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Welcome to

Emotional Self-Defense

What is emotional self-defense?

Are you struggling with symptoms of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or hopelessness about the future? Have you been told that you are "too sensitive," "dramatic," or "needy?" Sometimes the symptoms that bring people to therapy represent underlying relationship problems. Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse can be hard to spot, and people suffering from it may attribute their symptoms to something else. Emotional abuse leaves a person feeling confused, ashamed, guilty, and inadequate. As a therapist, I see many people coming to therapy hoping they can change themselves in order to "fix"their relationship. 

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Here are some signs you may be suffering from emotional abuse:

  • You walk on eggshells to keep from upsetting someone

  • Your feelings are dismissed, or you are told something is wrong with you for having them

  • You are blamed for problems in the relationship and feel responsible for any issues

  • You apologize a lot when you've done nothing wrong

  • You used to be confident and happy, and now you feel insecure and dependent

  • You doubt yourself and have trouble making decisions without consulting the person

  • You feel guilty about the relationship and want to fix it

  • You are "gaslighted" and made to doubt your reality

  • You are put down and then told, "I was only joking! Geez, you're so sensitive!"

  • This person is hot and cold - inconsistent in their moods and treatment of you

  • You feel like you are chasing your once-available partner

  • You have lost sexual desire for your partner

  • Your partner is controlling, jealous, and/or you have withdrawn from friendships and other interests

  • You are belittled for your accomplishments and your strengths/successes are ignored

Emotional abuse does not need to be happening to you currently in order to cause problems. If you were raised by an emotionally immature or narcissistic parent, you may still suffer the effects as an adult. My practice focuses on helping adults who are suffering the effects of emotional or narcissistic abuse - from a parent, from a current or former partner, or from a family member.


So, just what is "emotional self-defense?" Like physical self-defense, emotional self-defense is a countermeasure to protect yourself - from the mind games and emotional manipulation of predators and other abusive people.

I'm glad you're here. I can help.


Erin Bellamy, LPC, CA

What I Do

Love Relationships



We don't have to do all of it alone.

We were never meant to.

Brené Brown

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