Elizabeth A. Stanley, PhD


Free Q&A and Practice Sessions

I know how daunting it can feel to practice alone—especially when we experience great discomfort in our minds and bodies, or we’re coping with challenging conditions in our daily lives. It can be tough to “pay ourselves first” and prioritize window-widening habits when we have busy schedules and competing demands.

Thus, to support our practitioner community, I offer a free monthly 90-minute session on Zoom with guided practice and live Q&A. You can register for sessions here to receive the Zoom link. I typically offer these sessions on the first Thursday of each month. I try to alternate the start time between 8:00 pm ET (GMT-4) and 12:00 pm ET (GMT-4)  to allow people in European, African, and Asian time zones an opportunity to join as well.

This link shows all sessions within the next three months—you can register for as many as you would like. Registration is possible up to six hours before the start time of any session. You will also receive a reminder email with the Zoom link shortly before each session.

These sessions differ from those that were included in the MMFT® Online Course with Sounds True:

  • You can only participate by joining the Zoom session.
  • For privacy reasons, these sessions are never recorded.
  • I do not collect questions ahead of time. You can ask them live or put them in the chat during the session.

Starting a Mind Fitness Practice

Building an allied relationship between the thinking brain and survival brain requires training our attention in a systematic way. That’s because where we direct our attention has profound ripple effects through the survival brain, nervous system, and body.

For this reason, initially it’s important to choose target objects of attention that help the survival brain feel safe. The first exercise in the MMFT® sequence is the Contact Points Exercise. (You can get a free download of this exercise by joining my mailing list!) By directing your attention to the sensations of contact between your body and surroundings, your can show your survival brain that you’re grounded, stable, and safe.

Practicing each day in the same place and at the same time—such as mornings or after exercise—can help build the habit. In the morning, the mind tends to be receptive before the day’s busyness has begun. Research shows how cardiovascular exercise encourages beneficial brain changes, so practicing right afterwards can help. There is nothing more important for building the new habit than consistent practice. It’s much better to practice for just five minutes each day than to binge and bust.

Especially when you’re experiencing a lot of stress arousal, it can be helpful to sit in a stable chair, with your back facing a solid wall rather than a door, window, or open space. This can help your survival brain feel more stable and secure. However, if you find the Contact Points Exercise to be significantly distressing, it’s best to back off and seek some help from a therapist, preferably someone trained in body-based trauma techniques. See the links below.

Find A Therapist

If you’re confronting profound dysregulation, working with a therapist trained in body-based techniques is essen­tial—especially when you’re beginning mindfulness practice. These practitioners can help you pace your survival brain’s bottom‑up processing, so that it happens gradually and safely.

I strongly recommend that you seek out a trained profes­sional to help you navigate your way through the process, so that you don’t inadver­tently flood your system, retraumatize your survival brain, and exacerbate your symptoms of dysregulation.

Here are links for finding a certified practitioner for Somatic Experiencing and sensorimotor psycho­therapy. Both kinds of practitioners can skillfully assist your survival brain and nervous system in coming back into regulation.

In addition, I can recommend two certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioners who are also MMFT Trainers. In addition to providing Somatic Experiencing sessions to guide your survival brain and autonomic nervous system back into regulation, they could help tailor your use of MMFT exercises to slow down and support your survival brain’s bottom-up processing in tandem with this therapeutic work.  Both practitioners work in person or remotely via Zoom: