Counselor listening to service member

Understanding Confidential Non-medical Counseling Services

You never have to be without support. Military OneSource and military and family life counselors provide free, short-term, confidential non-medical counseling services for a wide range of issues from marital conflicts and stress management to coping with a loss and deployment adjustments.

Confidential non-medical counseling is a well-established strategy for finding answers to common emotional and interpersonal difficulties.

This overview explains the kinds of issues addressed by confidential non-medical counseling and how you can access it.

Eligibility for Non-medical Counseling

Confidential non-medical counseling services are free and available to the following groups through Military OneSource and your installation’s Military and Family Support Center:

  • Active-duty service members and their immediate family members
  • National Guard and reserve service members (regardless of activation status) and their immediate family members
  • Designated Department of Defense expeditionary civilians and their immediate family members
  • Survivors

Review the full eligibility guidelines.

Children and Youth Services

Children are eligible to receive confidential non-medical counseling services under the following circumstances:

  • Children ages 12 and younger may attend face-to-face sessions through Military OneSource with a parent or guardian, but not on their own.
  • Youth, ages 13 through 17, are eligible for individual, face-to-face counseling through Military OneSource, but a parent must attend the first session.
  • Children younger than age 18 are eligible for counseling with a child and youth behavioral military and family life counselor with parental consent.
  • All military and family life counseling with children occurs within line of sight of another adult.

Confidentiality

The non-medical counseling services through Military OneSource and the Military and Family Life Counseling Program are confidential. The Military and Family Life Counseling Program is also anonymous. This means:

  • A family member can receive counseling without the service member's knowledge.
  • A service member can receive counseling without a family member's knowledge.

Privacy protections ensure your personal information will not be:

  • Provided to the military or chain of command
  • Shared with family or friends
  • Released to other agencies

Exceptions to privacy include:

  • Duty to warn
  • Suspected family maltreatment (domestic violence, child or elder abuse or neglect)
  • Harm to self or others
  • Illegal activity

Issues addressed in non-medical counseling services

Confidential non-medical counseling addresses issues such as:

  • Adjustments (including deployments)
  • Marital problems
  • Parenting skills
  • Stress management
  • Decision making
  • Communication
  • Grief and loss

Non-medical counseling services don't address certain following issues. If you need help with any of the following issues, contact the Military Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1).:

Non-medical counseling isn't suitable for individuals:

  • Prescribed psychoactive medication
  • Receiving therapy with another practitioner
  • Involved in Family Advocacy Program cases
  • Undergoing fitness-for-duty evaluations
  • Undergoing court-ordered counseling

Accessing free counseling services

Face-to-face confidential non-medical counseling may occur in an office setting with a counselor located in the local community or with military and family life counselors on an installation. Military OneSource offers counseling sessions in three other formats:

Service members and their families can request counseling services at any time of the day or night, any day of the year, from anywhere in the world by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. A consultant will assess your needs and give you a referral. You can also access Military OneSource counseling services online.

To speak with a military and family life counselor, contact one of the following:

Whether it’s getting to the next level or juggling responsibilities, we all need help sometimes. Tap into your military network to get the support you need. Confidential non-medical counseling is available to help you manage the stressors of military and family life anytime, anywhere.