JBLM Family Life Center
"Keeping Your Most Important Relationships Healthy and Strong"
Call 253-967-1723 for more information or to make an appointment.
The pastoral counseling team at the Chaplain Family Life Center provides a variety of free services to help you develop and strengthen your most important relationships in life.
Open to active duty military of all branches, retirees, family members, and DOD civilians.
Pastoral Counseling: We offer faith based marriage, family, and individual counseling. We have the highest level of confidentiality on or off-base, unlimited sessions, convenient location, and it’s free. No referral necessary.
Counseling issues include . . .
Childhood sexual abuse
Deployment related issues
PTSD and other traumatic life events
Spiritual issues, and more!
Marriage Preparation Workshop
Helping you address the key areas that are the most important for marital success. Open to engaged and newly married couples. Child care is not provided and children are not allowed at the class. Normally held the first Friday of each month, please call to register.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I need counseling?
Most people think of therapy as a last resort. What many don’t realize is that therapy can greatly enrich your life whether you’re in crisis or not. Therapy may be fitting if you can relate to any of the following: the problem feels too big or complex to handle alone; others suggest you need to talk to someone or get some form of help; you’ve tried numerous strategies over the years but still seem to feel stuck in negative patterns of emotions, thoughts, behaviors or relationship patterns; or, you just don’t seem to be reaching your full potential in your marriage, career, friendships, or hobbies.
What can I expect on my first visit?
You should arrive 15 minutes early for your first appointment in order to complete the initial paperwork. The first session is a chance for you to get an idea of your therapist's approach and how they will work with you. During the first session your therapist will ask questions regarding your reasons for coming to counseling and try to gather a history about your life and past relationships. This is also a time for you to ask questions and get an idea of how treatment will look for you. It is common for people coming to counseling for the first time to feel some nervousness and apprehension. You counselor will be aware of this and will try to make this initial process as comfortable as possible.
How long will counseling take?
This will be determined by you and your counselor based on your specific problems and issues. You and your counselor will build a treatment plan with goals for counseling, working to build skills, develop insights, and build new behaviors and ways of thinking that will help you manage your problems in more effective ways.
What if I’m not a religious person?
Pastoral Counseling respects a person’s spiritual beliefs, including those who espouse no religion. Pastoral Counselors do not attempt to convert anyone to a particular set of beliefs but rather strive to meet each person’s needs in a supportive manner.
Where are you located?
We are located in Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel which is at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Transmission Line Road (Bldg 9120). The Family Life Center entrance is to the right of the main doors.
Driving directions. From the JBLM-Lewis Main Gate, go up 41st Division Drive to the 3rd light and turn left. Family Life Center is located in the same building as Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel and will be on your right at the 4th light. From the Madigan Gate, simply come straight in about 1 mile. Chapel will be on your left.
Are my sessions confidential?
All information that is shared in counseling is completely confidential. No portion of any counseling conversation can be repeated without the express permission of the client.
How long are appointments?
Most appointments are 50 minutes long. Longer sessions can be arranged and are often suggested for EMDR work.
How often do we come to counseling?
The majority of clients are seen once a week, unless there is an immediate crisis or your counselor determines that you need to be seen more than once.
Are appointments available in the evenings or on weekends?
We do not offer evening or weekend appointments. Our normal office hours are 0900–1700 on Monday–Friday.
How much does counseling cost?
All services that are provided at the Chaplain Family Life Center are completely FREE!
What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. It is a set of standardized protocols that are designed to reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts and traumatic memories. EMDR helps the brain resume normal processing after a traumatic event has resulted in thoughts and memories that interfere with normal living. You still remember what happened, but it will be less upsetting. The current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies designate EMDR as an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress. EMDR is approved by the Department of Defense and is taught regularly by the Army Medical Command to mental health practitioners across the Army.
How long do people normally go to counseling?
The length of therapy depends on treatment goals and what a person’s desired outcomes might be. In general though, most people are able to work through problems over a course of about 6 months to a year, depending on the severity of the issues. And with less severe issues, some people get what they need from therapy after just a few sessions.
Can I bring my children? Do you provide childcare?
In order for you to get the most benefit out of your session, please arrange to come without your kids. We do not have childcare and we ask that children not be left unattended in our waiting room.
Do you provide counseling for children?
We provide counseling for dependent children 13 above. For counseling for children younger than 13 please contact your primary care provider through Tricare.
Can I still come to counseling if my spouse is deployed?
We do offer individual counseling for both service members and dependants, so you could be seen for counseling without your spouse. We are not able to provide over the phone marriage counseling while the service member is deployed.
What if my spouse won’t go to counseling?
Although couples counseling is most effective when both partners participate, individual counseling can also impact the quality of your marriage. When one person in a relationship begins to change or react differently, it causes the other person to also begin to change. Whether you come in as a couple or individually, counseling will positively impact your new marriage.
Can you help with a commissary or PX voucher?
We cannot provide monetary assistance at this office. If you need a food voucher for the commissary please contact your Unit Chaplain or the rear detachment Chaplain if your unit is deployed. If you do not know who your unit Chaplain is you can find the listing under the Religious Support Office on the JBLM website, or by calling the Garrison Chaplain’s office at 253-967-3718
What happens to the counseling file?
When a counselor leaves the Family Life Center, all of their files pertaining to clients are shredded. The Family Life Chaplain is typically assigned to a 3 year rotation, when that individual is reassigned all of their client files are destroyed.
Will my command or any agency have access to my counseling file?
Because everything discussed in counseling is privileged communication, we will not discuss your case or share notes with anyone without your signed consent.
Can we come to counseling if we have a protection order/no contact order?
Protection orders and no contact orders can have different conditions depending on your case. To ensure that you are not violating your order please let the counselor know ahead of time that there is an order in place. The counselor may ask to see the paperwork before scheduling an appointment to ensure you are eligible for counseling.
Can you provide counseling over the phone?
We cannot provide counseling over the phone; however, Military One Source is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their phone number is 1-800-342-9647.
We are not married. Can we still receive couples counseling?
At this time we cannot offer couples counseling to unmarried couples. However, we do offer individual counseling to military ID card holders.
Do you provide pre-marital counseling?
We currently offer a class that is normally held on the first Friday of every month that is open to couples who are engaged. It is also open to those who have been married for less than 3 years. To register for the class please call our office at 253-967-1723.
Do you offer weekend retreats?
We do not offer retreats. If you would like to find a retreat to attend, please contact your Unit Chaplain or go to the Strong Bonds website www.strongbonds.org.