The Feeling Good Therapist - Advanced CBT for Depression and Anxiety with Dr. David Burns - An Intensive Workshop for Therapists

The Feeling Good Therapist highlights Advanced CBT for Depression and Anxiety with Dr. David Burns - An Intensive Workshop for Therapists with host, Richard Lam, LMFT, featuring Amber N. Warner, LCSW

Amber shares how attending her first 3.5-day intensive therapy training workshop on how to become a cognitive behavioural therapist in 2017 was life-changing, highlighting the supportive environment and the diverse group of attendees, including various mental health professionals.

She discusses her three major takeaways: learning about Team-CBT's effectiveness, witnessing live demonstrations, and understanding the importance of addressing self-defeating beliefs. Amber emphasizes the value of personal application of the skills learned and the positive reframing of negative emotions.

She recommends the workshop from a cognitive behaviour institute for all experience levels due to its comprehensive and interactive structure, which includes didactic learning, individual work, and small group activities.

The upcoming workshop is scheduled for August 8-11, and Amber encourages participation for its community-building and skill-enhancing benefits.

Join Feeling Good Institute for an unparalleled 3.5-day intensive workshop—Advanced CBT for Depression and Anxiety with Drs. David Burns and Jill Levitt — in South San Francisco or live streamed online, August 8-11!

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Richard: Welcome, everyone, to Feeling Good Therapist. Today, we have a really special episode with Amber Warner, who is a lovely therapist and friend who's been attending these all-day intensive workshop with David Burns. And one of the wonderful things is there's this upcoming workshop called Advanced CBT for Depression and Anxiety, and it's intensive, and I'd love to understand more and learn more about it.

Today, we have the lucky chance to chat with Amber and ask her a little bit more about what this experience is like for her. Hi, Amber.

Amber: Hi, Richard. Thank you for having me.

Richard: Yeah, happy you're here. Well, maybe we can just start with just a very general question. I know you attended these workshops before, these all-day intensives. Can you tell us a little bit about your overall experience with it? 

Amber: Yes, they've been wonderful. So I wanted to learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy. And my colleagues were telling me, well, if that's what you want to do, then you really need to study under Dr. Burns. And so I went to one of his four day intensives in 2017 was actually my first one. And it was really life changing to get to meet him in person and to learn from him. It kind of sounds like you had a really wonderful experience and being able to meet David for the first time as well.

Richard: It's really exciting to hear. And I'm curious, I know you've been to these workshops and I wonder what's your biggest takeaway that you really gained from these workshops?

Amber: Yeah, I really have like three major takeaways. 

The first thing was really learning about team CBT and how it's different from traditional CBT and its effectiveness. Because that was demonstrated real time, one with my personal experience of practicing the tools that David was teaching us. But also, you know, being able to see this as he demonstrated it live.

It was a very supportive environment. The teen community seemed to be excited to be there.

There were doctors, there were therapists of all different backgrounds in terms of like your social work therapist, family therapist. marriage therapists, as well as the professional counselors, and even some nurse practitioners, psychiatric nurse practitioners. So it was a great diversity of people that I thought was really important. And then the major takeaway is the live demonstration. 

Not often do we get to see that really happening, but to see its effectiveness with all of the people that volunteer to really share their personal stories I still have a piece of them in my heart and being able to learn from them.

Richard: Well, that's so wonderful. I'm so glad that you have that chance to have that live experience of Team CBT. I know it can be very transformative and it does create a lot of emotions for a lot of us here. And it sounds like there was a lot of good connecting factors when it comes to it too. And very cool to hear there's a lot of good groups of different people with different types of licenses that you can connect with too. 

Amber: Definitely, a very good group of supportive people.

Richard: And I wonder, when it comes to the things that you learned there in terms of any skills or techniques, can you think of anything in the past when you attended these where maybe this is something where you're like, oh, this really stuck with me, this technique, this skill, and I still use it in my personal life or in your private practice as well? What do you think?

Amber:  Yeah, Richard, I think you bring up a good point. And that probably was a major takeaway too - that these skills aren't just, I'm not just learning for someone else. But first, we actually learned them for ourselves. And the way that David sets up the training, and really get that experience of letting things come to my consciousness that I wasn't aware of. 

So major things that I took away were the impact of like, common, self defeating beliefs, I didn't identify as a perfectionist, but then I realized, oh, that's something that's unconsciously really driving me and actually causing some of my anxiety. So I knew then if they were effective with me and I could learn them, then I had something that could be effective and life-changing for clients.

I think that the whole positive reframing was something that I absolutely still love to this day, but really looking at our negative emotions and negative thoughts. And before we get rid of them or work on them, understanding that there's really something important and positive and maybe even beautiful that we're having these thoughts. In my head when he was like, yeah, what does your anxiety say about you that's positive? 

I was like, it doesn't say anything positive, right? And so I use that in my practice. And I think that that's definitely something that is changing for the people that I share that with, right?

It's like, you don't think these negative things could carry anything positive. And the whole idea of being paradoxical is something that I'm still learning, but really trying to, you know, make sure like you are uncovering hidden or unconscious things of, why we shouldn't even change at all. You know, what, maybe we need to stay the same and how you ask those questions so that it benefits somebody being able to decide if they really want to do the work.

Richard: Absolutely. I love that you're bringing this up, Amber. A big part of this feeling good therapist is actually to help people learn more skills and tools. And it sounds like not only did you learn a lot of good things for your own personal life, but it kind of helps your prior practice as well and helping your patients, your clients to, improve and kind of notice like, hey, not everything's bad when it comes to negative emotions. There's actually some good things about it. And also how to say those things without being a bit aggressive about it or saying it in the wrong way where someone might take offense. So I think there's a lot of great ways that we can approach this.

And I'm wondering a little bit about the structure of it too. Sometimes people feel nervous not knowing the structure. I know you mentioned there's this live part of it, but I know when a lot of times when we go to these workshops, it's just sitting down and maybe for like a few hours or just watching someone lecture, which I know it's not everyone's favorite.

So tell us a little bit more. What's this experience like? What's the structure of the workshops?

Amber:  Well, you definitely get the teaching. And David is very engaging. I mean, he uses humor. He even will acknowledge if he's made a mistake. So everything that is in Team CBT, he actually will demonstrate for you. We do evaluations every day. And then throughout the course of the day, it's not just teaching, we break up into small groups, or maybe you might even have a partner. So it's very interactive. And we even have time to do our individual work. 

So to write down an upsetting event for yourself, identifying your feelings and learning the daily mood log. So it really hits all factors, you know, the didactic, the individual work, and then partner or small group work. And then the cherry on top is the live demonstration for sure. I love that.

Richard: It kind of sounds like there's a lot of different aspects from it. And overall, it sounds like it's very interactive. You really get to be a part of it as well, where you learn and you grow within this workshop. And I'm curious, who do you think would, like, who would you recommend this workshop to? Like, is there different experience levels? Like if they're like very entry level therapist or a more experienced therapist, what's the level that they should attend? 

Amber: I think it's open for all levels. I mean, at first I really simply thought I was going to a cognitive behavioral therapy workshop and then he started talking about team cbt and I was like, what is this? So if you're just wanting to know more about cognitive behavioral therapy, if you know of David's work and you want to know more about team CBT, which is really, really effective, I think you're a good candidate.

And then for me, I've been studying since 2014 trying to or 2017, you know, working on my team CBT skills and and I'm still attending. So this will be my fourth conference, live conference. I've done several with him online as well, but I always find that I'm learning something new. 

So I think it's for those that are new to team, as well as those that are experienced.

Richard: Wonderful. I love that, Amber. Personally, I love these conferences myself, and I always see myself in that range between beginner level because when you learn these things, you're just like, oh my God, I feel like such a beginner again, which is a little bit of an exciting feeling because then you can grow so much, but also the experience side of things too, where it can really catch you off guard in terms of if you kind of feel like you know something and you realize there's actually more that you can learn. It's truly a really amazing experience, which kind of brings us to this other question that I have for you is when it comes to the investment of it, I know a lot of people are very busy these days trying to juggle a lot in their lives. And do you feel like this is a good time and cost investment to attend this workshop?

Amber: Absolutely, especially because it's a four-day intensive. So I think that really helped set the foundation for me in 2017. It is a lot. It's a lot of information, but it was good information. And I can't imagine having it like a half a day workshop and then three months later having another workshop. So make the investment. You deserve this. And the course of it is going to give you an overall picture of Team CBT and help strengthen your skills as you delve into it over the next four days. That's awesome.

Richard: Well, one thing that I'm thinking about, Amber, is I don't want to take up too much of your time. But lastly, before we get going is I'm curious, knowing what you know now, would you recommend attending this upcoming workshop to others? And why or why not?

Amber: Absolutely. Like I mentioned, I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, Richard, but I have already been four times or three times. I've been three times. So this will be my fourth time that I'm attending. And I'm so excited because one, you can get connected to the community. So other practitioners that may be at different levels, you get to practice, you get to do your own personal work. And of course, we get to meet and see David live. And again, he's a very engaging instructor. 

He uses humor and he really demonstrates how he uses the tools because we get to go through it with him. So I think those are all great reasons to attend. And I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Richard: Absolutely. I 100% agree with you, Amber. And I'm feeling really excited about this upcoming workshop. Do you remember off the top of your head when it is?

Amber: I believe it's August 8th to the 11th.

Richard: Great. Let me just double check that really quick. I just want to make sure. Looks like you have very accurate information. I just take a look here. August 8th for the four-day intensive. And this intensive, it's called the Advanced CBT for Depression and Anxiety with David Burns, Intensive Workshop for Therapists. 

So a lot of your answers hopefully are addressed here with Amber. And thank you so much, Amber, for joining us today, answering all these questions. It's been really lovely having you. And if anyone has any other questions, feel free to comment below. Or if you want to reach out to one of our admins here at the building to just inquire a little bit more, or you're looking and you're very interested to sign up, definitely look at the descriptions.

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