Daniel Mintie, LCSW     575.758.2795
Tips For Patients and Therapists

December 2017

My colleague David Burns MD sees blame as the starting point for all relational conflict.  In this short video I present recent brain research that is shedding light on blame and talk about the cognitive behavioral tools we can utilize to reset our brains from the blame game to a more human, fun and satisfying experience of relationship.

October 2017

Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses the beliefs and thought patterns that create emotional suffering in our lives.
Perhaps the first such cognition is "me." From "me" many other thoughts follow. In this short video I look at this first cognitive act and at the moments in our lives when we let go of "me" and find ourselves in a new dimension. Zen Buddhism refers to this new space as "emptiness" or "no self." But this fundamental human experience is not the purview of any one religion or spiritual way.  It is rather the birthright of us all and the foundation of our humanity. It may also be the most lasting solution to any form of emotional anguish.

September 2017

Bullying has moved to the forefront of conversations in schoolyards, workplaces and even our own homes.
A new, longitudinal study suggests that just as there are personality traits that place us at higher risk
of becoming bullies [overt aggression and low empathy] there are traits that increase the probability
that we will become victims of this particular form of trauma.  These traits include anxious avoidance, which not only predicts being bullied in school but also the likelihood of becoming a victim of workplace bullying later in life.  Identifying such traits early on and addressing them with interpersonal CBT skills might well prove protective against victimization throughout life. In this video I tell my story of being bullied in school and present two tools I teach others to leave behind this common form of childhood trauma. 

August 2017

David Burns MD writes of "sitting with open hands" in our work with patients.  The concept equally applies to our
sitting with friends, colleagues and family members.  In this short video I present an overview of this essential
human skill. At its core open hands expresses a willingness to accept another's choices, even when those choices don't quite align with what we would want for that person.  Just as we would ask others to accept our
choices and right to self-determination we can offer this gift to others.  Doing so may well lay the foundation
for authentic connection and best support others making good decisions about their lives.

July 2017

Much research has looked at mothers' relationships with their children.  Relatively little work has examined fathers'
roles and the influence of these roles on child development.  An innovative study at Emory University included MRI scans of men's brains as they looked at images of their children.  It found that men responded more strongly to emotional expressions in their daughters faces and to neutral [emotionless] faces in their sons. This may be the first time that cognitive science has quantified differential gender responses in fathers' brains.  More research will be needed to determine to what extent these responses are selected by nature and hardwired in men and to what extent they may be culturally determined.

June 2017

Over the last decade a cadre of providers across the country has been working to bring complementary
and integrative healthcare [CIH] to military veterans being treated within the VA system and in their communities.
These modalities include yoga, mindfulness training, Ayurveda and dozens of other alternative approaches
to wellness. My colleagues and I have focused on combining cognitive-behavioral therapy and yoga to address
PTSD. It appears that many individual efforts have finally trickled up and produced a new CIH directive which in
its own words expresses "a significant shift in how care is to be delivered across the VHA system." When the largest
healthcare system in the world decides in favor of complementary and integrative approaches this might well
signal a sea change in American medicine as a whole. __________

January 2017

Last year the Surgeon General's office released its first ever report on alcohol and drug abuse in the United States. The report highlights the plight of the nearly 100 million people in this country currently abusing alcohol and illicit or prescription drugs. It also looks at the social and economic costs [nearly $450 billion per year] of addiction and at evidence-based approaches to addressing it. Some have suggested the historical impact of the new report will likely be great as that of the Surgeon General's 1964 report on cigarettes. CBT is one of the front-line tools available to those who wish to reset from addictive behaviors to lives of wellness, productivity and authentic relationship with family, friends and colleagues.

December 2016 CBT has demonstrated great efficacy in treating all types of anxiety disorders, including phobias, panic attacks and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Recent studies have identified ways in which CBT alters physical structures implicated in anxiety as well. In one study early-stage breast cancer patients who received a 10-week CBT intervention experienced a reversal of anxiety-related pro-inflammatory gene expression and an increase in protective interferon activity. Such findings are helping to clarify the molecular signaling pathways by which CBT promotes not only mental wellness but also physical health by altering the inflammatory processes associated with many chronic states of fear. __________

November 2016

CBT targets self-defeating beliefs that, when triggered, give rise to the negative thinking that creates emotional suffering in our lives. Thomas Metzinger of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz is focusing on what may be our first self-defeating belief: belief in a separate self. In this recent talk Metzinger uses the tools of modern neuroscience and theoretic philosophy to deconstruct the "self concept" that lies at the core of our lives and is the source of so much suffering. It's wonderful to have fellow travelers like Dr. Metrzinger with whom to walk, alone and together, the road to human wellness. __________

October 2016

Our wellness comes up out of the ground. Our physical and emotional well-being depend on the health of our aquifers, soil structures and the microbial communities upon which all life depends. I recently visited Salina Kansas to help plant geneticist Wes Jackson and 1200 of his closest friends celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Land Institute which Wes was just planting when I met him in 1976. Kentuckian Wendell Berry and his daughter Mary spoke at the celebration as did farmers, biologists and soil scientists working on sustainable agronomies on six of the earth's seven continents. Plants like Wes' "Kernza" - the earth's first perennial wheat - hold forth the promise of our feeding ourselves in perpetuity by working with, not against, nature's wisdom. I very much enjoyed chatting with many old and new friends in Salina about how this deep naturalness is the goal as well of CBT: finding our right place in the big picture of life on earth. When we do in any venue we live well and support all other beings and future generations in doing the same. __________

September 2016

The last two decades have seen neuroscience taking a closer look at human happiness. Researchers like Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are producing a growing body of data that suggests, happily, human beings enter the world hardwired to prefer kindness, compassion and generosity. Emotional wellness is also being found powerfully to correlate with physical wellness. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients address the self-defeating beliefs and negative thoughts we accrue over time that tend to obscure our prior condition - one marked by peace, joy and warm connections with each other. __________

August 2016

Friends at the Mountain View California-based Feeling Good Institute this month invited me to lead an ongoing weekly consultation group for therapists utilizing the TEAM approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy. Each Friday morning group members will bring us their challenging cases and questions about the TEAM model developed by David Burns MD and taught through the Institute to therapists worldwide. I'm very much looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones in this online forum of continuing education, encouragement and support.

July 2016

UNM School Of Medicine invited me to present this month at its 7th Biennial "Symposium of Integrative Medicine Professionals in the Land of Enchantment" [SIMPLE] in Taos. The symposium brings together integrative researchers, educators and practitioners from around the country to share their work with colleagues and with the general public.  I presented an experiential workshop based on my integrative trauma recovery work and enjoyed networking with colleagues themselves integrating Eastern and Western medicine, mind-body approaches, yoga therapy, tai chi, and clinical applications for traditional herbs and medical cannabis. 

June 2016

The University of New Mexico's Continuing Education Division this month invited me to teach a 2-day course on the cognitive-behavioral treatment [CBT] of addictions.  CBT has shown broad efficacy in treating unwanted habits and addictions and is frequently used in combination with other forms of therapy.  Just as distorted thinking [ "Nobody likes me" / "Something terrible is about to happen" ] will drive 
 depression and anxiety distorted thoughts can also drive addiction.  Telling ourselves "I need a drink" or "I KNOW I'm going to hit it big at the casino today!" will dramatically raise the probability that we will continue to drink or gamble or engage in some other form of addictive behavior.  CBT addresses such thinking and helps patients reset unhealthy beliefs about themselves, others and the world that give rise to such thoughts. 

May 2016

The International Congress Of Integrative Medicine And Health invited me  to present outcome data from our Integrative Trauma Recovery Program pilot study at this biennial gathering of nearly 900  integrative providers and researchers from around the world. We enjoyed meeting colleagues from such diverse places as North America, Europe, Asia and Australia working in the rapidly growing field of integrative medicine.  Plenary sessions covered topics that included pain, mindfulness science, placebo and the influence of public policy on alternative medicine. It was particularly rewarding to meet students in graduate programs worldwide already doing original research and helping move the field forward, even before the official start their own professional careers. 

April 2016

    Georgetown University's Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program page invited me this month to teach a workshop on integrative wellness.  We looked at how distinguishing "physical" from "mental" health is a linguistic act; such distinctions are never found in nature.  Depression, for instance, oftentimes called a mental illness, shrinks the brain's hippocampus, a physical structure.  PTSD, another "mental" disorder, triggers structural changes in the amygdala and medial-frontal cortex. Students were intrigued with a CBT demonstration of the treatment of anxiety - one of the most clearly body-plus-mind disorders of all.  It is heartening to see our next generation of medical providers so keen to look at the big picture of human wellness. 

February 2016

    This month Dr. Julie Staples and I signed a contract with Inner Traditions which will publish our new book  "Wholehearted:  Reclaiming Life After Trauma"  in early 2017.  "Wholehearted" page will present to readers the tools we teach in our Integrative Trauma Recovery Program page  which our research has demonstrated to be an effective, drug-free PTSD treatment.  We're very excited to be partnering with Inner Traditions to make this innovative approach to healing available to a worldwide audience. 

January 2016

  The new year is a perfect time to reset old and outlived patterns of behavior.  At a workshop in Santa Fe I presented CBT and yoga therapy tools anyone can use to create new habits  of body and mind.  I presented  recent  research that gives the lie to much conventional wisdom regarding habits and change, particularly the notion that "willpower" is the active ingredient in forming new habits.  In fact exactly the opposite is true: willpower is negatively correlated with  control of one's life.  Research data is oftentimes an antidote to the "common sense" notions that stand as roadblocks to our creating the lives we most want to live.

December 2015

    Spent a wonderful couple of days at the Northern California home of Dr. and Melanie Burns, catching up on family and friends and hiking some of the most beautiful coastline in the world.  Had the good fortune of joining the Feeling Good Institute community on a regular Sunday hike and of presenting our trauma recovery program page preliminary outcome data at Tuesday Group at Stanford.  Such a blessing to be part of this generous, committed and fun worldwide family brought together and inspired by the groundbreaking work of Dr. Burns. 

November 2015

   Friends at Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe invited me to present an evening workshop teaching CBT and yoga therapy tools in support of sound sleep.  Insomnia affects one in three of us on any given night.  CBT has shown efficacy for insomnia, addressing the beliefs and thought patterns that are part of the disorder.  Recently colleagues at Harvard's Sleep Program and Georgetown's Complementary and Alternative Medicine program have researched and developed yoga therapy tools that likewise have demonstrated efficacy on par with sleep medications - without the side effects, tolerance issues and rebound insomnia these drugs carry. Feedback following the workshop has been most positive.

October 2015

  The New Mexico Department Of Health invited me to present a TEAM communications workshop at an annual abuse prevention conference in Albuquerque.  About 80 participants learned and practiced conflict resolution tools that included the Disarming Technique [for verbal attacks], Changing The Focus [when we are being interrupted or ignored] and the Interpersonal Downward Arrow [for clarifying the structure of a conversation].  In a different world we would be taught such skills along with reading, writing and arithmetic.  Happily, we can learn them at any age and transform potential conflicts we have otherwise have going forward with family members, friends and colleagues.

August 2015

 Socrates taught by asking his students questions about their beliefs and thoughts patterns. Cognitive-behavioral therapy incorporates this approach into a tool for the treatment of anxiety and depression called - wait for it! - The Socratic Method.  Now Justin Braun and his colleagues at Ohio State University have published a paper  that presents the first empirical evidence for the efficacy of this tool in the treatment of depression.  Their study is well designed and a meaningful contribution to the growing body of research in support of CBT.

July 2015

 Spent a morning with my dear friend and mentor Willigis Jäger at Benediktushof  - his training center in Holzkirchen Germany.  Master therapists and spiritual teachers from around the world come here each year to lead workshops and retreats at this former Benedictine abbey dating from the 8th century.  I did my best to keep up with Willigis, who turned 90 in may, as he leapt from stone to stone over the ponds on the property and ran up stone steps worn thin at the center by centuries of monks' feet.  As always felt very blessed to have this young/old soul in my life.  

June 2015

 One of Germany's oldest training academies, Stuttgart's Zentrum für Psychotherapie page graciously invited me to present an introductory TEAM workshop to its trainees.  We went through an outline of the model then practiced together The Five Secrets Of Effective Communication, the Externalization of voices and other TEAM tools.   I was most impressed with students' knowledge of the literature, the close questions they asked, and their level of awareness of the issues involved in doing our work.  If this group is any indication, the future of psychotherapy in Deutschland is bright indeed.

May 2015

This month we collected follow-up data for the third cohort of our Integrative Trauma Recovery Program page  for PTSD.  As with our other cohorts, this group showed both dramatically reduced symptoms per the PTSD Checklist and improved sleep per the Pittsburgh Sleep Inventory.  ITRP's effect size compares very favorably with those in the published literature and, as importantly, participants continue to improve once the 8-week program ends.  We believe this is because they learn TEAM CBT and Kundalini yoga tools which allow them to "become their own therapists" and continue to dose themselves with the active ingredients of the protocol.  We plan to publish our results after completing our final  ITRP cohort this fall and are now offering the program worldwide in an intensive, 3-day format.  

April 2015

Matthew May MD page teaches TEAM therapy at Stanford University and at the Feeling Good Institute in Mountain View California.  For the last year I've been very fortunate to be a participant in Dr. May's weekly advanced consultation group.  In the group we practice the TEAM model and apply it to our personal and professional lives.  Dr. May not only knows the model forward and back but embodies out to his fingertips its core values of empathy, humility and respect.   As our awareness of ourselves and of the nuances of our professional work continue to grow, I and many colleagues owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. May. 

September 2014

This month UNM's Continuing Education division approached me about teaching three new courses in their conflict resolution certificate program.  The courses will incorporate interpersonal tools developed by David Burns MD as well as principals and practice at the core of Eastern martial arts training.  An example of the latter - "The best fighters don't fight" - speaks to the reality that authentic power is never brute force.  After decades of martial arts training and work as a psychotherapist I'm coming to see a single set of laws that govern relationship.  Be it in conversation with another, while dancing Argentine tango, or sparring in the dojo, we appear to be playing on the same board as the weak nuclear force and the gravitational effect between galaxies. 

August 2014

Stanford University's Jill Levitt, Ph.D. page this month began leading an online supervision group at the Feeling Good Institute for members like myself leading TEAM training groups throughout North America.  Jill co-leads Dr. Burns' weekly Tuesday Group at Stanford which I have the pleasure of joining on visits to the bay area.  She brings to her supervision a wealth of experience "training the trainers" and a wonderfully warm, down-to-earth style.  My own Monday Night Group in Albuquerque this month went online as well, making it possible for therapists anywhere to join us each week as together we learn the TEAM model and apply it to our personal and professional lives.

 July 2014

I had the pleasure of presenting 3 cognitive-behavioral therapy workshops at the 48th Annual Addiction Education Institute in Silver City, NM.  Met many new friends and colleagues there and reconnected with many others.  Also hiked the Gila Cliff dwellings in the mountains to the east, marveling at the art and engineering being done in the state nearly 1000 years ago.  New Mexico has one of the highest rates of addiction in the country, a fact following upon a very difficult colonial history and the 2nd lowest per-capita income in the nation.  It is also very lucky to have the wonderful resource that is the Institute.

June 2014

Our friend and colleague Sat Bir Singh Khalsa stopped through town this month which gave us the opportunity to share a hearty meal and many good laughs with him and his wife Siri Krishna Kaur at The Range restaurant in Bernalillo.  We caught everyone up on recruitment for our Integrative Trauma Recovery Program  to which Dr. Khalsa is providing invaluable consultation.  His ongoing work at Harvard University keeps him in the forefront of yoga researchers worldwide. 

May 2014

Spent a delightful few days at the home of David and Melanie Burns in Lost Altos California.  These consisted principally of my attempting to keep Dr. Burns in view while hiking together in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space followed by [my] power napping with Obie The [Formerly] Feral Cat.  Also visited the Feeling Good Institute and Dr. Burns' Tuesday evening group at Stanford, much to my benefit.  Such a blessing to have so many warm, generous colleagues passionate about working daily to improve their professional skills.

April 2014

Georgetown University's Institutional Review Board this month approved our study design for an 8-week Integrative Trauma Recovery program [click the "Trauma Recovery" tab above] consisting of TEAM cognitive therapy and Kundalini yoga.  This is the first study ever to combine CBT and yoga in a single protocol.  I will deliver the TEAM portion of the program.  Dr. Julie Staples will deliver the yoga portion and analyze our data. Colleagues at Harvard University and the Guru Ram Das Center are consulting on the project and two local assistants will help with data collection and recruitment. We hope to publish the results of this groundbreaking pilot early in 2015.

March 2014

On March 20-21 2014 David Burns MD. comes to Albuquerque to present two days of intensive training in his new cognitive-behavioral protocol for unwanted habits and addictions.  Dr. Burns' best-selling books  "Feeling Good" and "When Panic Attacks" have already revolutionized the treatment of depression and anxiety.  His Albuquerque workshop, "Treating Adults and Teens with Addiction Problems: High-Speed Treatment and Relapse Prevention Strategies," will roll out his new protocol for treating patients seeking help with unwanted habits and addictions. With a primary focus on alcohol and drug abuse, Dr. Burns will present fast, effective treatment methods with which to address the motivational factors and underlying emotional problems that trigger addictive behaviors and relapses during recovery.


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