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!
Ask David: Featuring Matt May, MD Can hypnosis be used for evil? Can you fall out of love? Why does cheerleading fail?
Ask David: Featuring Matt May, MD Can hypnosis be used for evil?
Can you fall out of love?
Why does cheerleading fail? In today’s podcast, we discuss three intriguing questions from listeners like you: Can hypnosis be used for evil? Matt says no, David mainly agrees, but isn’t entirely convinced. Is it possible to fall out of love? This can and will happen. What can we do about it? Empathy vs. Cheerleading: What’s the difference between cheerleading and genuine empathy with someone who’s upset? Can hypnosis be used for evil? David and Matt describe their experiences, both as kids and later as shrinks, with hypnosis. David and Matt both used hypnosis early in their careers, especially in David’s one-session treatment for smoking cessation, which Matt also used. But as their TEAM-CBT skills have grown, both of them use it much less frequently. It can be used for many purposes. In a recent podcast # (link) with Dr. Jeffrey Lazarus, we learned that it can be used for warts as well as a wide range of psychosomatic problems, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and tics, as well as bedwetting, school phobia, performance anxiety, and more. Matt strongly believes that agenda setting (also called Assessment of Resistance) is just as important in hypnosis as in TEAM-CBT. You have to first bring the patient’s subconscious resistance to conscious awareness and melt it away using paradoxical techniques in order to optimize the chances of success with hypnosis. Matt pointed out that hypnotic states can be quite powerful, and can even be used for surgery, but emphasizes that people will never td what they genuinely don’t want to do when hypnotized. He says that hypnosis is really a form of willful collaboration between the hypnotist and the hypnotic subject. Although stage hypnotists seem to have some kind of “Svengali” power over the volunteers who come up to the stage to be hypnotized, these people are actually subconsciously volunteering to act silly and have fun in front of the audience. This doesn’t mean they are faking it, but it does put these shows into a slightly different perspective. David described many goofy things he did as a teenager after he purchased a book called “25 Ways to Hypnotize Your Friends” at a magic store in Phoenix for 25 cents, and found that the techniques actually worked with many of his friends. He sometimes had a lot of fun giving post-hypnotic suggestions, and that he and his friends found hypnosis to be incredibly exciting and fascinating. Once he hypnotized a friend named Jerry and told Jerry that after he woke up, every time he heard the word, “TV,” he would shout out “Boing” in a loud voice without realizing it. In addition, his subconscious mind would keep track of how many “TVs” he heard, and then he’d should Boing that exact number of times. David explains: Then we went to the local Dairy Queen a few blocks away all ordered at the window, one by one. When it was Jerry’s turn to order, and the lady asked him what he wanted, we all started saying “TV, TV, TV” as fast as we could, and Jerry would shout out “boing, boing, boing” in a loud, confident voice! She said, “I didn’t quite get what you want to order,” and when Jerry tried to order, we did it again. It seemed incredibly funny, and fun, but in retrospect I WAS using hypnosis to kind of take advantage of someone, so you might say it CAN be used for evil, perhaps. However, Jerry didn’t seem to mind, and we all thought it was a pretty exciting adventure. When I was a senior in high school, one of my teachers said that hypnosis was dangerous and told me to stop hypnotizing my friends, so I got scared and gave it up until I became a psychiatrist years later. Like anything, hypnosis is just a tool, and it can be helpful for suggestible individuals, but we have more than 100 techniques in TEAM-CBT, because no one tool has the answer for everybody and every problem. David and Matt both agree wi
Horrific World Events: Can TEAM-CBT Help Us? Part 2 of 2
Horrific World Events: Can TEAM-CBT Help Us? Featuring Live work with Meina Last week, we presented Part 1 of the session with Meina, a young woman struggling enormously because of her feelings about the new Iranian revolution. Today, we present the exciting and unexpected conclusion and follow up of the incredible session with Meina. Part 2: The Conclusion When Meina returned, her mood scores were very similar to what they’d been at the start of the previous session. This indicated that empathy alone was not sufficient to trigger any meaningful changes in how she felt. She said that she’d had some fears about what listeners might think, since, as we mentioned, Meina rarely, if ever, opens up about how she’s feeling inside, so talking openly on the podcast definitely means facing her fears and venturing into some radically new territory. The ineffectiveness of Empathy alone is important, because she graded our Empathy as an A+. Many therapists wrongly believe that empathy is the most healing tool we have in therapy. This is idealistic, but wrong. Empathy is definitely important, but without the A and the M of TEAM-CBT, very little, if anything, will change. And, in most instances, patients appreciate good listening, that’s for sure, but they want more. They want tangible changes in how the feel and interact with others. Today, Meina showed more emotion. She mentioned that she’d been a Michael Jackson fan, and liked his song about how our (inner) voices don’t get out. She was feeling tearful, and angry, and said that in her work, her voice was not coming out, and this was a matter of great distress. She also mentioned that after she cried and expressed her rage about the young woman who was murdered by the morality police, an annoying “eye twitch” that she’d had for six months suddenly disappeared. Meina has also had many experiences in the past of experiencing health anxiety symptoms whenever she’s upset about something and hides or suppresses her negative feelings, like anger. She had participated in many of David’s Sunday hikes before the pandemic, and sometimes had weird somatic sensations, fearing she had some neurologic disorder, only to have her symptoms instantly vanish when she finally expressed her anger. Many of you will recognize this as David’s “Hidden Emotion Technique.” She also said she’s afraid she’ll be seen and stereotyped as an “angry woman” if she shows her anger, and said she may even have an Anger Phobia, thinking that anger shows that you’re a “violent person.” She said that she’s always been quick to get angry, and wanted to focus the session on anger. Her goal for the session had shifted in the two days since we did Part 1, and she now wanted to learn how to express her anger more effectively. M = Methods In the rest of the session, we used the TEAM interpersonal model to deal with an intense conflict Meina had recently when she was trying to get her colleagues to issue a statement on behalf of her institution supporting the women in Iran who were protesting, and had partially complete the Relationship Journal in preparation for today’s session. As you may recall, when you use the RJ, you will discover—and this can be quite shocking—that you are actually causing the very relationship problems that you are complaining about. And this came as a huge surprise to Meina. The remainder of the session was incredibly inspiring, and Mina did some magical work. I’ll let you listen to the rest of the session to see how the work unfolded. If you’d like to review Meina’s RJ, you can click this LINK. End of Session T = Testing If you’d like to see Meina’s end-of-session mood ratings, along with her Evaluation of Therapy Session, you can check this LINK. If you’d like to refresh yourself on the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, you can click this LINK. I was incredibly proud of the brilliant and inspiring work that Meina did during this session.
Horrific World Events: Can TEAM-CBT Help Us? Part 1 of 2
Horrific World Events: Can TEAM-CBT Help Us? Featuring Live work with Meina Today, we see lots of horrific events, and violence and hatred seem to be on the upswing. There are the repeated and horrible mass shootings in the US, the horrific war in the Ukraine, and the extensive protests that are rocking Iran. Those problems are real, and terrible in reality. So, maybe the TEAM-CBT model, with its emphasis on our interpretations of reality, and our relationships with others, might seem like irrelevant and useless tools. Or are they? Let’s check it out. Sometimes, as you’ll see, things can a take sudden and unexpected change in direction in TEAM-CBT if you follow the energy. There is no “formula” for treating anything. We treat humans, not diagnoses or problems. But we do go through the T, E, A, M model in a systematic way so we can find out what, if anything, each patient wants help with, and then design an individualized plan to make that happen, if possible. Part 1 T = Testing Today’s guest, whom we’ll call Meina for protection, migrated to the United States from her mother country, Iran, as a young woman, and she’s definitely upset. In fact, her mood scores are among the most severe that I’ve seen recently. Her depression score of 15 out of 20 indicates severe depression, and her anxiety and anger scores of 19 and 20 out of 20 indicates extreme anxiety and anger. You can see Meina’s Daily Mood Log at the start of the session as well, with nine categories—depression, anxiety, guilt, loneliness, humiliation, hopelessness, frustration and hatred all estimated between 90 and 100 out of 100, again confirming the most extreme upset a human being can experience. As you might expect, her happiness score was 0 out of 20, indicating no happiness at all, and her Relationship Satisfaction Scale score, thinking of her husband, was only 19 out of 30, indicating considerable marital distress. What’s causing those feelings? Well, let’s take a look at her negative thoughts and how strongly she believes them: I’ll always suffer because of being born in Iran: 90% My heart will stop from feeling so much hatred. 80% There’s nothing I can do to help (the women who are protesting.) 100% It is pathetic that I can’t stop feeling so angry. 90% I’m going to get sick because of these feelings. 90% Many young women will be tortured and killed. 100% I’m going to lose all my friends because I’m so angry. 70% My marriage will also be negatively impacted. 100% E = Empathy In the empathy phase of the session, Rhonda and David simply listened, as Meina described terrifying memories of the being a child during the Iran Iraq war, and being left alone to care for her younger sister when her parents were away every day, and bombs were coming down all over the city. She said that on many occasions she was so scared that she wanted to commit suicide by jumping out of the window of their apartment in Iran. And now, all those terrifying memories have come flooding her mind again, triggered by the events in Iran, as well as her fears and run-ins with the “morality police” when she was a young woman. She expressed profound connection with the young women who are now fighting the intense suppression of human rights in Iran, all in the name of religion! Once their car was stopped, and a policeman put a gun to her mother’s head because she had not covered her hair properly. She also described the attempts always to separate the girls and the boys to prevent any type of dating or romantic behavior, and the constant fear of being imprisoned if you did the wrong thing. Meina tells us: I saw friends who were beaten up, and was humiliated for eating an apple. I was arrested for wanting to go to parties to listen to music. I lived in constant fear of being tortured and had panic attacks by night and by day. . . I left Iran when I was 22 and have never gone back, for fear of ending up in prison. . . Then, when I fina
Diversity, Adversity, and Healing
Sunny Choi Diversity: Trauma and Training featuring Sunny Choi and Audrey Kodye Rhonda and I are proud to feature Audrey Kodye, a psychologist with a private practice in Canada, and Sunny Choi, LCSW, who specializes in the treatment of underserved populations in the San Francisco Bay Area. In today’s podcast, these beloved TEAM-CBT therapists bring us an important discussion on the impact of racial, gender, religious and sexual bias, including tips on how to incorporate relevant questions into our initial evaluations of all new patients, as well as illuminating ideas on how to maximize treatment effectiveness with TEAM-CBT. Both Audrey, who was born in Mauritius, and Sunny, who was born in Hong Kong, describe their experiences with bias and violence, both when growing up, and as adults, and how these experiences shaped core feelings of not being “good enough.” Sunny explained that how he incorporated the negative messages that were triggered by his traumatic experiences: I grew up in a privileged family in Hong Kong, and was favored as a male child. When we came to the United States, I was 12 years old and undocumented. I got beaten up because I had slanted eyes, and I was hated because I was gay. I worked super hard, getting a degree in engineering from UCLA and a master's in management from Stanford, and became successful, but got more and more depressed due to my belief that I “wasn’t good enough.” Now I work with marginalized populations, the poor, people of color, LGBTQ, immigrants, and abused women. Audrey said: I’ve also felt like I wasn’t good enough. . . . I’m a light-skinned black woman from Africa, from a lower-class family in Mauritius. . . . My ancestors had to be very resilient due to prejudice, and I’m very proud of them. I’ve also struggled with social anxiety and depression due to the racial trauma I’ve experienced. Sunny and Audrey have both been helped by TEAM-CBT, and feel it has a great dealt to offer and have appreciated that diversity is celebrated in the personal work so many people do in David and Jill’s Tuesday training group. They say that “TEAM has helped us and our patients as well!.” They gave some valuable tips on how to incorporate diversity awareness in to treatment with TEAM, but the same tips would be helpful to anyone interacting with a friend or colleague who may have been the victim of abuse. Sunny added: “I got scared and anxious when thinking about this topic prior to today’s podcast. What I’ve been through has definitely shaped my behavior, my thinking, and my feelings, and the hatred is still happening today.” He tearfully described the experience of his cousin who has a Chinese restaurant in Oakland, and someone threw a rock through the window to act out on their hatred for Asian Americans. Audre said: "I also felt sad and anxious while preparing for the podcast. It’s not easy to talk about racism and discrimination, and I felt a lot of self-doubt about my own experiences with racism and discrimination before the podcast, because they have so often been invalidated. People get defensive and are often incredulous. They don’t believe it. So you run into conflict and opposition and defensiveness when you try to speak out." David agreed and emphasized how sensitive and defensive people can be when our “blind spots” are confronted, especially when we’ve been in a state of denial, thinking of ourselves as totally innocent when we’re not! They discussed three keys in thinking about racism and discrimination: Systemic racism: the Five Secrets of Effective Communication can be helpful. For example, it is important to acknowledge the anger your patients may feel because of the injustices they experience. Micro-aggression: These are subtle put-downs that may sound like compliments, and might even be intended as such, but are really hurtful. For example, when learning that Sunny is gay, someone may say, “Well, Sunny, you c
Anxiety and Somatic Complaints in Children and Teens
TEAM-CBT with children and teens,
featuring Jeffrey Lazarus, MD Tics, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronic Pain,
Bedwetting, Fears, Phobias, Performance Anxiety, and more In TEAM, we usually conceptualize four categories of problems: depression, anxiety disorders, relationship problems, and habits and addictions. Although there are similarities in the treatment of each of these targets, there are also important differences. Today’s guest, Jeffrey Lazarus, MD, is a pediatrician who specializes in a fifth category, somatic complaints, which can include physical symptoms like chronic pain, dizziness and fatigue without any known medical cause. This category also includes as irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, tics with and without Tourette syndrome, bed wetting, and a wide range of other problems which are common in kids and sometimes in adults as well. Dr. Lazarus also works with anxiety disorders, such as test anxiety, sports performance anxiety, public speaking anxiety, school phobia and more. Although Dr. Lazarus worked as a general pediatrician for the first 27 years of his career, he switched to hypnotherapy when the painful plantar warts on his feet were unexpectedly cured following a single hypnotherapy session from a colleague. Dr. Lazarus was so impressed that he began studying hypnosis and incorporating it into his work with children, teens, and adults. He now works from a TEAM perspective, incorporating Testing, Empathy, Paradoxical Agenda Setting (also called Assessment of Resistance), and a variety of cognitive methods, along with hypnosis. He began today’s podcast with a case of a young man he was treating for persistent bed wetting, and was surprised when his patient slammed him in the written feedback on the Evaluation of Therapy Session form following the session, labeling Dr. Lazarus as a bit “narcissistic.” At the start of the next session, Dr. Lazarus responded non-defensively with the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. This won the boy over, leading to a successful outcome. Jeff said that the Evaluation of Therapy Session form and the Five Secrets have “saved him” on several occasions with disgruntled patients. Jeff then presented several fascinating cases where motivational factors and resistance played a major role in the treatment, and emphasized that treatment failure would probably have been inevitable if these factors had not been brought to conscious awareness. For example, a teenager who frequently had to go home from school because of somatic symptoms listed, at Dr. Lazarus’ suggested, the many advantages of his symptoms, such as “I don’t have to go to school,” “I get extra attention this way,” and more. After this intervention, the boy decided that it just wasn’t worth it, because there were lots of fun things he was missing out on at school, and his symptoms rapidly subsided. In another case of bed-wetting, Jeff discovered that a 10-year old knew that he wouldn’t be permitted to go on sleep overs at his cousin’s house until he outgrew his bed-wetting problem. But when he “listened” and encouraged the boy to talk about his distress, the boy explained that his cousin had a “creepy dog” that frightened him, so he actually didn’t want to go on sleepovers. Jeff encouraged the boy to tell his parents what was really going on, and when his mother said he wouldn’t have to go on any sleepovers unless he wanted to, his bed-wetting suddenly disappeared. He described many additional cases where motivational factors dominated his patient’s problems, including a promising teenage tennis star who suddenly developed a fear of flying which made it impossible to go with her parents to important weekend tournaments. But with Dr. Lazarus’ support, she confessed that her life was dominated by school, study, and going to tennis tournaments, with no free time to be a “normal teenager.” She finally confided that she was just “tennissed out” and wanted to have
What's wrong with me? I can't get laid! Health Anxiety, and more!
Ask David: Featuring Matt May, MD 1. Roy asks: How can I challenge my core belief that there is something wrong with me? 2. Lynn asks: Do you have any recommendations for someone with health anxiety? Note: The answers below were generated prior to the podcast, and the information provided on the live podcast may be richer and different in a number of ways. 1. Roy asks: How can I challenge my core belief
that there is something wrong with me? Hello Dr .Burns, Regarding podcast 294, I had a few quick questions/suggestions on acceptance. Is it possible to do a podcast with you and Matt and Rhonda on one specific core belief? The belief: There is Something Wrong With Me Let me explain. I have dated and had relationships with some very physically attractive women in the past. In the last year I have not been able to duplicate these past successes and I suspect it's because I am at least 10 years or more older than these women ( 23-28). Let's say I NEVER EVER date or have a relationship with my specific type EVER again? This has caused a ton of frustration and some depression ( low) but has been a bit to my self image and self esteem Thoughts? Thanks Dr. Burns Roy David: At my request, Roy provides more information on his Core Belief: There is something wrong with me. Why believe it? 1. My parent said "What's wrong with you?" whenever I got in trouble in school ( infers there IS something wrong with me) 2. It feels like there is something wrong with me 3. I make mistakes and am not perfect so there MUST be something wrong with me I believe this Core Belief to be 100 % True David: I asked Roy to provide a Daily Mood Log. DML Activating Event: 3 specific events A) My ex girlfriend dumped me and ended our relationship B) A woman I suspect is a super model said No to my request to go out on a date C) I have recently struck out with the last 5 women I REALLY want to date. They ALL rejected me Feelings: Depressed/Down/Unhappy (70%) Worthless/Inadequate/Defective (80%) Unloved/Rejected (95%) Hopeless/Discouraged (99%) Frustrated/Defeated (99%) Resentful/Irritated/Upset (99%) Negative Thoughts 1.There is something wrong with me (100%) 2. I must get this specific woman's love and approval to feel good about myself (80%) 3. If I am a sexy charming guy then this woman would find me attractive. I must not be very attractive (100%) 4. If I played in the NBA or NFL then this woman would be attracted to me (100%) 5. The sex would be amazing if I were to be intimate with this woman (100%) 6. I would be so much happier if I was to have a relationship with this woman (100%) 7. Women like her with incredibly sexy attractive bodies only go for high status millionaires. I am not a millionaire. It's awful I am not a millionaire (100%) 8. I am 10 years older than these women and therefore my age turns them off (100%) David wrote back, suggesting that Roy list the benefits of his belief that “there’s something wrong with me.” Positives of believing There is Something Wrong With Me Very easy explanation why these specific types of women reject me I don't have to make any changes about myself ( clothes) or behaviors ( more charming) Familiar feeling and comfort in familiarity I can feel sorry for myself and have a pity party Gives me something to complain about with my friends lol My fantasy ( sexual and relationship) of these specific women remains unchallenged and is a great distraction when bored Shows I accept I am not perfect and defective I accept responsibility for my failings Don't have to get angry or upset about my mother's poor parenting skills Incredibly easy cop out whenever I fail to achieve any type of goal Can quit working towards a goal when face adversity Next, Roy identified some distortions in this belief. Distortions in believing There is Something Wrong with Me -emotional reasoning -self blame -overgeneralization Why? Feels like there is something wrong with me. I am assuming 100% blame. I am not focuse
Lay listener loves this podcast
I have been listening to this podcast for a couple to three years and look forward to it each week. I love the live therapy sessions and also appreciate the insight of the guests along with David and Rhonda. I know the Five Secrets have helped me in my relationships without a doubt.
Love the questions + externalization of voices
Love love love when they give you a peak into what a therapy session would look like, especially, when they do externalization of voices. It helps me learn how to talk/rebut my own challenging thoughts!
This podcast is so helpful to me. I am so grateful I found it. I learn something new everyday. Dr. Burns new book, Feeling Great, is also wonderful. A huge thank you to everyone involved in this app. You are saving lives. ❤️👍🏻