177 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

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!

    176: My suicidal daughter refuses to talk with me / How can I deal with my jealousy?

    176: My suicidal daughter refuses to talk with me / How can I deal with my jealousy?

    Rhonda and David discuss two challenging questions submitted by listeners like you. 
    Question #1: Cindy asks: My suicidal daughter refuses to talk to me! What can I do?
    Comment: Dear David,
    I stumbled upon you teaching in another podcast a few months ago. Immediately I was stunned by how much your words echoed in my mind. I have listened to your book three times in Audible and many of your podcasts. You Changed my life!!!
    I am much more relaxed now and I can sleep!!! I talked about you with my massage therapist and she bought your book for her daughter (who has anxiety attacks) and her niece. Her daughter is an aspiring artist who said that she would buy your book and give them away to teens when she becomes famous.
    I now ask you to change another life, that of my daughter's. She has been depressed for more than 20 years, suicidal (bought a noose, watches suicide movies, talked about ways to kill herself) and no therapists could help. We went to therapy together this past summer and it only ended that she abruptly canceled and is no longer responding to me by any means: phone, text, card, or email. The last time I saw her was late August and she was very down and had very poor personal hygiene. I have since sent her a loving text at least every other day, I offer to drive to her city (an hour away) to have dinner with her, I sincerely apologized for everything I could think of that I have done wrong since she was a child, I sent gifts to her by mail, I invite her to come for holidays, I ask her cousins to call (she did respond to them). No response to me at all. I am wondering how to communicate with a loved one who just totally shut you off.
    Always your fan,
    Thank you, Cindy. Sorry to hear about your daughter, very concerning. My heart goes out to you. Our own daughter had a rough time as a teenager, too, but now is doing great. I hope things evolve with your daughter, too.
    This podcast may help: https://feelinggood.com/2019/10/28/164-how-to-help-and-how-not-to-help/ as well as this one:
    The first podcast highlights common errors in trying to “help” someone who is hurting, and emphasizes how to respond more effectively, using the Five Secrets of Effective Communication.
    The second podcast illustrates how to get people to open up using one of the advanced secrets called “Multiple Choice Empathy / Multiple Choice Disarming.
    My book, Feeling Good Together, explains these techniques in detail, with practice exercises, and includes an entire chapter on how to talk to someone who refuses to talk to you. You can learn more on my book page. (https://feelinggood.com/books/). Some support from a mental health professional might also be helpful to you, as these techniques sound simple, but are actually challenging to master.
    Your daughter might also benefit from my book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (https://feelinggood.com/books/). It is not a substitute for treatment from a mental health professional, but research studies indicate that more than 60% of the people who read it improve significantly in just four weeks. It is inexpensive, and I’ve linked to it if you want to take a look.
    All the best,
    Question #2: Lorna asks: How can I deal with my jealousy?
    Comment: Hi David,
    I've recently discovered your books and your podcast and CBT has really been helping me in my personal life. I really want to thank you for all the amazing work you do!!
    The issue I'm having however seems to still really get my moods down and I was wondering if perhaps you could offer some general advice via the podcast.
    I'm in a great relationship but the ex-girlfriend of my partner has recently moved back to the city where we live and now we are in similar social circles. They were together for a very long time a

    • 42 min
    175: What if I REALLY AM a useless human being? The Cure for Therapeutic Failure!

    175: What if I REALLY AM a useless human being? The Cure for Therapeutic Failure!

    Rhonda and David address a question from Karolina, a therapist in Poland who was failing with a depressed patient who felt totally convinced he was a “useless” human being. I think you will find their discussion of this case fascinating, as it deals with the cause of practically ALL therapeutic failure, and illustrates the solution al well, using TEAM-CBT methods and concepts.
    Today’s podcast is intended for therapists and patients alike!
    For the show notes, we are including the email David received from Karolina, as well as his initial response.
    Dear Dr. Burns,
    I've been listening to your podcast for 6 months now and it's been so helpful with my work as a therapist as well as in my personal life. I'm starting to develop a habit of considering every unwanted state with a "what does it say that's awesome about me?" and I'm much happier now :).
    I'm wondering if you'd consider helping me some more. I have a client who's been struggling with depression for many years. At the moment he's doing ok and his mood is up. Lately the topic of his uselessness came up again and he's willing to work on that. He said he'll consider the possibility that he's not a useless human being and asked me to not to dismiss the possibility that he is - that's how he'll know that I'm not just trying to cheer him up.
    It's been bugging me ever since. Although I've agreed, I really can't find in me any part that is ready to think that. I strongly believe he's not a useless person. I can't imagine labeling anyone in that way and in his case it feels so personal as I like him very much and I care about him.
    I'm starting to have dreams about our next session when I fail him by trying to convince him to think as I do. How can I be open about our conclusion when my mind is already fixed? Any thoughts on this would be deeply appreciated.
    Best wishes from Poland
    Hi Karolina,
    Thanks! The term has no meaning. It is just a vague put down, like what a bully might say.
    I might ask him what time of day he was feeling useless, and then have him fill out a Daily Mood Log for that moment, step by step. We can only help him at one specific moment.
    You can use a large number of techniques but must first get an A on Empathy, and then do effective paradoxical agenda setting, starting with the Paradoxical Invitation Step and then asking “what type of help would you be looking for?” then you can do the Magic Button and Positive Reframing.
    All of the negative thoughts and feelings on the Daily Mood Log will be advantageous and will show something about him that is awesome and positive. You should be able to generate a list of at least 25 overwhelming positives. Then you can use the Magic Dial.
    When you get to M = Methods, you can put the thought, “I am a useless human being” in the middle of a recovery circle, and then select a minimum of 16 methods to challenge it.
    You can start with Identify the Distortions. There are likely at least 9 distortions in the thought, including AON, OG, MF, DP, MAG / MIN; ER; LAB; SH; SB.
    You can try, “let’s define terms,” and ask what’s the definition of a “useless human being”? You’ll find that no matter how you try to define it,
    The definition will apply to all human beings. The definition will apply to no human beings. The definition does not apply to him. The definition does not make sense. The definition is based on some kind of arbitrary cut-off points. You can do this as a role-play, being a close friend trying to find out if you’re useless, and asking him for guidance on how to find out.
    You can do the Paradoxical Double Standard Techniques, Downward Arrow, Hidden Emotion, Externalization of Voices, Acceptance Paradox / Self-Defense Paradigm, Examine the Evidence, Semantic Method, and on and on.
    The problem is NOT that he’s a “useless human being” but rather that he’s

    • 55 min
    174: Sadness as Celebration featuring Steve & Barbara Reinhard

    174: Sadness as Celebration featuring Steve & Barbara Reinhard

    People in the featured photo for today's podcast. Back row: Amir, David, Rhonda, and Dave. Front row: Steve and Barb
    This will be our first podcast of 2020, so we wanted to make it a really good one!
    Rhonda, Dave and I are very proud to welcome Steve Reinhard and his wonderful wife, Barb, on today’s podcast. Steve and Barbara flew in from Colorado to join the Sunday hike and do this podcast in the “Murietta Studios” following the hike. Steve is a former electrical contractor and lay minister, and is the first certified life coach to be admitted into the TEAM-CBT certification program at the Feeling Good Institute in Mt. View, Ca, (link).
    The following is a heart-warming email I received from Steve prior to the show.
    Subject: Re: looking forward
    Hi David,
    Woohoo! We are partners in crime! I'm feeling super comfortable now.
    Thanks David for your generous invitation! I'm happy to jump on any of the 3 options you suggested for the show. I'd love to hear your stories, especially those of undistorted sadness where you celebrated with tears, aware of the suffering we folks tend to keep hidden.
    I cry a lot these days, laugh a lot too. In that regard I'd love to have my own personal Ask David session. David, I love the old, demented, weak human guy, while admiring the pioneering, genius who teaches so clearly & humanly. My questions wouldn't be so much for me to learn or be taught but to connect with you. I'm crying as I write. As a listener I want to connect with the human, David. May or may not be something you want to do. We have loads to interact with.
    Yep, I take a "spiritual " approach & would love to interact with you being anti-religious. Listeners might find this helpful & it sounds fun to me. A great opportunity for me to experience a death of the ego & the acceptance paradox which I have found liberating before I knew what it was called.
    I'd love to talk about what it's like to be diagnosed with blood cancer and holey bones & some of the nutty things we say to each other when we don't know what to say. Empathy in the Five Secrets way is extremely rare from my distorted perspective. Aging & being willing to challenge the many shoulds & shouldn'ts that accompany things being different than they were last year would be fun to talk about.
    I can't keep track of the # of times folks repeat "getting old is hell", same with cancer, vision problems, walking problems, drug side effects. I would love to hear your stories & experience as an old demented guy who can't walk as fast as he did a couple years ago.
    Thanks for your generous invitation. I still find it surprising that I get to have this experience with you all. I'm really looking forward to today’s show.
    We began the podcast with a discussion of the role of lay therapists in the field of mental health. Coaching is newly emerging field of counseling that does not require graduate work in psychiatry, psychology, social work, or counseling. In the past, coaches have not been permitted to enter the TEAM-CBT certification program. However, Dr. Angela Krumm, who is the head of the FGI certification program changed that policy specifically so that Steve—and now, other certified coaches as well--can be certified in TEAM-CBT, and I applaud this change.
    The role of lay therapists has always been highly controversial. I can recall that when I was in college in the 1960s, there was a lively debate about so-called “lay psychoanalysts.” Previously, you had to be an MD to be a psychoanalyst, but over time, non-MDs were permitted to become psychoanalysts. To my way of thinking, this debate has always been more about power and the protection of territory than about skill or the capacity to heal.
    Now we are seeing the same questions being raised about certified life coaches. In my experience, graduate training doesn’t always guarantee that someone will b

    • 1 hr 4 min
    173: Dr. Amir Sabouri on the Human Side of Medicine

    173: Dr. Amir Sabouri on the Human Side of Medicine

    This will be our last podcast of 2019, so we wanted to make it something special. We also want to thank all of you for your support over the past year, and wish you all the very best in 2020!
    Thanks to all of you, we surpassed 1.5 million downloads this year, and will likely hit 2 million in the spring of 2020. If you like the Feeling Good Podcasts, please tell your friends and family members, as word of mouth is our best marketing by far. In addition, if you are a member of any mailing lists, send them this link to the list of all the Feeling Good Podcasts. On any given day, 30% of human beings are feeling depressed and / or anxious, so you'll be doing lots of  people a favor, since the podcasts, as you know, are entirely free.
    We are joined today by Amir Sabouri, PhD, MD, a highly esteemed neurologist from Iran with extensive medical training in the United States in addition to his PhD research in molecular immunology in Japan. Amir specializes in the treatment of horrific neuromuscular disorders such as ALS (the dreaded Lou Gehrig's Disease) at one of our local Kaiser Hospitals here in the San Francisco Bay Area. In today's riveting and inspiring interview, Amir describes how he discovered that, in spite of his extensive technical training, his strongest and most effective medicine by far is sometimes a healing dose of humility and compassion, delivered with the Five Secrets of Effective Communication.
    We are also joined by our wonderful host, Dr. Rhonda Barovsky, as well as my friend and neighbor, Dave Fribush, who has joined many of our podcasts recently, as well as Steve Reinhard, a certified coach and TEAM-CBT therapist who flew in from Colorado for the Sunday hike and podcasts. Steve will be the featured guest on next week podcast, along with his wife, Barbara, on the topic of "Sadness as Celebration."

    Back row: Amir, David, Rhonda, and Dave Fribush. Front row: Steve and Barb
    Amir and I have had a friendship and professional collaboration that goes back several years, when Amir first joined one my Sunday hikes, along with his wife, Dr. Sepideh Bajestan, PhD, MD, who was one of my students during her psychiatric residency at Stanford. In the past couple years, Amir has attended the Sunday hikes regularly and has worked hard to learn and master TEAM-CBT, especially the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, which have begun to play a huge role in his clinical and professional work.
    Amir begins with a description of the first time he did personal work on one of the Sunday hikes.  At the time, Amir was struggling with feelings of sadness, guilt and inadequacy about his role as a physician and neurologist. That's because, in spite of his incredible background training and research in molecular immunology and neuromuscular pathology, the bottom line was that he had no cure to offer his many patients he had to diagnose with incurable diseases, such as ALS, and he confessed that he often felt like a failure in his attempts to help these unfortunate patients and their families.
    However, by looking at his own negative thoughts, and pinpointing the distortions in them, he was able to challenge and crush those thoughts, and accept the incredible value of the immense caring and compassion he brought to his work with his patients. The change he experienced on that hike was quite pronounced, and was arguably his first "enlightenment." It was a very moving experience for me, too.
    Next, Amir tackled the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, and worked extremely hard to practice and master these techniques, which have also been invaluable in his medical work. He describes two recent patient encounters where these skills were invaluable. One involved an angry new patient who aggressively criticized Amir from the very moment he walked in the door. The many also criticized bitterly all the other doctors he'd seen. He com

    • 57 min
    172: Ask David: What's the Impact of Emotional Trauma on the Brain? And more

    172: Ask David: What's the Impact of Emotional Trauma on the Brain? And more

    Happy Holidays to everyone! Today's podcast is nestled between Hanukkah (on the 22nd) and Christmas Eve (on the 24th.) We send our warmest greetings to all of our listeners of all religious faiths.
    Today, Rhonda, Dave and David discuss three questions you have submitted:
    Does emotional trauma cause brain damage? Do you have to have a good cry when something traumatic happens? Why does avoidance make anxiety worse? 1. Is it true that emotional trauma affects the brain?
    Hi again Dr Burns,
    I love the 5 secrets, and have had great success in my new job by implementing them! I keep listening to all the 5 secrets podcasts over and over to keep it fresh for me and really loved the podcast on advanced techniques.
    My question today is about how trauma affects the brain. ‘Trauma’ is the new buzz word in education, and psychologists are creating presentations geared for teachers and other school professionals that claim the “trauma-affected brain” is altered and cannot learn as easily. They allege imaging technology can prove this.
    Do you know if PTSD/trauma actually impacts a person’s ability to learn? I thought that it was the negative thoughts that interfere with attitudes toward learning, not an actual brain impairment.
    Another term that is used frequently is “intergenerational trauma”, meaning if my parent experienced trauma, it could be passed down to me and therefore impact my ability to cope with life stressors. Any thoughts? Any credible research you are aware of?
    In the Ask David, could you also include your opinion on how Adverse Childhood Experiences impact people's mental health and ability to cope?  There are a range of experiences cited in studies from moving around a lot in childhood to witnessing a murder to molestation.  After listening to your podcast episode 147 (Garry with PTSD) I was satisfied with the effectiveness of TEAM to treat trauma rapidly.  But then I remembered a documentary I had seen about 'feral children' who were extremely neglected as children, and I wondered if there are some cases where the psychology or potential of a person is forever impacted by an adverse childhood experience.  Your take?
    All the best,
    Educational Consultant
    Mountaintop School Division
    David finds these buzzwords and buzz-theories somewhat misleading, and sometimes even pseudo-scientific. He has treated large numbers of patients struggling with the effects of severe trauma, and has found that trauma patients are usually the easiest to treat and the quickest to learn. David like to focus on rapid healing, using TEAM-CBT, rather than sending people the message that they are impaired, damaged or defective because of some emotionally traumatic experience.
    In fact, nearly all humans have experienced quite a lot of traumatic events, which can range from mild to extreme. And lots of us have some degree of brain damage. My brain (David Burns) was squashed at birth, for example, and there are certain cognitive functions that I’m not very good at. For example, for some reason, I can't often find something that's right in front of me, and I have lots of trouble remembering names and faces.
    I just try to accept my many shortcoming and work around them. The problem is rarely our flaws or imperfections, but rather the distorted negative messages we give ourselves; messages that generate anxiety, fear, inadequacy, shame, and so forth.
    Of course, animals and humans with traumatic experiences at a young age, or any age, may struggle with fear and may seem, as you say, "feral." My wife and I (David) have adopted many feral cats, and have found that consistent warmth and love can lead to dramatic changes and the development of trust. We all have a history, and every person's story and suffering deserve respect and profound compassion.
    2. What’s displacement? Is it true that you have to hav

    • 42 min
    171: Ask David: "Burn Out," Physical Pain, and more

    171: Ask David: "Burn Out," Physical Pain, and more

    Today, Rhonda rejoins us as host after a three week hiatus! My neighbor, Dave Fribush, joins us as well, as we answer two thought-provoking questions!
    Is it possible to treat “burnout?” Can negative feelings can make physical pain worse? 1. Does "burnout" exist? How do you treat it?
    Comment: Hi!
    I have been listening to your podcast for a while now and it has helped, and has encouraged me and made me feel less alone. Thank for your work and sharing your podcast with us!
    My situation now is very much defined by my burnout syndrome (a medical diagnosis in Sweden, not sure about the US) and/or depression. From what I’ve learnt there is no evidence of CBT as a treatment for burnout - really nothing other than adaptations at your workplace. What triggered me to ”hit the wall” was studying too hard and not giving my body and mind time to recover.
    Do you have any thoughts on burnout and effective treatment of it? I feel I have made huge progress in the underlying reasons to my burnout like perfectionism, performance-based self-esteem, figuring out how I want my life to be, who I am etc (although the last one is a big one!). All this with the help of CBT and other sorts of therapy. What remains is mental fatigue, on and off anxiety, not being able to focus and hardly any mental or emotional resilience.
    Through healthcare, you are basically treated for depression, the treatment being anti-depressants. I’ve been on sick leave full time for over four years now, am in my late twenties and am constantly frustrated, sad and feeling stuck. I want to get going towards this life I now know that I want but I don’t seem to get any better. I eat and sleep well and exercise. I realize this could be a complete medical question but nobody REALLY seems to know anything about burnout. A long question but hey ho :) Would be grateful for any thoughts you might have, thanks again!
    Hi Elisabeth,
    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling for some time, but I'm glad you've been making progress, and I'm so glad you wrote to me.
    To my way of thinking, there is really no such “thing” as burnout. Depression, anxiety, anger, and other negative feelings do exist. Burnout is just a vague buzzword for feeling upset when something upsetting has happened.
    When I was in clinical practice, I saw as many as 17 depressed and anxious patients in one day, and as the day went on, I just got higher and higher and more energetic. That's because I loved what I was doing and felt I had something to offer, a lot, actually. I only got "burned out," or unhappy, if I felt I had said something that hurt someone's feelings, or if I had not done a good job for someone. Then I got really upset, but it was my thoughts, and not what I was doing, that caused my feelings. That, of course, is the cognitive model.
    I found it helpful to zero in on one moment when I was feeling depressed, anxious, or “burned out,” and to do a Daily Mood Log focusing on that moment. I’ll attach one to this email in case you are interested. I’ve also included a completed one so you can see how it works. This is not a similar case, just something I grabbed by way of illustration.
    David (a fellow Swede)
    On the show, I describe one of the most stressful experiences of my career, when I appeared on a Philadelphia TV show with Maury Povich, and a patient of mine threatened to commit suicide. Fortunately, the story had a surprise ending that was very positive.
    So my message is one of hope. The idea is to focus on some specific thing you are upset about, as opposed to getting overly focused on a concept like "burnout."
    I think we all feel pretty exhausted at times, and if you've been studying or working too hard, it definitely makes sense to take a break to take care of yourself. When I transferred from my residency training program a

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

HerpesMcGerpes ,

I’m hooked!

I’m a clinical psychologist who has been looking for a solid therapy podcast. I was recommended this by a colleague and was hooked after the first episode. An incredibly valuable resource for clinicians, clients, and anybody in between. Keep up the amazing work!

Hhhfiokcma ,

Geared toward therapists, yet useful to layperson

I haven’t read the book(s), so after listening to a dozen episodes I feel I’d get more out of this podcast if I did. I have been challenged by the podcast, I think now as I write the review that it is stressful to not have the book understanding. I feel scared because I only have the part of story of the TEAM method and Burn’s assistance. I’m going to borrow the book now.

Lavenderpinkk ,

Amazing podcast, highly recommend!

Thank you Dr. Burns this podcast and your book has helped me immensely in my life 🙏!

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