Therapy That Works...

The Advantages Of Having A Working Mom - By Chris Gearing

Friday, October 29, 2010

Are Working Mothers Bad For Their Children? - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Next Chapter In The Anita Hill Story - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In 1991, Anita Hill was called to testify in Justice Clarence Thomas’s Senate confirmation hearings. She alleged that Justice Thomas had made lewd and inappropriate advances toward her. Recently, Virginia Thomas, his wife, called Professor Hill and requested an apology.

You can watch me covering this story on CBS 11 here:

http://cbs11tv.com/video/?id=57973@ktvt.dayport.com

How To Spot Teens Who Cut And Burn Video - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Are The Kids All Right? - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are the Kids All Right?

Working Moms and Their Children’s Welfare

CBS 11 News

Dr. Sylvia Gearing

Women now comprise 51% of the workforce and the number of working moms who are the sole breadwinners has increased for the third year in a row. But does a working mom negatively impact her child’s development? New landmark research just released by the American Psychological Association says “no.”

Is the mother working outside the home bad for the child?

Absolutely not. In fact, most studies tell us that working women have higher self esteem, are stronger emotionally and financially, and are actually excellent mothers. The children benefit from having a mother who is confident, resourceful and in control of her life – traits they idolize and learn. This landmark study reviewed 69 studies over the last 50 years and found that children whose moms return to work before the child is three do just fine—they don’t show increased anxiety, behavioral problems, or low self esteem. In fact, they flourish emotionally and socially. A happy mother produces a happy child.

But how do mothers feel about these findings?

Ambivalent About Working: No, most working moms are very ambivalent about leaving their kids especially when they’re young. Women are experts at beating themselves up and being the perfect mother is something we expect of ourselves, no excuses. Although most working mothers are pleased to have a job in this economy, they wonder if they are doing the right thing when it comes to their kids. This attitude was confirmed by the Pew Research Center which reported that working women remain conflicted about the competing roles they play at home and at work. We still do twice as much housework and childcare as our husbands despite his increasing contributions around the house.

Lack of Community Support: But what is most interesting is the lack of support many young mothers feel from their communities and families. Young working moms often feel judged by others. Despite the fact that society overwhelming believes that both men and women should contribute financially, working mothers of young children suffer a special penalty. Only 12% of the public says that it’s best for a young child if his mother works full time. This new study now totally shatters this outdated sentiment which has defined generations of mothers.

Are children reaping the rewards of having a working mom throughout their development?

There are several advantages for children with working moms:

More Resources: Working moms provide more financial resources to their children. When you have to cut the pie into fewer pieces, there’s more for each child. These concentrated resources allow children to develop a wide array of skills and interests. Nothing is more important to the mother than the advantages she can provide her children.

More Education, Fewer Kids: As women become better educated, they have fewer kids. So not only do these kids reap the benefits of having more resources, but they have incredible mothers who manage offices, stock portfolios, and surgery rooms. These mothers can pass along their wealth of knowledge, self discipline and resilience to prepare their kids for life!

Confidence and Independence: Research shows that working mothers are generally more confident than moms who stay at home, and children benefit enormously from having an engaged, empowered mother. Children tend to adopt the attitudes and habits of their mothers and the child of a working mom has a decided advantage.

But of course, there are several lifelong benefits to having the mother at home

Without a doubt, remaining home with baby is a wonderful experience and is what most of us long to do if we can afford it. The child luxuriates in having a dedicated caretaker who patiently mentors him on a daily basis. Stay at home moms are talented at providing that stable, predictable and enriched environment that only a mother can really give. It is a wonderful gift to give your child if you can do it, but if there are financial realities that prevail, it is okay to work. There are many strategies in rearing outstanding children. The real secret is being an emotionally intelligent parent who is willing to help the child gather strength and confidence in himself.

The Effect of Parental Alienation On Children - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Parental Alienation II:

The Effect of Parental Alienation on Children

Parental alienation—the relentless campaign of one estranged parent to destroy their child’ relationship with the other parent—is on the rise. It spans the range from careless hostile remarks to premeditated and systematic attempts to assassinate the character of the targeted parent.

If you are concerned if your child is a victim of parental alienation, be on the lookout for the following behaviors:

Brainwashed by Lies: These kids are basically brainwashed and now regard their targeted parent as the enemy or as a worthless afterthought. This kind of betrayal can occur even in the most tender and loving relationships. Tragically, I have seen such division lasting for years.

Contempt, Rejection and Disrespect: The child shows contempt, rejection, and disrespect for the targeted parent. These comments are often irrational, insulting and traumatizing to the parent who feels helpless and hopeless.

Rehearsed Answers: The child has been taught to orient to the controlling needs of the alienating parent at all costs. He is often unable to specify why he dislikes the targeted parent. In fact, he may exaggerate the faults of the parent to justify his rejection. His comments parrot the alienator’s words and feelings.

Long Term Damage: There is minimal data on the long-term effects of such alienation on kids. However, we do know that the earlier the separation from a parent, the more traumatic it is for the child. The basic tenants of loving relationships—trust, loyalty, and forgiveness are never learned and the child may struggle for a lifetime because of these experiences.

There are several steps you can take to preserve your relationship with your child:

Educate Yourself: Parental alienation can be an elusive phenomenon to prove especially in a highly intense forum such as child custody. There are several books with great resources that are “must reads” for parents (Please see the sources for this post).

Remain Calm: Understand that you have been systematically undermined and that you are taking every step to remediate the situation. Focus on what you can control and don’t stress about other factors. Do not lose your temper, reject your child or insult your ex in front of your child.

Work with Great Experts: Hire a psychologist and a lawyer who are proven experts in parental alienation. The therapist must acknowledge the massive psychological impact such alienation has on the child and targeted parent. Your attorney needs to possess a solid understanding of this type of emotional abuse and the substantial legal skills to protect your child and your interests.

Sources:

"Divorce Poison," Dr. Richard Warshak

"The Custody Revolution" by Dr. Richard Warshak

"Divorce Casualties: Understanding Parental Alienation," Dr. Douglas Darnall

Is Parental Alienation A Real Problem? - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parental Alienation I:

Is Parental Alienation a Real Problem?

The term parental alienation first came into the public conversation during the bitter custody struggle between actors Kim Bassinger and Alec Baldwin. This widespread phenomenon has done tremendous harm to America’s families. Now psychologists are wrestling with whether parental alienation is a classifiable mental health syndrome.

So what is parental alienation and why is it becoming such a problem for American children?

Systematic Campaign of Alienation: Parental alienation is a systematic campaign of character assassination. It is not gender related or age related. One parent is determined to permanently alienate the child’s affections toward the other parent.

Spans the Range: Parental Alienation spans the range from careless, self serving comments that undermine the child’s view of the other parent to outright malicious intent, legal battles and reckless actions.

Emotional Abuse of Children: Parental alienation is a form of emotional abuse of the child. As one expert said “ Bad mouth your ex and you simultaneously bad mouth your child.”

So why do parents set out the ruin the relationship of their ex with the child?

Revenge: Getting back and getting even is the number one reason parents assault their ex’s. Rebuffed or disappointed spouses get enormous secondary gain from inflicting pain on a spouse they believe has wronged them.

Child is Perceived as a Possession: For some parents, adequate boundaries with their children are absent. They child is an extension of themselves. The mind of the child becomes the battlefield for revenge. The parent attempts to banish the other parent so he can have the child to himself.

Compensating for Inadequacy and Guilt: Parents try to resolve the rejection or their sense of failure by convincing themselves that they are the best parent. Posturing as the superior parent makes them feel better even if it’s at the expense of their child. They have no conscience about the suffering of the child and the other parent.

Sources:

"Divorce Poison," Dr. Richard Warshak

"The Custody Revolution" by Dr. Richard Warshak

"Divorce Casualties: Understanding Parental Alienation," Dr. Douglas Darnall

The Truth About Long-Term Relationships - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Go The Distance: The Truth About Long-Term Relationships

With the new Drew Barrymore and Justin Long comedy “Going The Distance” in theaters, many couples are seeing a long distance relationship in a new light.

But what’s it really like to go the distance?

Recession Reality: Thanks to the economy, long distance relationships are relatively common nowadays with partners working jobs in different cities just to make the bills. The worst part is that as the recession drags on, so does the time apart – couples have been long-distance for years now either at work or at school getting ready for new jobs.

New Technology, New Relationships: With the advent of new technologies like text messaging, Twitter, and Skype available for free at the touch of a button – carrying on long-distance relationships has become easier than ever. Even though the frequency of communication has show no effect on whether or not couples stayed together or the quality of their relationship, technology has made it easier than ever to talk to our loved ones – no matter how far they are.

Magnify The Positive: Researchers have seen higher levels of idealization of a partner if they are far away. In addition, couples try much harder to avoid conflict if they are long-distance since they don’t want to spoil their little time together with fighting.

Progress Is Slow: Real partnerships and relationships develop through conflict resolution and fully knowing the other person – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Due to the lack of face time, long distance relationships tend to progress at a much slower rate, both towards breaking up and marriage.

If you’re considering a long-distance relationship, the biggest question that you have to answer is do you really trust the other person?

Physical attraction is not the same as the building blocks of love - trust, similar values, and a common view of the world. If you’re moving into a long-term, long-distance relationship, be extremely sure about what your partner will feel, think, and do when you’re apart.

SOURCES:

“More Young Couples Try Long-Distance Relationships” by Sharon Jayson, USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/mentalhealth/2010-09-09-longdistance09_ST_N.htm

Adult Child Anxiety! - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Adult Child Anxiety!: Why Parents of Twentysomethings Can’t Calm Down

Even though your children are grown, do you still worry about them? Trust me, you’re not alone. You will always be your child’s parent, and that means you will always worry about them. New research says that if you think your child has a problem, it will make you unhappy.

But this is only for parents with adult children who are really in trouble, right?

Nope. The study found that having even one child who has a physical, emotional, lifestyle, emotional, or behavioral problem can have a negative effect on the parent. It didn’t matter if the other kids were successful – just one child with one kind of problem was enough to tip the scale.

Parents, here’s what you can do to pick up your mood and stop worrying so much – become emotionally fit:

Courage Under Fire: You must learn to remain calm under fire. Resilient people have an awesome ability to control their emotions even when things get stressful. Try taking a walk, count to ten, or distract yourself before you react to upsetting events.

Count Your Blessings: Focus on the positives in your child and remember that positive emotions literally undo negative emotions.

Say "Thank You" Often: Expressing gratitude to others is a huge step in becoming emotionally fit. Too often we take for granted the enormous blessings that surround us. Give thanks that you have a healthy child who is working to change their lives!

Acts of Kindness: Giving to others is a huge boost for emotionally fit people. Try volunteering around the community or do things for your children without asking for anything in return.

Make a Friend: Make a friend and see them often. Friends are the cheapest medicine, bar none! People with many friends have the lowest mortality rates, lower risk of disease, and a much higher satisfaction with their lives.

SOURCE:

“Adult Kids’ Problems Still Affect Parents’ Mental Health” by Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY, http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-08-13-APA-parents-stress13_ST_N.htm

Eat, Pray, and Love From Home - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eating, Praying, and Loving From Home

How To Have A Journey Of Self-Discovery On A Budget

By Dr Sylvia Gearing

With the release of the movie, “Eat. Pray. Love.” this past weekend, millions of Americans witnessed the journey of a woman’s self-discovery through the countries of Italy, India, and Indonesia. But in this tough economy, not everyone can spend a year living, laughing, and loving abroad. Not to fret – if you’re looking for a quest akin to Elizabeth Gilbert’s amazing saga, there’s plenty you can accomplish right here at home.

Remember that the Point of the Quest is to Find Yourself, Your Beliefs and Your Soul Mate

FINDING YOURSELF THROUGH PHYSICAL PLEASURES:

Your body is the temple of your soul and is extremely important in any journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. The body, your center for “worldly pleasures,” is stimulated by the five major physical senses – taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.

Taste and Pleasurable Eating:

Did you know that we have over 10,000 taste buds, but taste is the weakest of the senses? In an age of fast food and 80-hour workweeks, we don’t take the time to really savor our food.

Here’s How to Use Taste:

  • Slow down, sit down and calm down when you eat!
  • Eating should be a relaxing, sumptuous and even sensuous experience.
  • Try fresh foods from farmers markets or preparing your own food from simple, international recipes. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to cook gourmet food!

Touch and Tactile Experiences:

Touch is an undervalued sense but it’s extremely important to pleasure.

Here’s How to Use Touch:

  • Buy Clothing: Sensual lingerie, soft, flowing clothing, silky bed sheets, plush throws, and plump pillows are comforting and enticing.
  • Pet The Dog: Don’t forget to cuddle up to your cat or dog—they are great sources of nurturing.
  • Get A Massage: Nothing relaxes people more than being touched. Hire an expert and indulge yourself.

Sight and Visual Experiences:

Have you ever been to a place that just clicked with your sense of style? Maybe the Coliseum or your childhood home, visual beauty is enchanting for all of us. Surround yourself with beautiful colors, textures and arrangements.

Here’s How to Use Sight:

  • Take the Time to Notice: Nurturing visual experiences are everywhere—a sunset, a stunning candle in your bedroom, a gracious moonlit night, the drape of a towel on a chair, or even the colors of your favorite flowers.
  • Take the Time to See: All of your world can be visually savored if you just take the time to notice and acknowledge the beauty right in front of you.
  • Bring Beauty To You: Take some time and assemble your personal list of beauty—candles, soaps, china, crystal, pictures of travel destinations, favorite pieces of art, pictures of your friends and family, flowers, etc.

Sense of Smell and Aromas:

Smell is the number one sense tied to memory and it really makes an impression – whether it’s the sweet scent of your mother’s cookies in the oven or the smell of cedar burning on a cold night.

Here’s How to Use Smell:

  • Burn lightly scented candles for your meals, your relaxation time and “just because.”
  • Bring highly fragrant flowers to your office
  • Use your own special perfume or cologne as your personal scent signature.

Hearing and Sound:

Pleasurable sounds are stimulating for your mind. Brain scans show that music—in particular—stimulates certain pleasure areas of the brain and lowers anxiety.

Here’s How to Use Sound:

  • Relax or meditate to natural sounds like the ocean tide or thunderstorms.
  • Listen to music all the time, whether it’s Beethoven or Lady Gaga. Music enhances any ordinary experience – whether it’s cleaning the house, talking to your friends or working out.
  • Sing loudly. Anxiety diminishes enormously when we’re belting out our favorite tunes.

FINDING YOUR BELIEFS THROUGH SPIRITUAL PRACTICES:

Spirituality asks the most important questions about life—why we’re here, why things happen, and where God is in all of this. Spiritual practice, irrespective of which religion you use, nurtures the most of important parts of ourselves—our minds, our hearts and our souls.

Here’s How to Enhance Your Spiritual Self:

Stillness and Thought:

An essential first step is mastery of some sort of meditation or self-reflection – whether it be through prayer, meditation techniques, long thoughtful walks, centering yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even just quiet time! Shut off your cell phone, exit your e-mail, and close your laptop for even an hour a day and ground yourself with one of these practices.

Attend to the Now:

Be present in every single moment of your life and live in the now – I call this “mindfulness.” This may sound a little “Zen” of me, but it really works. Give your anxiety a break, and suspend your thoughts while you focus on what is right in front of you. Combine the mindfulness mindset with the above steps for stillness and meditation for a real “one-two” punch of spirituality.

The Sound of Silence:

Silence leads to self-discovery and to understanding someone else. Silence lets you think effectively. Silence allows the world to pour into you while you contemplate, rather than react, to events. It is the elixir of creativity and perspective.

Gratitude and Reverence:

Experience your life with a true sense of gratitude and reverence for the things around you – whether it’s for your kids, your partner, your job or for the many blessings in your life. Viewing life through the lens of gratitude leads to higher levels of optimism, hope, and plain old happiness.

Acts of Altruism:

Try doing something fun and then try doing something altruistic. Studies show that you will remember your acts of altruism longer and more fondly than the “fun times.” In fact, selfless giving to others can even make you happier over the long haul.

FINDING YOUR SOUL MATE:

Soul mates come in different packages—a sister, a best friend, or a lover. Now, with your physical and spiritual sides in balance, you’re ready to share your world with someone else in an effective, intelligent way. By balancing your physical and the spiritual selves, you’re more discerning, less needy with others and more perceptive about what you need from anyone that walks in and out of your life.

Your combination of the worldly and the spiritual perspectives prepares you to define a relationship on both shared and individual terms. You have to nurture your physical self and embrace your spiritual self to fully experience and love another person.

Here’s How to Find Your Soul Mate:

Maintain Boundaries!:

Elizabeth Gilbert observed (rather wryly) that as she visited the ninth generation medicine man in Bali, she didn’t want to ask him about the meaning of life or what happens after we die. Instead, all she could think to ask about were her “boy troubles.” A common misstep is to let our relationships carry us away, and we end up leaving ourselves behind! Define yourself as an individual first—both physically and spiritually before you step into a relationship!

Shared Terms:

Women are so programmed all our lives to orbit around the needs of others—“accept me and I will do anything for you!” That kind of thinking was great two hundred years ago, but our new world requires self-sufficiency AND interdependence. We have to love him and leave him everyday to become ourselves in our jobs, our roles and our minds. But at the end of the day, we come home to him relaxed, refueled, and ready for intimacy.

The Golden Rule:

The great Greek philosophers taught that there was one golden rule for life – balance, in all things. Balance in our work, in our consumption, and in our relationships. Maintain the balance between worldly pleasure, divine transcendence, and experiencing and loving those around you.

Your feet on the ground, your heart fully opened and your soul finely tuned will lead to wise choices, magical moments, and mastery of the art of exuberant living.

SOURCES

Dr. Martin Seligman on TED.com

“Practicing Gratitude Can Increase Happiness by 25%” on PsyBlog (http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/09/practicing-gratitude-can-increase.php)


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive