Therapy That Works...

2006 CBS Stories - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dr. Sylvia Gearing's CBS 11 and TXA 21 stories from 2006 have been posted under "CBS/TXA" link under "Media" at the top! Make sure to click over and read them today!

Tune in to TXA 21 every Wednesday (or Thursday) to watch Dr. Sylvia discuss the latest issues!

What Turns Her On - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Turns Her On: Women and Sexual Attraction

September 30, 2009

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, TXA 21 News

What attracts a woman to a man has been an elusive question for millions of men trying to “get it right.” Now a just released study from the University of Texas provides some surprising new information that may help struggling couples improve their love lives.

So, what’s so new about these findings?

First of all, it is wonderful that female sexual attraction is even being talked about. Most of the research money historically has focused on male sexuality and we have been all but ignored. Here are a few highlights of Drs. Meston and Buss’ new findings:

Complex Attraction: A woman’s attraction to a man is much more complex than we ever thought possible. Universally, the number one reason men are attracted to women is beauty. In contrast, women seem to consider many more factors in whether they like a guy. Such complex factors explain why there are some couples that, on the surface, seem highly dissimilar.

It is All In Her Head: Since the brain is the primary generator of female sexual attraction, psychological factors in female attraction are the “ballgame.” A woman not only has to be in the “mood” physically she must also “think” herself into the “mood.”

Body Image: The more a woman judges herself to be attractive, the more likely she is to report an increase in sexual responsiveness and activity over the past ten years. Again, such self-appraisal does not have to be objective—she just has to like how she looks. Unfortunately, 55% of American women express dissatisfaction with their bodies. This dissatisfaction is worse in media saturated America accounting for the $50 billion we spend on the diet industry.

A Good Man is Hard to Find: According to the study, men differ dramatically from each other in their desirability to women. Ten different women will have ten different opinions about a man’s attractiveness. This phenomenon explains why a beautiful woman is often attracted to the less attractive, but charismatic man.

Guys, here are some specific characteristics and tips to turn your woman on:

Smell of Attraction: The smell of a man is vitally important to women when it comes to basic sexual attraction. A woman’s olfactory acuity reaches its peak during ovulation.

It’s All in the Kiss: Men who are good kissers have a distinct advantage with women. Good kissing awakens a woman’s erotic interest and many women think great kissing is a clue to sexual compatibility.

Proximity: Repeated contact with someone can increase the odds of attraction exponentially. We like people as we get to know them over time.

Eye Gazing: Mutual and intense eye gazing is key for women in becoming attracted to a man. Men who sweep their eyes (respectfully) over women can be arousing. Studies have found that even with total strangers continuous “eye lock” can lead to attraction.

The Exotic Becomes Erotic: Although we like the guy next door who is available as a potential long-term choice, our pulses are “revved up” when we encounter the mysterious, unavailable and handsome guy. That guy who swaggers, has little to say and is unavailable will catch our attention. Many women love the anticipation of unpredictable contact.

Height: Many women love tall men and studies reveal that women consider tall men to be more attractive, more masculine and commanding.

V-Shaped Torso: Women are drawn to a specific male body type. They love broad shoulders, slender hips and well-developed, toned muscles. Men with a high shoulder to hip ratio are especially valued since they are regarded as more athletic.

Resonant Male Voice: A resonant male voice with a deeper tone and pitch is incredibly attractive to women. High levels of testosterone predict deeper voices among adult men. At some level, according to the researchers, women associate a deep baritone with good health, good genes, the capacity to protect and social influence. Think “Luciano Pavarotti versus Truman Capote.”

Something in the Way He Moves: How he moves indicates age, health, energy levels and biomechanical efficiency. To improve their attractiveness, men need to watch those dance moves (larger, more sweeping movements are preferred), how they walk (guy’s upper body sways laterally) and his gestures (space maximizing movements such as arm and leg stretching to dominate space).

You may be wondering where personality fits in here:

Personality is the essential spark for female attraction and it boils down to several essential characteristics.

Good Sense of Humor: Women who describe their husbands as more witty report higher rates of marital satisfaction. A sense of humor indicates empathy and understanding. David Buss, the study’s co-author, argues that displaying a good sense of humor is the most effective tactic for attracting women. Positive feelings, laughter and good cheer all make women like you. On an interesting note, men and women have huge gender differences on humor. Men like women who laugh at their jokes while women prefer that men make them laugh.

Self Confidence Versus Cockiness: A guy who knows what he is doing, is commanding with others, is poised and decisive are incredible attributes for attraction. Self-confidence is different from cockiness, which indicates false pride. Self-confidence is also a sign that he can protect and provide which are characteristics that are attractive to many women.

Character and Emotional Intelligence: The presence of integrity and honesty are unbeatable combinations for men who are interested in attracting a long-term mate. While they may not help a man in the initial attraction dance, these characteristics are essential for the long-term health of the marriage. Women love to be understood and having an emotionally self-aware guy is a huge allure.

Ladies, if you meet a nice guy that you are not attracted to or if you want to inject some passion into a current relationship – here’s what to do:

While you can never create that sexual chemistry on your own, you need to reconsider how you are thinking about this guy. Remember that for women, attraction is highly psychological. Research shows that a lot of women are attracted to the “bad boys” who are dashing, handsome and potentially unfaithful but that they outgrow such relationships over time.

Historical Foundations of Attraction: For the selection of a long-term relationship, pay attention to your history. Sexologist, John Money, says that we all have a unique template of what we find attractive. This “love map” accounts for some of the choices we make that may seem illogical such as why we like guys with brown hair versus blonde. We may choose against “type” when we meet someone whom we enjoy and with whom we build a lifetime bond. He may have our “love map” characteristics.

Weighted Values: Write a list of attributes that this man has and assign them values (one to ten etc.). Rate what is most important to least important. Think long and hard about what you want in a partner long term. For example, while he may not have the self-confidence and swagger of some more dashing men, he may have a great sense of humor that will keep you laughing through the night for the next fifty years.

Source: “Why Women Have Sex,” Carol Meson and David Buss

New Home Page and Marriage Program! - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You may have seen our new home page on your way in!

Also, make sure to click over to Marriage (under Your Relationships) and read up on our NEW marriage program: 

Our Marital-Emotional Intelligence Program!

Written and developed by both Drs. Milton and Sylvia Gearing, this program will improve your communication strategies, give you a deepened understanding of one another and of yourself, and enhance your passion in the bedroom. A different kind of intelligence, our emotional intelligence skills breakthrough gridlock, heal emotional wounds and develop emotional empathy. All of these attributes are essential for a long and lasting love affair with your spouse.

Click over for all the information, or call and make an appointment today!

New Marital Program! - By Chris Gearing

Monday, September 21, 2009

In the next couple days, Gearing Up is rolling out our new Marital Emotional Intelligence program!

Dr. Sylvia has crystallized the latest research and methods with over 25 years of experience to craft the most effective marriage program available!

Marital Emotional Intelligence Program

We will teach our couples about managing emotions effectively, understanding their partner empathically, and how to sustain an emotionally intelligent marriage. Check back in the next few days in the "Marriage" section for the latest updates!

2005 CBS Stories - By Chris Gearing

Friday, September 18, 2009

We have now posted all of Dr. Sylvia Gearing's CBS 11 and TXA 21 stories from 2005! Go to the CBS/TXA button under "Media" at the top to read them today!

The Wisdom of Intuition - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Wisdom of Intuition

September 17, 2009 

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, TXA 21 News 

Everyday we are forced to make split second decisions, often with minimal information. Intuition has always played an important part in our decisions at work and in our relationships. Now psychologists report that intuition can literally save your life.

So, what is intuition and why should you care?

Perimeter Protection System: Intuition is our perimeter protection system. It is a “knowing” that is often instant, without logic and beyond words. As one author said, “you are what you know.” Intuition originates in the “intuitive” circuitry that operates beneath our awareness, automatically and effortlessly, with immense speed. Our conclusions are often global and illogical but they make intuitive sense. We process in nano-seconds as we feel the raw power of our gut reaction warning us of danger.

Feeling Versus Analyzing: Raw, intense, and unexplainable, intuition is increasingly valuable in a world that is more complex and connected, we have to make decisions quickly based on minimal information in real time. Deliberating over a decision is often a luxury we cannot afford.

Analysis Can Lead to Denial: We now know that the brain operates analytically and intuitively. Our analytical brain weighs in later, draws on logic and deduction and selects the most reasonable decision. Unfortunately, it is easy to talk ourselves out of what we are seeing. Our intuitive brain is “way out in front” screaming warnings and protecting us against manipulators, narcissists and sociopaths. In these cases, denial can be our enemy.

Pay attention to the degree of what you are feeling, because not all intuitions are the same:

Intensity and Frequency Vary: Intuitions vary in intensity and frequency. They often occur randomly when we are mindlessly going through our daily business. Suddenly, our mind is issuing a warning to back up and protect ourselves.

Ordered Hierarchy That Builds: Intuition is comprised of an ordered hierarchy: nagging feeling, persistent thought, anxiety, apprehension, suspicion, hesitation, doubt, surge of anxiety and then outright fear.

We Don’t Pay Attention: People emit 1,000 different communications in a given day and our biggest problem is that we fail to track obvious behavior. We minimize the odd or even bizarre and amplify the normal aspects of other people’s behavior. People show us who they are and it is up to us to pay attention and put it all together. Believe your eyes.

A lot of my patients ignore their intuitions, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Here’s why:

We want things to be normal. We evaluate people constantly and are usually reassured that others are normal and trustworthy and have legitimate agendas. We do not want to believe that serious danger can exist right in front of us, especially in the business world. In the workplace, sociopaths abound and good people are especially vulnerable to disbelieving what is directly in front of us.

Another interesting facet of intuition is the gender differences in processing and purpose:

Draw Upon the Past to Assess the Present: Absolutely there are differences between the genders. Women have twice the emotional memory capacity in their brains as men so they are able to augment their intuition with memories of other similar situations.

Whole Brain Thinking: They have access to both sides of their brains so their intuition is influenced by both the raw, gut reactions of the intuitive brain leavened by the analytical capacities of the analytical brain. We are often willing to go with our gut feeling, which is not a fleeting emotional reaction. Intuition is a complex cognitive reaction that is brilliantly engineered by your watchful female brain.

The key is not to always “tune out” your intuition. Pay attention to the signals your mind is sending you:

There are several important survival signs that someone is potentially trying to manipulate you. You can use them in both business and in your personal life to protect yourself.

1.) Forced Teaming: When someone tries to project a shared purpose or experience when none exists, they are trying to manipulate you. Good cons want you to participate and drop your guard.

2.) Charm and Niceness: Charm is often a direct attempt to compel, control and direct. Ask yourself how sincere the “charm” seems. Is he trying to charm you or is he simply charming? There is a big difference.

3.) Too Many Details: People who lie talk too much. When people tell the truth, they do not feel doubted so they don’t oversupply you with details.

4.) Typecasting: Those little labels and criticism provide a slight insult and are usually easy to refute. However, the manipulator says it to keep you off balance.

5.) Loan Sharking: They love to set up situations in which you owe them. They offer assistance but he is always calculating what you owe him.

6.) The Unsolicited Promise: One of the most reliable signs of danger, the unsolicited promise is used to convince of a benign intention. They are used to lull you into complacency and to convince you that the outcome will be rewarding. Nothing could be farther from the truth.


"The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker

The Monitor, The American Psychological Association, 2005

2002 CBS Stories - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, September 17, 2009

We have now posted all of Dr. Sylvia Gearing's CBS 11 and TXA 21 stories for 2002! Make sure to check them out!

Virtual Tour! - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It's finally done - our amazing Virtual Tour is complete. Thanks to Al Torrico (our amazing photographer) for taking the pictures and stitching them together and also to our great web guys at Relevant Made, DJ and Daniel. Hire these people, they're awesome!

To check out the Virtual Tour, go to "Overview" under the Media button at the top. Do it now! It's incredible!

New Website! - By Chris Gearing

Saturday, September 12, 2009

We are so excited about our new website from the awesome guys over at We really appreciate all the hard work they put into helping us pull this together and how wonderful the process was in working with them. Thanks Relevant Made!

As you know, with anything new, there must have been something before it. We've had almost a complete make over, so while we have quite a bit done, we still have a little more to do.

Be sure to check out the pages that pertain to you. If you happen to find a page that says, "Content coming soon!", be sure to check back often because we will be posting new content every day!

We also plan on moving all the CBS11 / TXA21 Scripts we published on the old site under the "Media">"CBS11/TXA21 Scripts" page of the new site -- be sure to keep an eye on that as well. We even made it searchable so you can quickly find the articles we publish that might help you that much faster!

We also have a virtual tour of the office we are about to upload so look for that under the "About Us" tab.

That's it for now. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. Happy reading!

Think Yourself To Sleep! - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thinking Yourself To Sleep

September 10, 2009

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, TXA 21 News

Insomnia strikes 30% of Americans according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and this trend has only worsened during these challenging economic times. Millions of us have turned to prescription sleep aides but a new study from the Mayo Clinic now reports that improving your attitudes about sleep may be the real key to getting that elusive good night’s sleep.

Most of my sleepless patients begin by asking me why it is so difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Here are the facts:

  • A Lot on Our Minds: Stress is the number one cause of short term sleeping difficulties and the number of people struggling with sleep has doubled since 2001. Forty million Americans struggle with over seventy different types of sleep problems with insomnia being the most common. You cannot sleep if you have adrenaline coursing through your body while you worry about your job, your school, your kids or your money. Such chronic stress can even erode your immune system.
  • Sleepless Youth: Insomnia is not confined to the middle aged or the elderly anymore. The use of prescription sleep medications by the 18 to 24 year old crowd has nearly tripled since 1999. Access to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and texting keep us plugged in and sleepless.
  • Insomnia is Progressive: Sleep problems are progressive disorders. Unaddressed, short-term insomnia becomes long term, chronic insomnia. We begin to think that we cannot sleep and adopt attitudes that make it more difficult to sleep. We create an entire personal “culture” around why we cannot sleep.

Now that all sounds pretty bad, but it gets worse when we look at how sleeplessness actually affects its victims.

  • Thinking Less Effective: A weary mind cannot process the emotions of today and sleep deprived people overreact, snap at others and fail to concentrate and follow through. We end up with muddled minds and compromised careers.
  • Psychomotor Reactions are Compromised: We are simply clumsier when we are tired. Chronic insomniacs have four times the incident of car accidents. This phenomenon costs the U.S. up to $100 million a year in indirect costs. Falling asleep at the wheel causes half of all fatal accidents.
  • Increased Substance Abuse: People with sleep problems have 2.4 times more alcoholism than average. If they can’t sleep, many people turn to substances like alcohol and drugs to relax. This is dangerous especially since tolerance develops and we use more alcohol to get the same effect.
  • Sleepless and Blue: Insomnia does precede depression in most cases, and studies have shown that if you deprive a normal person of just two hours a night for five nights that they will begin to show symptoms of depression. Up to 90% of depressed patients have insomnia, and insomniacs have 35 times the rate of depression when compared to good sleepers.

The good news is that you can improve your sleeping habits by simply changing how you think!

When insomnia develops, it is often because of temporary circumstances that cause transient sleeplessness. We begin to believe we cannot sleep on our own and with $300 million spent on marketing last year by the top makers of sleep medications, we are often persuaded to take a pill. Unfortunately, experts are now reporting that medication may be more like a band-aid. The crisis may pass but our underlying attitudes and habits have shifted and are never addressed.

Are you ready to take the first step? Here’s what you should do:

Filling our minds with catastrophic outcomes keeps us up at night. The antidote, other than sleeping pills, is to focus on shifting your thinking from stressed to more logical, realistic thinking that is calming. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you to control or eliminate worrisome thoughts about current stresses and about sleep issues. Remember that 70 to 80% of people with chronic insomnia seem to benefit significantly from CBT. It is natural, reasonably priced and lasting.

Here is an example of CBT steps:

  • Step One: Catastrophic Beliefs. Think of a current stressor that is troubling you. List the future-threat catastrophic thoughts that were produced by this adverse situation, and then record all the thoughts and emotions that you experienced. These catastrophic beliefs often “chain together”, meaning that one catastrophic belief will provoke and flow into another catastrophic belief. The downward spiral is difficult to escape.
  • Step Two: How Likely Are Your Fears? Most of us worry about what bad outcomes could occur without any concern about likelihood. The key to ending your catastrophizing is to break free of the future-threat beliefs. The best way to do that is to emphasize what you do know as fact. Usually, the only solid fact in the catastrophizing chain is the original adverse event that started it. The rest is guesswork and supposition. Use that fact to estimate the probabilities of your worst-case fears. Just how likely is it that all of the awful events in your negative chain actually will happen? Try to estimate a numerical probability of the likelihood that each event in the chain will occur. Is it 75%? Is it 50%? Is it one in a million?
  • Step Three: Best-Case Beliefs. Generate a best-case alternative for each of your worst-case outcomes. This forces you to escape your worst-case scenario thinking, at least temporarily. You are now beginning to think logically and to solve the problem. Suddenly, when you take a break from catastrophic thinking, you will be better able to create the positive outcomes because you’re not dwelling exclusively on the catastrophic outcomes.
  • Step Four: Focus on Realistic Outcomes. Often, your identification of the most likely outcomes will be negative, since your mind is already thinking negatively. When you focus on the more realistic probabilities of bad things happening (1 in 10 million), and then compare those probabilities to the odds of good outcomes occurring (such as 50% to 70%), your thinking and mood will automatically shift to the positive. Avoid catastrophic thinking by filling your mind with realistic, positive outcomes with a high probability of occurring. You will then be ready to tackle the problem creatively and forcefully.
  • Step Five: Pro-Active Solutions. Now it is time to generate the realistic action steps you can take to remediate the problem. Relax, breath deeply and begin to focus on concrete actions that are reasonably implemented to solve the problem. Implement as soon as possible. Remain calm. Again, stay away from catastrophic thinking since it is just a distraction from solving the problem and is a complete waste of your mental energy. The positive solution is at hand. You just need to problem solve to generate it.


“Cost Effective Ways to Fight Insomnia” in the June 6th, 2009 New York Times

“Get A Great Night’s Sleep Every Night” from Good Housekeeping

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

“Insomnia Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy instead of Sleeping Pills” from

“Suffer From Insomnia? Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” from U.S. News and World Report

“The Resilience Factor” by Karen Reivich, Ph.D. and Andrew Shattle, Ph.D.

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