Posts About Dr. Burns

Feeling Good


Unraveling Decades of Abuse

This is an interesting and unsolicited endorsement I just received from someone who I think has been reading one of my books, probably Feeling Good.

Dear Dr. Burns,

Amazing book!!!! You are helping me unravel decades of abuse and realistically–no fake positivity mantra….!!!

I think my biggest problem is attracting toxic people and breaking up with them, and then going back to them.

I think your book will help me love myself and stop needing approval from people that are no good for me.


Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your kind words! I’m so sorry you’ve had to tolerate decades of abuse. It sounds like you’ve been through a tremendous amount of unhappiness and suffering. And I’m so glad you’re bouncing back now! That’s super cool!

I’m absolutely with you on the “fake positivity” stuff. That has always annoyed me tremendously, so we’re on the same page for sure. When you try to cheer someone up who’s depressed, it nearly always comes across as patronizing. It sounds like you’re trivializing what the person is experiencing. True healing requires therapist compassion, empathy and skill, and not silly “affirmations.”

I also agree strongly with your comments about self-love. You are 100% right–once you love yourself and no longer “need” love and approval from others, the world can kind of open up for you. Although I talk about this in the chapters on the Love Addiction and the Approval Addiction in Feeling Good, it is one of the main themes of my book, Intimate Connections. Intimate Connections is all about the dating game, and the power dynamic that so many lonely single folks don’t understand. That book will show you how to get people chasing after you so you don’t have to chase them, so you’ll have a large supply of people to date. However, that book, sadly, doesn’t really show you how to develop a deep and meaningful relationship once you’ve found someone who you really care about and want to get close to. For that, you’ll have to read my book, Feeling Good Together!

Mmmm, this sounds like I’m doing an infomercial. I apologize. But I wanted to let you know of other resources that might further your cause.

One of the great things about the cognitive model of trauma is the basic idea that our thoughts create our moods. This idea goes all the way back to the Greek philosopher, Epictetus. Nearly 2,000 years ago he wrote that people are disturbed, not by things, but by the views they take of them. This can be extremely liberating to individuals who have been victims of trauma. That’s because the trauma actually occurred, and in most cases, cannot be undone. However, we CAN change the way we think about the trauma. Once you crush the distorted negative thought that trigger your depression, shame, anxiety, hopelessness, and anger, you can develop joy, confidence, and self-esteem once again. And often, this transformation can take place rapidly. In my experience, effective treatment usually does not require months or years of treatment, although many therapists do not believe this and find the notion of high speed recovery to be quackery or impossible.

To learn more about the high speed treatment of trauma, you might also want to read my blog on this topic. If you are interested, you can CLICK HERE.

All the best, David

Best Seller and Best Helper

Hi, Dr. Burns,

Just a quick note to wish you well and to thank you again for your best seller and “best helper” for guys like me who have benefited from it. The last I saw something about your research you had concentrated somewhat on the part motivation plays and how it may be as important as other areas . . .  maybe even more so.

Also, I was wondering what your latest book was so I can get it, and if you were planning another one soon?

In closing, let me say I have no idea how many thousands you have helped with one mood disorder or another – I only know of one personally…that would be me, and I will be forever grateful. Your friendly writing style enabled me to feel like we were friends after the first few chapters of “Feeling Good” and I still read it when a “booster” session is called for.

Thanks again and “feeling good!”


Hi Jim,

I greatly appreciate your comment! It means a lot to me! And I’m so happy that you have benefitted from reading Feeling Good. If you are not yet aware of my free weekly Feeling Good podcasts, you might enjoy them. They are available on iTunes and also right here on my website in the blog tab.

New book? I kind of feel like I’m pregnant right now, and a new book wants to come out as I now have tons of new stuff, both ideas and techniques with tremendous healing potential. But I kind of need a title, or a concept for a title. Any ideas? Let me know if anything comes to mind.

I had thought of revising Feeling Good, but when I looked at it (for the first time in years), I realized I did not want to disturb it, as it works really well as is for so many folks. And my “voice” now is quite different—although friendly is still important, for sure!

Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.


Website visitors–any title suggestions if I do a new book? Any guidance would be appreciated!