What is the field of EAP / EFAP all about?

In broad terms, the field of Employee (and Family) Assistance Programs deal with the working population. EAP benefits are paid for by the company employer. The mindset is that a healthy employee is a productive employee. EAP clients are the employees (or family members of employees) of specific organizations. EAP clients are able to see EAP counsellors for a limited number of sessions.

What kinds of companies offer EAP work?

Organizations in virtually any industry may have an EAP service for their employees. Many of these mid-to-large organizations may have an external EAP provider company that services their employees (and the family members of their employees). In this case the EAP provider company would have both salaried and contract counsellors. Small organizations are offering EAP type services through their insurance benefits. In these cases the insurance companies are contracting with the EAP counsellor. Some companies themselves will look to hire EAP counsellors for specific projects.

How do I pursue a contract with an EAP program?

EAP programs are run by EAP provider companies. EAP provider companies are looking for counsellors who can provide the right counselling to their employees. Career opportunities exist for counsellors who want to be an employee of an EAP provider company or who want to receive client referrals from one or more EAP provider companies. Whether it is contract work or a salaried position that you are looking for, you have to apply to the EAP provider company (usually when they have positions available). This involves submitting a resume and cover letter. If accepted, you will enter into a contract with them for client referrals.

Do I need to be an RCC to become an EAP?

In Canada, clinical professionals who provide counselling services as an EAP provider are required to have the minimum of a master’s degree in psychology, counselling psychology, clinical psychology, social work or a related field. EAP professionals are also required to be registered with their governing board such as the BCACC (BC Association of Clinical Counsellors; RCC designation) or the CCPA (Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association; CCC designation). Those with their MSWs need to be Registered Social Workers (RSW). Psychologists also need to be registered.

What are the benefits of a student BCEAPA membership?

Becoming a student member of the Western Canada EAPA Branch (BCEAPA) is an excellent way for students to learn about the field of EAP / EFAP . Students will have the opportunity to attend the EAPA Branch meetings and listen to professional development presentations that are in some way linked to the field of EAP / EFAP. Also, becoming a student member provides an excellent opportunity for students to network with employee assistance professionals. These EAP professionals can offer advice with regard to incorporating EAP referrals into your private practice or advice around a salaried position with an EAP provider company. At such meetings students and counsellors alike can learn of new EAP provider companies or of possible career opportunities. For students and current counsellors looking to start a private practice, being associated with the field of EAP is an excellent way to build your private practice. For those looking for a more secure position as an employee, the field of Employee Assistance Programs offers a variety of counselling positions as well as part-time work options.

How do I sign up for a Western Canada EAPA Branch membership?

If you are interested in signing up for a membership with the Western Canada EAPA Branch, please complete a Membership Form and contact Roma Palmer or sign up at our next meetings! Prospective student members are required to show a valid student ID. Regular membership is $60; student membership is $20 (free for Adler University students). Payment by cash or cheque only, please.

Will becoming an EAPA branch member improve my chances of working for an EAP?

Absolutely, the more you actively network within a desired field of interest (such as EAP) the greater your chances of pursuing more networking in the area, more study in the area and therefore your chances for work will increase. There are no guarantees that becoming a member will give you employment in the field of EAP; however, we do know that counsellors have obtained contracts and positions and leads as a result of being members of the Western Canada EAPA branch.

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