• After the Storm: Part 4 April 8, 2018

    Today is the final part in our series on coping with stressful events, like the recent storms in Jacksonville, AL. Today, our focus is on adults.

    Typical Behaviors:  Events like the recent storms can cause a significant amount of stress for adults. This stress can present itself in several different behaviors and symptoms. Some of those behaviors include:

    • Replaying the event or memories of the event in your head
    • Trouble sleeping or nightmares
    • Flashbacks to the event
    • Fear, worry, or anxiety
    • Anger, depression, or sadness
    • Increased sensitivity to loud noises or being easily startled
    • Decreased appetite or trouble eating

     

    When To Seek Professional Help:  You should seek help if any of the behaviors listed above persist for more than a few weeks, behaviors continue to worsen over time, or behaviors begin to interfere with day-to-day activities. Even if the guidelines above aren’t met, if you think you need professional help, you should contact someone.

     

    Tips To Help:  There are several things you can do to help yourself cope with the stress you may be feeling. Many adults, especially parents, find themselves putting on a “brave face” in order to help their families. It’s important to make time for you to process your thoughts and emotions with another adult.  In order for you to take care of others, you must make time to care for yourself. Some ways you can practice self-care include:

    • Make time for rest
    • Accept help from others when you can
    • Try to keep to your normal routines. If normal isn’t possible, work to establish new, consistent routines.
    • Practice thankfulness and gratitude – Ex: Write a letter to someone who has helped you
    • Perform acts of kindness

     

    Resources – Local & Online

    • Disaster Recovery Center: The Disaster Recovery Center is located in the Jacksonville Train Depot (map). This is designed to be a one-stop shop for all the resources you need, including mental health and counseling services.
    • School Counselor: If your child is enrolled in school, the school counselor can help you assess behaviors and connect you with resources you may be needing.
    • Garrett Counseling: You are also welcome to contact our office. We accept most major insurances, and we can be reached at (256) 239-5662.

     

    Online Resources:

  • After the Storm: Part 3 April 8, 2018

    Today, we are moving on in our series about coping with stressful events – like the storms that recently impacted Jacksonville, AL. Today, our focus is on children ages 12-18.

    Typical Behaviors:  During and following events like these storms, children and adults can experience stress. This stress can manifest itself in a variety of behaviors or symptoms. The behaviors seen most often in children ages 12-18 include:

    • Depression, anxiety, or worrying
    • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
    • TEMPORARY problems at school – grades or attendance
    • Withdrawing from friends or family
    • Becoming more accident prone
    • Acting out or rebelling
    • Changing future plans – Ex: “I’m not going on that trip now.”
    • Focusing only on current things or things in the very near future
    • Appetite changes – overeating or undereating
    • Focusing completely on themselves
    • Seeking revenge
    • Engaging in behaviors as a distraction – substance use or risk taking
    • Talking about suicide, self-harm, suicide pacts, etc. (**Seek Immediate Help**)
    • Life threatening behavior or reenactments of the event (**Seek Immediate Help**)

    When To Seek Professional Help:  There are a few guidelines that can help you make the decision to seek help. You should seek help if any of the behaviors listed above persist for more than a few weeks, behaviors continue to worsen over time, or behaviors begin to interfere with day-to-day activities. If you’re a parent or caregiver – trust your instincts. If you feel you should seek help for your child, you should do so even if the above guidelines are met. It is always better to err on the side of caution.

    Tips To Help Your Child: As a parent, there are several things you can do to help your child. Those things include:

    • Limit television or media coverage of the event.
    • Try to keep to normal routines. If normal is not possible, work to create new, but consistent, routines.
    • Involve your child in the rebuilding process. Give them a chore to do at home, assist them in cleaning up for a neighbor, or take them with you to deliver a meal to someone in need.
    • Allow your child opportunity to discuss the event, but don’t pressure them to talk if they aren’t ready.
    • Don’t ignore threats of self-harm or harm to others. If your child demonstrates this behavior, seek help immediately.
    • Encourage your child to resume normal activities such as social activities, athletics, clubs, youth groups, etc.
    • Temporarily relax your expectations for school and general performances.

    Resources – Local & Online:

    • Disaster Recovery Center: The Disaster Recovery Center is located in the Jacksonville Train Depot (map). This is designed to be a one-stop shop for all the resources you need, including mental health and counseling services.
    • School Counselor: The school counselor can help you assess behaviors and connect you with resources you may be needing.
    • Garrett Counseling: You are also welcome to contact our office. We accept most major insurances, and we can be reached at (256) 239-5662.

    Online Resources:

  • After the Storm: Part 2 April 8, 2018

     

    Today, we are on part two of our series on coping with stressful events, like the recent storms in Jacksonville, AL. Today’s focus is on children ages 7-12.

    Typical Behaviors:  During and after stressful events, both children and adults can experience significant amounts of stress. This stress can present in a variety of symptoms or behaviors. The behaviors or symptoms typically seen in children ages 7-12 include:

    • Paying close attention to caregivers or parents to watch their anxiety and fear levels
    • Losing interest in usual activities
    • Withdrawing from friends
    • Becoming focused or preoccupied with safety
    • TEMPORARY decrease in grades or school performance
    • Physical pain – including stomach aches or headaches
    • Increased sensitivity or response to loud/sudden noises
    • Difficulty sleeping or night fears
    • Clinging to parents or caregivers  

     

    When To Seek Professional Help:  As a parent, it’s important for you to trust your instincts. If you feel your child needs professional help, seek help. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.  However there are a few guidelines that may help you with your decision. You should seek help if any of the behaviors listed above persist for more than a few weeks, behaviors continue to worsen over time, or behaviors begin to interfere with day-to-day activities.

    Tips To Help Your Child:  There are several things parents can do to help children cope with a stressful event. Those things include:

    • Give your child an opportunity to grieve. It may seem silly for your child to be upset over a lost toy or blanket, but to your child: it’s important. Try not to minimize their grieving.
    • Limit your child’s exposure to television coverage or photos of the event.
    • Try to keep to normal routines. If normal isn’t possible, work to establish new, but consistent routines.
    • Find ways to involve your child in the rebuilding process. Give them a small chore to do at your house, help them donate a few old toys, or take them with you to deliver a meal to a neighbor.
    • Let your child know they can talk to you about what happened, but don’t push them to talk if they aren’t ready.
    • Temporarily relax some expectations.
    • Create a family disaster plan together. Working together to create a plan will give your child a sense of control if a similar event happens in the future, but it will also present an opportunity to discuss what happened.

     

    Resources – Local & Online:

    • Disaster Recovery Center: The Disaster Recovery Center is located in the Jacksonville Train Depot (map). This is designed to be a one-stop shop for all the resources you need, including mental health and counseling services.
    • School Counselor: The school counselor can help you assess behaviors and connect you with resources you may be needing.
    • Garrett Counseling: You are also welcome to contact our office. We accept most major insurances, and we can be reached at (256) 239-5662.

     

    Online Resources:

  • After the Storm: Part 1 April 8, 2018

    After The Storm: Part 1 (Ages 6 and Under)

    Over the next few days, we will be sharing a series of blogs related to coping with stressful events, like the recent storms in Jacksonville, AL. Each blog will focus on different age groups. Today, we are focused on children ages 6 and below.

    Typical Behaviors:  During and after events, like the recent storms, people can experience a great amount of stress – children are no different. This stress can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms or behaviors. Those most typically seen in children ages 6 and under are:

    • Change In Behavior: Becoming more aggressive than usual, becoming much quieter, etc.
    • Return To Previous Behaviors: Clinging to parents, bed-wetting, thumb-sucking, etc.
    • Night Fears or Trouble Sleeping
    • Physical Pain: Including headaches or stomach aches
    • Heightened Response or Sensitivity to Loud or Sudden Noises
    • Change In Appetite: Eating more or less than normal
    • Confusion

     

    When To Seek Professional Help:  When it comes to seeking professional help, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. Seek professional help if any of the behaviors listed above persist for more than a few weeks, behaviors continue to worsen over time, or behaviors begin to interfere with day-to-day activities.  As a parent, trust your instincts. If you feel your child needs professional help, even if the guidelines above aren’t met, seek help. It is always better to err on the side of caution.  

     

    Tips To Help Your Child:  There are several things you can do as a parent to help your child cope with a stressful event, like the recent storms. A few of those things are:

    • Answer questions honestly, but briefly. Use simple words, and try to keep an optimistic tone.
    • Remind your child that they are safe and that you will take care of them.
    • Enjoy family time together- watch a movie, play a game, etc.
    • Try to keep to your normal routines. If you can’t keep to your normal routines, establish new, but consistent routines.
    • Protect your children from news coverage and images from the event.
    • Point out caring people in the community and explain how those people are helping.
    • Find a way to involve your child in the rebuilding process – maybe they have some old toys they can donate or let them come with you to take a meal to a neighbor.
    • Allow your child to grieve their loss(es). It may seem silly to be sad over a lost toy when someone else lost more, but to your child – it’s important. Try not to minimize their grieving.
    • Praise age appropriate behavior. You may be way past the days of applauding when your toddler uses the potty, but this is a time to start that back up. Celebrate them!
    • Give your child the opportunity to discuss what happened, but don’t pressure them if they aren’t ready.
    • Create a family disaster plan together. Creating a plan will help your child feel more in control if a similar event happens in the future. Creating a plan also provides an opportunity to discuss what happened.

     

    Resources – Local & Online

    • Disaster Recovery Center: The Disaster Recovery Center is located in the Jacksonville Train Depot (map). This is designed to be a one-stop shop for all the resources you need, including mental health and counseling services.
    • School Counselor: If your child is enrolled in school, the school counselor can help you assess behaviors and connect you with resources you may be needing.
    • Pediatrician: Contact your child’s pediatrician to keep them informed of your child’s behaviors and for resources and recommendations.  
    • Garrett Counseling: You are also welcome to contact our office. We accept most major insurances, and we can be reached at (256) 239-5662.

     

    Online Resources:

     

  • BOOKSHELF: WILD ABOUT YOU December 19, 2017

    Wild About You is a children’s book written by Judy Sierra with pictures by Marc Brown. This book illustrates many themes, such as the struggle of wanting to start a family via adoption and how sometimes it takes a village to raise children. One important theme shown by this book is that despite looking different or coming from different backgrounds, the most important factor in adopting a new member into a family is unconditional love provided by the parents. This book also reveals the difficulties in raising a child without an support system. Without help from others, the pandas and the kangaroo would not be successful in raising their adoptive babies. This book would make an excellent tool to help children who may struggle with understanding why some families adopt, or why other families may look different from theirs.

    Written by Intern Josalyn

    Josalyn is a Senior at Jacksonville State University, double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with an interest in pursuing a career in mental health counseling and advocating for social equality.

  • BOOKSHELF: THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT December 19, 2017

    One day, as Duncan was getting ready to color in class, he opened his box of crayons only to find a stack of written letters. One by one he opens the letters and begins to read. To his surprise the letters are from the crayons! Letter after letter, color after color, Duncan acknowledges each complaint. But what were the crayons complaining about? Each one had a feeling of being overworked , underworked,unappreciated, and/or misused. Duncan came up with a plan and decided to color one big picture using every color to its best abilities. The Picture was so unique and beautiful that Duncan’s teacher gave him an A+ for creativity.

    Activity: Each crayons expresses a different feeling or emotion in the book. Grab a blank paper and go over each individual crayons complaints in the book. Have a conversation with your child about what the crayon is feeling, why it feels that way, and how to resolve those feelings. Then have the child draw the emotions with that specific color or a picture of choice. You can even have them act out a time where they felt the same way, helping to build empathy.Continue Reading

  • EFFECTS OF NATURE THERAPY December 19, 2017

    Nature – Based Therapy is becoming the therapy of choice for many counselors, and with research showing positive results, it’s easy to see why! Nature – Based Therapy refers to programs that promote mental health through an on outdoor environment. At Garrett Counseling, we are big proponents of Nature – Based Therapy, and here is why:

    Continue Reading

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Jacksonville, AL 36265
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(256) 239-5662
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605 A Medical Center Pkwy
Boaz, Al 35957
(256) 239-5662 | Phone
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