Mariusz and his wife, Aleksandra,
who is also a psychiatrist.
Personal Work with Mariusz,
Mariusz and his wondaful
In today’s episode, Rhonda and I do live TEAM-CBT with
Psychiatrist Mariusz Wirga, MD, who has struggled with
perfectionism his entire life. Our training philosophy for TEAM-CBT
involves doing your own personal work for a variety of reasons,
1. When you sit in the patient’s seat, you develop a radically
different perception of the value of the various components of
TEAM, including T = Testing, E = Empathy, A = Assessment of
Resistance, and M = Methods.
2. When you experience your own recovery, or “enlightenment,”
you have a crystal clear vision of what’s actually involved in
rapid, effective treatment.
3. You will be able to tell your patients, “I understand how
you feel because I’ve been there myself, and it will be my pleasure
to show you the path out of the woods.” This message makes a highly
beneficial impact on most patients.
Bio sketch, by Rhonda
Among his many other accomplishments, Mariusz organized the
highly successful first world congress for TEAM-CBT in Warsaw,
Poland in 2022. He is planning a second four-day TEAM-CBT intensive
in Warsaw from March 30 to April 2, 2023. If you are interested in
attending, you can learn more at www.teamcbt.eu or www.teamcbt.pl. Mariusz says, "
"For the first time ever we will
teach a parallel track for business and corporate applications of
TEAM CBT at the 4-Day Warsaw Intensive (www.teamcbt.eu & www.teamcbt.pl). It will be taught by
our singular Dr. Leigh Harrington, with Polish psychologist and
TEAM CBT therapist Patrycja Sawicka-Sikora. In 2023, there
will also be major TEAM-CBT conferences in Bristol, UK (August
14-17, 2023, www.feelinggood.uk.com ) and
Mexico City (November 6-9, 2023, www.teamcbt.mx )"
In today's podcast we will listen to the Testing and Empathy
portions of his session. Next week, you will hear the Assessment of
Resistance and Methods and exciting conclusion of his session.
We will, of course, ask him to take this test at the end of the
session, so we can see how effective or ineffective we were in
helping him change the way he’s thinking and feeling.
Mariusz's beloved cat, Orangina,
played a featured role in his session with Rhonda and David!
E = Empathy
We discussed his anxiety which had spiked in apprehension of
today’s live session. He had several negative thoughts that we
elicited with a brief Downward Arrow Technique. The percents
indicate how strongly he believed each one.
I will be talking about private issues, and people will think
less of me. 70%
Then people will be less likely to want to see me for therapy.
My patients might be disappointed in me. 50%
This could affect me financially, and I won’t be able to pay
the bills, and my daughter’s wedding is coming up. 50% (Mariusz, my
estimate on % belief.)
If that happens, my wife and kids will turn against me. (Need %
belief that you had at the time, Mariusz.)
As you can see, he woke up in the middle of the night and
remembered that he’d forgotten to send a form he promised to send
to a patient whom he’d seen two days earlier. You can also see that
his negative feelings were very elevated, ranging from 60% to 85%
for loneliness, embarrassment, sadness, inadequacy, frustration and
anger, to 100% for guilt, shame, and anxiety.
If you review his DML, you will also see that he’d recorded 10
self-critical thoughts, and many of them were Should and Shouldn’t
Statements. For example, “I should have sent her the homework. I
shouldn’t have made such a basic therapy error.”
He also identified the many distortions in each thought.
All-or-Nothing Thinking, which is the mother of perfectionism, was
present in most of them. Other common distortions included Should
Statements, Overgeneralization, Magnification, and Self-Blame, to
name just a few.
Mariusz’s belief in all of his negative thoughts was high. You
may recall the two requirements for feeling upset:
1. Your mind has to be filled with negative thoughts.
2. You have to believe those thoughts.
Mariusz also described his extremely busy and demanding
schedule, including the groups he runs in the hospital for cancer
patients, his clinical practice, research, teaching, organizing
large international TEAM-CBT conferences, and more. His hectic
schedule means he always has to be moving fast, so mistakes and
slip ups are fairly common. That’s when he beats up o himself, gets
anxious, and has trouble sleeping, which compounds everything. He
also beats up on himself and feels guilty for falling behind in
some of his commitments.
Rhonda and I empathized, using the Five Secrets of Effective
Communication, and then Rhonda asked him to grade our empathy. He
gave us an A+.
Orangina at her favorite scratching
post, the one that Mariusz got for her, with her tail straight in
the air to show pride and love for Mariusz!
This ends Part 1 of the work with Mariusz. Next week, you'll
hear the exciting conclusion of his session.
Rhonda, Mariusz, and David
About the Podcast
This podcast features David D. Burns MD, author of "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy," describing powerful new techniques to overcome depression and anxiety and develop greater joy and self-esteem. For therapists and the general public alike!