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Help Therapy Newsletter - December 2021

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

The Mental Health Connection

As the year comes to an end, we look back on all we’ve accomplished, thanks to you, our partner mental health care providers and referring professionals. We’ve added team members to handle the increase in inquiries and referrals to ensure we’re offering the best service to everyone we connect with. We also continue to grow our network of top-quality providers. We could not accomplish any of this without your trust and support.

As we look toward the New Year, one direction we’re heading is expanding our reach of pre-surgical evaluations throughout California. We see a need to provide this valuable service to patients planning to undergo surgery. Now, with more and more therapists providing telehealth services, we can expand outside the San Diego area and reach more people. See the article, Help Therapy Offers Pre-Surgical Evaluations Statewide further down in this newsletter and visit our Pre-Surgical Evaluations webpage.

All of us here at Help Therapy wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and an abundance of happiness and health in the coming year!

Happy Holidays,

Annette Conway. PsyD


Help Therapy


Opportunities to Spread Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward All

What touches your heart? We all have a particular group that speaks to us—underprivileged youth, those experiencing psychological trauma, homeless pets... Who do you want to help most right now in their mission to improve a situation?

There are so many ways to spread holiday cheer and help people in need by volunteering or donating. This website highlights 12 San Diego nonprofits looking for volunteers and provides links to many other national nonprofit organizations.

Maybe you want to help seniors in need, for example Help Therapy is sponsoring Socks for Seniors, which provides socks to San Diego seniors. You can drop off socks at Help Therapy, or call 858.945.6682 for more information.

If you want to support our troops away from their families this Holiday season, Operation Gratitude has virtual opportunities to write letters of support and thanks.

This is the perfect time of year to think of others and how we can give a little of ourselves to bring more joy and peace to those who are struggling.


Achieve Success with Your New Year’s Goals

Many of us want to be a better version of ourselves and create new healthy habits. We use the start of the New Year as an opportunity for this improvement. Popular New Year’s resolutions are focused on improving health—losing weight and eating healthier.

While improving our physical health is something most of us could benefit from, these types of goals are often abandoned. Getting off track with a slice of pizza one day and putting off going to the gym the next often leads to a downward spiral. Excuses pile up and we give up on ourselves, believing we don’t have what it takes to keep a New Year’s resolution.

In fact, one study found 77% percent of people studied maintained their resolutions for one week, but only 19% kept them for two years.

Why is it so difficult for most of us to keep our resolutions? Maybe it’s our mindset and how we state our intentions.

Some of us set too broad of a goal, for example: “Get into better shape.” While others make our resolutions too limiting: “Jog on the treadmill 30 minutes every day before work,” for instance.

Setting goals and creating new habits is essential. Strict goals require a lot of energy and willpower to maintain. The bigger the goal, the harder it is to reach. If your goal is to jog 30 minutes on the treadmill every day before work, what happens when “life” happens?

On the other hand, saying you’ll “jog or walk” every day gives you flexibility in many variables: distance, time and pace. But this type of goal can trick you into thinking you are doing well if you take a casual stroll for 5 or 10 minutes when you could easily jog at a good pace for 30.

Setting a goal to walk or jog one mile, indoors or out, is more effective because it’s specific and gives you something to aim for and achieve and is most likely doable. But, while achievable, it may not be challenging enough—especially as you build up endurance.

It’s preferable to give yourself the option of walking or jogging one mile, three miles or five miles because it doesn't put you into an “all or nothing” frame of mind. Plus, it gives you options that offer varying degrees of challenge and can be built upon as you get into better shape. You can adapt to what may occur internally or externally and choose the option that works best for you on any given day.

Another aspect of setting up a New Year’s resolution for success is making it enjoyable. This doesn’t mean you need to love working toward your goal, but you can’t dread it. If you’re doing something you hate because you think it’s the only way to get the desired result, you’ll have a tough time sticking with it.

For example, if you believe you have to be hungry to lose weight and eat accordingly, you probably won’t be able to stay in that constant state of hunger for long (nor should you). But, if instead of starving yourself, you try a different approach you find more acceptable, such as intermittent fasting, you’ll set yourself up for success, not failure.

The last detail in setting your New Year’s resolution is having and remembering the “why.” You’re setting this goal for a reason. Take some time and examine why you want to achieve it. How will your life be different? How will you feel? If you have a compelling “why” and remind yourself of it when you’re having an off day, you’ll have a better mindset, giving you the motivation to carry on.

Whatever your New Year’s resolution, it’s essential not to be too hard on yourself if you have a few setbacks, and don’t give up. It won’t always be easy, but if it’s a goal you truly want to achieve—it’s worth it. You’re worth it!


Help Therapy Offers Pre-Surgical Evaluations Statewide

Of the 310 million major surgeries performed around the world each year, 40 to 50 million are performed in the U.S. It’s estimated that 1–4% of these patients undergoing surgery will die as a result, up to 15% will have a severe postoperative illness or disease and 5–15% will be readmitted within 30 days. These alarming statistics were published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health.

According to The National Veterans Administration Surgical Risk Study: Risk Adjustment for the Comparative Assessment of the Quality of Surgical Care, at least one complication occurs in 17% of surgical patients. These complications are categorized as infection (such as an infected wound), respiratory (such as pneumonia), and cardiac (such as cardiac arrest).

Even if a patient facing surgery isn’t aware of these risks, many are still worried about the procedure itself and going under anesthesia, which can lead to anxiety. This anxiety can have many causes, such as fear of the unknown or having had a bad experience with surgery—either personally or through a friend or relative. Some may fear the result of the surgery, such as a change in appearance after undergoing a mastectomy or an elective cosmetic surgery, such as a tummy tuck.

Many people do face an altered life after surgery. In many cases, the goal of surgery is to improve the quality of life for the patient, such as with a knee replacement. Other times the goal is to save a person’s life, as with an organ transplant. But sometimes, the result of surgery causes a person to adapt to a dramatically changed life, as with an amputation.


December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month

As we shop for toys across the U.S. this holiday season, we can trust that the toys we give our children are safe. This peace of mind stems from the actions of The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CPSC imposes some of the most stringent standards in the world for toys. CPSC requires testing by independent, third-party laboratories, enforcing strict limits on lead and phthalates for toys and also stops dangerous toys from being imported and sold—preventing them from reaching children. Even with these safety standards in place, it’s still important to use caution, as some toys and parts of toys can still pose safety hazards, especially for younger children.


Featured Practitioner

Tina Burke, MA, LMFT

Tina specializes in trauma treatment, couples and family counseling, veterans and first responders. She’s an intuitive therapist who looks at each patient’s unique needs. She identifies specific issues and uses the approach that best addresses her patient’s situation.

Her goal is to create a comfortable and safe environment for sharing. She provides a transparent counseling experience and explains every step along the healing journey.

Her office is in Carlsbad Village where she lives with her husband and labradoodle.



World AIDS Day

December 1, 2021

See World AIDS Day for more information.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3, 2021

See United Nations for more information.

Human Rights Day

December 10, 2021

See United Nations for more information.


Partner With Us

Are you a psychologist, LCSW or LMFT?

We’re always looking for exceptional mental healthcare providers. Visit for more information and fill out the quick and easy application.


  • Stream of new patients

  • Billing off your plate

  • Flexibility and Freedom

  • Credentialing assistance

  • No hidden costs


"Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling.”-Edna Ferber


Do you have something to share?

We’d love to hear about your successes and accomplishments!

Have you:

  • Written an article?

  • Given a presentation?

  • Been featured on a podcast?

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  • Do you have a topic you would like discussed?

  • Have questions?

  • Want to learn more about Help Therapy?

  • Visit, call 858-481-8827 or email


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