FEELING GOOD
Posts About The Disarming Technique

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113: Ask David: How Can I Overcome My Perfectionism?

113: Ask David: How Can I Overcome My Perfectionism?

Hi everybody! In today’s podcast we answer five challenging questions submitted by fans and listeners such as you!

1. Steven asks about the best route to take if you want to learn and practice TEAM-CBT? Is the degree important? What’s the best degree? Should you go to school to become a psychologist,  clinical social worker, addiction counselor, psychiatrist, professional counselor, pastoral counselor, marriage and family therapist, life coach, or what? There are so many degrees and potential paths that my head is spinning!

2. Sandy asks how to overcome long-standing, entrenched perfectionistic tendencies.

3.  Rin asks about the Burns Depression checklist and the criteria for depression in the DSM. He is (understandably) confused about the so-called “somatic” symptoms of depression, like insomnia or changes in appetite.

For example, some “experts” would argue that the following are all symptoms of clinical depression:

  • insomnia or the opposite—sleeping too much;
  • increased appetite or the opposite–decreased appetite;
  • loss of interest in sex, or the opposite, sex addiction;
  • loss of interest in work, or the opposite, being a workaholic.

How can opposite symptoms be symptoms of depression? Does this make sense? Are these really the symptoms of depression, or simply non-specific symptoms? What are the five key symptoms of real depression?

4. Kevin is a therapist with a simple question: How do I get over my desire to help?

5. Amanda asks how to use the Disarming Technique with a patient who thinks he or she isn’t making any progress in the therapy.

Thanks for listening to our Feeling Good Podcasts. Please tell your friends about us or forward this to them so our numbers can continue to grow. We are now in the range of 60,000 downloads per month, thanks to all of you! Fabrice and I greatly appreciate your support!

David and Fabrice

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Dr. Fabrice Nye currently practices in Redwood City, California and treats individuals throughout the world via teletherapy. You can reach him at fabrice@life.net. You can reach Dr. Burns at David@feelinggood.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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A Cool Upcoming Workshop for YOU!

Two great locations: SF and Portland

plus Live Streaming from Portland
so you can attend from anywhere in the world.

TREAT ANXIETY FAST–

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)

and

December 3 and 4, 2018: 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

Report on the Whistler Intensive / More Training Opportunities for You!*

Report on the Whistler Intensive / More Training Opportunities for You!*

Hi everybody,

last week’s psychotherapy training intensive in Whistler, Canada was just awesome. Oops, Lisa Kelley has urged me not to go over the top with language, so let me say it was arguably a bit above average. In fact, the ratings for all four days were the highest I’ve received–by a big margin, actually–in the last 25 years or more of doing workshops. I was thrilled and grateful to have such a warm and responsive group.

My dear colleague, Jack Hirose, who organized the conference, said the ratings were the highest he has seen in the many hundreds of workshops that he has sponsored in Canada with a variety of speakers. I was grateful for the skillful help of my dear colleague, Mike Christensen, who attended and assisted greatly with the teaching. He was also my co-therapist in the live demonstration on the morning of the second day of the conference with an audience volunteer who had experienced severe trauma and abuse.

The session was riveting. We were fortunate to have it filmed in gorgeous ultra-high definition video, and I hope to make it available to you as part of a training program before long.

If you would like to attend a similar conference, consider the upcoming San Francisco intensive in a few weeks. I will try my hardest to make it a little above average, too!

My San Francisco summer intensive is always one of my BEST training programs of the year because the group is quite small. This gives you lots of chances for Q and A and personal connection with me, plus lots of chances for networking with your colleagues. In addition, many individuals from my Tuesday group at Stanford will join me to provide feedback for you during the small group exercises.

Here are the specifics:

Coming in San Francisco in August

High Speed, Drug Free Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders–
A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

August 6 – 9, 2018, South San Francisco Conference Center, California
For more information, click here
or contact http://www.iahb.org/
phone: 800-258-8411

If you can only attend one of my workshops, consider this intensive! it is simplly

THE BEST!

Seating is limited. Register now  if you want to get in on the action!

Hope to see you in San Francisco in August! David

 * * *

Also coming up soon on my Sunday FB Live Broadcasts

Sunday, July 15th, 2018, at 3 PM: The Disarming Technique–Taking a Deeper Dive, with special guest, Mike Christensen

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018, at 3 PM: The Shouldy Approach to Life–How to Crush Should Statements, with special guest, Jill Levitt, PhD

If you attend live, you can ask questions and be a part of the show. However, they are all recorded so you can tune in anytime on my Public FB page!

Attention: Mike and I need your help for the program this coming Sunday, July 15th. We are going to show you how to put the lie to any criticism by agreeing with the criticism. This is called the Disarming Technique, one of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. But to bring the show to life in a personal way, we need you to provide challenging criticisms you may have heard from angry clients, or from friends, family, or colleagues.

No one has emailed me with any good criticisms yet. This is your chance for individual feedback from us!

People often complain along these lines: “But how can you agree with a criticism that simply isn’t true?” Well, we’ll show you! But you need to send us examples of criticisms you have received that “simply aren’t true!”

Thanks!

No FB Show tomorrow, July 8, 2018

No FB Show tomorrow, July 8, 2018

Next Show will be Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 3 PM PST

Hi everybody. There will be no FB show tomorrow, Sunday, July 8, 2018. The next show will be on July 15th on the topic of “The Disarming Technique: Taking a Deeper Dive.” Mike Christensen will return to do the show with me.

The Disarming Technique is tremendously powerful and important, but extremely challenging to learn. Essentially, you agree with a criticism, even if it sounds wrong, exaggerated, or unfair. The Disarming Technique is based on the Law of Opposites which states:

If you defend yourself and disagree with a criticism that sounds totally wrong or unfair, you will immediately prove that the criticism is valid, and the person who is criticizing you will stop be even more convinced, and rightfully so, that the criticism is absolutely correct. This is a paradox.

If. in contrast, you immediately and genuinely agree with a criticism that sounds totally wrong or unfair, you will immediately put the lie to it, and the person who is criticizing you will stop believing it. This is also a paradox.

Therapists and the general public alike struggle with this mightily! They always ask, “But what if there is no truth in the criticism? How can you possibly agree with a false criticism?”

To prepare for this incredibly important and hopefully exciting show, please send me one or more criticisms you have received, from a patient or from a friend or family member or colleague or customer, that you are convinced could not be true. Mike and I will show you how to use the Disarming Technique to put the lie to the criticism.

NOTE: Please do not email me with vague, general questions about this technique, as general dialogue usually will not be productive. Instead, provide me with some specific examples, please. Thanks!

I just returned from the Canadian intensive in Whistler, BC. Mike Christensen helped me with the teaching and therapy. It was a fabulous experience, and we received the highest ratings I’ve had for workshops in the last 25 years or more. It was an amazing experience in beautiful setting with some beautiful people! I have to thank Jack Hirose and Associates for sponsoring this program!

Even better, Mike and I did therapy with a volunteer who’d experience some pretty awful traumas. The therapy was magical. so inspiring, and arguably almost unbelievable! It was filmed by Mike Manor, a therapist and videographer, who happened to attend the workshop. I am hoping to do something with the video, as it will make for some pretty powerful learning for therapists and for everyone, to be honest!

The San Francisco intensive is coming up in early August, so check it out if you’re interested. It is usually an excellent if not fabulous event as well! See below for details.

I apologize for being over the top in my descriptions of some events, but sometimes, this is warranted, I think.

You can find our previous FB Live recordings, as well as the one scheduled for the 15th, on my public FB page.

David

* * *

Coming in San Francisco in August

High Speed, Drug Free Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders–
A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

August 6 – 9, 2018, South San Francisco Conference Center, California
For more information, click here
or contact http://www.iahb.org/
phone: 800-258-8411

If you can only attend one of my workshops, consider an intensive! They are

THE BEST!

Register right away if you want to get in on the action!

Hope to see you in San Francisco in August!

Solution to David’s Tuesday Tip #10*

Solution to David’s Tuesday Tip #10*

This was yesterday’s paradoxical tip of the day!

There’s no such thing as a false criticism.

The best way to explain this is through a specific criticism you have received from someone. You can nearly always, if not always, find some truth in it. When people criticize you, they always have something in mind about you that’s bugging them. And even if they express their criticism in an exaggerated way, you can still find the truth in what they are saying if you are motivated to really SEE and comprehend what they are trying to tell you.

The most obvious example of a tough criticism to agree with might be the outburst from a hospitalized individual with schizophrenia who angrily says something to you that sounds delusional, like “I know you are from the FBI plotting to have me killed, and don’t you deny it!”

Is there some truth in this criticism? Of course there is, and if you think about your therapy session with this individual yesterday, you might recall that it was pretty tense, so you could say something like this:

“Jim, I have to agree with you. We’re on the same page. Yesterday I thought I didn’t do a good job making you feel safe or cared about during our therapy session, and I don’t think I communicated enough warmth or respect. It was awkward for me to, and I’ve been criticizing myself as well, especially since I really do like you. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were feeling anxious, scared, mistrustful, and even angry with me. Can you tell me what that was like for you? Your feelings are really important, and I want to hear more about what you’ve been thinking and feeling.”

That’s just off the top of my head, and you could probably improve on it. But the odds are about 90% that Jim will calm right down and open up. Of course, your statement has to be genuine, and it has to come from the heart, or it won’t be effective.

The statement I wrote is an example of the Disarming Technique, which is one of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. When you us the Disarming Technique, you find truth in what the other person is saying, even if it seems totally untrue or unfair. And the moment you do this, if you do it skillfully, the other personal will nearly always stop believing their criticism. This is a paradox. In other words, you can usually put the lie to a criticism by genuinely agreeing with it, showing self-respect and respect for the other person.

But this is hard because:

  1. It is a high art form that requires lots of practice.
  2. It requires genuine humility and the death of the “ego,” or “self.” The Buddha called this the “Great Death,” but the concept is woven into nearly all religions.
  3. It requires the strong desire to have a close and rewarding relationship with the person who is criticizing you.

Very few people will fulfill these three requirements. That’s one of the main reasons why we continue to have so much conflict and suffering in the world, both between individuals (married couples, friends, family members, strangers, and colleagues) as well as between religions, nations, political parties, and so forth. We all want to be “right.” I have often said that “truth” is the cause of nearly all the suffering in the world today.

There’s another paradox. Did you get it?

Thanks!

David

* Copyright © 2018 by David D. Burns, MD.

Hey, folks, my summer intensives are nearly always my BEST training programs of the year, and they are almost upon us. Here are the specifics:

Coming in Canada in July

Advanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
A Four-Day Intensive Training in TEAM-CBT

July 3 – 6, 2018 Whistler, BC, Canada

For more information, contact Jack Hirose & Associates Inc.
Phone: 604.924.0296, Toll-free: 1.800.456.5424

* * *

Coming in San Francisco in August

High Speed, Drug Free Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders–
A Four-Day TEAM-CBT Advanced Intensive

August 6 – 9, 2018, South San Francisco Conference Center, California
For more information, click here
or contact http://www.iahb.org/
phone: 800-258-8411

If you can only attend one of my workshops, consider an intensive! They are

THE BEST!

Register right away if you want to get in on the action!

Hope to see you in Whistler in July or San Francisco in August!

David

Solution to David’s Tuesday Tip #7*

Solution to David’s Tuesday Tip #7*

This was yesterday’s paradoxical tip of the day!

If you defend yourself against a criticism that appears to be totally false and unfair, you will prove that the criticism is absolutely valid. In contrast, if you genuinely agree with a criticism that is totally false and unfair, the moment you agree with it, it will no longer be true, and the critic will no longer believe it!

This is called the Law of Opposites. What does it mean? If you grasp it, it can change your life!

Yesterday’s tip is called the Law of Opposites, and it’s the philosophical underpinning of the Disarming Technique. The Disarming Technique is one of the most important of my Five Secrets of Effective Communication. Do you know what it is?

Here’s the definition of the Disarming Technique: You find truth in a criticism, even if you think the criticism is wrong, exaggerated, or unfair. If you do this skillfully and genuinely, in nearly all cases the person who’s criticizing you will suddenly conclude that their criticism wasn’t valid! But if you defend yourself, you’ll prove that their criticism was absolutely valid! This is a paradox for sure, and it’s pretty amazing.

I use the Disarming Technique all the time in my teaching, my therapy, and in my personal life. Here’s an example from my teaching. At the end of the first day of every workshop, I have the participants complete a rating for the day that includes a space to write down what they didn’t like, as well as a space to write down what they did like. I tell them that I will review the evaluations carefully in the evening, and promise to read several of the most brutal comments, as well as several of the most positive comments the next morning, at the start of the second day of the workshop.

Sometimes I get a hostile comment or two, even if the overall ratings from day 1 were positive, or even spectacular. For example, someone may write something to the effect that I seemed arrogant or narcissistic or that I was too critical of other schools of therapy.

Here’s how I might typically respond using the Disarming Technique plus several other communication techniques (Feeling Empathy, “I Feel” Statements, and Stroking):

“You know, it was painful for me to read your comment, because I agree with you. You’re right. I am too narcissistic. It’s one of my worst flaws, but certainly not my only flaw. You were also right in saying that I’m often too critical of other schools of therapy. I do that a lot, and it can be very insulting. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if you’re feeling angry with me, and for good reason.

“Humility and respect are far more effective teaching tools than arrogance or putting people down. I want you to know that I deeply appreciate your willingness to let me know that I screwed up in that way yesterday!”

I find that audiences respond incredibly well to this type of comment, and the morale on day 2 soars.  Do you see why?

The Law of Opposites works like this. If I genuinely agree with the criticism, and admit that it was painful for me to read it, the audience members see me as vulnerable and human, and hopefully even a bit humble and down to earth. Most people are quick to forgive if you speak from the heart and admit that what they’re saying is true.

But this is extremely hard to learn, in part because our ego gets in the way! And the Disarming Technique really requires the death of the self, or ego–what the Buddhists called “The Great Death.”

It’s also hard to learn because defensiveness is programmed into our human nature, and in addition, you may not “see” the truth in the criticism at first. And if you do this as a gimmick, it won’t be effective.

I hope that makes the Law of Opposites clear. Let me know if you “get it!” You can use the Reply / Comment feature below to let me know if you understand my solution to the riddle.

Thanks!

David

Coming Next Week! Move Fast if You Want to Attend!

One of my best two-day workshops ever!

Register Now!

“Scared Stiff: Fast, Effective Treatment for Anxiety Disorders”

A two-day workshop Sponsored by Jack Hirose & Associates

June 4 -5, 2018 Calgary, Canada

 June 6 – 7, 2018 Winnipeg, Canada

Mike Christensen and several others will be joining me at both locations to help out with supervision of the small group exercises. You’ll LOVE this workshop and you’ll learn TONS of powerful techniques to treat every type of anxiety. You’ll learn how to heal your clients and your own feelings of insecurity and self-doubt as well!

I will also do a live demonstration of the new TEAM-CBT with a member of the audience who’s been struggling with anxiety on the first night of each workshop. Mike Christensen will be my co-therapist. The live demonstrations are nearly always the highlight of every workshop.

I hope you can join us in Calgary or in Winnipeg. Thanks so much!

David

* * *

Hey, I also have a cool new workshop on intimacy in mid-June!

June 15th, 2018 in Mt. View, California

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Michael’s at Shoreline
2960 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043

Sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley of CAMFT 
(California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists)

In this entirely new workshop, you’ll learn how to transform failed, frustrating relationships into satisfying, trusting ones, so you can enjoy greater success in your clinical work and more loving relationships with the people you care about the most.

I’ll be joined by the brilliant and totally wonderful Kyle Jones, a 3rd year PhD student at Palo Alto University with outstanding clinical skills. Although I’ll be doing the main teaching, Kyle will back me up and help me provide helpful feedback to all of you during the many small group exercises throughout the workshop.

In the morning, we’ll focus on dealing with challenging clients, and in the afternoon we will take on a far greater challenge: how to deal with challenging loved ones!

All of that plus:

  • Free breakfast
  • Free lunch
  • 6 CE credits
  • Lots of fun while learning!

Click here for registration and further details

Learning Objectives
At the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Use the Five Secrets of Effective Communication
  • Enhance your own and your client’s communication skills with the Intimacy Exercise
  • Transform hostile relationships into trusting, loving ones
  • Resolve therapeutic logjams and boost your therapeutic effectiveness
  • Track therapeutic progress and assess the quality of the therapeutic alliance
  • Fail joyfully
  • Transform therapeutic failure into success

You will also learn how to deal with clients and loved ones who:

  • Complain but ignore your efforts to help
  • Challenge or provoke you
  • Criticize you unfairly
  • Refuse to talk or open up

You will also learn how to deal with clients and loved ones who are:

  • Narcissistic, controlling, or self-centered
  • Angry, threatening or violent
  • Resistant and oppositional
  • Overwhelmingly depressed, panicky, or hopeless

Hope to see you there!

* Copyright © 2018 by David D. Burns, MD.