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Aug 8, 2022

304: TEAM-CBT, Spirituality, and Beyond: Featuring Angela Poch

Rhonda begins today’s podcast, as usual, by reading two touching emails from podcasts fans, including Coach Teddy, who said that Podcasts 295 and 296 featuring live work with Zeina were incredible, and Carol who was equally enthusiastic about Podcast 297 (on “Homework—Yuck!).
Carol also strongly recommends David’s book, Ten Days to Self-Esteem which is a simplified version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that can be used as a manual for therapy or self-help groups.

Today, we interview Angel Poch, a certified life coach, registered professional counselor, and certified Level 4 TEAM therapist and trainer. She lives two hours north of Glacier National Park in British Columbia, but teaches therapists and treats people virtually from around the world. Her new booklet, “The Truth Shall Set You Free,” integrates TEAM-CBT with a Christian perspective and is available for free on her website.
She is a regular in David’s weekly virtual psychotherapy training group at Stanford and assists in the teaching. She has also worked tirelessly and selflessly behind the scenes making David’s work way more accessible to lay people as well as mental health professionals wanting to learn more about TEAM-CBT.
For example, she adds links to every new Feeling Good Podcast on David’s website, so you can easily find and link to more than 300 podcasts. Check it out!
She has also transformed a massive amount of David’s work into electronic tools for shrinks, accessible in David’s online shop:
Recently, she has created two amazing new documents you can link to.
One is a spreadsheet that lists 138 of David’s TEAM-CBT tools and techniques, like the “Anti-Procrastination Sheet” and many others, with page links to the descriptions of how to use each tool in David’s books, like Feeling Good, Feeling Great, David’s TEAM-CBT therapist eBook, and many others. Check it out!
This data base will be invaluable to interested lay people, therapists, and teachers who want clear instructions on how to use the Daily Mood Log, Relationship Journal, and numerous additional tools and techniques.
Derek Gurney and Angela are working on an equally awesome database for the Feeling Good Podcasts: Check it out as well!
Angela begins her personal statement in today’s podcast by describing her struggles with depression and irritability, including some very dark days in 2006. Her doctor recommended an SSRI antidepressant, and she went to integrative health program, “Depression: the Way Out” that required participants to read Feeling Good

Although she didn’t love the book, she resonated with the idea that all of our feelings, positive and negative, result from our thoughts, or perceptions, and her depression cleared up. She liked that when she read Feeling Good, she got many new tools she could use to change her negative thoughts and feelings. She also appreciated the ideas in the book didn’t go against her belief system, which many fear about psychology. David pointed out his own father, a Lutheran minister, worried about this, and was very suspicious of psychiatrists. Angela’s thinking, which resonates with David’s, is that the core ideas of religion and psychotherapy are actually high compatible, and even synergistic.
Angela explains that when she was a young child, she didn’t fit in socially or even in her own skin. “I felt like I was a boy in a woman’s body. I felt like I was in the wrong body, and prayed for help.”
She started to see in a very limited, childlike way, her thoughts were distorted, that a body was just a body and she could trust God wouldn’t give her more than she could bear. These new realistic, counter thoughts relieved the negative body dysmorphia she’d been struggling with. She reports, “I decided it was okay to be flawed and not fit in.” The rest of her young childhood was mostly joyful.
In middle school she was the target of mean-spirited bullying because she was a tomboy. She developed intense social anxiety and was relieved when her mom took her out of school. She was homeschooled for a few years and studied Karate to exercise and develop some confidence.
High school brought new challenges. She describes responding with her version of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication to an aggressive bully who threatened her with brass knuckles and challenged her to fight her. However, the girl backed off and started telling people that Angela was her friend!
After a bad relationship, Angela started to struggle with depression and described her suicide attempt when she was 18 because “I wanted the pain to stop.”
She explains that:
I met my husband, moved home, and started reading the Bible. I was impressed by the passage, “the truth shall set you free.” I realized I had to control my own thoughts rather than look for the approval of others, but she still didn’t totally recovery from my anxiety.
The cognitive piece in Feeling Good helped Angela a lot. She states, “I pursued a lot of careers, never holding down a job for more than 6 months, and one day someone asked if I’d considered a career in counseling. . .” She went on to take one of David’s four-day live intensives in Whistler BC where she learned TEAM-CBT and hasn’t looked back since! After learning and applying TEAM, Angela was able to crush her social and other anxieties.
Angela has a deep love for her Creator and has done a great deal of thought about the integration of her Christian faith with TEAM-CBT.
David also has a strong interest in the overlap between TEAM-CBT and virtually all religions and spiritual paths. He described an unusual and overpowerful spiritual experience he had as a medical student crossing the Nevada desert that made a strong impact on him.
Angela would like to mention,
“I have a profound gratitude for David’s work. He makes things so clear and relatable. His approach is applicable to all faiths or no faith if one is truly ready to give up their negative thoughts and feelings. As we aim for the truth, and let go of the so called “self,” we find peace and joy. I will forever be indebted to him because I would not be able to help people without TEAM and that brings me joy every day!”
I, David, would like to thank Angela for her intense and tireless devotion to helping spread the “gospel” of TEAM-CBT in so many ways!
Thanks for listening today!
Angela, Rhonda, and David