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June 30, 2014

EAP Fundamentals for the Affiliate Counselor: A New Online Continuing Education (CE) Course from HealthForumOnline

HealthForumOnline (HFO) adds a new online continuing education (CE) course, EAP Fundamentals for the Affiliate Counselor, to their library of over 90 online CE courses for mental health professionals and allied healthcare providers. This online CE course provides an overview of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) work including EAP Core Technology, types of referrals, assessment, short-term counseling approaches, and issues related to confidentiality, in an effort to prepare EAP clinicians for this type of work that is distinctly different from traditional therapy/counseling.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) June 30, 2014  – HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, CA-BBS)provider of online continuing education (CE) for counselors, psychologists, social workers and allied healthcare providers is pleased to announce a new CE course entitled, EAP Fundamentals for the Affiliate Counselor, to its extensive library of over 90 online CE courses for mental health professionals.

Healthy and happy employees lead to more productive and healthier organizations. 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. While the counseling component is the service most often associated with EAP work, it is only a stepping-stone to achieve the overarching mission that is to improve workplace productivity and create healthy 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, marital, family, financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, stress, or other personal issues that may affect job performance (1). 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 (2). 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 (EAPA – Core Technology, 2014). It is important for the mental health professional 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.

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 the counseling office and the organizational client that is funding the EAP is discussed.  Numerous case examples demonstrate how to successfully navigate special topics and relationships associated with EAP work (e.g., formal management referral & drug free workplace referrals).  Since EAP is a work-based benefit, there are many concerns about confidentiality. A review of applicable laws and discussion about confidentiality will prepare clinicians to discuss the employee's concerns competently.  Finally, participants will review other EAP benefits and resource elements. By the end of the course 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 19 categories of continuing education (CE) topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine containing over 90 online CE courses that are fast, convenient and cost-effective. For more information on this course or a complete listing of titles in our online CE resource library, visit.com.

1. Employee Assistance Professionals Association (2014).  EAP Core Technology.  Retrieved from EAPA website on June 9, 2014. http://www.eapassn.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=521

2. Employee Assistance Professionals Association (2014).  Frequenctly Asked Questions.  Retrieved from EAPA website on June 9, 2014.  http://www.eapassn.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=825