Amongst many other achievements in a very long and distinguished career, David D. Burns M.D. is probably most famous as the author of “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy”, a book which more than any other is responsible for thrusting CBT into the public consciousness in the early the 1980s, and has since gone on to sell in excess of 4 million copies in US alone.
This episode was a pretty special event for me. Not only because David is a huge figure in the cognitive therapy movement, while this is still a piddly little podcast with barely any listeners. But on a personal level because this very book had a massive impact on me during the peak of my struggles with mental illness, and gave me the impetus needed to take control of my situation. So it’s crazy that here I am almost two years later, well on the way to recovery, and interviewing him for a podcast.
Dr. Burns is currently Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has received numerous awards, including the A. E. Bennett Award for his research on brain chemistry, the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology through the Media Award, and the Outstanding Contributions Award from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists.
In addition to Feeling Good, which also boasts the distinction of being the book most frequently “prescribed” for depressed patients by psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States and Canada, Dr. Burns has written a number of other popular books on mood and relationship problems, such as “10 Days to Great Self Esteem“, “When Panic Attacks“, and “The Feeling Good Handbook“.
He’s the creator of the Burns Depression Checklist, a 25 point questionnaire used by mental health professionals to detect and measure the severity of patient depression, which some of you may have filled out during the consultation phase with your therapist.
He’s also hosted a TEDx talk about “Feeling Good” which has so far amassed more than 95,000 views and counting on YouTube.
During the course of today’s episode we discuss the origins and trajectory of David’s career, the chemical imbalance “myth”, his phenomenally successful self-help book “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy”, the 10 cognitive distortions, his development of a new approach to cognitive therapy known as T.E.A.M therapy, and much more.
David’s Recommended Links
FeelingGood.com – David’s website
Books Mentioned in This Episode