Working with Difficult Emotions

About This Course

When we survey the landscape of our lives and reflect on the best and most difficult times, we are usually thinking about and experiencing 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.


Watch trainings and practice talks that will support your learning journey


Easy access with a commitment of roughly 2-3 hours per week


Educators are eligible for Graduate Level Credits

Course Objectives

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

Each session is facilitated by a Guiding Teacher who directs the learning process by synthesizing emerging themes, answering questions, and providing ongoing participant feedback.


  • Educators can receive up to 3 graduate level credits Details


Mindfulness Fundamentals course

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

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Who Is This For?

The Mindful Schools community includes educators, counselors, parents, and a wide range of school community members. We invite you to join this course if you are interested in deepening your mindfulness practice alongside a like-minded community of peers.

Our Trainer

Matthew Brensilver, PhD, 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.

If you have additional questions, check out our FAQ page to learn about course pacing, CEUs and more. You can also email us at