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March 11, 2017

Online Continuing Education (CE) Course “EAP Fundamentals for the Affiliate Counselor” Recently Updated at HealthForumOnline

HealthForumOnline (HFO) has updated its online continuing education (CE) course, EAP Fundamentals for the Affiliate Counselor, as part of maintaining their extensive online resource library for mental health professionals and allied healthcare providers. , To better prepare clinicians for EAP work, which is distinctly different from traditional counseling, this online CE course reviews Employee Assistance Program (EAP) work including EAP Core Technology, types of referrals, assessment, short-term counseling approaches, and unique issues related to confidentiality.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) March 11, 2017  –HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, NYSED)provider of online continuing education (CE) for counselors, psychologists, social workers and allied healthcare providers is pleased to announce recent updates to our CE course entitled, EAP Fundamentals for the Affiliate Counselor.

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a set of professional services specifically designed to improve or maintain the productivity and healthy functioning of the workplace and to address a work organization’s particular business needs through the application of specialized knowledge and expertise about human behavior and mental health. Counseling is the service component most often associated with EAP work, but it is only a stepping-stone to achieve the overarching mission -- to improve workplace productivity and create healthy organizations. Healthy and happy employees lead to more productive and healthier organizations.

A functional definition of an EAP is a workplace program designed to assist: 1) work organizations in addressing productivity issues; and 2) "employee clients" in identifying and resolving personal concerns involving health, marriage, family, finances, substance use, emotional stress, legal or other personal issues that may affect job performance (1-2). By providing employees the tools and resources for resolving personal concerns, the EAP is enabling the employee clients to focus their time and energy on their work. In this way, EAP work is different from traditional therapy and an EAP clinician must be prepared to address workplace impact during their assessment & counseling sessions. 

At present, 97% of U.S. companies with more than 5,000 employees have EAPs (3). The prevalence of EAPs is highest in industries where the federal regulations require drug testing and education, such as transportation and utilities. Most prevalent in the U.S., EAPs are expanding internationally since adding an EAP can significantly reduce business costs.

Each EAP program is unique and is based on the needs of the organization it serves (e.g., existing structures, operations), but there are underlying principles that guide the process, known as the EAP Core Technology (1). It’s important for mental health professionals involved in EAP to understand these guiding principles even though the Affiliate EAP Counselor will likely not necessarily be tasked with completing all of the core technologies (1-3).

This online CE course provides an overview of EAP work including EAP Core Technology, types of referrals, assessment, short-term counseling, and confidentiality issues.  How to balance the competing demands of the employee client in counseling and the organizational client funding the EAP is discussed (4-5). Numerous case examples demonstrate how to navigate special topics and relationships associated with EAP work (e.g., formal management referral & drug free workplace referrals).  A review of applicable laws and a discussion about confidentiality prepares clinicians to address the employee's concerns competently. Overall, participants will be able to 1) identify the 7 EAP Core Technology; 2) complete a EAP workplace impact assessment; 3) distinguish between EAP referral types; and 4) explain confidentiality and its limits to an EAP client.

Psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other allied health professionals can chose from HFO’s extensive library of over 100 online CE courses for mental health professionals from over 20 topic categories related to health psychology and behavioral medicine. HFO’s online CE courses are fast, convenient and cost-effective and participant’s have ongoing access to course updates even after completion. For more information on this course or a complete listing of titles in our online CE resource library, visit HealthForumOnline.com.

1. Employee Assistance Professionals Association (2014).  EAP Core Technology. http://www.eapassn.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=521

2. Employee Assistance Professionals Association (2017).  Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS). http://www.eapassn.org/WOS

3. Employee Assistance Professionals Association (2017).  Frequenctly Asked Questions. http://www.eapassn.org/FAQs

4. Harris, J. (2015). Effective Management Consulting – Turning Furious Into Curious. Journal of Employee Assistance, 4th quarter, 18-19.

5. Harris, J. (2017).  Effective Management Consulting – Managers Get what They Give: The Neuroscience of Positivity. Journal of Employee Assistance, 1st Quarter, 6-7.