Frequently Asked Questions on Confidential Face-to-Face Non-medical Counseling

Q. What is confidential non-medical counseling?
A. Confidential non-medical counseling is short-term (up to 12 sessions) and solution-focused. It is intended to prevent the development or exacerbation of lifestyle conditions that may compromise military and family readiness. Non-medical counseling programs provide confidential, short-term counseling to active duty members, National Guard and Reserve service members, and their families. Confidential non-medical counseling addresses issues such as improving relationships at home and work, stress management, readjustment following a deployment, marital problems, parenting, grief and loss.

Confidential non-medical counseling is available through both Military OneSource and the Military and Family Life Counselor program.

Q. Who provides confidential non-medical counseling?
A. Counselors possess a master's or doctorate degree in a mental health field and are licensed or certified in a state, territory or the District of Columbia to practice independently.

Q. What is not addressed through confidential non-medical counseling?
A. Confidential non-medical counseling is not intended to address such issues as active suicidal or homicidal thoughts, sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse or mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Non-medical counseling is also not suitable for those who have been prescribed psychoactive medication or who are currently receiving therapy with another practitioner. Nor is it appropriate for Family Advocacy Program cases, fitness-for-duty evaluations or court-ordered counseling.

Q: Who is eligible for face-to-face non-medical counseling?
A: Confidential face-to-face non-medical counseling sessions are available at no cost to active-duty, National Guard and reserve members (regardless of activation status) and their families located in the continental United States.

Q: Can counselors be trusted not to report to commanders?
A: Military OneSource stands by its commitment to safeguard the privacy of users of counseling services. Information is not released to commanders or anyone else without the user's consent. The only exceptions to confidentiality are legal and military requirements to report child abuse, spouse abuse, elder abuse, threats of harm to self or others, sexual assault and any present or future illegal activity.

Q: Can a family member use confidential non-medical counseling sessions without the service member's knowledge? If so, does the limit of 12 sessions apply to the whole family or just to the individual using them?
A: A family member or legal guardian of a service member's dependents may use confidential non-medical counseling sessions without the service member's knowledge. The service member or other eligible family members would still be able to use their own 12 sessions.

Q: What happens after the twelve sessions are completed?
A: If you need to see a counselor for a different issue, you must speak with a Military OneSource consultant to receive authorization for that issue, and the consultant will help you find a counselor. The consultant can also help you find and access other resources, including community services, installation services or TRICARE, if appropriate.

Q: How do I initiate face-to-face counseling services?
A: The person seeking face-to-face non-medical counseling contacts a Military OneSource consultant by phone. The consultant will determine whether face-to-face non-medical counseling is the most appropriate referral. If the consultant determines that this level of service is appropriate, the consultant will authorize up to 12 sessions and provide the caller with contact information for a counselor that best matches his or her needs. Generally, counselors are located within a 30-minute drive of the caller. The consultant may offer to do a three-way call with the caller and the counselor to schedule the first session.

Q: How long is the authorization for face-to-face non-medical counseling valid?
A: The authorization for face-to-face non-medical counseling sessions is valid for 30 days. If the sessions are not initiated within 30 days, the requester will need to make another phone call to a Military OneSource consultant and begin the process again.

Q: What sort of follow-up will there be with Military OneSource after a referral to face-to-face counseling?
A: Generally, the Military OneSource consultant will follow up within seven business days after the referral to the counselor. The consultant will check with the user to see if appointments have been made and to confirm the user's satisfaction with the counselor. The user will be given the opportunity to provide feedback by an email survey, an interactive voice-response system or a direct call to the consultant.


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