Meeting with an Employee Assistance program (EAP) professional may seem a bit awkward at first, especially if you have never sought help for a personal or family problem before. But take heart: The EAP counselor has done this many times and will walk you through the process one step at a time.
After some initial “get acquainted” conversation, the counselor probably will ask you an open-ended question such as, “How can I help you today?” or “What would you like to talk about?” This can make people nervous, but it’s as good a way as any to get started.
It usually is best to describe your feelings first. In other words, describe your distress before you explain the details and the circumstances. For example, you might start by saying that you are feeling sad or depressed and just can’t seem to shake it. The employee assistance counselor can then narrow the scope of his questions accordingly.
As you prepare to see the EAP, think about the four objectives outlined above and try to be as specific as you can. But don’t worry if you can’t—sometimes we get so stressed and overwhelmed that we simply cannot put a sentence together. The employee assistance professional will understand.
You should know that the cornerstone of the Employee Assistance Program, EAP is strict confidentiality. The EAP counsellor will discuss this with you during the first visit and answer any questions or address any concerns that you have.
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