Therapy That Works...

Psychological Resilience - How To Strengthen Your Willpower - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing discuss how you can build your willpower and take back control - click here.

One of the most important parts of resilience during tough times is the ability to govern your emotions effectively.

Your emotions can overwhelm your logical mind and you can be swept away by the twists and turns of what is happening around you. The resilient mind is able to focus and redirect your mind away from the cascade of stress and anxiety. Many of us slip into negative emotions with ease due to previous traumas.

In fact once you’ve experienced depression, you’re twice as likely to slip back into depression in the future.

Lets face it though, our minds only have so much firepower. Research has proven that willpower is a limited resource, and we can eventually lose our logical minds and let our emotions take over. Our good judgment can be compromised by immediate, disruptive emotions that distract us from solving the problem.

One of the best things you can do to build resilience is to practice remaining calm, focused, and determined in every day situations.

For instance, many of us begin to lose focus at work or eat unhealthy snacks when we are tired or stressed out. However, your focus and willpower can be strengthened like an athlete builds strength through daily training. By practicing focus and remaining logical on a routine basis, you will be able to calm and focus your mind when you need it most.


"Willpower" by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

"Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman

Grumpy Husband Syndrome - By Chris Gearing

Friday, April 11, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing on KTXD 47 discussing the new trend of "Grumpy Husband Syndrome" - click here.

Parenting – How To Discipline Your Child Without Yelling or Spanking - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing describe how you can properly discipline your child without yelling or spanking - click here.

Spanking or emotional abuse through speaking can have a lifelong, devastating impact, especially on children below the age of 10.

Since many children still need discipline and clear boundaries, you must have other options available to discipline your child when you’ve lost your patience. Here are a few suggestions:

Take A Break

If your child has just acted our severely, you may want to put yourself in a time out first. Take a breath and slow down. Your mind will be clearer and you’ll make better decisions if you are calm and focused. Give yourself a chance to calm down for a few minutes before deciding how to discipline your child and potentially overreacting.

You’re The Model

Since your job as a parent is to teach your child how to manage their emotions, you need to make sure your voice is calm and your body behavior is relaxed. Next pick your words carefully and remember to speak respectfully to your child. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach your child how to speak to others without anger or contempt. Angry parents can be very scary and intimidating, and your child is soaking in every word and action from you.

Rewind and Slow Down

One of the best things you can teach your child is how to effectively understand and solve problems that frustrate and upset us. A wonderful way to teach them how to understand what happened is to walk back through what just happened and explain why they are being disciplined.

There are more effective ways to teach and discipline your child than spanking or yelling.

For instance, removal of privileges is a very effective punishment for most teenagers since it restricts their freedom, which is highly valued during these years.

Remember that every time your child needs to be disciplined, you have another opportunity to teach them the attitudes and behaviors necessary for a successful and happy life.


"Longitudinal Links between Father's and Mother's Harsh Verbal Discipline and Adolescents' Conduct Problems and Depressive Symptoms," by Ming-Te Wang and Sarah Kenny, in "Child Development," 9/13/13

Parenting - Is Yelling the New Spanking for American Parents? - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing discuss the new trend of parents yelling instead of spanking their kids - click here.

Is yelling the new spanking for American parents? Many parents have been warned to not spank their children, so they have turned to yelling as a way to reach their child and correct bad behavior.

But new research suggests that yelling at your child, especially teenagers, can actually make them more resistant to change and better behavior.

Many of us do yell when we are overwhelmed by the moment, and we are often haunted by our words and actions afterward. Rather than resolving the problem and helping our child make a positive change, we make the problem much worse.

Children who are routinely yelled at tend to make one of three choices:

1.) They yell back, which often ends in disaster.

2.) They withdraw into stony silence with resentment brewing beneath the surface

3.) They become silent and anxious while magnifying what happened and the future consequences.

Yelling teaches your child that you are not in control of your emotions at that moment, and it makes them less likely to control their emotions in the future.

In addition, spanking and yelling can increase aggression and resentment, both physically and verbally. Severe yelling or emotional abuse through speaking can have a lifelong, devastating impact, especially on children below the age of 10. Please make sure to watch my next video on this topic – How To Discipline Your Child Without Yelling or Spanking.


"Longitudinal Links Between Father's and Mother's Harsh Verbal Discipline and Adolescents' Conduct Problems and Depressive Symptoms," by Ming-Te Wang and Sarah Kenny, in "Child Development," 9/13/13

Parenting - Is Spanking or Yelling A Better Way To Discipline Your Kids? - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing on CBS 11 discussing which discipline method is better - spanking or yelling? click here.

Psychological Resilience – The Steps of Self-Reflection - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing discuss the steps of self-reflection and how you can make sure you're on the right track - click here.

Self-reflection is one of the best strategies to overcome adversity.

Here are some self-reflection strategies that highly effective people utilize to make sure they are heading in the right direction.

Slow Down to Go Further

One of the best things you can do is quiet your mind long enough to focus on what is happening without interference from your emotions or distracting thoughts. When you are in the middle of a major life transition or tragic event, slow down and take stock of where you are. Anxiety makes your mind and body speed up, but it also makes you inefficient in dealing with problems. When adversity hits, take more time to remain quiet and calm. Sleep more, eat well, and exercise regularly. Even slow your speech down and measure your words carefully.

Avoid the Isolation Island

Avoid the tendency to isolate yourself and make a point to see your friends and family. A rough patch is only made worse when you go through it alone. Make sure that you only see the positive people in your life since other people’s negative words and moods are harder to shake especially when you are already going through a rough time.

Give Yourself A Break

Every day, set some time aside to devote a certain amount of time to being still—no screens, no texts, no talking. Breathe deeply and focus on your breath for at least ten minutes. Be quiet and let your mind rest so that you can anchor yourself and be effective for the next play. Even a short meditation session allows your mind to reboot and refresh.

Psychological Resilience – The Value of Self-Reflection - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing describe why self-reflection is important to your success - click here.

Many of us think that turning inward is something other people do when they have nothing better to do.

Some of us see it as self-indulgent, ineffective, or even a waste of time. However effective self-reflection can be an incredibly valuable first step if you are going through a rough patch. You can’t plan your next move if you don’t understand how you got to where you are today.

To strategically move forward, you must first catalogue the events that brought you to your current adversity, and the decisions you’ve made so far.

Once you have organized the events in your mind, you’ll find that there is less anxiety associated with the event. There is now a clear narrative where there was once disorganized pain. You’ll feel safer and calmer because you will have anchored yourself in the here and now, and you will fully understand that the traumatic events are in the past. You are safe.

Psychological Resilience - Moving Past Adversity Effectively - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing discuss how you can move past adversity effectively by using psychological resilience skills - click here.

Inevitably we all encounter disappointments, tragedies, and setbacks in our professional and personal lives. Jobs are lost, beloved parents die, we lose touch with close friends, and dreams for how we wanted out lives to turn out vanish.

However, research has shown that how you handle adversity in your life will actually determine where your life will go next.

Remember that it is not the adversity itself that determines what happens next. It is your reaction to the adversity and how you think about it that ultimately determines where you end up.

If you spiral into negativity, your bad mood will sabotage your ability to effectively solve the problem. You’ll become stuck in the “what if’s” and the agony of the situation. You’ll lose sight of how you can turn this adversity into something beneficial. The situation that seems so awful, so devastating right now can be the catalyst for making you stronger and more effective in the future.

True wisdom is usually hard won, and our challenges in life can be the very events that take us to the next level. Hopefully, after overcoming a setback you will truly value your resilience since you’ve learned that what is happening today is temporary and will not determine tomorrow unless you let it. The rest of your life can and will be determined by the resolve you demonstrate in the moment and your ability to triumph over setbacks.

Moving past adversity requires a particular set of thinking skills that, if used consistently, can take your life to the next level.

This series of presentations will give you some important tips and strategies for how to move past adversity effectively and overcome obstacles in your path.

Marriage – Dr. Gottman’s Distance and Isolation Cascade - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing describe Dr. John Gottman's research on how marriages can fail and the signs of the distance and isolation cascade - click here.

When partners break up, it is very common to experience a process of physical and emotional separation. Emotional separation is often completed before either partner realizes what has happened, and they struggle to recognize that the relationship is in critical condition. Dr. John Gottman’s landmark research fully described the steps that lead to the end of relationships.


Once anger and frustration become too overwhelming, the emotional centers of the brain heighten the experience of already intense emotions. Resentment builds and magnifies every disappointment, and the relationship becomes a constant powder keg. Negative emotions frame every interaction as each partner gathers evidence that the other partner has failed them and always will.

Problems Seen As Too Severe

Rather than talking things through, the partner becomes so hostile to their partner’s opinion that they avoid interacting in any meaningful way. They begin to see the situation as helpless and hopeless and it defines how they see their partner. Most importantly, they no longer see their partner as a reliable person. That belief fundamentally rearranges the emotional relationship.

Work Problems Out Alone

People tend to separate emotionally first and physically last. Estranged partners no longer look to one another as a resource and an ally. Problems are no longer shared, opinions are no longer asked for, and the mundane details of their lives are the only topics they feel safe to share. Over time, the opinions of others outside the relationship are sought out, valued, and remembered as their partner is quickly discarded to the same status as a roommate.

Parallel Lives

Unhappy spouses are very effective at arranging their lives on parallel tracks. They change their schedules to avoid seeing each other—eating fewer meals together, attending fewer school events, or regularly working late or on the weekends. They carefully distribute their time elsewhere with social and business obligations that keep them far away from spending time with their partner.

Crushing Loneliness

Perhaps the most difficult part of the cascade is the deep loneliness that haunts many unhappily married people. There is a constant grief for the marriage that once was and the loss of hope for the marriage that could have been.


"What Makes Love Last?" by Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver

Ordinary Moments – Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing describe how you can increase your emotional intelligence by paying attention to ordinary moments - click here.

One of the best parts of cherishing your ordinary moments is that doing so can increase your ability to be there for those you love. Being emotionally present for others can have a profound impact on them and your relationship with them. Here are a few ways that appreciating everyday experiences can benefit your relationships:

Not Too Seriously

Your friends and family will love your ability to laugh in the moment and to not take yourself or your situation so seriously. Your example can be a powerful one, and you can show others that there is always hope and joy in any situation.

Truly Listening

We listen and understand with our hearts, not with our critical minds. To truly empathize with another requires that you turn your problem solving brain off for a little while. Your loved ones will cherish your perceptive understanding and true empathy during their struggles. A truly great friend is there when everyone else leaves. Your kindness and loyalty will inevitably be returned when you encounter your own disappointments and struggles in life.

A Safe Space

Your ability to remain non-judgmental and unconditional in your focus and understanding is perhaps the greatest gift you can give others. When you are sincerely present in the moment, you are creating a truly safe space where they can share their thoughts and feelings.

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