible. It is somewhere in-between, and will hopefully be of some value to you. While it clearly won’t solve ALL of your problems, it may be a useful step forward.

We describe a number of example of All-or-Nothing Thinking, including a physician who was trying to diet and ended up binging on a half gallon of ice cream, and a suicidal young woman with incredibly severe depression who was involved in self-mutilation.

There are many ways of crushing the negative thoughts that contain All-or-Nothing Thinking, including Thinking in Shades of Gray. Although that might sound rather drab in comparison to the drama of All-or-Nothing Thinking, you may discover that the world becomes far more colorful when you learn to think in shades of gray!

In the next podcast in this series, David and Rhonda will discuss the TEAM-CBT techniques that can especially helpful for the next distortion, Overgeneralization. David argues that Overgeneralization is arguably the cause of all depression and much anxiety, and that the first person to recognize and solve this dilemma was the Buddha, 2500 years ago. More on that topic next week!

David D. Burns, MD / Rhonda Barovsky, PsyD

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and specializes in TEAM-CBT for depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. She 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.

* * *

This is the cover of my new book, Feeling Great. It will be released in September of 2020, but you will soon be able to pre-order it on Amazon, possibly by the time you read this! 
CoverFeelingGreat1

Need Training or CE Credits?

Check Out these Awesome Upcoming Workshops!

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135 (online only)

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.

This workshop will be live-streamed (and in person in Palo Alto, CA) so you can join from anywhere in the world! There will be many expert online helpers to assist you with the small-group exercises.

Move rapidly if you want to come. We are already SOLD OUT in person, but there are still slots available online.

There will be many helpers from the Feeling Good Institute to assist and guide you in the small group exercises in person and online as well.  Our last workshop on resistance in February was our most highly rated ever! We hope to make this a terrific and fun learning experience for you, too!

Learn More & Register

* * *

2-Day Clinical Master Class

Rapid Recovery from Anxiety Disorders–
GAD, Phobias, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety,
OCD, PTSD and Health Anxiety

by David D. Burns, MD

June 4 – 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington

* * *

The All-New Annual South San Francisco Intensive!

Enhanced Empathy Training

August 10 – 13, 2020

It’s Going to Be Awesome!

Videos, Live Demonstrations

Small Group Practice with

Personal Feedback and Mentoring,

and Chances for Personal Work and Healing

During this four-day intensive workshop you will learn:

  • How to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with challenging, difficult clients.
  • How to deal skillfully with people who refuse to open up and talk to you; won’t listen; are relentlessly critical, narcissistic or controlling; always have to be right; use, abuse, or exploit you; complain endlessly; are hostile, threatening or violent; as well as clients who are overwhelmed, hopeless and suicidal.
  • How to develop more loving relationships with the people you care about—as well as the ones you don’t.
  • Powerful new techniques to help clients who are struggling with conflicts with loved ones, friends, or colleagues.
  • How to deal with the inner chatter and powerful feelings that make it so difficult to deal with conflict when you feel angry or hurt.
  • How to identify and modify the self-defeating beliefs that make us vulnerable to conflicts with others.
  • How to identify and melt away the intense outcome and process resistance that make the treatment of relationship problems so challenging.

Learn More and Register

* * *

Watch for the Awesome

December Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference

Anaheim, December 9 – 13, 2020

Sponsored by the Erikson Institute

It is always spectacular and I’ll be presenting, too!

Details TBA

Corona Cast 6: Love Story, Part 2–the Surprise Conclusion

Corona Cast 6: Love Story, Part 2–the Surprise Conclusion

On April 9, 2020, David and Rhonda did a live TEAM-CBT session with Dr. Taylor Chesney, a former student of David’s who is now the head of the Feeling Good Institute of New York City. Her husband, Gregg, is an ER / ICU (Emergency Room / Intensive Care) doctor in New York, and she was terrified he might contract the corona virus and die. Gregg was also terrified, as he had to intubate two of his colleagues who are struggling in the ICU, and recently had trouble breathing. He is working long hours and lives in a separate apartment to protect Taylor and their three young children.

The response to that podcast was extremely positive. Here’s an email from a therapist in India, Nivedita Singh:

Dear Dr Burns, Rhonda and Taylor,

Just finished listening to your 4th podcast of the Corona series. What an emotional roller coaster learning and healing journey it’s been. Can never ever thank you enough. Living far away in India and watching the Corona story unfold on the international news channels has been overwhelmingly scary for most of us, especially those who have our kids attending different schools in the United States. They share their fears and anxieties or protect us (their parents) by withholding it … both of which makes us feel helpless and fills us with dread.

The podcast today built some amazing perspective. Taylor is a Braveheart to Gregg being a Superhero. The podcast was so pure, had such integrity and absolute raw honesty! It required great courage from Taylor to allow her vulnerability to surface and an equal amount of brilliant skills set by both the therapists to communicate empathy that soothed the right spot not just for Taylor but for everyone of us across the globe who are dealing with the pandemic. When you addressed the distortions you were addressing all of us and our anxieties.The role play method had us confronting our own demons! Yes! All of us on this planet who have families stranded somewhere …  who are battling the virus …  or fighting in the front-lines, felt therapeutically addressed.

I personally found myself choking when Taylor did, relaxing when she relaxed and found myself to be gripped by fear when she became vulnerable again. I was on the rollercoaster with her. By the time the podcast drew to an end I could sense my shoulders relaxing … my breathing getting even and my fists unclenching. Something in the head or somewhere inside of me felt right. I insisted my family and friends listen to the podcast … and the unanimous feedback was that plenty of pennies dropped for all of us at different times in the podcast. You, Dr Burns and Rhonda made all of us feel less anxious, less fearful and more in control of our emotions; and also compassionate and super, super proud of the Greggs and Taylors of the world.

I am extremely grateful to Taylor (who I have met as a beautiful and driven young professional; and I got to see the devoted mum and wife in her) for letting us in to be a part of her journey. Wish her and her family lovely times ahead.This too shall pass …

Stay safe. Take care.

Warmly and even more awestruck (by you Dr Burns). Thank you again for giving us TEAM.

Nivedita Singh

(Your biggest fan this side of the Pacific).

One week after the recording of that podcast, Taylor learned that Gregg, has, in fact, been struck by the Covid-19 virus, so her worst fear has become a reality. What do you think happened? Did the monster have no teeth, as David sometimes argues?

Listen to this powerful podcast and you will find out!

David describes several patients he treated who had intense fears of going bankrupt, who did, in fact, go bankrupt while in treatment. What happened when their worse fears were realized–and why?

The cognitive model states that only our thoughts can upset us, and that the thoughts that upset us will be distorted. Depression and anxiety, David argues, are the world’s oldest cons. Could the cognitive model be correct in this era where we are fighting something that IS real and IS dangerous?

During today’s podcast, Rhonda asks Taylor about her romance with Gregg, how they met, what happened on their first date playing frisbee in Central Park, and how their relationship evolved. Taylor recalls the psychodynamic training she received during her graduate work in clinical psychology, which was all about listening without teaching patients to use specific tools to change. Taylor’s teachers explained that there was no point in trying to change until you discovered the cause of your problems.

Gregg did not agree and urged Taylor to think more about helping her patients change their lives, using specific tools. After all, a medical doctor doesn’t just help patients understand why they have pneumonia–the goal is rapid cure whenever possible–understanding the causes doesn’t necessarily help or lead to change. In addition, the causes of all psychiatric problems are currently unknown, so the focus on endless talk to understand the causes of depression, anxiety, relationship problems or habits and addictions could even be seen as nonsensical.

Taylor had a chance to check this out when she and Gregg moved to California shortly after they were married in 2012. Gregg had a two-year Critical Care fellowship at Stanford, and Taylor joined Dr. Burns TEAM-CBT weekly training group at Stanford to prove that the rapid-change techniques wouldn’t work. But they did work. She concluded that TEAM-CBT really IS all it’s cracked up to be and fell in love with TEAM. The rest his history. When Taylor and Gregg returned home to New York two years later, she founded the highly acclaimed New York Feeling Good Institute. 

During today’s interview, Taylor is caring for her three beautiful and charming children, but they all want mommy’s attention. It’s obviously an overwhelming job, on top of her clinical work with patients, and most moms face similar challenges. Taylor provided several tips for moms who may be listening to the show from home during these days of “Shelter in Place” orders, restricting people all around the world to their homes.

1. Emotional Intelligence Training. I try to check in with each child every day to get an emotional read on how they’re doing. This varies for each child based on their age. For my 6 year old, we use the Yale Mood Meter since that’s what he uses in school. For my 4 year old, I name a few emotions such as happy, angry, sad, and ask her what’s a time today she felt any of those. For my 2 year old, I try to find a time where he’s thrown a toy or pushed a sibling and mention an emotion he might be feeling such as happy, sad, or angry, and act it out. He often just laughs but it starts to help him develop his emotional intelligence.

2. Scheduling. Every evening I write out our daily schedule for the following day. This helps to keep me organized, but also helps my children know what to expect each day and gives us a flexible guide for the day. This includes things such as meals, brushing teeth, nap time, screen time, social time, exercise, and academics.

Certain activities are required, while others are more flexible. Since my kids are just 2, 4, and 6 years old, there are fewer “requirements” but over time I plan to try to push them a little more to stick to the schedule. Since social distancing and being home is something we have not had any practice with, I want to ease into our new schedule.

3. Independent play. I schedule some time for independent play each day. This is a skill I’ve really been focusing on with each child, and find that it’s important for them to learn to play by themselves. Social playing is great, but learning to be alone is important as well!

For my 6 year old the goal is 20 mins, for my 2 year old it’s 10 mins with minimal help from mommy. We make it a fun game, and they get a  small reward if they are able to reach their goal. The rewards could include a hug, high-five, praise, stickers or even a new action figure. I try to switch the types of rewards to keep it fun and interesting, and also so they’re not just doing it so that they get X privilege or Y toy.

4. Little Steps for Big Feets. I try to set small, manageable goals each day for each child as well as myself. Sometimes it’s something I impose on the kids such as “today each of you will help me with one chore, such as taking the garbage out, cleaning up your toys, washing the table, etc.”

At other times it’s something they want to learn. For example my daughter wants to learn to write her name so for several days her goal was to practice writing her name four times. For me it’s usually a small manageable goal related to work or house-cleaning. This is similar to David’s principle of “little steps for big feets!” For example, instead of saying I’ll clean my entire apartment today, I focus on one small goal that I can attain.

Taylor gives an awesome example of how to use the Five Secrets of Effective Communication with small children, especially when they are angry or upset. This is an example every parent might want to emulate! And it’s the first example I’ve heard of how to do this!

Thanks for tuning in, and please let us know what you thought about today’s program!

Rhonda, Taylor, and David

Taylor Chesney, PsyD is the Founder of  Feeling Good Institute-NYC, where she serves as Director of Treatment and Training. She specializes in the treatment of children and teenagers with TEAM-CBT.

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

* * *

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

FREE TEAM THERAPY FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Health care workers face incredibly challenging times, having to fight a potentially fatal epidemic without adequate supplies or protection. The TEAM therapy community is now offering free TEAM-CBT treatment for 100 health care workers in Bay Area, California counties. For more information, please go to the website:  Feelinggood.foundation.

* * *

This is the cover of my new book, Feeling Great. It will be released in September of 2020, but you will soon be able to pre-order it on Amazon, possibly by the time you read this! 
CoverFeelingGreat1

Need Training or CE Credits?

Check Out these Awesome Upcoming Workshops!

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135 (online only)

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.

This workshop will be live-streamed (and in person in Palo Alto, CA) so you can join from anywhere in the world! There will be many expert online helpers to assist you with the small-group exercises.

Move rapidly if you want to come. We are already SOLD OUT in person, but there are still slots available online.

There will be many helpers from the Feeling Good Institute to assist and guide you in the small group exercises in person and online as well.  Our last workshop on resistance in February was our most highly rated ever! We hope to make this a terrific and fun learning experience for you, too!

Learn More & Register

* * *

2-Day Clinical Master Class

Rapid Recovery from Anxiety Disorders–
GAD, Phobias, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety,
OCD, PTSD and Health Anxiety

by David D. Burns, MD

June 4 – 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington

* * *

The All-New Annual South San Francisco Intensive!

Enhanced Empathy Training

August 10 – 13, 2020

It’s Going to Be Awesome!

Videos, Live Demonstrations

Small Group Practice with

Personal Feedback and Mentoring,

and Chances for Personal Work and Healing

During this four-day intensive workshop you will learn:

  • How to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with challenging, difficult clients.
  • How to deal skillfully with people who refuse to open up and talk to you; won’t listen; are relentlessly critical, narcissistic or controlling; always have to be right; use, abuse, or exploit you; complain endlessly; are hostile, threatening or violent; as well as clients who are overwhelmed, hopeless and suicidal.
  • How to develop more loving relationships with the people you care about—as well as the ones you don’t.
  • Powerful new techniques to help clients who are struggling with conflicts with loved ones, friends, or colleagues.
  • How to deal with the inner chatter and powerful feelings that make it so difficult to deal with conflict when you feel angry or hurt.
  • How to identify and modify the self-defeating beliefs that make us vulnerable to conflicts with others.
  • How to identify and melt away the intense outcome and process resistance that make the treatment of relationship problems so challenging.

Learn More and Register

* * *

Watch for the Awesome

December Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference

Anaheim, December 9 – 13, 2020

Sponsored by the Erikson Institute

It is always spectacular and I’ll be presenting, too!

Details TBA

188: How to Crush Negative Thoughts: The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit!

188: How to Crush Negative Thoughts: The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit!

This is the first in a series of podcasts by David and Rhonda focusing on the best techniques to crush each of the ten cognitive distortions in David’s book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.

David and Rhonda discuss the amazing positive feedback that Rhonda received following her two recent podcasts doing live personal work. David emphasizes that being open and genuine about your own flaws and insecurities can often lead to far more meaningful relationships with others. This is a paradox, since we often hide our shortcomings, fearing others will judge and reject us if they see how we really feel, and how flawed we are.

David and Rhonda begin the discussion of the Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit with a review the three principles of cognitive therapy:

  1. Our positive and negative feelings do NOT result from what happens in our lives, but rather from our thoughts about what’s happening or what happened.
  2. Depression and anxiety result from distorted, illogical, misleading thoughts. What you’re telling yourself is simply not true. Depression and anxiety are the world’s oldest cons.
  3. When you change the way you THINK, you can change the way you FEEL. This can usually happen rapidly and without drugs.

The first idea goes back at least 2,000 years to the teachings of the Greek Stoic philosophers. Although the idea that our thoughts create all of our feelings is very basic, and enlightening, many people still don’t get it! This even includes lots of therapists who wrongly believe that our feelings result from what’s happening to us!

David describes an innovative “Pepper Shaker” game devised by George Collette, one of his colleagues in Philadelphia to make the hospitalized psychiatric patients aware, through personal experience, that their feelings really do result from their thoughts. The game can be done in a group setting, and is entertaining. Rhonda suggested that the therapists who attend David’s Tuesday training group at Stanford might enjoy this game as well!

There are key differences between healthy and unhealthy negative emotions. Healthy negative feelings, like sadness, remorse, or fear, also result from our thoughts, and not from what is happening to us. However, the negative thoughts that trigger healthy feelings are valid and don’t need to be treated or changed. In contrast, unhealthy negative feelings, like depression, neurotic guilt, or anxiety, always result from distorted negative thoughts.

David and Rhonda briefly describe each of the ten cognitive distortions, with examples. They warn listeners that the goal of these podcasts will be to learn how to change your own distorted thoughts, and not someone else’s. Pointing out the distortions in someone else’s thoughts or statements is obnoxious and will nearly always lead to conflict. David and Rhonda do a humorous role-play to illustrate just how incredibly annoying it is when you try to correct someone else’s distortions, or when someone tries to correct your own distorted thoughts!

David and Rhonda remind listeners to focus on one negative thought from a Daily Mood Log, like “I’m defective” or “my case is hopeless,” and to remember that the thought will typically contain many distortions, and possibly all ten. This means that there will be lots of techniques—often 20 or more—to help you crush the thought.

They also discuss the new idea that you can do Positive Reframing with cognitive distortions as well as negative thoughts and feelings.

In the next podcast in this series, David and Rhonda will discuss the TEAM-CBT techniques that can especially helpful for the first distortion, All-or-Nothing Thinking.

David D. Burns, MD / Rhonda Barovsky, PsyD

 

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and specializes in TEAM-CBT for depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. She 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.

* * *

This is the cover of my new book, Feeling Great. It will be released in September of 2020, but you will soon be able to pre-order it on Amazon, possibly by the time you read this! 
CoverFeelingGreat1

Need Training or CE Credits?

Check Out these Awesome Upcoming Workshops!

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135 (online only)

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.

This workshop will be live-streamed (and in person in Palo Alto, CA) so you can join from anywhere in the world! There will be many expert online helpers to assist you with the small-group exercises.

Move rapidly if you want to come. We are already SOLD OUT in person, but there are still slots available online.

There will be many helpers from the Feeling Good Institute to assist and guide you in the small group exercises in person and online as well.  Our last workshop on resistance in February was our most highly rated ever! We hope to make this a terrific and fun learning experience for you, too!

Learn More & Register

* * *

2-Day Clinical Master Class

Rapid Recovery from Anxiety Disorders–
GAD, Phobias, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety,
OCD, PTSD and Health Anxiety

by David D. Burns, MD

June 4 – 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington

* * *

The All-New Annual South San Francisco Intensive!

Enhanced Empathy Training

August 10 – 13, 2020

It’s Going to Be Awesome!

Videos, Live Demonstrations

Small Group Practice with

Personal Feedback and Mentoring,

and Chances for Personal Work and Healing

During this four-day intensive workshop you will learn:

  • How to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with challenging, difficult clients.
  • How to deal skillfully with people who refuse to open up and talk to you; won’t listen; are relentlessly critical, narcissistic or controlling; always have to be right; use, abuse, or exploit you; complain endlessly; are hostile, threatening or violent; as well as clients who are overwhelmed, hopeless and suicidal.
  • How to develop more loving relationships with the people you care about—as well as the ones you don’t.
  • Powerful new techniques to help clients who are struggling with conflicts with loved ones, friends, or colleagues.
  • How to deal with the inner chatter and powerful feelings that make it so difficult to deal with conflict when you feel angry or hurt.
  • How to identify and modify the self-defeating beliefs that make us vulnerable to conflicts with others.
  • How to identify and melt away the intense outcome and process resistance that make the treatment of relationship problems so challenging.

Learn More and Register

* * *

Watch for the Awesome

December Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference

Anaheim, December 9 – 13, 2020

Sponsored by the Erikson Institute

It is always spectacular and I’ll be presenting, too!

Details TBA

187: Live Therapy with Michael–The Awesome Atlanta TEAM Therapy Demo!

187: Live Therapy with Michael–The Awesome Atlanta TEAM Therapy Demo!

Recently we did a follow-up podcast with Dr. Michael Greenwald, who bravely volunteered to be the patient in the live therapy demonstration on the evening of Day 1 of the fall Atlanta intensive. My co-therapist was Thai-An Truong from Oklahoma City. Although it was a total blow-away session, we did not think the audio was good enough for a podcast, because we only recorded it on Michael’s cell phone. However, our beloved colleague, Dr. Brandon Vance from Oakland, offered to improve the audio quality, so we are now presenting it to you! The audio is not quite as good as a typical podcast, but is good enough, especially after the first few minutes.

The podcast includes the entire session, without commentary, as well as the 15 minute Relapse Prevention Training at the end of the workshop on day 4. Because the entire audio is about two hours long, feel free to take a break half way through, perhaps after the E = Empathy portion of the session, or the A = Assessment of Resistance, and then listen to the last half later on. If you like, you can take a look at his Daily Mood Log while you are listening.

The session was incredible, and half of the audience were in tears at the end. You may be, too! And thanks, once again, for your bravery and incredible gift to all of us, Michael!

Michael works in Woodland Hills and is offering free monthly TEAM therapy practice sessions at his office to therapists in the greater Los Angeles area. I am hoping these will eventually morph into the first Feeling Good Institute in Southern California. Make sure you contact Michael if you are interested joining his weekly practice group (drmichaeldg@gmail.com). He is a skillful therapist and teacher, and, as you’re about to discover, a totally delightful person!

Thanks for listening today, and thanks for all the kind comments and totally awesome questions you submit every day! We greatly appreciate your support!

Let us know if you like these extended live therapy sessions. We can break them up, if you prefer, into shorter podcasts with commentary, or even publish them as optional extra podcasts on a different day of the week.

If you would be interested in some awesome training with Thai-An Truong, ncluding free monthly TEAM-CBT webinars, you can contact her at www.teamcbttraining.com.

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 Level 4 Certified TEAM-CBT Therapist and Trainer and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems.

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

* * *

This is the cover of my new book, Feeling Great. It will be released in September of 2020, but you will soon be able to pre-order it on Amazon, possibly by the time you read this! 
CoverFeelingGreat1

Need Training or CE Credits?

Check Out these Awesome Upcoming Workshops!

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135 (online only)

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.

This workshop will be live-streamed (and in person in Palo Alto, CA) so you can join from anywhere in the world! There will be many expert online helpers to assist you with the small-group exercises.

Move rapidly if you want to come. We are already SOLD OUT in person, but there are still slots available online.

There will be many helpers from the Feeling Good Institute to assist and guide you in the small group exercises in person and online as well.  Our last workshop on resistance in February was our most highly rated ever! We hope to make this a terrific and fun learning experience for you, too!

Learn More & Register

* * *

2-Day Clinical Master Class

Rapid Recovery from Anxiety Disorders–
GAD, Phobias, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety,
OCD, PTSD and Health Anxiety

by David D. Burns, MD

June 4 – 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington

* * *

The All-New Annual South San Francisco Intensive!

Enhanced Empathy Training

August 10 – 13, 2020

It’s Going to Be Awesome!

Videos, Live Demonstrations

Small Group Practice with

Personal Feedback and Mentoring,

and Chances for Personal Work and Healing

During this four-day intensive workshop you will learn:

  • How to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with challenging, difficult clients.
  • How to deal skillfully with people who refuse to open up and talk to you; won’t listen; are relentlessly critical, narcissistic or controlling; always have to be right; use, abuse, or exploit you; complain endlessly; are hostile, threatening or violent; as well as clients who are overwhelmed, hopeless and suicidal.
  • How to develop more loving relationships with the people you care about—as well as the ones you don’t.
  • Powerful new techniques to help clients who are struggling with conflicts with loved ones, friends, or colleagues.
  • How to deal with the inner chatter and powerful feelings that make it so difficult to deal with conflict when you feel angry or hurt.
  • How to identify and modify the self-defeating beliefs that make us vulnerable to conflicts with others.
  • How to identify and melt away the intense outcome and process resistance that make the treatment of relationship problems so challenging.

Learn More and Register

* * *

Watch for the Awesome

December Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference

Anaheim, December 9 – 13, 2020

Sponsored by the Erikson Institute

It is always spectacular and I’ll be presenting, too!

Details TBA

186: Mark Your Calendars–The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference is Coming in December! An Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Zeig.

186: Mark Your Calendars–The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference is Coming in December! An Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Zeig.

Today, Rhonda and David have the honor and pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jeffrey Zeig, the beloved founder and head of the Milton H. Erickson Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Every four years, Jeff sponsors the awesome Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, which draws more than 7,000 mental health professionals to hear all of the most famous and best psychotherapy teachers and innovators in the world to beautiful Anaheim, California for five days. This year, it will be December 9 to 13, 2020.

In this far-reaching interview, Jeff talks about the history of psychotherapy, beginning with Freud’s work beginning in 1885, all the way up to the first Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference on the 100th anniversary of Freud’s origins, in 1985. He explains that up until the beginning of World War II, psychotherapists were focused on the WHY of emotional problems, in spite of the fact that the causes of depression and anxiety were then, and still are, completely unknown.

Then, around 1944, therapists began to focus on the question of how we can best help people heal, change, and grow, in spite of the fact that the causes have yet to be discovered. This was a welcome and sensible shift, but led to a proliferation of hundreds of competing “schools” of therapy, most of which claimed to “know” the causes of psychological problems and also claimed to have the “best” treatment methods.

Jeff’s goal in creating the Evolution conference in 1985 was to bring together the best from all the schools of therapy to share ideas and focus on the common healing factors that all forms of effective therapy share. To Jeff’s surprise and delight, the conference was an immediate hit, with more than 7,000 participants from around the world, and was sold out well ahead of time.

Jeff also discusses his own creative and imaginative philosophy and approach to therapy, which he describes as a magical experience, requiring great skill, much like a musical creation or theatrical, and not a cookie cutter formula taken from the pages of the latest treatment manual for depression or this or that anxiety disorder. Jeff is one of the pioneers and masters of “indirect hypnosis,” which originated with his mentor, Milton Erikson.

Jeff fondly and tenderly describes his early days with Milton Erikson, who he describes as a wizard and genius, and likely one of the greatest therapists of all time. Erikson was also an inspiration to Jeff, and to all who had the good fortune of knowing him, because of his own extremely physical limitations caused by polio, and how he transcended those limitations and transformed them into strengths.

So, mark your calendars for the Evolution Conference this December 9 – 13. It will be a chance for you to hear and meet many your own therapy heroes first-hand and to learn from superb teachers. I’ll be there too, so make sure you say hello. I don’ t know yet what topics I will be speaking on, but will post them on my workshop page as soon as I find out.

And if you’re a struggling, starving student, as I once was, Jeff wants you to know that they will need many helpers at the conference, and the helpers receive generous discounts!

Now, that’s a deal you can’t beat! You’ll network with colleagues from around the world in a gorgeous setting.

Thanks for listening today, and thanks for all the kind comments and totally awesome questions you submit every day! We greatly appreciate your support!

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 Level 4 Certified TEAM-CBT Therapist and Trainer and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems.

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

* * *

This is the cover of my new book, Feeling Great. It will be released in September of 2020, but you will soon be able to pre-order it on Amazon, possibly by the time you read this! 
CoverFeelingGreat1

Need Training or CE Credits?

Check Out these Awesome Upcoming Workshops!

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135 (online only)

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.

This workshop will be live-streamed (and in person in Palo Alto, CA) so you can join from anywhere in the world! There will be many expert online helpers to assist you with the small-group exercises.

Move rapidly if you want to come. We are already SOLD OUT in person, but there are still slots available online.

There will be many helpers from the Feeling Good Institute to assist and guide you in the small group exercises in person and online as well.  Our last workshop on resistance in February was our most highly rated ever! We hope to make this a terrific and fun learning experience for you, too!

Learn More & Register

* * *

2-Day Clinical Master Class

Rapid Recovery from Anxiety Disorders–
GAD, Phobias, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety,
OCD, PTSD and Health Anxiety

by David D. Burns, MD

June 4 – 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington

* * *

The All-New Annual South San Francisco Intensive!

Enhanced Empathy Training

August 10 – 13, 2020

It’s Going to Be Awesome!

Videos, Live Demonstrations

Small Group Practice with

Personal Feedback and Mentoring,

and Chances for Personal Work and Healing

During this four-day intensive workshop you will learn:

  • How to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with challenging, difficult clients.
  • How to deal skillfully with people who refuse to open up and talk to you; won’t listen; are relentlessly critical, narcissistic or controlling; always have to be right; use, abuse, or exploit you; complain endlessly; are hostile, threatening or violent; as well as clients who are overwhelmed, hopeless and suicidal.
  • How to develop more loving relationships with the people you care about—as well as the ones you don’t.
  • Powerful new techniques to help clients who are struggling with conflicts with loved ones, friends, or colleagues.
  • How to deal with the inner chatter and powerful feelings that make it so difficult to deal with conflict when you feel angry or hurt.
  • How to identify and modify the self-defeating beliefs that make us vulnerable to conflicts with others.
  • How to identify and melt away the intense outcome and process resistance that make the treatment of relationship problems so challenging.

Learn More and Register

* * *

Watch for the Awesome

December Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference

Anaheim, December 9 – 13, 2020

Sponsored by the Erickson Institute

It is always spectacular and I’ll be presenting, too!

Details TBA

Corona Cast 5: The Corona Survey–Have Our Negative or Positive Feelings Changed? And by How Much? Are Men or Women Hurting More?

Corona Cast 5: The Corona Survey–Have Our Negative or Positive Feelings Changed? And by How Much? Are Men or Women Hurting More?

David and Rhonda are joined in today’s podcast by Drs. Alex Clarke and Diane Schiano, as well as Jeremy Karmel, who are all members of David’s Tuesday training group at Stanford. Alex is a clinical psychiatrist and TEAM therapist who practices at the Feeling Good Institute in Mountain View, California, and Diane is a research psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist. All three helped in the design and analysis of the survey data. We published the survey in a blog entitled “How Are You Feeling Now?” on March 26, 2020 . To review the full report of our findings, you can click here.

I (David) have been curious about occasional polls of our listeners to see if we can get  meaningful results to potentially interesting questions. So this was a kind of pilot study to see if negative and positive feelings have changed in our fans since the advent of the corona pandemic.

You are probably aware of the Brief Mood Survey that TEAM therapists ask patients to complete prior to and just after each session to find out how effective the session was. This tool has been incredibly powerful, because therapists and patients alike can find out right away how much improvement the patient experienced in depression, suicidal urges, anxiety, anger, happiness and relationship satisfaction in every single session.

I developed an even shorter version of my Brief Mood Scale to measure similar negative and positive feelings, and all variables can range from 0 (not at all) to 100 (extremely.) So for example, a score of 25 on depression would indicate mild depression, and a score of 100 on happiness would indicate extreme happiness. In other words, high scores on the negative feelings indicate greater distress, while high scores on the positive feelings indicate greater feelings of happiness and relationship satisfaction.

In the survey, we asked people like you how you are feeling right now, and how you were feeling just before learning about the corona virus. The goals of the informal survey were to answer these questions:

  1. Will people respond to the survey and can they provide meaningful information that can be analyzed statistically?
  2. Are people feeling more distress now?
  3. If so, have the negative feelings of depression, anxiety, anger and hopelessness changed more in men or women?
  4. Have the positive feelings of happiness and relationship satisfaction changed in men or women since just before the start of the pandemic?
  5. How have therapists fared, as compared with non-therapists?

The five of us discussed the survey findings, which can be summarized in this way:

205 of the people who subscribe to my WordPress blogs completed the survey within a couple days. 62% of them were women and 37% were therapists. There were no gender differences in the therapists.

How are You Feeling Now?

Changes in Negative Feelings Since Corona

  1. Prior to the corona pandemic, the means of the negative mood variables varied from 13.2 (on a scale of 0 to 100) for hopelessness to 24.1 for anxiety. Keeping in mind that a score of 25 indicates “mild” symptoms, this means that all of these negative feelings were slightly elevated, but the elevations were minimal to mild.
  2. At the current time, all four negative feelings have increased significantly, ranging from 23.7 for hopelessness to 38.5 for anxiety, so the negative feelings are now mild to moderate.
  3. Prior to the corona pandemic, there were no significant differences in any of the negative mood variables in men vs. women. There have been significant increases in negative feelings since that time, but the greatest increases occurred in women. In fact, in women, the negative feelings approximately doubled. This means that the women who completed the survey, on average, now report feeling moderately  depressed, anxious, angry and hopeless.
  4. For men, in contrast, the only negative feeling that increased significantly was anger.
  5. There were no statistically significant differences in anger levels in men vs. women before the corona pandemic and there are no significant differences now.

How are You Feeling? Changes in Positive Feelings Since Corona

  1. Prior to the corona pandemic, the means of the happiness and relationship satisfaction scales were 55.6 and 58.6 (on a scale from 0 to 100), meaning they were just a tad better than moderate. This indicates that there was quite a bit of room for improvement in positive feelings prior to the pandemic.
  2. At the current time, the mean of happiness has dropped to 41,1 but relationship satisfaction has held steady at 56.8 (not a significant change.)
  3. There were no significant differences in happiness in men vs women before the pandemic, and there are no differences now. Happiness has decreased in both men and women, and the decreases have been similar in men and women.
  4. In contrast, relationship satisfaction did not differ in men vs. women at either time point, and there have been changes in relationship satisfaction in men or women since the pandemic. This is encouraging, and means that although men and women are more distressed now, feelings of intimacy and closeness to others have not diminished. In other words, social distancing has not led to feelings of isolation or emotional distancing in our population.

How Are Therapists Feeling Now?

Do you think that the therapists who completed the survey will have significantly different scores than non-therapists on the negative and positive mood variables? And if so, do you think the mean therapist scores will be higher or lower?

Here are the findings:

  1. Therapists scored 9.85 points higher on happiness as well as relationship satisfaction than non-therapists at both time points. This was highly significant. For example, non-therapists scored 50.2 on happiness and relationship satisfaction at time 1 (moderately happy and moderate relationship satisfaction), while therapists scored 60.1 on happiness and relationship satisfaction. Of course, there’s a lot of room for improvement in both groups, since these variables range from 0 to 100.
  2. Therapists also scored better than non-therapists on the negative variables at time 1, and the magnitude of the difference was 7.7. So for example, on depression, the non-therapist mean at time one was 21.2 (approaching mildly depressed), while the therapist mean was only 13.5. However, at the current time, things have changed. Now the therapists scores on depression, anxiety, anger and hopelessness are no different, on average, from the scores of non-therapists. Keep in mind that the negative mood variables also range from 0 to 100.

Open-Ended Questions: The People Behind the Numbers

Dr. Diane Schiano led the charge in the discussion of several open-ended questions in our survey. The results can be summarized like this:

  • People are feeling concerned about getting sick, dying or something bad happening to a loved one.
  • People are coping by connecting with friends and loved ones and trying to keep up physical and mental health.
  • People think digital therapy is a good idea, even if it’s not ideal

For example, one respondent wrote:

“I remember hearing about [the corona virus] when {the pandemic] first started in China, but I wasn’t overly concerned. I felt like it was a bad flu and would likely blow over. Then I watched the news unfold, particularly in Italy, and realized how serious this is. Once they started shutdowns in California, I realized how serious and close to home this is.”

Rhonda pointed out the discrepancy between our findings and a recent UN reports of increases in domestic violence since the start of the pandemic. While our survey of podcast fans did document increases in anger in men and women since the outbreak, satisfaction in personal relationships was absolutely unchanged in men and women, and was identical in men and women. At the same time, the mean relationship satisfaction level in our group was only “moderate,” which is not especially high.

There are a few disclaimers. First, the findings in this survey probably do reflect the people who receive my Word Press blogs, but may not reflect the US population as a whole. The individuals who receive my blogs or listen to my podcasts are therapists, patients, and general citizens with a fairly strong interest in mental health topics as well as self-help, so the feelings in our group might easily be skewed in a somewhat more negative direction.

Second, we are measuring peoples’ perceptions of their feelings prior to learning of the pandemic. We did not actually measure their feelings prior to the corona epidemic.

Thanks for tuning in, and please let us know what you thoughts about today’s program! If you’d like me to publish more polls, suggest some interesting poll questions, if any come to mind.

Rhonda, Jeremy, Diane, Alex, and David

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

* * *

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

FREE TEAM THERAPY FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Health care workers face incredibly challenging times, having to fight a potentially fatal epidemic without adequate supplies or protection. The TEAM therapy community is now offering free TEAM-CBT treatment for 100 health care workers in Bay Area, California counties. For more information, please go to the website:  Feelinggood.foundation.

* * *

This is the cover of my new book, Feeling Great. It will be released in September of 2020, but you will soon be able to pre-order it on Amazon, possibly by the time you read this! 
CoverFeelingGreat1

Need Training or CE Credits?

Check Out these Awesome Upcoming Workshops!

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135 (online only)

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.

This workshop will be live-streamed (and in person in Palo Alto, CA) so you can join from anywhere in the world! There will be many expert online helpers to assist you with the small-group exercises.

Move rapidly if you want to come. We are already SOLD OUT in person, but there are still slots available online.

There will be many helpers from the Feeling Good Institute to assist and guide you in the small group exercises in person and online as well.  Our last workshop on resistance in February was our most highly rated ever! We hope to make this a terrific and fun learning experience for you, too!

Learn More & Register

* * *

2-Day Clinical Master Class

Rapid Recovery from Anxiety Disorders–
GAD, Phobias, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety,
OCD, PTSD and Health Anxiety

by David D. Burns, MD

June 4 – 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington

* * *

The All-New Annual South San Francisco Intensive!

Enhanced Empathy Training

August 10 – 13, 2020

It’s Going to Be Awesome!

Videos, Live Demonstrations

Small Group Practice with

Personal Feedback and Mentoring,

and Chances for Personal Work and Healing

During this four-day intensive workshop you will learn:

  • How to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with challenging, difficult clients.
  • How to deal skillfully with people who refuse to open up and talk to you; won’t listen; are relentlessly critical, narcissistic or controlling; always have to be right; use, abuse, or exploit you; complain endlessly; are hostile, threatening or violent; as well as clients who are overwhelmed, hopeless and suicidal.
  • How to develop more loving relationships with the people you care about—as well as the ones you don’t.
  • Powerful new techniques to help clients who are struggling with conflicts with loved ones, friends, or colleagues.
  • How to deal with the inner chatter and powerful feelings that make it so difficult to deal with conflict when you feel angry or hurt.
  • How to identify and modify the self-defeating beliefs that make us vulnerable to conflicts with others.
  • How to identify and melt away the intense outcome and process resistance that make the treatment of relationship problems so challenging.

Learn More and Register

* * *

Watch for the Awesome

December Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference

Anaheim, December 9 – 13, 2020

Sponsored by the Erikson Institute

It is always spectacular and I’ll be presenting, too!

Details TBA