Note:

" experienced staff and strong clinical support ..."

It is critical that EAP staff be highly sophisticated therapists - after all, helping employees and their family members change is the key mainstay of EAPs and is the primary basis for their cost-effectiveness. The EAP therapists' job is to guide their clients into making very important changes in their personal lives. This means that as clinicians they must have a depth of experience such that they can quickly assess a client's strengths and weaknesses, help the client define his or her problem in a way that is graspable and workable, work with the client on planning a treatment strategy that the therapist knows to be workable and the client finds agreeable, and then, most important of all, guide and collaborate with the client on the road to accomplishing the treatment goals. Furthermore, an EAP staff person must have a breadth of experience such that he/she can handle a wide range of problems.

In summary, because of the special demands that this job entails, we feel that a good EAP therapist candidate should have at a minimum a Masters Degree from a graduate program oriented toward psychotherapy (psychology or social work),should be licensed and should have ten years full-time equivalent experience doing psychotherapy. A significant portion of this experience would ideally be in a clinic setting where the therapist saw many different clients with a wide range of problems under the auspices of a sophisticated treatment philosophy. But this isn't enough. No therapist is going to be as effective working alone as they are going to be when they can collaborate with a group of other experienced therapists. This is why we believe that EAP providers should work as part of an EAP team.

We therefore encourage organizations which are interested in providing the most effective EAP possible for their employees and family members to look warily at programs which are staffed by large, ill-defined groups of therapists with varying experience(this also limits accountability), who do not regularly collaborate on cases and who lack familiarity and rapport with the culture and environment of the client organization.

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