213: From Feeling Good to Feeling Great!
In today’s podcast, we discuss a few of the many differences between Feeling Good, my first book, and my new book, Feeling Great, which was just released. We also discuss some of the differences between the cognitive therapy that I launched in Feeling Good, and the powerful new TEAM therapy that I feature in Feeling Great.
I wrote Feeling Great because there’s been a radical and enormous evolution of the treatment methods and theories in the 40 years that have elapsed since I first published Feeling Good in 1980. I now have many more techniques than I had then, and there’s been with a radical development in my understanding of the causes of depression. I also have new ideas about the most effective treatment techniques, based on my clinical experience since I wrote Feeling Good (more than 40,000 hours treating individuals with severe depression and anxiety), as well as fresh insights about what's important, and what's not, based on four decades of my research on how psychotherapy really works.
Rhonda asks many questions about the unique features of TEAM including the new T = Testing techniques, the new E = Empathy techniques, the A = Assessment of Resistance techniques, as well as the M = Methods.
Rhonda is particularly curious about the four “Great Deaths” of the therapist’s ego in TEAM therapy, which correspond to the four TEAM components of TEAM, as well as the four “Great Deaths” of the patient’s ego, which correspond to recovery from depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and habits and addictions. One of the goals of TEAM is not simply the complete and rapid elimination of the symptoms of depression and anxiety, but the development of personal enlightenment and the experience of great joy and a deeper appreciation of life.
Toward the end of the podcast, David tearfully talks about the life of his hero, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who is viewed by many as the greatest philosopher of all time, and David, a philosophy major when he was a student at Amherst College, would definitely agree with this assessment. But Wittgenstein was very lonely, and prone to depression, because very few people understood his ground-breaking contributions when he was still alive. In fact, it was thought that only five or six people in the world “got it.” Part of the problem is that what he was saying was so basic and obvious that most people just could grasp it, or the extraordinarily profound implications of his work.
His depression and loneliness, sadly, perhaps also resulted from the fact that he was gay, and living at a time when this was far less acceptable than it is today.
He never published anything when he was alive, because when he was depressed, he thought he'd made no meaningful or enduring contributions. However, his remarkable book, Philosophical Investigations was published in 1950, following his death, and was soon regarded as the greatest book in the history of philosophy. Because of that book, David gave up his goal of a career in philosophy, since Wittgenstein wanted all of his students to give up philosophy and do something practical instead.
So that’s what I did! My only regret is never having the chance to meet Wittgenstein and tell him, “I got it!” and thank him for his incredible contributions. If you want to learn more, check out the short read by his favorite student, Norman Malcolm, who wrote “Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir.” I cry like a baby every time I read the book, and tears come to my eyes when I even look at the book, which is proudly displayed in my office. If you ever visit me at home, make sure you check out the book.
I feel so fortunate to be able to work with Rhonda and bring my message to so many of you every week. Thank you for your support! [Note from Rhonda: I feel extremely honored to work with David and be a part of bringing David's message, and the TEAM therapy model to our listeners!]
David and Rhonda