The Good Burns, Not C. Montgomery Burns
March 21, 2006 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Everyone in the blue and the green loves David Burns.
His landmark (and most often recommended) book, "Feeling Good" is available in Small, Medium, and you can even Supersize it, complete with exercises, questionnaires and expanded section on medications for depression.
"Feeling Good" is a great book, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is good for lots of stuff besides depression.
Like dating, relationship or shyness issues. Solutions that do not involve John Gray, Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura, or heck, even the song "Doctor Doctor" from the Thompson Twins.
No worries, because Dr. Burns has a book for that too, and it rocks. It will get you off the couch, and get you out and smooching in no time.
There are others out there also working with CBT to help you make your life all it can be.
posted by willmize (19 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Another endorsement for the book here. One of the best $20s I've ever spent.
posted by mrbill at 11:20 AM on March 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Thanks for that link to Metafilter, I had not previously come across that site.
posted by biffa at 11:23 AM on March 21, 2006

Is there any reason whatsoever to click on 95% of those links?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:24 AM on March 21, 2006

Only one link in the bunch worth clicking and it begins "I regret I can no longer continue with the Ask the Guru feature due to time constraints."

... and everyone? If his name came up before, I don't remember it.
posted by mischief at 11:32 AM on March 21, 2006

Hm. Link inventory:

* MetaFilter
* Ask MetaFilter
* Burns' website
* Three links to Amazon
* Wikipedia
* John Gray, Dr. Phil, and Dr. Laura's websites
* Yahoo
* Amazon again
* Three web-dating sites (, eHarmony, Yahoo Personals)
* Three random BT-related websites

posted by Plutor at 11:34 AM on March 21, 2006

And argumentum ad populum in a pear tree.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:40 PM on March 21, 2006

thanks to David Burns' nipples, his book quotes SCIENCE.
posted by shmegegge at 12:50 PM on March 21, 2006

I cannot emphasize how much these books have helped me and a lot of people I know. My aunt, whose a psychologist first clued me into them.

In short, Burns' system (he adapted it from his mentors Aaron T. Beck and Albert Ellis) is what every other psychology book is not--it gets you to focus on specific goals and lays out the path to reach them. Too many self-help books spout general principles and tell you how great it would be if you felt that way. Burns tells you how to start feeling that way. Its no easy way out either, you have to do the exercises for it to work.

Not only that, but he cites the hard studies showing his methods work as well as drugs in the short term and better in the long term (less relapses). With the Feeling Good Handbook, you get a full section on almost every drug out there too. He covers every base.

Again, these books have changed my life and showed me a new way of living my life. I cannot recommend them enough.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:56 PM on March 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

BTW, if you want to be successful in dating, Intimate Connections is the way to go. I will never forget this review on Amazon:

Until several years ago I was relatively shy, and bounced form relationship to relationship. I had a hard time meeting people I liked. The people I did go out with wasted my time.

Then I read this book and did exactly what it said. After several months following the steps in the book, my love-life took off like a flaming rocket.

When I saw that, I had to get the book. Lo and behold the damn thing worked like a charm.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:00 PM on March 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'm prepared to believe that this book really worked for y'all. However, I get this weird sense of sleeper cells.
posted by Bugbread at 1:07 PM on March 21, 2006

I was wondering about that bugbread, but now suspect willmize is just parodying needlessly padded posts (his last post was a parody of single link op-ed posts with a neat Christian-baiting sub-parody element).
posted by jack_mo at 1:22 PM on March 21, 2006

After several months following the steps in the book, my love-life took off like a flaming rocket.
...and I haven't seen it since.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:48 PM on March 21, 2006

For a taste of cognitive behavior therapy, here's an online cognitive behavioral therapy training program that's kind of fun.
posted by Laen at 1:52 PM on March 21, 2006

Ironmouth writes "Then I read this book and did exactly what it said. After several months following the steps in the book, my love-life took off like a flaming rocket."

Wait, the book told him to go gay??
posted by orthogonality at 2:00 PM on March 21, 2006

Here's to feeling good ALL the time.
posted by tkchrist at 2:13 PM on March 21, 2006

When you do good you feel good.
When you do bad you feel bad.
posted by moonbird at 9:17 PM on March 21, 2006

This is a lousy post, but they're really amazing books. At the time they were first written, practically nobody had heard of cognitive therapy, and psychotherapy was the realm of Freudian, Jungian, and so forth approaches. Today CBT is central to most therapy, not the least because it doesn't involve a lifetime of commitment, and so insurance will pay for it. But CBT gives you tools like self-tests and worksheets that you can use throughout your life. I still use exercises to maintain my depression that these Burns books first introduced to me 20 years ago.

If you suffer from depression or shyness, these books will certainly help you. Try one out at the library if you don't believe me -- you'll soon be buying your own copy.

Mine became dog-eared in about a year of use, but after that I didn't need to consult it as much. That was my last episode of major depression at the level of suicidal ideation and behaviors like not wanting to get out of bed.

Here are some of the AskMe testimonials that willmize should have linked to specifically: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 -- 15 recommendations from at least 10 people. You can google the Intimate Connections reccos yourself.
posted by dhartung at 12:32 AM on March 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

CBT helped my depression too. (NSFW)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:14 AM on March 22, 2006

I took me a while, but I've finally learned "How to Goodbye Depression."

I'm doing it right now.
posted by rush at 11:11 AM on March 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

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