864. A Day in the Life: What’s It Really Like to Be a Clinical Psychologist?
Lara Fielding, PsyD
Dr. Lara Fielding is a Los Angeles based clinical psychologist and author of “Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grownup.” She specializes in teaching science-based mindfulness skills to young adults, who are working through the challenges of the transitioning roles of adulthood. She studied psycho-physiology of stress and emotions at UCLA and Harvard, before getting her doctorate at Pepperdine, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, where she is a regular guest lecturer and former Adjunct Professor. She frequently offers training to clinicians and students in the community in the service of her value of therapy for all.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I dropped out of high school at 15 and embarked on what turned out to be a successful modeling career for 18 years. I was always an avid reader and fantasized about returning back to school one day and furthering my education but didn’t think I was smart enough. I had gone on a book buying binge and spent several days during a three-day rainstorm reading from dawn to bedtime. I mentioned to a friend that I wished I could do that all day long—read and study. That friend suggested I check out Santa Monica City College, which was in my neighborhood at the time. On a whim I got in my car the next day and drove to the college and it happened to be the last day to register for the next semester. When the woman at the registration table asked me if I wanted to apply, I said I couldn’t because I was a high school dropout. She replied that I could indeed apply and get my high school diploma while being enrolled at the college. I was 33 at the time and over the course of the next 10 years I graduated from UCLA and Harvard and finished my Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree at Pepperdine.”
The Most Powerful Lessons and Experiences?
1. My mother made us read 20 minutes every single day, school work or no school work, which led me to read scores of self-help and other books while I traveled around the world for my modeling career.
2. My super power is diligence: work hard, save your money, always do your best and learn what you can along the way.
3. While I built a successful career as a model for 18 years, it was highly stressful and quite lonely. You don’t feel a sense of safety and trust. I learned self-reliance at an early age.
4. Because I was frugal with my money, I bought real estate and other solid investments which allowed me to go back to school for 10 years, support myself during that time, then set up a private practice that allowed me to focus on what mattered to me most.
5. My passion is how we can make ourselves more resilient: the relationship between health, behavior and stress. I want to help individuals understand these vital influences so that they can thrive, not merely survive.
On Her Bookshelf
Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-Up, by Lara E. Fielding, PsyD
Connecting With Lara Fielding, PsyD
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