These plans were introduced to help employees that may be suffering from problems inside or outside of work. They are designed to help employees cope through difficult times. Schemes are run and used by many employers in the uk. It is useful to employers as it means that there staff can get help if they need it which will mean that there job preformance will not be as affected as it would without the scheme. The plan also increseas staff retention, helping employees to stay in a job where otherwise they might leave on ill health grouds creating costs in staff recruitment and training.
The scheme offers counselling services for employees and their family members to support them through difficult times. The scheme is useful for those suffering from stress and anxiety, depression, alcoholism and drug misuse and any other mental health issues.
The counselling sessions can take either in the workplace or in the counsellor’s place of work, office or sometimes home office depending on the counsellor. The counsellors being provided by the employer should be qualified, insured and regulated by a governing bogy such as the BACP. This will ensure that the employee using the counsellors service receive high quality counselling.
The counselling provided will usually be based on a person centred or based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) methods. CBT deals primarily with the here and the now. The practitioner will investigate how the thought processes affect the behaviour and vice versa. Once the relationship between thinking and the actions particularly dysfunctional thinking and the unwanted behaviours that flow from it has been established the link can be challenged. Breaking the negative relationship can help or eliminate the unwanted behaviour. The practitioner will frequently teach the employee in treatment techniques that are easy to implement but effective at breaking the links that have been built up over time. These tecniques usually involve facing up to stressful situations and realising the actual outcome is not a bad as the envisaged outcome.
Person centred counselling takes a different tack. It looks at the causes behind the unwanted thoughts, behaviours or emotions. Dealing with the root of the problem should help the current situation. An analogy would be a tube of sweets with one mispositioned sweet in the bottom of the tube. All of the sweets above the crooked sweet would also be skewed. A distorted behaviour that has been established by something in the persons past needs to addressed and other thoughts/ behaviours that have developed from this original behaviours can be brought into line. The employee will be encouraged to look at significant events in their past and see how they relate to the present behaviour. Counselling depends upon the therapeutic relationship between the client and the counsellor, the relationship will determine the healing
Stress and bullying at work are frequently behind the need for the employee to approach the EAP. If you are lucky enough to be employed by an employer with an EAP scheme, use it if you need it contact your human resources department. If you do not have such coverage you could try contacting ACAS to see if they can help recover financial compensation if you are suffering with work related stress or bullying.