Dr. David D. Burns Interviewed

“High speed drug free recovery is now possible” Dr. David D. Burns

Dr. Burns is best known for his very successful self-help books, such as Feeling Good and the Feeling Good Handbook, which have sold more than 5 million copies in the United States alone. In a national survey of American mental health professionals Dr. Burns’ Feeling Good was the top-rated book, from a list of 1,000 self-help books, for patients suffering from depression.

Dr. Burns is a true pioneer in the field of mental health. What makes him so unique is his ability to take psychological concepts and communicate them clearly to the general public. I got the opportunity to interview him recently on his book ‘When Panic Attacks‘. Please be sure to listen to the interview in full as he gives really excellent insight on anxiety and panic attacks. (See the player below).




In this interview you will hear Dr. Burns talk about:

  • Super high speed techniques that can often bring about complete recovery in one therapy session alone.
  • The one technique that works best to end panic disorder.
  • Why acceptance is such a powerful and transformational concept in recovery.
  • Why relapses are guaranteed and how to best deal with them.
  • How social anxiety can be tackled using humor based techniques
  • How just reading the right book (reading therapy) can often work as well or even better than traditional therapy. (Click the play button)

Click to play the interview

Click Here to Save this MP3 to Your Drive

Websites mentioned in the interview are www.feelinggood.com and www.teamtherapytraining.com

Dr David D Burns is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and has served as Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School . Dr. Burns has been a pioneer in the development of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a drug-free treatment for depression and anxiety which has become the most widely used and extensively researched form of psychotherapy in the world.

30 replies on “Dr. David D. Burns Interviewed

  • Judloved

    Not just easy accessibility of prescription medicines at home but the online pharmacies have also played a significant role behind the increase in rampant prescription drug abuse among youngsters. All you need to have to do is get hold of a credit card and punch in the details; your work is done. Findrxonline mentions in his blog that the Doctors prescribed pain pills, stimulants and depressants to many who are suffering from sleeping disorders, anxiety depression attacks. These medicines help in reducing pain and relaxing the muscles. Many pills make one feel drowsy and slow breathing and brain functions. But the doctor very strictly mentions the dosages of these medicines.

  • Anna

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I suffer from GAD/Panic Attacks/HA and a little SA. I do not know where it came from but out of the blue 2 years ago it started. I am going to use these techniques and I hope that this will help me.

    Have a great day.

  • Jayne

    These mails are exactly what we need. Just when your feeling alone again fighting anxiety a mail like this from someone who truly understands is worth it’s weight in gold. All yr emails help me so much like a special gift at the right time. I think your an amazing person to help people in this dark world see the light. Thankyou barry from the bottom of my heart x x

  • Annie

    These emails are exactly what we need your emails help me so much its not only me i been sharing everything with others which they found it so helpfull living in this system we need something like this
    thank you again.

  • Kirthana

    Barry thanks a lot for sharing this. Your mails are so informative and they make me feel that- finally thers someone who really understands what I have been suffering from past 15 yrs…

    I only feel that GOD is trying to help me through you. You are such a wonderful person!!!

    I truly truly thank you and let GOD bless you……

    U r truly amazing!

  • angel justice

    I am so happy to say Thank u so much this has been the only thing to help me some. After course 3 i just fell right back into the same axienty problems. I have been to several doctors none which r really helping me. I have not been able to work for 2 yrs i have made myself drive with the axienty and it is just so straining and just wears me down. Guess i have just basically given up and just do enough to get through life. Anything u can send to help me get through this i will gladly accept. I am so glad just to find one thing to make me feel better and u will never no how much i appreciate this help. Angel

  • michael

    My brother moved in with me after a manic episode and has been severely depressed for over 2 years dispite weekly therapy sessions and a massive cocktail of drugs.I’m at wits end to know how to help him but your techniques seem to be the most encouraging news I’ve heard in years.

    Helpless in Maine

  • Marvie

    I suffer almost every day. I am on a afib meds and cannot take meds for this problems. I cry a lot also. I will try to find your books. Thank you. Marvie Carroll.

  • Susie

    I suffer from panic attacks for 5 years now, but they did got worse but since this year they have been getting better and am making slowly progress.

  • Jacob Moore

    Fantastic interview! I can see the truth in these techniques and will employ them during my next episode. Thank you for sharing your interview with Dr. Burns.

  • Janice

    My friend Tony has had panic attacks for years and goes straight to the 10 most common ones in Dr. Burn’s book. He finds one to use every time and gets right on with whatever he is doing. I’m going to use this book too.

  • Nell

    From a person who grew up in the countyside with a big family, parents divorced the year i was born, had alot of responsibilites as a kid and minding my younger brother, life was hard. I dealt with my anxiety for years in silence. hearing people whisper in college “whats wrong with the weirdo” “too cool for school”. I tried to protect myself from being anxious by avoiding situations, and spending alot of time by myself, i used to drink alot and let guys take advantage of me, all to feel good, to feel at peace with myself, to feel good. Now at the age of 25, with a successful career, im starting to look at life differently Barry. I experienced a severe panic attack at christmas time, i rushed down to south Doc explaining to the doctor on call that night, that i was having an outter body experience, my heart feeling like it was going to jump out of my chest, i told him i would not make it through the night, that no body understood me, no one cares. after leaving south doc that night Barry, i swore to myself that I WOULD not suffer another panic attack, i went home and poured my energy into the internet, searching for help, some site that would allow me to feel “sain”. Then I came across your site, PanicAway. As i read, and watched the intro video, floods of tears came from my eyes, my mind started filling with positiveness. I was ready, ready to take on your challenge of overcoming this battle in the life. Thank you Barry for letting me see that there was light in the very dark night i had.
    Proud of what you are doing, Nell from Kerry

  • Marcella

    I have been suffering from panic and anxiety on and off for almost 30 years. It’s good to know that there is someone who knows just how I feel. You have hit it right on the head. I will be following your techniques. I can’t wait to get started. Thank you.

  • Dona

    Thank you so much for your kindness to share with us all your knowledge about panic attacks. It’s been the devil I try to run away from for so long and I’ve tried several therapies with professionals with minor result so far. I hope I will be able to see the devil has no teeth finally.

  • brittany

    my name is brittany and i have major panic attacks they come and go but they seem to get worst november 26, 2010 i decided to do shrooms and it messed up my life i know think differently and have hard t imes going to sleep at night i am 15 years old and have panic attacks to where i hallusinate and ometimes im in it for a long time. i had just gotten an email and linked me to this web site im excited to learn more for you.

  • Julie Tufano

    This came at a very opportune time for me – having issues with GAD and had just started listening to the CDs all over again! Thanks Barry for sharing all of this info and your own experiences – helps me to see that I am not crazy and I am not alone! I will be looking up Dr. Burns’ books again too!

  • renette kibbey

    I have had the panic attacks for to long. I will try some of the techniques i hope they will help.

  • Frank

    Thanks for sharing. I liked the part where you asked the people if the food is as good as it looks like. LOL. Inspiring…

  • mick

    Been suffering severe anxiety since 1996. Tried all sorts of different treatments from hypnothearapy, acupuncture, cbt, self help techniques, all the way through to alcohol and diazepam. Seems I have found a website and most importantly other people who understand how “I” feel. I haven’t quite found my “eureka” moment yet, but I remain positive it will come one day. God bless all who read this….. Michael, Scotland xx

  • Michael

    I have suffered severe panic attacks since 1996 when I left the British Army. My life has been decimated since. Although I still suffer, the knowledge that there is other people in the same situation as myself is, how can say it….. I feel my sanity is secure! I feel as if I’m taking strides although it’s early days. God bless all who read this. Work hard and stay positive.x x

  • Bonnie Ayotte

    For anyone who is not getting adequate results with the techniques, or who are suffering more severe panic attacks and other symptoms such as depression, problems with weight gain or loss, and many others… I have used Panic Away for 2 years and have had wonderful results for 9/10 attacks. But there were some I just recently learned were being caused by gluten (I’m a HUGE bread eater, so this was hard news). Anyway, if you are a severe or resistant case, you might want to also look into gluten intolerance. I’ve been off it 2 weeks, and have been applying Barry’s techniques while my system clears and am getting amazing results. Hope this helps someone. Enjoy your health!

  • Rosa

    Hi All.
    I received an email that led me to this forum. My name is Rosa and I have experienced panic attacks at their most extreme. I would pray to faint so I could just be in a place I was not aware of. I had panic attacks for 14 years and at first as I was pregnant my first priority was my child, and then when I had my baby, my family was still a priority (this is the guilt stage), until I gave myself permission, some 5 years ago that I was not healing by not being allowing to care about myself. So I made a choice and I made my family aware that if I could I would if I felt it was not for me then all would have to accept it. My family were really supportive of this and I finally took the first step to healing.

    My attacks started when I found out I was pregnant with my second child. My very first attack happened while I was in hospital as had become extremely dehydrated from being pregnant and the intensity of other symptoms my gyno wanted me admitted asap. My first pregnancy was quite traumatic and three years prior, yet did not feel any anxiety such as post natal depression. I know the labour trauma added to my state of anxiety, yet was just another trigger to a being who learnt fear at the age of 8 when my dad passed over. I did not understand, he was here one day and gone the next and was not until after my panic attacks started and I began to learn to listen to my body that I realised that I was of the belief that my dad had abandoned me and so had God. No one explained, nor was I believed to be of age to say ‘goodbye’ (which when I became aware I resented the choice being taken from me). I went through life with little anxieties that grew and grew, created phobias and affected my life. One time so I didn’t have to go to school, I was probably 14 years old and kept on complaining of stomach pain. This was not true, yet after many complaints mum took me to the doctor and he diagnosed me with appendicitis and admitted me to hospital to remove my appendix. I went through with the surgery even knowing nothing was wrong with me.

    Anyway I don’t want to dwell on the attacks; my want is to share with you ‘The Healing’. I did it all. My husband and I sought help from all forms. Many guaranteed being able to heal, not many understood what they were promising to heal. Yes, at first I thought I was going crazy until my psychiatrist explained exactly what was happening to me. Being educated, learning about you is the fundamental must in ‘Healing’. Statistics do not count, you are you and your life experiences and life choices may be similar to another, yet are not you. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, MIND AND SOUL.

    I did much and learnt much and learnt a little from each in ways to helping myself. I did the psychiatrist, psychologist, stayed at St John of God Hospital (this allowed me two weeks of respite where I could focus on me, before I gave myself permission to), I attended St Vincent’s Hospital (section that exceeded the world in depression, anxiety and panic attacks), did breathing classes, TFT (Thought Field Therapy), Naturopath, Meditation, Spiritual Healing, on and on seeking. Finally, I stopped seeking outside of myself and started really listening.

    There is a trigger to an onset of panic attacks, for me an intense heat would start from the soles of my feet and travel to the very top of my head and as it reached the top of my head automatically my first thought ‘Im going to start losing control and I can t stop it, help me’ and then the breathing would increase, the confusion, the need to run, move from what I had no idea. I could not be touched, crowded, wanted to be held then push them away, the uncontrollable shaking (fearing I was having a fit), shake so much would fall from one side of bed to other, on and on for hours and hours until I would be sedated. This would be the only way to stop attack. I stopped going out, I didn’t leave the house, and sometimes an attempt to step out the front door would start the anxiety. I lost weight, when went to St John of God weighed 45kg, a lovely older man who was there at the time would call me his little bird and buy me an ice-cream every day to put weight on. I looked terrible, drawn an image comes to mind of looking like the walking dead. This was not only affecting me but all around me. The symptoms increased, the tingling of the arms and the legs, life losing colour and all the emotional negative baggage was getting too heavy. One time A doctor, one of many times was called to the house, she believed herself to be an expert of panic attacks, God Bless her, her intentions were good, so concerned was she that the medication was not doing anything that she called an ambulance. The paramedics arrived and she was still with me, they did their checks, checked my blood pressure which was never effected no matter how intense the attack. As we spoke about the attacks, the paramedics were confused as I had more knowledge than the doctor and themselves that they were not sure that taking me to hospital would be a good thing. I was articulate; my body still in stress yet occupying my mind lessened the anxiety. And so life continued. At this time I was on efexor and xanax and as much as I don’t like taking these drugs I know without them I would not be here. They allowed me time out and gave me the opportunity to learn and I took it.

    The following are some ways to start coping and lessening the intensity of attacks, after this I will share with you how to Heal yourself, may be slowly but is thorough, life changing, life teaching and something you will enjoy and WANT to share with others and teach your children.
    – Learn your trigger, when starting listen to your body and what it is reacting to. Start asking questions, why, how does this affect me. There is always a reason for the cause, could be something you experienced as a child, something you heard, something that affected you more than you are aware. Be gentle, take your time, note which part of the body is being affected as this related in some way. Use your computer, be inventive and think outside the box. Look up what part of the body affects you either emotionally, physically or spiritually.
    – Slow your breathing. Do not breathe in from your nose and out from your mouth. Your mouth is for eating and drinking, your nose is for breathing and slows down your breathing and allows for the right amount of oxygen to reach our brain. In and out from your nose, deep and slow. Start the count exercise, breathe in for 1 and exhale from nose, breathe in and hold for 2 and out, breathe in 3 and out, go as far as you can to 10, you don’t need to reach 10 the first time it takes practice and patience with yourself, slow, easily, softly and calmly, eventually you will automatically breathe this way and will teach your family.
    – Lie on your side! And do your breathing, knees bent and elevate your head a little, this will stop the nausea, the tingling, the shaking, and allow oxygen to flow. Try to keep your back straight and be comfortable, and breathe slowly. Counting your breathing will also occupy your mind and teach when you are starting this process you mind will understand are doing to calm your muscles, body and to relax.
    – Make sure you are hydrated, water!!!!!!!! Don’t drink too much as this will cause uncomfort but ensure at all times you are well hydrated.
    – Eat small meals, more often. Filling yourself causes your body to be uncomfortable and when your body is uncomfortable acts as a trigger, also inhibits your breathing and unsettles your stomach to produce acid reflux, very uncomfortable.
    – Pay attention to foods and/or drinks that may be triggers.
    – If shaking, do the breathing. Relax and allow your body to shake, it is just using up the adrenalin that your body has produced preparing itself getting ready for the attack. If you watch athletes they will enhance their breathing as this will aid them. ‘Fight and Flight’ your body is preparing itself. Talk to your mind and body, teach them to be aware of why this is occurring and that it is good and to allow it, not to panic, just relax and the more you allow and accept the less intense the shaking until eventually it will stop. Your body is actually shaking to protect itself, to clear the adrenalin, this is why many doctors will tell you to exercise, to get used to the feeling and when in an attack to actually go for a run as will use up excess energy.
    – Tapping the side of your hand in between your pinkie and wrist with opposite hand fingers pointer and middle continually. Do this even when not in actual attack. Is the location of meridian points that are calming, can do as long as you like or as little, anywhere, anytime.
    – Go through while lying down and ask each part of your body to relax, actually with your mind ask each and every part of your body to relax, muscles to calm and as you breathe, feel the difference, remember the feeling and ask you mind and body to remember this feeling as it is good, very, very good and very much enjoyed and appreciated.
    – Learn and teach your mind and body not to fight your triggers or your attacks. I know this sounds strange but it does work, do not feed your fear or continue to teach your body to be in fear. Today, I became aware that after I shower my body is starting to react. It is not used to being relaxed, still foreign and showers I find are very relaxing. So I now talk and teach my mind this is a natural, beautiful feeling, my body being at peace and asking my mind to accept and remember this feeling as this is the state I wish to be in.
    – When you feel your trigger starting, keep your body relaxed, through breathing, humming and spiritually call on Angels, your Guardian Angels and those whom you are affiliated with to be with you, heal you, guide you and surround you with loving energy. I now when feel my trigger, being the course of heat start to climb, send love to the area and the heat disappeared. I was exhilarated, not feeling I had beaten an attack, more that I was in control and through love for myself and trust I was the master of my body. I was not in fear, did not accept fear and trusted that the love surrounding me and the love I have for myself was the truth. This was not an overnight realisation, I addressed issues that had been storing and cleared them and I, my mind, body and soul were balanced and trusting me, the whole of me. I learnt that any mistakes I had made were made, the past was the past and I could only be in the now. I appreciated my mistakes for teaching me my truth, I began to complete myself, appreciate myself and stopped punishing myself for any steps that took me back as the ones that I tool forward were leaps and something I was proud of and loved myself more and more.
    – Ensure that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and is not being weighed down by toxicity stored within your body. Detoxifying your body regularly is very healthy (the new feet pads that are sold in chemist work very well). Vitamin B’s are essential, as well as ensuring you get enough natural sunlight, that your body is not too acidic and hormones can even if you are not stressed can alter your chemical balance within your body. There are some wonderful supplements available to support you. One thing that I did become aware of was that my blood flow was affected and my blood had thickened and my nerves were becoming entangled not allowing my blood to flow and thus less oxygen was reaching my brain. This was done through a non intrusive method of Chinese Medicine where the diagnosis was made through the use of a magnified microscope through my nail and my internal organs could be viewed. Once aware was able to treat.
    – There is one method that for me stands above all else, other than my Spirituality. It is an ancient Chinese art called Qigong, working with energy. You can Google for more information Springtime Qi Gong with Master Yin, absolutely brilliant and enlightening, a man who believes ‘Everybody is Born a Healer’

    Please Listen, Ask your body what it needs. You can feel the answers, just ask and talk to your mind; it had been conditioned with so many beliefs that are not your truths and is expressing these to you through the attacks. Einstein a remarkable man said and proved “You can’t change energy, you can’t stop energy, but you can transform energy.” Transform your energy through your thoughts, thoughts that have been stored for so long, yet are not your truths. Teach your mind and body to listen to your soul, to set aside the chatter and listen to your truth. You are a being who is loved and created from love and the more love you have the more you have to give. Love yourself NOW! Learn from your past to live your now and allow your future to be YOUR future. You at this very moment have a choice: Love Living Life, Live Loving Life and Life Live Loving, it is yours NOW, believe and trust in YOU, your creator does! Who do you think taught me all this.

    Boundless Blessings Of Love & Light To You All
    Rosa Urso


  • john

    I appreciate your blog, you give some great tips to anxiety sufferers. These tips will likely help me with my anxiety problems, which are related to PTSD.

    I am a veteran. I served in Afghanistan. To sum things up…I blew up in the desert one day and it has been long road, and a longer fight at home than the war ever was.

    I appreciate your writing. It inspires me in my own efforts with my blog. The Veteran’s Guide to PTSD. I plan on keeping up with this blog and possibly starting another one.

    I enjoy writing as you can probably gather by the length of this comment. HeHeHe

    Thanks for reading this.


  • Kara Heissman

    We are living in times where pharmaceutical solutions are seen as the only option so it’s refreshing to hear about someone discussing a viable alternative. We are flooded with ideas that drugs are the only way to cure unpleasant conditions. While drugs are helpful to a certain extent, they are not always the answer to our woes–especially with mental health issues such as panic and anxiety disorders.

    Well done guys for bringing the this to the attention of more people.

  • John Bravo

    Thank you so much for this interview.

    I went out and purchased the book, and eventually looked for a therapist who was trained in the methods of David Burns. I have to travel to the U.S. from Canada but it was worth it. I did an intensive therapy session which was 16 hours over 4 days and it changed my life. I immediately got 85-90% better, and i am forever thankful for the help i received. The cost was very high at around $4,000 plus my trip, but that is a drop in the bucket vs. feeling like dying every day.

    Over the next few months after therapy all of the little bad feeling we all get started to disappear. I beat anxiety once before 18 years ago, and for me it also took months for all the little feelings to disappear.

    The best part is i now how tools for life. whenever i feel things might be getting worse ( which doesnt happen a lot) i have the ability to handle it.

    Two thumbs up for Mr. David Burns.

  • Arvind

    Dr burns i am eternally grateful to you for writing ‘feeling good’. I have been suffering depression for nearly 20 years. The techniques in your book helped me make sense of my emotions and thereby helped me pull through my depression.

Comments are closed.