Therapy That Works...

Teens On Fad Diets Can End Up Gaining Weight! - By Chris Gearing

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dr Sylvia Gearing on CBS 11 describing why fad dieting may actually make American children GAIN weight - click here.

Why do our adolescent girls struggle so much with their weight?

Images of Perfection: Previous generations of girls have always struggled with body image but these issues are at an all time high. Our girls are inundated by images everywhere of physical perfection especially with our celebrity culture. The demands for excellence on girls have gotten worse over the past two decades leading to weight concerns in girls as young as six years old. But channeling energy into appearance and away from normal developmental tasks can disrupt, if not sabotage a young girl’s self esteem and ability to tolerate stress.

Helicopter Parents: The current generation of parents is full of parents who are well meaning but who are micro- managing their children's emotions and lives. Being "ordinary" or just “okay” has lost its allure for too many of today's parents who insist on their child not experiencing the ordinary problems of living. Frustration, rejection and even failure seem to be harder on the parents sometimes than it is on the kids. They project their own anxiety onto kids who just need to figure it out sometimes on their own. Over focusing by the parent makes the girl more anxious and the weight is one more report card she has to face.

Mothers with Eating Issues: Many mothers have struggled for years with their own weight so those issues are easily taught and inherited.

Epidemic Rates of Anxiety and Depression: Girls get depressed at twice the rates of boys when they enter puberty so eating problems flourish when mood disorders hit. Depression hits a full decade sooner than it did a generation ago and it re-occurs 50% of the time.

Why would girls get into this kind of fad dieting so early in life?

Trying To Compete with Other Girls: Many girls are influenced not only by the images in the movies and on TV of women, but also their peers. Many parents are paying for plastic surgery and liposuction for their children these days, and many young women can’t keep up. They instead turn to fad or extreme diets to drop the weight.

Get Slim Quick! Many young women find fad and extreme diets alluring. They just have to suffer for a short amount of time to be beautiful – they can tough it out for that kind of reward. But many girls don’t realize what kind of serious physical effects these diets can have on them and how on-again-off-again dieting is actually very unhealthy.

Why don’t fad diets work well?

Short Term Weight Loss: Many fad diets may actually work, but what girls fail to realize is that once they are off the diet – they will usually gain back the weight with a vengeance.

Lifestyle Change: Without a change of lifestyle and most importantly, without a fundamental change in attitude, any diet that works will only work while you are on it. The only way to truly lose weight and never find it again is to adopt a completely different, healthy lifestyle that combines food, rest, and exercise.

What can parents do to help their children?

Positive Example: Model what you want them to see and be. Mothers especially are incredibly influential for their daughters so be careful what behaviors you are modeling. What you say and how you handle yourself emotionally and with food will set the gold standard for your daughter.

Educate Your Daughters: Most kids don’t truly understand nutrition and positive eating habits. Make sure that they have all the information and understand how what they eat truly affects their bodies and their lives. Introduce healthy foods that are lower in calories but filling, and encourage him to drink a ton of water! Teach your children what is good to eat and how to stay away from foods that will pack on the weight.

Positive Eating Messages: Encourage positive attitudes toward your child's new self-image. Do not shame or embarrass him, but focus on the new body you can build together.

New Self-Soothing Techniques: For many kids, food is an escape from anxiety and stress. Emotionally coach your child to deal with his negative emotions by talking them out. Remind him that setbacks are temporary and that he can cope with whatever he is facing. Overeating no longer has to be a coping mechanism when you are more emotionally resilient.

Distract From Hunger: Begin to spend time with your child to develop new coping skills that will distract him from his hunger. For example, before dinner, go out for a brisk 20- to 30-minute walk. It is a great appetite suppressant and will increase his endorphins.

Source:

The work of Dr Martin Seligman

"Generation Me" by Jean Twenge

Domestic Violence In Relationships - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why are relationship violence rates so high?

These numbers speak to a deepening problem in American couples. Too many modern couples replace words and negotiation with intimidation and bullying. Relationship violence can easily get out of control. We are more exhausted, less affluent and less conscientious about doing the right thing even when no one is watching. We live in a society now that rewards the intimidation of others. Bullis believe that if they don’t get their way, that they can threaten or intimidate others to control the outcome. Such behaviors in general society have transferred to our marriages. These violent habits now thrive in intimate relationships where there is no witness and very sadly, no accountability.

How does this kind of relationship violence get started?

Malignant Trend: We already knew that about 70% to 80% of distressed couples could resort to occasional pushing and shoving when there is chronic tension. But this survey speaks to a more malignant trend in relationships. Relationship violence usually starts suddenly with a slap or a shove. There is shock at the beginning as the intensity and the frequency progressively increase.

Violence Becomes the Norm: The woman is intensely harmed—hit hard, kicked, violently attacked, choked, beaten, shot or slammed against a hard surface by her partner. Her denial kicks in and she pretends that this is either her fault or a normal part of life.

Witnesses to Violence in Family of Origin: Many women of the current generations have witnessed domestic violence in their parents’ relationships. When they grow up with violence, they are twice as likely to accept or normalize violence in their own relationships.

Overwhelming Trauma: The emotional damage is exponentially worse when you are traumatized at the hands of your partner. The person who is supposed to protect and honor you is now torturing you with bullying and intimidation. Twenty nine million women say that they have suffered this type of severe and frightening physical violence from their boyfriend, spouse or intimate partner.

Why do men move to violence against their wives?

There are two broad categories of men who become violent in relationships:

Men Who Control at All Costs:

  • Controlling and contemptuous personalities.
  • Regards the wife as a possession, not a person.
  • Anger issues
  • An inability to take responsibility for his behavior.

Emotional Dependence on the Wife/Girlfriend:

  • When she elects to reject him or disagree, he is devastated.
  • He becomes psychologically disorganized and seeks to isolate her and reestablish control.
  • If he cannot resume control and/or connection, his obsession will lead him to a total self-destruction that can include dangerous behaviors.

What are the warning signs of potential violence?

Physical Violence: Once he crosses the line, you have changed the relationship forever.

Symbolic Violence: This behavior includes the destruction of objects dear to the partner. The intention is to intimidate the other person. Wedding pictures, personal items like perfume or lingerie or even violence against a beloved pet are all efforts to symbolically intimate.

Fast Paced Relationships: When the pace is accelerated at the beginning, this is a control strategy.

Persistence: Anyone who will not hear “no” as an answer is trying to control you. Too often, when men say “no” that is the end of the conversation. When the woman says “no” in a potentially violent relationship, this marks the beginning of the negotiation.

What can women do to protect themselves?

Unavailability at All Costs: If you fear your partner, you must surrender your daily life to separating from him. Remember that you cannot reason with him, convince him or soothe him since he is intent upon reclaiming you as a possession. He only wants to regain control.

Worst Safety Threat is Your Own Denial: Women underestimate threat and do not recognize the warning signs such as a history of possessiveness, intimidation and sexual jealousy. These are the psychological "signposts" warning you of potential danger. Pay attention.

Intuition is Best Defense: Respect your own intuition and don't talk yourself down. Stop debating and prosecuting your own observations. Thirty one thousand women die each year in America and the majority die at the hands of an intimate partner.

Speed is Your Best Protection: If you are threatened, respond quickly. Do not hesitate and remain frozen. Experts estimate that you have approximately five seconds to make a difference in your own self defense. A failure to act may cost you your life.

The Trauma of Cyberstalking - By Chris Gearing

Monday, November 28, 2011

What To Do If Your Child Is Being Sexually Harassed - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sexual Harassment In Your Child's School - By Chris Gearing

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cyber-Stalking - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing discuss Cyberstalking and more on CBS 11 by clicking here.

Cyberstalking may be worse for your health than being stalked in person according to a just released study from the American Psychological Association. Almost a million adults, most of them women, are targets of cyberstalking each year leaving these women struggling with the trauma of stalking.

First - what is cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is the hidden nightmare of the Internet. It is committed when the perpetrator makes a technologically based attack on another person via texting, Facebooking and email using mobile phones and computers. The ultimate goal is to harm that person using the distance and stealth of technology to get away with it. The motives are simple and vile—to wreck revenge on another person due to anger, revenge or the sheer pleasure they gain by controlling the fear of another person.

Here are the primary forms:

Harassment: Embarrassment and humiliation of the victim and/or the family to isolate the victim

Using Economic Control (ruining credit and stealing money out of bank accounts)

Threats and Lies to intimidate and bully

Tracking of the Victim via social media sites such as Facebook or using tracking devices such as a GPS.

The worst part is that cyberstalking is much more common than in-person stalking.

40% of women have experienced dating violence via social media, which includes harassing text messages and disturbing information about them posted on social media sites.

20% of online stalkers use social networking to stalk their victims.

34% of female college students and 14% of male students have broken into a romantic partner’s email.

Now this new study showed that cyberstalking, in comparison to in person stalking is more traumatic to women.

In person stalkers usually know their victims while around 50% of cyberstalkers are either acquaintances or complete strangers. The remainder of cyberstalkers however, are disturbed people we know.

The female victims were often left confused about why this was happening leaving them feeling even more unprotected. That vulnerability can begin to define their lives.

Cyberstalking victims experience more trauma because the harassment can last 24/7 and can occur anywhere, anytime, no matter whom you are with.

The harassment makes women feel socially anxious, physically vulnerable, lonely, and helpless. They suffer from a chronic hypervigilence and are always scanning their environment for who he is and what he might do next.

Here's what you can do if you're being cyberstalked:

First of all, refuse to be a victim. Too many of us allow the behavior of the bully to define how we think and feel about ourselves. Consider how pathetic he is. Refuse to stoop to his level.

Trust your Intuition: If you feel you are in danger, please listen to that inner voice. Do not hesitate but move quickly to a secure location.

Surround yourself with safe, dependable girlfriends who have your back. When you are in a social situation, your gal posse can be your eyes and ears against any potential intimidation.

Create a narrative in your own mind of what is happening and how empowered you remain irrespective of this behavior. You are not responsible for the choices of a criminal.

Educate yourself about your legal rights. Most states have some form or stalking law so access that information. Calm down, gear up with information and push through this adversity which is temporary.

How To Prevent Female Committed Domestic Violence - By Chris Gearing

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Dangers of Texting In A New Relationship - By Chris Gearing

Friday, April 08, 2011

Are Some Dolls Too Sexy? - By Chris Gearing

Friday, March 18, 2011

Watch Dr. Sylvia discuss whether some children's dolls are too sexy.

Click here.

Interested or Deceptively Flirting? - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Know if the Flirting is Genuine

With Valentine’s Day, many couples celebrated the holiday with flirting and flowers. But how do you know if the flirting indicates real interest or is just manipulation?

A lot of people have had terrible experiences in dating. How do you know if someone is just trying to manipulate you or is really interested?

Deliberate deception is rampant in the dating world and you can conclude that at least one third of the people you meet are not being fully honest. They are either deliberately concealing something like having another partner or they falsify and mislead you in the conversation. Either way, you have to be pretty cynical when you’re meeting someone new.

Here are a few signs to help you know if someone you’re flirting with or dating is deceiving you:

Focus on Words and Face: Facial expressions are a dead giveaway but liars are renowned for ignoring their expressions. Most liars focus on their words first and their facial expressions second. Watch their face and see if their expression fits with what they’re saying.

Smiling is the most common facial expression used to conceal deceit because it requires the least effort and doesn’t distract the liar. Watch to see if the smile fits the topic, if he smiles too soon, too late or if he holds the smile for too long.

Ignores His Voice: Pauses that are too long and frequent speech errors are clues to lying. Liars are often unprepared to lie and their hesitation and stuttering attempts to falsify information are big clues. Also, their voice pitch may rise as they lie.

Notice Breathing, Sweating and Swallowing: Changes in breathing or sweating (especially on the hands and upper lip), increased swallowing, and a very dry mouth are signs of strong emotions that can indicate lying.

Tricky Tilt: Liars tend to lean to the side while standing or sitting and often have both of their arms or legs closed. Eyes can stare too long and then shift rapidly and downward.

Too Many or Too Few Details: When someone is lying to you, they either provide too many or too few details. Either excess or a lack of information is intended to deceive you.

Technology Fuels Lies: Liars love to use their cell, texting or email to lie. Directly confronting you face to face is more complicated since they have to control both their words and actions to successfully deceive. In one study, 72% of lies were delivered digitally while only 27% were delivered in face-to-face encounters.

Too Many Questions and Reassurances: Liars often ask for questions to be repeated to buy more time. They use phrases like, “you can trust me,” or “to be perfectly honest.” Remember that all of these behaviors are at your expense.

Which gender is more likely to lie?

Men and women lie at the same rates but about different things. Women are more likely to lie to make you feel good in the moment while men rearrange the truth to make themselves look better.

Now in flirting, women in particular are much more likely to be mislead. Women are much more likely to actively flirt with a new available guy even though they have absolutely no interest in him. They often pretend to show interest that is not genuine just to procure his admiration and attention.

Women are shopping for available males and they are basically trying to put the male at ease to evaluate his worth as a potential partner. Even though they may not find him particularly attractive, they may want to assess his other qualities like a sense of humor or intelligence.

Can’t a man also be quite misleading with the ladies?

Men Orient to Beauty: Absolutely, but men are more cut and dry about flirtation than women are. The bottom line is that they put a much higher premium on physical attractiveness than women do in the initial phases of courting. If he is not attracted to the woman, he will usually be less friendly at first.

Women are in Charge of Flirting: However, most men will begin to flirt if they are picking up the right non-verbal cues from the woman. Guys like to think that they are choosing whom to flirt with but nothing could be further from the truth. Women are almost always the instigators of courtship and flirtation on the dating field. Ninety percent of the time, the woman is the one to send a variety of subtle eye, body and facial signals to the targeted man. He is merely responding to the multiple non-verbal signals she has been blasting across the room.

Finally, why is it so hard for many of us to pick up on liars in the dating scene?

Many of us have difficulty believing that someone would deliberately set out to manipulate us so we try to fill in the blanks and ignore critical information to make sense of the lie—we basically work to believe him. It’s also hard for honest people to believe that some people really get off on misleading others. They actually take delight in selling you on their deception. Once you know they are deceitful, though, run and run fast!


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