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Training Opportunities with Dr. Jill Levitt!

Training Opportunities with Dr. Jill Levitt!

Hi all!

See below for two announcements about two upcoming training opportunities from the Feeling Good Institute. Both presentations will focus on David’s amazing Paradoxical Agenda Setting methods. Hope to see some of you there!

Warmly, Jill Levitt, PhD

Happy Holidays!

Give yourself the gift of renewed energy and excitement in your therapy practice with new motivational and resistance-busting tools. At Feeling Good Institute we have years of experience practicing and teaching Dr. David Burns’ techniques to reduce resistance and boost motivation. These techniques help us avoid power struggles with our patients, increase patient motivation, and energize the work we do. We are excited to share what we have learned with our fellow therapists! Please join me and my colleagues for one or both options:

1. Melting Away Resistance in CBT with Jill Levitt, Ph.D. LIVE ONLINE. Four Mondays. Starts Monday January 22nd, 11am-12:45pm PST (2-3:45pm EST). $245 for four weekly 1 hr 45 min. classes. 7 CEs. Space is limited to 25 participants to maximize individual attention and learning.

Online using group video conferencing

Instruction includes didactic teaching, large group demonstrations and small group role play to reinforce skills learned.

2. Step by Step Methods to Reduce Resistance and Boost Motivation with Challenging Patients: A Daylong Workshop for Therapists with Maor Katz MD, Jill Levitt Ph.D., and Angela Krumm Ph.D. Sunday January 21st 9am-4pm PST (12-7pm EST) $135. 6 CEs. ON SITE OR LIVE ONLINE from Palo Alto, CA.

Step by Step CBT Methods to Reduce Resistance and Boost Motivation with Challenging Patients. A Daylong Workshop for Therapists.

Sunday 1/21/18, 9am-4pm PST (12-7pm EST)

Online using group video conferencing or On-site in Palo Alto, CA.

Both courses can be used towards TEAM-CBT certification.

Click on each link below to learn more

Learn More

Learn More

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.How to Find My FB Broadcasts

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!

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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.

 

053: Ask David — “I don’t feel like doing it!” Quick Cure for Procrastinators

053: Ask David — “I don’t feel like doing it!” Quick Cure for Procrastinators

Quick Cure for Procrastinators

In this podcast, David and Fabrice answer a question from a listener named Benjamin on the topic of procrastination. He wrote:

“The live therapy with Marilyn was very interesting – like other listeners, I was impressed by her character and strength.

“Towards the end of this most recent podcast, you were musing on what topics to cover in future podcasts. I would love to hear about how you treat people suffering from chronic laziness (“Do Nothingism”). In particular, there seems to be a strong potential of a Catch-22 with Process Resistance: The patient cannot find the motivation to do anything, yet they have to carry out the process (do the homework) to improve.

“Even worse, in “Feeling Good”, you categorize “Do Nothingism” into around 10 different categories, and suggest a different approach for each one. What should a lazy person do, who identifies with multiple categories, but is already starting to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of doing one of those activities, let alone five of them?

“I would love to hear David’s thoughts on this!”

David and Fabrice begin by thanking Benjamin, and David emphasizes how helpful and inspiring it is to receive specific questions like this, which makes it easy to create a (hopefully) informative and interesting podcast.

David says that his thinking about the treatment of procrastination has changed greatly since he wrote Feeling Good. One big change is that he no longer tries to “help” individuals who procrastinate, since this will cause them to continue to procrastinate, and the failure will now be the failure of the therapist, who’s “helping” wasn’t good enough.

Instead, David outlines a multi-step approach, based on someone who has ten years of unfiled papers that have piled up in his office, so that by now 15 feet of desk space is completely covered by piles of papers roughly one foot high. Fabrice plays the role of the resistant patient, and David plays the role of the therapist.

The steps include:

Paradoxical Agenda Setting: David asks, “The procrastination seems to be working for you. Why would you want to change? Let’s make a list of all the benefits of procrastination, and all the reasons NOT to change.” David emphasizes that the patient has to convince the therapist that this is something he really does want to change. It’s NOT the therapist’s role to help or to convince the patient to change!

Miracle Cure Question: What kind of help would you like in today’s session? Most patients say they need help with motivation. David declines to offer this, explaining that it isn’t on the therapeutic menu today—only the “Blue Plate Special!” The patient must agree to begin working on the filing in spite of having no motivation.

David also explains the underlying concept behind this strategy: most procrastinators are waiting for motivation, but that never works. You’ll be waiting forever, because you’re NEVER going to feel like doing all that filing! You aren’t entitled to motivation!

Productive individuals know that action comes first, and motivation comes second.

Specificity: What time would you like my help in overcoming your procrastination? The patient’s requests for help yesterday or tomorrow are declined by the therapist, so they settle on 6 PM today.

Little Steps for Big Feats: Let’s list the first five things you would need to do tonight at 6 PM, making sure that every step can be completed in 15 to 30 seconds. They list these steps:

  1. Walk into my office
  2. Choose one pile to start working on
  3. Pick up the top piece of paper on the pile
  4. Put it into a blank manila file folder
  5. Label the file folder

Let’s Be Specific: David asks if Fabrice needs help with Step 1? Step 2? Etc. Fabrice finally admits he can do these five steps.

Five Minute Rule: David asks if Fabrice will agree to do these five steps between 6 PM and 6:05 PM, and if he will agree to work on his filing for ONLY those five minutes. At the end of the five minutes he has completed 100% of the assignment. The rationale is that if Fabrice tries to do it all, he’ll get so overwhelmed that he won’t do anything. But if he agrees to ONLY five minutes, that will be do-able. And if he surprises himself, and gets motivated to do more, he can, be he only gets credit for the first five minutes.

Problem – Solution List: David asks Fabrice to put a line down the middle of a piece of paper, from top to bottom, and list all the problems that will get in the way at 6 PM, and then to list convincing solutions to each problem in the right-hand column. Fabrice lists two problems: 1. I won’t feel like it. And 2. Traffic might be heavy, so I might not get home by 6 PM.

“I Stubbornly Refused” Technique: David asks Fabrice to agree to an unusual phone call at 6:05 PM!

TIC – TOC Technique: David plays the role of Fabrice’s “Task-Interfering Cognitions” (TICS) that will tempt him to procrastinate, and asks Fabrice to play the role of the “Task-Oriented Cognitions” (TOCS) he can use to combat the TOCs. The TICS include the familiar ones such as:

  1. Five minutes won’t help, the job is overwhelming.
  2. Even if I get started, I’ll just relapse, so there will never be a permanent solution.
  3. It’s not such a big problem, I don’t need to do my filing now.
  4. I can watch Game of Thrones on TV instead. That will be more fun.
  5. It will be too anxiety provoking to get started.
  6. It’s too late to get started anyway.
  7. Tomorrow will be a better day.

David confesses the problem is one that he actually had, and describes how he solved it, using this exact approach!

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

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050: Live Therapy with Marilyn, Part 2, Is Depression a “Mental Disorder?”

050: Live Therapy with Marilyn, Part 2, Is Depression a “Mental Disorder?”

The Hidden Side of Depression, Anxiety, Defectiveness, Hopelessness and Rage

We nearly always think about negative feelings, such as  severe depression or anxiety, as problems that an expert must try to fix, using drugs and / or psychotherapy. And there are a multitude of theories about why humans become depressed, including, but not limited to:

  • Reality. We think we get depressed because reality sucks. We believe our mood slumps result from the negative circumstances in our lives, such as being alone following a rejection, experiencing the loss of a loved one, not having enough money, education or resources, social prejudice, or (as in Marilyn’s case) facing some catastrophic circumstance, such as severe illness.
  • Upbringing. We think we get depressed because of insufficient love and nurturing in childhood, or because of traumatic childhood experiences.
  • Biological factors. We believe that feelings of depression and anxiety result from problems with our genes, or diets, or because of a chemical imbalance in our brains.

Certainly, there can be some truth in all of these theories. Reality does kick us all in the stomach from time to time, and the pain we feel is understandable. My wife and I lost her father to Parkinson’s Disease a few years ago. We loved him tremendously, and his loss was extremely painful for everyone in our family.

Most of us have experienced less than ideal circumstances when growing up as well, and many have been victimized by horrific experiences, such as child abuse or bullying. And clearly, some psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, do result from some kind of biological abnormality in the brain.

But the problem with all of these theories is that they put us at the mercy of forces that are largely beyond our control—since we often cannot do much to change reality, rewrite our childhoods, or modify our brains short of taking this or that medication. And, in addition, these theories all suggest that negative feelings like depression and anxiety show that there is something wrong with us.

In this podcast, Matt and David take a radically different approach, and argue that Marilyn’s intense feelings of depression and anxiety are not “mental disorders” that reflect some defect in Marilyn, but rather the expression of what is most beautiful and awesome about her. They also argue that there are large numbers of advantages, or benefits, of feeling the way she does. They use several Paradoxical Agenda Setting Techniques, including the Invitation, the Miracle Cure Question, the Magic Dial, Positive Reframing, and the Magic Dial. The results are stunning and unexpected.

At the end of this segment, David and Matt argue that it might be desirable for Marilyn to continue to feel some of her negative feelings, and ask her how depressed she would like to feel at the end of the session, using the “% Goal” column on her Daily Mood Log. She also indicates how anxious, ashamed, defective, alone, hopeless, frustrated, and angry she would like to feel.

The third and final podcast next week will include the M = Methods phase of the session along with the end-of-session T = Testing and wrap-up, including Relapse Prevention Training.

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Feeling Good Podcast Request: More Live Recorded Trauma Treatment, Please

Feeling Good Podcast Request: More Live Recorded Trauma Treatment, Please

 

Hi Dr. Burns,

A request for a future podcast, if I may:  The session you did with “Mark” and his son, “Oliver,” was awesome!!!  I’ve listened to it several times.  That paradoxical agenda setting technique is just genius (because it’s so genuine)!  And I’ve been using it with depressed/low self-worth friends and clients with amazing results!  Any chance you could do a session like that with someone struggling with severe trauma?  I would love to see how you adapt your TEAM approach to working with trauma clients.

By the way, I wanted you to know you are welcome to use my full name on your website, if that would be helpful to you.  I’m honored to be quoted!

V. Ritchie Pruehs, LMFT
Employee & Student Assistance Program
LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH/Shared Services

 

Feeling Good Podcast - Fabrice

Hi V,

Thought you might enjoy this photo from my podcast host, Fabrice Nye, Ph.D. We took the photo last Saturday morning during a recorded therapy session with Marilyn.

Thanks for another wonderful email. The upcoming live therapy with Marilyn will show you how I work with someone experiencing severe trauma, in this case, a recent diagnosis of terminal cancer. Also, I’ve been doing trauma workshops around the US for the past three years, always with a live demonstration on the evening of day 1 with a volunteer from the audience who has experienced trauma. I will be doing more trauma workshops in the fall, and I think one will be in Southern California again. I’ll be updating my workshop page soon to include the new dates and locations, but I’m pretty sure it will be in Woodland Hills, CA, November 9 and 10. Perhaps you can come to it!

In addition, I hope to have many trauma examples in the new book I am writing, some with links to the actual recorded sessions. You can also see how I treat trauma if you click here. The session you will link to is with a woman who experienced three decades of rape and domestic violence. I have always found that trauma cases are the easiest to treat, which I think may be the opposite of the way most people think about it. It is a great honor to be able to provide rapid and profound relief to individuals who have been suffering so severely and for such a long period of time.

I have treated approximately 40 patients who have experienced severe traumas in the past several years, including rapes, beatings, horrific accidents, severe medical problems, childhood abuse, family tragedies involving injuries or deaths of children, psychological exploitation, and more. Almost every individual I’ve worked with has experienced a complete, or near-complete, elimination of symptoms in just one two-hour session using the new TEAM-CBT techniques.

The rapid changes are due, in large part, to new techniques I have developed to reduce or eliminate what has been called therapeutic “resistance.” I’m glad you are seeing some of the same amazing results in your work! It is SO EXCITING to have these new tools available.

I believe that TEAM represents a significant breakthrough in treatment, but it requires considerable commitment to learn it since it is not a gimmick or formula, but a systematic and highly individualized approach to treatment of all patients, and not just those struggling with the aftermath of a traumatic experience. And in my teaching, I have learned, sadly, that it can be difficult, sometimes, to pry therapists loose from their current orientations, even though their outcomes might fall far short of what one might hope.

So stay tuned and stay in the loop! Fabrice and I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and interest!

All the best,

David

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

037: Ask David — “My negative thoughts aren’t distorted!”

037: Ask David — “My negative thoughts aren’t distorted!”

Podcast 37: Ask David

“My problems are real! The world really IS screwed up! And that’s not a distortion. So what can I do about my severe depression and anxiety?”

IMG_1764David and Fabrice discuss two questions submitted by Feeling Good Podcast listeners.

#1. Shari writes:

“I read your book Feeling Good and now I am reading your book When Panic Attacks–thanks to April’s podcast with you. I still struggle but recently our current political situation and environmental research about our negative impact on earth—has triggered severe anxiety and depression again. The problem is that I don’t think my thoughts are distorted—it certainly seems logical to assume that life on earth is threatened. So I am not sure how to do this. How can I make progress with my mental and emotional health while being aware of situations around the world? Any advice or thoughts would be deeply appreciated.”

This is a wonderful note, and I’m sure that huge numbers of people feel the same way, in varying degrees. So how can we attend to our own emotional well-being in the face of genuine adversity?

Dr. Burns discusses this from the perspective of Paradoxical Agenda Setting, which is the key component of TEAM-CBT, and emphasizes the most common therapeutic error of all—jumping in to try to help, without seeing all the really GOOD reasons for the patient NOT to change. From this perspective, Shari’s question becomes the most important question in all of psychiatry and psychotherapy—how do we help patients who may not want to change?

#2. After listening to the A = Agenda Setting portion of the live therapy with Mark, Paul submitted this question:

“Hi David,

Thanks to you, Fabrice and Jill for this episode – as with the previous episodes with Mark, this has really helped in bringing the TEAM approach to life. As I have been using your books in the past few years to self-treat feelings of anxiety and depression, I was very keen to hear how the new agenda setting step works.

I am wondering what your thoughts are on how effectively the “A” step can be carried out by a patient on his/her own (i.e. without someone else verbalizing the reasons not to change / playing the part of the patient’s sub-conscious)? Do you have any tips? I think I heard Mark say something to the effect that, on his own, he wouldn’t have thought of all the positives that you came up with in the session.

Thanks again for sharing these great tools and techniques – looking forward to the “M” step soon.

Paul”

This was another terrific question on a topic of great importance. David explains that it is actually easier for patients to learn to use Positive Reframing and the other Paradoxical Agenda Setting techniques than for therapists to learn them. Because of his excitement over this prospect, David has just begun a new book which will show depressed and anxious individuals exactly how to do this on their own in a step-by-step manner. He is optimistic that the new TEAM-CBT techniques, in book form, may be even more helpful to patients than his first book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Research studies indicate that 65% of patients with moderate to severe depression improve substantially within four weeks of receiving a copy of Feeling Good, even without any other treatment. Dr. Burns is hopeful that his new book will provide the answers for the 35% who were not helped by Feeling Good.

So the answer is yes, I think many individuals WILL be able to do the “A” step on their own, and I am hopeful the positive impact will be great!

If you would be interested in David’s new book, please indicate this in the Survey attached to this podcast.

David and Fabrice have exciting plans for upcoming podcasts. They will be addressing these two questions in one or two podcasts:

  1. Is it possible to measure our “worthwhileness” or “worthlessness” as human beings?
  2. Do we even have a “self”?

These two questions have been discussed by experts for thousands of years, going all the way back to the Buddha, and most recently by the incredible Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. And although the answers are tremendously simple, people can’t seem to “get it.” The issues are not simply philosophical, but eminently practical, since most depression and anxiety result from the perception that one is “worthless,” or “inferior,” or simply “not good enough.”

In addition, David and Fabrice are hoping to create a second live therapy session broken into smaller podcast chunks, but featuring David and a totally awesome former student and now highly esteemed colleague, Matthew May, MD. For the past ten years, David has been telling workshop audiences that Matt is one of the finest therapists in the world. So this is an event you won’t want to miss!

Click here to listen to Fabrice being interviewed on Dr. Carmen Roman’s podcast.

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