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

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

If you miss the broadcast you can watch the saved videos on my Facebook page!

More Exciting Developments–More Live Therapy Coming Soon!

And a neat new poll for you!

The following is a poll concerning the teachings of the ancient Greek Stoic philosopher, Epictetus. In his classic book The Enchiridion, he wrote that people are disturbed, not by things, but by the views we take of them. In other words, it is impossible, according to Epictetus, to have any kind of feeling without first having a thought about what’s happening. This is the basic premise of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that I wrote about in my first book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. In theory, this is an empowering idea, since we often can’t change reality, but we can change the way we think and feel about what’s happening.

But lots of people just don’t buy it. They argue that when something genuinely horrible happens, your negative emotions, such as depression, anxiety, anger anger are directly caused by the actual event. You, too, may believe that negative feelings are sometimes inevitable, and that it isn’t necessary to first have a negative thought before you can feel upset.

What do you think? Take this poll and let me know!

There is a reason for this poll, beyond intellectual curiosity. This is part 1 of an informal experiment. I am going to repeat this poll, probably in August of 2017, after the next live therapy podcasts with a woman named Marilyn who is facing a truly catastrophic event. Dr. Matthew May and I treated Marilyn last Saturday morning at my home, and the entire session will be presented in three consecutive podcasts with commentary.

You can repeat the poll if you like at the end of the therapy with Marilyn, and we’ll see if you thinking has changed, or remains the same!

Also, stay tuned for these Feeling Good Podcasts featuring our live work with Marilyn. I think you will find the podcasts shocking, riveting, and inspiring, and hopefully helpful when you are facing traumatic events in your own life! These podcasts will be special!

Three Exciting Developments Now!

Hi web visitors,

Here is development #1: I am thrilled to announce that my free “Feeling Good Podcasts” with host, Dr. Favrice Nye, now feature LIVE THERAPY! Recently, I completed a session with my co-therapist, Dr. Jill Levitt, and our “patient,” a physician colleague who has felt like a failure in his role as a father–in spite of his many achievements in his career. Many of us (including yours truly) know how intense that pain can be of feeling that you are defective, or that you have not lived up to your goals in life. I think you will find the session heartwarming, inspiring, and educational, especially if you want to learn more about how to use TEAM-CBT in your personal life or in your clinical work with clients. Drs. Nye, Levitt, and I are tremendously grateful to our “patient” for making himself vulnerable so that others can see how the new techniques actually work in real-world settings.

The initial response has been tremendous. You can find the first one if you CLICK HERE! You can find all 30 + of the Feeling Good Podcasts if you CLICK HERE!

Development #2 is that my article, “When Helping Doesn’t Help,” is the featured article in the March / April (40th Anniversary edition) of the Psychotherapy Networker magazine. I am very honored and proud to have the chance to publish in that prestigious magazine. The article describes the research and clinical experience that led to the evolution of TEAM-CBT, and includes a beautiful and inspiring vignette of a woman treated successfully in a single (extended length) therapy session for severe depression and anxiety following decades of violent abuse. CLICK HERE to link to the article.

I want to thank the editor, Richard Simon, who planted the seed and pushed me to write the article! This will be a chance to spread the word about TEAM-CBT, since they reach out to a huge number of practicing clinicians.

And here is development #3: My article entitled,  “Can depression be successfully treated in two hours? TEAM therapy provides hope for high-speed recovery without drugs” is featured in the current issue of the The Therapist: Magazine of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. If you’d like to read it, CLICK HERE! 




I am posting a great deal of exciting information on my blog pages, and you will also find my free weekly podcasts there. There are six categories for therapists, patients, and the general public, including:

  • Ask Dr. David
  • The Feeling Good Podcast
  • The Feeling Good Blog
  • Secrets of Self-Esteem
  • The Ten Worst Errors Therapists Make
  • The Lost Chapters

In my Ask Dr. David blog, I answer questions from visitors like you. For example,

  • Is Love an Adult Human Need?
  • Can you Treat an Addiction to Romantic Fantasies?
  • Why Do We Act in Such an Illogical Way?
  • Does Tapping Work?
  • And more

Maybe you will submit a question!

In my Feeling Good Blog, I discuss fascinating and controversial topics such as

  • Why Does Therapy Fail? What’s the Solution?
  • Anxiety and Magical Thinking
  • Photos and Reports from the Sunday Hikes
  • Can Depression and Anxiety Really Be Treated in a Single Extended Therapy Session
  • Escape from the Abuse Contract
  • Should We Try to be Happy All the Time?
  • And more

Take a look!

In my popular weekly Feeling Good Podcasts with Dr. Fabrice Nye, I discuss all the latest developments in TEAM-CBT, and nearly every podcasts features an inspiring vignette that brings topics and therapy methods to life. This podcast is for therapists and intelligent patients, and covers topics such as

  • You FEEL the Way You THINK
  • You can CHANGE the way you FEEL!
  • Negative and Positive Distortions
  • The Eight Most Common Types of Therapeutic Resistance
  • How to Overcome Therapeutic Resistance
  • The Five Secrets of Effective Communication
  • And more.

The Feeling Good Podcasts also feature actual live therapy, so you can see for yourself exactly how the super-fast TEAM-CBT actually works. Take a listen!

FeelingGood.Com Tops 2 Million hits, and > 700,000 Visitors!

I am proud to announce that my website has now had 2 million hits and more than 700,000 visitors. Thanks For the support! In addition, my books, Feeling Good and the Feeling Good Handbook have sold more than 5 million copies in the United States, and many more worldwide, and my Feeling Good Podcasts with host, Dr. Fabrice Nye, now enjoy 60,000 to more than 70,000 downloads per month.

Every day, visitors from more than 25 countries worldwide stop by. I hope you enjoy the many free resources for therapists, patients, and for the general public, and will become a regular here! At the top of the column to the right of this page, you can sign up for email notifications every time I publish something new.

David Burns, MD

Important Announcement–

David has a new blog showing how TEAM-CBT works, and addressing the question “Can Depression Really Be Treated in a Single, Two-Hour Therapy Session?” The blog was based on an interview with Lisa Kelley, a certified TEAM-CBT therapist and former journalist from Littleton, Colorado.

Check it out!

And while we’re on this topic, this is a heart-warming note from Lisa Kelley that you might enjoy!


Posted on December 25, 2016 by lisakelleytherapy

“Just one look. That’s all it took,” as the song goes. And I fell head over heels in love with Dr. David Burns at the Park Hill Library in Denver. It’s been 25 years, and I’m still as passionate as the day we met.

Nine months pregnant, hot, exhausted and depressed, I waddled into the 1920 Spanish Renaissance branch of the Denver Public Library with what felt like a Butterball turkey strapped to my waist. My two preschool daughters each took a hand and we trudged into the blessedly air-conditioned library for story time.

Perchance, I glanced to my left and saw the blue words “Feeling Good” on a yellow book beckoning me to come hither. Without hesitation, I breathlessly said, “Yes, yes.! I want to feel good!” And then he swept me away with words of hope, encouragement and the belief I was good enough. I was worthy. And my life was worth living.

That was 25 years ago, and my passion for the work of Stanford Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus David Burns, MD  is as ardent as that moment I laid my eyes on him. Picking up that book changed my life and kept me from sinking like theTitanic into the dark, cold depressive ocean following a traumatic corporate restructuring.  It allowed me to talk back convincingly to the relentless, cunning voice in my head whispering, “You’re a bad person.” “You’re not good enough.” “Nobody likes you.”

Learning to challenge “Neville the Devil” as I now call that convincingly abusive voice, helped me survive major depression, amplified by terrifying postpartum anxiety without the help of drugs or a straightjacket. I hung on by my fingertips and was able to pull myself back into the boat. I promised myself I would one day help others buffeted by depression, anxiety, shame and guilt.

I left my stressful career in corporate communications, delivered my son, and went back to graduate school to become a psychotherapist. And I’ve devoted this chapter of my career to voluntarily publicizing his TEAM-CBT, also referred to as “CBT on steroids.” So don’t be surprised when I pop up here and there, bringing good tidings of therapeutic training, intensive therapy opportunities, and joy from The Feeling Good Institute http://www.feelinggoodinstitute.com/. It’s all about what I love to do, and what makes me very, very happy.

But every step forward personally and professionally has been terrifying. I fearfully put one foot in front of the other and put myself out there.  Last year, I invited Dr. Burns to present his trauma workshop here in Denver. I really didn’t know him at all; I only had participated in his four-day intensive workshop and an anxiety workshop in London.

One morning, I woke up and heard myself ask, “Can depression really be treated in two hours?” I grabbed my laptop and fired off a series of confrontational questions to David, as I now informally call him, challenging him as a critical reporter –one of my former personas. Back and forth we went, pushing and pulling, until finally, we published our controversial interview, “Can Depression Really Be Treated in Two Hours?  Click here to check it out!

What a gift it was to open on Christmas morning!

Today David, psychologist Dr. Fabrice Nye and I published an interview about our article on their new Feeling Good Podcast https://feelinggood.com/category/podcast/. And that was not as easy at it sounds. It would be analogous to singing on stage with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  But I heard David’s voice, “You have to face the monster and find the monster has no teeth.”

So I faced the fear of stuttering, stammering and freezing. I once again asked myself, “Why not me? I can do this. Be bold.” And then I dove into the deep end of the pool with David guiding and shaping the conversation as only an experienced teacher can do. And then the self-consciousness melted away as I danced with a partner who knew all the steps.

Feeling Good  The New Mood Therapy, published in 1980, saved my life and many of the clients I have worked with as a psychotherapist. We have voyaged over really rough waters in tiny boats with Feeling Good as our guide. Many people are alive today after reading that self-help book and using the cognitive behavioral skills he helped pioneer. They are equally as grateful, and that explains why so many people love this irascible fellow for his wisdom, humor and generosity.

So it really was more than just one look. It was just one book. That’s all it took.

Important Announcement — The Feeling Good Podcast is now live on iTunes and totally free of charge!!!

feeling-good-logo-2000x2000Message: Dr. David Burns’ new Feeling Good Podcast is now available on iTunes! This podcast brings a wealth of information to therapists and to the general public alike about the latest methods for overcoming depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and habits and addictions. Dr. Burns and his host, Dr. Fabrice Nye, also describe the new TEAM-CBT treatment model with lively, inspiring anecdotes and demonstrations.

To check it out, click here!

If you like it, rate and review the Feeling Good Podcast on iTunes or your podcast directory of choice every time you listen to an episode. If you give us a 5-star rating (or whatever is the max), it will help us spread the word about TEAM-CBT!

But just as importantly, we want you to help shape the content of our show. What psychological or therapeutic issues would you like to hear about? Do you have a story to tell? We invite you to go to the Feeling Good Podcast right here on this website and leave your comments.

Thanks! David and Fabrice

115-1504_img   img_6023

By the way, someone left this message on my Facebook page: “You can download any podcast app – like CastBox or Podcast Addict and then from there, search for David’s podcast by name! Can’t wait to tune in.” David

Welcome to my website.

I appreciate your visit. Here you will find resources for clinicians and the general public alike, including:

For therapists

For patients as well as the general public

Check out my new Feeling Good Podcast series for therapists and for the general public!

Recognition for Feeling Good Blogs and Podcasts

Comment: Dear Dr. Burns,
Feeling Good was listed as one of the very best psychology blogs of 2016 in our recent article! Feeling Good was included in our “For Professionals” category, and our editors highlighted the blog’s focus on the world of psychotherapy. Please feel free to post this article on your blog or social media.
Best regards, Pam Beiler
Communications Manager, http://www.online-psychology-degrees.org/

Feeling Good Institute: Treatment and Training

To find therapists trained in Dr. Burns’ new T.E.A.M. Therapy, visit the website for the Feeling Good Institute (FGI.) The institute is located near El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California, and offers individual therapy as well as Intensives for individuals who do not live in this area. To watch a brief video describing the treatment programs at the FGI, click here.

The Feeling Good Institute also offers training programs for mental health professionals, along with a certification program in T.E.A.M. Therapy. To learn more about TEAM Therapy and how it has evolved from CBT, click here. To learn more about the training and certification programs, contact Angela Krumm, PhD at the Feeling Good Institute. To watch a brief video describing the training programs at the FGI, click here.

Unlimited Free Training by Dr. Burns and his colleagues

To learn more about free T.E.A.M. Therapy training programs for students and community therapists directed by Dr. Burns and May at the Stanford Medical School, plus other in-person and online psychotherapy training programs in the Bay Area and nationwide, click here.

David’s Recent TV Interview

Hi folks,

A few of you asked for this link to my TV interview  with Dr. Foojan Zeine recently (May 2015). She broadcasts to an international audience of Iranian folks primarily.

One of my colleagues has suggested, “You may want to skip past the non-TEAM material by starting at 6:27. Use this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMer9Dxx91Q&t=6m27s

I hope you enjoy the show. Dr. Zeine does a terrific job, and gave me a chance to preent an overview of the newly developed T.E.A.M. therapy approach.


David’s Even More Recent TV Interview

In October of 2015 I taped a 30-minute TV show along with Karen, a clinical psychologist, in our training program, or the TV show, Lifestyle Magazine. The show originates out of Los Angeles and was shown nation-wide recently. Here’s a link to the show that was aired in March of 2016.

Grab a cup of coffee and watch David Burns on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) Lifestyle Magazine show “Mood Therapy.”  


In the show, Karen and I describe the new, ultra-rapid T.E.A.M. therapy for depression. The staff and hosts were extremely friendly, and I was grateful to have had this opportunity to get our message out to the general public. We want more people to learn about T.E.A.M., and the significant breakthrough in treatment that is now possible. In the show, we describe the treatment of a woman struggling with nine years of intense sadness, guilt, anxiety and anger following a horrible trauma involving her daughter. She courageously agreed to volunteer as the “patient” for a live demonstration of T.E.A.M. during my recent San Francisco intensive this summer at the South San Francisco Conference Center. All of her symptoms vanished in just a single session and she has maintained that phenomenal change ever since. My co-therapist for the session was Dr. Jill Levitt, who is a co-leader at my free weekly psychotherapy training group at Stanford.

Although such rapid improvement is obviously not always possible, I am seeing this quite often, and many of my colleagues are reporting similar results. Ten years ago I would have thought that such rapid and dramatic recovery from depression was impossible, but it seems clear that we are on the verge of a tremendously promising and exciting new approach to treatment.

The therapy involves the integration of innovative motivational techniques to quickly melt away what therapists call “resistance,” followed by powerful cognitive techniques to smash the negative thoughts that trigger depression, such as “I’m a bad mother,” or “It was my fault,” or “I shouldn’t have done X, Y, or Z.” Although the details of suffering always differ from person to person, the underlying dynamic of self-blame and distorted thinking is pretty universal. And there are very few of us who do not fall into the black holes of self-doubt and despair from time to time.

David Burns, MD

Audio and Video Tapes of Workshops

Here are some links to videos of sessions or audio or videotapes of workshops. Many or all of these qualify for CE credits for mental health professionals. In addition, many qualify for T.E.A.M. Certification Program at the Feeling Good Institute. Click on any of interest.

Overcoming Toxic Shame and the Fear of Being Judged: The Story of Melanie

Overcoming Therapeutic Resistance 

Scared Stiff! Fast, Effective Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

And It’s All Your Fault! Dealing with Anger and Interpersonal Conflict

Feeling Good Now! Rapid Recovery Techniques for Depression and Low Self Esteem 


Blame is the main theme of my book, Feeling Good Together. Dr. Jill Levitt is a dear colleague who helps teach my weekly psychotherapy training group at Stanford. Jill recently sent this brief, humorous blame-link to our training group. People seemed to enjoy it a lot, so I’m sharing it with you here.


Hope you enjoy it!


David’s TED Talk

Here is a link to my Ted talk last summer in Reno, in case you are interested. I present the basic concepts of cognitive therapy. I have made many major innovations and changes in they way I do therapy since I first learned and helped to develop cognitive therapy in the 1970s, when it was still new and relatively unknown. However, the basic concepts of cognitive therapy are still revolutionary and extremely useful for individuals struggling with depression and anxiety.

In the talk, I describe not only how these concepts have helped my patients, but also how they helped me as well during a personal crisis when my son was born. I hope you enjoy my TED talk!


Who are You?

I’d love to find out whether you are a therapist, a patient, or simply someone interested in Feeling Good as well as mental health issues. Take this brief survey to let me know! Thanks. You’ll also be able to view the results and find out who else is visiting this website.

Another Poll for You

Here’s a controversial poll you might find interesting. Lots of people have been in therapy for years with no results. Does it have to be that way? I’ll comment on the results later. Feel free to add your comments below!


To learn more about this, read my latest blog on new, high-speed treatments for depression. Click here.

268 thoughts on “Home

  1. I’m an M.D., not a therapist, could I get training? I am interested for frontal organic brain syndromes from trauma that cause behavioral problems, poor decision making and impulsivity, not only depression. These conditions may have high adverse effects from psych medications. Does your therapy include help for these folks. I’m not a psychiatrist.

    • Yes Janet, definitely, you could get training. A pediatrician in our group, Jeffrey Lazarus, MD, is combining hypnosis with T.E.A.M. for children with tics, grunting sounds, and so forth. He’s been a tremendous contributor to our group and is getting some excellent results. I would think your patients may have emotional and interpersonal problems that could respond to T.E.A.M.

      The Resources page on this website lists many options for training, including any of our weekly training groups in the SF Bay Area (many of which are free), reading my psychotherapy eBook, getting mentoring from one of our teachers at the FeelingGoodInstitute (FGI), attending any of my two-day or four-day workshops, and more.

      Angela Krumm, PhD and Jill Levitt, PhD are now working on options for live online group training at the FGI as well, using SKYPE and other programs for webinars. They are both superb teachers. If interested, feel free to contact them via the FGI.

      Thanks for your question!



  2. I found your “Feeling Good The New Mood Therapy” by chance in a book shop. I have suffered with depression, anxiety and anger for as long as I can remember. Your book has changed my life. You have quite literally saved my life and my marriage – thank you. I wish I had read it 20 years ago. As a scientist myself I have read so many books to try and help me but never have I read anything that made so much sense from the very first page – it was like you were writing about me. Your work is amazing – thank you for giving me back the chance to be happy and enjoy my life.

  3. Hi Dr. David,

    I was diagnosed with OCD 5 years ago and was treated with the Exposure model . Then I was weaned off of the SSRI medication. However, I had relapses and my core problem was never addressed. My therapist told me that he would deal only with the anxiety symptoms using Exposure and Response Prevention and nothing else.

    I was very sincere with all the exercises and my OCD was manageable. My therapist had a checklist of the 10 distortions from your Feeling Good book and I was very impressed.

    I recently bought your When Panic Attacks book and it changed my life completely. I sincerely did all the exercises and was Enlightened in a particular special moment and felt I finally understood my core problem.

    I am 33 years old and I had never known a life without anxiety and depression. I experienced bullying as a child and throughout adolescence and always felt inadequate and inferior with a low sense of self-esteem.

    The “What if Technique” unearthed my core problem—I discovered that I believed I was inherently defective and inferior, and had Perceived Perfectionism, Perceived Narcissism, the Approval Addiction, the Brushfire Fallacy and the Spotlight fallacy. My anxiety has almost vanished and I enjoy the gift of life now. The recovery is unbelievably sweet and I feel as if I have been completely reborn. I have become more spiritual and thank God for leading me in this path.

    I usually have a low frustration tolerance, along with feelings of anger and resentment. Those feelings have been very much reduced by the Empathy techniques in your Feeling Good book. Your techniques for treating anger work like a charm. I have let go of my resentment and feel immensely happy and peaceful.

    I have also learned how hard I was on myself all my life and the “Acceptance Paradox” was the ultimate eye-opener. I have now accepted my flawed self, and like you say ”When you don’t have to be special, life becomes special.” That is the ultimate truth.

    My therapist was brilliant, caring and empathic, but the BIGGEST MISTAKE was that he never had the anxiety and depression scales for the patient to complete for before and after every session. I am convinced that was why I wasn’t actually cured. I feel that your Feeling Good book and When Panic Attacks books should be read by every person who struggles with depression and anxiety. I also think it would be a good idea to introduce them in the school curriculum, much like science and math.

    Thank you so much for giving my life back!

  4. Hello There. I like your website and blogs, which are extremely smartly written. I’ll be sure to bookmark feelinggood.com and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the posts. I’ll definitely comeback.

  5. HI Dr. Burns,

    I wanted to share how deeply grateful I am for the efforts you take to help therapists like myself. I love your new website and have learned so much from going through it,. The humorous and awesome part of this is I have done your intensive workshop, own and have intensely studied every book, e-book, toolkit, audio and video workshop you’ve made, And I am STILL learning subtle yet significant nuances – it makes me smile and laugh.

    Warm thoughts,


    • Hi Diana,

      Thanks. I’m not currently in clinical practice, but focus on teaching, writing, and research. A number o excellent clinicians are listed at the FeelingGoodInstitute.com webpage, and many more will be added shortly, due to our new T.E.A.M. Therapy certification program.


  6. Hi Dr. Burns,

    We are Occupational Therapy students researching the use of your Burns Anxiety Inventory Scale. We must report on things like: validity, reliability and usability. Any information you can provide regarding these areas would be most helpful.

    Thanks from Canada!

    • Hi Ashley-Dawn,

      Great question on one of my favorite topics, thanks.

      Use of any of these copyright-protected scales requires purchase of the Therapist’s Toolkit, and psychometric information is, of course, included. On average, most of the scales have reliabilities above .90, often around .95, and are strongly correlated with other similar scales, such as the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories, the sub-scales on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-90, the SCIDS, and other similar assessment instruments. Some of the 70 or so scales my colleagues and I have developed actually have reliabilities well above .95, some as high as .98.

      You can also find psychometric information on the scales I have developed in published articles in research journals, such as a few examples that I have listed below, in addition to the information in the Therapist’s Toolkit and in the 2013 Upgrade to the Toolkit:

      Burns, D. D., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1992). Therapeutic empathy and recovery from depression in cognitive – behavioral therapy: a structural equation model. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60(3): 441 – 449.

      Burns, D. D., Sayers, S. S., & Moras, K. (1994). Intimate Relationships and Depression: Is There a Causal Connection? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(5): 1033 – 1042.

      Burns, D. D., & Eidelson, R. (1998). Why are measures of depression and anxiety correlated? — A test of the tripartite theory. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(3): 461 – 473.

      Burns, D. Westra, H., Trockel, M., & Fisher, A. (2012) Motivation and Changes in Depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research DOI 10.1007/s10608-012-9458-3 Published online 22 April 2012

      My philosophy on scale development includes the following ideas:

      1. Scales should be short, but highly reliable. The latest scales I have developed and validated typically have only five items. As a result, most scales can be taken, scored, and interpreted by patient or therapist in as little as 15 seconds. There are many reasons for this requirement.

      2. Scales should have extremely high reliabilities, with a minimum of .90 or more.

      3. Scales should have continual response options, not dichotomous response options.

      4. Scales should never have reverse-scaled items mixed with normally scaled items, as this only confuses patients.

      5. Each scale should measure only one narrow construct.

      6. Scales should be written in simple words, generally at the fourth or fifth grade level. Scales should never include big words or psychological jargon.

      7. Scale items should be short, straightforward and clear.

      8. Scales should be user-friendly and respectful toward the user.

      9. Most scales (but not all) should ask the patient how he or she feels right now, at this moment, and not over some greater time span, such as two weeks or a month. This allows therapists to track progress accurately. There are, of course, exceptions. For example, if you are diagnosing chronic, persistent depression, you will ask about feelings of depression over the past couple years, or during one’s life.

      10. Validity and reliability assessments should be done with Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) techniques, and not with Ordinary Least Squares(OLS). There many reasons for this. One reason is that almost all data sets include missing data, so you can’t get accurate parameter estimates with OLS if the missing data are missing systematically and not completely at random. SEM corrects this problem. Also, reliability calculations with stats programs such as SPSS or SAS or others have hard-wired assumptions which the user cannot “see” when doing the calculations. For example, reliability using Chronbach’s coefficient alpha assumes the scale can be represented by one parallel factor, which is almost never the case. In SEM, you can relax and test this assumption.

      You will probably find that many published and widely used scales do not live up to many of these requirements. And, of course, this is just my own take on psychometrics. Others may have very different perspectives and ideas.

      This is probably way more information that you want or need, but hope it helps!

      David Burns, MD

      • Dr. Burns,
        Thank you very much for your timely reply and ample information. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to help us and we look forward to learning more about your assessment. Cheers from Canada,

        Ashley-Dawn Marsh

  7. I was diagnosed with mild depression 12 years ago. I also had mild anxiety, according to the weekly mood tests that you developed. The methods described in your Feeling Good Handbook were completely successful for me.

    I almost exclusively used the Daily Mood Log over a 4 to 6 month period. I found I needed to do them less and less over time. I was very grateful to you and meant to write you a letter of thanks, but I never got around to it. So I will thank you now!

    Recently, I have had a “relapse.” I am about 4-6 weeks into it and have been using the Mood Logs for about 2 weeks, although not every night the way I should. It does not seem to be working as well this time around.

    Maybe I need to be more consistent, or maybe I need to go beyond the Mood Logs and use some of the other techniques. I also now realize that I am probably a high-functioning Aspergers and an HSP (HIghly Sensitive Person) as well. I think those two things play into some of my issues.

    I am married to an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, who had a very challenging childhood, and it has given her control issues. She will not talk about anything personal. I think that I may need a coach/therapist to help me this time around. What do you think?

    • Dear gravatar.com,

      Thank you for your question. Yes, when you are stuck, a good therapist can often speed up your recovery. There’s no rule that says we always have to figure everything out on our own. If you need help finding a good therapist, check my referral tab for some tips and useful links. Of course, we have some tremendously skillful therapists in the San Francisco Bay Area who have been trained in the new T.E.A.M. Therapy I have developed, but I have also included links to find cognitive therapists worldwide.

      People also relapse after successful treatment with a good therapist. In fact, I define a “relapse” as one minute or more of feeling lousy. Given that definition, all human beings will relapse forever. Some of us can pop right out of those bad spells, but others get stuck in them, for weeks, months, or years. This doesn’t have to be a problem if you prepare for relapse at the time you recover. I always did Relapse Prevention Training with every patient I treated prior to terminating therapy. This seemed to help a great deal. I am pretty sure the last chapter of my book, When Panic Attacks, describes how the Relapse Prevention Training works.

      The Buddha was also aware of the likelihood of relapse when he said that we drift in and out of enlightenment all the time. This is just another way of saying that no one is entitled to feel happy all the time. We all fall back into those black holes of self-doubt, irritability, worry, and depression from time to time. But it doesn’t have to be a problem if know how to deal with.

      Perhaps if I get some time I will post a blog on Relapse Prevention Training.

      Thanks again for your very important question!

      Oh, one last thing I almost forgot. If you are having problems communicating with your spouse, my most recent book, Feeling Good Together, would be a nice compliment to the work you have already studied, but the methods are quite different. It is a much shorter book, and if you do the exercises as you read, you might learn some powerful techniques that will help you get closer to your wife and other people as well.

      Good luck, and congratulations on the hard work you’ve clearly put in. That’s the real secret of success using the methods I’ve developed.

      David Burns, MD

  8. My paper back book of feeling good is a well worn ‘bible,’ along with several others, such as chopra’s “ageless body, timeless mind,” zinn’s ” wherever you go there you are,” along with a slew of buddhist lit, and recently philosophy of christ lit. I’m extremely influenced by words. Therefore, bibliotherapy, along with talk therapy and persistent courageous hard experiential work on my part, have been, and continue to be indispensable activities for me to cope and grow ever more comfortable, even after seventy one seasons of living! Thank you and your colleagues ever so much! I’m glad that on my closer rereading of “Feeling Good (which this time I plan to read daily and all of it in sequence) I noticed your website, which I was happy to see still exist. And, I’m sure it has steadily grown, and I’ll visit it a lot, I’m sure.
    Health & Happiness to all of you in 2014!

    • Thanks so much! I really appreciate your comment, and agree with what you say. The effort via daily practice (for example, with the Daily Mood Log or other self-help tools in my books) seems to be an important key to success. This has been validated through research as well as my own clinical experience.

      All the best, David Burns, MD

  9. This web site was suggested by my cousin. I’m not positive whether or not this was a set up by him–since no one else could know about my difficulties with such accuracy. You are wonderful! Thanks!

    • Thank you for your kind comments. I am glad my writing resonates with you. I have seen so many people who are struggling with emotional problems or relationship conflicts that I kind of know how people think and feel, and I enjoy writing, too. I really appreciate your note!

      David Burns, MD

  10. Dr. Burns,
    I have been intrigued and greatly encouraged by the article about you and ‘Feeling Good’ in the Stanford Magazine. My experience with therapists through immediate family members who have needed help has not been very positive in the past. I hope that the therapists you train work with empathy and with a goal to really better their patients’ lives.

    I am excited that El Camino Hospital is making a big push to take on mental health care as a big agenda item. They see the dearth of care in the valley and resources and are in the pre-planning stages for revamping/recharging their mental health program. I hope they consult experts like you! The masses need to benefit from your expertise and methods.

    I hope to find the right therapists for my close family members, maybe this time from the Feeling Good Institute, and experience the difference a good therapist can make. Some therapy sessions run up as much as $400+, and at this rate, I cannot believe them to be sustainable/affordable. I prefer, where at all possible, therapy over meds, because you can potentially help a person help himself/herself without dependence on external factors (which in the case of medication, comes with side effects) and therefore hope that it is widely available to all.


  11. I had been feeling depressed and anxious since September. I went to a pschicotherapist but I didn’t feel relieved or better. Then I found the book Feeling good and my life has changed

  12. Hello, Dr. Burns, My name is Anthony. In 2006, I went thru Menlo Park’s H.V.R.P. where every patient receives a copy of your “Feel Good” book, as one of the tools in our Repair & Recovery. It is the main tool! One that is used by Every Person, Every Day, in the domiciliary. From day 1, to completion (9 mo.) and beyond. Patients and staff alike use your book to discover the Real Truths of, Who we are, How we are, & Why we are, as We are. So, combine the Top Quality Staff, who understand us patients, & the natural truths your book invokes, my life has been forever changed. Most Enjoyable is seeing life & understanding it’s wobble, through your eyes. I, in turn, have pasted your methods on to my sister, my son, my granddaughter and anyone else I think can benefit from knowing different. Now that I have found this site, I will be back. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a sound bridge of god’s undeserved kindness. I believe in you both. onward & upward.

    I would be honored to help your research, anyway I can.

    • Thank you Anthony! I am developing some electronic Feeling Good tools with the help of a terrific young programmer, Jeremy Karmel. When we have some versions ready for beta testing, we’d be honored to include you and get your feedback!

      All the best,

      David Burns, MD

  13. Hi Dr. Burns i read” feeling good” and its really encouraging. I am a sufferer of panic disorder. We are having big success in treating depression with many techniques nowadays.I just want to know is there a poolproof way to treat panic disorder permenantly like that of depression.

  14. Hi Dr. Burns,

    I read” feeling good” and its really encouraging. I am a sufferer of panic disorder. We are having big success in treating depression with many techniques nowadays. I just want to know is there a foolproof way to treat panic disorder permenantly, just as you often do with depression. I’ve been on SSRIs for two years now but I’m not able to stop taking the drug treatment. Please help. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Himanshu. You might want to take a look at my book, When Panic Attacks. It is all about overcoming anxiety, including Panic Disorder, quickly. The techniques are very powerful. In my experience, panic can be even easier to treat than depression. Sometimes, people can do it on their own by using the techniques in the book, which are somewhat different from the techniques I have developed for depression. Sometimes, a good theapist can speed the process considerably.

      The idea of permanent “cure” or non-stop happiness is an illusion. We all fall into black holes of worry, self-doubt, panic or depression from time to time. The goal is to learn techniques that can help you overcome these spells quickly, so you don’t have to spend weeks, months, or years struggling with unhappiness.

      Let me know if it is helpful to you!

      David Burns, MD

      David Burns, MD

  15. Thanks David, I am on the other side of the world in Western Australia and I am so gratified to discover the amazing an accessible material that you offer. I am a psych just starting on on private practice following a long career in both teaching and school psych.I am passionate to learn better ways of helping the growing number of people needing fast and effective help dealing with panic and depression, thank you!

  16. I’ve spoken to therapist at your center. Love everything your work and their practice of Dr Burns’ work is.

    Thank you and Best Regards,


  17. I am a science based person. Therefore I want to believe CBT works. It has been around for decades. My wife and I have been taking our troubled son to different therapists for 11 years. I have asked many about CBT with the response that, “I do that too.” But it always turns out to be more conventional bottom-up psychotherapy. Why does it seem so hard to find true CBT in the SE U.S., if it works so well?

  18. In your Feeling Good Handbook, you suggested readers just allow themself to be an ordinary person. Contrary to your opinion in the book, you’re an outstanding therapist in reality(Studied in a world-top college,well-educated with a doctor degree,and successful in your career and life).How can I believe your claim? I’m quite confused.

  19. David, I wanted to thank you for your book, Feeling Good. I’ve suffered from depression for just under 20 years, and the effects of reading your book over the last 2 weeks have been immense! And I’ve only really been using the double column technique so far! I know I’ll be keeping your book close for a long time to come. It has honestly made a huge difference to me already. Thank you, Neil

  20. Hi Dr Burns, I saw you on Lifestyle Magazine. Enjoyed the program very much. Considering I myself have been dealing with depression for years. Dr. Burns you made it sounds so simple to overcome depression by reading a book. I’ve never been in therapy and will try reading your book. Thank you so much. Erma

  21. First of all here is a little about how I was feeling one week ago before starting (Feeling Good) I had many thoughts of wanting to kill my self, hopeless feeling just wanting life itself to be over. In just one week your book has changed my life, I’m thinking clearer, uplifting mood, I’ve totally change my way of thinking, I’ve almost turned every negative thought into a positive thought (this alone has changed my life!) so here’s a little about my life with Depression anxiety ADHD borderline personality disorder, I was diagnosed at a young age 17 I am now 35 oh and I was diagnosed with Chiari malformation type 1 in 2007 only 3mm, even from a very young age I can remember being depressed and afraid to be social and to think it took me this many years of living my life this way and in a matter of a week I’m able to change my thoughts alone to feel better. I know it sounds impossible but I know how I feel now compared to last week or for that matter 10 years ago. Your book has change me for the remainder of my life, I can start to life again! I actually look forward to getting up in the morning and starting my day, well I’ll try and keep you posted on my progress over the following weeks of my treatment of (cognitive therapy) I know I will be a better person when I finish this book along with another one that I’m reading, not sure of the name at the moment

  22. I just want to thank David burns for creating this book “feeling good”. It has been instrumental in helping me defeat my anxiety and depression. I always reference it when my thoughts get the best of me and Im stuck in destructive behaviors and patterns. I am forever grateful for reading this and finding ways to get out of my own head. Thank you!!!!

  23. Hello . Is it possible for me to purchase a soft copy version of feeling good handbook? Cant find it in amazon . Thanks very much!!

  24. Hi,

    I’m from ireland. I’ve just purchased your book and am going to give it a go. After reading the introduction, I am feeling very hopeful that this book can teach me the skills I need to overcome depression and anxiety, which spiralled out of control following life events. However, as you have said in your introduction, it’s moreso about the way we think.
    I have been on antidepressant medication purely because my anxiety gives me a constant feeling of nausea, to the point I physically puke often and cannot eat. I hadn’t had a proper meal in 10 months because I physically wasn’t able.
    However, I don’t want to depend on drugs, they can only do so much and they cannot change the way I think. I dropped out of university recently because it wasn’t a positive environment just now with what I am dealing with – isolation etc. I am going to focus on myself and get well again.
    A friend once told me, don’t do anything that doesn’t make you happy, to be happy you’ve got to follow happiness. This is my motto now so to say and I really think it’s a good one for people looking to find happiness again when they are depressed.
    It was only a few mornings ago that I felt happiness. It was kind of surreal, going months with feeling depressed to feeling genuinely happy just for a few minutes.
    I was really intrigued by your comparison of depressed people to those who have cancer. I never looked at it that way and I think that highlights just how bad depression can be. Many people I have came across just don’t understand it, that depression, just because it’s not a physical illness so to say, is just as bad and if not worse than other illnesses, and to those people, yes it is an illness but there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
    I’m looking forward to reading the book, and although I am aware that it may not work for everyone, even me, I am feeling very positive and willing to give it a go, as I want to get better and build my life back up to where i want it to be.

    If you have any advice or tips outside of the book, or for ‘aftercare’ so to say when finished the book, I would be really grateful to hear them.

    Thank you very much for giving me some hope with this book and the fact I have been able to get it in Ireland, where mental health illnesses are not understood very well from what I have witnessed myself, makes me very appreciative.

    Thank you,
    O x

    • Hi O, Thanks so much for you note! I can only reply in general terms, as I cannot treat anyone is this medium, but here are so thoughts. 1. When people have moods that fluctuate, that’s a good sign in my clinical experience, because it shows your moods do respond and that you can recover. 2. One thing has been the most thing for many of my patients is writing down the negative thoughts, identifying the distortions in them, and then substituting positive thoughts that crush the negative thoughts. The moment you stop believing the distorted negative thoughts, feelings of depression or anxiety will generally improve. But you have to put the lie to the negative thought, and really see why it is false. 3. Our ongoing podcasts may be helpful to you as well. 4. If you’ve read Feeling Good, you might find that you can give yourself a booster shot with the Feeling Good Handbook or Ten Days to Self-Esteem. 5. Sometimes therapy can help a lot, and several of our TEAM-CBT therapists now do therapy via internet connections, so that people who are far away can also get the new treatment. However, you might find a good local therapist. One of my colleagues in Philadelphia, Dr. Tony Bates, lives (I believe) in Dublin, and he likely knows good therapists in Ireland who you might want to consult with.

      All the best, David

  25. Hello Dr Burns, I would like to thank you for publishing The Feeling Good Handbook and When Panic Attack . These two books have helped me so much. I suffer from Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia and anytime if a sensations coming on I refer to the “Experimental Technique”. When I feel the tightness in the chest, I can either do the jumping jacks as the women in When Panic Attacks or I go through the check list of reassurance of a heart attack from The Feeling Good Handbook. Either one does the trick in reassuring me that its only anxiety symptoms and not nothing to alarm over.

    My question is to you Dr. Burns. When doing an exposure and the symptoms come on, how long is a good time to stay in that situation before trying something to help relieve the symptoms (like seating down or maybe doing some deep breathing ect.) ..”without leaving of course” or she just flood and left those sensations just wear out with time ?

    Thank you , Leo

    • I cannot answer your question for you, because treatment is always highly individualized. It’s not true that one size fits all. I can tell you, though, that my own approach would be to stick with the exposure. I do not use techniques designed to control the anxiety, like deep breathing, relaxation training, etc.) for the most part. For the most part, when you try to avoid or control anxiety, there is a risk–even a likelihood–that the anxiety may get worse. Avoidance is more of a cause than a treatment for anxiety. But I am just speaking in general terms, and cannot advise any specific person in this medium.

      Fabrice and I will soon begin a series of 5 or 6 podcasts on the treatment of anxiety, and you will learn about a great many treatment methods in addition to exposure. They are all described in my book, When Panic Attacks, as you know. David

    • That’s great, Richard. The blogs and free Feeling Good podcasts will show you quite a bit about TEAM-CBT. Also, my psychotherapy eBook, Tools, Not Schools, of Therapy, is an excellent resource for therapists wanting to learn more, along with weekly online groups that are available, plus my workshops. So hope it’s a fun and interesting ride for you! All the best, David

  26. Hello D-r Burns,
    I’m from very small country named Bulgaria and here psychotherapy is on very poor level. I visited few different specialist and no one can tell what is going on with me. I ordered your book and I hope it will arrive soon. I delivered my baby with few problems 3 months ago, we got home and two months pure joy, then out of a sudden I stared feeling sad and abandoned, lost love for my baby, got pannic atack feeling the world will end while I’m bored and alone, my milkflow was obstruced when I felt this way, I began to worry about that, then every day I felt empty and nothing made me feel better, like time has stopped and have nothing to do (although i have housework) in the evening the cloud lifted by itself and I felt normal, could dream and think again, my husband come home from work we have fun. I decided to start working and began looking for something and felt better during the day then when I saw the sun coming down my mood swinged and I felt weird like robot, no feelings at all like what to do in the evening now, when i found what to do during the day. My had started to ache, couldn’t think and remember stuff. Can’t have good sleep anymore. I’m afraid to take meds, but more afraid that things can get worse. Two psychiatrist told me it will go away by itself but I can’t stay still while feeling like nothing could ever make me happy, or out of a sudden I loose my feelings and have to make fake smiles infront of people. I really don’t know what to do, I feel horrible. I have also a two year old and great husband I want to feel normal and happy again for them.

    • My heart broke when I read your email. I sincerely hope my book will be helpful to you (Feeling Good), and that you get back to feeling happy again, for your husband, your wonderful baby, and yourself. Warmly, David

  27. I just recently lost my job (forced to resign) after 17 years. Now my husband is ready to separate (25 yrs of marriage). My self esteem is in the gutter. I am looking to bring it back to baseline.

    • I am so sorry you have had these two blows and hope you do get your self-esteem back to baseline. Most of us tend to base our self-esteem on our accomplishments, and also on being loved. So those are two unwanted blows all at the same time. I wish you the very best. You are probably aware of my book, Feeling Good, but if not, both of these kinds of problems are addressed, for example in the chapter on the Approval Addiction and there is also a lot in the book on the Achievement Addiction. Thank you for your email. I have deleted your email address to protect your identity, but am using Debbie. Hope that’s okay. David

  28. _Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy_ helped me many years ago, and I am kind of kicking myself to have neglected it since. Some of the techniques stuck with me, but I’m going through a bad time, and I need more CBT! I am very glad to have found your new Podcast, which directed me here. I am also hoping to find a therapist with the latest CBT/TEAM training. I copied your list of them near me. I may have to go it alone, with your books in hand. There also are a couple of apps to help: thought diary and mood tools . I have had lots of therapy different kinds, but I think CBT is best. Many thanks, Dr. Burns!
    Kate in Los Angeles

  29. Hi Dr. Burns,

    I read your book, “When Panic Attacks,” and it’s helped me very much. Thank you so much.

    I am an specialist in our industrial company. Recently I was promoted. In my previous job I was working as programmer. But I have problems with my new job, and have to manage about 20 people. It annoys me. I think a lot about my dissatisfaction and my future. Sometimes I think I’m just not very good at people management.

    Please help me! Is this related to my low self confidence or is it basically a fact that some people like me are just not suitable for people management.

    All the best, Roger

    • Hi Roger, Thank you for your email. I changed your name to protect your identity, and do not know if that was needed. I cannot treat anyone or provide medical advice through this medium, so I can only respond in a very general way. First, I do think that some people have a higher or lower natural aptitude for management, and more or less interest in management, than others. I put myself in the group with a low aptitude and interest in management. I’m just not very good at it! i like to work writing emails like this, or posts, for example! And I like to teach, and do therapy, but managing people is just not appealing to me!

      At the same time, this is not an All-or-Nothing thing, and if you are motivated and determined, you could probably get better at it. You might have to take some classes or seminars in the basics of managing people. But would you really want to do that? Personally, I’d rather learn new things that help me with what I’m good at, and interested in.

      I also wondered if you could discuss your feelings with your boss or supervisor, emphasizing that you want to make your best contribution to the company, but you aren’t convinced that management is your greatest skill, and that you think you are a lot better at programming. You might also ask your boos to critique your performance so far, and to let you know how you are doing, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. This might help you get a better perspective on your new job assignment, and perhaps get some support as well.

      I wish I could give you more input! I am sad you are having to do something that is hard for you, and upsetting! I think that many corporations do this, and promote people to positions they aren’t very good at. Of course, it is a compliment that they wanted to promote you, but life is short, and we might as well try to find work that is reasonably appealing. You could use the tools in my books to change the way you are thinking and feeling about your current job (the internal solution), but sometimes the external solution is equally important. Trying to make yourself happy with something that is not up your alley, so to speak, may be an uphill battle.

      One last thing. In high school, my first job was at Abbey Rents in Phoenix. It must have been a part time job or a summer job. It was simple. I worked in the warehouse, and when people rented supplies for a party, I put them in boxes so the men in the delivery trucks could deliver them. People would rent glasses of various kinds, plates, silverware, chairs, that type of thing. I was very very careful to get everything exactly correct, and always double checked my work.

      But there were many complaints of errors in the orders. For example, someone would say they got the wrong kind of glasses in the supplies for their party, or some such problem. So they warned me to get it right. This happened several times during my first two weeks on the job, and I simply could not understand it, because I was being tremendously careful. One day I showed up for work and they said they had hired another kid to do the job, and that I was fired. So I left! To this day I still cannot figure out what was happening. I decided I did not have much of an aptitute for working in a warehouse and decided to focus my career goals on something that I was better at!

      I wish you good luck and hope you can resolve your problem!

      David Burns, MD

  30. hiii Dr burn I’m from India, i am suffering from moderate depression bdc=30 and insomnia from last 10 years . there is sad ,empty feeling occurred overall day .now I have tension about my carrier .my family not understanding my problem .i am 26 year old please help me sir ,what can I do to beat depression .please help me sir…..

  31. Hi Dr. Burns!

    I was wondering if you ever made a 25-question version of your Burns Anxiety Inventory, like you did with Burns Depression Checklist? Or is there only a 33 and 17-question version of BAI?

    Best regards,

    • Hi Anna, I have brief versions of the anxiety inventory as well, and many other inventories, too. To use them, you need to purchase the Therapist’s Toolkit, and they are in the massive free upgrade which you can access by emailing me after purchase. Thanks so much! david

  32. Hello David, I went to psychiatry because of my shyness two years ago. During my time as a patient, I have experienced a great deal of shyness. I stopped using the drug I was taking a month ago. I feel very bad right now. I’m more shy than my old. Is “Feeling Good” useful?

    • Hi Furkan, Thank you for writing. I have three other books that might be more useful for your shyness, since Feeling Good is primarily on depression. Any of the three listed below would be a good choice. I used to struggle with intense shyness myself, and it is very very treatable, in most cases without meds, but sometimes meds can also play a role in treatment. Sometimes a good therapist can speed up recovery drmatically as well.

      These are the books. Good luck! David

      Intimate Connections
      The Feeling Good Handbook
      When Panic Attacks

      • Thank you, Furkan, nice to discover that I have a nephew in Turkey! I am not sure which of those three books would be the best. Intimate Connections is all about flirting and dating and stuff like that. The Feeling Good Handbook is one of my best books, and I’m sure there is a chapter on shyness. When Panic Attacks is on anxiety in general, so maybe not as helpful as one of the other two. One of my former students, Aziz Gaspura, just published a book on shyness. I don’t recall the title, but you can probably find it via a google search. A couple of my colleagues thought it was good, so that is another resource for you! They said he credits my colleague, Matthew May, MD and me in the book, and we don’t work with him on this topic when he was a student. All the best, nephew! david

  33. Your book, Feeling Good, changed my life and the CBT skills are still in my pocket – this was in
    1981 and I am so grateful. I wrote you and your office referred me to a research CT project
    at Univ. of Oklahoma. From one preacher’s kid to another, thanks for your gift of communication
    and sharing these life-long tools! Would love to meet you someday! Thirty-six years later…

  34. I just want to thank you.Im a Turkish.And my english isnt good.But i appreciated you for your book.I affected that you and like you humans be in the world.Thank you david 🙂

  35. Dear Dr. Burns

    I am Morteza from Iran, I am thanking you because of your practical reaserches and books. Your book like Good Feeling and Panic Attack change my view, life, behaviour.

    I don’t know people who translate your book to persian if they pay for copyright or not but I hope they have done.

    By your books I fined how much people around the world are like each other.

    I thinks people who don’t have a rough psychological problems like me can be cured about 70 percent.


    • Hi Morteza,

      Thank you for your kind note! We have many immigrants from Iran here in California, including two dear and esteemed colleagues in my Tuesday psychotherapy training group at Stanford. In fact, for more than half of my students and colleagues, English is a second language, so we have a real mix of cultures and religions and orientations, which is just fabulous! This adds so much depth, beauty, and richness to my training groups.

      I have always loved the people of Iran, and had a roommate from Iran, Farzam Arbab, my sophomore year at Amherst College. He became a leader in the Bahá’í Faith, and I have tried to contact him many times unsuccessfully. He was one of the smartest people in our class. Also, I am proud to have been on an Iranian TV show originating in Los Angeles on two occasions with host, Dr. Foojan Zeine.

      Sadly, my books are published illegally in Iran, and I do not receive any royalties from Iran. However, I am still happy they are available in Iran, which is the most important thing to me.

      The prognosis for recovery from depression and anxiety is very high, in my opinion! And yes, we are so similar, all one human family, all of us with flaws and vulnerability, and hopes and dreams, and it is sad that there is so much hostility and mistrust in our human family these days! I am very concerned, as are many of my colleagues and friends, by the increase in aggression and hatred these days. But we will do our best to lead things in a different directions!

      All the best,


  36. Hi,Dr David,
    I am Zhengliyuan from china. Nowadays , I have been blowing hot and cold about critical thinking and CBT. In the morning ,I might think: oh, critical thinking is really an important tool to self-reflect the views in my brain,and save my chaotic brain,so that I can live in a moral way and tell hypocrisy and goodness . Howerver,In the afternoon, I might think I really need CBT to adjust my life and regain confidence, and learn to enjoy the pressent.

    Well,it seems so hard for me make a definite choise. You mentioned in your FeelingGood Handbook that when we accept ouselves and gain self-esteem, it’s less probable for us to do some bad behaviors.Well , does it mean that critical thinking is uncessary or just another fantasiy of momal and intelligent perfection? And as far as I know(maybe hearsay) , in American schools, critical thinking is quite important.

    I have bought several books teaching critical thinking.However,none of the writers has medical knowledge and experience in psycology . So would you like to share your ideas about the relationship of critical thinking and CBT?

    • Hi Zheng, Thank you for emailing me! If you’d like to learn more about my work, I would suggest you read one of my books, such as Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, which is published in Chinese. I never work on an abstract level, but rather on some specific problem a person has. I do think that critical thinking can be helpful when doing CBT, since the negative thoughts that trigger depression and anxiety are nearly always distorted, and not realistic. I explain exactly how to challenge those thoughts in my books, using a variety of techniques. All the best, david

  37. Dear Dr. Burns, I’m in the process of reading your book “When Panic Attacks” and I wanted to recommend it to a very dear friend who only reads French. I’ve been searching everywhere and I can’t seem to find it. Can you please let me know if it has been translated into French? If so, what is the French title? Thank you so much in advance! Kind regards from sunny Montpellier, France.

  38. Dr. Burns I’m into day two of reading The Feeling Good Handbook and I feel like the book carries an entity! It understands me and knows what to say. Thanks!

    Also I would like a better guide to what to do or how to react to disrespectful family members of the spouse.

    • Hi Jeterius,

      You might enjoy Feeling Good Together. If you do the written exercises while you read, you will get tons of practice in how to respond to people who are critical or disrespectful. Thanks for your wonderful note. Much appreciated! David Burns, MD

  39. Dr. Burns, I took your workshop when I was a counseling intern at UW and bought the package with the depression and anxiety checklists. My question and that of many of my clients completing the checklists: What is the difference between anxious and nervous; frightened and scared? (These are examples that come up regularly – they seem like synonyms). If they seem the same and correlate almost perfectly, why are they both there? What do you tell patients when they ask you that? Thanks. BTW, your books are so fantastic that I’ve had clients “borrow” them and then disappear.

    • Henry,

      When you are measuring a specific construct, like anxiety, you need to have at least a three item scale, five is even better, to get a reasonably high reliability for the measure. That’s because different people might interpret any single word in different ways. So you put in multiple synonyms intentionally. This usually provides you with high reliability, which is essential to any measurement device. The reliabilities of most of the brief scales I’ve developed are between 90% and 98%, most around 95%. So when you get a score on a scale, you know it is close to the “true score,” which is great for clinical work as well as research. This is assuming the client is not intentionally trying to deceive you, say for financial gain or some other hidden agenda. But those are problems with the therapist and the patient, and not problems with the scale.

      Thanks for your interesting question!


      • The tools have all been radically improved, refined, and revised since the 1980s. You can find order forms for my Therapist’s Toolkit and Easy Diagnostic System on my website, feelinggood.com. The therapy techniques have also been radically updated and improved continually.

        Thanks, Henry!


  40. Dr. Burns,

    I have never have panic attacks nor anxiety to this extent in my life. I fell in love with the way you teach, you have seriously helped me more than you could ever know. In less than 3 weeks, I am doing a LOT better than what i was. My doctor told me in his own words that three weeks ago I was a mess, and ever since I had started to read your book; Feeling Good my life has changed for the better. Thank you!

  41. Hello Dr. Burns,
    I want to tank you for your work. I’m a LMHC in Florida and I recommend your book to many of my clients. I find the worksheets to be great homework exercises to give.

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