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 November 12, 2010

News

Counselors can help Soldiers, Families

The Military and Family Life Consultant (MFLC) Program provides short-term, situational, problem-solving counseling services to military servicemembers and their Families. At Fort McCoy, MFLC services are available through the Army Community Service (ACS) Center.

“The Military and Family Life Consultant Program was started in response to the growing need for short term stress/crisis management for Soldiers and Families,” said Becky Wapp Sawyer, ACS director.

MFLCs serve all branches of the military including Guard and Reserve components.

The ongoing war on terrorism and the subsequent increase of deployments has heightened the stress placed on military Families, Sawyer said. They struggle with issues such as single-parenting resulting from deployment, childcare, financial stability, fluctuating Family income and frequent relocations. That is why the Department of Defense established the program.
Fort McCoy is supported by one full-time and one part-time MFLC. Although their office is located in the ACS Center, building 2111, a great deal of their time is spent out and among Soldiers just asking how things are going.

The MFLC also provides education to help servicemembers and their Families understand the impact of stress, deployments, Family reunions following deployments and the stresses of military life. MFLC services augment existing military support services and may be provided on or off military installations. Services are provided to individuals, couples, Families and groups.

MFLCs rotate from installation-to-installation, never spending more than 90 days at a time in one location. A Children’s Support Program also is available to address military impact on children.

MFLCs are mandated to report child abuse, domestic abuse and duty-to-warn situations, Sawyer said.

MFLCs have master’s degrees or doctorate-level clinical licenses to provide non-medical problem identification and counseling services and address relationships, stress management, grief after loss, occupational and other individual and Family issues, and provide crisis intervention when needed.

Topics that MFLCs can address include anger management, communication, relationship issues, productivity at work, conflict resolution, parenting, decision-making skills, coping skills, relocation adjustment, homesickness, separation, building resiliency and reintegration from warrior life to civilian life.

“MFLCs are caring professionals who quietly make a difference in lives of individuals,” Sawyer said. “They are safe to vent to as there is no record kept of the conversation. We all can benefit from a safe person to vent to now and then.”
Information is available by contacting ACS at 608-388-3505 or e-mail at becky.sawyer@us.army.mil.

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