Difficult Emotions Course

Emotional Balance

When we survey the landscape of our lives and reflect on the best and most difficult times, we are usually thinking about emotion. Even if we don’t consider ourselves particularly ‘emotional,’ the drama of joy and sorrow, love and anger, security and fear – is poignant for all of us.

The skill of emotional balance is vital not only for our own well-being, but for our efforts to share mindfulness practices with youth. How can we empathize with a child experiencing intense emotion if we do not have a vivid and mindful picture of our emotional life?

As you will see in this course, there are tools and approaches that can be cultivated through our deliberate efforts that have tangible results, enhancing our capacity to regulate emotion and creating greater emotional freedom.


Crawley_MaryLea“The course brought so much insight and guidance into difficult areas of my experience – anger, shame, views of the self. It helped me step back from these emotions and view my own experience with much more kindness and tenderness.”

— Mary Lea Crawley
Certified Mindfulness Educator, Mindful Kids
Madison, NJ

Course Content

Through videos, readings, and exercises, this six-week online course offers an opportunity to deepen your mindfulness practice* and enrich your emotional life, based on the latest scientific research on emotion. Each week covers a new topic as we guide you through different approaches to managing difficult emotion:

  • Week 1: Understanding Emotion & Practices to Soothe the Intensity of Feeling
  • Week 2: Emotion Regulation & Intimacy with Our Emotional Experience
  • Week 3: Worry, Anxiety & Mindfulness
  • Week 4: Skillfully Meeting Anger
  • Week 5: Self-criticism, Shame, & The Wisdom of Kindness
  • Week 6: How Views of Self Influence Our Emotional Life

* Before taking this course, we require participants to have a background in personal mindfulness practice, either through our intro course, Mindfulness Fundamentals, or through one of these approved trainings.


Cohen_Alison“Matthew is extraordinarily gifted in his ability to clearly and compassionately explain how to understand and navigate difficult emotions; I also learned more about my own emotional life than I could have ever imagined. I will be returning to the course material for years to come!”

— Alison Cohen
Instructional & Leadership Coach and Mindfulness Educator
New York, NY


Your Trainer

Matthew Brensilver

Matthew Brensilver has practiced mindfulness since 2000 and continues to be a dedicated student of the practice. He holds a master’s and PhD from USC, where his dissertation focused on developmental psychopathology – the study of resilience and psychiatric disorder across the lifespan. Following completion of his graduate studies, Matthew spent several years doing clinical research at UCLA’s School of Medicine. There, he worked with the Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine where his research focused on clinical trials for addiction treatments. He teaches at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center where he focuses on the intersection of mindfulness and psychotherapy and teaches meditation retreats nationally. Matthew joined the Mindful Schools staff in 2014 and is delighted to share this course on emotion with you.

Meet the Guiding Teachers:

Gene Lushtak

Sara Schedler

Cheryl Slean


If you have additional questions, check out our FAQ page to learn about course pacing, CEUs and more. You can also e-mail us at: training@mindfulschools.org