The Green Room Psychological Services Inc.


Your complete guide to certifying your pet as an emotional support animal

You share a trusted, unbreakable bond with your pet that’s like no other — you love them as much as any other member of your family, and they give you the kind of unconditional devotion and comforting companionship that enriches your life beyond measure. 

While you don’t need science to tell you that your pet has a profound effect on your well-being, a plethora of research backs it up nonetheless. Numerous studies show that a pet’s calming and supportive presence can make you feel less isolated, lonely, anxious, and stressed. 

But for people with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobias, and other undermining mental health disorders, the emotional support provided by a pet isn’t just reassuring and helpful, it’s a veritable lifeline to the wider world. 

If you’ve been thinking about having your pet certified as an emotional support animal (ESA), we can help — here at The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. in San Diego, California, we offer comprehensive ESA evaluations and official certification letters to those who qualify. Here’s what you need to know. 

from beloved pet to esa

It’s easy to see that pets make people feel calmer, lighter, and more fulfilled — that’s the basic premise behind the emotional support animal concept. But what makes an ESA different from a beloved pet? 

An ESA provides concrete therapeutic benefits for children, teens, and adults who suffer from the life-limiting effects of a psychological, emotional, or mental health condition. 

By offering reliable companionship and unconditional support, an ESA’s very presence can lessen intense feelings of stress, anxiety, fear, and other debilitating mental health symptoms.  

If you’re living with a mental health condition that interferes with your life, giving your beloved pet official status as an ESA allows it to legally reside in housing that enforces a strict “no pets” policy; it also allows you to keep your pet by your side when you travel by plane, providing it meets standard size requirements.  

esa letter of certification

While your pet doesn’t require any special training or scrutinization to qualify as an ESA, it can become one only when a psychologist or licensed therapist confirms that you would benefit from having an ESA.  

ESA privilege is reserved for people who are affected by any life-limiting or paralyzing mental health condition, ranging from anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder to PTSD, social anxiety, and specific phobias, such as agoraphobia (fear of being outside the home) and aerophobia (fear of flying). 

Here at The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., we aim to make the ESA certification process as streamlined and straightforward as possible. It’s as easy as one, two, three:

step one: have a well-behaved pet

Although your pet doesn’t require special training of any kind, it should be relatively calm and well-behaved in virtually any situation, especially if you plan to travel with your ESA companion or bring it to various public places. A dog that jumps on people, growls, or barks a lot isn’t an ideal ESA. 

step two: schedule an esa evaluation

Your ESA evaluation determines if a pet can help ease the life-limiting effects of your particular mental health disorder. Your pet may qualify for ESA status if its presence helps you avoid intense anxiety in normal social situations, for example, or if it helps you find more purpose in your day while dealing with clinical depression

The calming, consistent companionship of an ESA can effectively treat many different mental health disorders, but the only person who can determine whether you truly need one is a licensed mental health professional. 

Although many people do qualify for ESA support, our team takes ESA evaluation seriously and doesn’t provide certification letters to patients whose mental, emotional, or psychological symptoms don’t limit or interfere with their lives.   

step three: receive your esa letter

If the evaluation process determines that you’re a good candidate for an ESA companion, you receive an official letter of certification that formalizes your relationship with your pet, at least from a legal perspective. You can benefit from the legal protection of the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act

These legal protections allow you to fly with your pet without having to pay additional airline fees, and live in “no pet” housing without having to provide an additional deposit. 

You don’t need to register your pet as an ESA, however; there’s no national “ESA database,” despite what you may read online.  

maintaining esa certification

To ensure your ESA certification is accepted every time you fly or search for new housing, it’s important to keep it current. All ESA letters are valid for a full calendar year from their issue date; our team makes the renewal process as quick and easy as possible so your certification never lapses. 

To learn more about the ESA evaluation process or schedule a visit, call our San Diego office today or click online to book an appointment with one of our ESA specialists at any time.


Dealing with depression in the winter

Anxiety and depression affect millions of Americans every year and are among the most common mental health issues in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 17 million adults over age 18 have experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last few years, which is defined as a period of at least two weeks where a person experiences depressed mood and related symptoms. 

When depression is triggered by seasonal changes (particularly in the fall and winter months), it may be a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD episodes usually happen at the same time every year and can last until spring and beyond. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, we can help. At The Green Room Psychological Services, Inc., our clinical psychologists and mental health professionals offer compassionate and comprehensive mental health services in San Diego. Read on to find out more about depression and whether you could suffer from SAD.

what causes depression?

Depression is a complex mental health issue with a number of different causes and triggers. Whether your symptoms are triggered by seasonal affective disorder or a combination of other circumstances, knowing the signs and asking for help are the first steps toward managing your symptoms and preventing them from negatively impacting your overall health and quality of life. 

Some of the factors believed to contribute to depression in some people include:

  • Brain chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Medications
  • Underlying health issues

Common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include:

  • Feelings of gloominess, sadness, and hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and social activities
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleep problems
  • Poor diet
  • Thoughts of suicide

If you’re experiencing thoughts and impulses of suicide or self-harm, please seek emergency help.

SAD can develop during any season, but it’s most common during the winter months.

tips for managing seasonal depression

Whatever your situation and circumstances, you don’t have to suffer in silence or try to deal with your depression on your own. Here are some steps you can take to find relief:

light therapy

Shorter days and less access to sunlight can lead to lower levels of vitamin D and imbalances in your serotonin and melatonin levels. If you can, try to spend at least 30 minutes outside every day. If this isn’t possible due to weather or your schedule, artificial light can be a good substitute. 

sweat it out

Going to the gym or engaging in strenuous physical activity can feel almost impossible during a bout of depression when energy levels and motivation are lower than ever. Yet, not only does exercise help to release feel-good chemicals like endorphins, but it can also help to offset the weight gain that some people experience with depression. It can also help fight stress and improve energy levels. 

If you can’t run or bike outside, indoor activities are the next best thing. Whether you take a boxing class or a restorative yoga session, try to stay active and move your body several times a week.

eat a healthy diet

Treating yourself to the occasional cookie or sugary coffee drink can be a source of comfort in moderation, but eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is especially important — and helpful — during a bout of depression. From helping to boost your vitamin D intake to keeping your blood sugar stable, food is a powerful tool in managing depression.

ask for help

Sometimes you just need some time alone to process your feelings and decompress from stressful circumstances and situations. But isolation can ultimately make your depression symptoms worse. Confide in a trusted friend or family member, and seek professional help if your symptoms persist for more than a few weeks, or if you’re concerned for your mental and physical health.

For more information about seasonal and other forms of depression and mental health issues, contact us today to schedule an appointment.


When does anxiety warrant professional help?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States, affecting more than 18% of adults. Regardless of this prevalence, only 37% of those who are in the grips of an anxiety disorder seek help, despite the fact that there are effective treatments that can break the seemingly never-ending cycle of anxiety.

At The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., our highly trained mental health providers treat a wide range of mental disorders, ranging from depression to anxiety. As experts in the field of mental health, our team has a unique understanding of the effect that a problem like anxiety can have on your quality of life as it forces you into an existence that’s governed by worry, fear, and dread.

If you suffer from anxiety, here’s a look at when and why you should seek our help.

anxiety 101

Before we get into when your anxiety warrants our expert and compassionate care, let’s take a look at some of the more common anxiety disorders. The term “anxiety” includes a number of different disorders that include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Agoraphobia

The most common form of anxiety is generalized anxiety disorder, which is a condition that puts your body in a near-constant state of fight-or-flight mode. 

The fight-or-flight response is one that has served human beings well since the beginning of time. When you’re confronted by a dangerous or stressful situation, your body’s sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear to prepare you to either flee or confront the perceived threat. By releasing hormones into your system, namely adrenaline and noradrenaline, your nervous system prepares your body by increasing your:

  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Respiratory rate

These physiological reactions are designed to give you the tools you need to handle the stress.

With a generalized anxiety disorder, your body spends too much time in a state of heightened alertness, which can exact a heavy toll on your mental and physical health.

when you should seek help

No matter what type of anxiety disorder you suffer from, the fact is that most of them imprison you in a world of irrational fear, where hope is all but gone and impending doom generally takes over.

While everyone experiences some degree of stress and anxiety, a disorder that merits treatment is one that:

  • Interferes with work or personal relationships
  • Causes sleep issues
  • Affects your ability to concentrate
  • Prevents you from doing the things you normally love
  • Leads to self-loathing or a feeling of worthlessness
  • Isolates you
  • Causes you to have suicidal thoughts

In addition to these problems, anxiety disorders can lead to physical issues, such as digestive dysfunction, headaches, or chronic pain. When anxiety crosses over into your physical health, it becomes even more important that you seek our help. 

The bottom line is that everyone experiences anxiety in their own way, and some level of anxiety, especially in today’s hectic world, is perfectly normal. But if you feel trapped by your anxiety disorder and find yourself in a state of excessive fear or worry more often than not, there’s much we can do to release you, allowing you to enjoy life once again.

treating anxiety

When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, we pride ourselves on offering knowledgeable and compassionate care that relies on the latest science and treatment modalities. Whether we help you control your condition through psychotherapy, medications, or behavioral techniques, the end result is that we’re able to help you gain the upper hand on your anxiety. 

In doing this, we give you back control of your life with the tools you need to continue to keep your anxiety at bay.

Ultimately, if anxiety is hampering your ability to lead a happy, normal life, please contact our San Diego office so that we can get you started on an appropriate treatment plan. You can also use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.


The benefits of biofeedback for trauma treatment

Some 70% of adults in the United States have endured at least one traumatic event, such as sexual abuse, witnessing a tragedy, or the sudden loss of a loved one. Once such an event occurs, it’s not uncommon to struggle with complications such as post-traumatic stress disorder. If this sounds like you, biofeedback may be just what you need to start feeling better. 

At The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., we’re pleased to offer this noninvasive treatment for a range of issues, including trauma. Read on to learn more about biofeedback and how it might benefit you. 

how biofeedback works

While no one knows precisely how biofeedback reduces angst, the common thread among people it helps seems to be stress. People experiencing distress end up feeling more relaxed in ways that help train the brain and body to reach and maintain greater emotional stability moving forward.

Biofeedback therapy teaches you to control certain bodily functions that are typically involuntary, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension. It does so using techniques such as electromyography, which measures muscle tension, thermal biofeedback, which measures your skin temperature, and neurofeedback, which focuses on brain activity.

During a session, your therapist attaches electrodes to your skin, which transmit messages to a monitoring box. These messages allow your provider to identify mental activity and relaxation techniques that can help you start regulating your own bodily processes in times of distress. These techniques may include:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Guided imagery
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Progressive muscle relaxation

biofeedback effectiveness

Biofeedback affects people differently, but we find that many people dealing with residual effects of trauma benefit. Some research indicates that low frequency biofeedback therapy focused on brain activity can lead to significantly reduced PTSD symptoms and improved cognitive function. This may lead to beneficial shifts over time, leading to greater emotional stability even when you’re not experiencing a flare-up. 

Symptoms of PTSD that may improve through biofeedback therapy include reduced nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and depressive moods. These benefits may be more pronounced when biofeedback is paired with additional treatments, such as talk therapy and medication.

In addition to psychological trauma and PTSD, biofeedback may help a range of potentially linked issues, such as:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression

To find out if you’re a good candidate for biofeedback trauma treatment, call The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., in San Diego, California, or email us through our website. Our team of compassionate, trauma-informed experts would love to assist you in your emotional wellness journey.


You don’t have to process your sexual assault alone – our compassionate team can help

If you’ve endured sexual assault, here’s what we know for sure: You are not as alone as you may feel, you don’t have to get through the aftermath on your own, and there is so much hope and healing to be had. Research shows that up to 19% of women will experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime, along with 2-3% of men. And because the occurrences often go unreported, those numbers may actually be higher. 

Care from a trauma-informed team of professionals, such as ours at The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., located in San Diego, California, can help you process what happened to you, lowering your risk of long-term complications and allowing you to thrive more fully sooner. 

sexual assault, defined

The term sexual assault might conjure up images of a stranger attacking someone in a dark alley. While that happens, there are many more common manifestations. Sexual assault and sexual abuse refer to any sexual activity during which one person involved is either unable or unwilling to consent, meaning give permission. 

You might not be able to consent for a range of reasons, such as being intoxicated, intimidated, frightened, physically hurt, or experiencing the trauma reaction known as freezing, which causes you to feel emotionally or physically paralyzed in light of danger. Fawning is another trauma response, which leads you to leap to people pleasing, or trying to help the abuser. None of these scenarios are wrong or your fault. Rather, they are your brain’s attempt to survive.

Examples of sexual assault include:

  • Exhibitionism, or flashing one’s genitals
  • Incest
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Undesired sharing of intimate photos or videos of you, also known as “revenge porn”
  • Unwanted sexual touch
  • Voyeurism, such as spying on sexual or otherwise intimate activity

getting the support you deserve

Whether you experienced sexual assault years ago or very recently, and no matter the specifics of the assault, you deserve support. Take pride in every effort you make to obtain it, no matter when you do so. Once you reach out to our clinic, your compassion provider starts by evaluating your current mental health. This helps them determine the very best approach for your treatment, which may include cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychotherapy for PTSD. Throughout your care, you’ll learn coping skills to help you better live with your trauma and deal with symptoms that flare up when you feel triggered.

Some of the benefits of sexual assault treatment include:

  • A lower risk for ongoing or severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD
  • A safe, judgement-free place to process your feelings
  • Healing, so painful memories won’t feel as raw
  • Improved self-care practices
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced risk for heart disease associated with PTSD
  • Stronger self-awareness

To learn more or get started on the road to better emotional well-being, call The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., or email us through our website. Our compassionate team of trauma-informed experts would love to assist you.


Phoning it in: the benefits of remote therapy

If circumstances in your daily life make it difficult to start or keep up with in-person therapy, you may want to go remote. Therapy from a distance can feel just as personal as conventional care, while enhancing your mental health so you can better thrive. 

study published in the Journal of Psychological Disorders showed that online therapy is acceptable, practical, and just as effective as face-to-face therapy for major depression and anxiety disorders. Remote therapy can also help if you have an eating disorder, need relationship counseling, or deal with effects of abuse.

Our trauma-informed, compassionate team of professionals at The Green Room 

Psychological Services Inc., in San Diego, California, are pleased to provide customized therapy options to meet your specific needs. 

convenience and ease

When you’re in need of emotional support or are really struggling, not having to drive to an office, find parking, and drive again afterward can bring a sense of ease. Some people benefit from resting or decompressing after a therapy session versus getting into a car and traffic. With remote therapy, you won’t have to worry about the added time and energy commuting takes. You simply choose a quiet spot wherever you are for the session. Remote therapy can also help if you have a packed schedule and can’t carve out time or secure childcare to allow for in-person sessions.

physical health and safety

If you’re not feeling well physically or have a contagious illness, in-person therapy may not be your best option. Remote therapy allows you to keep your appointment and get needed support sooner, rather than postpone it until you feel better. Online therapy and teletherapy also provide safer options when your appointment falls during rain or snow storms, when driving is more challenging and risky. If you have a physical disability, remote therapy may be your safest and most feasible option as well.

increased comfort

If you struggle with social anxiety, you can rest easier with remote therapy, knowing you won’t be sitting in a waiting room with others or passing people on your way to and from your session. The same goes for fatigue related to depression, which can make in-person appointments difficult. Regardless of your mental health needs, remote therapy allows you the comforts of your own home. You can sit in your favorite chair during your treatment and wear your comfiest clothing, such as pajamas, that you may not want to wear in public. 

To learn more about remote therapy, call The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., or email us through our website. No matter where you are in your mental health journey, our caring experts are here to help.


How to ensure your well-being amidst the covid-19 scare?

Life has never been as uncertain before, and the COVID-19 crisis has plunged a lot of minds into depression and negativity pools. The stress of quarantine, fear of the omnipresent virus, and the enforced inactivity is enough to pull down even the most energetic soul. Recent reports say that divorce application rates are sky rising, and there is a sharp increase in mental health issues. Add to that the fear of losing your job and the situation becomes worse. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways you can ensure your well-being without resorting to extreme measures in this COVID-19 pandemic.

manage media exposure

With the information overflow about COVID-19 from all media sources, maintaining mental sanity may be difficult, especially if you consume too much news. Set a time limit for media consumption that has a reasonable cap value; say 1 hour. Consciously, avoid spending even an extra minute in listening to the news. Stay away from media channels that offer sensational news formats and instead rely on Government validated news figures and statistics. Do not keep reading/ liking / reposting social media content about the COVID-19 crisis. 

pick up creative pursuits

The joy of creating something beautiful automatically boosts your confidence and sense of empowerment. The COVID-19 caused lockdown makes this the perfect time to hone up your creative skills or to learn a new one. Pick up a craft close to your heart like painting, cooking, gardening, writing, etc. and focus on it daily. Set apart an hour every day for working on that skill/ hobby. Also, set up small projects for yourself, like transforming your balcony with a new set of plants or finishing a painting in one week. Mental health benefits from goal-oriented work that requires discipline and inspires a sense of self-fulfillment.

build a support network

The most significant side effect of social isolation is that it cuts away human bonding. It’s great if you have a supportive family, for they can help in maintaining your sanity levels in these trying times. But even if you don’t have a support network at home, build/ look for positive support from friends and extended family. Conduct video calls, make Whatsapp groups, and FaceTime to your heart’s content. Use modern technology as much as possible to fill up the void left in your life. Lend a listening ear to others problems, and automatically you will start feeling better about your issues. However, remember not to discuss COVID-19 issues in those Whatsapp groups again.

workout regularly

Workout, even for 30 minutes per day, can make a big difference to your mental well-being. It’s a documented fact that exercise releases a bunch of feel-good hormones called “endorphins” in the brain, and you feel energized and positive afterward. Now that gym access isn’t an option, start by walking on a green tree-lined road and then upgrade to jogging when you feel that fitness levels have increased. Mental health is deeply tied up with physical fitness, so there is no underestimating the value of exercise. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t exercised ever in your life. The best time to start is today!!

seek professional help

If you have a deep-rooted emotional problem or suffering from mental health issues or a victim of a toxic relationship, ensuring well-being may involve seeking professional help. In these uncertain times, these problems are bound to exaggerate and should not be ignored at any cost.

As per reports, 70% of people suffering from multi-faceted mental health issues benefit genuinely from an abiding support network operated by trained psychologists.

Telemedicine is in trend and in each session the counseling team will encourage openness, honesty, and mutual trust between the patient and the provider. Choose a clinic that provides a warm and welcoming setting that fosters a nurturing, symbiotic relationship with each new and returning patient.


The more attuned you are to your feelings and reaction patterns, the more difficult it is for any crisis to affect you profoundly. Focus on identifying negative thought patterns and slowly start replacing them with healthy thought patterns and coping mechanisms. Once you know what irritates, angers, or depresses you, you will be better equipped to deal with those triggers. Introspection is at the heart of any cohesive self-management effort.

Remember that COVID-19 may be strong, but your mind is stronger, and you will win if you start thinking like a winner!!! 


How to manage eating disorders while living a hectic life?

For most people, eating is not just a way of satiating hunger; it’s a way of meeting emotional needs. Most people don’t realize this consciously, but their eating patterns reflect their emotional highs and lows. 

Why else would anyone devour an entire bar of chocolate after a fight with their significant other? Or why would a woman on her period suddenly start craving ice cream? For a few people, eating as a way of emotional respite takes a disastrous form, and that’s when eating disorders like bulimia, bingeing develop. 

Life has lost its normal rhythm now because of the Corona onslaught. Many people who have been dealing with eating disorders are now doing much worse. With work from home, non-availability of support staff, and constant stress, even people who hadn’t visibly demonstrated eating disorders earlier are showing symptoms of the same. 

Thankfully, there are a few ways you can manage your eating disorders even while leading a super hectic life.

understanding eating disorders

Eating disorders have been neglected, waived off, and misunderstood for years, even though they have one of the highest mortality rates of any mental illnesses. Did you know that suicide rates of anorexia are three times the normal rate? Anorexia nervosa plagues the mind with a heightened fear of gaining weight, and the patient plunges into malnutrition. Bulimia nervosa forced the patient to purge repeatedly.

Binge eating provokes people to consume a huge amount of food without any sense of control. Disordered eating makes people skip meals and consume unhealthy foods. Each of these diseases has life-altering consequences, so a planned and structured treatment program plus heightened awareness is a necessity. If you or your loved one have such symptoms, seek professional help without any delay.

engage in meditation

The most significant antidote to an eating disorder is a calm and balanced mind. A tamed mind will always provoke mindful eating as opposed to a turbulent mind that actively encourages food binges. Breath meditation, mindful meditation, and whole-body submersion are some techniques that induce relaxation. Self-acceptance and compassion are generated by meditation, and these are pillars of self-love. When you begin to love and accept yourself, the need for emotional eating will reduce. 

massage therapy

Massaging areas of tension around the body initiates a relaxation response that, in turn, reduces stress. Often, feelings of anxiety and sudden cravings for sugary food also go away. The areas around the back, neck, and shoulders are critical massage zones. So even if you are super busy and stressed for time, a simple 15-minute shoulder massage will work wonders. If you have an electronic massager, you can use that to give yourself a quick self-massage.

stay connected to yourself and your loved ones

The more human bonds you foster, the lesser are the chances of eating disorders. Dopamine, Serotonin, and Endorphins are collectively called the body’s happy hormones, and science has proved that these get boosted by happy hugs, warm touches, and even meaningful conversations.

Staying connected to yourself, on the other hand, needs much more effort. It means recognizing your emotional pain points and triggers and then accepting all of them. The kinder you are to yourself, the higher are yourself self-love levels, and then you wouldn’t need to crave food as a means of feeling good. The more supportive you and your inner circle are of your physical appearance and unique personality, the less need there is of purges and restrictive diets. 

seek professional help

Eating disorders can plunge your professional and personal life into darkness, and sometimes the patient is unable to control the situation despite the best of intentions. If you can relate to this situation, then now is the right time to seek help from a professional.

The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. offers therapy for childhood physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, trauma and PTSD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship turmoil, and much more. In each session, the team encourages openness, honesty, and mutual trust between the patient and the provider. They provide a warm and welcoming setting that fosters comfort with each new and returning patient.

With sedentary lifestyles and hectic job schedules, eating disorders have become all the more common. However, it is vital to understand the situation and take the necessary remedial steps. Ignorance is not the right approach.


Signs of domestic abuse and aggression in relationships – give your relationship a second chance!

Domestic abuse can be life-altering and have devastating consequences both for the relationship and the victim’s mental and physical health. Here is all you need to know about domestic abuse and how to seek help.

Nearly 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their functioning.

1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Given the current pandemic situation, several couples are sheltering together, and due to the increased physical contact with one another, they may experience increased tension and violence in their relationship, especially if they already had a complicated relationship with their partners.

The induced quarantine effect has forced many victims of domestic abuse to stay in close proximity with their abuser for longer durations, which triggers more abuse.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/ CBT is an important technique that identifies behavioral issues and links them to their root causes before chalking up a customized case-specific treatment plan. If domestic abuse is detected at a nascent stage, it still might not be too late to give your relationship a second chance. Remember that justifying the abuse or suffering silently is not the solution, but seeking help is a constructive approach. 

all abuse is not physical

Often the meaning of domestic abuse is interpreted as “domestic violence.” However, much lasting damage to the self-worth of the victim is done by decidedly non-violent ways. The use of fear, shame, intimidation, guilt is common in mental abuse. Often passive tools like a sense of superiority, sarcasm, and emotional coldness form a part of abuse. More women indeed experience abuse than men, but men are also victims (often silent ones). 

Abusive behavior, whether physical or mental, is totally unacceptable whether a man/woman/teenager engages in it as the victim has the fundamental right to be respected and feel safe and valued.

how to recognize whether you are in an abusive relationship?

Often the victim becomes so used to the abuse that he or she becomes unable to distinguish the abuse as wrong. This is especially true in cases of non-violent domestic abuse. You can find out if you or a loved one is the victim of domestic abuse by a few prominent signs. If you find that you have to watch your tongue in front of your partner regularly and there are frequent and disproportionate blowups, then there is a fair chance that the relationship is abusive. 

If you notice yourself or a loved one feeling self-deprecatory, desperate, and helpless, then it’s a sure sign that something is wrong in your relationship and its most probably domestic abuse. If you are scared of your partner most of the time and feel numb emotionally or believe that you deserve the mistreatment, then it’s probably a case of abuse. If your partner is yelling a lot, humiliating you, criticizing you, ignoring you, or treating you as an object, then those are signs of domestic abuse. 

Domestic abuse also includes economic abuse where one partner rigidly controls finances, withholds money, restricts allowances, prevents the victim from working, steals money, and endangers the other person’s job.

At the preliminary stage, domestic abuse can be resolved if both partners willingly recognize this problem and seek help from a trained professional. As the abuse escalates, an abusive partner may try to hurt/threaten/ perform marital rape/ destroy belongings/ take away kids, and you must know that these are behaviors that deserve to be reported and subjected to official action.

is domestic abuse loss of control?

Many victims believe that their abuser is just an example of “bad temper” or “flies off the handle easily” when, in reality, abusive behavior is a choice. The abuser seeks control over the victim and tries to manipulate by dominance. This is when one partner tries to make all decisions for the other partner. Humiliation is another technique where one partner will do a lot to lower the other partner’s self-worth and make him/her feel worthless. 

Isolation is yet another technique where the abuser tries to cut off the victim from the outer world. Issuing threats/ intimidation is a prevalent technique where one partner threatens to either hurt the other partner or commit suicide and file a false charge. 

Most abusers have seen abusive relationships themselves in their childhood and tend to exhibit recurring patterns. They make excuses citing their personal history and minimize the abuse impact. Abusers also tend to shift the responsibility of their behavior to the victim. It is because abusers carefully choose their victims they may outwardly pretend (especially in public) that everything is fine. It’s important not to justify the abuser and stand up for the victim whenever you identify a case of domestic abuse.

Understanding and acknowledging that you are a victim is the biggest challenge. However, ignorance will do more harm than good, especially in current situations. Seek professional help and ensure your well-being. Life is a gift and too precious to be wasted for domestic abuse.

So, go ahead and speak up!


Top 10 stress management strategies

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”

Stress is a common side effect of the functional adult life, but in the pandemic affected world, it’s become even more rampant. Top research organizations predict that stress triggered issues like depression, anxiety attacks, domestic abuse, partner to partner sparring has increased by over 50% in the last few months. In the stressful, and unsafe times ahead, stress management is no longer an option, it has become a necessity. The experts at our psychology clinic in San Diego have 10 relatable and comprehensible strategies that will allow you a less stressed existence.

learn to let go

Mark Manson’s bestselling self-help book, “the subtle art of not giving a fuck,” aptly demonstrates that there are only a limited number of things you can afford to get involved with mentally in life. So choose your areas of an emotional investment carefully; otherwise, you will end up spending away all your emotional energy without any gain. Identify 4 to 6 main issues in your life and focus on them. Everything else, including office grapevines and competitive sparring with loved ones, should go for a toss. Learn to let go, declutter, and clear up your mental space.

practice forgiveness

This may seem more spiritual than practical, but in reality, forgiving people leads to a stress-free happy existence with minimum effort. When you lug around anger and resentment with you, your mind never relaxes, and the body keeps on secreting an excess of adrenaline. This curbs appetite immobilizes the kidney and tenses the muscles causing headaches, insomnia, and a poor state of health. Forgiveness lets you relax your mind and cuts the connection between past experiences and illness and stress. Start practicing today by forgiving the relative who passes a sarcastic remark and the person who cuts you off in traffic. And then move on to apply this in larger life spheres.

invest in relaxation techniques

Invest time and effort in learning therapeutic relaxation techniques like Vedic yoga, breathing exercises, chants, etc. Progressive muscle relaxation exercises, deep monitored breathing exercises, sun salutation yoga and stretching exercises are some common tools for inducing a more restful frame of mind. Remember that any step you take towards better mental health ensures a better future and, therefore, you must never feel ashamed of seeking help.

reframing your thought process

Reframing is a smart mental technique. It allows an individual to look at a perceived negative situation and then use a realistic approach to re-present it positively. Often, the negatives of a situation affect us completely, and we find ourselves unable to enjoy even the positive points. However, the positives can be seen when you change your vantage point and use the critical thinking process to evaluate the situation realistically.

use the power of gratitude

Count your daily blessings, and you can enjoy a better future. Spiritual gratitude is a powerful form of de-stressing exercise where the mind is guided slowly to the wells of abundance and goodness existing in our lives. Begin by listing down one thing you are grateful for each day of the week. By the end of a month, you will have an extensive gratitude list that will give you lots of hope and positivity whenever you go through it.

practice a hobby

Hobbies are powerful ways of channelizing our minds away from the negativities of our lives. Practicing an art form like painting, singing, musical instrument, pottery, craft, or even sports help channelize negative emotions and stress precursors like fear, disappointment, and anger away. If you don’t have a creative pursuit, learn one today and dedicate at least one hour in a day to it. Research says that people with active hobbies live longer and happier lives than those who don’t have a hobby.

use the technique of positive reaffirmation

People with low self-esteem feel de-stressed when they write about an activity that they loved doing. Similarly, people with high self-esteem felt light and cheerful when they wrote down positive self-beliefs about themselves. Either way, regardless of your level of self-esteem, writing down thoughts and activities is mentally beneficial. Highly stressed individuals may feel some of their negative energy draining out when they put their thoughts on paper.

exercise every day

The benefits of exercise and its links with mental health have been highly documented. Exercise releases a group of endorphins that create feelings of happiness, peace, and contentment in our minds. The more we exercise, the more conditioned our mind becomes in thinking only positive thoughts. So even if you have never exercised before, start today and mark it as a changing point.

get rid of fear

Fear of the unknown is the biggest precursor to stress and so working on eliminating your fears is a worthy investment of your time. We often find that fear, self-doubts, and uncertainty weigh down our personalities and stop us from achieving milestones that we were meant to conquer. These fears may be financial, psychological, emotional, social, or situational, but they are almost always self-created. Invisible barriers of our mind that we have erected for ourselves. We torture ourselves with questions, “what if this goes wrong” or “what will people say” or “how will these change things for me.” Strengthening your self-belief and spiritual reserves of strength is a very effective way of dealing with fear.

sign up for cbt

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a kind of psychotherapeutic treatment that allows people to identify and alter destructive thought patterns that cause chronic stress and behavioral issues. CBT changes negative recurring thoughts after identifying and applying a wide variety of strategies like role playing, journaling, and relaxation techniques. CBT should only be attempted in a friendly, professional setting like The Green Room Psychological Services Inc in San Diego. We have a well-equipped team of CBT specialists who will guide you on your quest to find a stress-free existence.