Family Counseling of Amelia Island

Helping You Lead a Rewarding & Fulfilling Life

Helping You Lead  a Rewarding & Fulfilling Life

We are a full-service clinical psychology outpatient clinic specializing in trauma care, marriage and relationship counseling, as well as several other mental health problems and cognitive disorders. We adopt a highly personalized approach to assess your condition and suggest the best therapy or treatment plan based on your future goals. We use proven research-based practices that guarantee life-changing results.

Family Counseling of Amelia Island
Family Counseling of Amelia Island

Veteran & Family Counseling

Veteran & Family Counseling

While surviving the challenges of military service can be rewarding and growth-promoting for many veterans, the demands and stresses can be overwhelming and sometimes traumatizing. 

Anxiety & PTSD Counseling

Anxiety & PTSD Counseling

The pressure and obligation of living up to the expectations and meeting tight deadlines in every sphere of life can lead to anxiety-related disorders. When left untreated over a period of time, anxiety disorders not only cause severe distress but can also lead to debilitating effects on the quality of life.

Family Counseling of Amelia Island

There are several major types of anxiety disorders, each with its own characteristics.

  • People with generalized anxiety disorder have recurring fears or worries, such as about health or finances, and they often have a persistent sense that something bad is just about to happen. The reason for the intense feelings of anxiety may be difficult to identify, but the fears and worries are very real and often keep individuals from concentrating on daily tasks.
  • Panic disorder involves sudden, intense, and unprovoked feelings of terror and dread. People who suffer from this disorder generally develop strong fears about when and where their next panic attack will occur, and they often restrict their activities as a result.
  • A related disorder involves phobias, or intense fears, about certain objects or situations. Specific phobias may involve things such as encountering certain animals or flying in airplanes, whereas social phobias involve fear of social settings or public places.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by persistent, uncontrollable, and unwanted feelings and thoughts (obsessions) and routines or rituals in which individuals engage to try to prevent or rid themselves of these thoughts (compulsions).
  • Someone who suffers severe physical or emotional trauma such as a natural disaster or serious accident, or crime may experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns become seriously affected by reminders of the event, sometimes months or even years after the traumatic experience.

Symptoms such as shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, trembling, and dizziness often accompanies certain anxiety disorders such as panic and generalized anxiety disorders.

If left untreated, anxiety disorders can have severe consequences. For example, some people who suffer from recurring panic attacks avoid at all costs putting themselves in a situation that they may fear may trigger an attack. Such avoidance behavior may create problems by conflicting with job requirements, family obligations, or other basic activities of daily living. Many people who suffer from an untreated anxiety disorder are prone to other psychological disorders, such as depression, and they have a greater tendency to abuse alcohol and other drugs.

Absolutely. Most cases of anxiety disorder can be treated successfully by appropriately trained health and mental health care professionals.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, research has demonstrated that both "behavioral therapy" and "cognitive therapy" can be highly effective in treating anxiety disorders. Behavioral therapy involves using techniques to reduce or stop the undesired behavior associated with these disorders. For example, one approach involves training patients in relaxation and deep breathing techniques to counteract the agitation and hyperventilation (rapid, shallow breathing) that accompany certain anxiety disorders.

Through cognitive therapy, patients learn to understand how their thoughts contribute to the symptoms of anxiety disorders and how to change these thought patterns to reduce the likelihood of occurrence and the intensity of reaction. The patient's increased cognitive awareness is often combined with behavioral techniques to help the individual gradually confront and tolerate fearful situations in a controlled, safe environment.

Proper and effective medications may have a role in treatment along with psychotherapy. In cases where medications are used, the patient's care may be managed collaboratively by a therapist and physician.

Licensed psychologists are highly qualified to diagnose and treat anxiety disorders. Individuals suffering from these disorders should seek a provider who is competent in cognitive and behavioral therapies. Family psychotherapy and group psychotherapy (typically involving individuals who are not related to each other) offer helpful approaches to treatment for some patients with anxiety disorders.

It is very important to understand that treatments for anxiety disorders do not work instantly. The patient should be comfortable from the outset with the general treatment being proposed and with the therapist with whom he or she is working. The patient's cooperation is crucial, and there must be a strong sense that the patient and therapist are collaborating as a team to remedy the anxiety disorder.

No one plan works well for all patients. Treatment needs to be tailored to the needs of the patient and the type of disorder, or disorders, from which the individual suffers. A therapist and patient should work together to assess whether a treatment plan seems to be on track. Adjustments to the plan are sometimes necessary since patients respond differently to a treatment. Many patients will begin to improve noticeably within eight to 10 sessions, especially those who carefully follow the outlined treatment plan.

Depression Counseling

Depression Counseling

Depression is among the most common emotional illnesses affecting about 6 percent of all U.S. adults in varying degrees. According to results published by the American Psychiatric Association, depression affects more than 9 million people in any given 6-month period. Individuals suffering from depression find it very difficult to overcome the symptoms and effects, meaning professional care is necessary in most cases.

Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of Depression
  • Sleeping Too Much or Too Little
  • Frequent Waking in the Middle of the Night
  • Eating Too Much or Too Little
  • Inability to Function at Work or School
  • Headaches, Digestive Disorders, Nausea, Pain With No Medical Basis
  • Excessive Crying
  • Thoughts of Death or Suicide
  • Lack of Energy, Constant Fatigue
  • Slowed Thinking
  • Difficulty in Concentrating, Remembering, Making Decisions
  • Loss of Interest in Daily Activities
  • Loss of Sex Drive
  • Persistent Feelings of Sadness, Anxiety, Hopelessness
  • Restlessness, Agitation, Irritability
  • Feelings of Inappropriate Guilt or Worthlessness

We now know that depression results from an interaction of several factors - environmental, biological, and genetic.

Environmental Factors

Stress resulting from the loss of a job, death of a family member, divorce, or ongoing health or family problems can trigger depression.

Biological Factors

Depression may also be tied to disturbances in the bio-chemicals that regulate mood and activity. These biochemicals, called neurotransmitters, are substances that carry impulses or messages between nerve cells, in the brain. An imbalance in the amount or activity of neurotransmitters can cause major disruptions in thought, emotion, and behavior.

Genetic Factors

Because depression appears to be linked to certain biological factors, people can inherit a predisposition to developing depression.

  • People Who Have a Family Member With Depression
  • People Who Have Experienced a Stressful or Traumatic Life Event
  • People Who Lack the Social Support of a Spouse, Friends, and Extended Family
  • People Who Abuse Drugs or Alcohol
  • People Who Have Chronic Medical Illnesses or Persistent Pain
  • Stop Hesitating – Remember, your depression is not your fault, and it can be effectively treated.
  • Seek Treatment – Don't let misconceptions about emotional illness or the discouragement of your depression stop you. Either on your own or by asking a friend or family member, contact your family doctor, community mental health center, or local medical or psychiatric hospital for help.
  • Follow Simple Guidelines – In the weeks until treatment becomes effective, you can take some simple steps to help you deal with life on a day-to-day basis:
  • Break Large Tasks Into Small Steps
  • Set Easily Managed Priorities
  • Participate in Light Exercise and Relatively Undemanding Social Activities, Such as Attending a Movie or Visiting a Friend.
  • Simply Being With Others Can Be Helpful
  • Encourage Treatment - Remember that the symptoms of depression may prevent a person from trying to get help. Your personal physician, mental health center, or local medical or psychiatric hospital will be able to help you find a treatment specialist.
  • Empathy – Adjust your expectations and offer support, understanding, and encouragement.
  • Understanding – Demonstrate that you know the person is in pain.
  • Controlled Advice – When the person says or does nothing upsetting because of the depression, try to put your reaction into calm, reasonable words.

Treatment Steps

Depression can be effectively treated by mental health professionals with a combination of psychotherapy, counseling, and medication. Remember, there is no magic cure that delivers instant results. The treatment process is gradual and can be broadly classified into the following stages:


The treatment process starts with a complete assessment of your problems performed by a licensed physician, mental health professional, or psychologist.

Professional Counseling

  • Psychotherapies /"talk therapies"– Commonly used routine procedures in the treatment of depression focusing on the causes and effects of the illness
  • Interpersonal Therapy – Helps people deal with problems in personal relationships
  • Cognitive Therapy – Helps patients change negative thoughts or perceptions, such as high achievers who are convinced they are failures


Certain medications can sometimes be used in combination with psychotherapy to correct the biochemical imbalances that may cause depressive episodes. Medications can relieve symptoms in 3 to 6 weeks when carefully prescribed and monitored by a physician.

Reach Out for Help

We encourage you to reach out for professional help at the earliest if you are experiencing any signs of depression. Remember, the more you learn about depression, the better you will understand that it has specific causes and effective treatments.

Grief & Loss Counseling

Grief & Loss Counseling

The loss of a loved one or something that you care about deeply can send you into a vulnerable state of mind. How you grieve depends on a wide range of factors, depending on your personality and coping ability, nature of the loss, etc.

In most cases, time is the best healer, but sometimes, you may find it difficult to overcome your emotions even after several years and struggle to lead a productive life. While pain and sadness are normal reactions to a significant loss, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can renew you and permit you to move on.

Common Causes of Grief

Common Causes of Grief

Here are some of the most common causes of grief:

  • Divorce or Relationship Breakup
  • Death of a Pet
  • Loss of Health
  • Loss of a Cherished Dream
  • Losing a Job
  • Loss of Financial Stability
  • A Loved One’s Serious Illness
  • Loss of a Friendship
  • Loss of Safety After a Trauma
  • Selling the Family Home
  • Miscarriage
  • Retirement

Marriage & Family Counseling

Marriage & Family Counseling

We have extensive experience dealing with a variety of issues pertaining to marriage, divorce, parenting, and other family matters. Here is a detailed overview of our marriage and family counseling services:

Child & Adolescent Counseling

Child & Adolescent Counseling

We foster an environment of empathy, understanding, and compassion and help children and teenagers cope with a wide array of issues related to self-esteem, self-confidence, bullying, depression, etc.

Couples, Pre-Marital & Marital Counseling

Couples, Pre-Marital &  Marital Counseling

Our marriage counseling services are aimed at helping couples identify underlying problems and areas of conflict before getting married. We have a sound understanding of the fundamental issues plaguing married and non-married couples and strive to improve communication and intimacy for better satisfaction in relationships.