Tips to Improve Family Communication

Families today are more diverse than ever. Yours may be a blended family with his, hers and ours, or a family with kids from newborn to teenager. Some kids may be biological, while others may be adopted. You may even be what is often thought of as a traditional family with two kids just a few years apart. No matter how your family came to be, improving communication can lessen stress, frustration and lead to a happier household. Family counseling for Jacksonville, AL families can improve communication and harmony. Here’s how.

family counseling jacksonville al helps all types of families

Making it Better

Generally, people are a product of their environment. It’s quite probable you speak to your spouse or your children in a similar fashion as your parents spoke to you. Maybe you handle conflict the same way your mom or dad did. You think you turned out okay, and that’s great. But what if things could be better? What if you learned skills that would take your family bond to the next level? That sounds like a win-win! Read on for a few ideas on how this can be achieved.

  • Be deliberate. Put the phones away during meals. Focus on quality, uninterrupted time. When you engage with others ignoring interruptions, everyone feels important.
  • Insist on family meals. Schedules get busy, and it’s really easy to grab food on the fly. It is so important to ensure everyone is getting at least one healthy meal a day and that you’re doing it together. If dinner every night isn’t possible, commit to at least three meals a week. Use this time to learn about your child’s classes or your spouse’s job.
  • Focus on listening to what your family member is saying, and don’t interrupt. Acknowledge their feelings even if you don’t agree with them.
  • Have dates with your children. Your undivided attention means the world to your child. Having that one-on-one time with them strengthens your bond and nourishes their need to be loved.

Family Counseling in Jacksonville, AL at Garrett

Family counseling for Jacksonville, AL families is only a phone call away. With offices also available in Boaz, AL and Huntsville, AL, all our professional team memebers at Garrett Counseling can help your family improve communication and provide a more peaceful environment. Call (256) 239-5662 or reach us by clicking here.


Do We Need Premarital Counseling?

We are so in love, we could conquer the world. Premarital counseling? Why would we need that? Counseling is for people who are having issues. We’re not even married yet, so there’s no reason for that. Sound familiar? Contrary to stereotypical mindset, counseling is not just for problems. You wouldn’t apply for a job if you didn’t have some knowledge of how to perform the duties, and marriage is no different.

premarital counseling

Benefits of Premarital Counseling

If people went into marriage with the expectation of ending in divorce, that might put a damper on the relationship and create hurdles from the get go. Obviously, you go into marriage believing you have found “the one” and it’s going to last forever. Inevitably, life happens, and depending on how you and your future spouse handle the curveballs, your marriage will grow stronger, or it will fall apart.

Therapy during your engagement covers many important aspects of a relationship. Some of the key points would include:

  • Setting goals – This can be related to jobs, finances, social status, material possessions, etc.
  • Communication – Learning how you both effectively give and receive information.
  • Children – If you do or do not want children, how many children you want, and/or when to start trying.
  • How you and your partner handle conflict – Learning to “fight fair.”
  • Expectations – Male roles, female roles, household chores, work, stay at home, etc.
  • Money management
  • Intimacy

Past experiences and family dynamics definitely play a role in the view of marriage. It is important for you and your future spouse to understand what your view is on marriage and address any differences at the get go.

Trust Your Future With Garrett Counseling

Studies have shown that couples who participate in premarital counseling are less likely to face divorce because they are better equipped going into their lifelong commitment. If you or someone you know is an engaged couple seeking premarital counseling, contact our skilled professionals at Garrett today. Virtual and in-person appointments are available. You’ve agreed to a lifetime with your love. Invest in your relationship to make it the best it can be, and call (256) 239-5662 today.


Huntsville, Boaz and Jacksonville, Alabama Counseling Centers

Alabama Counseling CentersIf you are looking for a compassionate counselor in Alabama, Garrett Counseling has three convenient locations to serve you and your family. We specialize in the needs of children of all ages and adults covering a variety of issues. Here is a bit more about our Alabama counseling center services and locations.


We provide service for individuals, families, adults, adolescents, and children. No matter which of our Alabama counseling locations you choose, we have counselors skilled in all areas of expertise. A partial list of targeted issues is listed below, but feel free to contact us for any therapy need:

  • Divorce
  • Grief counseling
  • Premarital counseling
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Empty nest syndrome
  • Depression (adults and adolescents)
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic illness
  • Parenting concerns/issues

Additionally, Garrett Counseling is a certified provider for AutPlay Therapy. Counseling sessions are conducted in-person and online through real-time video. In addition, teletherapy sessions are a great alternative for anyone who feels safer and more secure in their own home environment.


Our fully staffed Huntsville office is located just off of 72 and west of 255. We have experienced and dedicate counselor ready to help you or your children with a variety of issues. If you need directions, please click here and then click on “directions.”


If you live or work in Boaz area, you’ll find our office right off of 431. However, if you’re better with using landmarks, you’ll find us just north of Boaz Middle and High Schools.   Click here for more detailed directions. We have several compassionate counselors on staff ready to help you through grief, overcome anxiety or any of our other services.


Right across the street from Jacksonville High School is our Jacksonville office. You’ll find support from any one of our staff for you as an individual, for you and your spouse or for your child or children. Click here if you need further directions.

Trust Our Alabama Counseling Centers

With three locations in Alabama, Garrett Counseling has compassionate counselors with decades of experience. Of course, we accept many different insurances and are ready to help you through whatever life circumstance you, your child, or your family are facing. Call us today at (256) 239-5662 to schedule your appointment. Or, you can fill out the information form here, and one of our staff members will be in touch with you shortly.


Is it Time to Consider Marriage Counseling?

Are you arguing constantly? Finding it impossible to talk to your spouse? Or maybe you don’t even recognize who you’re married to anymore. If this describes your relationship, you should consider marriage counseling.

marriage counseling

Here Are Some Signs

Every relationship is going to have its arguments, ups, downs, and curve balls. However, if not dealt with appropriately, the unresolved issues will layer one on top of the other until the marriage implodes. Listed below are some signs that indicate your need for marriage counseling.

  • Being indifferent to your spouse. You don’t really care if your sex life is struggling, or you give in to your spouse to avoid confrontation. A great example of being indifferent is like you’re living with a roommate, each living separate lives.
  • Most (if not all) conversations turn into arguments.
  • You’re fighting about the same things over and over.
  • Secrets are being kept from your spouse, or you are lying to one another.
  • Infidelity, whether physical or emotional.

What Every Relationship Needs

There are essentially five key factors in healthy relationships. As cliche as it may sound, communication is absolutely key. There’s a difference between hearing what your spouse is saying and understanding the context of what your spouse is relaying to you. Trust, respect, boundaries, and support are also major players in keeping your marriage alive and thriving. When you feel heard, understood, respected, and supported, confidence in your bond grows. It becomes easier to be vulnerable and discuss issues knowing you’re in a safe place. Stressors of anxiety and insecurity dissipate when trust is present. As you and your counselor work to unravel the misunderstandings within communication through marriage counseling sessions, your relationship will begin to thrive.

Garrett Counseling Center

Make today the first day of a healthier relationship by contacting Garrett Counseling for an in-person appointment at one of our three convenience locations, Boaz, Huntsville, or Jacksonville. Teletherapy appointments are also available. Click here to complete our online form, or call (256) 239-5662.


How to Improve Your Relationship Communication

improve your relationship communicationEvery relationship hits bumps in the road and has its ups and downs. How you and your partner handle those situations says a lot about the strength of you as a couple. Relationship communication has the power to make or break your relationship.

What is Communication

Talking does not equate to communication. Communication involves not only listening, but hearing and understanding. It’s not about proving who is right or wrong. There is no shaming of one another in healthy communication. Effectively communication requires listening without interruption. Sometimes it requires empathy.

Communication is defined by Mirriam-Webster as information transmitted or conveyed, but if there is no understanding of that information, it can lead to misunderstanding and tension between patterns. Ideally you need to put yourself in their shoes. Try to really understand how they’re feeling. Focus and avoid distractions as much as possible.

Lack of Communication

Ineffective communication is a definite threat to your relationship. When you feel like you’re not being heard frustration and hurt feelings follow. You may become defensive and argumentative. As constant negativity builds, your relationship crumbles. Thus, learning how to engage in healthy relationship communication is a lifeline to keeping your relationship intact.

How We Can Help

Our therapists specialize in relationship communication. They will work with you to identify triggers, set boundaries, and give you tools to optimize the communication between you and your significant other. Learning how to communicate effectively also helps avoid misunderstandings. Some of the positive results you can expect when working with our counselors includes:

  • Strengthening mutual respect
  • Avoiding misunderstandings
  • Increasing trust

Call us today at (256) 239-5662 or click here to fill out our confidential online form. We are available in three locations to serve you better. Visit us in Boaz, Huntsville, or Jacksonville. Call for your appointment and meet with one of our compassionate counselors online or in-person.


Coping With Empty Nest Syndrome

empty nest syndrome as girl leavesFor so many years, you’ve been a parent, but now your children have grown and moved on. The house seems empty and eerily quiet. You wake up each day with no school lunches to pack or school functions to attend. Almost overnight, you have experienced a significant change and begin to wonder what to do with yourself and how to handle this empty feeling. Rest assured, you are not alone. Although not a clinical diagnosis, this is what is commonly referred to as empty nest syndrome.

What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

As parents, we nurture our children and teach them to become independent so that when they are on their own, they will be functioning, responsible adults. What we don’t typically prepare for are the feelings of loneliness, sadness, and emptiness that ensue when the day comes that our children have done exactly what we prepared them to do – grow up, move out, and begin navigating the world as an adult. An individual experiencing empty nest syndrome may feel feelings of depression, loneliness, sadness, and a loss of purpose in life. This is a normal transition in life, and although not a comfortable place to be, it can be a time of opportunity.

Coping with Empty Nest Syndrome

There are several ways to cope. Some of the easiest include keeping in touch with your child and seeking support from family, friends, a counselor, or medical provider and staying positive. This is also a great time to explore new hobbies, or pick up old hobbies that you may have put on the back burner. Planning a trip to visit your child keeps the connection and also gives you something to look forward to. Being intentional with activities each day plays an important role in coping with empty nest syndrome.

Garrett Counseling Can Help

If you are experiencing empty nest syndrome and need help coping, contact Garrett Counseling today. To serve you better, we have three locations in Jacksonville, Boaz, and Huntsville and offer in-person or telemed appointments. Contact us today at (256) 239-5662.