Living Like You Mean It by Ronald J. Frederick, Ph.D.

About the Author:

Ronald J. Frederick, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and life coach, with over 15 years of experience helping people get the life they really want.

A long-time proponent of the transforming power of emotion, he co-founded the Center for Courageous Living, which offers innovative therapy, coaching and consulting. Noted for his warmth, humor, and engaging presentation style, he lectures and facilitates workshops nationally.

Frederick is a senior faculty member of the Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) Institute, as well as the Clinical Supervisor of Park House, an outpatient program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

About the Book:

So many of us long to feel more alive, connected, and secure in our lives, particularly now, in these challenging and difficult times. Why is it so hard? Part of the problem, says Dr. Ronald J. Frederick, has to do with a fear of our feelings—a feelings‐phobia—and the consequences of expressing our feelings to others. It's this fear that keeps us stuck, detached from the wisdom inside us and distanced from the people around us.

And yet positive emotional experiences can actually “rewire” our brain and free us up to experience ourselves and our lives more fully. LIVING LIKE YOU MEAN IT: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want by Ronald J. Frederick, shows how we can overcome our feelings phobia in order to enjoy more satisfying lives.

Drawing on cutting edge science, many years as a psychotherapist and his own personal experiences, Dr. Frederick advocates that we understand and express the broad range of our emotions so that our feelings actually become allies in our search for fulfillment. His proven four-step process for tapping into the hidden power of our emotions includes:

*Recognizing the signs of fears in ourselves, and the defenses we unknowingly use to cut ourselves off from our potential power.
*Understanding how to tame our fear and exercise control.
*Learning how to experience our true emotions and make use of their many resources.
*Developing effective, measured ways to express and share our feelings.

A master story‐teller, Frederick interlaces therapeutic techniques with stories from people who have learned to recognize and deal constructively with the emotions that have kept them from living their best lives. The trick, Dr. Frederick shows, is in being able to navigate and diminish the fear that is so entangled with our feelings, so we can progress in a healthier, less encumbered direction, and get the life we really want.

I was fortunate enough to get the author to agree to an interview. This is what he had to say:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Living Like You Mean It: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want is a self-help book published by Jossey-Bass, a division of Wiley. Based on cutting-edge science, it shares my proven four-step approach to overcoming fear and becoming more emotionally present in one's life and relationships.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

I was inspired to write Living Like You Mean It by my own life-changing experience. I was in my early thirties, had just finished my doctoral studies, and despite having everything going for me, I hit a wall. I was in relationship I frequently questioned and found myself filled with trepidation and fear about moving forward. I ended up in therapy and discovered, rather surprisingly, that the anxiety I was experiencing at the time had so much to do with being uncomfortable with what I really felt deep down inside. I had become so afraid of my emotions, of listening to and trusting my true feelings, that I couldn’t hear the voice of my deepest self buried somewhere inside me—the voice that knew what I wanted, knew what I longed for, knew what felt right to me and what felt wrong. I might have gone on doubting myself forever had I not gotten the help I needed to recognize what, in fact, I really was afraid of and to learn how to overcome my fears, accept and embrace my emotional self, and really connect with others. The experience changed my life. My anxiety decreased, I stopped doubting myself and felt much more confident and in touch with my personal truth. I found it much easier to be emotionally present and felt closer to the people in my life. Ultimately, I found the courage to listen to and trust my heart and move forward, to leave the relationship I was in, and to realize the kind of relationship and life I had dreamed of having.

When you have an experience like that, when your life is changed in such a dramatic way, you want to spread the good stuff around. The more people I’ve been able to help, and the more I witness the dramatic changes that can take place when we develop the ability to be with and share our feelings, the more I have felt compelled to spread the word. I guess you can say that it’s become a mission for me: to help people to wake up to their feelings and get the lives they really want. I wrote this book to help people do just that.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My biggest supporter is my life partner Tim. As I say in the acknowledgements section of my book, “a better partner I couldn’t have imagined if I tried.”

Your biggest critic?

My biggest critic is probably myself. I have pretty high standards which I challenge myself to meet. It’s probably why I ever give up!

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

I’m most passionate about helping people be more accepting of their feelings and more emotionally present in their lives. Why? It’s our feelings that make us feel alive and vital, that bridge the gap between ourselves and others and help us to feel close. We get only once chance at this life; shouldn’t we give it our best shot?

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on promoting Living Like You Mean It which is pretty much a full-time job. I’m also beginning to develop an audio series based on concepts in the book that will help people experience more joy in their lives.

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

The approach I share in Living Like You Mean It is solidly based on cutting-edge findings from the fields of affective neuroscience, brain development, and attachment studies. Consequently, the program I offer, while easy to understand and implement, is not the kind of anecdotal, “quick fix” found in so many self-help books. Instead, it offers tools that have the potential to fundamentally change the way our brain works and truly transform our lives.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?

What I share in my book: To not be afraid to take risks and try to connect more deeply with others.

What is your favorite past-time?

My favorite past-time is being with my partner Tim (even though sometimes he drives me a little crazy!). Add in our two dogs and I’m pretty much good to go.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Getting a book published has so much to do with being tenacious. For me, it was four years from start to finish, with many road blocks along the way. I’m so glad that I persevered despite all the rejection, all the hurdles, all the down times. That I reached out to others for help and that I stuck with it as long as I did. I can hardly believe it sometimes when I’m holding the book in my hands that it’s actually come to fruition. It’s been quite a ride. So, don’t despair. Hang in there and keep at it!

And, to learn more about me and Living Like You Mean It, please visit:



Ron Frederick said...

Thanks so much for the interview and profiling my book! All the best, Ron Frederick