The Talk Therapy Office

When we started this center, we wanted to create an environment that is professional and discrete, but also comfortable and welcoming. For this reason, we chose a professional office building and not a medical office. We have multiple private offices for consultation as well as a large group room for our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) participants. We also have a large waiting area and a kitchen for your convenience.

When you enter the office, you instantly feel a sense of calm and peace. In fact, many tell us it’s more like walking into a spa than a medical office, and that’s exactly what we are going for. You come here to do some difficult work, and to improve various areas of your life. The environment is meant to help you in your journey.

Talk Therapy Entrance
Talk Therapy Psychology Center – Office Entrance
Talk Therapy Psychology Center – IOP Room
Talk Therapy Psychology Center – Private Room

Tips for Managing Addiction During the Holidays

We see an increase in addiction challenges during the holidays. Let’s talk about what you can do to increase your chances of staying sober, or to ensure your moderation plan stays on track.

  • WHO: Stay vigilant about who you hang out with. Are there people that tempt you into bad behaviors? Are there key relationships that are particular triggers for you?
  • WHEN: There are certain days of the week when people like to let loose. Friday evening is the obvious one. People are done with work and just want to relax and let go. If there is a particularly vulnerable day of the week for you, plan healthy alternatives during those days. How about making Friday night your netflix night? Perhaps the holidays are particularly difficult, or a key anniversary. Plan ahead of time before that day comes.
  • WHERE: Just like the day of the week, there is also a place that you go where all bets are off. During the holidays, people make trips back home, or to that certain friend’s house. Plan ahead of time. If at all possible, avoid trigger places or places that give you access to those things you are trying to avoid. Sometimes, however, it is inevitable. That annual trip home with the family can often be a tough environment to manage. Create a supportive friend circle and stay in touch with them while on that trip. Have them check in on you. Ask for help from then to hold you accountable ahead of time.
  • WHAT: Think of what you can do ahead of time to avoid temptations. Take a favorite book. Find a new hobby that can keep you engaged. If you are attached to your cellphone, download a new app that can create a healthy distraction. Plan your days ahead of time so that you can have healthy activities timed properly. Maybe going home for the holidays is a trigger for you. But how about visiting some childhood spot like a favorite movie theater, or a local attraction? Spend time around places that you associate with loving and caring moments in your life.

We hope everyone enjoys the holidays and remind you to plan ahead, be safe, and keep your commitments to recovery. As always, if you need some expert advice, you may reach out to us for consultation. We find group therapy, such as our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) to be particularly effective during this period as many other participants are dealing with similar challenges and you have get great support and ideas from each other.

All the best.

858 205-2490



Rising above the darkness during recovery

At times, Talk Therapy Psychology Center hosts articles and important announcements from our partners and clients. Here is a meaningful post from one of our regular contributors, Joe Cervantes:

“Addiction and recovery often come with some dark times. Maybe you’re depressed and using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Or maybe you’ve stopped drinking or using drugs and you are now feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Whether you’re currently struggling with an addiction or in recovery it’s important to remember that it is during these dark times that we grow, learn, and evolve as human beings. It’s in these moments of seemingly endless discomfort and pain that our character is shaped the most and we are provided with a powerful opportunity to get back up on our feet and come out a better person. But as anyone who has experienced darkness knows this is easier said than done.

Here are a few important things to remember whenever you are going through a dark period in your life.

The Darkness is Your Teacher

Ask any successful person and they will tell you the same thing. By overcoming adversity and facing our challenges head on, we become stronger and more resilient so we can take on more complex challenges later in life. We don’t grow as much when we are safe and comfortable, and everything is going our way.

The Dark Thoughts are Not Real

Dark times are often associated with a healthy dose of negative thoughts. But more often than not, these thoughts are not an accurate indicator of your reality. When we are depressed or down, we catastrophize our situation and look for opportunities to bask in our sadness, rather than pick ourselves up. Do not judge or condemn yourself for having negative thoughts. We all have them. Just remind yourself any time you’re feeling down that your thoughts might be trying to play tricks on you.

Darkness Doesn’t Like the Light

Surround yourself with positive people who will help you gain perspective and support you emotionally through your dark times. Stay away from complainers, people who just want to commiserate, people who keep you shackled to your past, and even people who “feel sorry” for you. Instead spend your time with uplifting and cheerful people who will encourage you to look past the darkness, remind you of your strengths, and help you focus on your positive character traits.

Darkness Feeds on Inactivity and Inaction

The best thing you can do during times of darkness is simply move. Force yourself to do something physical or mentally stimulating, even if it’s just a short walk around the block or finishing a puzzle. Not only will your body immediately begin to produce darkness-crushing endorphin but you will also become distracted by your positive activities. Keep moving and you will begin to see progress and momentum build in your life, which will ultimately begin to replace the darkness with the light.

There is Nothing Wrong with You

There is a major stigma around depression in our society that is associated with weakness, mental instability, and one’s overall inability to cope. Although depression can certainly be debilitating, it does not speak to our ability to learn new coping skills or demonstrate strength over our adversities. Everyone feels darkness in their lives to differing degrees. It’s part of the human condition. It’s not the darkness that defines us, but rather it is the manner in which we approach it that matters the most.

Love Yourself Unconditionally Through the Dark Times

We tend to turn against ourselves during tough times and become our own worst enemy but it is in these times of darkness that we need to learn how to become our own best friends. If you’re having a difficult time you need some support. Do not hesitate to turn to family, friends or professionals for the needed support. This is one way you can practice being your own best friend.

And no matter how bad the pain, the sadness, or even the most debilitating depression, the most important thing to remember is that no matter how bad things get, the darkness never lasts.”

About the Author:

Joseph Cervantes is an advocate for the de-stigmatizing of addiction and for the development of progressive treatment approaches. As a writer in the addiction treatment space and former community organizer he has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of individuals struggling with various addictions and mental health issues. Having completed several IOP and inpatient programs himself over the past 20 years, he offers a unique perspective into the treatment and recovery experience through both a “patient” and “practitioner” lens.

At the Talk Therapy Psychology Center, we strive to give you the right tools to cope, the skills to deal with setbacks, and the ability to believe in, and rely on your own strengths. Sign up now for private, one-on-one sessions, or join our popular Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

(858) 205-2490


Depression: What Psychologists Say

Recently, Dr. Seda Gragossian, Clinical Director at the Talk Therapy Psychology Center, was interviewed on the topic of depression. In that article, she spoke about various elements of depression and highlighted the importance of exercising self-care.

At Talk Therapy, we believe that establishing self-care habits is a very important part of a comprehensive response to depression, and many other mental health issues. Self-care principles are covered at length both in private sessions as well as during group sessions, when participating in Talk Therapy’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

You may access the article at: Healthgrades article on Depression.

At the Talk Therapy Psychology Center, we strive to give you the right tools to cope, the skills to deal with setbacks, and the ability to believe in, and rely on your own strengths.

(858) 205-2490


What is resentment? It is a feeling we get when we believe someone has wronged us, has taken something from us without our permission, has said hurtful things, has made decisions that have negatively impacted us, or has somehow failed our expectations. The feeling generally develops over time after repeatedly being exposed to the situation.

Resentment internally is like poison running through our veins. It leads to unhappiness, disrupted sleep, over-analyzing, desire to be vengeful, and aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviors. Actions or interactions that are fueled by resentment generally tend to lead to destruction, especially destruction of relationships.

How do you let go of resentment? The first step is willingness. Often, we are too attached to our resentment, making it difficult to let go. We draw a certain energy from resentful thoughts giving us the perception that we are in the right and justified. Letting go of resentment might feel as if you are letting go of being right, which is not really the case. Furthermore, how important is it for you to be right? Take a situation that is causing you to be resentful and apply the following few steps:

  • Be willing to let go of resentment, the attachment to it, and the energy that it brings.
  • Let go of the need to be right even if you believe you are in the right.
  • Try to see your role in the situation. This realization can lead to feeling empowered and in-charge of the situation.
  • Kick into action and address the situation in a healthy and assertive manner if possible.
  • Remind yourself that your resentment hurts you and no one else.

About the author: Dr. Seda Gragossian is the Clinical Director at the Talk Therapy Psychology Center in San Diego, where she helps people work through mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, and many others. Talk Therapy runs individual, group therapy, and intensive outpatient programs (IOP).

Dr. Seda Gragossian, PhD, PSY 24901
(858) 205-2490

Clinical Director
Talk Therapy Psychology Center
5935 Cornerstone Ct W, Ste 125
San Diego, CA, 92121

Bouncing back from a relapse

Waking up after a night of binging on alcohol or using drugs is no fun after you have committed to live clean and sober. You are in pain emotionally, mentally, and physically. The guilt, shame, and disappointment feels overpowering. Your family members are devastated and probably angry. You find out that you have done things under the influence that you are not proud of, driving your car home, sending embarrassing text messages, drunk dialing, spending money you don’t have, and on and on. You want to throw in the towel and succumb to the urge of continuing the habit to numb the pain. You think “I have already messed up, why stop now?”

However, you hear another voice in your head that tells you to gather all your courage and get back on track. Kick into action and get solution-focused using some of the following means:

  • Take responsibility but do not beat yourself up
  • Take care of your body and get as much rest as you need
  • Reach out to your support network, friends, family, sponsor, and therapist
  • Identify what led to your relapse
  • Revisit your sobriety maintenance plan and make necessary modifications
  • Make amends with anyone who might have been hurt in the process
  • Practice self-compassion and self-love by accepting what is in the past is in the past and move forward

Be hopeful and know that you will put this behind you over time. All wounds heal if we allow them to do so. The key is to actively work on your sobriety and do all that is necessary to maintain it. Don’t forget to enjoy the process. Recovery can be beautiful if you choose to make it so.

About the author: Dr. Seda Gragossian is the Clinical Director at the Talk Therapy Psychology Center in San Diego, where she helps people work through mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, and many others.

Dr. Seda GragossianPhD, PSY 24901

(858) 205-2490

Clinical Director

Talk Therapy Psychology Center
5935 Cornerstone Ct W, Ste 125
San Diego, CA, 92121