Dr. David Burns is the author of Feeling Good, a seminal work on cognitive behavioral therapy that has sold more than 5 million copies. We talk about the difficulties he faced getting the book published, his advice to listeners interested in therapy, and how he approaches perfectionism, depression, and anxiety with patients.
Behind His Brilliance: Critical Thinking
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DR. DAVID BURNS | Dr. Burns graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College, received his M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has served as Acting Chief of Psychiatry at the Presbyterian / University of Pennsylvania Medical Center (1988) and Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Medical School (1998), and is certified by the National Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Burns is currently Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is involved in research and teaching. 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. He has been named Teacher of the Year three times from the class of graduating residents at Stanford University School of Medicine, and feels especially proud of this award.
In addition to his academic research, Dr. Burns has written a number of popular books on mood and relationship problems. His best-selling book,Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, has sold over 4 million copies in the United States, and many more worldwide. Feeling Good is the book most frequently “prescribed” for depressed patients by psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States and Canada. Surveys indicate that American mental health professionals rate Feeling Good as the #1 book on depression, out of a list of 1,000 self-help books.
In 1995, Dr. Burns and his family returned to California from Philadelphia. When he is not crunching statistics for his research, he can be found teaching his famous Tuesday evening psychotherapy training group for Stanford students and community clinicians, or giving workshops for mental health professionals throughout the United States and Canada.
-David’s path into the mental health field
-The rejection David faced trying to get his bestselling book, Feeling Good, published
-How to find a good therapist and how to measure success in therapy
-David’s advice for dealing with perfectionism, depression, and anxiety
-David’s reflection on a life free from the need to be special
-and much more!
STUFF MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Feeling Good (David’s book)
Feeling Good (David’s podcast)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Lisa Likes)
Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir (David’s book pick)
Philosophical Investigations (David’s book pick)
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (David’s book pick)