I'm honored to have Dr. David Burns on the podcast this week. David is a renown psychiatrist, best-selling author, and pioneer of a drug-free approach to managing anxiety and depression called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT.
I'm sure many listeners have heard of David and his work. Millions of people, in fact, have managed or conquered their anxiety and depression by reading David's bestselling book Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.
What I find particularly interesting about David's techniques for managing anxiety and depression--and why I'm excited to tell you about them--is that they do not require taking medications.
Millions and millions of people are prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications every year, but it's becoming increasingly clear that these pills aren't very effective, and they can be difficult to stop using.
David began noticing the questionable effects of anti-depressants way back in the 1970s when he was a brain researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
He realized that contrary to what the pharmaceutical companies would like us to believe, there isn't a "magic pill" we can take when we're having a hard time. Rather, we need to do the hard work of thinking through why we're feeling bad, anxious, or unmotivated. We need to understand, question, and change our bad habits and distorting thinking patterns. The techniques David developed are invaluable in this regard.
I wasn't quite sure where to begin the conversation with David. He's done so much in his career.
Since I'm a writer, I started by asking David how he began writing his first book Feeling Good. That simple question took us on a long and winding path through David's decision to leave academia and go into private practice, his development of CBT techniques and handouts that formed the basis of Feeling Good, and the long process of writing and promoting the book and getting his ideas out into the world.
In the course of telling the story of how he wrote Feeling Good, David talks about what cognitive behavioral therapy is and how it can make life more pleasant and exciting.
This is a fun conversation with lots of personal moments from David. I know you'll enjoy it.
David is a prolific bestselling author. I encourage you to check out these and other titles.