By Lara Fielding | Wednesday, June 18, 2014
  The role of emotions and why we have them. Most people who come to skills training are looking for ways to increase positive emotions, and decrease the negative ones. Human beings, by design, want to feel good, and get rid of emotions that feel bad. But here's the deal, our system did not develop so that we can say, "Yeah, I don't really do... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Where the mind goes..... the mood follows! Future predicting can lead to anxiety. Rumination on the past, can lead to sadness.  So, the key to maintaining balanced mood is to hold non-judgmental attention in the present moment. Since minds time travel, and bodies don't, practice actively moving-holding attention in the body. Here’s how. Step I: ... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Friday, February 28, 2014
Do you know what your triggers are? Can you name them right off the top of your head? Knowing the kinds of situations that are likely to activate an exaggerated reaction from you is an essential first step in Mindful-Mastery. Triggers are events or situations that activate an intensified emotional reaction in some individuals (but not all), due to... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Sunday, February 16, 2014
Another problem with our wonderful human mind is that thoughts can be very sticky! By sticky, I mean, we can experience thoughts, memories, and ideas in our minds as if they are actually happening. Psychologists call this “cognitive fusion.” When scientists scan the brains of people thinking certain thoughts, or recalling certain events, the areas... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Change is not easy. We all have a tendency to behave in ways that do not serve us sometimes. If it were easy, we would not do all the many things we do that are bad for us. The reason is simple. Humans, like all animals, move towards what feels good, and move away from what feels bad. The link we make between X behavior and Y immediate outcome,... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The “Passengers on the bus” metaphor was developed by Steven Hayes, who developed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It is so useful for thinking about our internal experience (versus external), I use it from session 1 with clients. So, I will share it here......Imagine your life is like a bus. You are the driver of this bus. From the moment... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The Castle in the Village Metaphor: A simple picture of common relationship dynamics As we negotiate the often tumultuous, landscape of relationships (finding them, beginning them, maintaining them, and sometimes ending them) many psychology theorists have noted a common dynamic. A pattern of interaction seems to occur over and over in some people... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Success oriented culture prioritizes independence and self sufficiency as the optimal state of functioning. In an effort to be successful, we often buy into this belief full stop. But neuroscience is now showing us what our experience already did. Social connectedness, belonging, is as essential as any core need, and increasingly so for success in... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Sunday, September 8, 2013
What is the first thing that goes through your mind when you think of a silent retreat? Is the idea compelling? Repelling? Is it one of those, “that sounds like a good thing to do, but awful!” like running a marathon, or some other monumental task. I was more like the last camp.    As a teacher and student of Mindfulness practices and... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Saturday, July 6, 2013
In teaching emotion regulation, a large part of session time tends to be dedicated to working on the Opposite Action skill for anger (see Opposite action post). Because this emotion can to lead to disruptive and unhelpful outcomes, it makes sense that we become highly invested in changing it. But (and I do mean but), our emotions are critically... Read More