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. Hi, I’m a 27 year old student/pharm tech. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write “Feeling Good.” Reading your book transformed my life. I struggled with depression for years and procrastinated due to intense perfectionism, as a result I actually suffered academically and became an underachiever in every area of my life. Just today, someone said to me, “wow, you’re like… what’s the opposite of a procrastinator?” Haha! Anyhow, I’m now thriving academically and my grades have improved dramatically now that I’m no longer afflicted with perfectionism.

    I still struggle with social anxiety and confidence/assertiveness and found “Feeling Good” to be only moderately helpful with this problem. If I were to choose one piece of literature to help with this problem, what would you recommend?

    • Hi Cortney, Thank you for your kind comments! Greatly appreciated!

      I have a chapter on social anxiety in my Feeling Good Handbook. I also wrote a book on shyness and related topics called Intimate Connections. Finally, my book on anxiety, When Panic Attacks, might also be useful! If you try one of these resources, let me know if it is helpful, hopefully to the same extent as the way you defeated procrastination. Social anxiety is probably my favorite topic, since I struggled with many types of social anxiety when I was younger! And now I no longer have this problem at all. In fact, kind of the opposite! Talk too much now! Warmly, David

      • Hi Cortney, Three of my books deal with social anxiety: Intimate Connections, Feeling Good Handbook, and When Panic Attacks. All can be found on Amazon.com. Good luck, this is my favorite topic for therapy! david

  2. Wasn’t the Stoics and Epictetus the seminal work of Dr. Albert Ellis and REBT? It is a radical view, much like Buddhist philosophy (most are not aware of seminal, radical Buddhist teachings – this religion is not all light and lovely…) and anyway, are these philosophies really appropriate in modern life? Feeling Good Handbook seems like a smoothed down version of Ellis, and more palatable, however, why isn’t Dr. Ellis given credit for being the originator of the use of the Stoics in applied psychology? Finally, one might get “emotional relief” in one session from a new positive view…but the mind will fight to keep even cognitive distortions in place. It would seem very dangerous if the mind could be completely changed (as to opinions, beliefs) etc. in an hour or two. This would not be at all self-protective.

    • Thank you for the excellent questions. First, you are absolutely right that Albert Ellis PhD was a major and early contributor to the development of the cognitive therapies in the 20th century, and he sometimes does not get as much recognition as he deserves, in my opinion. He also cites those who went before him, such as the feminist psychiatrist, Karen Horney, MD, who laid a good bit of the groundwork for our understanding of the importance of “shoulds” in depression and anxiety and relationship conflicts, as well as the role of some of the Self-Defeating Beliefs, such as the Love / Approval Addiction and others, although she used different terms to describe these potentially destructive beliefs. I have a strong admiration for Dr. Ellis!

      Second, I believe that personal philosophies, such as Buddhism, are very appropriate in modern life, but these concepts, while very simple and very freeing, are hard for people to grasp, so they don’t “get it,” and continue to struggle with depression, rage, anxiety, and so forth.

      Third, it is not at all dangerous to see your symptoms of depression and anxiety disappear in a single session, in my opinion. This is, of course, not always possible, but it is often possible using the new TEAM-CBT that i have developed. However, there is no such thing as permanent, irreversible happiness! And even if there were such a thing, I’m not convinced it would be desirable. So once a person has had a dramatic change in mood, Relapse Prevention Training (RPT) is incredibly important. If you haven’t listened to the Feeling Good Podcasts on RPT, you want find it interesting. Also, the last chapter of my book, When Panic Attacks, describes RPT.

      Thanks again for thoughtfully contributing to the ongoing dialogue here at http://www.feelinggood.com!


    • Hi. I am a great admirer of Dr Ellis’s work and have read many of his books. I think he has done a great job in categorzing so many negative beliefs into four categories namely Musterbation, Awfulization, I cant stand it’s and I am not what I do. His philosophy on Unconditional self acceptance and unconditional other acceptance are also great. They can be quickly applied and also be done mentally.

      However , I also think Dr Burns Team CBT is phenomenal. Some of these tools are so well constructed that they can actually get one out of an emotional adversity just by careful application. I think its not so easy to create such refined tools. One has to carefully observe and understand what the patient feels while creating the tools. And it should work too! His interpersonal CBT again stands out and can actually help people out from needless stress through bad communication.

      Personally I think Dr. Ellis, Dr Beck and Dr Burns are the greatest Gurus of Cognitive therapy. They have immensely helped me. My sincere thanks to them 🙏

      • Thanks for your kind comments. I am proud to be thought of in the company of two giants, Ellis and Beck! guru Dave 🙂

  3. Thanks Dr. Burns, “Feeling Good” has help me a great deal. I am 64. I was wondering if you have material that is in a format to be a regular course for a school, in a format for children? Are children’s story books or ‘comic’ books available that can teach these helpful ideas?

    • Excellent idea, and I’m sure there lots of resources for children to teach the ideas of cognitive therapy. But because my practice has been limited to adults, plus a few teenagers, I have not explored this area. If you do a google search I’m sure you’ll find a ton of stuff. At the bookstore (Mentor Books) at the recent Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in Anaheim, they had a whole rather large section on materials for kids. all the best, david

  4. Hi,Dr Burns!
    I am the guy who asked quetion about absolute truth. Apology for being so late to give you a response,for I had not seen your post until 2days ago,and i was considering how to give “my” point about “abosolute truth”,though I don’t have my point.And great thanks to your take on my question.

    I think you are most likely to be right.To my way of thinking, “philosophers”do not do real experiment,but pychologist scientists do,like you.And they are not expert on communication.Considering i am almost not educated in liberal art,thouth I want,i have no deeper idea about absolute truth.

    Thanks and Best wishes.

  5. Good day dear Dr. Burns
    My name is Galina . My family came from former USSR 26 years ago ( my husband , my 14 month old son and me ).
    I am a certified professional life coach , AAPC , CPR instructor and having BS in science.
    I become a life coach to help people as my appreciation for all the miracles that God perform to me and my family.,
    Your book ” Feeling good together ” give me some tangible knowledge that had chance my life for ever In addition to study Torah , reading books by Rabbi Pliskin, Rabbi Twerski , Rabbi Sacks and Meaningful Life Center and more.
    In my coaching program from Refuah Institute I had learn about you and bought almost all your books.
    From the books of Daniel Goleman I had learn that all our emotions , behavia and actions depended on paying attention to your thoughts Thanks a lot for sharing your wisdom – God give you an amazing power to help people.
    I have questions for you :
    What is the best way for me to apply the knowledge – brilliant ideas that you share with us in my coaching?

    Can I can see your life sessions ?
    How I can get wisdom like you have ?
    What advice you can give me that
    I can become the best I can be in order to be the best mom, wife, sister ,… and most affective life coach ?
    Let God bkess you with Joy.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Thank you, Galina, for your kind comments. There are many ways to learn more about the TEAM-CBT I have created. First, I have many additional books you might enjoy, all available on Amazon.com and other book sellers. The Feeling Good Handbook is particularly useful, I think. In addition, you can find order forms for my psychotherapy eBook on my website, http://www.feelinggood.com. There you can sign up to receive all of my blogs and postings. Of particular interest would be the weekly Feeling Good Podcasts, and you can find them listed on the blogs tab. In addition, I may soon set up a store on my website, and will be offering a video of a live therapy session with a woman struggling with feelings of shame, and it also includes a workbook and exercises to promote your learning. Finally, you can watch my website workshops tab for upcoming workshops, such as my four day intensives which are generally in the summer. One is scheduled for San Francisco, and one is scheduled for Canada, during 2018! All the best, david

  6. So sorry that I didn’t respond before .
    Thanks a lot dear Dr. Burns for your kindness , quick response and very helpful and important info for me .
    Looking forward to grow and to help others with my knowledge and loving heart
    Your books help me to put aside my ego , Listern in order to improve the relationship. Your books make a difference in my life .Let God bkess you and hope one day to talk with you in person .

  7. I love the topic. I am planning on studying at retirement as i see how difficult it is for a teenager to even try cbt. That is very stressful. I was wondering if there was a possibility to integrate the cbt concepts and practices in school (elementary and highschool).
    Hoping to decrease suicide, increase life motivation/hapiness and even more…

    • Sure, you are only limited by your imagination, creativity, and motivation! I have not written on CBT for children and teens, as I only write about things I have extensive experience with. My experience with teens and children is limited as I’m an adult shrink, so to speak. But a lot could be done! david

  8. Hi Dr. Burns, I just purchased your Feeling Good on Amazon’s Audible app for my iPhone and am listening to it in my car. I am a therapist and was wondering if the Burns Depression Checklist is free for use in private practice or if I have to purchase copies? I have the PDF from the enhanced features of the audio book. Also the PDF 25 item checklist was revised in 1996, is this the latest version? I appreciate any help you might have to offer

    • Hi Julio, Thank you for your question. The depression tests are copyrighted and not in the public domain. However, clinicians who purchase the Therapist’s Toolkit are licensed to print and use this and hundreds of assessment tools with clients (patients) for the rest of your life, at no charge. You can find order forms for the Toolkit on my website, http://www.feelinggood.com. Thanks! david

  9. Hi,Dr Burns,

    How do CBT techniques deal with trauma,which happened long time ago and which may have some unknown influence on one’s current life?
    Let me take myself as an example: I fell in love with a girl about 2 years ago.However, after that, i found that the girl had been loving another guy for 3
    years,but she insisted to make friends with me,which made me very painful!
    Considering it was a love triangle that might hurt every one of us ,i initialtively gived up,and never contact her again.
    Now 2 years past,my life seems to be OK except that i lose much desire and courage of intimacy connections and even deside to live an unmarried life.
    I guess their might be some trauma keeping infuluencing on me,but i can’t tell what it is. How would CBT techniques deal with my case? If I understood correctly,CBT seldom focus on patient’s past ,but more on current moods and behaviors.


  10. This is the best article i have ever read on Internet and the way you described about presentations is awesome. I am from Philadelphia and looking for the Best psychologists in Philadelphia because of some relationship problems and was really thinking of suicide because of loneliness but I must say that this article is so much helpful in this critical situation of my life.

    Thank you,
    Alana Jhon

  11. Hi Dr Burns,
    I want to ask you a question which may seem stupid,because i am an outsider of psychology.you said that we can change the way we feel by using CBT.Well,Does it mean that we don’t and needn’t have a permanent character or personality?
    And is MBTI,Myers–Briggs Type Indicator,accurate enough in predicting one’s personality?


    • yes, I agree we don’t really “have” a personality, but can definitely change the way we think, feel, and behave. All the best, david PS, sadly, I am not a believer in the validity of the Meyers-Briggs classification system, but am keenly and painfully aware that tons of people love it! Go figure! People also love astrology, which is equally and totally not valid. d

  12. Dr Burns- I believe my depression is primarily caused by fear of being depressed the rest of my life. Depression causing depression. Is that common? Is there a best way to get this??

    • Hopelessness is one of the two central symptoms of depression, and virtually every depressed patients feels like this. Have you read Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy or my Feeling Good Handbook? Lots of focus on hopelessness, and how to defeat it. Therapy, too, can often help. Thanks so so much for your question! david

      • Dr. Burns- Thank you for commenting. I didn’t think I would get a response, much less from you. Thank you.

        I ordered Feeling Good and expect it to arrive tomorrow. A friend recommended it to me because it had a big positive influence on his depression. I hope it holds the answer for me, not just the “what” but the “how.”

        I am so frustrated. I went 49 years without being depressed, then went thru a nasty divorce in which I got severely depressed. I got over that somehow (time heals?) and went 13 years without depression. In January it came back full force, I think from some major events that I perceived as negative (aging, new retirement but without a plan on how to use my time, and heart palpitations probably from worry about the first two things). I went on anti depressants and went through some intensive professional cognitive therapy (not referencing your book material but I think some similar concepts were introduced. Before I was even done with the therapy I started feeling great….better than ever mostly because I was so thankful to be out of it. On a get away long weekend with my wife last week the depression came back full force.

        I am just so sick of this roller coaster. At the top of it I am great…my normal me. At the bottom of it, I can’t eat nor do many basic functions.

      • I should also mention that I should be hopeful because of all those years not being depressed, and even in the most recent bouts I do come out of it. But each time I am depressed I think it is going to stay with me forever. It is probably irrational, I know.

        Sorry for taking up so much space on my problem. I’m just looking for something that will get me out of this.

      • That’s exactly what happens! Have you read any of my books, or listened to the Feeling Good Podcasts? david

  13. Hi Dr Burns,
    I want to ask you a question.
    There is a theroy that goes like:
    you must be truly interested in your job , because with an interest, you are most likely to be high self-motivated and find a way to success,relative to some people who are merely interested in high salaries instead of the job itself .If what you’re doing is not what you are truly interested in ,you will most likely give up soon and fail,because of a lack of motivation.

    What do you think about this topic? Do we need an interest to motivate us ,when doing a job ?

    • Great question! My answer is: I don’t think so! While it is nice to be really interested in your work, there is no rule that you HAVE to be! Some people just work to support themselves, and when they’re not at work they do things that interest them. When I was in college I had summer jobs that some people would not find very interesting. I sorted checks at a local bank all day long. I also did pick and shovel construction work in the hot summer in Phoenix, Arizona. I loved both jobs, and was grateful to have work, even though the work itself was not interesting. Anyway, that’s my thinking. Now I have work that i really enjoy, and that’s a wonderful gift! david

  14. Dear Dr Burns,

    Thanks to you and Fabrice for such an informative and entertaining podcast. I listen during my commute and often laugh out loud at your playful interactions or editorializing. It’s also a great tonic for low mood states 🙂 I have 2 questions for you:

    1) Is it reasonable for a general medicine provider to attend one of your summer TEAM intensives ?

    2) Do you have experience with parental alienation and advice for how the ‘targeted’ (alienated) parent can approach parenting a child who has essentially been brainwashed against them ? Briefly, parental alienation can occur in the setting of a high conflict divorce: One parent allies with the child(ren) against the other parent, forming a cross-generational coalition, splitting off and often erasing the other parent from the child’s life. Dr Craig Chidress (also in CA) has written about the process and pathology. If the child is willing to continue seeing the targeted parent, their receptivity to normal parental authority is extremely compromised. I’m the targeted parent of a now 14 year old daughter who’s been pressured to choose dad and erase mom since she was 7; I imagine the loyalty conflict she’s been feeling as she transitions between the two homes must be confusing and painful. I just started reading Feeling Good Together and hope that improving my communication with her might lessen the negative impact of this situation.

    Thank you for any advice you might have,


    • Would love to have you at the summer intensive. With regard to the second question, I suggest you contact Rhonda Barosky in our group, and will send you her email separately! Thanks, david

  15. Hi Dr Burns
    I am zly,who have asked you a question about whether Cost Benefit Analysis can be used in non-emotional area,such as applying for a job or not.
    And yesterday, i found that you had allready answered my question in Feelinggood Podcast 61 !.From your Podcast,I generally knew that you talked about a more sophiscated tool called Decision Making Form.
    However,since English is not my mother language and my listening skill is very limited, i had some difficulty in understanding the details of Decision Making Form.Would you please tell me again how to make and use the Decision Making Form ,by written language?

    Great thanks!zly

    PS: “zly”is just a short combination of letters that come from my Chinese name, so “zly” can not be pronounced both in Enlish ways and Chinese ways.You can call me “z-l-y”

    • Thanks Z L Y! It is too much explanation for this forum. I do have a step by step example in my eBook, Tools, Not Schools, of Therapy (if you are a therapist, you’ll find order forms right here on my website), and also a chapter on this in my popular book, Feeling Good Together (available at Amazon.com). You’ll find what you’re looking for in one of those two resources. david

  16. Hi … Im very glad to know you and you wonderful book and technics

    My English is poor 🙂

    I’ve one question:
    Is this way works with OCD?

    Im very interesting in your Ideas
    So if I can – plz – text with u abuot this thing , I think that I can provide something …

    • Yes, I’ve treated many people with OCD with these techniques. There are lots of Feeling Good Podcasts and Facebook Broadcasts on the treatment of every type of anxiety with TEAM-CBT, including OCD. Also, my book, When Panic Attacks, might help. Thank you for your excellent question, and no problem about your English–it is EXCELLENT! Thanks so much, david

  17. Isn’t there a depression with out idea behind it?

    I think so …
    Is that correct?

    I suffered with this before 5 years.

  18. If I correct the negative thoughts today … and same thoughts come again tomorrow… should I discuss it second time?

    • Will address on a future Ask David podcast (Feeling Good Podcasts) but in general, yes. I recommend doing WRITTEN home with the Daily Mood Log on a daily basis until clear of depression, and also whenever the negative thoughts return. Thanks so much! Important question! david

  19. Respected sir,
    I am a medical professional, general surgeon to be specific.
    I wanted to ask the difference between your two books : Felling Good the new mood therapy and Feeling good the handbook
    If i was to read both of them, which one should i start with?
    Or shall i skip the first one and directly go for feeling good the hand book?

    • I’d say go to the handbook directly. After that, there are two newer specialized books that might interest you, When Panic Attacks, which is on rapid, drug-free treatment for all the anxiety disorders, and Feeling Good Together, on how to develop more loving and satisfying relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and patients. You can find any of my books at Amazon.com. Thanks, Dhaval! d

  20. I am a therapist would came across dr. Burns book feeling good the new mood therapy back in the early 1980’s, long before I even thought about being a therapist. It changed my life. By the time I began practicing I had read the Hanbook. The handbook is a resource I require of all my clients. It reviews topics of mood, habits and relationships. However I find the feeling good new mood therapy offers additional help for anger issues. When panic attacks is the resource I recvimend in addition to handbook for anxiety problems. The handbook and podcasts are my initial go to’s. Hope this is helpful.

  21. Hi,Dr Burns

    Nowadays,i am rereading your Feeling Good New Mood Therapy,because i am in depression .I am not very clear about the usage of Daily Activity Schedule. Here are my questions:
    1. In the Prospective column,is it ok to write out 2 or 3 activities in each time slot?Some activities seem to take less than 10 miniutes to finish,like brushing teeth,boiling water,as a result of which most part of the time is not used.
    2.do I have to strickly follow my schedule or just egnore the schedule in the next day?


    • You can do these exercises in the way that works best for you! There are no rigid rules. However, what I have observed over the years is that those individuals who actually DO some of the homework exercises seem to do the BEST in terms of improvement! Good luck, and thanks, Z-L-Y! david

  22. Hi,Dr Burns

    For a long time, there was an idea that puzzled me: Since cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in quickly removing guilt and treating depression, does it mean that I can do bad things and then develop guilt or depression and then use CBT to treat it,then do bad things again, and then use CBT again ,on purpose?

    What is wrong with my idea? I want to get rid of this idea, because this idea makes me a bit uncomfortable, and this idea seems to be somewhat evil. And I am ashamed of having this kind of idea.

    Will a benefit-cost analysis of this evil idea help?

    • Hi Zly, Can you get a copy of the Feeling Good Handbook? In one of the early chapters, I discuss the difference between healthy and unhealthy negative emotions. Neurotic guilt is not the same as healthy remorse. I don’t “treat” healthy remorse, or healthy fear, or healthy sadness, as they are a part of normal human functioning. The most important difference is this. healthy and unhealthy feelings both result entirely from our thoughts. However, the thoughts that cause healthy negative feelings are un-distorted, while the thoughts that trigger unhealthy feelings like neurotic guilt are always distorted. Thanks for a very important question! david

      • Yes, I have purchased your Feeling GoodHandBook(Chinese edition). In Chapter 4, you did distinguish between healthy negative feelings and distorted negative feelings.
        I am still very curious:If the healthy negative feelings result from undistorted thoughts, then is there a possibility that an undistorted thought be intentionally or mistakenly changed? Can non-distorting ideas be changed?


      • Thanks, Zly, you have a terrific philosophical interest! I was a philosophy major in college, so i share your curiosity about such matters.

        Yes, people can change their minds about all kinds of things! That seems pretty obvious.

        I am a psychiatrist, and my goal is to help people with things they want help with. The current discussion has gotten a bit theoretical and abstract. When this happens in therapy I ask the patient if there is something specific he or she wants help with, and also as the patient to describe one moment when he or she was upset and wants help with what was going on at that time. This helps to narrow the focus and make for a productive session!


      • Thanks for your answer and kind comment!
        so ,all thoughts can be changed as we like,but in the perspective of being a normal healthy person emotionally and behaviorally ,some thoughts which lead to constructive feelings and actions are better than those that cause destructive feelings and actions.Therefore,you call some thoughts”undistorted”,and some thoughts “distorted”. Am I right?

        In short, different feelings results from different thoughts.I remember that in the early chapter of Feeling Good New Mood Therapy,you said ” The emotion entirely results from the way we look at things” and “it’s an obvious neurological fact”.
        Can you talk more about this ” neurological fact” ?Because i don’t have this knowledge, but i am very curious. Is it an experiment proofing that thoughts leads to emotions? Or where to find relevant information on the internet ?

        Great thanks

      • The ten cognitive distortions are listed in all my books. That is how you find out if a thought is distorted, not by the behavioral consequences as you mention. I give quite a few common sense examples about the causal connection between thoughts and feelings in my books, like the story of the man driving down the railroad track with a train coming described in the Feeling Good Handbook. It is hard to do research on this topic,, but I did a causal modeling study at the Stanford Hospital using data from the start and end of a number of cognitive therapy groups. The findings showed a direct and large causal connection of thoughts on feelings and a smaller reciprocal causal connection of feelings on thoughts. This was a study with structural equation modeling techniques. I did not attempt to publish it, however, and cannot remember why. I used to do a lot of statistical analyses of data, and sometimes just did extra analysis that were not the main focus of the research out of curiosity.

        At any rate, there is a necessary condition for emotional upset: You have to have a negative thought in your mind. There is also a sufficient condition for emotional upset: You believe the negative thought.

        Right now if you think, “The world is coming to an end,” you will not be upset because you do not believe it! But if you have the thought, “I am a worthless human being,” or some similar thought, and you believe it, you will feel depressed, inferior, and so forth.

        Thanks for the excellent questions, Zly!

        For the most part, the theories of psychology and psychiatry have not been validated through research, and this is a huge problem in the field. I used to publish articles in psychology journals testing many popular theories. In all cases, the theories proved to be false, not validated! But most people didn’t seem terribly interested in the research, because most people hate to have their beliefs challenged!


      • Well,I guess what you want to say is: whether a thought is distorted or not depends on the thought itself being illogical or not ,and has nothing to do with our behaviors .And evidence showed that thoughts lead to feelings ,instead of feelings leading to thoughts. Hope I have correctly understood your idea this time!


      • My study suggested that negative thoughts, like “I’m worthless,” lead to negative feelings such as depression. In addition, negative feelings trigger more negative thoughts. So there is a vicious cycle, with negative thoughts and feelings reinforcing each other. In cognitive therapy, we try to interrupt that loop by challenging the distorted thoughts. The moment you stop believing a distorted negative thought, you will (in most cases) feel immediate relief! david

  23. Hi David,

    How can people prone to anxiety can overcome their fear of confrontation. I think such people have trouble expressing even healthy anger which in turn contributes to their anxiety more. Is this because of their faulty belief that others are more powerful and can cause harm to them? Or they can’t hold a legitimate confrontation too long because the anxiety will creep in and make them hard to stand the ground? Or they genuinely believe they are inadequate because of their anxiety?


    • Rajesh, This is an excellent question for the next David and Jill Show. Will send to her and print it out, too. It will be in a few weeks, since we’re having a couple Sunday Facebook broadcasts on dating issues first. david

  24. Hi Dr,

    In one of your podcasts you mentioned you you’re working on an electronic (phone) version of the Burns Depression Test is that available yet?

  25. Hi Dr. Burns,

    Your books have changed my life – and my partner’s life! We sometimes share our Daily Mood Logs with each other. It’s often easy for us to see and point out each other’s cognitive distortions. When we are with friends we often see distortions in their thoughts too. When do you think it’s a good idea to help your partner or friend by pointing out the distortions in their thoughts to them, and when is it better to just listen and empathize without trying to fix anything?

    Matthew & Cathy

    • Hi Matthew, Thanks! I don’t “help” unless someone is asking for help. Throwing help at folks who aren’t asking for it tends to be unproductive, and sometimes quite frustrating, in my experience! Great question that i actually addressed in my Feeling Good Handbook. All the best, david

  26. Hi, Dr Burns

    In Feeling Good New Mood therapy,you said that in order to reverse the twisted thinking, the first step is to record it on paper as soon as i capture the automatic thoughts , and then find

    the distortion as second step,and replace the irrational thoughts with ration thoughts as the third step.However, I think,it seems that for people who are doing a dangerous work , capturing

    the automatic thoughts immediately on paper is probably not realistic.Then is it same effective if i do the first,the second and the third step after work? For example, I’ve found a job in

    train repair recently.I will work in a very dangerous environment.The rules I need to abide for this job are very strict to protect personal safety, and a distraction at work will results in

    serious accident . So ,it seems not realistic for me to write down the automatic thought immediately when i am at work.Is it OK to do the three steps after work?


    • Definitely! You can work on negative thoughts any time it is convenient. Thanks for the great question, Zly! d

  27. Dear Dr. Burns
    Thank you for your book, the Feeling Good Handbook! The techniques have been very helpful to me. My question is what to do about thoughts that don’t fit into any of the “distorted thinking” categories-thoughts about a past event I don’t want to think about, or some embarrassing or awkward or abusive event, or a past relationship I don’t want to think about? I don’t want to have these thoughts, but they just pop into my mind and I want to stop that from happening! Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Again, your comment is general. I would need two or three examples of specific negative thoughts you want help with. Thanks! d

  28. Dear Dr Burns,

    I am a medical graduate applying to Stanford for a Master’s in Preventive Research and you are the biggest inspiration for me to apply there.
    A few months ago, I got a seemingly normal stomach bug and got sick with dehydration. I should’ve been fine in a week or so but it took almost 2 months for me to recover! That ordeal left me with newfound anxiety and panic attacks. I had never in my life experienced that kind of anxiety before. I started being constantly on edge and getting recurrent distorted thoughts like “I was trapped” or that “I now, have anxiety forever and my life is over”. I developed fear of going out or being alone. I even got a mild panic attack in the shower which left me scared and embarrassed. That’s when I decided I wasn’t going to let this amygdala of mine overpower me. I immediately went onto Amazon and ordered “Feeling good” and “When panic attacks”.
    Dr. Burns, you are an inspiration! Within 3 days, I was back to myself. I realised I suffered from distorted thinking like over generalisation and “should statements”. Every time I felt like I was falling onto the rut of negativity, I gave myself the talk and I questioned the lie I was believing. As someone, who had never suffered from shyness or anxiety, I had been unable to fathom the power negative thoughts can have on your personality. I can say this with conviction now that I am so glad I had this negative experience, because it evolved my mind! It led me to read your books and they forced me to introspect! I had never taken a day off in my life and I realised I had exploited my mental health by constant stress. I am so glad I am back to myself again. The last time I felt anxious was months ago!

    I have gifted feeling good to my dad and my husband too! I want everyone in this world to read it. It’s not only for depressed people, it’s for anyone and everyone who wants to master the power of thinking.

    P.S. Inspired by your book and as an avid meditation practitioner, I have written a short article on the relationship between CBT and pranayama and I would be highly fortunate, if you would spare 4 mins and read it.


    Thank you for giving back my life to me, Dr Burns! You are a prodigy.

    • Thanks Ashima! I deeply appreciate your kind note and wish you luck in your research career! I look forward to reading the link, too! All the best, david

      • Thank you so much Dr Burns! However, now that I think, it seems rather naive of me to introduce such a humble article to someone of your brilliance! Please just think of it as a 25 year old trying to impress her biggest role model in medicine. 😅

  29. Ok, thanks, is very difficult to say in just a sentence or two, but it is a relationship with a relative who was abusive to me while I was growing up, later we were friendly but it was always a very fragile relationship and she never apologized or acknowledged the abuse in any way. She started getting upset because I wouldn’t get together with her as often as she liked, and it finally came to head, we had a falling out and she is not speaking to me anymore. I am not trying to repair the relationship for many reasons, but mostly because she refuses to talk to me, and would never talk about our problems from the past. So I find myself thinking about her and the situation and I don’t want to! Or I will just have a fleeting thought about her about something she said or did that I don’t want. If I try to write out responses, it just doesn’t work, because they are thoughts things like thinking about when she walked away from me when I tried to talk to her, or something abusive she did when I was young, or something she said to upset me. The thoughts just don’t seem to fit in any of the categories. I’m just not sure what to do. Thank you in advance for your response!

    • I just wanted to add, thanks to my wonderful husband children I have moved on and have a great life. There are just times when these thoughts intrude and I don’t want them.

    • Your question is very general. There are lots of techniques in my books, like the Feeling Good Handbook and Feeling Good Together. Have you read them and done the written exercises? Certainly a good place to start! d

  30. Yes, I have, but say you have a thought like just a memory of something abusive that happened, like she threatened to drown me in the bathtub when my parents were at work. I just think about that, but can’t find how to find distorted thinking in it. I just don’t want to think about it.

    • Cannot treat you but in person might suggest cognitive flooding, making the memory as awful as possible until it loses its power to upset you. Try this with a therapist! d

  31. Hello Dr. Burns

    I am a 43 yrs old man. Up to now, I never had a romantic relationship with a woman. I’ve received therapies on social phobia, anxiety disorder from professionals, I used medication but all those simply did not help. I sometimes feel like I am stuck in a deep well that I will never come out of, I get really depressed when I see happy couples around me and think such a life is second class and tasteless. How could I cope with my negative feelings ?


    • Hi armagan, I am sorry you are plagued by social anxiety, something I used to struggle with myself! I have written several books that focus on this, including Intimate Connections, The Feeling Good Handbook, and When Panic Attacks. You can also find some referrals perhaps at http://www.feelinggooodinstitue.com. Hope this information is helpful to you! all the best, david

  32. Hi Dr. Burns, The Feel Good Book transformed my life. Thanks so much! I got it from the recommendation of my psychotherapist I read and did these techniques a few years back, but as of late I have not been consistent with it and feel my anxiety creeping back.

    My question is: How do I become consistent with it? On the 4-step sheet where it talks about thoughts, identifying the distortions and so forth(which is very effective) would you suggest I carry that sheet everywhere I go to be consistent?



    • Thanks! You can do that, the important thing is to continue doing the written exercises until you are entirely free of depression. When the negative thoughts return, do the writing again. Really appreciate your kind comments and support! david

  33. Dr Burns. I am Sarah and i started CBT nearly 10 years ago when I saw a leaflet about it. I had to do one year and half of going once a week to group therapy as I chose that over one to one . I was totally transformed. I no longer take anti depressants! The gp had me on these for 20 years! Thankgod! I found CBT! I’m the person I was supposed to be after a terrible toxic upbringing. I’m free! I still read your book just to keep me in check! Thankyou! Very much! My therapist Jim who taught my group in cambridge UK.he related all what you teach in your book. Your book and my bible are my best books. For truth! And freedom. Stay well. Love Sarah I’m in france now ! Living. Here.

    • That is so awesome. Sarah, thanks! And congrats! By the way, I also prefer groups. If you haven’t caught my weekly Feeling Good Podcasts, available right here on the website, you might enjoy them They are free. d

  34. Hi Dr Burns
    I’m trying to read the Feeling Good Handbook for my therapy sessions. However the print isn’t large enough to see without getting a headache.i can’t find an audio version of this book. Can you please help me?

  35. Hello Dr Burns,

    Thanks you for writing “Feeling Good”! Your book has changed my life.

    Feeling Good was innitially recommended to me by a friend who had gone through a harsh break-up, he used your techniques to cope with the sadness and all the negative feelings that come with it.

    I have read it in June this year and since then have been consistently happier. The frequency and duration of my mood swings has decreased considerably. I have even become better and more confident at my job, and interpersonal relationships.

    The chapter on perfectionism really spoke to me, I have been applying the techniques to overcome it and have been very successful so far. I have achieved more of my goals and have become less of a procrastinator since then.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks, think I answered but got email again. Appreciate your comments! Hope others read Feeling Good, too! Working on new book now. david

      • Best wishes David. Will eagerly wait for the new book to come up. Would be great if you have plans to cover topic or case studies to overcome work place stress, burnouts due to long hours, overcritical colleagues, short and unexpected turn around time to deliver, fast pace changing technologies and job roles and insecurities that are the common problems today that many suffer. I haven’t seen any book covering this in detail. Thank you.

      • Thanks, Rajesh. One helpful technique for those problems is called the Daily Mood Log! Another is called the Relationship Journal! Keep the good questions coming! david

  36. I respect and trust your intelligence, experience and profession. I have read your books and they were very useful for me. I have a question, is hypnotherapy effective or useful? Some doctors says it is useless and waste of time and money. Than you.

    • Hi A Person, hypnosis is not a treatment per se, it is just a modality you can use for some patients. You can sometimes do therapy more rapidly if the patient is in a trance. Hypnosis is just one of more than 100 methods I use in therapy. Most methods can be helpful for some individuals, but I find I most patients recover quick;ly and completely without hypnosis. For certain problems, like smoking cessation, t can be helpful for about 50% of patient who smoke,, but not a cure all for everybody or for everything. Thanks! d

      • So, can it be used for anxiety disorders? Psychologists say by dint of hypnosis, we can learn our childhood traumas, even 6-months-old, is it true?

  37. Hello Dr Burns,
    I suffered my first panic attack 42 years ago. I’ve been living my life in a prison of my own making ever since….even though no one close to me including my late parents, my wife or children knew/know anything about it. Do you think it’s possible to be cured after living with panic/ anxiety for the bulk of my life?

  38. Yes I think when Panic attacks by Dr. Burns is one of the best books written on the subject. It has loads of techniques along with good material to deal with physical manifestation of the anxiety and panic that I think no other book might offer.
    I also think Meditation done correctly can also help to deal with the symptoms effectively and apply the CBT techniques more effectively. Do you agree David meditation can help?🙏

    • Thanks! Lots of people are strong enthusiasts for meditation, but I do not use it or see it as one of my top techniques, to be honest. It can’t hurt if you like it, however. Some people like prayer, some like yoga, some like relaxation training, some like exercise, some like reading. These can all be useful and healthy, but not, to my way of thinking, specific methods. I’ve written on this extensively in my blogs, so won’t go into it further here. I do acknowledge that LOTS of people will disagree, of course! david

    • Hey, thanks, manpower! Not sure what article you are referring to, as there’s a ton of stuff on my website. So cool of you to write to me! david

  39. Thank you for the feeling good book and God bless you for all the help you provide to others. I just recently purchased it and I’m hoping to fix the social anxiety that has plagued me my entre life since the day I was born, it is almost like i have accepted I will be this awkward and abnormal person forever. I have no friends as a result, very few relationships, no confidence in myself, I’m limited and I have missed out on a lot of opportunitied as well, depressed and I’m probably at my lowest right now. I would try anything to get better and I’m hoping this book is a start. I was wondering if you had any workshops in the New York Area I could as attend because I feel I will need that as well ?

  40. Doctor Burns, do you believe in the big five personality traits model? And will your therapy tools change one’s big five traits? For example,i got a score of 67 on

    neuroticism , which means I am more likely to experience anger, depression, anxiety, and vulnerability, and tend to think of things in a pessimistic way.

    So, suppose I did the exercises offered in your book, and developed a more realistic outlook of life and myself, then does it follow that my personality traits get more or less changed ?

    • Great question, Zly, the quick answer is yes, you can definitely change these kinds of problems. That’s the whole purpose of TEAM-CBT! Will try to address in more detail in an Ask David, as it is an important question, and the answer has to do with specificity. I’m not terribly impressed with tests of that type., as they tend to promise more than they can actually deliver, in my opinion, and are more like fads than important scientific instruments. That’s just my take and remember that 1. David tends to be overly skeptical at times; 2. David is often wrong! d

      • Hi david,many days passed since your last reply,in which you gave me a quick answer .I am waiting for your Ask David sinc then,but there is no further messages…Did you forget to write an Ask David ,or because of some other reasons?

      • Hi Zly, we have at least one ask david recorded that has not yet been published, but will be. Can you remind me what your question was. Hard to keep track as I received quite a few. I apologize for slowness, but that’s kind of the way things are, since we don’t like to have Ask David episodes too close to each other. You always ask really good questions! david

  41. Hi, Dr. Burns,

    I am a 23 years old, medicine student from Turkey. Your book “Feeling Good The New Mood Therapy” became so much helpful for me. I was in a little bit depression because of failure in my lectures and my social life.

    Now I feel better. Thank you for everything. 🙂

  42. Hello Dr. Burns,
    I’ve read your books and have definitely helped me overcome my own anxieties and fears. However, I have a unique problem in that my wife has had low self esteem and anxiety issues for years, and for the last few years they have been directed at me. She fears that I will lose my temper and yell at her or our children. As much as I tell her that it won’t happen, it is of no use and makes things worse for her. It got to a point where she filed for divorce and we now live separately. To make things worse, she copes by complaining and crying to her sister, and mother, feeding each other, reinforcing and rationalizing their fears and anxiety. I see multiple cognitive distortions that she has such as completely discounting the positive, catastrophizing, and obsessing over negative events of years ago. She does realize she has anxiety and has sought counseling, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. I have mentioned CBT to her, but it is of no use as she thinks it is me who needs help.
    Is there a way I can help her realize that something like CBT would help her as well as our kids? It does seem hopeless to me.
    Thank you and Kind Regards,

    • Trying to change another person has about a 0% success rate, and I always emphasize that the techniques in Feeling Good are for you, never for you to impose on another person. My take on it at any rate! However, I have written a book on relationship conflict called Feeling Good Together. It is a radically different approach from what I describe in my books on depression and anxiety, and it requires: 1. doing the written exercises as you read; 2. the death of the ego, or “self.” 3. Lots of practice, much like playing the piano. You have to be super determined to learn, and you have to work at it. Write me again when you’ve read the book if you want! You will find out, perhaps, about some errors you may be making. All the best, david

  43. Hi Dr.Burns
    I’m a french canadian from Québec and i would like to thank you very much for your great book : feeling good. It’s a great treasure for me. Now it’s much easy now but yes it’s still difficult sometimes . I have a bad way to compare my self with the others. I have a lot of shame and culpabilities too. Yes when i was a children i was been sexual abused and violence against me. For about 1 year i accept the fact that i was not feeling good. All the time i denied behind a clown ‘s mask. For very long time i have suicidal idea . Fortunately i follow a psychologist therapy. I better understant my self and why . I have 44 years old and I CHOOSE feeling good and happy. Thank you so much again for all people like you.

  44. Hi David,

    Thank you for your work — I feel like Feeling Good and the materials on your website are changing my life, and I feel so appreciative. The other day I did a shame attacking exercise. I walked up to some people who were having a picnic and after making some small talk about the beautiful evening, I asked if I could sample their cheese. It was an unbelievably difficult thing to do, but I felt very elated afterwards. Also, in the days since, I have experienced a subtle change in the way I perceive other people — they seem less threatening to me and I feel more confident to speak up and come out of my shell. However, I have been telling my work friends about it, and I have been surprised to encounter quite a lot of criticism from them, ranging from ‘you’re making people feel uncomfortable’ to ‘you’re exercising white privilege.’ This has knocked a bit of the wind out of my sails. I was wondering if you’ve experienced any judgement from others you tell about this exercise, or if you could possibly offer your two cents on the subject?

    Thanks again, love your work!


    • Hi Albert, First, huge kudos on being brave! I’m really proud of you! When people criticize me, I like to find the truth in what they are saying, as there always is some truth in any criticism. So you might respond to them along these lines, “You’re right, Dr. Burns always emphasizes that the point of a Shame Attacking Exercise is to make yourself look foolish, but never to do anything that might frighten or threaten others. Perhaps I was too aggressive, and might have explained afterwards to them what I was doing and why. I could say that I’ve always been shy, so I’m practicing doing goofy things to get over my fears. When I asked for the cheese, did it make you feel uncomfortable? Or did it seem more silly and funny, which is what I was hoping!” And I DO practice Shame Attacking with those considerations in mind. I always try to make myself look foolish, but careful to consider the surroundings and the impact on others. For example, doing something silly in the park is perfect, but doing something silly in a hospital would be disrespectful. There’s tremendous room for wild and wacky Shame Attacking Exercises that will not make others uncomfortable! Thanks for your excellent and thoughtful comment, much appreciated! Your buddy in wackiness, David 🙂

  45. The article on therapist’s toolkit has thrown a lot of light on an important supportive equipment that is rarely discussed in the therapeutic world. It shows how a therapist can reduce the strains and stresses in therapeutic process because of the guidance contained in the toolkit.

    • Thank you, Moses! I’m so glad you like the Therapist’s Toolkit! Visitors wanting more information can check out the Resources tab on my website. All the best, David

  46. Hi Dr. Burns,
    I read your book and it has amazing insight on how thoughts really affect our moods.
    I have completed the book within 10 days and my score came down from 44 to 33. Around 2-3 years before, an incident triggered a in me a state where I lost some touch with reality for quite a few months and then stayed in a depressive state. After reading your book, I immediately found that I was the creator of my own thoughts and that only my thoughts affect my moods, but I need better control over my mind.

    I am exercising 2-3 times a day, eating good food and doing the double column technique 10 mins a day everyday. Is 3-4 weeks enough time for me to get back to a normal state on BDC checklist . 😁

  47. Dr. Burns
    I was disturbed by your comments on your podcast 132 about the rape and violence discussion. You spoke of a case of a women getting hit in the mouth by her partner. You had the women examine what triggered her partner’s violence towards her. She was able to identify it and change her behavior causing the violence to end. I am disturbed by your maladaptive thinking in regards to this case. Yes a person can change their behavior to cater to their partner’s desires however this is bullying abusive behavior that should never be tolerated. This makes the victim responsible for another persons behavior. This is such irresponsible response to physical abuse. I feel the focus needs to shift towards encouraging getting away from the abuser and supporting the victim period. Anything else speaks to the power of the abuser, enabling them to continue abusing without consequences. Putting your hands on another person is illegal. Imagine if I angered a coworker of mine and they hit me. Game over police called and an arrest would be made. We need to culturally shift how we respond to abusers. Abuse is abuse is abuse. All the same if in bedroom or boardroom. Being a therapist puts you a unique position to guide, educate and assist people who share the most intimate things about themselves. You have a responsibility to guide people and clarify abuse/ violence as not being tolerated under any circumstances. Everyone agrees that children should never be victims of violence or abuse. This should be the same for all people everywhere regardless of age or any other identifiers. Sincerely, Diana D

    • Thanks, Diana. I totally agree. If someone is in an abusive relationship with hitting, getting out is likely the best solution. In that case, it is even more imperative to use the Five Secrets of Effective Communication skillfully, so you can get out safely, without being hurt further. I also believe that it is up to the patient, and not the therapist, to chose his or her path forward. And if someone chooses to remain in a relationship, and can learn a powerful tool for improving it, that might not be my choice, but it might be the right of the patient to make that choice. I greatly appreciate your passion and clear, articulate voice. I know, too, that this topic is incredibly sensitive, and that abuse of women is horrible, and widespread around the world. Abuse of others, in general, is common, hating ethnic minorities, people of different religions, different colors, different political beliefs, and so on and on and on! The human race definitely has a dark side that puts all of us in danger, in my opinion. Please keep your thoughts and ideas coming, even and especially when you feel critical about something I have said in a podcast! This is SO important and deeply appreciated! david

      • Dear Dr. Burns,
        Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I respect your opinion and even more all the positive work you have done. Your interventions have help countless people end their suffering. This is the greatest gift anyone can give to another person is hope and compassion. Your work is so important and thank you for dedicating your life to end suffering for so many people in pain.
        Diana D

      • Wow, thanks! Would there be any value in my reading your original comment, and my reply, and this comment live on a podcast? Not necessary, but folks might be very interested. Could also use your real first name, or a different first name to protect your identity if you prefer. No problem if you are not comfortable, but there is so much to be learned here, and so many different levels. david

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