Depression Can Trigger Insomnia & Insomnia Can Trigger Depression

Sleep and mental health go hand in hand. Rarely do you have good sleep if your mental isn’t good and vice versa. Often one sign of depression is excessive sleeping. If you are anxious, you may not be able to sleep. Not sleeping is just one definition of insomnia. If you don’t get enough sleep, you could end up depressed or anxious about not getting sleep. It’s a vicious cycle seen in local adult counseling centers all the time.

local adult counseling for depression and anxiety

Signs and Symptoms

When you hear the word “insomnia,” you probably think of it as being awake all night unable to sleep. Some symptoms associated with insomnia are outlined below.

  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Trouble with concentration, focusing, or remembering
  • Making errors or having accidents more frequently
  • Awaking during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Easily irritated, anxious, or depressed
  • Not feeling rested in the morning
  • Difficulty falling asleep

Any one of these symptoms could point to an issue with insomnia.

How Therapy Can Help Your Insomnia

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common approach when working with insomnia. The key is identifying the rooft of why you aren’t sleeping. Keeping a diary is a great benefit to both you and your counselor in this process. As you recount your activities day by day, the sources of disruption reveal themselves. Once you know what the culprit is, you can move on to a strategy in managing that circumstance or that behavior which will in turn result in better sleep and improved mental health overall.

Garrett Counseling – Your Local Adult Counseling Center

If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or insomnia, contact Garrett Counseling today! Our depression counseling experts can help get you the sleep you need to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Call us today (256) 239-5662 to speak with one of our professional team members, or click here to contact us online.


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.


How Does Sleep Affect Your Mental Health?

Have you ever “woken up on the wrong side of the bed?” Truth be told, sleep and your mental health have a very strong connection to each other. Today we will dive into how sleep affects your mental health exploring things like the often asked question of, “Do I get enough sleep?” as well as reasons to seek therapy if you have challenges with getting a decent night of sleep.

how does sleep affect your mental health?

The Importance of Sleep Cycles

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that “More than one third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.” They further state that “Seven to nine hours is what is needed to maintain good health for the majority of adults.” There are two cycles of sleep, “quiet sleep” and REM, and they cycle about every 90 minutes. In the REM stage of sleep, we retain memories. It’s also where learning and mental health are maintained. For many, it’s surprising how many consequences there are to REM sleep disruption. Some include; disrupting normal hormone levels, the ability to regulate emotions, and impaired thinking.

When emotions are on the fritz and thinking is foggy, you are at risk for irritability, depression, and anxiety. Anxiety often leads to sleep difficulties. Which means low quality sleep. If you are dealing with depression, you may sleep too much or battle insomnia. Either way, sleep cycles are out of whack creating more issues. These are only a few of the effects sleep has on mental health and reasons to seek therapy.

Let Garrett Help You Sleep Better!

To learn more about how sleep affects your mental health, follow this link for more info and take our sleep quiz. If you are struggling with getting a restful night of sleep, contact Garrett today and speak with one of our professionals to find out how we can help! Call us today at (256) 239-5662, or send us a message. We offer in-person and telehealth appointments from three convenient locations, Jacksonville, Boaz, and Huntsville. Call us today!


Signs of Anxiety in Children

Anxiety at all ages is a normal emotion. So how do you know when anxiety is affecting your child beyond the scope of normal? In this blog, we are going to outline some signs and symptoms that would suggest the need for anxiety counseling in Huntsville, AL.

anxiety counseling huntsville al

Healthy versus Unhealthy

As stated, anxiety to some degree is perfectly normal throughout stages of development. Being anxious around strangers helps protect a child from going with someone they don’t know. Being anxious on the curb of a busy street keeps your little one safe from darting into traffic. Anxiety becomes detrimental, however, when the fear affects everyday functions. The behaviors listed below give you an idea of anxiety that has gone too far.

  • Extreme fear about a person, place, or thing
  • Being super clingy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Incessant worrying
  • Refusal to go to school
  • Worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet
  • Physical ailments such as stomachaches and headaches

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of some things to look for if you have an anxious child. It is important to be aware of concerning behaviors so your child can get help before the effects of anxiety snowball into more serious issues. The good news is that anxiety counseling is available in Huntsville, AL for your family. It can not only ease the disturbing symptoms but also teach your child coping skills they can use moving forward to help keep these behaviors at bay.

Garrett Offers Anxiety Counseling in Huntsville, AL, Boaz, AL & Jacksonville, AL

There is no greater gift than a child. You can trust that our compassionate and skilled experts at Garrett will give your child the care they deserve. We offer anxiety counseling in Huntsville, AL, Boaz, AL and Jacksonville, AL in person or online through video chat. Call us at (256) 239-5662, or click here to submit a request online.


Healing with Guilt Counseling

The Cambridge Dictionary defines guilt as “a feeling of worry or unhappiness that you have because you have done something wrong…” Guilt is a normal emotional reaction. However, if you allow guilt to hang around too long, it will feel like a thousand pounds. Eventually it begins affecting more areas of your life. Guilt counseling is an excellent tool to help cast off the weight of your guilt and free yourself.

weight of guilt, guilt therapy can help

Effects of Guilt

Feelings of guilt are oftentimes associated with mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety. If left untreated, guilt can impact what you believe about yourself and have a negative effect on your self-esteem. When a person feels inadequate, it is very difficult to keep moving forward to pursue and achieve goals. Guilt can steal joy and happiness. It can cause you to avoid the person you may have hurt or even isolate yourself from everyone. Effects of guilt also present as anxiety, worry, upset stomach, regret, difficulty sleeping, perseverance over past mistakes, and muscle tension. In more serious cases, guilt can lead to self-harm or wanting to harm others.

If you are experiencing any of the above effects of guilt, it is time for grief counseling. Your mental well-being and quality of life go hand in hand, so it’s important to seek help so you can optimize your health.

Grief Counseling with Garrett

Our team of professionals at Garrett are available in three convenient locations to serve your needs in Alabama: Jacksonville, Huntsville, and Boaz. Online appointments are also available for those who prefer meeting with a counselor from the safety and security of their own home. Contact us today for your initial consultation and see how our team at Garrett can help free you from the weight of guilt. You can reach us at (256) 239-5662, or click here to fill out the online form.


Signs & Treatment of Anxiety in Children

It is natural for a child to experience some level of fear or worry throughout their young life. However, when those emotions interfere with activities of daily living, the problem may run deeper. Since opening our location in Huntsville, anxiety counseling is one of the most prevalent types of therapy we treat. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that could be indicators of anxiety in your child.

pediatric anxiety counseling Huntsville

Typical symptoms of anxiety present as what is called “fight, fight, or freeze” response. This is the body’s natural response to a frightening or stressful situation. As an experienced adult, you recognize the symptoms: your heart starts racing. Breathing becomes rapid or difficult. Sweating ensues. Muscles tense. A child may react in the same way. However, they may instead become clingy or have a tantrum. Perhaps declare an upset stomach or headache, and they may startle easily. A child living with anxiety disorder may have trouble sleeping or be afraid to go to school or into a new social situation. The good news is that anxiety counseling can help!

Treatment for Anxiety in Children

The most common method of treating anxiety in children is the same as adults – talk therapy. Talk therapy is an evidence-based treatment method proven to be effective in helping children with anxiety. This incorporates several approaches including the following:

  • Changing negative thinking to positive thinking.
  • Teaching your child the tools they need to cope with social skills.
  • Learning about past experiences that could be the root of your child’s anxiety.
  • Educating your child on living in the moment (mindfulness).

Depending on the child’s age, play therapy and art therapy may be part of their anxiety counseling in Huntsville.

Compassionate Counseling in Huntsville 

To find out more about anxiety counseling, contact Garrett Counseling today. We offer anxiety counseling in Huntsville, Jacksonville, and Boaz. Our specially trained counselors will provide your child with effective therapy, compassion, and an environment where they will feel safe and have fun. Fill out the online information form here, or call (256) 239-5662 today.


Anxiety is High – Are You Suffering?

The world has been turned upside down over the past 18 months. That, in and of itself, has caused anxiety in millions of people. Now we’re facing a relatively normal day-to-day with the same concerns over the increased spread of the virus. For many, this is causing a whole new wave of anxiety. Are you struggling with fear, worry, or even leaving your house? Or worse, fear letting your kids be kids? You are not alone. Our anxiety therapists in Huntsville are seeing this more and more every day.

Our anxiety therapists inn huntsville help with anxiety

Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety can present itself in so many different ways. To the untrained, it may be challenging to decipher if you’re feeling a normal level of worry. You may even want to call it stress. However, if these symptoms interfer with your job, social life, sleep, eating patterns, or interactions with your spouse, children, or friends, it is quite probable you would benefit from meeting with an anxiety therapist. What do these symptoms look like? Let’s explore some symptoms of anxiety in the list below.

  • Overeating or not eating enough
  • Unable to stay asleep or difficulty getting to sleep
  • Missing work or social events because of your symptoms
  • Heart racing that doesn’t seem to go away
  • Feelings of dread when thinking about the future
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

Keep in mind, these are not nearly all the signs or symptoms our anxiety therapists in Huntsville see or treat, just a few of the most common.

Call Us if You Need Anxiety Therapists in Huntsville

We care about your mental health. Our high-quality counselors  at Garrett Counseling are here for you! Working with an experienced anxiety therapist will help identify triggers, expose the root of your anxiety, and lead you on a road to feeling more like yourself. Let us help you learn to cope with and lessen your anxious symptoms. Start by calling us at (256) 239-5662 or filling out the confidential form online by clicking this link. If you are outside the Huntsville area, we also have two additional locations in Boaz and Jacksonville.


How Therapy for Kids Helps with Anxiety

When normal fears turn into chronic anxious thoughts and behaviors, it gives cause to seek help. When you notice this with your child, you should consider therapy for your child as soon as you notice an issue developing. Therapy for kids can help teach a child coping mechanisms and avoid deeper ongoing issues.

therapy for kid to treat anxiety

Types of Anxiety

Anxiety is a broad term. Under the umbrella of anxiety are more specific diagnoses that could help narrow down where your child’s issues are stemming from. We will look at a few of these more in depth below. Although it may sound a bit scary, don’t worry. Kids therapy can help.

  1. Generalized anxiety disorder. This type of anxiety is exactly as it sounds. Your child worries not only about normal childhood stressors but things you wouldn’t typically expect a child to worry over. Examples range from recess, lunchtime, homework, and playing with friends to the weather, world events, and the future. Because there is constant worry, it is difficult for them to relax, sleep, or have fun. They may even miss school because of not feeling well or being scared to go.
  2. Separation anxiety disorder. As a baby, it is normal to experience bouts of crying or unhappiness when separated from mom or dad. Once they get used to being left with a grandparent or babysitter, these tendencies typically subside. If your child doesn’t outgrow these issues associated with being separated, they may try to get out of school so they can be home with you. They may opt out of playdates, sleepovers, or any other activities where mom or dad is not involved.
  3. Social anxiety disorder. When suffering with social anxiety, your child does not want to be the center of attention. They’re afraid of what others think of them or that they’ll make a mistake if they do say something around their peers. When called upon in class, they may experience shortness of breath or their heart racing.

Kids Therapy Here

Therapy for kids with anxiety is essential for their overall wellbeing and success. Our skilled therapists are available in Boaz, Huntsville, and Jacksonville. Contact us today for your consultation. Click here or call (256) 239-5662.


Reasons for Therapy – Part 1

reasons for therapyToday we’re starting a mini-blog series on reasons for therapy. We’ll start this off by saying, if you want to go to therapy, you should. Just wanting to is a good enough reason. However, if you want to know some of the common reasons for therapy  as heard by our counselors, here they are.

Top 5 Reasons for Therapy

The top five most frequent reasons we hear from patients about the reason they are here with us are (in no particular order):

  1. Infidelity
  2. Divorce
  3. Depression
  4. Anxiety
  5. Death of a Loved One

However, these are certainly not the only reasons. Kids going off to college, a job change or loss, feelings of isolation and stress are common reasons too. Therapy can be beneficial for anyone in any new or different situation. You don’t have to experience a life-changing event or trauma to feel like you qualify for therapy or that you would even benefit from therapy.

Our Counselors Can Help

As you can see from this short list, reasons for therapy includes major things to every day stressors. If you’re facing a big life change, speaking with a counselor can help with clarity. They can also guide you through the decisions you may be trying to navigate through. They can help you with your decision process, weighing the pros and cons of each decision. If you’re feeling isolated or alone, maybe you just need someone to talk to who can offer an unbiased opinion on your thoughts and feelings.

At Garrett Counseling, our team has the expertise and compassion to help you through any emotional or mental stressors you may be encountering no matter how big or small you may think they are. With three convenient locations in Huntsville, Boaz, and Jacksonville, we are available for you. Call us today at (256) 239-5662, or fill out our contact form here.  In part two of this mini blog series, we’ll cover a few more reasons therapy is an important part of overall wellness.


Anxiety Over Removing Your Mask?

You’re Not Alone

no-mask anxietyMany people are suffering from what is being called “no-mask anxiety.” Now that we’re told we don’t have to wear a mask, we’re unsure. Although it sounds simple enough, after all we’ve not regularly worn masks before 2019, you can feel anxiety. This is especially true with so much public rhetoric and because being masked was the norm. It was pitched as protection of an aggressive virus. Now, you can take it off. Just like that. But what about the virus? You may be asking yourself “Can I still get it?” Even with the vaccine available and taken by many, anxiety is rampant leading to this new phenomenon referred to as no-mask anxiety.

Security Blanket

Just as a child gleans security from the comfort of their favorite blanket, so we have become accustomed to masks for our security and safety. They have given us a sense of protection from becoming infected with a virus we know little about but one that has had a devastating impact. Unsure of how effective the vaccine may be and knowing the virus is still out there, going without a mask (or losing our security blanket) can cause a lot of anxious thoughts and even fear.

What to Do if You Have No-Mask Anxiety

To help ease the anxiety of going completely maskless, start small. Try going without a mask when you’re in a small gathering of people you are comfortable with and feel safe. Work your way up to going completely maskless, but do it in a timeframe that suits you. If you find that you are losing sleep or that anxiety related to going maskless is interfering with work, your family, or your social life, you may benefit from speaking to a mental health professional or medical provider to discuss no-mask anxiety.

Our Compassionate Team Can Help You

At Garrett Counseling, we have a compassionate team of professionals with extensive experience related to anxiety. Fill out the contact form or call us today at (256) 239-5662. With offices in Jacksonville, Boaz, and Huntsville, appointments are available now!