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 telephonic non-medical counseling?
A: Confidential telephonic non-medical counseling sessions are available at no cost to active-duty, National Guard and reserve members (regardless of activation status) and their families.
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 or threats of harm to self or others and any present or future illegal activity.
Q: Can a family member use confidential telephonic 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 a legal guardian of a service member's dependents can use telephonic non-medical counseling sessions without the service member's knowledge. The service member and other eligible family members would still be able to use their own 12 sessions.
Q: What happens after the 12 sessions are completed?
A: If you need 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 different counselor. The consultant can also help you find and access other resources, including community services, installation services or TRICARE, if appropriate.
Q: Is telephonic non-medical counseling replacing in-person non-medical counseling?
A: No. Telephonic non-medical counseling has been added to increase access to support, not to replace, in-person non-medical counseling. While referrals to in-person counseling sessions continue for those stationed in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, telephonic counseling provides an option for those who are unable to attend in-person counseling sessions due to their overseas location or other circumstances.
Q: How do I initiate confidential telephonic non-medical counseling?
A: To initiate telephonic counseling, the service member or family member should contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to determine if this type of counseling is appropriate. Following a brief screening, the initial consultation will be scheduled, and a counselor specializing in telephonic counseling will call at the scheduled time. Subsequent sessions will be scheduled with the counselor following the initial call. For more information on calling Military OneSource from overseas, visit our International Calling Options page. A consultant can provide more details on telephonic counseling and discuss your options with you.