Today we are joined by a woman named Sara, who will be featured in one of the chapters from my new book, Feeling Great.
Rhonda begins today’s podcast by reading two heart-warming endorsements from podcast fans. Then we did a brief overview of OCD. OCD consists of two components, obsessions and compulsions. The obsessions are intrusive, anxiety provoking thoughts, like “what if I forgot to turn off the burners on the stove.” Compulsions are rituals that temporarily relieve the anxiety, such as going back into the kitchen repeatedly to make sure that the burners really are turned off. This problem can become more and more severe until the obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals consume massive amounts of the patient’s time and become crippling.
You are probably aware that OCD plagued the life of the billionaire playboy, Howard Hughes, featured in the recent film, “The Aviator.” During the last years of his life, he became totally consumed by concerns about germs, and ended up isolated in the penthouse suite at the top of a hotel in Las Vegas. According to a “psychological autopsy” (https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug05/hughes) published by the American Psychological Association, Hughes lay naked in bed in darkened hotel rooms in what he considered a germ-free zone. He even wore tissue boxes on his feet to protect them, and burned his clothing if someone near him became ill.
Sara, today’s guest, was a victim of the same type of OCD. She describes how her intense fears of germs and contamination came on more than 20 years ago, and the devastating impact of the OCD on her as well as her relationships with friends and family. She also describes her shame about her rituals of constantly washing her hands and desperately trying to avoid contamination.
Sara also describes, in vivid detail, her remarkable and inspiring five minute “cure” one evening at David’s Tuesday evening training group at Stanford earlier this year. She had courageously volunteered to be the patient so David could to demonstrate TEAM-CBT with a problem generally thought to be exceptionally challenging and refractory. And although Sara’s dramatic and mind-blowing recovery only took about five minutes, the treatment required a lifetime of courage!
Fortunately, one of my students had his cell phone in hand, and made a brief video of the last phase of her treatment at the Tuesday group, which involved putting her hands into a slimy, dirty garbage can right outside the front door of our Behavioral Sciences Building at Stanford and then rubbing her fingers on her face. Check it out!
And yes, the effects DID last! Her treatment was many months ago, and she’s been a totally changed person!
Following the podcast, Rhonda and I got two beautiful emails from Sara:
Wow! What a beautiful day! Thank you, Rhonda and David for the amazing opportunity to share my story! I feel very selfish but I enjoyed every minute of it. You both made me feel so comfortable and welcome. You two are so incredibly AWESOME! You make a superb team! 🙂
And here is the second wonderful email:
David, I hope you are feeling better and that you recover from your cold soon, very soon.
I wanted to share an afterthought I had a couple of days after we recorded the podcast. I wish I had thought about it before the podcast because this was so much part of my OCD.
Anyway, for years (many years) I bought sanitized hand wipes and carried them in my purse, car, briefcase, you name it—I had hand wipes everywhere. I was known for having wipes with me all the time.
Not long after the magical treatment of my OCD, I was at the grocery store and proceeded to add three packets of sanitized hand wipes to my basket and I burst into laughter, even though I was by myself! I, then, put them back on the shelf, as I told myself, “I don’t need these anymore!”
Since then, I no longer carry them NOR NEED THEM!
Funny enough, I have been approached on different occasions by family members and friends saying something like, “You always have wipes, can we have one, please?” I have to say, “Sorry, I don’t carry wipes anymore since I’ve been cured!”
What a wonderful feeling that is—not to feel dependent nor a slave to the sink and hand wipes. Not to mention, all the money I am saving by not buying wipes!!!
Anyway, I thought I should share that with you and I’m sad I didn’t remember it until after the recording of the podcast.
Once again, thank you both for the amazing recording, all your support, and all you do for our Tuesday training group and humanity in general!
With Immense Gratitude,
Sara Shane is a certified TEAM-CBT therapist practicing in the central valley of California (Stockton). She is multi-lingual and offers intensives—extended, single-session treatment of depression and all of the anxiety disorders. And, here’s something fantastic—although Sara is a superb therapist, her fees are modest, thus bucking the current trend of charging outrageous fees for psychotherapy in California. This is something I really admire and appreciate!
If you would like to contact Sara, you can reach her at: 209-476-8867.
David and Rhonda
You can reach Dr. Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at email@example.com. She is a Certified TEAM-CBT therapist and specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. She also does forensic work in family court, but finds TEAM-CBT to be way more rewarding!
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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You may have missed the summer intensives, but there will be one more awesome intensive in November.
High-Speed Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders
A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive
November 4 – 7, 2019 The Atlanta, Georgia Intensive
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!
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?
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
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!
Fabrice and David address several challenging questions submitted by individuals who listen to the Feeling Good Podcasts.
Richard: Do you have to get along with everybody? How do you deal with a sociopath?
Dave: Positive distortions can trigger mania, addictions, narcissism, and violence–but how can you get rid of them?
Julia: What can you do if you’ve been depressed all of your life and wake up every morning with your mind flooded with negative thoughts? I spend two hours trying to dispute them, but they just keep coming back the next day.
Omhur: How would you treat “Reading OCD?” I feel compelled to read every sentence and paragraph carefully and repeatedly so I won’t miss anything!
Unnamed fan (who left a negative review on iTunes): Isn’t your concept of the death of the ego potentially dangerous to people with low self-esteem who are being abused?
Thank you for your terrific questions, your frequent praise, and your occasional criticisms and challenges. They keep us on our toes, and we deeply appreciate all of you. So keep your comments coming, as well as your suggestions for shows and topics you want to hear more about!
We are receiving more than 50,000 downloads a month. Please tell your friends about us so we can continue to build our audience.
Thanks! We really enjoy doing these shows for you.
David and Fabrice
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October / November / December 2018– Cool Workshops for You!
Sunday October 28th, 2018 (8:30 am to 4:30 pm PST)
Live in Palo Alto plus online streaming
Learn how to reduce patient resistance and boost motivation to change. Master skills that will enhance communication skills and increase intimacy with loved ones. This workshop will be highly interactive with many case examples and opportunities for practice using role plays.
Join us for a day of fun and inspiring learning on site in Palo Alto
OR online from anywhere in the world.
The in person version is now sold out, but limited spaces are still available if you would like to join online. There will be experts to assist the online participants with small group exercises in break out rooms, so you will have the same experience as those who attend in person. But act fast it you want to be included!
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 psychiatrists and teachers!
Watch David’s Live FB Broadcast on Addictions on March, 25, 2018,
with special guest, Stephen Pfleiderer, founder of SF Intervention
You can still catch yesterday’s David and Jill Show #4 on the treatment of sexual obsessions and insecurities with guest Mike Christensen. From the early results, it looks like we may have a large audience again. We ran out of time, and could not present the extremely rich menu of powerful interventions for OCD. We may do OCD, part 2, in two weeks, as both David and Jill have much more to share with you on this topic! Yesterday, we barely scratched the surface.
This coming Sunday (March 25th), David will have special guest Stephen Pfleiderer (from SF Intervention) starting at 3 PM, as usual. David and Stephen will discuss the treatment of mild to severe addictions. Stephen has created his own approach to addictions, based in part on TEAM-CBT. I think you’ll find him refreshing! We are hoping that Mike Christensen can join us again, too.
Dr. Jill Levitt will skip next week as she is competing in a grueling fitness race. The David and Show #3 has set a new record of more than 2 thousand viewers in the first week alone. You can still watch it! Yesterday’s show may do as well.
The Feeling Good Podcast last Monday (March 12, 2018)–live therapy with Daisy–also drew exceptionally well and was enthusiastically received, with tons of positive comments, mainly praise and appreciation for Daisy and her courage and strong voice. In fact, this month it looks like we will set a new record with more than 40,000 downloads of the Feeling Good Podcasts! Thank you, Daisy and Zane, as well as all of you for your warm and enthusiastic support!
During the session with Daisy, we addressed the question, “What’s the secret of a meaningful life?” We also discuss the empowerment of women, and the intimidating messages women often hear from society, and from families when growing up. Make sure you catch it if you have not listened yet!
Also, remember to register for the one-day David and Jill workshop on Sunday, May 20, 2018. It’s for mental health professionals. You’ll have a chance to learn the latest TEAM-CBT techniques and work on your own insecurities and feelings of self-doubt as well. We promise to bring roughly 60% of the audience into a state of joyous enlightenment, so don’t miss it!
Advanced, High-Speed TEAM-CBT for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety:
A Workshop for Therapists with Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt
Sunday May 20th 9am-4pm Pacific Time (12-7pm Eastern Time)
One day workshop–Attend Live in Palo Alto, CA or live-streamed online