Employee Assistance Program Consortium

A New Outlook

Can an EAPC counselor solve your problems? Probably not. But he or she can help you find new ways to begin to solve them yourself.

Some people have misconceptions about what counseling is all about. These misconceptions might keep them from making an appointment with a counselor who can help them find solutions they need to move forward in their lives.

The following are some of the reasons people give for not seeking a counselor.

"People who seek counseling are desperate."

Some people who seek counseling truly are desperate for help, but counseling need not be considered a last resort alternative only for the emotionally desperate. Instead, it is an opportunity to increase awareness about the issues related to specific concerns that are causing worry and frustration. Early counseling intervention can prevent the problems from getting worse.

"I can solve my problems on my own."

Of course, many people are fortunate enough to go through life without need of a counselor. Strong social support systems in the family or among friends can make a difference. Being satisfied in one's work, living, and physical conditions make it easier to cope when things go wrong. On the other hand, when problems arise, it is good to know that it is possible to seek assistance from an objective listener - a professional who will hear you out and help you determine your options.

I don't want my employer to know I have a problem."

EAPC services are paid by the employer, but all contacts with EAPC are completely confidential. Records of your call and your counseling sessions are protected in a secure system.

"I know someone who went to counseling and didn't feel any better."

Counseling cannot offer a guarantee that problems will go away. Those who expect quick, easy solutions to complex problems are often disappointed. An EAPC counselor can help assess problems, offer strategies toward solutions, and can recommend further help when it is needed. But a counselor can't force clients to take the actions they recommend. Clients need to accept responsibility for their own efforts.

"I don't want to deal with it today. I'm sure things will be better tomorrow."

Deciding to make the first call for help can seem an additional stress factor in an already overwhelming problem that is painful to think about and talk about. It seems easier to wait and hope the problem goes away. Too often people carry around the weight of the world for months, or even years before they take action to solve the problems that worry them. Yet once they act, by calling for help, they stop being victims and can begin to take some control over their situations.

"I don't want anyone probing my mind."

The EAPC counselor's primary objectives are to identify and evaluate the problem with you; to determine related issues; to educate clients about their options; and to help clients find the best, most affordable source of support and clinical information when ongoing assistance is needed. Clients share what information they want to share.

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