Whether you’re mad about a move, sad about a loss, or having trouble getting along with your spouse, there’s someone to talk to at Redstone Arsenal –and it’s free to military members and their families.
Anger management, relationship problems and parenting issues are just a few of the problems eligible patrons can tackle through the Military and Family Life counseling program.
Sandra Bruno, a licensed marriage and family therapist whose qualifications also include advanced alcohol and drug certification, is in her fourth year with the Military and Family Life counseling program at Redstone.
Counseling is available to active duty military, reservists, National Guard members, Gold Star families, and their immediate family members at installations throughout the world, including the Arsenal.
In addition to being free, the service is strictly confidential, Bruno said, noting that records from counseling session are not kept or retained as a part of a medical record.
The program, which started around 2003, provides counselors commensurate in number to the population of active duty at each installation. Because there are relatively few Soldiers assigned to Redstone, Bruno is the only counselor in the program at the Arsenal.
Benefits include flexible appointments and even flexible locations for appointments.
Counseling services can take place at Bruno’s office at Army Community Service, at an outdoor picnic table or somewhere else – whatever the client prefers.
Counseling is “non-medical and solution-focused,” she said. “A lot of military lifestyle issues: relocation adjustment, employment stress, working with families, building resiliency.”
An initial intake session may take over one hour, followed by one-hour sessions each week or, if desired, every other week. The program allows for 12 sessions per issue, giving leeway to clients with multiple issues, she said.
Tim Rolfe, Family Advocacy program manager, whose program provides everything from family enrichment to violence prevention and other services, said he often refers people to Bruno for counseling.
“I think it really benefits Soldiers and their family members,” he said. “She’s a great asset to the community.”
During the pandemic, Bruno saw clients via “HIPPA-compliant Zoom, or by phone,” options that are still available. But she is also welcoming clients back for in-person appointments during the workday or early evening.
Bruno also works as a behaviorist at Child and Youth Services.
She has a master’s in marriage and family child counseling from California State University, and is earning her doctoral degree in counseling from Liberty University.
In the past, Bruno has worked as clinical director at an addiction center, and as a mediator. Her husband, Michael Bruno, is a retired Marine who now works as a program manager for the Missile Defense Agency.
To make an appointment with Bruno, call her at 803-240-9922, or call Army Community Service at 876-5397.