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Insider’s Recap of EAPA Conference 2016

Hi – I am just back from spending 6 days in the windy city. Chicago is beautiful.

Yes, got back just before the US elections – not going there now.

And, I was fortunate to experience Chicago during baseball fever with the Chicago Cubs winning the Pennant, after 108 years. WOW ! The positive energy of the city coupled with that of the EAPA conference yielded ‘positivity’ on steroids. As an EAP independent consultant,  affiliate to a select few of EAP provider companies and as an EAP educator who has designed and delivered online courses, my focus at the conference was to promote the professionalism and value of the EAP affiliate (contract counsellor).  My overall long term goal is to have EAP contract counsellors skilled in EAP,  paid a fair professional fee.

EAPA is changing, there is a new CEO, Gregory P. DeLapp. His clear message going forward was emphasis on the EAP affiliate. There is a new president and many new board members.

For the second year in a row, I gave a pre-conference training on  “Conducting a Comprehensive Assessment”. My classroom was full. In addition to having counsellors from all over the world, I had several clinical supervisors in attendance.

So what was the insider’s message at the conference: It is that the core competencies of EAP are tech proof. EAP core services are to be well delivered at all levels.

For this to happen EAP provider companies need to invest in their EAP affiliate counsellors. Given that close to 60% of employee-clients are seen by affiliates, it stands to reason that these affiliates need to be well trained in the mindset and skillset of EAP. And if well trained, they need to be well paid.

EAP is not generalized counselling. EAP demonstrates an expertise in human behaviour in the workplace. If affiliate counsellors are going to deliver valued service, then they need to be highly respected in the field of EAP. Such respect is demonstrated by honoring their professionalism and paying them accordingly.

Why?  Because it is 2016.

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