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
By Lara Fielding | Sunday, November 4, 2012
I've been teaching a lot about compassion lately. I came across this brief review of the latest research, so I thought I would post it. Compassion skills are central when I teach the Opposite Action skill from DBT for emotions related to anger (irritation, frustration, annoyance). Most of the time, opposite action is just that, an action. But,... Read More
By Lara Fielding | Thursday, August 2, 2012
Half-Smile: A Breath Mint for MoodBecause primary emotions are hardwired in bodily expression, activating a posture, opposite to how you feel will help you to regulate the emotion. If you think about it, you will notice that the facial expressions of happy, sad, scared, angry, and disgusted are universally identifiable. No one has to teach us to recognize them. This being the case... Read More
By Lara Fielding Psy.D., Ed.M | Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Therapist-Psychologist: To-may-to, To-mah-to??? Most people seeking psychological and mental health services do not know the degree their clinician holds, or the difference between degrees. The generic term “therapist” is broadly applied to clinicians, regardless of degree. For example, it is not widely known that: The term “therapist” requires... Read More
By Lara Fielding Psy.D., Ed.M | Thursday, August 11, 2011
This WSJ article discusses and normalizes some of the common difficulties people have finding the right therapist for them. Highlighted is the fact that one size does not fit all, and sometimes it is best to “shop around” before settling on who is the best clinician for you. Read More