Often clients report that they “know” who they are and what they want to do, but struggle to move their life forward due to their immediate reactions, emotional barriers and deep seeded beliefs about themselves. Our emotional and subconscious processes are influencing our decisions most of the time. In 1971 after several studies, Dr Albert Mehrabian from University of California Las Angeles concluded that human communication was 7% word choice, 38% tone of voice, and 55% body language. Voice tone, body posture, and eye contact send signals to your emotional and subconscious self that “decides” how you will interpret the information. Most advertisers don’t waste time explaining why a product works. The marketing team targets why your life will be better with the product; a play on your subconscious process. Buy this perfume and have closer more sensual relationships; drive this car and your family will be happy; and so it goes.

Dave Gray is an business entrepreneur who helps build stronger teams. His work is dedicated to explaining how things works. In his book Liminal Thinking, Dave describes how subconscious thoughts, perceptions and beliefs cloud reality and effective decision making. Dave’s model describes in detail how to explore and questions our beliefs to enhance understanding of ourselves and others; while increasing mindful presence in our lives. Dave suggests that by approaching life this way we increase our chances of effectively moving towards the goals; whether those goals are to express your core values more often or build the business of your dreams. Enjoy the description of Liminal Thinking and increase your awareness about how your subconscious activities can be changed to help you move towards your goals.


Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT discusses how staying present and safe with our partners is the foundation of acceptance and love. Validation and mindful attention are the building blocks to furthering connection and understanding what our loved ones need and desire. Enjoy Stan’s blend of humor and directness in describing how he works with couples to engage their relationships and increase connection.

Functioning Levels of the Brain

The brain is the part of the body that coordinates and controls how our bodies work to understand the world we live in and keep us alive.  Often science breaks brain function down into three regions; the brain stem, the limbic system and the neo-cortex.  These areas are sometimes referred to as the lizard brain, the mammalian brain, and the executive or human brain.   

Here are some of the functions of each area:

Brain Stem (Lizard Brain)

  • Heart rate
  • Breathing
  • Hunger
  • Sleep
  • Fight or flight

Limbic System (Mammalian Brain)

  • Emotions: Love, Anger, Fear, Happiness
  • Habits
  • Memory

Neo-Cortex (Executive or Human Brain)

  • Control of Attention and Awareness (Mindfulness)
  • Override of the lower two systems
  • Problem solving
  • Goal Directed Behavior

In this YouTube Clip, Dr. Russ Harris describes each level of functioning by replicating Dr. Dan Siegel’s hand model of the brain.

Marsha Linehan and Mindfulness Skills

Marsha Linehan brought mindfulness to counseling and therapy. From her studies she created skills that can be learned to accept and change yourself. In this video she explains the skills of Observe, Describe, and Participate. At Mindful Transitions Counseling of Fort Collins, John Kinnaird LCSW uses mindfulness based therapy and counseling to help clients transition through life challenges.