By Lara Fielding | Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Regulating our emotional reactions to stress, in a healthy and adaptive way, does not happen easily or magically. But, it seems most of us assume that it “should" happen easily and effortlessly.  Like any skill, it is only from PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, that this becomes second nature. Even with repeated review and practice, strong emotions... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Tuesday, October 21, 2014
  Moving from Awareness to Action: Awareness is an activity of the mind. Behavior problems need behavioral solutions. “Awareness is the first step!” We hear this expressed a lot. Okay. This is true. It is the “first step.” But Awareness – knowing – acknowledging – giving attention to something is not enough, with out the Actions to back it up... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Saturday, September 27, 2014
WHY NOW? TWO COMMON REASONS There are usually two broad reasons people come to my office. It doesn’t really seem to matter what the categorical diagnosis is. After all, mental health diagnoses are just a cluster of symptoms. Five out of nine usually, which say little about how the symptoms emerged in the first place. So, the diagnosis is usually... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Friday, September 26, 2014
Compassion skills are central to Emotion Regulation.  Particularly as Opposite Action skill for emotions related to anger (irritation, frustration, annoyance). Most of the time, opposite action is just that, an action. But, particularly with feelings of anger, there is also an attitudinal or thinking action. Opposite action basically says this:... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Sunday, September 14, 2014
Secondary Emotions: An emotion about an emotion The relationship, beliefs, and attitudes we have towards our emotional experience set us up for secondary emotions and emotion dysregulation. In the last blog (Emotion Regulation (Dys-Regulation) 101) we discussed how the emotion regulation system gets wired through our relationships early in life.... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Saturday, September 6, 2014
Emotion Regulation (and Dys-regulation) 101: Emotion Regulation happens when our thoughts-emotions-actions are in a balanced state. We are well regulated when we can respond to the demands of the environment, without reacting impulsively, or shutting down entirely. This is an optimal functioning of the holistic system of mind and body. Emotion DYS... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Monday, July 14, 2014
We have all heard that depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders have an important “biological component.” But what does biological mean? A common misconception is that “biological” means “immutable” or “permanent.” In this blog, I would like to talk a bit about the bi-directional influence of biology and our mind-body vehicles. First, the... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Strategies are the things we do to minimize discomfort and obtain or hold on to pleasure. Short-term strategies are those that bring immediate gratification. Long-term strategies are those that bring longer, more enduring rewards, but require some discomfort in the short term. When short-term strategies are more prevalent than long-term, we... Read More
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