Family Life Consultants Combat Communication, Relationship Issues

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Family Life Consultants Combat Communication, Relationship Issues

by: Lance Cpl. Devon Tindle, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office | .
U.S. Marine Corps | .
published: July 26, 2014

Okinawa, Japan -- Some service members and status of forces agreement personnel with communication, relationship and parenting questions may find themselves lost when looking for help. Military family life consultants are available to provide support to military couples and families.

MFLCs work with service members to help address situations that they and their families may face during their time on Okinawa. The counselors are available to talk from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with an after-hours number also available should someone require assistance after business hours.

The counselors are in place to help military members in a crisis, and non-medical counseling is strictly confidential .
Marine Administrative Message 075/13 enacted the MFLC program and embedded counselors for Marines, sailors and family members. Counselors must complete extensive training and schooling to ensure they will be able to assist in the de-escalation or elimination of the effects of stress on service members and their families.

All counselors are licensed therapists with a master’s or doctorate degree, according to the MFLC program guidelines. The counselors must also work at private practices before they can be accepted into the program.

The program helps identify and assist service members with potential problems they may suffer from when returning from deployments, according to the MFLC program guidelines. The counselors talk with them to assess their health status and determine if they need further counseling.

Counselors embedded into the units they support have been a large reason for the success of the program, according to Deborah A. Wells, a behavioral health community counseling program director with Marine Corps Community Services.

“I think the MFLCs are successful counseling providers due to the fact (that) they are embedded,” said Wells, a Dumfries, Virginia, native. “The military members get to know the counselors better because the MFLCs come to the workplace. The service members feel more comfortable to get help.”

For more information on counseling or the MFLC program, contact Debbie Wells at DSN 315-645-0827 or 098-970-0827 from off base, or email her at deborah.a.wells@usmc.mil.