Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) Explained

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.

 

Employee help

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.

 

 

5 tips on overcoming anxiety

Anxiety can have a devastating impact on life and is one of the less talked about disorders that many people suffer from or will suffer from in there life time below are a few techniques on how you can control your anxiety so it wont control how you live your life.

1. Keep a diary of when you worry if you find that it is at the same time each day then try to do something different in that time to take your mind of your troubles. A lot of people find that stress and anxiety is worse at night this is because when you are just sitting or lying in bed you have more time to worry. It would be a good idea to go for a walk or do some form of exercise to take your mind of issues that are bothering you.

2.  Talk to a loved one about your feelings, this can really help to alleviate some of the worries you may be having it will also take your mind of the actual worry and may make you realise that you are making it out to be a bigger deal than it is this will help you in the future to be aware of when you are feeling stressed and anxious and help you to control it

3.  Try not to concentrate on  ‘what if’ if you suffer from anxiety you will be worrying about things that might not even happen this is where you need to change your mind set and realise that you don’t actually need to worry about things that might not happen.

4. Control your breathing, its proven that deep breathing can help when you are feeling very anxious or having a panic attack it lowers the heart rate and if you do this correctly then it will make you concentrate solely on your breathing and not allow you to concentrate on anything else.

5.set yourself an hour a day to worry. If you can stick to this then you will not spend all night worrying about different things. Try to do this during the day so your mind is clear at night. It might be worth writing down what you are worrying about then in the hour reason with yourself and see if you can reduce some of your anxiety by logically thinking about things.

If you feel that the methods above are not helping then it may be worth visiting your GP and discussion CBT (will discuss more in the next article)