When Should I Consider Face-To-Face Counseling?
High Stress/High Threat/Unaccompanied Tours affect people in many different ways. Of course, seeking professional counseling is your choice. However, there are conditions that occur in people’s lives when it is best to work with a provider.
We strongly encourage you to get help and support from a trained mental health professional if you are:
If you are feeling suicidal or homicidal, it’s important that you let someone know. You should seek help immediately by calling 911 or going to the closest emergency room.
It doesn't have to be an emergency for you to benefit from talking with a professional helper or counselor. Professionals who have training and expertise in working with military personnel and those deployed in the combat environment can help you with several things:
Some reactions are very common in the first week or two following a traumatic event and, and do not necessarily require in-person consultation with a counselor. Difficulties getting through normal activities and responsibilities, avoidance of situations, nervousness, and sleeping problems are common at first. But if there is no improvement in the first weeks following a stressful or traumatic event, then face-to-face counseling should be strongly considered.
Another reason to consider face-to-face counseling might be that you don't have people to talk to about what happened, because:
Seeking counseling is not a sign of weakness; seeking support is a sign of strength. Talking to a counselor can improve your ability to help yourself.
If you’re Not Sure Whether to Seek Counseling
If you’re not sure whether to seek counseling, you could go for an introductory, or evaluation session with a counselor to see if the counselor seems like someone you could work with. An introductory session will also give you an opportunity to get some feedback from the counselor about your problem. Trying out a session lets you consider all of your options. Remember that “shopping around” for a counselor is a perfectly acceptable thing to do; in fact many people recommend it. Just because you go for one session does not mean you have to return. You can always go and check out other options.
State Department Resources
Deployment Stress Management Program (M/MED/MHS/DSMP)
Deployment Stress Management Program
Office of Medical Services
2401 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Intranet Website: http://med.m.state.sbu/mhs/dsmp/default.aspx
Employee Consultation Service (M/MED/ECS)
Tele: (202) 663-1815