What she does
Fielding has a private practice in Los Angeles focused on mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapies. Many of her clients are in the entertainment industry and experience anxiety and stress from unpredictable travel and work. Fielding has developed a practice that is flexible for her busy clients. This includes giving online homework assignments, which guide clients in their practice of mindfulness approaches to their thoughts and feelings, and checking in with them via phone in between sessions. "One of the primary skills I am trying to teach is to slow down and compassionately observe experience."
Circuitous route to psychology
When Fielding was 15, her mother encouraged her to go to Paris, where she began a 15-year modeling career. She traveled the globe modeling for major magazines, such as Marie Claire, German Vogue and the Victoria's Secret catalogue.
However, it was not as glamorous as it appeared, says Fielding. Although she learned French while abroad, Fielding did not graduate from high school, and being on her own was quite isolating. Her mother was back in Los Angeles and her sister, who was also modeling in Europe, began experimenting with drugs. Fielding said she started wondering how she avoided some of the pitfalls she saw in her friends and fellow models. Learning how to help other young women like her sister inspired her to become a psychologist. "Having watched my sister and many other young girls make very bad choices, now, in my practice, I get to right some of those wrongs in teaching my clients how to cope more skillfully," she says.
The path to Harvard
On a whim, at age 30 Fielding walked into Santa Monica Community College on the last possible day to register and signed up for an introductory psychology class and an art history class. "I thought I was the stupid one who dropped out … [but] I got A's," she says. From there, she transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, and graduated summa cum laude. She completed her EdM degree at Harvard University and earned her doctorate from Pepperdine University in 2009.
Applying her experience
Fielding says many of her entertainment-industry clients appreciate her ability to relate to their unique lifestyles. "I am doing what I love, helping other people and [incorporating] what I know experientially and what I know scientifically."
— Colleen Wilson
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