Dr. Kate Truitt & Associates

Related Resources

For Self-Care

CPR for the Amygdala® and Anxiety Relief - A Self-Havening Guided Meditation

If you are looking for a refuge from pain and anxiety or a way to find peace within yourself, you have come to the right place. In this guided meditation, Dr. Kate will demonstrate the process of Creating Personal Resiliency to help soothe your anxious brain. You will learn how to practice CPR for the Amygdala®, which engages the self-havening touch. Dr. Kate will invite you to turn inward and notice/rank an experience of distress or disturbance that has continued to cause ruminating anxiety or worry from your amygdala, or a physiological experience of tension or stress. She will then walk you through visualizing a personal journey that activates all your senses, and will use breathing exercises to further enhance relaxation.

A Breathing Exercise for Decreasing Stress

In this video, you will learn a technique for regulating your system, and bringing your parasympathetic nervous system into the present moment. Dr. Kate explains that we want it present because stress makes it more sensitive. She describes this as us being more “sympathetic to threat,” our brain wants us to stay alive. Then she goes on to mention that many of the stressors in our day-to-day life are not actual threats to our survival, though our system can still struggle to decrease its sensitivity to them. And as stress spreads, it can lead to activation/vulnerability to future stressors. The topic of this video is based on findings by Jack Feldman, a researcher from UCLA who is studying the biomechanics of breath, and identified an opportunity to downregulate our system in 40 seconds or less.

Your Personal Program for Building a Resilient Brain - Brain Health

In this continuation of her deep dive into the Resilient Brain Care Program, Dr. Kate describes a daily schedule you can follow to start implementing this practice into your life. She goes onto explain that this schedule consists of taking 3 opportunities during your day to spend 7 minutes practicing, which is fortunately only about 2% of an average day. And it’s certainly worth it because it increases our body/mind’s ability to stave off stress and stay in balance. She describes that our brain is actually quite simple, and this repetition helps because our brain loves patterns. It gets used to doing these exercises and will start to enjoy them. So go over your day, and look out for lingering experiences in the future.

Havening Guided Color & Breath Exercise for Reducing Stress and Enhancing Calm

This is a guided meditation for expanding your mind and body’s ability to be in a healthy relationship with both positive and difficult experiences. In this exercise, Dr. Kate utilizes a tool called “Breath Color Titration,” which capitalizes on the brain and body’s willingness to intentionally move between different feelings, in order to progress towards a state of being that we would like to experience more often. This calming video will take you to a safe space within your mind’s eye where you can appreciate the beauty of your very own visualization. You will create a new pathway in your mind that you can link into, any time you are dissatisfied with your current feeling state and are looking to enter a new one.


Domestic Violence: Emerging Safely From the Pandemic World

By Dr. Kate Truitt

As we begin to ease our way back into the great wide world out there after a year of safer-at-home orders, I think back to last March when this all began, a time when our team was expressing concerns about these orders impacting certain people who are not necessarily safer at home. Now that we are in Mental Health Awareness Month and on the verge of opening up once again, I want to circle back to this subject.

were you safer at home during the pandemic lockdowns?

Some people are not safer at home, and in fact, the home setting is a real place of danger for many who live with the threat of domestic violence. If you are one of those people, you may be in need of help and support. If you are not one of those people, but think you may know one, you may become one of “the helpers” as Fred Rogers always fondly called them. In this article I would like to share some tips for keeping safe and giving yourself a little self-care if you are living under the threat of domestic violence, and what those around them can do to help.

First, let’s define what we mean by domestic violence. This term broadly refers to violence in the home, including child abuse and violence among roommates, but most people see domestic violence in terms of intimate partner violence (IPV)—among partners who are married, living together or in a dating relationship. IPV may include physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, and even financial abuse. IPV is prevalent in society—1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will be IPV victims in their lifetimes.

Domestic Violence in the Pandemic

Back in early 2020 when the lockdowns began, our team anticipated a rise in the incidence of domestic violence. While the safer-at-home orders kept millions of people safe from infection, we were concerned that they also quarantined many IPV victims at home with something potentially even more hazardous to their health—their abusers. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The social isolation the pandemic exacerbated was only one of the problems. Add to that loss of income, inability to pay bills, and exacerbation of mental health problems like anxiety and depression, and you have a recipe for a second epidemic on your hands.

Organizations providing domestic violence hotlines braced for the expected influx of calls, but in many areas, the calls dropped significantly, sometimes by more than 50 percent. Helpers in those organizations knew this was not due to less violence, but rather because IPV victims found themselves unable to safely access the usual resources and services, including hospitals (Fielding, 2020, April 30). Indeed, many studies show that domestic violence—and IPV against women in particular—has increased across the globe, prompting the United Nations to create its “Shadow Pandemic” campaign to shine a light on this problem.

What Can Be Done To Help?

During the safer-at-home orders we often emphasized that it was critical that everyone create boundaries and personal space/time in their homes during this enforced social isolation, regardless of whether there was a potential violence in the home. This was one of the central themes in our YouTube Channel series titled, Telecommuting for Success. This is still relevant for many people who have transitioned permanently to the new telework environment because of changes in the workplace.

There are other ways to create space, whether or not you are in lockdown, such as going for a long walk by yourself or connecting with family and friends. As we begin to open up again, there are more opportunities for this separation, and for getting access to resources and using healthy coping skills like Havening to support resiliency, and exercise such as yoga at home. Please take time to practice along with some of the self-care videos in the sidebar of this article

Ensuring Health and Safety

The most important thing to remember, whether you are a victim or are trying to provide support to a friend or loved one, that domestic violence is about power and control. The victim should never threaten to leave, even if that is the plan. Research shows that this triggers the abuser’s fear of losing power & control, which significantly increases violence. Use your resources if you have a safety plan, and modify it as needed to maintain health & safety.

If you haven’t already created one, make a safety plan. This plan includes how to stay safe during the relationship, when leaving (if you choose to do so) and staying safe after leaving. This may include coping skills that work best for you, telling a friend or family member that has a code word for danger, having a specific unsuspecting location to go to, as well as a financial plan. Hotline Counselor Advocates are trained to create these with survivors. Remember, during a time of crisis, we have significantly less access to our rational brain, so safety plans should be written and/or rehearsed.

The Role of Friends and Family

Remember that love is powerful. If you know someone who is living in one of these situations, be there for them. You may not agree with the choices they make, but survivors need most of all to know that they are loved unconditionally and that their loved ones are there for them. If you haven’t already, come up with a safe word that they may use to communicate danger to you.

Resources for Survivors

In Los Angeles we are fortunate to have many resources for domestic violence survivors. The following are just a few:

Peace Over Violence provides a 24/7 hotline staffed with trained Counselor-Advocates. They also provide counseling & legal services.

Website: www.peaceoverviolence.org
Hotlines: 626-793-3385 | 310-392-8381 | 213-626-3393

The LA LGBT Center, which provides emergency shelter, counseling, & legal services.

Website: www.lalgbtcenter.org
Phone: 323-993-7400
Email: domesticviolence@lalgbtcenter.org

Jenesse Center, which provides emergency shelter & housing, counseling, & legal services.

Website: https://jenesse.org/
Phone: (323) 299-9496
Hotline: 1-800-479-7328

LoveIsRespect.Org is a wonderful online resource that has a hotline that you can call as well as one you can text, if speaking is unsafe. They also have a plethora of resources for education, safety planning, conflict resolution, even quizzes to assess the health of your relationship.

Website: https://www.loveisrespect.org/


Text: “LOVEIS” to 22522


Fielding, S. (2020, April 3) In quarantine with an abuser: surge in domestic violence reports linked to coronavirus. The Guardian.