Posts About Dr. Jill Levitt

Feeling Good

146: When Helping Doesn’t Help!

146: When Helping Doesn’t Help!

Hi listeners,

Most people do not do a very good at helping loved ones, colleagues, or friends who are upset and complaining. Have you ever noticed that when you try to help or give advice they just keep complaining? This can be very frustrating–fortunately there’s a fabulous solution to this universal problem. 

This special podcast features our guest, Dr. Jill Levitt, the Director of Clinical Training at the Feeling Good Institute. Jill is also one of the teachers at David’s Tuesday evening psychotherapy training group at Stanford, as is our esteemed podcast host, Dr. Rhonda.

Jill describes the “helping” errors she made when her son became despondent after some painful foot surgery. Following the surgery, he was in a cast for weeks, and when the cast was removed, he discovered that he could not move or feel his toes. This is common, and results from muscle atrophy when you are in a cast, and is not dangerous.

However, Jill’s son was very discouraged and frustrated, and told his mom that he didn’t feel like going to school and thought he wasn’t ever going to get better. Jill felt exhausted from all the demands on her that day, trying to get him off to school, and trying to get to work on time, and so forth, and gave in to the urge to say things like, “You’re going to be fine,” which were totally ineffective. 

Jill describes a similar error that she made when her mother also complained about foot problems and the need for surgery. Her mother loves to hike and was upset that she’d be unable to hike for some time. Jill, perhaps feeling a little impatient with her mom, suggested other forms of exercise, like swimming, and this simply increased her mother’s complaints.

I’ll bet you’ve experienced this same thing when you tried to “help” someone who was complaining. Even therapists make this type of error all the time. 

Rhonda, Jill, and I discussed the most common errors we all make when we lose patience with someone who’s complaining, and illustrated the techniques that are effective. As usual, they involve the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, especially Disarming, Stroking, and Feeling Empathy, along with some compassionate I Feel Statements.

We also discussed the phenomenon of drifting in and out of Enlightenment, a concept first described by the Buddha. It is easy to drift out of enlightenment when we are rushing around, trying to get breakfast on the table, lunches made, kids to school, and ourselves off to work. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated at those moments.

Part of the process may include forgiving ourselves when we make mistakes, and using the 5-Secrets to repair relationships with our loved ones when we do. In fact, this can even lead to deeper and more loving relationships. 

We also discussed a closely related and possibly controversial theme–is it okay to use the Five Secrets just to get someone to stop complaining, especially if you’re angry with that person and they tend to complain most or all of the time? Do you always have to use the Five Secrets in a totally sincere manner? 

I want to thank Dr. Levitt for joining us in this inspiring and illuminating podcast. Whenever Jill teaches, the heavens open up, and this podcast is no exception. Jill is simply a fabulous therapist, teacher, and human being! 

Click here if you are interested in some online training with Jill!

David and Rhonda



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

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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


Anxiety Workshop This Month! Online Slots Still Available!

Anxiety Workshop This Month! Online Slots Still Available!

Don’t miss out on learning from the “dynamic duo”–

David Burns, MD and Jill Levitt, PhD

TEAM-CBT Methods for Anxiety Disorders:

Step-by-Step Training for Therapists

Coming up SOON!

Sunday May 19th, 2019

8:30 am-4:30 pm PST (11:30 am-7:30 pm EST)

Live Online One Day Workshop

$135, 7 CE hours available

Therapists at all levels are welcome.

Learn new skills to reduce resistance and boost patient’s motivation to change. Practice powerful, practical TEAM-CBT techniques to help your patients overcome every form of anxiety rapidly.

  • Lively, amusing, and immensely useful day of online training
  • Online support and dynamic small group training
  • David and Jill will use a combination of didactic teaching, live demonstrations, and breakout group practice with emphasis on skill building.
  • Workshop will stream live and is easily accessible from anywhere on any device with WiFi. To join, just click on the link provided before the workshop.
  • Completion of this workshop counts towards TEAM-CBT Level 1, 2 or 3 Certification
  • Awesome brief videos
  • Learn how to treat GAD, OCD, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Phobias, PTSD, and more

We Are Sold Out in Person–

But Online Slots are Still Available


Jill and I hope to see you at the workshop! We promise it will be fun, helpful, and exciting for you! 

David Burns, MD

TEAM Training Opportunities!

TEAM Training Opportunities!

Hi everybody,

I talk a lot about how helpful TEAM can be–so here are some chances to learn how to use it with your clients / patients. The trainers listed below are superb! You’ll enjoy the technical skills you acquire and the warmth and support of the teachers as well as your colleagues at the training programs, too!

Feeling Good Institute (FGI) offers many training opportunities, as well as TEAM-CBT consultation groups for therapists. All of the course offerings are listed here and described below.

1. Mike Christensen’s twelve-week training: Comprehensive Live Online CBT Training for Therapists. Mike is a TEAM-CBT Level 4 Clinician and Trainer and a fantastic teacher. Space is strictly limited to fifteen participants to provide an intimate learning experience with lots of opportunity to practice, receive feedback, and improve your skills. This course meets weekly online for 12 weeks and starts Monday 1/7/19 (5-6:45pm PST, 8-9:45pm EST). 21 CE*s. $720.


2. Daniel Mintie’s online training: CBT Skills, Training, and Practice: A Case-Based Course. This course meets every other week for three months. Daniel is a Level 5 TEAM-CBT Therapist and Trainer with Feeling Good Institute and a warm and thoughtful teacher. Each class in this biweekly series will begin with a presentation of one or more aspects of the TEAM-CBT model, followed by practice using case material from participants clinical work or instructor case examples. Daniel’s course meets every other week online for 3 months and the next quarter starts Friday 1/4/19 (12-1:45pm PST). 10.5 CE*s. $395.

3. David Burns and Jill Levitt present: TEAM-CBT Methods for Unwanted Habits and Addictions: Step-by-Step Training for Therapists. Join us for a day of fun and inspiring learning on site in Palo Alto OR online from anywhere in the world. This workshop will teach you tools to reduce resistance and boost motivation to change as well as practical cognitive tools you can use with your patients to help them overcome difficult-to-stop habits and addictions. Join us for a highly interactive day with many case examples and opportunities for practice using role plays. Sunday February 3rd, 2019 (8:30am-4:30pm PST). 7 CE*s. $135

Jill and david 2

4. Jill Levitt’s four-week training: Melting Away Resistance in CBT. Jill is a Master Therapist and Trainer in TEAM-CBT and the Director of Training at Feeling Good Institute and a warm and engaging teacher. This course teaches you tools to reduce resistance and boost motivation with your patients–a skill set most therapists are eager to learn! There will be ample opportunities for role playing and practice. Jill’s course meets weekly online for 4 weeks and starts Friday 3/8/19 (11am-12:45pm PST). 10.5 CE*s. $360

jill photo 1

5. Jill Levitt’s six-week training: Practical CBT Methods for Depression, Anxiety, and Unwanted Habits. This course focuses on TEAM-CBT methods and includes didactic teaching as well as ample opportunities for role playing and practice. Jill’s course meets weekly online for 6 weeks and starts Friday 4/26/19 (11am-12:45pm PST). 10.5 CE*s. $36

The Feeling Good Institute also welcomes clinical referrals onsite in Mountain View, CANew York City, or via the video therapy program. FGI offers both traditional therapy (1 hr weekly sessions) as well as one-on-one intensive therapy consisting of many hours of individual therapy over a short period of time for more rapid and efficient results.


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And don’t forget . . .

David’s  Cool Upcoming Workshops for YOU!


Powerful, Fast-Acting, Drug-Free Techniques 
to Defeat Anxiety & Worry

a 2-day workshop by David D. Burns, MD

November 29 and 30, 2018–San Francisco, CA (in person only)


December 3 and 4, Portland, Oregon (in person and live streaming)

PESI is proud to offer an exciting workshop by David Burns, M.D., a pioneer in the development of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Achieve rapid and lasting recovery with all your anxious clients, just as Dr. Burns has done in over 35,000 therapy sessions with severely troubled clients. Become skilled at treating every type of anxiety without drugs.

In this unique 2-day certificate course you’ll master more than 20 treatment techniques to help your clients eliminate the symptoms of anxiety quickly – even your most challenging, resistant clients.

Dr. Burns will illustrate concrete strategies that provide rapid, complete recovery and lasting change for your patients. You’ll learn…

  • How to integrate four powerful treatment models to eliminate symptoms.
  • How to enhance your client’s engagement in therapy.
  • How to develop a treatment plan that specifically targets each client’s unique problems and needs.
  • …and so much more!

David will provide you with guided instruction and share powerful video sessions that capture the actual moment of recovery. You will take away practical strategies to use immediately with any anxious client. Leave this certificate course armed with tools you can use in your very next session!

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of America’s most highly acclaimed teachers!

Sponsored by PESI

To register, or for more information, call: 800-844-8260

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Brief Therapy Conference, December 6 – 9, Burlingame, California

Sponsored by the Milton Erikson Foundation

1, Healing Yourself: A Live Demonstration of TEAM-CBT

on Friday, December 7, 2018, from  10:45  – 12:45 PM

Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt will do a live therapy session
with a workshop volunteer.

2. “Great Conversations”

on Saturday, December 8, 2018, from  2:00  – 3:00 PM

Drs. Jeffrey Zeig and David Burns will discuss
treatment strategies for habits and addictions

3. Overcoming Therapeutic Resistance

Keynote Address by Dr. Burns on Sunday, December 9, 2018, from  2:30  – 3:30 PM

Dr. Burns will describe new techniques to reduce therapeutic resistance and trigger rapid recovery from depression, anxiety, and trauma

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Another Trivial (but Magical) Cat Photo!

Another Trivial (but Magical) Cat Photo!

Hi visitors and FeelingGood.com members,

Recently I posted my most “trivial” blog ever, an incredibly charming cat photo from my brilliant colleague, Helen Yeni-Komshian, MD. Now I cannot resist the urge to post another fantastic cat photo, this one supplied by another brilliant colleague, Jill Levitt, PhD.


You may recall Jill from the live therapy with Mark. She was my co-therapist. If you didn’t catch it, it is one of the Feeling Good Podcasts, which you can find on my website, feelinggood.com.

You will soon get to meet Helen as well, as she is going to join Fabrice and me for the first two podcasts in our upcoming series on the Five Secrets of Effective Communication! That series will start in a week or so, so stay tuned to the Podcasts!

Jill and Helen are also my two co-leaders at our weekly psychotherapy group at Stanford. We meet Tuesdays from 5 to 7:30, and our group is open to Bay Area mental health professionals as well as graduate students in any type of mental health training program. The group is free of charge, and pretty wonderful! The Tuesday group is a highlight of my week, along with our Sunday hikes.

You can read about my late and most beloved cat, Obie, who become my personal friend, at this link, if you are interested. We lost him about a year ago, and I am still grieving our loss, as is my wife. Our pets give us so much. Cat and dog lovers will know exactly what I mean.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. I am thankful for so many of you who are now reading the blogs and listening to the Feeling Good Podcasts and blogs on my website. Each day, the messages now go out to many thousands of individuals!


My live FB broadcasts have been moved to 3 PM Pacific (California) Time every Sunday afternoon. I hope you can join us! The show is for therapists and the general public alike. If you cannot join us live, you can download the shows and listen any time that’s convenient for you!

Feel free to submit questions you’d like me to cover in these shows. Your questions drive the discussion each Sunday afternoon!


How to Find My FB Broadcasts

Click on my Facebook tab on https://feelinggood.com/ 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: https://www.facebook.com/DavidBurnsMD/ 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! Also, viewers can watch these Live Facebook broadcasts as well as other interesting TEAM-CBT videos on the Feeling Good Institute’s YouTube channel!

The David and Fabrice Feeling Good Podcasts

Fabrice and I hope you also enjoy our Feeling Good Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and some five star ratings if you like what we’re doing! We are already enjoying 25,000 downloads per month from listeners like you. Thank you so much for your support of our podcasts!


At least one listener has had problems leaving an iTunes review from his i-phone, so Fabrice has created some simple to follow instructions if you need help.


Jill’s Journey

Jill’s Journey

Jill’s Journey from CBT to TEAM

Dear web visitors, friends, and colleagues,

You might enjoy this brief (six-minute) video from my dear colleague, Jill Levitt, PhD, who I teach with at my weekly Stanford psychotherapy training seminar, which is free to local mental health professionals. In the video that follows, Jill describes her personal journey from traditional CBT to TEAM-CBT.


Jill is a fabulous therapist because she combines masterful technical skills with great compassion and empathy. In addition, she is director of training at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, California. She also offers weekly online training groups for therapists as well, so you can join from anywhere in the world. Check it out if you want to give your clinical skills a shot in the arm!

Some of you may remember Jill from the live therapy podcasts that she and I did with Mark in the spring of 2017 on the theme, “I’m a failure as a father.”  If you haven’t yet listened to those podcasts, you might find them compelling. The response from listeners was tremendous.

Perhaps that’s because so many of us, perhaps including you, sometimes feel that we’ve fallen short in our role as a father, mother, partner, teacher, or whatever. The session documents Mark’s extraordinary recovery / enlightenment occurring in real time in a single TEAM therapy session. You will witness decades of depression suddenly transformed into overwhelming joy.

If you want to see Jill and David in action, we will be doing a half-day and a full-day workshop on TEAM-CBT at the upcoming ABCT conference (Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies) in San Diego in November, and we’d love to see you there. If you live in northern California, and you’re a licensed mental health professional or graduate student, you’d also be welcome to join our free Tuesday training group at Stanford.

Here are the particulars on our ABCT presentations, in case you want to join us!

ABCT Conference
(Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies)

November 16 – 17, 2017, San Diego

Jill and I will present two workshops on the latest developments in high-speed psychotherapy (TEAM-CBT) for depression and anxiety disorders. I LOVE teaching with Jill at our weekly psychotherapy training seminar at Stanford every Tuesday. She is a tremendous teacher and therapist, so these promise to be fun and highly educational presentations.

Thursday, November 16, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Building a Better CBT-An introduction to the TEAM-CBT model (6 hours)

Friday, November 17, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
When Helping Doesn’t Help: Overcoming Therapeutic Resistance With TEAM-CBT (3 hours)



If you are reading this blog on social media, I appreciate it! I would like to invite you to visit my website, http://www.FeelingGood.com, as well. There you will find a wealth of free goodies, including my Feeling Good blogs, my Feeling Good Podcasts with host, Dr. Fabrice Nye, and the Ask Dr. David blogs as well, along with announcements of upcoming workshops, and tons of resources for mental health professionals as well as patients!

Once you link to my blog, you can sign up using the widget at the top of the column to the right of each page. Please forward my blogs to friends as well, especially anyone with an interest in mood problems, psychotherapy, or relationship conflicts.

Thanks! David