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Course # 66251 • An Introduction to Employee Assistance Programs


Employee assistance programs (EAPs) serve organizations and their employees in many ways, ranging from consultation at the strategic level to assistance to employees and family members experiencing personal difficulties. As workplace programs, the structure and operation of individual EAPs vary according to the structure, function, and needs of the organization it serves. Each EAP is designed to help work organizations address productivity issues and identify and resolve a range of employee concerns (e.g., emotional, financial, legal). In this course, numerous case examples will demonstrate how to successfully navigate special topics and relationships associated with EAP work (such as formal management referral, drug-free workplace referrals, and union referrals). Because EAP is a work-based benefit, there are many concerns about confidentiality. A review of applicable laws and discussion about confidentiality will prepare clinicians to discuss the employees concerns competently. Finally, participants will review other benefits and elements of an EAP to help them build clients' awareness of resources.

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Education Category: Psychiatric / Mental Health

Release Date: 08/01/2016

Expiration Date: 07/31/2019


This introductory course is designed for psychologists who may be doing employee assistance work or who are considering adding employee assistance to their practice.


Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibility for the content of the programs.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 8 credit(s).

Course Objective

Employee assistance work is different from traditional therapy, and an EAP clinician should be prepared to address workplace impact during assessment and counseling sessions. The purpose of this course is to provide psychologists with a comprehensive overview of an employee assistance program (EAP), including the core technology, history, referral and assessment processes, and confidentiality requirements.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the history of employee assistance programs (EAPs).
  2. Review EAP core technology.
  3. Differentiate EAPs from therapy.
  4. Discuss the problem of dual EAP clients.
  5. Identify EAP stakeholders and types of EAP referrals, including the use of call centers.
  6. Outline all aspects of an EAP appointment, including assessment, referral, and follow-up.
  7. Analyze the connection between substance abuse assessment and EAPs.
  8. Describe the relationship between unions and EAPs.
  9. Explain all services provided by an EAP and variations in program models.
  10. Discuss confidentiality in an EAP setting.
  11. Identify laws and organizations that impact and support the EAP community.


Jennifer Shotlander, LCSW, MSW, CEAP, is a licensed clinical social worker in Virginia and is a certified employee assistance professional. Ms. Shotlander is a counselor, consultant, and trainer in the employee assistance field. She provides consultation to organizational leadership, helping them to improve productivity within their organization. In addition, she provides assessment, referral, and short-term counseling to individual employees and family members who are experiencing personal problems or with other mental health and/or substance abuse concerns. Ms. Shotlander is the owner of Human Capital Plus, a provider of comprehensive EAP counseling and consulting solutions. She has provided EAP consultation to the Pentagon, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Washington Gas, and other private and public organizations. She graduated with her MSW from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work in 2004, where she specialized in clinical EAP. She also has a certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Ms. Shotlander was a Commissioner with the Employee Assistance Certification Commission from 2010–2013 and served in leadership roles for the DC EAPA chapter. She has published in the Journal of Employee Assistance and Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. In 2012, she was recognized as one of the “10 New Faces to Watch in Employee Assistance.”

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Jennifer Shotlander, LCSW, MSW, CEAP, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

James Trent, PhD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

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