David’s FB Broadcast on Addictions has been Rescheduled for April 8, 2018

David’s FB Broadcast on Addictions has been Rescheduled for April 8, 2018

David’s Live FB Broadcast on Addictions with special guest, Stephen Pfleiderer, founder of SF Intervention, has been rescheduled for April 8, 2018, at 3 PM due to David’s sore throat

Hi all!

Due to my sore throat today, and laryngitis, Stephen and I have rescheduled our live FB Broadcast on new treatments for addictions on April 8, 2018. There will be no show today.

Next week, Jill will return for the live David and Jill Show on FB at 3 PM for an additional discussion of rapid, drug-free treatment techniques for OCD and other anxiety disorders.

David

David and Jill Show Report plus Upcoming Shows

David and Jill Show Report plus Upcoming Shows

Watch David’s Live FB Broadcast on Addictions on March, 25, 2018,
with special guest, Stephen Pfleiderer, founder of SF Intervention

Hi all!

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!

David

Advanced, High-Speed TEAM-CBT for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety:
A Workshop for Therapists with Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

 

David and Jill Show #4: Treatment of OCD

David and Jill Show #4: Treatment of OCD

Watch the fourth David and Jill Show on the Treatment of OCD!

Hi all!

The fourth David and Jill Show on the treatment of OCD with guest Mike Christensen will start at 3 PM. Show #3 has set a new record of more than 2 thousand viewers in the first week alone. You can still watch it!

During the show, we will also answer questions from those who attend the show live. We’ll have a lot of energy and ideas to share, so join us if you can!

The Feeling Good Podcast last Monday–live therapy with Daisy–also drew exceptionally well and was enthusiastically received. In fact, this month it looks like we will set a new record with more than 40,000 downloads! Thank you all for your support!

During the session with Daisy, we address 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!

David

Advanced, High-Speed TEAM-CBT for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety:
A Workshop for Therapists with Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt

 

060:  Self-Monitoring: A New Cure for OCD or PseudoBulbar Palsy?

060: Self-Monitoring: A New Cure for OCD or PseudoBulbar Palsy?

Podcast 60, How could psychotherapy possibly help someone if their depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain?

In today’s podcast, David and Fabrice return to their original goal of documenting David’s list of “50 Ways to Untwists Your Thinking.” These are the methods David has learned, created, or refined to combat the negative thoughts that trigger depression, anxiety, and anger, as well as the positive thoughts that trigger habits and addictions. Today, they focus on one of the more obscure methods called “Self-Monitoring.”

David describes how “Self-Monitoring” works. He thinks of it as “Meditation in Daily Life.” The whole idea is to note a negative thought that suddenly pops into your mind, and then to track it, or count it, with some type of counting device, like the wrist counters golfers wear to keep track of their scores. Then you can simply let go of the thought and continue with what you were doing, instead of dwelling on the thought and getting distracted and upset.

David explains that most of the time Self-Monitoring is not very effective, but occasionally it can be extremely helpful or even life changing. He describes an eye doctor who was incapacitated with severe OCD who recovered completely after just four weeks of Self-Monitoring in combination with Response Prevention.

David also describes how this technique, along with the Daily Mood Log, was curative for a retired carpenter with severe depression following a stroke. The type of stroke is called “Pseudo Bulbar Palsy,” and the symptoms include uncontrollable sobbing or laughing after the slightest sad or funny event or comment. In this case, the man’s depression was the clear result of brain damage.

This case was particularly interesting because the therapist for the carpenter was one of David’s students, a clinical psychologist who had raised the question, “How could cognitive therapy possibly help someone if his or her depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?” Since she knew the carpenter’s depression was caused by thousands of microscopic hemorrhages in the deep structures of his brain, she did not see how any kind of psychotherapy could possibly help.

What do you think about this. Listen to this podcast, and you’ll discover the surprising answer!

At the end, David and Fabrice discuss the critical importance of quantitative feedback, for therapists and patients alike, as well as the role of “feedback loops” in our daily lives.

If you would like us to schedule a podcast on any of the “50 Ways to Untwist Your Thinking,” please send us a comment below or email us and we will schedule a podcast on it if we have not yet done that!

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045: More on OCD — Cognitive Flooding

More on OCD — Cognitive Flooding

Warning: This podcast includes raw and disturbing material that may be upsetting to some listeners. If you are concerned that your own feelings may be triggered, it might be wise to skip the program.

Fabrice begins with another question on OCD—if you successfully extinguish the symptoms with Exposure and Response prevention, would they just resurface in some other form, such as worrying, or some other anxiety disorder. David agrees, and describes the solution to this problem.

Then David describes his treatment of a pregnant woman with OCD who was afraid her baby would be switched at the hospital so that she’d end up with the wrong baby. Although she rationally recognized that this fear was irrational, she could not shake it from her mind, and obsessed about it constantly.

After trying more than 30 CBT techniques that did not work, David used the What-If Technique to pinpoint her deepest fear, which turned out to be quite shocking, to say the least. He then encouraged her, with some reluctance, to confront this fear using Cognitive Flooding.

After describing the surprising outcome, David and Fabrice discuss the fact that 75% of American therapists are afraid to use Exposure Techniques because of the fear that the patient is too fragile, or they will re-traumatize the patient. David reminds us that this is “reverse hypnosis,” where the patient hypnotizes the therapist into believing something that is not true. If the patient is successful, and the therapist agrees not to use Exposure, the prognosis for effective treatment is quite poor. David gives an example of a therapist who was afraid to ask an OCD patient to drink one ounce of coca cola—something the patient feared would drive him into insanity!

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044: Can OCD Be Cured?

Can OCD Be Cured? — More Examples of the Hidden Emotion Technique

In this podcast, David describes his treatment of a physician with OCD who was tortured by the fear that he would impulsively throw his newborn baby over the railing of his second-floor apartment. He also describes a psychologist with OCD who washed her hands more than 50 times a day for fear of contamination. In addition, she spent hours every day making sure that nothing in her house was arranged in groups of three—including furniture, table settings, decorative objects, magazines on tables, and so forth. Arrangements in groups of 2 were okay, as were groups of 4, 5 or more objects. Why was she so obsessed?

What were the hidden emotions that fueled these obsessions and compulsions? David and Fabrice will give you the chance to pause the recording on three occasions to jot down your hypotheses before they give you the answers. It won’t be important to get it “right,” but it is highly desirable to take a stab at it.

This podcast will be of interest to you if you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, or any form of anxiety, including phobias, panic attacks, chronic worrying, and so forth. That’s because the hidden emotion phenomenon, or excessive “niceness,” may be a the root of your fears as well. Bringing those feelings to conscious awareness will often lead to sudden relief, or even a complete elimination of your symptoms.

In the next Feeling Good Podcast, David and Fabrice will describe dramatic examples of exposure and response prevention in the treatment of OCD, including a woman who was tortured by the fear that she’d received the wrong baby at the hospital after her first child was born. What causes these bizarre symptoms, and what’s the most effective treatment? Stayed tuned and you’ll find out!

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043: OCD — The Hidden Emotion Technique

Using the Hidden Emotion Technique With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In this podcast, David and Fabrice answer questions on OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) submitted by three listeners. Is it an organic illness? Are drugs necessary in the treatment? What’s the best book to read if you want to heal yourself? What’s the prognosis?

Drs. Nye and Burns begin by explaining OCD and answering the questions. David emphasizes the importance of using four treatment models when working with OCD—the cognitive model, the motivational model, the exposure model, and the hidden emotion model if you are hoping for a rapid and complete elimination of symptoms. Treatment that focus on only one treatment method, such as exposure and response prevention, may have only limited success.

He describes his treatment of a medical student named Ralph with classic OCD. Ralph was frequently plagued by the fear he was dying of AIDS; then he’d get so anxious that he’d go to the emergency room and insist on having a blood test for HIV. These always came out negative, and this brought temporary relief, but within a few days Ralph would be worrying about AIDS again and feeling the overwhelming compulsion to get yet another blood test.

The case was especially curious because Ralph was engaged and faithful to his fiancé, so there was no rational reason for him to think he had become infected with the HIV virus. However, he’d tell himself, “Maybe I drew blood on a patient with AIDS and then pricked myself with the needle, and then forgot. And how can I know that this didn’t happen?” This are extremely typical of the kind of obsessions that plague OCD patients. Ralph would torture himself with these thoughts until he succumbed to the urge to get another blood test for AIDS.

Although years of conventional psychotherapy had failed this patient, the Hidden Emotion Technique led to an incredible recovery in just a few minutes during a therapy session. You will find this true story inspiring and amazing! And David provides an even more amazing 40-year follow up report!

In the next Feeling Good Podcast, David and Fabrice will describe more examples of patients with severe OCD who experienced dramatic relief because of David’s Hidden Emotion Technique. This technique can be helpful for all anxiety disorders, and not just OCD. However, David emphasizes that this is just one of many techniques he uses in the treatment of anxious patients. He cautions therapists against thinking three is just ONE best technique for any anxiety disorder, including OCD.

See link to podcast #027: Scared Stiff — The Hidden Emotion Model.

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027: Scared Stiff — The Hidden Emotion Model (Part 5)

027: Scared Stiff — The Hidden Emotion Model (Part 5)

Fabrice launches this Podcast by asking David to remind us about the differences between healthy fear and unhealthy, neurotic anxiety, or an anxiety “disorder” like a phobia, or OCD, and so forth. David explains that negative thoughts, and not events, trigger all our emotions, healthy or unhealthy. However, healthy fear results from negative thoughts that are valid and undistorted, and does not need treatment. For example, if you are walking around Chicago in an area dominated by gangs, you may have the thought, “I could get shot. I better be careful because it’s dangerous here!” Your fear is healthy and can keep you vigilant and alive in a genuinely dangerous situation.

In contrast, neurotic, unhealthy anxiety results from thoughts that contain the same ten cognitive distortions that cause depression, such as All-or-Nothing Thinking, Jumping to Conclusions (e.g. Mind-Reading and Fortune-Telling), Emotional Reasoning, Magnification, Should Statements, and more.

David explains that the Hidden Emotion Model is radically different from CBT, exposure therapy, and most other current treatments for anxiety. The theory behind Hidden Emotion Technique is that “niceness” is the cause of (almost) all anxiety in the United States at this time. In other words, people who are prone to anxiety typically think they have to be nice all the time, and please other people, and not have certain kinds of forbidden feelings, such as anger, or loneliness, or even wanting something you are not supposed to want.

David brings this powerful treatment technique to life with a vignette involving Terry, the woman with ten years of terrifying panic attacks described in previous podcast. When David asked about her very first panic attack, ten years earlier some amazing and illuminating information emerged.

David gives tips on how therapists can use the Hidden Emotion Model,

  1. The hidden emotion or conflict is buried in the present, and not in the past.
  2. It is something very ordinary, such as not liking your job, or your major in college, or a conflict with a friend, family member or colleague.
  3. The anxiety is nearly always a symbolic expression of the feeling or problem the patient is not bringing to conscious awareness. David gives listeners an exercise to see if they can pinpoint the symbolic meaning of Terry’s panic attacks.

Fabrice asks the important question—what do you do when the anxious patient insists that there aren’t any hidden feelings? David explains that most anxious individuals will say that, and describes how to bring the hidden feeling or problem to conscious awareness.

He emphasizes the three things he really likes about the Hidden Emotion Model:

  1. It explains the timing of anxiety attacks, so it has tremendous explanatory power. Freud said that anxiety is the mysterious emotion, that comes out of the blue, and strikes like lightning, without rhyme or reason. David disagrees, and emphasizes that anxiety rarely or never comes from out of the blue.
  2. The Hidden Emotion Model can have powerful and rapid healing effects for patients with every type of anxiety, as well as individuals struggling with hypochondriasis and those who go to medical doctors with complaints of pain, fatigue, or dizziness that does not appear to have a valid medical cause.
  3. The Hidden Emotion Model teaches us that the ultimate cause of most anxiety is the fear of the self, of our emotions and how we genuinely feel as human beings.
  4. The Hidden Emotion Model teaches us that recovery from anxiety does not involve recovery from some “defect” or “mental disorder,” but rather the discovery of what it is like to be human being, with all of our feelings, and that it is okay to have an express those feelings.

Finally, David explains that while this technique traces to the teachings of Freud, Freud might turn over in his grave and find it superficial or silly, since David simply tells anxious patients that they are suppressing or repressing something that’s bothering them, and insists they bring it to conscious awareness right away. David accepts this criticism, but also adds that the Hidden Emotion Technique works and frequently triggers complete recovery with patients who are only partially helped by the skillful use of cognitive techniques and exposure techniques.

However, the “niceness” phenomenon only seems to affect about 75% of anxious patients; sometimes, a phobia is just a phobia, with no hidden feeling or conflict. Those individuals will not be helped by this technique. Fortunately, we have dozens of other powerful techniques that will be curative!

OCD, Magical Thinking, and Thought / Action Fusion

OCD, Magical Thinking, and Thought / Action Fusion

Dr Burns,

Have you ever come across a form of anxiety where people think they have done something just because they had the thought of doing it? For example, I had a friend working in an analytical laboratory, and he was testing tablets which had to be tested in a certain order. He was worried about mixing up two of them and therefore believed he had done this. As a result, he had to get new tablets from the batch and repeat the test causing a great deal of anxiety.

What is the distortion here?

Regards,

Shane

Thank you Shane,

The name of the distortion is Emotional Reasoning, as in “I am so incredibly anxious right now that the danger must be real!” In other words, you reason from your emotions, thinking they reflect reality. Anxious individuals nearly always assume that their anxiety means that the danger is real.

Depressed individuals also do this. They think, “I feel hopeless, so I must BE hopeless.” Or, “I feel like a loser, so I must really be worthless.”

Emotional Reasoning is misleading because our emotions result from our thoughts—and not from what is actually happening. And if your thoughts are distorted, your feelings will not reflect reality any better than the curved mirrors in amusement parks that make your image look weird.

Other distortions in this case include Fortune Telling—telling yourself something awful is about to happen when there is no evidence. All anxiety results from this distortion. For example, if you have a fear of flying, you are probably telling yourself that if you get on a plane, there’s a good chance it will run into turbulence and crash.

The problem you described in your friend is common in individuals struggling with Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD)—the obsession is the thought that something awful is about to happen, and the compulsion is the ritual or habit you engage in to try to undo the danger. A common example is people who drop a letter in the mail box, and then they check over and over to make sure the letter has actually dropped into the mail box.

This belief something awful might happen just because you are thinking about it is also called Thought / Action Fusion by some experts. In other words, you believe that just because you are thinking something, it will happen. This explains the resistance that many anxious individuals have to using Exposure, which is crucial to effect treatment. They think if they allow themselves to think of something awful, and become anxious, something awful will happen. This is, of course, superstitious nonsense, but humans, for some reason, have a strong urge to be superstitious and to believe in things that cannot possibly be true!

You can also think of this Magical Thinking—you believe that if you are thinking about some awful outcome, and feeling extremely worried, then the thing you fear might really happen. Magical Thinking is very common in all forms of anxiety. For example, you may tell yourself that if you worry enough about an upcoming test, you’ll work hard and get a good grade. You may also tell yourself that if you were cured of your performance anxiety, then your performance in school would deteriorate. That is another one of the biggest reasons that anxious individuals so often resist treatment. On the one hand, they are suffering, but at the same time, they are convinced that the anxiety is protecting them from something awful.

Hope this helps!

David

 

021: Ask David — Shameful Sexual Fantasies

In this podcast, David and Fabrice discuss a question posed by a listener with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder who is plagued with intrusive and shameful sexual fantasies. David discusses his treatment strategies for a young man from Argentina who was struggling with forbidden fantasies of Jesus having sex with the Virgin Mary in all positions of the Kama Sutra, but the harder he tried to control them, the more intense and tantalizing they became. Being a good Catholic lad, he was terrified and tearful he would burn in hell if he didn’t overcome this problem.

If you’ve ever struggled with shameful sexual fantasies, you might be intrigued by this fascinating discussion of Cognitive Flooding, therapeutic resistance, and the Hidden Emotion Technique!