Is it Okay to Talk to My Child About Their Therapy Session?

When participating in family counseling services, the counselor will want to meet with each participant for individual sessions at some point. A child participating in therapy is obviously there for a reason. Not only are they dealing with whatever issues landed them there, but they are allowing themselves to be completely vulnerable with a stranger. That’s a lot of pressure for a kid! On the drive home, it’s really tempting to ask all about their session, but it’s best not to.

child therapy

The Trust Factor

Do you tend to confide in someone you don’t trust? Seems like a silly question, but it puts this topic in context. If your child knows everything they are saying to the counselor is going right back to mom or dad, how likely are they to open up? Not at all.

For therapy to be effective, there has to be trust between the counselor and the child. The counselor needs to understand all aspects of your child in order to help them truly heal, recover, or overcome the issues that got them into child therapy in the first place.

A great level of insight can come through play therapy, but getting to the root and guiding your child down the most appropriate path comes from a combination of therapeutic techniques and conversation. As a child feels comfortable and safe, they will open up. The same is true with you as their parent.

When they feel they are being drilled with questions, they might shy away from discussing anything with you. There might be things they have shared with their therapist that they don’t feel comfortable sharing with you for whatever reason. Maybe they’re afraid it will hurt your feelings or upset you. The important thing is that they are getting help and on their way to a happier life. Give them space. Let them come to you and share what they want to when they are ready. And if they don’t, accept that and embrace their wellness over the details.

Family Counseling Services at Garrett Counseling

If you feel like you should be more involved in your child’s therapy sessions, contact Garrett Counseling today. We are happy to answer any questions you have and will guide you in the way that’s best for you and your family. We have three convenient locations in Boaz, Huntsville, and Jacksonville and offer in-person or online counseling sessions. Call (256) 239-5662 today, or follow this link to request an appointment.


Tips for Coping with School Stress & Anxiety

School has been in session for just over a month, and it’s like summer did a 180. Summer break is full of carefree lazy days, swimming, playing with friends, and not having a care in the world. Literally overnight, summer ended, and kids are now faced with new classes, new friends, homework, sports, and day after day of busy schedules from sun up to sun down. If your child is showing signs of stress or anxiety, a child counselor in Huntsville, AL may be exactly what they need.

child counseling huntsville, AL for school stress and anxiety

How Much is Too Much?

Everyday stressors are normal, but if your child is experiencing an overload of stressful situations, they may need some help learning how to cope. Let’s look at some signs and symptoms that could indicate that your child is, as they say, “stressed out”.

  • Physical complaints of headaches or stomach aches.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Wetting the bed.
  • Difficulty sleeping at night or having nightmares.
  • Constant negative thoughts or excessive worrying.
  • Unusual changes in behavior like aggressiveness, moodiness, tantrums, or frequent crying.
  • Not wanting to go to school.

Coping Strategies

Now that we’ve identified things to watch for, let’s take a look at some ways to help your child. Sometimes something as simple as distraction can help in the moment. The strategy of redirection takes focus off of the issue and replaces thoughts with something enjoyable or at least tolerable. If you have time, soothing music or activities like reading or drawing can be helpful. When time is short, grounding exercises such as counting your breaths, counting colors, naming a few things you see, hear, feel, touch, and taste are a great way to calm the mind. Need a few more? Click here. When symptoms are more severe and unable to be relieved by self-methods, a child counselor can help.

Next Steps

If you are looking for a child counselor in Huntsville, AL, Boaz, AL or Jacksonville, AL, Garrett Counseling can help. We have experienced child counselors with available appointments to help your child learn coping strategies to thrive during this school year. Call (256) 239-5662 or reach us by clicking here.


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.


How Play Therapy for Trauma Helps

Kids love to play. They may not love to talk to an adult about what has traumatized them. That’s where play therapy comes in. Play therapy for trauma is an effective method of therapy to help children deal with their healing. While your child plays, our therapist gains insight and eases your child to the other side of their trauma while having fun.

play therapy for trauma

What is Play Therapy

The first recorded use of play therapy was in 1909 by Anna Freud. Using this method, Freud was able to build a rapport with the child and bring subconscious thoughts to the surface. Using toys and games, a child uses their imagination to reenact scenarios they’ve seen or experienced. When this play is structured, the therapist is able to target specific circumstances surrounding the child’s traumatic experience. As the therapist gets to know your child, they will tailor the sessions to include specific games or other creative play to target specific needs or goals. Talk therapy in combination with play therapy for trauma is an excellent strategy to help your child work through the aftermath of trauma.

But How Does it Work?

Play therapy sounds great for my child, but how does it actually work? Great question! We don’t just put your child in a room to play. The counselor structures play with purpose. Depending on the child, it may take a session (or few) to build a trusting relationship with their counselor. As trust grows, your child will become more comfortable and express more thoughts and feelings. Many things can be accomplished through play therapy, but we’ll touch on just a few here in this list:

  • Your child can develop creative solutions.
  • Learn how to accept themselves.
  • Express emotion.
  • Discover social skills.

Play at Garrett

Our team at Garrett Counseling has the experienced professionals your child needs to help them work through their trauma with play therapy. Schedule your appointment today through our online form here, or call (256) 239-5662. For your convenience, we offer services in Jacksonville, Boaz and Huntsville.


Child Counseling Helps Kids in Many Ways

child in counselingWhen your child is sick, there is no hesitation to take them to a doctor. However, when a child is struggling with emotions or social situations, parents many times find themselves at a loss of knowing what to do. Child counseling is beneficial to the overall wellness of your child and can help pave a path of success for the years to come.

Reasons for Counseling

There are many reasons your child would benefit from counseling. Some are more obvious than others, but we’ve compiled a brief list here:

  • Death of a family member or friend
  • Parents going through divorce
  • Bullying
  • Moving to a new neighborhood
  • Transferring to a different school
  • Loss of a pet
  • Social anxiety
  • Diagnosis of illness
  • Drama with friends
  • General life transitions

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it gives you a short overview of common reasons your child could be struggling.

How Counseling Can Help

It is important for your child to have someone to talk to. Your child may be afraid or uncomfortable confiding in a family member. It is also quite possible your child is experiencing feelings they don’t understand. Engaging with a counselor will help them learn not only what they are feeling but why and where those feelings come from. A child in counseling learns tools they need to navigate the difficult times with healthy coping skills. As they acquire these skills, their self-esteem and confidence will grow. They will also be better equipped to face difficult situations in the future.

How You Can Help

If your child is going through a difficult time, acting out, experiencing signs of withdrawal, and demonstrates changes in eating or sleeping patterns or any other concerning symptoms, contact Garrett Counseling today or call (256) 239-5662. Our specialized team of counselors have decades of experience working with children of any age and are conveniently located in Boaz, Huntsville, and Jacksonville.


Managing ADHD with Counseling

ADHD – or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – affects millions of children across the globe. It’s most often treated with one or more prescriptions. As a pediatric counseling center, we know that managing ADHD with counseling is possible and may be a better long-term solution.

pediatric counseling center

What is ADHD?

ADHD is caused when the right side of the brain is unable to fully regulate attention, social behavior, and impulsivity. This results in difficulty paying attention, acting impulsively, being extremely active and possibly even inappropriate social behaviors. Parents of children diagnosed with ADHD  may struggle with the thought of medicating their child for a lifetime.

Counseling is an Option

Medication is a common go-to for treating ADHD. However, counseling for ADHD has also proven to be an effective tool in managing symptoms. A child may have difficulty concentrating or having emotional outbursts. ADHD counseling can be useful in teaching your child skills that they can apply in situations at school, in the community, or even at home. Any level of self-control empowers a child and boosts their self-confidence.

Not every counselor understands ADHD counseling. Finding one trained in the strategies that will help your child. These strategies include play therapy, evidence-based practices, and education. The best method is typically a combination of approaches.

Garrett Counseling Services Offers Pediatric Counseling

Our pediatric counseling center, with locations  in Boaz, Huntsville and Jacksonville  treats children through the age of 18. If you are looking for alternatives for your child’s treatment of ADHD or just curious if a combination of counseling with medication would be best for your child, our trained counselors at Garrett Counseling have the experience and are ready to help!

For your safety and convenience, we offer online real-time video counseling sessions and in-person counseling. Our pediatric counseling center in Boaz or our other locations are waiting to hear from you. Don’t delay in contacting us today at (256) 239-5662 or through our contact form and start your child on their journey to increased self-esteem, self-empowerment, and growth.