206 episodes

This podcast features David D. Burns MD, author of "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy," describing powerful new techniques to overcome depression and anxiety and develop greater joy and self-esteem. For therapists and the general public alike!

Feeling Good Podcast | TEAM-CBT - The New Mood Therapy David Burns, MD

    • Mental Health
    • 4.7, 471 Ratings

This podcast features David D. Burns MD, author of "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy," describing powerful new techniques to overcome depression and anxiety and develop greater joy and self-esteem. For therapists and the general public alike!

    198: Ask David: What if Your Negative Thoughts Aren't Distorted? Do Demons Cause Depression? And more!

    198: Ask David: What if Your Negative Thoughts Aren't Distorted? Do Demons Cause Depression? And more!

    Today, Rhonda and David discuss ten great questions submitted by podcast fans like you!
    I can’t find any distortions in my thoughts! What’s the cause of this? Crushing Negative Thoughts. Do you have to write them down? Can’t you just do them in your head? PTSD Question: Does the trauma have to be life-threatening and experienced in person/ How can I get over anxiety and panic? Do demons cause depression? How is Sara now? Is anger just “ossified tears?” How do you explain the basic concepts of CBT and cognitive distortions to patients who are not familiar with your work? Can I help myself as much as Rameesh did? How can I start a self-help group based on your book, Ten Days to Self-Esteem? How can I find my favorite podcast? I can’t find any distortions in my thoughts! What’s the cause of this? A new comment on the post "001: Introduction to the TEAM Model" is waiting for your approval https://feelinggood.com/2016/10/27/001-introduction-to-the-team-model/
    Hi Dr. Burns,
    I just ordered your book and am writing my cognitive distortions daily. I ran into one I did not know how to label it.
    I am a 73-year-old, attractive woman, When I see a young beautiful woman having a great time, say in an ad, I feel angry, sad and jealous. This does not apply to family members only strangers.
    charlotte
    Crushing Negative Thoughts. Do you have to write them down? Can’t you just do them in your head? A new comment on the post "190: How to Crush Negative Thoughts: Overgeneralization" is waiting for your approval https://feelinggood.com/2020/05/11/190-how-to-crush-negative-thoughts-overgeneralization/
    Dr. Burns,
    Why is writing the negative thought down important? Can’t I just pinpoint it in my head and simply switch the negative thought to positive one?
    I know it will not work but i am not able to convince others or myself why I have to write them down. Why is the writing process so important?
    After practicing for a while will you have the habit of think positively? I am wondering why some people have this way of positive thinking without even practicing?
    Toni
    PTSD Question: Does the trauma have to be life-threatening and experienced in person/ A new comment on the post "147: High-Speed Treatment of PTSD?" is waiting for your approval https://feelinggood.com/2019/07/01/147-high-speed-treatment-of-ptsd/
    Hi David,
    I am a fan of your great work and contribution to psychology.
    I have a question about PTSD: does it necessarily have to be life-threatening in person or can it be caused for example by a threat via online message?
    Thank you!
    MB
    Thanks, MB, great question.
    Only your thoughts can upset you, not the actual trauma, so the answer is yes. Anything that is profoundly upsetting is profoundly upsetting, period! There is no objective way to measure the impact of any trauma other than via your own thoughts and feelings! This is so important, and yet most of the world, including those who have written the DSM-5 (and all earlier editions) / don't yet "get it." The DSM states that for a diagnosis of PTSD, you have to have some trauma that is “objectively horrific.” But there is no such thing!
    david
    How can I get over anxiety and panic? Debby asked a question about podcast 189: How to Crush Negative Thoughts: All-or-Nothing Thinking
    I have your book When Panic Attacks. I am at a loss at what to use to get over anxiety and panic. It is exciting because you said that you can get rid of both fairly soon; which would be great
    Hi Debby,
    Thanks for your excellent question!
    The Daily Mood Log described (I believe) in chapter 3 of When Panic Attacks is a great place to start. Do it on paper, and not in your head, focusing on one specific moment when you were anxious. Thanks!
    One teaching point is to focus on one specific moment, and not try to solve anxiety or any mood problem in generalities. A second

    • 40 min
    197: Dating Anxiety and the Secret of Sex Appeal Featuring Special Guest Dr. Matthew May

    197: Dating Anxiety and the Secret of Sex Appeal Featuring Special Guest Dr. Matthew May

    Loneliness has existed since the dawn of time.  I frequently receive questions from lonely individuals wanting to know how to connect, and how to find companionship, intimacy and love.  Lonely men ask me, "How do I talk to women?"  Lonely women ask, "How can I find a good man?" Regardless of your gender or gender identity, you may struggle to find a loving romantic partner for a variety of reasons, some of which I have outlined in my book, Intimate Connections. 
    Although dating can be an incredibly stressful, disappointing, and time-consuming hassle, there are tremendous rewards for those fortunate enough to connect and develop an intimate relationship. So today, we address some of those issues.
    Our special guest today is Dr. Matthew May.  He is a former student of mine, a good friend of David and Rhonda, a regular on the podcast, and a loving wonderful man. Today, Matt brings us a wealth of information for those interested in improving their dating lives, based both on his clinical work, as well as his own experiences overcoming social anxiety, falling in love and being in a loving relationship.
    Matt begins with an inspiring reminder of why we would go through all the trouble, stress and disappointment inherent to dating, highlighting some of the rewards that await those who are persistent, including how good it feels to be understood, accepted, loved and cherished by someone who feels the same towards us.  The poetry of his writing is beautiful and inspirational. He also provides some common-sense guidelines for individuals who are interested in dating, so they can do so safely.  We then delve into more psychologically complex and personal matters.
    Here are Matt's tips on maintaining safety when you are dating someone you don't know for the first time--for example, it might be someone you may have met on the internet. Although these tips are primarily for the protection and safety of women, they may also be helpful to men who are dating.
    1.      The first time you meet someone you've met on the internet, meet in a public place, like a restaurant or coffee shop, where you'll be safe.
    2.      Use your own transportation. Don't let someone you've never met pick you up, because then you'll be vulnerable in case things don't go well.
    3.      Tell someone you know where you're going, and when you're going to return.
    4.      Get to know the other person as much as possible. What does s/he do, who are his or her friends, and so forth.
    5.      Don't provide any identifying information, including your date of birth, to anyone you've just met on the internet, as you could be vulnerability to identity theft. Sometimes the most charming people are scam artists.
    6.      Listen to your intuition. If you have a creepy feeling about someone you're thinking of dating, pay attention to it. Something might be "off" about the other person.
    7.      Don't drink too much, as you could become a victim of date rape, especially if the man slips a sedative chemical in your drink.
    8.      Give (or ask for) consent prior to any touching.








    Matt emphasizes that emotional vulnerability is the price tag on intimacy, and this can be frightening because we all naturally fear rejection. Matt defines emotional intimacy as being seen as our true and vulnerable self, so we are accepted for who we really are. He talks about how most of us have a deep yearning for this kind of relationship, and yet struggle to be vulnerable and open in ways that make intimacy possible.
    Rhonda, Matt and David describe the delicate balance between game playing--which can be crucial in the early stages of dating--and vulnerability, which can lead to a meaningful and lasting relationship. Some people try to skip the game-playing stage, thinking it is too superficial, and try to jump right in

    • 54 min
    196: Ask David: Is There a Dark Side of Human Nature? Is "Forcefulness" Ever Needed in Therapy? Perfectionism, Racism, Schizophrenia & More!

    196: Ask David: Is There a Dark Side of Human Nature? Is "Forcefulness" Ever Needed in Therapy? Perfectionism, Racism, Schizophrenia & More!

    in today’s podcast, Rhonda and David address eight fascinating questions submitted by fans like you:
    What’s the difference between David’s Therapist Toolkit, his eBook (Tools, Not Schools, of Therapy), and the EASY Diagnostic system? Is there a dark side to human nature? Is being “forceful” or confronting patients ever important in therapy? What’s the 5-session schizophrenia cure? How do you suddenly switch into “Sitting with Open Hands” during a session? Questions about OCD Questions about racism What if there are more advantages than disadvantages in perfectionism? What’s the difference between the Toolkit, the eBook, and the EASY Diagnostic system? I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and I am interested in either the Toolkit or the EASY diagnostic tool. It looks like the Toolkit includes quite a few questionnaires so I am wondering if I would need both. I would love to have a comprehensive checklist to give to clients during their initial assessment so I originally looked into the EASY Diagnostic tool. I’m just looking for a little guidance on which one would be the most helpful and if I would actually need both.
    Thanks so much!
    Cindy
    What do you think about the idea that there’s a dark side to human nature? Are humans inherently good, as so many mental health professionals seem to believe? It could be entitled, “The Dark Side of Human Nature,” or “Is there REALLY a dark side to human nature?”
    Jeremy
    Rhonda and David believe that human beings have positive loving impulses and dark violent impulses as well, and that both are an inherent and basic aspect of human nature. They discuss several aspects, including:
    The example of cats. They are genetically little serial killers. They love to capture and torture rodents, even if they have had a loving childhood.
    Many people love violent revenge movies and video games.
    Many people love killing animals, chopping their heads off, and mounting them on the wall, in much the same way that human serial killers get intense excitement from their killing and torturing, and they also keep trophies.
    David argues that it is important for therapists to recognize and address the dark side—areas where therapists will typically get in trouble due to blindness / denial / rationalization of negative motives, and excessive idealism. Problematic areas for therapists can include:
    the suicidal patient the violent patient—David describes a woman who was plotting to kill her husband. disability patients with a hidden agenda of remaining disabled. patients who don’t want to do their therapy homework people, for the most part, don’t get addicted because they’re depressed, anxious, or lonely, but because it’s really awesome to get plastered / high. Many, and perhaps all humans, like to judge others and feel superior to them, and also enjoy exploiting others, but our denial can be intense. People enjoy bullying people. It makes you feel powerful and generates feelings of excitement. We acknowledge that although the dark side to human nature may be strongly influenced by our genes, the environment we grow up in can also have a strong impact on our thoughts, feelings and impulses.
    Is being “forceful” or confronting patients ever important in therapy? This is another great question submitted by Jeremy Karmel.
    David gives many examples of times when it is absolutely necessary to be forceful and confrontational in therapy, but this requires a strong therapeutic relationship with the patient and perfect empathy scores and high levels of trust and mutual respect.
    Therapeutic examples where forcefulness or confrontation may be important include:
    Exposure techniques in the treatment of anxiety. The patient will nearly always “wimp out” at the last minute, and here is where the therapist needs to push—but most therapists will back o

    • 37 min
    195: How To Crush Negative Thoughts: Magnification/Minimalization

    195: How To Crush Negative Thoughts: Magnification/Minimalization

    Today, the Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit Continues with
    Magnification and Minimization
    Rhonda begins by reading two beautiful, inspiring emails from Heather Clague, MD and Dipti Joshi, PhD.  Heather and Dipti are dear friends and esteemed colleagues of David and Rhonda.
    Rhonda and David begin with a brief overview of distortion #6: Magnification and Minimization. Magnification is when you blow things out of proportion. This is common in anxiety and is also called “Catastrophizing.” For example, during panics patients often tell themselves—and believe—that they are on the verge of something catastrophic, like a stroke, a sudden, fatal heart attack, or losing their minds and becoming hopelessly psychotic.
    Minimization is just the opposite. You shrink the importance of something like your good qualities or the things you’ve accomplished. Minimization is common in depression.
    Magnification and Minimization almost always play a big role in procrastination as well. For example, you may Magnify the enormity and difficult of the task you’ve been putting off, and Minimize the value of just getting started on it today, even if you only have a few minutes.
    I sometimes call this distortion the “binocular trick” because it’s like looking through the opposite ends of a binocular, so things either appear much larger or much smaller than they actually are.
    Techniques that can be especially helpful include Examine the Evidence, the Semantic Technique, Little Steps for Big Feats, the Experimental Technique, the Double Standard Technique, and Externalization of Voices / Acceptance Paradox.
    Rhonda brings these techniques to life in a description of a depressed man she recently treated who’s been divorced for 2 to 3 years, and living alone due to the Shelter in Place orders during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although he’s lonely, he’s telling himself that he’s “too depressed and scattered” to be in a relationship.
    At the start of the session, he feels:
    sad, 90% panicky, 50% ashamed, 50% worthless 50% alone, 90% hopeless90% frustrated, 90% upset, 90%. Rhonda describes her skillful and compassionate TEAM treatment of this man, starting with the Magic Button, Positive Reframing, and Magic Dial, followed by Identify the Distortions, the Paradoxical Double Standard Technique, and Externalization of Voices (including the Acceptance Paradox, the Self-Defense Paradigm, and the Counter-Attack Technique, or “Cat”)
    Rhonda brings these techniques to life in a description of a depressed man she recently treated who’s been divorced for 2 to 3 years, and living alone due to the Shelter in Place orders during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although he’s lonely, he’s telling himself that he’s “too depressed and scattered” to be in a relationship.
    At the start of the session, he feels:
    sad, 90% panicky, 50% ashamed, 50% worthless 50% alone, 90% hopeless90% frustrated, 90% upset, 90%. These techniques were tremendously helpful, and at the end of the session, he no longer believed his negative thoughts about himself and his negative feelings all fell to zero. He recovered, essentially, in one extended (3-hour) TEAM therapy session.
    David and Rhonda discuss the impact of this type of experience on the therapist as well as the patient. Obviously, the patient feels fantastic, but Rhonda said she also felt “rejuvenated,” with much warmth and kindness. I (David) always feel this as well at the end of an amazing session.
    Rhonda and David

    • 45 min
    194: How To Crush Negative Thoughts: Jumping to Conclusions

    194: How To Crush Negative Thoughts: Jumping to Conclusions

    Today, the Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit Continues with
    Jumping to Conclusions
    Rhonda opens today’s podcast by reading beautiful email comments from Kevin Cornelius and Thai-An Truong. Both are dear friends and colleagues of Rhonda and David.
    Then Rhonda and David discuss Jumping to Conclusions, which is the fifth cognitive distortion. It’s defined as jumping to conclusions that aren’t necessary supported by the evidence. There are two common forms: Fortune Telling and Mind-Reading.
    Fortune-Telling: You tell yourself that bad things are about to happen. There are two common examples:
    Hopelessness: You tell yourself that things will never change, that you’ll never recover, or that your problems will never be solved. David explains why this distortion is impossibly distorted and virtually never true. And yet, when people are depressed, they nearly always fall victim to the belief that things will never change. It’s much like being in a hypnotic trance, because you are telling yourself and believing things that can’t possibly be true.
    Anxiety: You make catastrophic predictions that gradually exaggerate any real danger. All anxiety results from this distortion. For example, if you have a fear of flying, you may be telling yourself that the plane could run into turbulence and crash. Anxiety is also a self-induced hypnotic trance, because you are giving yourself and believing highly irrational messages. For example, one of David’s graduate students screamed loudly when she saw his meek little kitten, Happy, because she had a cat phobia and was telling herself that cats are extremely violent and dangerous.
    Mind-Reading: You assume that you know what other people are thinking when you really don’t. There are three common examples:
    Social Anxiety / Shyness: For example, other people are judging you and can see how anxious you are. You may also assume that other people rarely or never get anxious and that they wouldn’t be interested in you.
    Relationship Conflicts: You may tell yourself that the other person only cares about himself/herself and that s/he is intentionally being “unreasonable.” You may also do the opposite type of mind-reading and assume that others are quite impressed with you when they’re actually turned off or feeling annoyed with you.
    Anxiety: You make catastrophic predictions that gradually exaggerate any real danger. All anxiety results from this distortion. For example, if you have a fear of flying, you may be telling yourself that the plane could run into turbulence and crash. Anxiety is also a self-induced hypnotic trance, because you are giving yourself and believing highly irrational messages. For example, one of David’s graduate students screamed loudly when she saw his meek little kitten, Happy, because she had a cat phobia and was telling herself that cats are extremely violent and dangerous.
    Depression: You tell yourself that nobody loves you or cares about you.
    Many of the Truth-Based Techniques can be useful, such as Examine the Evidence, the Experimental Technique, or the Survey Technique. Motivational Techniques like Positive Reframing can be tremendously helpful. And Role-Playing Techniques like Externalization of Voices with the Acceptance Paradox can also be very useful.
    David and Rhonda play a short audio clip from the treatment of a severely depressed man named Bradley with a history of extreme abuse growing up. He is struggling with feelings of hopelessness, which he rated at 80 (on a scale of 0 to 100) due to these two thoughts:
    I’m damaged beyond repair so nothing can help. Psychotherapy homework can’t possibly help so there’s no use trying it. Prior to the audio clip, David and Bradley have done Positive Reframing asking:
    What do your negative thoughts and feelings show about you and your core values that is beautiful and awesome? What are so

    • 52 min
    193: Sarah Revisited: A Hard Fall--and a Triumphant Second Recovery

    193: Sarah Revisited: A Hard Fall--and a Triumphant Second Recovery

    On February 24, 2020 we published Podcast 181, "Live Therapy with Sarah: Shrinks are Human, Too!" This was a live session with Sarah, a certified TEAM-CBT therapist, conducted at my Tuesday psychotherapy training group, because Sarah was struggling with intense anxiety, bordering on panic, during  therapy sessions with her patients. It was a phenomenal session with outstanding results. The Hidden Emotion technique was the main focus of that session, bringing to conscious awareness some feelings of anger and resentment that she'd been sweeping under the rug. This is a common cause of anxiety.
    But a month or so after that session, Sarah relapsed in a big way, so I agreed to treat her again during the psychotherapy training group at Stanford, and Dr. Alex Clarke was my co-therapist. This time, we used very different treatment techniques.
    Once you've recovered, the likelihood of relapse is 100%--that's because no one can be happy all the time. We all hit bumps in the road from time to time, and when you do, your "fractal" will come into prominence again. This means that the same kinds of negative thoughts and feelings will return in an almost identical form. This can give you the chance to defeat them again and strengthen the positive circuits in your brain.
    That's exactly what happened to Sarah. Approximately one month after the first treatment session, she had a viral infection, and began taking large amounts of Advil to combat the symptoms. This led to severe feelings of nausea, followed by panic. Multiple trips to the doctor failed to reveal any diagnosable cause for her somatic symptoms, aside from the possibility of Advil side effects. However, the discomfort was so severe that she panicked, fearing that she had a more severe medical problem that the doctor had overlooked. She lost 13 pounds over the next two months, and requested an emergency TEAM-CBT session, which Dr. Clarke and I were very happy to provide, since live work almost always make for superb teaching.
    If you take a look at Sarah's Daily Mood Log, you'll see that the upsetting event was waking up Sunday morning still sick and anxious for the 100th day in a row. She circled nine different categories of negative emotions, and all were intense, with several in the range of 80 to 100. and she had many negative thoughts, including these. Please note that she strongly believe all of these thoughts:
    Negative Thoughts % Now 1.    I should be able to defeat my anxious thinking and reduce my suffering. 95 2.    If I can’t heal my own anxiety, I’m an inadequate hack of a TEAM-CBT therapist. 95 3.    I was strong, confident, vivacious. Now I’m fragile, weak, and self-doubting. 100 4.    My anxiety is slowing me down—I should be able to do more and take on more. 100 5.    Something serious is wrong with my stomach, but now with Covid-19, I won’t be able to get medical intervention and testing. 70 6.    I’m not as effective in my clinical work when I’m upset and anxious. 85 7.    I might get panicky during a session and screw up. 80 8.    I should always do more. 85 After empathizing, I asked Sarah about her goals for the session. She said she wanted greater self-confidence and less anxiety, and said her husband had theorized that if the anxiety disappeared, her somatic symptoms would also go away. But when we did Positive Reframing, Sarah was able to pinpoint more than 20 overwhelming benefits of her intense negative feelings, including many awesome and positive qualities and core values that her negative thoughts and feelings revealed about her. This always seems to be a shocking and pleasant discovery for the patient!
    At this point, we used the Magic Dial to see what Sarah wanted to dial her negative feelings down to, as you can see here. Then we went on to the Method

    • 2 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
471 Ratings

471 Ratings

f1zz1 ,

CBT is incredible

I was seeing a life coach and wondering why I kept feeling worse and worse…turns out I was just learning how to cover up my depression and not how to deal with it. Thank you Dr. Burns for your honest, in-depth, and compassionate work.

mom5132 ,

A life changing podcast!

Keep up the great work!!!!
Mind changing!
Relationship changing!
So much great info here!

OnikaMuslim ,

My go to reference to treat my melancholy and anxiety

I had a few anxiety that Alhamdulillah Dr David Burns covered in his podcast and they helped tremendously. And I am no longer drowning in fear.

His podcast and my husband’s own counseling skills : D has helped me get over some of my major anxiety that used to sort of paralyze me.

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