David D. Burns, M.D. is a well-known psychiatrist specializing in mood disorders. He is the author of a celebrated self-help book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, which offers techniques to help alleviate anxiety and depression as well as help people develop a positive outlook on life. Dr. Burns is a specialist in using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of depression. CBT is based on the theory that our thoughts create our feelings, and thus tries to help patients amend their thoughts in order to find contentment. As Dr. Burns puts it, depression and anxiety are “the greatest cons” in history. In other words, negative thoughts are distortions, and CBT can help patients identify their distorted thoughts. The ultimate goal is to change these thoughts, which will in turn help the patient develop new feelings about the world. Dr. Burns has had great success treating depression with this program, and Feeling Good outlines his method of treatment for readers who would like to apply his theories at home.
Feeling Good focuses on techniques to:
1) Recognize what causes your mood swings
2) Nip negative feelings in the bud
3) Deal with guilt
4) Handle hostility and criticism
5) Overcome addiction to love and approval
6) Build self-esteem
7) Feel good everyday
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy is recognized as an effective, drug-free treatment for depression. For a taste of Dr. Burns’s program, you can check out a Ted talk below in which he gives a summary of the book’s account of treating depression.