Tara Fields, Ph.D., M.F.T. is a regular contributor to the KSRO Morning News with David Wesley Page and Curtiss Kim.
Tara Fields, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Ph.D in Counseling Psychology, has spent her career helping individuals, couples and families in distress.
Fields’ unique blend of intelligence, compassion and humor has endeared her to thousands of loyal television viewers and radio listeners. She is widely recognized for her knowledge, compassionate approach and ability to provide workable solutions to real life problems. Direct and to the point, she encourages those in her care to muster the emotional courage needed to successfully take control of their lives.
“What moves me and fuels the great passion to do what I do, is that on radio and television I can be the reality check to thousands of people who think they are alone in feeling shame, believing they’re damaged or living in isolation. It’s a gift for me to tell people ‘there’s nothing wrong with you and it’s time to let go of those erroneous beliefs about yourself’... and then have thousands of people respond, ‘Yes, yes, that’s me.’”
Tara has had a thriving private practice in both Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area for over twenty years treating individuals, couples and families. She incorporates her advanced level of training in the Gottman Method Couples Therapy in her work with those who are looking to both repair and strengthen their relationships. Her commitment to her family systems training has taught her that the inclusion of as many immediate and extended family members as possible in the treatment process facilitates profound and lasting change not only for the “identified patient” but also the family as a whole. Whereas traditional therapy singles out an individual for treatment, a family systems approach seeks to uncover how each member may be contributing to the presenting problem and therefore has the ability to contribute as well to the family’s healing as a whole. This also alleviates the burden of one person being labeled as the “problem.” She’s found this to be a powerful modality for lasting change in working with those challenged by the stress of addiction, divorce, infidelity, financial hardship, hoarding or a child who is struggling with obesity or an eating disorder.
In addition to her classical Western training, Tara brings her own Vipassana (mindfulness) practice to her therapy. Combining the practice of mindfulness with the more traditional use of Cognitive Behavioral therapy affords the most reliable and lasting relief from a wide range of issues that families, couples and individuals seek treatment for, in many cases replacing the need for medication.
These treatment modalities along with patience, determination and emotional courage can facilitate the patient from feeling helpless to having a genuine sense of empowerment over themselves and their environment.
Tara began her media career at ABC 7 TV in San Francisco as an expert on a variety of psychological issues making news. She also filled in as a guest talk show host on KGO radio. Her first full time talk show host position was For Lovers Only on KZST in Sonoma County where Fields discussed intimate issues in a frank and candid manner. That lead to the launching of the popular Dr. Tara Show, a daily 3 hour call-in advice program in the San Francisco and Seattle markets, which gave her the moniker “The Bay Area’s Dr Frasier Crane.” Tara was one of the original interventionists for over 2 seasons on A&E’s Emmy award winning docudrama Intervention. In addition, she was a psychotherapist on season one and two of A&E’s hit show Hoarders. She has been a frequent guest on Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN and HLN. For 11 years, Fields had a weekly segment on KRON 4 TV’s Saturday Daybreak in San Francisco, and has hosted or been the expert on TV news specials, most notably The ABCs of AIDS, on San Francisco’s ABC affiliate, KGO-TV, a one-hour live news special talking to kids and parents about sex and AIDS, as well as an educational video series Smart Starts for Parents, from 21st Century Learning. Her weekly radio segment On the Couch with Dr. Tara can be heard on KSRO radio.
Fields says she doesn’t do therapy on the air, and believes it’s unethical to give listeners snappy answers or glib criticism. "I give strong opinions, but the ball is in their court," Fields says. "My intent on the air is just to get people on the right path. There are no quick fixes and I remind my listeners that they need to seek help for tougher problems."
Fields has been a keynote speaker, workshop leader and panel moderator numerous times for such organizations as the Commonwealth Club of California, Northern California Radio and Television News Directors Convention, American Women in Radio and Television, and Canyon Ranch as well as an adjunct professor at the College of Marin. Topics have included "The Ethics of TV and Talk Radio," "The Psychology of Celebrity Stalkers," “ A Family Systems Approach In Structuring An Intervention,” and “Treating the Eating Disordered Family.”
Fields is also a contributor to local and national publications, such as Redbook, Glamour and Cosmopolitan, where she addresses a range of issues, including parenting, maternal health, relationships of all shapes and sizes, addiction and stress reduction. Her ability to make sense of the latest research on subjects like effective marital interventions and postpartum depression enables her to help readers translate hard science into news they can use.
Tara earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology and her doctorate degree in counseling psychology. Her doctoral research focused on the contributing factors to adolescent alcohol abuse. She completed her three-year clinical internship at the Maple Center Community Mental Health Clinic in Beverly Hills, California, where she trained in marriage and family therapy, as well as adolescent and child psychotherapy, supervising peer counseling groups and leading therapy groups for excelling senior students at Beverly Hills High School; additionally, she participated in a six-month practicum with Dr. Marion Solomon on the diagnosis and treatment of narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. During this time she also began her training in addictions, eating disorders and facilitating an intervention. Tara received her certification of clinical training in Psychodrama from the Los Angeles Psychodrama Institute where she trained and then directed with Dr. Lewis Yablonsky and Dr. Michael Solomon. She has had twelve years of training and practice in Mindfulness Meditation methods at Spirit Rock Meditation Center with Jack Kornfield Ph.D. and other renowned teachers.
Fields is a member in good standing in the California Association of Marriage and Family
Therapists and the Marin County Chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Dr. Fields is actively involved in a number of charitable causes. She is an advisor, board and program committee member for Kid’s Turn, an organization that offers survival skills to children of divorced or separated parents. For five years she enjoyed dancing with other media and sports celebrities in the Oakland Ballet’s annual “Nutcracker” fundraiser. Fields is a fervent animal rescue advocate and volunteers for numerous animal rescue organizations, most memorably the Hurricane Katrina animal rescue mission by the Humane Society of Marin County.
Tara lives in the San Francisco Bay area and spends as much time as possible outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, snorkeling and swimming with wild dolphins. Most of all, she loves spending time with her husband, family, treasured circle of friends and of course her latest rescue Dalmatian.