Counseling can come in many forms. A friend or relative can give you advice. You can seek guidance from a religious organization or a social worker. This program provides the highest quality of care possible. All counselors have their Doctorate degree in psychology. Their years of training and experience in human behaviour give valuable insight into the complex personal issues we all face.
The EAP provides assessment, problem-solving and therapy. The counselor keeps the focus on problem-solving. This results oriented counseling obtains tangible results quickly. The average duration of counseling is five sessions.
The goals are to:
- Provide support and understanding.
- Help identify problems and clarify issues.
- Train employees to develop coping skills.
- Educate employees in self-management techniques.
- Encourage patients to accept personal responsibility.
- Refer to the proper community resources when the patient requires more intensive, long term or specialized services.
- Provide appropriate follow-up (three month period) to monitor success in maintaining personal change efforts and activities.
Confidentiality is critical to the success of your EAP. The provider protects the identity of patients who use the service and assures them that they can trust the counselor with their most private concerns. Nothing related to a counseling session will ever be repeated. It is important for employees to believe this; otherwise the program will not be used.
All communication between a patient and Doctor is privileged and carefully protected. Professional licensing regulations prohibit disclosure of information without written consent from the patient.
Employees make their first contact directly by phone and then attend counseling sessions at the psychologist's office. The coordinator carefully staggers appointments to make sure employees or dependents from the same company do not meet.
The statistical reports that provide information to the employer protect the identity of patients.
All counselors should be registered psychologists, licensed by provincial statutes and government regulating bodies. They must adhere to the Code of Professional Standards and Ethics of the Canadian Psychological Association. In addition, the psychologists are subject to a peer review process.
Every counselor should have professional liability insurance.
Counselors help employees deal with a wide range of personal problems. The goal of therapy is to help patients understand their problems, and develop the skills necessary to take charge of their life. The difficulties they face at work, or in their personal and family situations can include:
- Job-Related Stress
- Marital and Family Problems
- Alcohol or Drug Dependencies
- Separation, Divorce, Custody
- Difficulties with Children
- Personal Adjustment Problems
- Severe Psychological Disorders
- Financial and Legal Concerns
- Weight, Smoking & General Fitness or Health Problems
- Pre-retirement Planning
- Aging Parents
- Deaths in the Family
- Sexual Harassment or Abuse
- Work-Related, Employee or Group Conflict
Active employees, their spouse and dependent children under the age of 21 should be covered. Each employee can be limited to a certain number of sessions per year (i.e. 12). Employees with dependents can have an additional number of sessions for the rest of their family.
Coverage ceases upon termination of active employment. An employee who has been receiving counseling should be permitted a two session continuance. This will allow for an orderly referral to a private or community-based resource.
The provider should ensure that psychologists can provide personal counseling at locations accessible to all staff. Employees can choose male or female counselors and in a predominant language of the region.
Counseling takes place at the office of the psychologist. The offices are discrete and accessible by both public transportation or automobile.
Employees can use the confidential, toll free, telephone service 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
To respond to various work schedules, office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. In emergencies, employees will get help immediately, at any time of any day.
Employees attend their initial counseling session within one week of the initial contact. This lets them start resolving their problems quickly.
Referrals to Other Specialists
Short-term counseling cannot solve every problem. Approximately 15% of patients are referred to a more appropriate professional service.
Employees with serious alcohol or drug problems, psychiatric disorders, or those in need of medical, legal, or financial services are potential referrals. The psychologist's close ties within the health community can expedite the referral process. The psychologist will provide supportive counseling until the patient participates in a treatment program.
When appropriate, the counselor will work jointly with other professionals on a case. For example, a person may require medication to overcome a serious depression. In such an instance, the psychologist would coordinate treatment with the family doctor or a consulting physician.
Most referrals to other professionals and long-term care programs can result in costs not covered by this program. The counselor addresses the patient's financial concerns when making a secondary referral. The psychologists are familiar with government-subsidized services and community-based resources and will suggest them if available.
Case management involves assessment, problem-solving, implementing solutions and progress review. Counselors fully document each stage in order that the therapy may be reviewed and assessed. All cases are subject to evaluation and peer review.
Patients should complete confidential surveys one and four months after counseling is concluded. This helps build on strengths and correct any weaknesses.
The EAP provider should be accredited by the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) and cooperate with an independent firm of clinical auditors.