Military Family Life Consultants Ease Warrior Transitions
Balancing the demands of a military career with family responsibilities can be challenging for many warriors. One of the helpful resources provided by the Department of Defense is the Military Family Life Consultant (MFLC) program, which offers trained, professional counselors for service members and their families to speak with — and all conversations are confidential* and free of charge.1
The MFLC program augments existing military support programs by providing short-term, problem-solving, non-medical counseling to service members and their families.2 Specially trained on military-specific topics, MFLCs provide education and information on a variety of issues that warriors and their families may face throughout the deployment cycle.
How Can Working With a MFLC Help You?
MFLCs are unique in that they are not traditional therapists; instead they help service members and military families develop an action plan for addressing problems.3 Sometimes called "walk-about counselors," MFLCs proactively contact warriors and family members, often in public settings like hallways, hospitals, cafeterias and recreation facilities.4
Through non-medical counseling, MFLCs support military families with a variety of common issues that occur within the military lifestyle, including3:
- Common stress reactions to deployment
- Reintegration and the transition from warrior to citizen
- Relocation adjustment
- Loss or grief
- Anxiety, sadness or other common emotional concerns
In addition, MFLCs are professionally trained to provide non-medical counseling for important life skills, such as:
- Personal financial management
- Productivity at work
- Anger management
- Conflict resolution
- Decision making
- Relationship issues
MFLCs can talk to you in individual, couple, family or group settings, and often have walk-in or flexible appointment times and meeting locations. Additionally, MFLCs at your instillation may offer educational sessions targeting one of the specific life skills mentioned above.1 Finally, it is important to remember that no files or records are kept about your confidential interactions with a MFLC*, which can help make the experience more comfortable.5
How Can You Find a MFLC Near You?
MFLCs and programs vary by base and installation and can be accessed though locations such as the Army Community Services, Marine Corps Community Services, Navy Fleet and Family Support Centers or Airman and Family Readiness Centers.
Reaching Out Makes a Real Difference
MFLCs can help support warriors and military families with a variety of issues that arise in military life. But if you feel that you or someone you know may need medical counseling or treatment, don't hesitate to ask your MFLC about available courses of action. Additionally, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center can provide information and resources about getting treatment for psychological health issues and traumatic brain injury. Trained health resource consultants are ready to talk, listen and provide the guidance 24/7 by phone (866-966-1020), e-mail or live online chat.
1"Military Family Life Consultants," Army Community Service, Ft. Hood. Last accessed on March 5, 2013.
2"Military and Family Life Counselor Program," [PDF 1.36MB] Military OneSource. Last accessed on March 5, 2013.
3"Military and Family Life Consultant Program Summary," [PDF 35KB] MHN Government Services. Last accessed on March 5, 2013.
4Hemmerly-Brown, Staff Sgt. Alexandria. "Military Family Life Consultants: easing transitions for Soldiers and Families." Army News. Published on Dec. 10, 2009.
5Brown, Alan. "Military Family Life Consultants Provide Valuable Resources to Soldiers and Families," U.S. Army. Published Jan. 12, 2010.
*While MFLC conversations are confidential, duty to warn does apply in cases of threat to self, others, child abuse, domestic abuse, and any reportable abuse issues.