How to Use Your EAP: Counseling

Posted on January 17, 2019 by Amy Tiffany

Your EAP is there to help you and your family handle whatever comes your way, and one of the main components of your EAP is counseling. Some people may feel timid around the idea of counseling, however there are many benefits and reasons to participate in counseling.

What is counseling?

VITAL WorkLife Consultant, Adam Frei, MS, LPC, says counseling is often referred to as “talk therapy” where an individual, family, or group works with a licensed mental health provider to address psychological, social and physical concerns.

Counseling can differ based on the counselor’s training and counseling perspective. A counselor can help you identify goals and potential solutions to problems which are causing you emotional turmoil; seek to help improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health. There are many types of counseling:

  • Individual counseling
  • Couples counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Addiction counseling
  • Child/adolescent counseling
  • Gerontological counseling
  • LGBTQ counseling
  • Military counseling

Now that you know a little bit more about counseling, let’s review how to use your counseling benefit as part of your VITAL WorkLife EAP.

What is EAP counseling?

EAP counseling is a free benefit available to eligible employees and their family members. EAP counseling is short-term and solution-focused. EAP counseling sessions focus on addressing current work/life distress.

If I want to take advantage of counseling through my VITAL WorkLife EAP, what do I do? 

  • Call the VITAL WorkLife EAP phone number at 800.383.1908, and we will take down your basic information such as name, employer, address, phone number, email, etc.
  • Then, we will find you a counselor in your area that has experience in the concerns you are bringing to your counseling.
  • Once your counselor option(s) have been identified, we will send this information to you and you will need to call to set up your counseling appointment.
  • After you appointment, the counselor manages your case with VITAL WorkLife directly.
  • By law, this process is completely confidential. Your employer will not know you participated in counseling.

How long can I go to counseling through my VITAL WorkLife EAP?

The number of counseling sessions you or your family members can access is based on your company’s benefit. For information on the number of sessions you or a family member has available, contact your Human Resources department or call VITAL WorkLife at 800.383.1908. If you or a family member would like to continue attending counseling after your maximum number of sessions has been met, you can discuss accessing your medical insurance or private pay options with your counselor.

Your EAP counseling benefit does not have a yearly or lifelong limit. You can use your counseling benefit for a variety of concerns. For example, you can access counseling for a marital/partner issue now, and two months later you can access it again for job-related stress. The most common reasons we see for EAP counseling are:

  • Partner/marital concerns
  • Relationship issues (family, friends, colleagues)
  • Stress—feeling stress, not knowing what to do with stress
  • Communication issues
  • Anxiety, depress, mental health concerns
  • Substance abuse

In order for your family members to take advantage of the benefit, they need to call in and state their relation to you, and what company you work for. If you or your family member is over the age of 18 you must call yourself to access your benefit. For more ways you can use your EAP, check out these Insights:

We Can Help

MEMBERS: As part of your EAP you can also take advantage of in the moment phone support in addition to face-to-face counseling sessions. Contact us at 800.383.1908 to access your VITAL WorkLife EAP today.

If you would like more information about our EAP and how we can support your organizational and employee well being, contact us here.

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