136: Mindfulness, Part 2: Muscle or Myth?

136: Mindfulness, Part 2: Muscle or Myth?

Rhonda, Fabrice and I received a number of thoughtful emails following our recent podcast on mindfulness meditation, which seems to be quite popular these days, but there some push-back from listeners who all did not agree that mindfulness is an effective way of combating negative thoughts and feelings.

Email from Jeremy

Hi David,

I listened to the Feeling Good Podcast on meditation this morning and had some thoughts I wanted to share. For context I’ve been meditating daily for about 3 months.

First – I personally think that if someone is struggling with depression or anxiety, TEAM-CBT is a dramatically faster acting and more powerful tool than mindfulness. I’ve never seen or heard about someone having a dramatic recovering in just a few hours due to mindfulness. I’ve never seen the idea of resistance explored in any kind of mindfulness book or article.

I also don’t really think much of mindfulness as a “method” in the TEAM model, because compared to the other methods for removing negative thoughts it’s extremely weak. I imagine that with hundreds of hours of mindfulness practice you might reach a point where it’s easier to let go of negative thoughts. (There are a lot of reports like that/) However, it’s a very slow way of dealing with negative thoughts compared to externalization of voices etc. 

I think for a therapist who knows TEAM to suggest mindfulness as a key practice to their patient is almost negligent, since TEAM is so much more effective.

That said, I’ve sensed a few benefits of mindfulness which is why I’ve been investing my time in it:

– I think you can view meditation as concentration practice, and I’ve found that meditation increases my ability to concentrate 

– You can reach a very calm and relaxed state in meditation where you cease to have thoughts, and this state is extremely pleasurable

– I’ve noticed that mindfulness increase my ability to enjoy experiences, including experiences I might enjoy less if I was having even positive or neutral thoughts. As an example, after about 30 minutes of meditation the other day I went for a walk in the woods and stop for about 10 minutes to look at a ridge. My visual experience was completely immersive and I even started to feel like the trees were breathing with me. It was one of the high points of my week. I suspect that even someone who had no negative thoughts might be flooded with positive but irrelevant thoughts (like a yummy meal they might be headed to eat later) would have enjoyed this scene much less. 

I’ve also run an experiment using the PAS and CBT to remove the motivation to have distracting thoughts. (ie write down the advantages to having distracting thoughts and disadvantages of focusing on the breath, and then talk back to those) I would classify it as a highly successful experiment, after talking back to all the good reasons to think about something besides my breath my focus got dramatically better. I wonder if this technique could be used to either improve meditation or even supplant the need for it. (because it gets rid of distracting thoughts directly, while meditation is basically practice for having fewer distracting thoughts) 

Anyway, just thought I would share some thoughts and ideas with you. 

Best, 

Jeremy

Email from Paul

Hey, Dr. Burns!

I am with you in terms of the skepticism of mindfulness as a panacea. I also am not sure how particularly effective it is even as a tool in the fight against negative thoughts. I personally cannot seem to get anything out of it, but I am trying to make sense out of how so many people can find it useful.

Perhaps you could put it like this: Mindfulness is not a specific technique for specific problems, but a general method for psychological health. If you have a specific medical condition, you’ll want to get a specific treatment. Sometimes specific conditions can be alleviated by taking care of your health generally (eating healthier, sleeping better, etc.) Still, depending upon the disease, in order to get rid of it, you’ll need a specific treatment. However, even when you’re not dealing with a specific disease, generally good health practices can lower your chances of getting any diseases and lessen the severity when they do arise. In sum, perhaps the goals of mindfulness and CBT are different.

I think that might respect what both you and Fabrice are getting at. I think this goes to answer partly a question I’ve had about TEAM. To what extent is alleviation of anxiety, depression, etc the final goal? Are there religious, spiritual, or psychological problems that are positive goals beyond relief? In Feeling Good, it sounded like you thought that happiness was just the absence of depression. Is that all there is to say about human flourishing? Or do you methodologically stick within the parameters of your client’s value system, asking only “what can I help you with” because you’re a psychologist and not a priest, for example?

Paul

David and Rhonda discuss several important points raised by these listeners, including:

Non-specific vs. / specific interventions. David describes an elderly man named Ezekiel who had escaped from Nazi Germany as a teenager, and still felt like a “totally worthless human being” in spite of incredible success in life. He’d start out shining shoes on the streets of New York City) and end up as a wealthy industrialist, but that did nothing to boost his self-esteem. He’d decades of psychotherapy as well, but it was not effective.

David encouraged him to jog long distances daily to boost the release of “endorphins” in the brain, but that did not work either. Nor would medication or meditation have worked, either.

When you learn why Ezekiel felt like a “worthless human being,” you’ll see exactly why! And you’ll also learn what did work to end decades of suffering and self-doubt.

The time required for meditation, not only during sessions, but in between sessions, is considerable. David would prefer his patients use this time for doing specific psychotherapy homework.

Formulaic treatment. Life has always been stressful, and people are always looking for some simple “solution” to emotional problems, which seem almost universal. The current wellness fad is a great example of that. So, people promote a healthy diet, daily exercise, daily meditation, daily prayer, relaxation training, deep breathing, expressing gratitude, and a host of other things as the secret of happiness and contentment.

These formulas, in my opinion (DB), do not have, and will never have, more than a placebo effect in the treatment of stress. depression, anxiety disorders, relationship problems, and habits and addictions. Sadly, those who are hugely enthusiastic about one of these fads, or formulas, will not want to hear what I just said, as sometimes we just don’t want to have our beliefs challenged. We see this resistance in politics, in religion, and in almost every aspect of our lives.

Mindfulness is already a TEAM technique, even without meditation–but not a terribly effective method, in David’s clinical experience. However, for certain kinds of recurrent negative thoughts, Self-Monitoring and Reattribution can be helpful. These techniques are similar to Mindfulness Meditation, but are only two of more than 100 Methods David uses in treatment, and they are not for everybody. David gives an example of the intensely anxious eye doctor with OCD who was afraid of going blind, who responded to Self-Monitoring and Response Prevention.

There’s nothing wrong with a healthy diet, or meditation, or prayer, or anything that you enjoy, anything that gives you a sense of meaning. But these non-specific approaches should not be confused with specific treatments for depression, anxiety disorders, conflicts in relationships with others, or habits and addictions.

Thanks for listening!

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

* * *

THREE COOL UPCOMING WORKSHOPS FOR YOU

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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. Our Sunday workshops are tremendously fun, so consider attending if you are interested. 

The last Sunday workshop in February sold out quickly so register soon if you are interested. You can join in Palo Alto in person or online from anywhere in the world.

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

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!

* * *

And there will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

 

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

 

Feeling Good Podcast Survey Results— Pure Gold! Thank you!

Hi podcast fans and colleagues,

Thank you for responding to my first survey of individuals who listen to the Feeling Good Podcasts. I wanted to find out a little more about you, and now I want to share the results with you, too, so you can find out more about your fellow listeners.

Some of the results were quite unexpected, and all were illuminating.

Quick overview of 165 individuals who completed the survey within first couple days.

  • The female / male split is roughly 60 – 40.
  • The ratio of general citizens to therapists is also roughly 60 – 40.
  • Age breakdown:
    • 20 – 39 is about 31%
    • 40 to 49 is about 20%
    • 50 to 59 is about 22%.
    • Above 60 is about 26%.

So, we have a pretty good age diversification except under 20.

  • 60% of you say that the podcasts have helped in your personal life. 40% of you say the podcasts have helped in your personal life and in work with patients. Only 2% of you are only looking for therapy techniques to help your patients / clients.

This means almost everyone who listens is look for personal help, whether or not you are a therapist. This maps onto my experience teaching community therapists and graduate students at Stanford. Almost all are looking for personal help in addition to wanting to improve their therapy skills.

I am a firm believer that doing your personal work makes you a far more effective therapist, because you can say, “I’ve been there myself. I know how that feels to feel lost and desperate in the woods when it’s cold and snowing. And I can show you the way out of the woods!”

  • An incredible 92% of you appear to be recommending the podcast to friends, students, patients and colleagues. Thanks so much! That really helps us spread the word. When Fabrice and I started out, we had a tiny audience. This month (April, 2019) we will experience our millionth download!

On the free form written response, there were way too many to report. I have just reported a few representative comments here:

What you like THE LEAST? (118 responded; 47 skipped)

  • I prefer videos.
  • It should be released on daily basis lol! They are perfect I love it
  • Honestly, can’t think of an answer for that today.
  • Difficult question . . . it has helped me a lot. I wished it would have been possible to join online self-help groups to practice TEAM CBT with other followers.

David’s Response: Lots of paid online training groups for therapists exist. Check at www.feelinggoodinstitute.com! People have raved about the quality of the teachers, like Jill Levitt, PhD, Mike Christensen, and others.

  • There is no written transcript of the podcast.
  • Some have also said the wanted more detailed show notes.

David’s Response: I’m glad you’ve like the show notes. They have become quite detailed, compared with when we started out. I was worried they now might be TOO long, so happy to see this. In case you don’t get the show notes, you can sign up for my blogs in the right panel of any page on my website, and then you’ll always get the show notes with the podcast.

  • Maybe the lack of evidence. When you say that depression can be successfully treated in a single session, it’s maybe hard for people to believe that, especially if the depressed person is severely and chronically depressed.

David’s Response: Great point. I get really rapid results most of the time, but that doesn’t mean that other practitioners will. I’ve been working at for a long time, with feedback from every patient since the late 1970s. My skills have evolved tremendously from when I started out. Sometimes the feedback has been painful, but it’s always been a source of growth and learning.

I have published quite a few live sessions now with people with chronic problems, and the percent reduction in in the last 50 or so patients I’ve treated (in one session) has been greater than 90% for depression, anxiety, and anger. But I do need a two hour session, approximately, to get that result.

Unlike formulaic treatments, like learning to apply exposure to anxiety, which anyone can quickly learn to do, TEAM is very challenging, and involves refining your therapy skills, not just learning some new package or formula to treat this or that diagnosis. It’s very hard to learn.

  • I think it would be interesting to bring more real people – either patients or therapist to tell about difficult cases. I think the details will help me go deeper into team. Also, to see more of the co- therapy with different experts in TEAM helps.
  • Fabrice left ☹ David sometimes sound narcissistic, grandiose ..no need to push TEAM as the best all the time. Less monolog, more dialog

David’s Response: You are listing just one of Fabrice’s many wonderful qualities, and just a few of my own negative qualities! I miss him greatly, his terrific mind and critical thinking, and his wonderful heart!

  • Need more of them! Hard to say as they are all so informative.
  • I listened to every single FG podcast and learned something helpful each time. However, some of the stories and examples were a bit repetitive.

David’s Response: I know, I know! Hard to keep track!

  • I love everything about them!
  • Nothing really. I love them all!! So grateful for your generosity!
  • Ask David responses that are too short / superficial
  • Everything is great! It’s my favorite podcast! I’ve listened to every single episode!
  • When there are guests on the show & David doesn’t let them speak much. It seems like he has a very certain way he wants issues to be talked about & doesn’t always go with the flow. I don’t want that to come across as a jab at David. I’m a huge fan, & I think I can spot it because I am a very rigid person myself. I like to be in control.

There are way more comments. Here is a link to the negative comments: https://app.crowdsignal.com/surveys/2480892/report/results/9573893

David’s summary of what you liked THE LEAST: Your comments were all informative, on-target, warmly expressed, valid, and helpful. Wow! Fabrice, Rhonda and I can’t thank you all enough! 😊😊

What you like THE Best? (135 responded; 30 skipped)

I will include just a few representative comments:

  • I really like when you provide specific examples on how to challenge some distorted thoughts and how to utilize the techniques.
  • Using a variety of co-hosts. More Kyle.
  • When the technical terms are explained. Also when the questionnaires are explained. And the personal success stories.
  • I really like all the helpful information that I can use as a therapist. Although I’ve been a therapist for decades, I’ve only recently started using CBT. I also appreciate Dr. Burns’ openness and willingness to use his life experiences to benefit his clients and us.
  • Live sessions applying TEAM CBT
  • It is a way to listen to topics that are not in the books (like the description of the TEAM model) and to have clarifications and answers.
  • The compassion and great effort in everything You do.
  • Your humility. To me – humility is the hardest and best.
  • I enjoy listening to the experts; I really enjoy the live therapy sessions as they give me ideas for how to work with my patients.
  • The role play, the interaction between David Burns and his co-host. I really liked Fabrice and his role as co-host. I like when David fields listener questions. I like when David gives examples of how he phrases things with clients.
  • David Burns – He usually has good tips and techniques that help me as a non-therapist. I first read Dr. Burns’ book, Feeling Good, in the early 1980’s; and, it helped me tremendously deal with my depression. I liked the tools in the book; and the tools now on the podcast!
  • Burns knowledge and skill is amazing.
  • I like that they are short and sweet.
  • Your approach is very logical and genuine. I love the addition of Rhonda! She is always very clear and concise. Additionally, she will bring a female perspective to topics covered.
  • I know on occasion you have been told to tone down your language, but I love it when you sometimes “forget”. It makes you seem more like a real person I don’t think too many children are listening anyway.
  • awesome help, info
    free
    positive force in daily stressful lives around the world
    commercial free
    personally helped me understand myself and others in a way i wouldn’t have done by myself
  • This service is available free. Dr. Burns you are amazing
  • Every single podcast is packed with helpful ideas and techniques. I especially love the live sessions; they made the theory and framework come alive. Keep up the great work!

There are tons more at this link: https://app.crowdsignal.com/surveys/2480892/report/results/9573895

David’s summary of what you liked THE BEST: Wow! Fabrice, Rhonda and I are touched by your kind and heart-warming comments. It is kind of hard to believe, and makes me feel like we’re all really in sync!

If you want to review the entire report, you can check it out at this link. https://app.crowdsignal.com/surveys/2480892/report. You will find out about topics people want to hear, and much more.

If the links don’t work, I’ll figure out something else for you to see the detailed comments.

If you want some (hopefully) wonderful training for CE credits, check the three workshops below. Hope to see you at one or even two of them!

David

* * *

Coming in May, 2019!

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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

WHEN: Sunday May 19th, 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-CBT CERTIFICATION PROGRAM? YES!

This workshop counts towards Levels 1, 2 or 3 TEAM-CBT Certification.

WHO CAN ATTEND? Therapists of all levels are welcome

CAN I REGISTER IF I’M NOT A THERAPIST? Sadly, this workshop is geared for therapists. You might want to attend one of my two summer intensives, also listed below. They are geared for therapists, but anyone can benefit from them.

CAN I WORK ON MY OWN FEELINGS OF ANXIETY AND INSECURITY?
Absolutely! Heal yourself, heal your clients!

WILL I HAVE FUN? Yes!

WILL I HAVE SOME GREAT FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH? Yes!

WILL I HANG OUT WITH SOME COOL PEOPLE? Yes!

You will also:

  • Learn new skills to reduce resistance and boost the motivation to change. This is THE key to the treatment.
  • Learn how to treat all of the anxiety disorders quickly.
  • See actual live videos of the Six-Minute Cure for Severe and Incapacitating Panic Disorder and the Fifteen-Minute Cure for Severe OCD.
  • Practice and master the Externalization of Voices and Acceptance Paradox to overcome your own feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
  • Master Relapse Prevention Training for lasting results.

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, videos, and breakout group practice to enhance skill-building.

This wonderful workshop will stream live and is easily accessible from anywhere in the world on any device with WiFi. To join, just click on the link provided before the workshop.

More than twelve expert trainers will be available to assist
the online participants in the small group exercises!

You can attend in person or from home via Live Streaming

Act fast if you want to attend!

Don’t miss out learning from David Burns, MD,
one of the pioneers of Cognitive Therapy,

and Jill Levitt, PhD, Director of Training
at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, CA!

* * *
Coming this Summer

There will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

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

THE INTENSIVES ARE THE BEST WORKSHOPS OF THE YEAR!

If you can join us, they will be even better!

 

135: Smashing Shyness: Part 2 of 2 Consecutive Shows on Social Anxiety

135: Smashing Shyness: Part 2 of 2 Consecutive Shows on Social Anxiety

How to Overcome Shyness

In a recent podcast, David and Rhonda emphasized the importance of specificity–selecting one specific moment when you want help. This is very true in the treatment of shyness. 

Jason, who we introduced in the last podcast, wanted to work on the intense anxiety he felt in the locate grocery store. He thought the woman checking groceries was attractive, but he was terrified about talking to her, or trying to flirt. So he said nothing, and left the store feeling like a failure. 

After this humiliating experience, he filled out a Daily Mood Log and listed all the Negative Thoughts and feelings he’d had while waiting to check his groceries. After doing Positive Reframing, he decided on the Negative Though he wanted to work on first: “People will think I’m a self-centered jerk if I try to flirt with her.” David and Jason put this thought in the Recovery Circle and selected more than 20 techniques Jason could use to challenge thought. 

While you’re listening, you may enjoy looking at the PowerPoint presentation. You’ll find Jason’s Daily Mood Log, the Recovery Circle, the Downward Arrow Technique, and more. These visuals will help your learning!

On the podcast, David and Rhonda illustrate how to challenge that thought using many of the methods listed on the Recovery Circle, including:

  • Identify the Distortions. They found all ten distortions in this thought.
  • The Straightforward Technique. This technique was not effective, since the Positive Thought Jason came up with was not valid, and it did not reduce his belief in the Negative Thought. However, this technique did reveal something important about Jason—he seems to see the world in an adversarial way, and imagines he is in competition with others who will try to put him down.
  • The Cost-Benefit Analysis. What the are Advantages and Disadvantages of Jason’s Negative Thought? Jason did a remarkable job with this technique, and found it helpful and illuminating.
  • The Individual Downward Arrow Technique. David and Rhonda illustrated how this works, using role-playing. They were able to identify five of Jason’s Self-Defeating Beliefs that are extremely common in Social Anxiety, including:
    • Perfectionism
    • Perceived Perfectionism
    • The Approval Addiction
    • The Spotlight Fallacy
    • The Brushfire Fallacy
  • The Paradoxical Double Standard Technique. What would Jason say to a dear friend who was also struggling with severe shyness? Would he say, “People will think you’re a self-centered jerk if you try to flirt with her.” If not, why not? What would Jason say to a friend? And would he be willing to talk to himself in the same compassionate way? This technique was also very helpful to Jason.
  • Examine the Evidence. What’s the evidence that people will think he’s a self-centered jerk if he tries to flirt with a young lady he’s attracted to?
  • Survey Technique. Have his friends ever struggled with anxiety when they were starting to date? Would they think of him as a “self-centered jerk” if he was more outgoing and flirtatious? This was a homework assignment, to ask his friends. The information he got was a huge surprise.
  • Thinking in Shades of Gray. He thinks he has to sweep her off her feet or he’ll get totally rejected and ostracized by the human race. Is there some easier goal he could shoot for?
  • He’s telling himself that if she shoots him down, it will prove that he’s a “loser.” Are there other reasons why a grocery checker might not respond favorably to a young man who is trying to flirt with her?
  • Feared Fantasy / Acceptance Paradox. David and Rhonda illustrate this amazing technique, with role-reversals. This technique will help Jason crush the Self-Defeating Beliefs that cause his shyness in the first place, like the Approval Addiction.

These techniques were extremely helpful to Jason, and all of his negative feelings went down dramatically by the end of his first therapy session. However, he will have to do more work outside the office for homework, using Interpersonal Exposure Techniques to confront his fears of rejection, including:

  • Smile and Hello practice
  • Flirting Training
  • Talk show Host
  • Rejection Practice
  • Self-Disclosure
  • Shame Attacking Exercises

These assignments terrified Jason, but he courageously agreed and followed through. He had his share of rejections, as we all do, but had some successes, too, and soon was dating a lot and enjoying it, and his shyness became a thing of the past. The treatment only required four sessions.

Thanks for listening!

David and Rhonda

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Berkeley, 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

* * *

THREE COOL UPCOMING WORKSHOPS FOR YOU

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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. Our Sunday workshops are tremendously fun, so consider attending if you are interested. 

The last Sunday workshop in February sold out quickly so register soon if you are interested. You can join in Palo Alto in person or online from anywhere in the world.

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

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? Sadly, the Feeling Good Institute wants to limit this workshop to therapists. But you can check out my summer intensives below. Non therapists have attended from time to time, and seemed to enjoy the intensives. I try to teach at a simple, clear, basic level, with little or no jargon.

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!

* * *

And there will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

 

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

 

134: Smashing Shyness: Part 1 of 2 Consecutive Shows on Social Anxiety

134: Smashing Shyness: Part 1 of 2 Consecutive Shows on Social Anxiety

How to Overcome Shyness

David and Rhonda begin with two emails (among many) from listeners asking for more help on the problem of social anxiety.

Email from “Margaret:”

Hi David,

How do you distinguish a personality disorder – say, for example, Avoidant Personality Disorder, from “just” (and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way) being depressed and anxious?

I ask because I have a strong suspicion that I may be suffering from Avoidant Personality Disorder, and I think if you knew my history you would probably agree that there are strong signs (I have been having problems from my early childhood until now, and I am 30 years old now).

Also, a further question – is it possible to have severe anxiety without feeling like the confrontation with the thing you’re afraid of means you’re going to die? I have isolated myself completely, and I have no social life in any sense of the word – my only real contact with the outside world is through my job, because it is a necessity for living. But it’s not because I think I’m going to die if I hang around people – I just very strongly dislike it and ‘shut down’ or ‘freeze’ due to all the thoughts in my head about being negatively judged and watched, so I prefer to avoid contact with people, and in situations where I’m forced to endure it, I’ll usually find ways to ‘avoid’ or escape the situation. 

There are many ways I do this – since I was very young I’ve had the habit of purposely looking annoyed, so that people would not approach me, even though I secretly wish they would (oh, the paradox..), and at work I will often be listening to music with earphones – both because the music calms my anxiety, and because it makes me appear less ‘available’ to other people. 

In situations where I cannot escape crowds – say, in the canteen during my lunch break – I’ll sit by myself, as far away from everyone else as I can, and leave as soon as I have taken the last bite of my food. In college I would often hide in the bathroom by myself during breaks, or I would avoid interpersonal contact in some other way. And so on and so forth. These are just a few examples – I could give you a million others. 

I am aware of my own behavioral patterns but still feel powerless to change them. It’s like being an observer, observing yourself committing the same mistakes over and over, but with an anxiety so strong that rationality alone is not enough to change the behavior. After 30 years of this, it’s getting old. I have never felt any other way, so I cannot fathom what it means to lead a normal life.

I have never had a friend in any usual sense of the term, and I literally never spend time with anyone in my spare time except for my parents. As a consequence, I have never learned or understood how to make friends, and I have never been in an intimate relationship, or taken part in any of the social activities that are normal to other people (parties, school dances, etc.) The simplest things are rocket science to me. So, I’m interested to know when a person crosses over from “simply” being depressed or anxious into having a personality disorder.

If you use any of this for a future episode I am fine with that – you can even quote me directly. But I only ask that you please don’t use my real name as to not jeopardize my job and so on. Thank you. 🙂

Kind regards,

Margaret

David explains that there is no such thing as “Avoidant Personality Disorder.” It is just an imaginary concept created by the American Psychiatric Association, and is applied to individuals with shyness that is so severe that it causes significant problems in their lives.

And yes, you can definitely deal with mild, moderate, or even extremely severe problems with the TEAM-CBT as well as exercises in my books, such as The Feeling Good Handbook, When Panic Attacks, and Intimate Connections.

They also read an email from “Abdul,” a podcast fan who’s been struggling with shyness.

I’m from Pakistan. Please make podcasts on shyness and public speaking and other anxiety issues.

I have anxiety shyness. My father has also anxiety. I know he is not happy. I also sometime feel exactly like him.

And one of my cousins is very much depressed. He is a cleaner in a garments shop. He always use to pack clothes all the time even if they are kept properly.

Dr burns please guide us. It would be very very helpful.

Sorry if I wrote anything unprofessional.

Thank you.

Several days later, David received an additional email from “Abdul:”

My social anxiety has returned back. In my office I feel very lonely. 

Here my negative thoughts:

  1. I should say something impressive.
  2. I’m good looking so I should not be anxious.
  3. I should talk to girls.
  4. I should say hi to people.
  5. I should mix with people.

Today and next week, David and Rhonda will describe how to treat / overcome shyness using TEAM-CBT. David explains that this is probably his favorite problem to treat, since he himself has struggled with every conceivable form of social anxiety, so he really knows how to defeat this problem. 

But to start out, David and Rhonda want to see how shy YOU are, so they administered David’s Shyness Test verbally to listeners. if you’d like to take the paper and pencil version, click here. You’ll also find the scoring.

How did you do on the Shyness Test?

Now let’s talk about how the treatment works. While you’re listening, you may enjoy following along on this PowerPoint presentation, which I will publish next week as well.

We’ll publish them next week, too. You’ll find Jason’s Daily Mood Log, the Recovery Circle, the Downward Arrow Technique, and more. These visuals will help your learning!

We always start with a Daily Mood Log, focusing on how you were thinking and feeling at a specific moment when you felt shy. We don’t just throw techniques at patients based on a problem (shyness) or diagnosis (Social Anxiety Disorder). We’re all different, so the treatment is highly individualized. 

Rhonda and David describe a shy young man  named Jason who wanted to flirt with an attractive woman checking groceries when he was inline at his local supermarket on a Saturday. However, he was flooded with Negative Thoughts and feelings, and by the time he got to the front of the line, he was so terrified that he avoided all eye contact with the checker, and didn’t even say a word to her, when she checked his groceries. He left the store feeling like a total loser.

David and Rhonda talk about reducing the Outcome and Process Resistance before trying to “help” Jason, or any one who’s anxious. Outcome Resistance means that Jason may have some pretty strong resistance to recovery, in spite of how much he’s suffered, even if all he had to do was to press a Magic Button and be instantly cured.

Process Resistance, in contrast, means that if Jason does want to recover, he’ll have to use some Interpersonal Exposure Techniques that will be frightening to him. Is he willing to do that if David agrees to treat his shyness?

David and Rhonda illustrate how to do Positive Reframing , listing all the really positive things about Jason’s negative thoughts and feelings.  They encourage listeners to turn off the podcast briefly, and see if they can list some positives before listening to the list that David and Rhonda generated. I’d encourage you to do that, too, while listening. Try it yourself before you see the “answers.”

They discuss how they might issue a Gentle Ultimatum, along with Dangling the Carrot and “Sitting with Open Hands,” to reduce Jason’s Process Resistance. 

Once Jason’s resistance has been reduced, they will go on to the M = Methods of the session, and focus on how to help Jason challenge the Negative Thoughts that Jason had while standing in line waiting to check his groceries.

Next week, they’ll describe the methods they selected and describe what happened when David used them during his session with Jason.

* Copyright ã 1996 by David D. Burns, M.D. Revised, 2019

Thanks for listening!

David and Rhonda

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Berkeley, 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

* * *

THREE COOL UPCOMING WORKSHOPS FOR YOU

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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. Our Sunday workshops are tremendously fun, so consider attending if you are interested. 

The last Sunday workshop in February sold out quickly so register soon if you are interested. You can join in Palo Alto in person or online from anywhere in the world.

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

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? Sadly, the Feeling Good Institute wants to limit this workshop to therapists. But you can check out my summer intensives below. Non therapists have attended from time to time, and seemed to enjoy the intensives. I try to teach at a simple, clear, basic level, with little or no jargon.

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!

* * *

And there will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

 

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

 

133: Finale — Goodbye Fabrice! Hello Rhonda!

133: Finale — Goodbye Fabrice! Hello Rhonda!

A Fabulous (but Sad) Finale for our Fantastic and Beloved Fabrice–

Mission Accomplished!

Dear Feeling Good Podcast fans,

I am profoundly sad to say goodbye to my beloved friend and terrific podcast host, Dr. Fabrice Nye, who is leaving the podcast to start his own show this spring. I wish him well on his new podcast he’ll be releasing soon. I’ll share the specifics when they become available so loyal fans can tune in and follow him!

What a joyous experience it has been working with Fabrice for the last three years. He proposed the idea of a weekly podcast in the spring of 2016. We started publishing episodes on this website, but we realized that we needed wider distribution. So, we re-launched the podcast and re-published the first few episodes on iTunes, starting with episode #001 on October 27 of that year. Together we have been able to share TEAM-CBT with many enthusiastic listeners. We just exceeded more than 70,000 downloads monthly and are now almost at 1,000,000 all-time downloads. Please join me in wishing him well!

My feelings of profound loss are comforted by welcoming another dear friend and colleague, Dr. Rhonda Barovsky, our new host. Rhonda and I look forward to creating many more fabulous podcasts for all of you.

Rhonda received her doctoral degree in Forensic Psychology from the Eisner Institute for Professional Studies in 2013. Throughout her career, she has been a champion of women’s rights and defender of the victims of childhood sexual abuse. Rhonda is the founder of the San Francisco Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment Program and has served as Director of San Francisco Family Court Services. She has also worked at the San Francisco Rape Treatment Center, providing crisis and short-term counseling for adult survivors of sexual assault and their families.

Rhonda is a certified TEAM-CBT therapist and esteemed teacher. In her clinical practice, she focuses on TEAM-CBT for adults struggling with depression, anxiety disorders, and relationship problems.

She brings warmth, enthusiasm and brilliance to her new role as host of the Feeling Good Podcasts:

“I am extremely honored to be invited to host the Feeling Good Podcast with Dr. David Burns. Fabrice Nye has been a visionary, and his shoes will be impossible to fill. I hope to add to the joy and excitement of learning and teaching TEAM-CBT along with David and having lively and productive discussions.” Dr. Rhonda Barovsky

Rhonda and I will be posting two surveys shortly on my website, www.FeelingGood.com, to find out more about you. I want to find out if you are a therapist or non-therapist, and what kinds of topics might interest you the most.

And unlike some tech giants, we promise to keep your information totally confidential. We don’t sell information; we just want to do the best job we can for therapists and non-therapists alike, for free. If you are a “patient,” we want to accelerate your learning and your recovery as well. If you are a “therapist,” we want to help you improve you skills and your joy in your clinical work. 

I put the words, “patient” and “therapist” in quotes, because the line between the two is very narrow indeed! As “therapists,” most of us struggle at times with the same human dilemmas that our patients face. And as we do our own personal work, as therapists, we bring far more healing and compassion to our work with our “patients!”

On the show, Fabrice and David share fondest memories of the show, and Rhonda talks about new directions as she becomes the host of the Feeling Good Podcast. Fabrice also gives some hints about his new show, which will be broadcast in French and English. Fabrice will describe and translate new developments in psychology research and relate the findings to our daily lives. 

Thank you so much for your awesome support over the past 2 ½ years!

Fabrice, David and Rhonda

Subscribe

Dr. Fabrice Nye currently practices in Redwood City, California and treats individuals throughout the world (but not across U.S. state lines) via teletherapy. You can reach him at fabrice@life.net. You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you may download it here.

* * *

THREE COOL UPCOMING WORKSHOPS FOR YOU

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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. Our Sunday workshops are tremendously fun, so consider attending if you are interested. 

The last Sunday workshop in February sold out quickly so register soon if you are interested. You can join in Palo Alto in person or online from anywhere in the world.

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

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!

* * *

And there will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

 

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

 

Overcoming the Fear of Death

Hi podcast fans and colleagues,

Many existential therapists believe that the fear of death is at the root of a great deal of anxiety, if not all anxiety. My clinical experience has not been consistent with this notion. I’ve had nearly 40,000 therapy sessions with patients struggling with anxiety, and very few had the fear of death.

But I have seen three kinds of patients who were afraid of death:

  1. Patients with panic disorder who think they’re on the verge of death during their panic attack
  2. Obsessive patients without panic disorder who are preoccupied with the fear of dying.
  3. Patients with terminal illnesses.

In my experience, all of these categories are pretty easy to treat.

Panic Attack Patients: Some individuals have panic attacks that are triggered by the belief that they are about to die or pass out. In my book, When Panic Attacks, I described a woman name Terri who had struggled with terrifying panic attacks for ten years prior to seeking treatment with me in Philadelphia. She was cured in six minutes when I used the Experimental Technique, which is arguably the most powerful technique ever developed for the treatment of anxiety.

The Experimental Technique is simple, but it requires a lot of courage on the part of the patient AND the therapist. You encourage the patient to do a test of the thought that is triggering the depression or anxiety. During each panic attack, Terri told herself that she was on the verge of a massive heart attack and that her windpipe was about to close off so that she wouldn’t be able to breath. If you had thoughts like that, and you believed them, you’d feel panic too!

With Terri’s permission, I induced a massive panic attack in the office, and then persuaded her to test her belief that she was having a heart attack by doing strenuous aerobics in the office. The video is mind blowing, as you see her going from sobbing and terror to uncontrollable laughter in just six minutes. And that ended ten years of misery.

Of course, the Experimental Technique is not a formula, since the experiment that every patient does will be different. That’s because we all have our own, unique negative thoughts when we’re struggling with depression or anxiety. Jumping jacks is NOT a treatment for panic attacks, depression, or anything else!

I hope to show the Terri video in my upcoming, May 19, 2019 workshop on the treatment of anxiety. If you think you might like to attend, you can find some information below.

Panic Disorder has become one of the easiest forms of anxiety to treat. Some panic patients do not fear death, but the fear of losing control and becoming insane. This fear can also be treated quickly with the Experimental Technique, but the experiment will be radically different. IN addition, the Experimental Technique is only one of many techniques that can lead to rapid recovery from all forms of anxiety, and not just panic attacks.

Patients without panic attacks who fear death. These patients can usually be treated rapidly as well. You’ll find out how in this ten-minute podcast on overcoming the fear of death! If you fear death, or have patients who are afraid of death, try the simple and fast method I describe in the podcast. You’ll probably think it couldn’t possibly help—and then you may discover that your fear of death has suddenly disappeared!

Patients with a terminal illness. These patients are usually also very easy to treat, since the thoughts that trigger their feelings of anxiety and depression are nearly always distorted. If you’d like to listen to a live therapy session with a dear colleague who was diagnosed unexpectedly with stage 4 lung cancer, click this link. I think you’ll find the session with Marilyn incredibly inspiring, and surprising as well. Or, to use a term Marilyn used—mind blowing!

Although we treated Marilyn in a single session, we broke it up into three podcasts. Here are the links to the others:

050 Live Session (Marilyn) —
Agenda Setting (Part 2)
69
051 Live Session (Marilyn) — Methods, Relapse Prevention (Part 3) 89

Below you’ll find descriptions of three upcoming workshops on the treatment of depression and anxiety. I hope to see you at one of them!

One last thing! Although very few of my patients have feared the death that comes at the end of our life, almost all have feared the “Great Death” of the “ego,” or “self,” that happens when we are still alive. There are, in fact, not one but four Great Deaths, and they each lead to a different type of enlightenment that correspond to recovery from depression, anxiety disorders, relationship conflicts, and habits and addictions. I even have a chapter on these four Great Deaths in my new book, which is nearing completion. The chapter is entitled, “How to Join the Grateful Dead!”

If you can’t wait for the new book, you can link to a FB Live show that Mike Christensen and I did on the Four Great Deaths in April of 2018.

David

* * *

Coming in May, 2019!

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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

WHEN: Sunday May 19th, 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-CBT CERTIFICATION PROGRAM? YES!

This workshop counts towards Levels 1, 2 or 3 TEAM-CBT Certification.

WHO CAN ATTEND? Therapists of all levels are welcome

CAN I REGISTER IF I’M NOT A THERAPIST? Sadly, this workshop is geared for therapists. You might want to attend one of my two summer intensives, also listed below. They are geared for therapists, but anyone can benefit from them.

CAN I WORK ON MY OWN FEELINGS OF ANXIETY AND INSECURITY?
Absolutely! Heal yourself, heal your clients!

WILL I HAVE FUN? Yes!

WILL I HAVE SOME GREAT FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH? Yes!

WILL I HANG OUT WITH SOME COOL PEOPLE? Yes!

You will also:

  • Learn new skills to reduce resistance and boost the motivation to change. This is THE key to the treatment.
  • Learn how to treat all of the anxiety disorders quickly.
  • See actual live videos of the Six-Minute Cure for Severe and Incapacitating Panic Disorder and the Fifteen-Minute Cure for Severe OCD.
  • Practice and master the Externalization of Voices and Acceptance Paradox to overcome your own feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
  • Master Relapse Prevention Training for lasting results.

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, videos, and breakout group practice to enhance skill-building.

This wonderful workshop will stream live and is easily accessible from anywhere in the world on any device with WiFi. To join, just click on the link provided before the workshop.

More than twelve expert trainers will be available to assist
the online participants in the small group exercises!

You can attend in person or from home via Live Streaming

Act fast if you want to attend!

Don’t miss out learning from David Burns, MD,
one of the pioneers of Cognitive Therapy,

and Jill Levitt, PhD, Director of Training
at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, CA!

* * *
Coming this Summer

There will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

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

THE INTENSIVES ARE THE BEST WORKSHOPS OF THE YEAR!

If you can join us, they will be even better!

 

Conquering a Phobia

Hi podcast fans and colleagues,

Do you have any fears or phobias?

I think we all have to practice what we preach. Since I do a lot of therapy and teaching on how to overcome anxiety, I thought you might like this little video I made a year or two ago when I finally overcame my childhood intense camera phobia. This is neither lengthy nor profound, just a little slice of David!

NOTE: To get sound, you will need to click the little sound icon in the lower right hand corner of the video.

David

* * *

Coming in May, 2019!

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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

WHEN: Sunday May 19th, 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-CBT CERTIFICATION PROGRAM? YES!

This workshop counts towards Levels 1, 2 or 3 TEAM-CBT Certification.

WHO CAN ATTEND? Therapists of all levels are welcome

CAN I REGISTER IF I’M NOT A THERAPIST? Sadly, this workshop is geared for therapists. You might want to attend one of my two summer intensives, also listed below. They are geared for therapists, but anyone can benefit from them.

CAN I WORK ON MY OWN FEELINGS OF ANXIETY AND INSECURITY?
Absolutely! Heal yourself, heal your clients!

WILL I HAVE FUN? Yes!

WILL I HAVE SOME GREAT FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH? Yes!

WILL I HANG OUT WITH SOME COOL PEOPLE? Yes!

You will also:

  • Learn new skills to reduce resistance and boost the motivation to change. This is THE key to the treatment.
  • Learn how to treat all of the anxiety disorders quickly.
  • See actual live videos of the Six-Minute Cure for Severe and Incapacitating Panic Disorder and the Fifteen-Minute Cure for Severe OCD.
  • Practice and master the Externalization of Voices and Acceptance Paradox to overcome your own feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
  • Master Relapse Prevention Training for lasting results.

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, videos, and breakout group practice to enhance skill-building.

This wonderful workshop will stream live and is easily accessible from anywhere in the world on any device with WiFi. To join, just click on the link provided before the workshop.

More than twelve expert trainers will be available to assist
the online participants in the small group exercises!

You can attend in person or from home via Live Streaming

Act fast if you want to attend!

Don’t miss out learning from David Burns, MD,
one of the pioneers of Cognitive Therapy,

and Jill Levitt, PhD, Director of Training
at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, CA!

* * *
Coming this Summer

There will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

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

THE INTENSIVES ARE THE BEST WORKSHOPS OF THE YEAR!

If you can join us, they will be even better!

132: Ask David: Do we REALLY create our own interpersonal reality? What if you’re being raped?

132: Ask David: Do we REALLY create our own interpersonal reality? What if you’re being raped?

Hi Folks!

Here’s the short version of today’s Ask David questions.

  1. Do depression and anxiety result from medical illnesses, like thyroid problems?
  2. Do we REALLY create our own interpersonal reality? What if you’re being raped? Are you saying that’s your fault? How can that be?
  3. I struggle with anxiety. Why is it a mistake to try to “calm down?”
  4. How do you deal with entitlement? I think my patients should do what I tell them to do! After all, I’m a highly trained professional!
  5. How do you deal with racism, sexism, and other societal barriers? What if the injustice is real and it isn’t “all in your head?”

And here are the longer versions. Fabrice and I hope you enjoy these thoughtful questions submitted by listeners like you!

1. Barbara asks: 1) How are hypothyroidism, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder related, and (2) how are heart disease, depression, and anxiety related?

2. Mark asks: I’m one of your most avid listeners to your podcasts. I’ve listened to most of Feeling Good Podcasts as well as the recordings of your Facebook live broadcasts with Jill. I absolutely love your content and extremely grateful for your insights and the material you put out for free. I’ve heard you say numerous times how in interpersonal relationship problems we create the poor behavior we see in the other.

At what point though, is a threshold crossed and you acknowledge the other in the relationship is creating problems? For example, if your client is being raped by their partner and is being threatened with violence if they dare leave, you wouldn’t say to your client you’re creating that kind of treatment from your partner.

Obviously the above is a very extreme example, but what if its scaled back in terms of severity of abuse, stopping short of physical attacks and threats? Where does a line in the sand get drawn where you acknowledge the client is not creating the problems themselves? I’d deeply appreciate your reply!

3. Angela asks: I was intrigued by your comment in your podcast #88 on Role-Playing Techniques that “trying to calm down is a big mistake. . . then your emotions become your enemies,” but then you said, “that’s a good topic for another podcast.” I hope you do a podcast on that topic!!! I’m eagerly waiting to hear more about that!

4. Julio asks: I’d like to share my experience. I am a therapist and I suffered from, and am still working on, feeling inadequate. I frequently questioned “am I good enough to be a therapist?” “How can I help others if I have issues of my own?”

After reading Feeling Good I realized I frequently jump to conclusions, engage in mind reading, and labeling whenever there is some uncertainty with my clients. At times I might even have blamed them when things didn’t go the way I thought they should go.

I believe I do that to protect my ego, and I might have developed some cognitive distortions related to entitlement such as

  • “I’m a therapist, people are supposed to do what I say”
  • “I worked too hard and too long and potential employers better give me what I deserve”
  • “Because I practice evidence-based therapy, I’m better than 99% of all therapists.”

These entitled thoughts led me to become irate whenever someone didn’t act according to my expectations. I would vacillate between feeling angry and feeling depressed.

I guess when I initially emailed Fabrice I was confused as to how my entitlement develops, but now I’m realizing that it comes from the same distortions that can cause depression. I didn’t know that distortions could produce depression and entitlement.

I’m curious what you and Fabrice think about this. I thoroughly what you and Fabrice think about this. I thoroughly enjoy your podcast and often find myself re-listening to earlier episodes.

5. Holly asks: “ Burns: I have found tremendous value in your books and podcast. I have noticed that you discuss some emails/letters/etc. on your podcast and I have one I’d like to hear you discuss. What are your thoughts on dealing with racism, sexism, and other societal barriers?

For example, it is not uncommon for people with dominant identities (white, male, physically able) to tell women, people of color, or those with physical challenges that their issues are all in their minds and that if they thought differently, then they would have different outcomes.

I am an African-American woman and I don’t believe this (the statistics on access to education, employment, and justice all suggest otherwise). What are you saying (if anything) in your writing, practice about thoughts related to injustice?

Best, Holly

So there you have it! Great questions, and keep them coming!

By the way, one of our podcast fans has written an outstanding and thoughtful article asking if there is a causal link between Donald Trump’s Twitter tweets and anti-Muslim hate crimes for the prestigious journal, Scientific American. Here’s the link

Thanks, David and Fabrice

Subscribe

Dr. Fabrice Nye currently practices in Redwood City, California and treats individuals throughout the world (but not across U.S. state lines) via teletherapy. You can reach him at fabrice@life.net. You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you may download it here.

* * *

THREE COOL UPCOMING WORKSHOPS FOR YOU

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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. Our Sunday workshops are tremendously fun, so consider attending if you are interested. 

The last Sunday workshop in February sold out quickly so register soon if you are interested. You can join in Palo Alto in person or online from anywhere in the world.

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

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!

* * *

And there will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

 

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

 

The Dark Side of Clinical Practice–Protect Yourself and Your Clients

The Dark Side of Clinical Practice–Protect Yourself and Your Clients

Do you know how to predict and prevent suicide?

Treating people with depression and anxiety is, for me, and hopefully for you, an incredible privilege, and a source of tremendous personal satisfaction. I feel lucky to have  career that is so amazingly rewarding–but there’s a dark side to our work.

Experts tell us that 10% to 15% of chronically depressed patients will eventually commit suicide, even if they receive the best available treatment. Suicide is a horrible tragedy for patients, their families, and their therapists as well.

The impact can be devastating. Therapists typically struggle with feelings of intense loss, anxiety, failure and shame, and may also face the horrors of a humiliating and enraging malpractice suit which can drag on for years. Family members, friends, and therapists may struggle with this tragedy for years, or even decades, without resolution or relief.

Most therapists avoid talking about patient suicides due to feelings of anxiety, guilt and shame, and the fear of being judged. In case you missed it, you can still listen to David’s August 18, 2018 Feeling Good Podcast on suicide prevention and learn how to protect yourself, your patients, and their families from this horrific outcome.

You will learn what works–and what doesn’t–and you may save patient lives. You may also save yourself from a great deal of grief as well, so you can truly enjoy your clinical work without the fear of losing a patient in this terrible way.

If you want to take a deep dive into this subject, check out this May 15, 2017 blog on Suicide prevention as well. This may be anxiety provoking in the here-and-now, but may save you from far greater pain somewhere down the road!

This blog is part of a new approach I am using to send out blogs on topics of importance, with links to learn more, based on my previous podcasts and blogs. I hope you like it! let me know what you think. In addition, I have to thank a TEAM therapist and podcast fan, Angela Poch, for helping to make this a possibility!

David

* * *

Coming in May!

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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

WHEN: Sunday May 19th, 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-CBT CERTIFICATION PROGRAM? YES!

This workshop counts towards Levels 1, 2 or 3 TEAM-CBT Certification.

WHO CAN ATTEND? Therapists of all levels are welcome

CAN I REGISTER IF I’M NOT A THERAPIST? Sadly, this workshop is geared for therapists. You might want to attend one of my two summer intensives, also listed below. They are geared for therapists, but anyone can benefit from them.

CAN I WORK ON MY OWN FEELINGS OF ANXIETY AND INSECURITY?
Absolutely! Heal yourself, heal your clients!

WILL I HAVE FUN? Yes!

WILL I HAVE SOME GREAT FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH? Yes!

WILL I HANG OUT WITH SOME COOL PEOPLE? Yes!

You will also:

  • Learn new skills to reduce resistance and boost the motivation to change. This is THE key to the treatment.
  • Learn how to treat all of the anxiety disorders quickly.
  • See actual live videos of the Six-Minute Cure for Severe and Incapacitating Panic Disorder and the Fifteen-Minute Cure for Severe OCD.
  • Practice and master the Externalization of Voices and Acceptance Paradox to overcome your own feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
  • Master Relapse Prevention Training for lasting results.

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, videos, and breakout group practice to enhance skill-building.

This wonderful workshop will stream live and is easily accessible from anywhere in the world on any device with WiFi. To join, just click on the link provided before the workshop.

More than twelve expert trainers will be available to assist
the online participants in the small group exercises!

You can attend in person or from home via Live Streaming

Act fast if you want to attend!

Don’t miss out learning from David Burns, MD,
one of the pioneers of Cognitive Therapy,

and Jill Levitt, PhD, Director of Training
at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, CA!

* * *
Coming this Summer

There will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

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

THE INTENSIVES ARE THE BEST WORKSHOPS OF THE YEAR!

If you can join us, they will be even better!

Fantastic and Free–for You and Your Clients!

Fantastic and Free–for You and Your Clients!

Hi podcast fans and colleagues,

Today, with the help of two incredibly helpful colleagues, Masha Voronin and Angela Poch, I have made tremendous improvements to my website that may be of great interest you as well as your patients.

First, at the following link, you’ll find all the Feeling Good Podcasts listed from number 1, right up to the latest, with links, and the length of time in minutes. When you click on a Podcast of interest, you will go directly to the show notes as well as the show.

https://feelinggood.com/list-of-feeling-good-podcasts/

Second, on that page, and every page of my website, you’ll find an awesome new search tool in the upper right hand corner. You can type in some topic of interest, like “suicide” or “cognitive distortions” or “Five Secrets of Effective Communication,” and it will list all the relevant podcasts and blogs. You will find filters, too, so you can search just in the podcasts for example.

Check it out. I am so excited about this incredible improvement. You can now easily assign certain podcasts as homework for your patients who are working on certain kins of problems, and you can also use the search function to look up podcasts on some technique you want to learn, like “Feared Fantasy,” for example.

I am super psyched and so grateful to Angela and Masha! Let me know what you think and if you want more changes!

The search function and clickable list of podcasts have been a dream for a long time, and now these tools are a reality!

David

* * *

Coming in May!

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders–

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

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

WHEN: Sunday May 19th, 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-CBT CERTIFICATION PROGRAM? YES!

This workshop counts towards Levels 1, 2 or 3 TEAM-CBT Certification.

WHO CAN ATTEND? Therapists of all levels are welcome

CAN I REGISTER IF I’M NOT A THERAPIST? Sadly, this workshop is geared for therapists. You might want to attend one of my two summer intensives, also listed below. They are geared for therapists, but anyone can benefit from them.

CAN I WORK ON MY OWN FEELINGS OF ANXIETY AND INSECURITY?
Absolutely! Heal yourself, heal your clients!

WILL I HAVE FUN? Yes!

WILL I HAVE SOME GREAT FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH? Yes!

WILL I HANG OUT WITH SOME COOL PEOPLE? Yes!

You will also:

  • Learn new skills to reduce resistance and boost the motivation to change. This is THE key to the treatment.
  • Learn how to treat all of the anxiety disorders quickly.
  • See actual live videos of the Six-Minute Cure for Severe and Incapacitating Panic Disorder and the Fifteen-Minute Cure for Severe OCD.
  • Practice and master the Externalization of Voices and Acceptance Paradox to overcome your own feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
  • Master Relapse Prevention Training for lasting results.

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, videos, and breakout group practice to enhance skill-building.

This wonderful workshop will stream live and is easily accessible from anywhere in the world on any device with WiFi. To join, just click on the link provided before the workshop.

More than twelve expert trainers will be available to assist
the online participants in the small group exercises!

You can attend in person or from home via Live Streaming

Act fast if you want to attend!

Don’t miss out learning from David Burns, MD,
one of the pioneers of Cognitive Therapy,

and Jill Levitt, PhD, Director of Training
at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, CA!

* * *
Coming this Summer

There will be two awesome summer intensives for you this year!

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

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

THE INTENSIVES ARE THE BEST WORKSHOPS OF THE YEAR!

If you can join us, they will be even better!