I’m back from my two-day trauma workshop in Lancaster, Pa and eager to connect with all of you again! The workshop was extremely well received, and the live demonstration on the evening of Day 1 received one of the highest ratings ever for one of my workshops. The woman who volunteered was exceptionally courageous and touched the hearts of the many people who observed.
You can still purchase the recordings of the workshop or the live demonstration if you want to attend this workshop–CE credits are available, too!
Tomorrow, the David and Jill Show returns on Facebook live, with special guest Mike Christensen, at 3 PM Pacific Standard Time. We will describe powerful, drug-free treatment methods for OCD and will answer your questions as well. If you can’t catch us live, you can listen any time you want, as the broadcasts can all be accessed 24 hours a day on my public FB Page.
Here are some cool new stats, thanks to all of you!
My weekly Feeling Good Broadcasts with host Fabrice Nye had more than 46,000 downloads this month–a new record! The live therapy with Daisy partially accounted for this increase. That show was a profoundly appreciated many people who wrote to thank Daisy following the show. Daisy has contributed greatly to our podcasts, and to all of you, too. The live sessions we’ve done have been by far the most impactful, so Fabrice and I hope to do more live work for you.
My website, www.FeelingGood.com, received nearly 45,000 hits this month–another new record!
My Sunday FB Broadcasts are now watched by 1,500 to 2,000 people each week. If you like it, tell your friends so I can grow this audience, too. Jill and Mike Christensen are both fabulous guests / co-hosts, and I am honored to able to work with them!
I greatly appreciate your support, and hope you will continue to spread the word about TEAM-CBT and www.feelinggood.com. i am trying hard to reach as many people as possible with all kinds of free programming and blogs designed to help individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and habits and addictions, as well as the therapists who treat them!
Podcast 59, Live Therapy with Marilyn, The Tune-Up
This podcast was recorded eight weeks after the initial session with Marilyn. As you may recall, Marilyn became severely depressed when she discovered that she had Stage 4 Lung cancer. In spite of that horrific and real trauma, she completely overcame her negative feelings in the first session, which was broken down into a series of three consecutive podcasts, with commentaries as the session unfolded.
Sadly, Marilyn experienced severe pain in her left rib cage from a metastasis from her lung cancer roughly two months later. This physical relapse triggered an understandable emotional relapse as well, with an understandable return of severe depression, anxiety and anger, so Marilyn agreed to record another podcast to illustrate how a tune-up works following the initial treatment.
I would like to point out that the Relapse Prevention Training was critically important, so that Marilyn would know that relapses are a certainty, and that they can be dealt with effectively using the same techniques that worked the first time. This message is important so that the patient does not feel broadsided when the negative feelings return. Some patients have the false expectation that they’ll be happy forever after they’ve recovered.
But no one is entitled to be happy all the time! If the therapist and patient know how to deal with a relapse, and have practiced ahead of time, it will still be painful, but the patient and therapist will know what to do to make sure the patient can recover from the relapse quickly, instead of getting caught in another length episode of depression or anxiety.
The entire session has been included in this single podcast. That’s why we’ve offered this as a bonus session between our weekly podcasts. You will need nearly two hours to listen to it, but I think you will find it’s a great investment of your time.
In addition to her anxiety about the metastasis, and the fairly strong physical pain that is now with her constantly, Marilyn was flooded with intense Negative Thoughts and feelings that revolved around a number of familiar themes, including:
Her belief that her life is now over, and that she has nothing more to live for.
Her conviction that she is a burden to Matt, Fabrice, and David, who would prefer (she thought) to be relaxing with their families, instead of sitting down with Marilyn on a Saturday morning.
Her anger that God has abandoned her.
Her belief that she should not be so angry with God.
Her despair and fatigue at constantly struggling with pain.
Her urge to drink again.
Her self-criticisms and feelings of intense shame about her life and her relapse into depression.
Her conviction that things are hopeless.
Her belief that she’s selfish.
He belief that she should not be watching so much TV.
Her ambivalence that on the one hand she is afraid of dying, but at the same time she wants her suffering and struggling to be over.
After the initial T = Testing, Matt and David walked Marilyn through the E = Empathy, A = Agenda Setting, and M = Methods portion of the session, using techniques such as the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, Positive Reframing, the Magic Dial, Identify the Distortions, the Externalization of Voices, Acceptance Paradox, and more.
They also used the Interpersonal Downward Arrow, highlighting Marilyn’s view of her relationship with the two therapists—the “Rules and the Roles” that we’ve discussed in a previous podcast. Keep in mind that in the analyses below, we are talking about how Marilyn views her relationships with two people she cares deeply about. We are not talking about what’s “real,” but rather how we view and experience our relationships with othes.
The adjectives Marilyn used to describe her role in her relationships with David and Matt included:
The adjectives she used to describe the role that David and Matt played in the relationship included:
And the rules that Marilyn believed she must follow in this (and all) relationships included:
I have to suffer in silence.
I am not allowed to ask for help.
I need to stay alone.
I have to be quiet.
I have to behave in an extremely submissive manner.
I have to be guarded at all times.
I have to be invisible and hide all my feelings.
I cannot be assertive or I’ll be put down.
I must always put myself last and put others first.
I cannot be important.
I cannot expect or accept kindness and love.
I can’t be weak, emotional, real or vulnerable in front of you.
I cannot express any anger or loneliness for fear of retaliation.
Once again, Marilyn experienced another rapid, inspiring and rather mind-boggling transformation in her thoughts and feelings during the session. Then, Matt, David and Marilyn discussed the spiritual implications of her “dark night of the soul,” and emphasize the incredible gift Marilyn is giving to all of us through these recordings, as well as the enormous growth she is still experiencing during this phase of her life.
A few potentially important teaching points include:
We will all “relapse” back into spells of depression, anxiety, shame, hopelessness, and anger from time to time. No one is entitled to be happy all the time! This is a practical and spiritual reality for human beings. But it does not have to be a problem if you have the tools to climb back out whenever you fall into a black hole of self-doubt or despair.
Our painful feelings do not result from the events in our lives–in this case, a painful metastasis–but from out thoughts about these events.
Even when an event is genuinely horrific, the negative thoughts that trigger our feelings of depression and anxiety will nearly always be distorted and unrealistic. However, we may not realize this, and firmly believe that our negative thoughts are absolutely true. This way of thinking may contain a grain of truth but makes us victims of forces beyond our control.
For each of us, the negative thoughts that trigger our occasional “relapses” into depression and anxiety will usually be very similar, if not identical, from episode to episode. Of course, we will all have our own unique patterns of negative thinking, and no two people will have the exact same negative thoughts. That’s why formulaic approaches to treatment may sometimes fall short–because the therapist does not pinpoint or target the specific negative thoughts that trigger the patient’s distress.
The techniques that worked for the patient the first time s/he recovered will nearly always work for the patient when the negative thoughts return.
David and Matt were grateful and thrilled to receive this email from Marilyn the day after they recorded the podcast:
Much gratefulness to you, Matt, and Fabrice. It was a profound experience. At my AA meeting this am, a number of people came up to me and commented on how good I looked—relaxed & glowing. Yesterday was magical! It is a privilege working with you. Matt, and Fabrice. Thank you for taping.
Thank you also for the book, The Inner Eye of Love. It is very good. I also left a bag of honey somewhere in your home – one for you & Melanie, one for Matt, and one for Fabrice.
I will listen to the podcast of our first therapy session (two months ago) tomorrow—today was busy. I will get back to you with feedback.
Thank you also for your company at the Intensive and paying for my meals. I so enjoy your company, and if I may be so bold, your friendship.
Lastly, please e-mail the Therapist’s Toolkit upgrade.
Don’t worry about my not feeling hungry at lunch. I ate a big breakfast for me. I did eat dinner!
Again, thank you for helping me. Please thank Melanie for making your home available. Pets and kisses to your new kitty, Ms. Misty.
I hope you’re having a rest-filled weekend. Enjoy the Sunday hike! I look forward to listening to the podcasts.
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
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,
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.
The brief video below invites you to my three upcoming workshops on high speed treatment for patients who have experienced depression and anxiety from traumatic experiences. You will learn the latest TEAM-CBT skills to improve your clinical outcomes, and have the chance to see TEAM in action in the live demonstration on the evening of day 1. And on day 2, you can do some personal healing as well!
You’ll find the dates, locations, and links right below the video! It is my first video of this type, and it is only okay, so I hope you will be kindly in your assessment! I’ve had a severe camera phobia since I was a child, only only finally overcame it just a month or so ago. So now I can smile in front of a camera! Wow, I am so happy about this!
Rapid Recovery from Trauma: New High-Speed TEAM-CBT Treatment Techniques
April 24 – 25, McLean, VA 22102, Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner (link to brochure)
April 26 – 27, Newark, NJ, Hilton Newark Penn Station (link to brochure)
April 28 – 29, Philadelphia, Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District (link to brochure)
For more information, contact IAHB phone: 800-258-8411
Hope to see you at the workshop!
PS Here are several unsolicited anonymous comments on the evaluation forms for this workshop:
The live demonstration in the evening was freaking incredible!
The live demonstration was dynamite! . . . It was beautiful!!
The entire process was fantastic!
I liked all of it! I appreciated Dr. Burns willingness to be vulnerable with his own flaws and fears.