Creating an Effective EAP Action Plan

As an EAP practitioner, your role is to conduct a thorough biopsychosocial assessment and formulate a viable action plan that integrates all resources available to your client. This plan should be communicated to the client in terms that are appropriate to his or her level of understanding, as you perceive it. When providing routine EAP services, it may help you to think of yourself as an architect rather than a builder-you are designing a comprehensive plan for coordinating treatment but not necessarily bringing that plan to fruition.

Following is a simple outline for developing an effective EAP action plan:

Step 1 - Problem Identification/Clinical Assessment

  • What brought the client into your office?
  • Is the client's perception of his/her issues congruent with yours?
  • What behavioral manifestations do you observe?
  • Does the presenting problem impact their workplace functioning?
  • Which DSM-IV diagnosis or V-codes apply?

Step 2 - Goal Development

  • What treatment outcome does the client desire?
  • If client is unclear on his/her goals, what realistic possibilities can you suggest?

Step 3 - Objective Action Planning/ Referral

  • What are the behaviorally measurable steps necessary to help the client achieve his/her goal? Build accountability into each step!
  • What are the circumstantial and behavioral obstacles to the client's success in ameliorating his/her issues?
  • Drawing upon your full therapeutic repertoire, partner with your client to identify all available solution-focused interventions, including appropriate referrals. You may self-refer clients who have managed care coverage under which your services can be authorized or who wish to pay for treatment out-of-pocket.

Crisis intervention requires a slightly different clinical focus, with safety and immediate stabilization as the primary goals.

  • Assist the client in identifying simple supportive behaviors (exercise, deep breathing, self-care, redirection of negative thoughts, etc.) and mobilizing existing resources (friends, family, clergy, etc.)
  • Identify new or ancillary resources to ensure safety (ER, hotlines, law enforcement agencies, shelters, etc.) and provide written step-by-step guidance as to when clients should avail themselves of these resources.

If you are unsure as to whether or not EAP services are appropriate for any member or need assistance with other clinical concerns, an MHN Clinical Case Specialist (CCS) can help you assess members' needs and determine appropriate treatment recommendations.

Please note: To continue to receive priority consideration for EAP referrals, practitioners must have completed the EAP Sub-Network Attestation form. If you wish to provide EAP services but are unsure if you have completed this form, please contact Professional Relations Department at and reference Practitioner Inquiry Unit .