163: Ask David: Anxiety, Dreams, Cyclical Negative Thoughts, Secrets of Selling, Exposure, and more

163: Ask David: Anxiety, Dreams, Cyclical Negative Thoughts, Secrets of Selling, Exposure, and more

Can you treat anxiety without meds?

How do you interpret dreams?

Are negative thoughts cyclical?

How can I get over anxiety when selling?

How does exposure work?

Will you teach on the East Coast again?

Hi! We’ve had tons of great questions from listeners like you. Here’s the first:

Question #1. TREATING ANXIETY WITHOUT MEDICATIONS

Hi Dr. Burns,

I would love to talk to you!!!

I have been going to a wonderful counselor for several years, and he is the one who recommended your book. My question is how can you overcome anxiety without taking medicine?

I have been on a very low dose medicine for years and would love to discontinue but when I try the anxiety seems to come back.

Thank you.

Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for your email! This is one of my favorite topics, since I’ve personally had at least 17 different anxiety disorders that I’ve had to overcome. That’s why I love treating anxiety. Whatever you’ve had, I can say, “I’ve had that too, and I know how it sucks! And I can put you on the road to recovery, too!”

Did you read When Panic Attacks, or one of the earlier books? The written exercises would be the way to go, I think.

You will find more than 40 methods in that book. Write back if you have questions after reading it. Focus on one specific moment when you are anxious, and do a Daily Mood Log, as illustrated in Chapter 3.

You can also listen to the free Feeling Good Podcasts on anxiety. Go to my website, FeelingGood.com, and click on the Podcast tab. There, you’ll find a list of all the podcasts, with links. In the right hand panel of every page, you’ll find the search function. You can type in “anxiety,” or “social anxiety,” and so forth, and all the relevant podcasts and blogs will pop right up. You can also sign up in that same right-hand panel of every page so you’ll receive all the new podcasts, along with the show notes.

In addition, withdrawal effects are pretty much inevitable when going off of benzodiazepines, if that is the type of medication you are taking. These are the drugs most often prescribed for anxiety, like Valium, Librium, Ativan, Xanax, and so forth. Typically, the withdrawal, which typically involves insomnia and increased anxiety, take several weeks to wear off.

Your medical doctor can guide you in this. I cannot advise you about medications in this forum, so make sure you check with your doctor!

David

Question #2. How can you interpret dreams?

Hello, Dr. Burns.

I am terrified that this may be the most boring question you have ever received, but, I’ll press on none the less.

I often experience very vivid dreams after listening to your podcasts. In fact, I recently dozed off after listening to one of your podcasts on procrastination (#75) and forgot to turn off my phone. In my dream I was in my childhood house and could hear you talking away in some far corner of the house and I was really getting quite annoyed and angry.

I really wanted to find you to tell you to shut up, but I couldn’t get the words out.

When I awoke, podcast #77 was playing, which seems to explain some of my unconscious hostility. I struggle with most of my relationships and don’t really want to deal with all the hard work I have to do to improve them.

So, there you have it!

Thanks for listening to me and all your Herculean efforts on behalf of all those in the struggle to grow.

Mike

Hi Mike,

I explain how dreams function, and give an example with my dream that I had a broken jaw!

Question #3. Are Negative Thoughts cyclical?

David, I have a question about our strong attraction or inclination to negative thoughts.

Are our psychological processes cyclical? People seem to recycle the same negative thoughts for years. Even if we produce a strong alternative thought or reattribution it may not be a default choice the next time. How can we make the alternative/ positive thoughts a conscious choice?

Thanks,

Rajesh

Hi Rajesh:

Negative Thoughts are not cyclical for the most part, but are an inherent part of our human nature. The podcast on fractal psychotherapy might be useful, since the same Negative Thoughts will tend to come back over and over throughout your life. And once you have learned how to combat those thoughts, you can use the same techniques to smash the thoughts whenever they pop back into your mind.

The written exercises I describe in my books, like the Daily Mood Log, are extremely helpful, even mandatory, in building new brain networks and strengthening them through repeated practice.

Bipolar manic-depressive illness is a little different, and it can be quick cyclical. (David will briefly explain this.)

Thanks Rajesh for yet another great question!

david

Question #4. I’m in sales. How do I combat my Negative Thoughts about each person I approach?

Hi David,

I have been struggling with anxiety for the last 18 months and recently faced up to the fact I have also been suffering from depression. And then I discovered your podcasts.

I have been spending a lot of time on the episodes I believe I can benefit from the most. I have found your solutions to be the most beneficial I have come across. Thank you for sharing your ideas and techniques with all of us!

A couple of questions—How would you advise constructing a work day to reduce anxiety? I work in sales and feel anxious before every phone call or visit I encounter, and the anxiety can be for reasons that seem to be related solely to each sales encounter on individual basis! And my anxiety will grow as the day goes on.

My second point would be, would there be a benefit in monitoring positive thoughts and feelings throughout the day, like happiness and hopefulness, rather than negative feelings?

Hi Rudi,

I’ve done a lot of sales work, including door-to-door sales when I was young. When I was 8 years old, I sold show tickets door to door. When I was a teenager, I sold Fiesta Chips, Cosmo’s Cock Roach Power, tick powder for dogs, and For Econoline Vans door to door in Phoenix. So, I feel a soft spot in my heart for everyone involved in sales! In fact, I’m still involved in sales! But these days I’m selling happiness, self-esteem, and intimacy.

I think it could be useful to do a written Daily Mood Log on the anxiety you feel before one of your calls. I think you will find there are certain themes that are common to each call, such as fears of rejection, disapproval, or failure. Once you’ve dealt with these fears successfully, I think they will help in all of your sales encounters. If you send me a partially filled out Daily Mood Log, perhaps Rhonda and I could provide more specific tips on how to crush your Negative Thoughts. If you listen to Rhonda’s work on performance anxiety, you may find it extremely helpful.

In addition, the Five Secrets of Effective Communication are the keys to successful sales. I used to think that you had to sell yourself, or your product, which is rarely true. I learned that the key is to form a warm relationship with your customers. David will explain what he learned from his mother, who sold women’s clothing part-time at a department store in Phoenix.

Thanks, Rudi, I hope to hear more.

Question #4. Why and how does exposure for anxiety work?

Hi Dr. Burns,

I am a big fan and believe that you are the greatest living psychologist of our time. I have seen you in person and hear your recent PESI presentation (link).

Quick question, when exposure is used to get rid of anxiety, what do you think is the mechanism in the brain? It works paradoxically, instead of strengthening a neuro-network it extinguishes it. Any ideas how.

Thanks for your time, and again I have learned so much from you in my over 30-year career, thank you for that also.

Sincerely, Dr. Mark

Hi Dr. Mark,

With your permission, will include this on an upcoming Ask David on my Feeling Good Podcast, but I think you discover a couple things during exposure:

  1. When you stop running away and confront the monster, you discover that the monster has no teeth, so you go into enlightenment. This is the basis of Buddhism and the teachings in the Tibetan book of the dead.
  2. During exposure, you also discover that after a while the anxiety just kind of wears out, dwindles, and disappears. The brain simply cannot continue creating anxiety for prolonged periods of time, especially when you are doing everything you can to make it as intense as possible.
  3. You discover that you can, in fact, endure the anxiety and survive, and that you do not have to “escape” from the feeling of anxiety via avoidance.

One other thing that is important is that I treat anxiety with four models, not one: 1. The Motivational Model; 2. The Hidden Emotion model; 3. The Exposure Model; and 4. The Cognitive Model. All play vitally important and unique roles in the treatment of anxiety. Exposure alone is NOT a treatment for anxiety, just one tool among many that can be helpful, and often incredibly helpful, as you’ll see in the upcoming podcast on the treatment of Sara, a woman struggling with severe OCD for more than 20 years.

Great question! Hope to catch you in one of my upcoming in-person / online workshops!

Thanks, David

Mark’s reply and a brief final question

Hi Dr. Burns,

Yes, of course you have my permission to use my question! Also, I do understand your impressive approach to treatment (not just exposure), and again it is genius. I also love that you see the connection between Buddhism and cognitive restructuring, where as Dr. Beck only went as far back as Socrates and the Greek Stoic philosophers. I don’t know if you ever read the Dhammapada (best translation I found is Eknath Easwaran) as it clearly states that our life is shaped by our mind, and that our feelings follow our thoughts just like a cart follows the ox that pulls it.

Thanks again! Will you be coming to the East coast again soon?

Hi again, Mark,

Yes, I’ll be coming to Atlanta for a four-day intensive in November! Check my workshop tab at www.feelinggood.com for more information. (https://feelinggood.com/workshops/)

david

David D. Burns, M.D. / Rhonda Barovsky, Psy.D.

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You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com. Today’s featured photo is courtesy of Nancy Mueller–www.nancymuellerphotography.com.

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

* * *

You may have missed the Calgary and South San Francisco intensives, but there will be one more awesome intensive this fall.

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Sponsored by Praxis

* * *

I also have two tremendous one-day workshop scheduled with my colleague, Dr. Jill Levitt, next year–

Coming up in 2020

High Speed Methods to Reduce Resistance
and Boost Motivation

This is the most important, and least understood, topic in the behavioral sciences. Nearly all therapeutic failure results from the failure to address resistance. Therapists do not understand what causes resistance or how treat it effectively.

Come to this workshop and learn how to melt away resistance for incredibly high-speed recovery!

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Feb 9. 2020 |  7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 

The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

TEAM-CBT includes more than 100 powerful techniques to change the distorted thoughts that trigger negative emotions. But what techniques should I select for my patient who feels depressed, anxious, or angry?

As you know, in my book, Feeling Good, I listed the ten most common cognitive distortions, like All-or-Nothing Thinking, Should Statements, Emotional Reasoning, and more, and you probably use that list all the time in your clinical work. But do you know which techniques work the best for each distortion?

Come to this workshop and find out! You’ll learn with tons of cool techniques you can use every day to boost your clinical effectiveness.

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

Partial List of David’s FB Videos

Hi colleagues,

I believe that some of the FB Live Videos I made last year may have value for you if you are looking for self-help, and for your patients if you are a therapist. There are more videos than these, so this is just a preliminary listing. Let me know if you have some other ideas about this. I want to thank Dr. Jill Levitt and Mike Christensen for brilliant and heart-warming contributions! 

David’s Live FB Videos with

Dr. Jill Levitt, Mike Christensen, and others

Title / Topic

Time

Views

Date

Guests

Overcoming Perfectionism

1:27

4.1 K

Nov 11, 2018

Jill Levitt

The Shouldy Show, Part 1: How to Crush Your Shoulds!

1:03

1.7 K

Jul 22, 2018

Jill Levitt

The Shouldy Show, Part 2: How to Zap your Shoulds!

1:03

1.9 K

Jul 29, 2018

Jill Levitt

The Four Great Deaths of the
Patient’s “Self” in TEAM-CBT

1:03

1.5 K

Apr 22, 2018

Mike Christensen

The Four Great Deaths of the Therapist’s “Self”in TEAM-CBT

0:58

1.2 K

Apr 29, 2018

Mike Christensen

Anxiety and OCD, Part 1

~1:00

2 K

Mar 18, 2018

Jill Levitt /
Mike Christensen

Anxiety and OCD, Part 2

1:03

1.2 K

Apr 1, 2018

Jill Levitt  / 
Mike Christensen

More on Anxiety: Counting Negative Thoughts, Worry Breaks, and Flooding

0:59

1.4 I

Sept. 9, 2018

Jill Levitt

How to handle an obnoxious teenager!

1:03

1.5 K

Oct 7, 2018

Jill Levitt

How to develop loving relationships

1:09

2.3 K

Mar 11, 2018

Jill Levitt

Good Reasons NOT to Get Close to People / How to Criticize Others

1:01

1.9 K

May 13, 2018

Jill Levitt / 
Mike Christensen

Hope this is helpful! 

david

Today’s featured photo is courtesy of Nancy Mueller–www.nancymuellerphotography.com.

* * *

You may have missed the Calgary and South San Francisco intensives, but there will be two more awesome workshops
for you this fall.

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Sponsored by Praxis

* * *

I also have a tremendous one-day workshop scheduled with my colleague, Dr. Jill Levitt, that will be potentially life- and career-changing (really!) You will learn powerful skills that will boost your clinical effectiveness and improve your relationships with friends, colleagues, and loved ones.

Advanced Empathy Tools for Connecting
with Challenging Patients,
Colleagues, Friends, and Loved Ones

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Oct 6, 2019 | 7 CE hours, $135

Do you have a patient, colleague, friend or loved one who:

  • Complains endlessly but doesn’t listen to any of your good advice?
  • Appears irate, but insists s/he isn’t upset?
  • Refuses to express his / her feelings?
  • Never listens?
  • Argues, and always has to be right?
  • Always has to be in control?
  • Is relentlessly critical?
  • “Yes-but’s” when you try to make a point? 
  • Insists you don’t really care—or understand—when you think you do?

Then you’re going to LOVE this workshop with David and Jill. You’ll learn about–

  • The Powerful “Law of Opposites”
  • How to find out how your patients really feel about you–if you dare!
  • How to transform therapeutic failure into success
  • How to talk to people who refuse to talk to you

You’ll also learn–

  • Why your worst therapeutic failure is actually your greatest success in disguise
  • The fine points of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication
  • Three Advanced Empathy Techniques: Multiple Choice Empathy, Changing the Focus, and Positive Reframing
  • And more

There will be lots of small group practice with expert feedback and mentoring to help you refine your skills!

Attend in person or
from your home via Live Streaming

Sign up early because we always sell-out for the in-person seats. Of course, there will be lots of skilled trainers to help the online participants with the small group exercises, so you’ll have a great experience either way.

My one-day workshops with Dr. Levitt are usually pretty awesome! It is always an honor to teach with Jill!

Learn More & Register

* * *

Coming up in 2020

High Speed Methods to Reduce Resistance
and Boost Motivation

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Feb 9. 2020 |  7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 

 

South San Francisco Intensive Report!

Hi colleagues,

The South San Francisco intensive was also an incredible experience. Once again, people were tremendously open and receptive, and there were lots of tears and laughter. In fact, it was the highest rated intensive in the past 25 years.

Here’s a lovely email I just got from one of the participants:

Hi Dr. Burns,

I just got back to New York after attending the intensive in San Francisco and thought I would relay this funny story.

I live in a rural working-class town in the Hudson Valley. There is still a pretty big stigma around therapy here, and those who do get counseling view it as a luxury. My family and I went to the local movie theater when I got home on Friday. The teenager who was taking tickets had a book nearby for when things got slow: Feeling Good!!

I asked what he thought of it and he was in awe that I had just spent 4 days with the author. I felt like a celebrity by association! It’s great to know that the powerful techniques you developed are being used even by those who can’t afford therapy.

Thank you for a wonderful, informative intensive. I look forward to practicing my new skills!

Bonna

PS

A special thank you to all the wonderful helpers at the conference. They really enhanced my experience!

If you missed the Calgary and South San Francisco intensives, consider the November intensive in Atlanta (see below) or my upcoming one day October 6 workshop on the Five Secrets of Effective Communication with my dear colleague, Dr. Jill Levitt! You’ll find the details and links for registration below.

david

* * *

You may have missed the Calgary and South San Francisco intensives, but there will be two more awesome workshops
for you this fall.

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

November 4 – 7, 2019
The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive

Sponsored by Praxis

* * *

I also have a tremendous one-day workshop scheduled with my colleague, Dr. Jill Levitt, that will be potentially life- and career-changing (really!) You will learn powerful skills that will boost your clinical effectiveness and improve your relationships with friends, colleagues, and loved ones.

Advanced Empathy Tools for Connecting
with Challenging Patients,
Colleagues, Friends, and Loved Ones

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Oct 6, 2019 | 7 CE hours, $135

Do you have a patient, colleague, friend or loved one who:

  • Complains endlessly but doesn’t listen to any of your good advice?
  • Appears irate, but insists s/he isn’t upset?
  • Refuses to express his / her feelings?
  • Never listens?
  • Argues, and always has to be right?
  • Always has to be in control?
  • Is relentlessly critical?
  • “Yes-but’s” when you try to make a point? 
  • Insists you don’t really care—or understand—when you think you do?

Then you’re going to LOVE this workshop with David and Jill. You’ll learn about–

  • The Powerful “Law of Opposites”
  • How to find out how your patients really feel about you–if you dare!
  • How to transform therapeutic failure into success
  • How to talk to people who refuse to talk to you

You’ll also learn–

  • Why your worst therapeutic failure is actually your greatest success in disguise
  • The fine points of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication
  • Three Advanced Empathy Techniques: Multiple Choice Empathy, Changing the Focus, and Positive Reframing
  • And more

There will be lots of small group practice with expert feedback and mentoring to help you refine your skills!

Attend in person or
from your home via Live Streaming

Sign up early because we always sell-out for the in-person seats. Of course, there will be lots of skilled trainers to help the online participants with the small group exercises, so you’ll have a great experience either way.

My one-day workshops with Dr. Levitt are usually pretty awesome! It is always an honor to teach with Jill!

Learn More & Register

 

* * *

Coming up in 2020

High Speed Methods to Reduce Resistance
and Boost Motivation

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

Feb 9. 2020 |  7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 The Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit:
How to Crush Negative Thoughts

With Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

May 17, 2020 | 7 CE hours. $135

Learn More & Register

 

 

Calgary Intensive Report!

Hi colleagues,

The Calgary intensive was an incredible experience. People were tremendously open and receptive, and there were lots of tears and laughter. I think it is fair that there was magic in the air! I am very indebted to Mike Christensen, who was my co-therapist in the live demonstration. Mike helped with the small group exercises as well.

If you missed Calgary, consider the South San Francisco intensive starting this coming Monday. You will learn innovative, new approaches to psychotherapy, and you’ll have the chance to do some personal healing as well. But register right away if you’re interested, as this intensive is almost fully subscribed. There are only a few spots left, but we’ve been saving one of them for you!

On day 1 you’ll see a video illustrating super-fast treatment of a woman struggling with PTSD. We’ll also do some advanced empathy training, and you’ll have the chance to start work on your own personal healing. In the evening, Dr. Jill Levitt will be my co-therapist for a live demonstration of TEAM-CBT with a volunteer from the workshop. Jill is one of the finest therapists and teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and I have no doubt that you will be touched as well by her compassion and brilliance.

On day 2, you’ll learn how to identify the eight most common causes of therapeutic resistance / failure. You’ll also learn some incredible new resistance-busting techniques that can greatly boost you effectiveness as well as your satisfaction in your clinical work.

And on days 3 and 4, you’ll learn many powerful TEAM methods to overcome depression, all of the anxiety disorders and habits and addictions as well. On day 3, there will also be a special lunch presentation by Sunny Choi. Sunny works with individuals with few resources, often immigrants who do not speak English, and does amazing work that will inspire you. He was a huge hit at last year’s intensive, and has kindly agreed to return this year to speak about TEAM-CBT with compassion!

There will be tons of skillful helpers from the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View to guide and tutor you throughout the workshop, and I’ll be providing you with personal feedback and support as well.

I know that taking four days from your practice and personal life is a high price to pay for a psychotherapy workshop. I will do everything I can to try to make this the most meaningful and rewarding training experience of your career!

Sincerely,

David D. Burns, MD

High-Speed Treatment of Depression
and Anxiety Disorders

A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Intensive

with David Burns, MD

S. San Francisco, July 29 – August 1,2019

and

Atlanta, November 4 – 7, 2019

Register with friends and save 20%!

<Register>

32 hrs of CE credit!

plus TEAM-CBT certification hours

 

 

150: I’m anxious, but I don’t have any negative thoughts. What can I do?

150: I’m anxious, but I don’t have any negative thoughts. What can I do?

What can you do when you can’t identify your negative thoughts?

Is it really true that our feelings always result from negative thoughts?

How can I get over my public speaking anxiety?

Rubens, a faithful and enthusiastic Feeling Good Podcast fan, sent me an email with a terrific question that has both  practical and theoretical implications. He wrote:

Dear Mr. David,

I’ve read “Feeling Good” and I’m reading “When Panic Attacks” now. Both have and are helping me immensely.

However, the one thing I have never understood is that my anxieties and worries often don’t come as a thought. For instance, I have an academic presentation tomorrow, and I’m suffering from much anxiety because of that. But the symptoms did not appear because I thought in my mind the sentence “you are going to fail!”. In my case, it is usually silent. I just remember that I have a presentation tomorrow, then I immediately feel worried. My chest hurts before any thought. How do I counter-argument my thoughts, if I have none?

Thank you for replying, Mr. David!

 In today’s podcast, Rhonda and I address this question and explain what to do when you can’t pinpoint your negative thoughts. There are  two really good methods.

We will also demonstrate how to deal with some of the negative thoughts that typically trigger public speaking anxiety. The cure involves changing the way you think, and changing the way you communicate with the people in your audience. If you’ve ever struggled with public speaking anxiety, this podcast may be helpful for you!

Thank you again, Rubens, for your excellent question!

David D. Burns, MD / Rhonda Barovsky, PsyD

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com.

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

* * *

You may have missed the Calgary intensive, but there will be two more awesome intensives
for you this summer and fall.

 

The incredible SF intensive will be here in one week!

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what s/he wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

David and Rhonda

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com.

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

* * *

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Is there only one way to do things?

Is there only one way to do things?

Hello everyone,

At my Stanford Tuesday training group this week, one of our members asked a super-important question, “Does David believe there is only one correct way to do things?” By way of coincidence, Rhonda and I recently recorded a podcast on this very topic, and it will be published on Monday. This is the title: “Is Cognitive Therapy a Cure-All for Everything?” You might enjoy it, and you’ll get my thinking on several controversial topics.

If you’re not yet a podcast fan, you and some of your patients might like them. Here’s an email I got just this morning from someone in Kosovo.

Dr. David,

Greetings from Kosovo. Your book has been a wonderful journey on my self-help regarding my anxieties, worries, and stress – so thank you very much. After reading the book I found out about the podcast (very recently) and ever since I started watching all of the episodes one by one from the very first one. The story of Marilyn has hit me deeply and has made me realize how irrational I am being about my problems – although they feel very real to me. However, seeing how Marilyn coped with her severe anxieties, mine went away almost instantly. I’m sending all my love to You, Matt and Marilyn. I have recommended your book and podcast to all of my friends.

Gratefully, Dea

As you can see, Dea actually experienced significant improvement just from listening to the live work with Marilyn. You or your patients might also find that my podcasts o books might greatly accelerate learning and recovery.

You can find a list of all the podcasts and show notes on my website.  In addition, you will find a search function in the right-hand panel of every page. This makes my entire website searchable, which is super-convenient if you want to recommend certain kinds of podcasts to your patients, or if you are looking for self-help. For example, you can type in “Five Secrets of Effective Communication,” “Positive Distortions,” “Anxiety,” “Suicide Prevention,” or whatever you want, and some wonderful resources will pop right up!

david

 * * *

And if you need training, CE credits, or just four days of training and personal refueling, attend one of my upcoming intensives. The Calgary program is coming up in two days but if you move fast, you can still register!

High-Speed Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders—

Attend one of the three Summer / Fall Intensives

With David D. Burns, MD!

Three Great Locations—

Calgary, July 15 to 18, 2019

South San Francisco, July 29 to August 1, 2019

Atlanta, Georgia,November 4 – 7, 2019

 Learn powerful new tools to boost your effectiveness in the treatment of depression and all of the anxiety disorders! Discover how TEAM-CBT can produce extremely rapid and lasting changes for your depressed and anxious clients—and for you.

This workshop will be experiential. You will have the chance to practice lots of innovative techniques in small groups and get immediate feedback so you can refine your skills. You’ll also have the chance to work on your own feelings of self-doubt so you can leave this workshop on a high, with renewed confidence and excitement about your clinical work.

This dynamic workshop offers:

  • State-of-the-art TEAM-CBT techniques for depression and all of the anxiety disorders.
  • Powerful new methods for the treatment of habits and addictions—your own and your clients’!
  • Innovative resistance-busting techniques to boost patient motivation and eliminate “yes-butting.” Learn to pinpoint and eliminate the eight most common forms of therapeutic resistance.
  • Live demonstrations and video clips from actual therapy sessions.
  • Powerful Relapse Prevention Training for lasting results.
  • Lots of fun and the chance to get some much-needed emotional refueling!

The annual intensives are almost always the best workshops of the year. If you can join us this year, they will be even better!

This workshop has been approved for Levels 1 through 3 TEAM-CBT Certification
and is s
uitable for novice as well as highly experienced therapists.
Of course, you’ll get tons of CE credits as well.

The two intensives will be similar, but there are some differences that may be important to you.

Special features at this year’s South SF intensive

  • Sunny Choi will be speaking on “TEAM with Compassion.” Sunny spoke last year and was amazing, so he is returning, as they say, “by popular demand.” He describes incredible, high-speed TEAM therapy to populations with severe problems and extremely limited resources, including immigrants who do not speak English.
  • Dr. Jill Levitt will be joining me as co-therapist for the live demonstration on the evening of day 1. In past years, these dramatic live demos have provided tremendous opportunities for learning. If you have never seen Jill, this will be a real treat for you!
  • I will be joined by many expert helpers from the Feeling Good Institute who will help provide feedback for you during the many practice sessions.
  • There will be two amazing evening sessions to add depth to your training. You’ll be totally exhausted, but chock-full of incredible new skills and insights that can change the direction of your career and transform your personal life as well.

Special features at this year’s Calgary, Canada intensive

  • The three optional evening hikes / meals together will be a highlight for many. While hiking, you will have chances for personal work with David, Q and A, difficult case consultation, and additional practice with the new techniques you are learning.
  • If you don’t want to hike, you can enjoy your evenings with friends or family and refuel for the next day.
  • There will be a live demo on the morning of day 2. In past years, these live therapy sessions have been inspirational and wonderfully informative. Last year’s live therapy demonstration in Whistler was jaw-dropping!
  • And, as you probably know, Jack Hirose always puts on an amazing event, designed to provide you with maximum comfort, delight, and learning!

In both workshops, David promises to catapult at least 65% of the participants into a state of joyous enlightenment. Would you like to finally free yourself from feelings of self-doubt and endless obsessions about whether you’re “good enough?” Check out the registration links now!

Feeling good feels wonderful! You owe it to yourself to feel good! Join me in

Calgary (in two days!)

or

South San Francisco (at the end of July)

or

Atlanta (in early November)

David Burns, MD

Here’s a photo of my esteemed colleague, Mike Christensen, at a recent Canadian workshop.

IMG_20180607_100631_1

 

David’s Ted Talk

David’s Ted Talk

If you or your clients want a brief introduction to cognitive therapy with some inspiring examples of how it works, you may enjoy my Ted Talk in Reno. You’ll learn about the intense anxiety I struggled with after the birth of my son, Erik, when he was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit because of difficulties breathing. You’ll also learn how I got hooked on cognitive therapy in the early days, working with an elderly Latvian immigrant who had just been discharged from the intensive care unit for a serious suicide attempt. She thought she was worthless because she’d never accomplished anything of importance.

Did you or your patients ever feel that way?

You can check out this description of the talk in the Huffington Post. Here’s a link to the talk.

And if you need training, CE credits, or just four days of fantastic training and personal refueling, attend one of my summer intensives. The Calgary program is coming up REALLY SOON but if you move fast, you can still register!

High-Speed Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders—

Attend the Summer Intensive

With David D. Burns, MD!

Two Great Locations—

Calgary, July 15 to 18, 2019

South San Francisco, July 29 to August 1, 2019

 Learn powerful new tools to boost your effectiveness in the treatment of depression and all of the anxiety disorders! Discover how TEAM-CBT can produce extremely rapid and lasting changes for your depressed and anxious clients—and for you.

This workshop will be experiential. You will have the chance to practice lots of innovative techniques in small groups and get immediate feedback so you can refine your skills. You’ll also have the chance to work on your own feelings of self-doubt so you can leave this workshop on a high, with renewed confidence and excitement about your clinical work.

This dynamic workshop offers:

  • State-of-the-art TEAM-CBT techniques for depression and all of the anxiety disorders.
  • Powerful new methods for the treatment of habits and addictions—your own and your clients’!
  • Innovative resistance-busting techniques to boost patient motivation and eliminate “yes-butting.” Learn to pinpoint and eliminate the eight most common forms of therapeutic resistance.
  • Live demonstrations and video clips from actual therapy sessions.
  • Powerful Relapse Prevention Training for lasting results.
  • Lots of fun and the chance to get some much-needed emotional refueling!

The annual intensives are almost always the best workshops of the year. If you can join us this year, they will be even better!

This workshop has been approved for Levels 1 through 3 TEAM-CBT Certification
and is s
uitable for novice as well as highly experienced therapists.
Of course, you’ll get tons of CE credits as well.

The two intensives will be similar, but there are some differences that may be important to you.

Special features at this year’s South SF intensive

  • Sunny Choi will be speaking on “TEAM with Compassion.” Sunny spoke last year and was amazing, so he is returning, as they say, “by popular demand.” He describes incredible, high-speed TEAM therapy to populations with severe problems and extremely limited resources, including immigrants who do not speak English.
  • Dr. Jill Levitt will be joining me as co-therapist for the live demonstration on the evening of day 1. In past years, these dramatic live demos have provided tremendous opportunities for learning. If you have never seen Jill, this will be a real treat for you!
  • I will be joined by many expert helpers from the Feeling Good Institute who will help provide feedback for you during the many practice sessions.
  • There will be two amazing evening sessions to add depth to your training. You’ll be totally exhausted, but chock-full of incredible new skills and insights that can change the direction of your career and transform your personal life as well.

Special features at this year’s Calgary, Canada intensive

  • The three optional evening hikes / meals together will be a highlight for many. While hiking, you will have chances for personal work with David, Q and A, difficult case consultation, and additional practice with the new techniques you are learning.
  • If you don’t want to hike, you can enjoy your evenings with friends or family and refuel for the next day.
  • There will be a live demo on the morning of day 2. In past years, these live therapy sessions have been inspirational and wonderfully informative. Last year’s live therapy demonstration in Whistler was jaw-dropping!
  • And, as you probably know, Jack Hirose always puts on an amazing event, designed to provide you with maximum comfort, delight, and learning!

In both workshops, David promises to catapult at least 65% of the participants into a state of joyous enlightenment. Would you like to finally free yourself from feelings of self-doubt and endless obsessions about whether you’re “good enough?” Check out the registration links now!

Feeling good feels wonderful! You owe it to yourself to feel good! Join me in

Calgary

or

South San Francisco!

David Burns, MD

Here’s a photo of my esteemed colleague, Mike Christensen, at a recent Canadian workshop.

IMG_20180607_100631_1

 

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

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

How would you overcome the fear of aging?

Can you use TEAM for sports psychology?

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

Hi Listeners:

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

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

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

David and Rhonda

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

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

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com.

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

* * *

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

147: High-Speed Treatment of PTSD?

147: High-Speed Treatment of PTSD?

Is it REALLY Possible? And Can the Effects Last?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Subscribe

You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com.

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

* * *

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

 

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

 

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

 

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