EAP Professionals Provide Guidance Through Crisis

EAP Professionals Provide Guidance Through Crisis

A factory worker shows up for his shift smelling of alcohol. An office worker doesn't heed a warning to stop gambling on his company computer. A manager having problems with her troubled teen becomes withdrawn and short-tempered on the job.

In each situation, an employee assistance program (EAP) professional can play a role in saving a worker's job and averting an employer's headache. EAP professionals -- who are predominantly social workers but may also be psychologists, substance-abuse counselors, psychiatric nurses or other mental health practitioners -- help employees identify and resolve personal matters and help companies address productivity concerns.

"An EAP provider not only deals with everyday issues like marital problems, depression and anxiety, but the notion that these things show up in the workplace," says Stanley Hyman, LCSW, a Miami-based private practitioner who treats clients referred by EAPs and director of the Aventura Stress Relief Center. "We need to understand the dynamic of how these issues affect not only the individual and their family but their company and coworkers."

Employment Options

EAP professionals are employed in a variety of ways. Social workers and other mental health professionals in private practice may be contracted to work with employees of specific corporations, or they may be on the provider lists of large behavioral health companies that manage hundreds of EAPs. Other professionals may work in-house at large corporations. Salaries vary depending on the employment situation.

"Companies call on EAPs to deal with employee catastrophes that occur daily," says Jim Hardeman, LICSW, MPA, who was an in-house EAP professional at Polaroid for 15 years before opening his own consulting company, Workplace Violence Prevention, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. At Polaroid, Hardeman helped launch the company's first internal support group for battered women and crafted policies and procedures on how the company should respond to domestic violence incidents.

EAP professionals have a dual role, Hardeman explains. They counsel employees, but they also must work with employers, including managers and administrators, to intervene appropriately with troubled workers and to create positive work environments.

All interactions between EAP professionals and employees are confidential, says M. Faye McAneny, LCSW-C, a certified employee assistance professional (CEAP) who works part-time for the Magellan Behaviorial Health division of Magellan Health Services, a company that manages EAPs. EAP services are usually free to the employee and voluntary, although an employee may be referred to the program by his manager or human resources department, says McAneny, who also provides employee assistance services through her private practice in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Crisis Support

McAneny counsels employees with difficulties ranging from financial concerns to serious medical problems. "EAP services are almost always short-term," she says. "We don't provide long-term therapy. That's usually what health plans are for."

Often, McAneny refers employees to treatment programs or counselors for long-term therapy and then meets monthly with her referrals to track their progress. McAneny also provides crisis support services. For example, she debriefs armored-car drivers after a robbery. "I'll talk about the normal reactions people have in such situations and give the drivers an opportunity to vent without management around," she says. "I'll help them develop concrete ideas of what they can do as a group to make sure they take care of each other."

McAneny worked with postal workers after anthrax was found in the ventilation system of a Washington, DC, postal building in 2001. "There was a lot of hardship, as many workers were being deployed to alternate sites up to 40 miles away," she says. "Again, I gave people an opportunity to air their concerns."

Clinical Expertise

Most EAP social workers have several years of clinical experience, often in substance abuse. They must identify and treat problems quickly, Hardeman says, and frequently make clinical decisions without supervision. Flexibility, good listening skills and stamina are also essential for an aspiring employee assistance professional, McAneny adds.

A few social work master's-degree programs, including the one at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, offer special tracks and certificates in employee assistance. In addition, social workers and other counseling professionals can be credentialed as CEAPs through the Employee Assistance Certification Commission of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

Latest Jobs

Wilmington Economic Develop Corp & Delaware Community Develop Corp
Posted: 06/30/2015
Wilmington, DE, 19801
InfoSec Delivery
Posted: 06/30/2015
Dallas, TX, 75201
Posted: 06/30/2015
Pompano Beach, FL, 33069
Posted: 06/30/2015
West Des Moines, IA, 50266
Posted: 06/30/2015
Cumming, GA, 30040

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-212