Benefits of Post Adoption Counseling

Raising a child is a challenging, yet rewarding feat. When it comes to blending a family with a child who has been adopted, the dynamic of challenges is different. It can be a bit more complex depending on the age of the child and what they have already experienced in their short lifetime. If you are considering adoption or have already adopted, family or teen counseling should be at the top of your to do list.

family counseling for adoption

Why Family, Child and Teen Counseling Should be a Part of Your Adoptive Family Unit

A counselor with expertise in family counseling services, particularly those dealing with adopted children, can help the adopted child work through trauma-related issues they are experiencing. Additionally, the counselor can help the adoptive parents understand what their child is dealing with emotionally and psychologically. Therapy is not a one-size-fits all treatment. Therapy approaches for younger children will differ from those involved in adolescent or teen counseling.

It’s important for the family unit as a whole to have an understanding of what helps create a cohesiveness within the family and what hinders it. For example, a disciplinary action you use with your biological child that works well could trigger disruptive behavior or unpleasant emotional reaction when used with your adopted child. Another example would be if your adopted child experienced abuse with their former family simply raising your voice could lead to upset. It is vital that you learn to implement effective techniques so that your adopted child feels safe in their new environment and they learn that they are safe and loved.

Professional Adoption and Counseling Services for Families at Garrett Counseling

Our experienced adoption counselors understand the unique needs involved with families with an adopted child. Whether the issues are related to trauma, attachment, grief, loss, or something else, we can help. For more information on our family, child, teen counseling services, you can find that here. If you are ready to schedule an online or in-person appointment, click here. You can also reach one of our advocate specialists by calling (256) 239-5662.


Winter Break, Your Kids & Everyone’s Sanity

The holidays are coming up, and the kids will be out of school for an extended period of time. Everyone is excited about the upcoming festivities and break from school and work. However, inevitably before the break is over, our therapists at Jacksonville center for counseling have encountered the same scenario over and over; parents are going crazy, and kids are bored.

Tips to Help You Through the Holidays

Jacksonville center for counseling can helpHoliday planning can leave you feeling like a tornado hit and you’re just hanging on for the ride. Between the meal prep, work, making sure the kids are taken care of, entertaining guests, and traveling, it’s no wonder people find themselves struggling to enjoy this time of year. Hopefully the following list of helpful tips can help you and your family not only cope this season but actually enjoy your time together.

  • Perspective – Remember what school breaks were like when you were a kid. Close your eyes and go back to that time in your childhood and try to grasp that feeling again. Remind yourself that kids will be kids. They are just having fun. Meet them where they are as best you can and cherish every moment.
  • Be thankful – Not intended to sound cliche, but counting your blessings can actually curb your thoughts that lead to increased stress. Fill your mind with an attitude of gratefulness and find little things throughout the day to be thankful for. You’ll have little room for stress.
  • Get outside! It’s amazing what a simple walk outdoors in the fresh air can do for the psychology of our minds. Make moving part of your daily routine. For some, starting their day with a walk is ideal. Others find taking a break and walking when they feel stressed is best.

Contact Garrett and Have a Happy Holiday Season

At our Jacksonville center for counseling, we offer family counseling services and behavioral therapy for children. Let us help you navigate future family gatherings and school breaks without losing your sanity. Give us a call at (256) 239-5662 today, or click here to request an appointment through our online portal. Many of your friends and neighbors have had great success with our counseling teams.


How Can I Bring Up Relationship Counseling to My Partner?

Approaching your partner about relationship counseling can be intimidating and maybe even challenging. If you are struggling with how to start the conversation, we are going to discuss some ways that could be the inspiration your partner needs to jump on board with you.

how do you bring up relationship counseling

Approach With Caution

Not really, but it’s a catchy headline. Obviously, in the middle of an argument isn’t the most opportune time to bring up counseling. Number one, emotions are high, and the tone of voice when it comes out would more than likely be taken as a jab at your partner. It’s important to avoid “you” phrases. Pointing the finger at someone else is going to put them on the defensive, which is the opposite effect you want to have when trying to get someone to agree with you. Instead, try one of these suggestions below:

  • Choose the timing carefully – Make sure when you do decide to have the conversation it is during a time that is convenient for both of you and enough time that you don’t feel rushed. And not while emotions or tensions are high.
  • Connect emotionally – Tell your spouse or partner something you appreciate about them, or do an activity together to invite a peaceful environment.
  • Keep your voice calm and your ears open – It’s okay and may even be a good idea to ask to be able to finish speaking before your partner speaks. However, you need to give the same respect back as they respond and share their opinions.
  • Focus on Your Relationship – Don’t place blame, avoid too many “I” statements. Improving the relationship should be your angle, not changing your partner.

Garrett Counseling for Your Marriage Counseling, Relationship Counseling, and Christian Counseling Needs

A successful relationship survives when there is a strong foundation. Whether you are struggling in your relationship or just want to be proactive in securing that foundation, our experienced professionals can help. Call us at (256) 239-5662, or follow this link to our online inquiry form. Invest in your future and call today!

Why Choose Garrett Counseling

Ashley Garrett of Garrett CounselingSearching for therapists in Alabama can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many things to consider when choosing a mental health professional who you feel comfortable with and will fit the needs of your unique circumstances. Ashley Garrett founded Garrett Counseling with the mission “to provide exceptional mental health care that enhances your quality of life with innovation and compassion.”

Services at Garrett Counseling

Not all counseling centers offer the same services. Just as there are a variety of specialities in the medical field, the same is true for the mental health field. Counselors can have a generalized focus of practice, but others have specialties focused on families, couples counseling, pediatrics, PTSD, trauma, abuse, or one of many other categories. It’s important to know your needs and do the research based on what you’re hoping to get out of counseling.

The following list outlines some of the many services our skilled counselors are able to provide to our clients:

  • Anger management
  • Divorce
  • Adjusting to life changes
  • Coping skills
  • Anxiety
  • Pediatric and adolescent issues
  • Couples counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Aging
  • Anorexia or bulimia
  • Grief and bereavement
  • Disability
  • Premarital counseling
  • PTSD

Garrett is also certified in AutPlay Therapy.

We Know You Have Options ~ See Why Garrett Counseling is the Choice of So Many

The team at Garrett is specialized in a variety of techniques to help people of all ages from children to adults, transform, grow, and thrive. To serve the communities of Alabama better, we offer services online through telehealth visits and any one of our three locations, Jacksonville, Huntsville, and Boaz and we offer both English and Spanish speaking services. Find our contact information here. For faster service, call (256) 239-5662 today! Ashley Garrett invests in her counselors so they can provide therapy for you and your family that is second to none.


Signs Your Family Would Benefit from Counseling – Part 3

Welcome to the third part of our mini blog series on the benefits of Alabama marriage and family therapy and how a marriage and family therapist can help you and your spouse achieve harmony and happiness in your home. If you have missed either of the first two, you can find them here and here. One of the reasons that second marriages, especially those with kids from the first marriage, don’t succeed are because of the busyness of life.

do you need a marriage and family therapist

How Family Struggles Affect a Marriage

The previous blogs in this series discussed family counseling and blended family counseling. However, the foundation of your family is you and your spouse. The stronger your marriage, the more successful you will be at parenting, co-parenting, and running things smoothly in your home.

Everyday family tasks, activities, and responsibilities can very easily divert family members into a robotic rushed rut where you are each running in every direction trying to check things off the list. Kids have practices and games. Parents have meetings, work, and social events. Kids have birthday parties and playdates. In the midst of all this, mom and dad need their alone time individually, as well as date nights and time for intimacy.

A full plate depletes your energy and increases stress. These two things alone are enough to create friction between a husband and a wife. Before you know it, tensions rise, bickering ensues, and you wonder how you got there. A marriage and family therapist is trained for just these situations and can help you and your spouse!

Family Counseling in Huntsville with Garrett Counseling

Time goes by quickly. Don’t let little things build up until they become big issues. Look into a marriage and family therapist in Huntsville, Boaz or Jacksonville, and find the love, joy, and harmony you once shared in your marriage. If you are ready to take the first step call us at (256) 239-5662, or follow this link to complete a short contact form.


Signs Your Family Would Benefit from Counseling – Part 2

As we continue on in our three-part blog series, today we are going to discuss how family counseling in Boaz, marriage counseling, and counseling for kids can benefit your blended family. If you missed part one in this series, you can get caught up by clicking here.

blended family counseling Boaz

Blending a Family is Hard Work

Hormones, differences in personalities, diverse backgrounds, differing parenting styles, emotional baggage from the dissolution of a family unit, these are all factors that fall into the melting pot of a blended family. Just trying to make a relationship between two people work successfully is a challenge. When you add kids into the mix and all of the feelings from past relationships, you’re climbing a very steep hill. Take a look at the bullet points below for a sampling of challenges a blended family faces.

  • Differing rules – Mom/dad lets me at their house. Why can’t I here?
  • Hurt/Anger – You’re not my mom/dad!
  • Separation anxiety – A child clinging to their biological parent.
  • Jealousy – You treat his/her children better than you treat me, or acting out just to get attention when the stepparent is around.

These are just a few of many situations you could run into when you make the choice to remarry with children involved. They are also very normal reactions for a child. As you can expect, when the children are acting out, it causes a strain on your marriage. The good news is that there is hope for a happy, peaceful blended family through family counseling in Boaz.

Blended Family Counseling in Boaz with Garrett Counseling

When trying to create a successful environment for your blended family, make counseling a priority. Contact us here to request an appointment or submit questions. For faster service, call (256) 239-5662. Stay tuned for part three in our mini series on the benefits of family counseling.


Signs Your Family Would Benefit from Counseling – Part 1

In this mini-blog series we’ll address some of the many signs of how family counseling would benefit your family. Clients who have participated in family counseling in Huntsville have developed better communication within their families and found solutions to issues resulting in a happier, more peaceful home.

family counseling Huntsville

“We Can Fix It On Our Own”

How’s that working out for you? How long have you been trying to “fix” the issues in your family resulting in the same results and frustration? Sometimes during couples counseling we discover a need for a pediatric counseling center too. This helps the whole family heal. Therapists are trained to assess, explore, diagnose, implement, and restructure treatment plans for the betterment of your mental health. They specialize in developing insight and dissecting issues that untrained people don’t have the knowledge to do.

Family counselors in Huntsville also have the experience that comes from working with a multitude of families. They are able to recognize the deeper issues and the need for pediatric counseling or teen counseling if necessary. Although family counselors do work with the whole family dynamic, sometimes it’s best for everyone for the child to see a pediatric counselor. If a teen in your family needs helps, working with a counselor well-versed in teenage issues benefits everyone. Sometimes, especially with teenagers, finding a counselor the family isn’t seeing helps the teen open up.

Family Counseling in Huntsville with Garrett Counseling

Keeping your family healthy and happy is important, but not always easy. If you know you need family counseling or are searching for “teenage therapist counseling near me” or a pediatric counseling center, contact Garrett Counseling today. We have offices not only in Huntsville, but also Boaz and Jacksonville, AL.  Our experienced team at any location can help you get the care your family needs with virtual or in-person appointments. Click here or call (256) 239-5662 now!


Missing Your Kids? It Could Be Empty House Syndrome

woman with empty house syndromeWatching your children grow is an exciting time. You anticipate milestones, and there is a sense of pride for each step they take as they blossom from itty bitty’s into young adults. So why, after the joyous celebrations of graduation and moving them to the next phase of their life, do you feel sad? This is a very common occurrence known as empty house syndrome or empty nest syndrome.

Is Empty Nest Syndrome Normal?

Have you ever been rollerskating or on a boat? When you get back on solid ground, it feels like you’re still moving, right? When you have a child (or children), every day is full of activities. There’s school, extra-curricular activities, birthday parties, being a caregiver when they’re sick, and many more responsibilities. When your child finally leaves the nest, all of that busy-ness ceases. It’s a very normal response to feel lost, sad, empty, and wondering “what now?” For nearly two decades, your life is wrapped up with so much, and over night life changes. The researchers cited by this article state that 66 percent of parents experience empty house syndrome. That’s a pretty big percentage. Hopefully that encourages and lets you know that you are not alone. What you are experiencing is completely normal.

Can Empty Nest Syndrome Be Avoided?

The best way to help prevent symptoms of empty nest syndrome is to be proactive. Plan ahead. If you know your child is leaving, there are several things you can do to help make the transition easier. Involve yourself in your community. There are many organizations and churches that are active in helping members and businesses in your area. This would fulfill the human need for social interaction, and you would be providing a helping hand which boosts the emotional side of humans that need to feel they have a purpose.

Get Your Happy Back With Garrett Counseling

It is important for you to not only know you are not alone, but that you don’t feel alone. The therapists at Garrett Counseling have extensive experience working with clients through grief therapy as a result of empty house syndrome. Reach out to Garrett today by calling (256) 239-5662 or clicking here to complete a short contact form. Let us help turn your sadness into smiles. Don’t delay. Contact us today!


Counseling for Infertility

Hearing the diagnosis of infertility sends a shock wave of emotions. Anger, sadness, guilt, and hopelessness are only several of many you may experience. Many couples have found help through counseling for infertility in Huntsville, AL. Be encouraged. You are not alone, and there is help available to you.

we offer counseling for infertility in Huntsville, AL

When to Seek Help

Dealing with infertility can be overwhelming. Your time and thoughts are filled with doctor’s appointments and decisions to be made. In the middle of all the medically-based focus, it’s easy to lose sight of your mental health. Stress takes a toll, and emotions may creep in affecting your thought processes without you even realizing the effects. So how do you know when it’s time to speak with a counselor? The following list outlines certain feelings, behaviors or time frames that are indicators that it’s time to seek help with a counselor.

  • Following a failed treatment or beginning a new one
  • Needing guidance on what treatment decisions to make
  • Wanting a third party’s advice on options such as egg/sperm donation or surrogacy
  • Lingering unwanted feelings of guilt, anxiety, sadness, anger, or loneliness
  • More frequent tension or arguments with your partner, family, or friends
  • Trouble remembering things or concentrating on tasks
  • Isolating yourself from social circles or events
  • Desiring assistance from extended family or outside of your family
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

We Offer Compassionate Counseling for Infertility in Huntsville, AL

Some people seek of their own accord to deal with the loss, anger, or other other emotions related to infertility. Others seek help to find the right path forward as a couple. Finally, one may seek help because their infertility clinic requires it before using donor sperm, egg or embryos. Whatever stage of the infertility process you find yourself facing, Garrett Counseling can help. Our skilled therapists can help with communication between you and your partner, with decisions you are struggling to make, and create a bridge of hope between where you are and where you want or need to be. You don’t have to struggle alone. Click here or call (256) 239-5662 today.


Three Reasons for Premarital Counseling Services

Although more common twenty years ago than today, premarital counseling is still a requirement at some churches prior to marriage. However, research has shown that participating in premarital counseling services has many positive benefits. Couples who participate in premarital counseling have a lower divorce rate. If you’re getting married and are not required to have counseling prior to your wedding, we have three reasons you should consider couples counseling anyway.

premarital counseling services

1. Improve Communication Skills

When you and your partner talk with a counselor, it gives them insight to your communication style. As a neutral third party, they evaluate what you both say without any emotional attachment. From this vantage point, premarital counseling services can help you understand each other better and bring to light things that may become an issue in the future that you might not even be aware of.

2. Address Issues Known and Unknown

Premarital counseling services are a great way to get a counselor’s expertise on issues that you and your future spouse have before they become more serious issues down the road. Maybe you disagree on how money should be handled and don’t realize it yet. Have you discussed what responsibilities should belong to whom in the home? What about a timeline for when or if to have children? Being proactive and working through any issues, big or small, is a great way to establish a firm foundation for your marriage.

3. Plan Your Future

In addition to a counselor helping you work through issues, they are also a great asset for helping you plan for the future. Your counselor can help with strategies to achieve your joint goals. Premarital counseling is the ideal place for you to discuss personal expectations and what your vision of a successful marriage looks like.

Take the First Step to a Healthy Marriage

At Garrett Counseling, we take pride in helping couples become the best versions of themselves. It’s our hope that you have a happy and successful marriage for decades to come. Click here or call (256) 239-5662 to schedule your couples counseling session with one of our skilled premarital counseling professionals.


The Stress of Differing Parenting Styles

Chances are you and your spouse didn’t have a conversation on how to raise your children before their birth or conception. Typically, one just uses the parenting style based on how they were raised. Due to the fact that not everyone is the same, it is quite possible the two of you have different views on how the upbringing should go. If this has created some rifts in your relationship, don’t fret. There is help! Many couples find that marriage counseling in Oxford, AL, is the help they needed to resolve their differences.

marriage counseling oxford al

Exploring Common Styles of Parenting

How you raise your children has a significant impact on their self-esteem, confidence, decision-making skills, and much more. You have an extremely important job at hand. Although parenting doesn’t come with a manual, researchers have identified four parenting styles, and they explain how the different approaches could impact your child. Let’s take a look.

  1. Authoritative – A style where the parent has rules and consequences but also consider their child’s opinion. While maintaining a clear understanding that the parent is in charge, the child’s feelings are validated. Oftentimes, an authoritative parent uses positive affirmation to reinforce good behavior.
  2. Authoritarian – This style of parenting leaves little to no room for any opinion from the child. The child follows the rules, “because I said so,” and decisions are made without allowing any input from the child. An authoritarian parent tends to use punishment rather than measures to prevent unfavorable behavior.
  3. Permissive – The permissive parent will set but not enforce rules. The child begs to be freed from their punishment or gives puppy dog eyes, and the permissive parent caves. Wanting to be the child’s friend more so than a heavy-handed parent, this parenting style can lead to behavior issues down the road with the child.
  4. Uninvolved – Pretty self-explanatory. This parent doesn’t ask questions about the child’s friends, school, or extra-curricular activities, and they spend little to no time with their child. This basically leaves a child to fend for themselves and without question leads to serious issues with the child.


Contact Garrett Counseling in Jacksonville

Working through issues outside of the home with a marriage counselor can lead to happier marriage, better behaved kids and happier ones too. Don’t trust the future of your family to just anyone. Choose Garrett for your marriage counseling in Oxford, AL. Click this link to request an appointment or message us any questions you have, or call (256) 239-5662 today!