Name/Title: Sara Garrett, MA, LMFT
Work Setting: Private Practice at Crossway Counseling Center, Daphne, AL
Length of time: 14 years
Education: B.S. Communication Disorders, Auburn University
M.A. Marriage & Family Therapy, The University of Mobile
- How did you come into the field of MFT?
I came into the field of MFT after a discussion with my counselor at the time. I was discouraged that I had received my undergraduate degree in a field that I did not want to pursue further, but I loved helping others. My counselor suggested that I might be a good fit for her profession, and she connected me to an MFT professor at the University of Mobile. When I learned more about the field of Marriage and Family Therapy, it really intrigued me. I loved the holistic and systemic approach to therapy. After studying and working in this field for 18 years, I am grateful to have found my purpose.
- Have you been specifically trained in any programs/modalities/techniques/certifications?
I am trained in Prepare-Enrich, EMDR, & The Flash Technique.
- What do you like most about your job?
Helping others! You cannot beat the feeling of seeing someone reach their goals and seeing them become their best self! What an honor to experience.
- Do you have a crucial career lesson you have learned so far?
BOUNDARIES! Keep strong boundaries with your clients. I have learned that you have to leave work at work, or it will impact your personal life in a negative way. One way that helps me with boundaries is having a secretary take my calls.
- Is there someone special who inspires you & why?
There are many people who are special and inspire me in life, but if I had to pick just one…I would choose a group. The ALAMFT board members. I am very grateful to the ALAMFT board members throughout the years who have given their time to the advocacy efforts in our field. If it were not for them, we would not have an MFT career and our MFT license would not be as strong as it is today. We still have a lot more advocacy efforts to go, so thank you to those that have served, are serving, and will serve!
- We know clinicians need to take care of themselves before caring for others - share with us one important self-care tip.
Caring for the self is so important! I have to be careful of burnout, so one self-care tip I would suggest is to take time off/ breaks scattered throughout the year. Self-awareness of the self as the therapist is crucial. At the end of every workday, I take a deep breath and notice how I am feeling. When I am noticing myself really drained, I schedule a day off (or even a week if needed)!
- Is there something you want to achieve in the duration of your career?
I would love to give back to the MFT field in the form of being on the ALAMFT board at some point in my career. I am a mother to 3 girls, so this has taken up the majority of my extra time for the past 12 years. However, when they are older, I would love the opportunity to help in advocating and advancing the field of MFT.
- What is a piece of advice you have for new clinicians?
Build friendships with other counselors in your community. I have treasured friendships with several counselors that live near me. We support and encourage each other. We seek counseling and consultation from each other. It is such a gift!