President's Blog
 

January
2013

Message from
President
Eve Edmond

Dear colleagues:

In reflecting on this past year, it is gratifying to look back on our time together. I am enjoying my Presidency, and hope I have served you well.

I wish to express my deepest appreciation to my amazing, energetic Board, all of whom are dedicated and loyal to this Chapter, and who work continuously and tirelessly all year to provide you with the highest quality of programming.

We hope, when you arrive at our meetings, you feel welcome. We do our best to create a caring community where professionals can interact with one another in a relaxed setting. As always, we welcome your input… without you, we would not be here! So please introduce yourselves and let us know your needs.

We have an exciting calendar planned for 2013, and hope to see you often! Don’t forget to visit our website at www.eapa-la.com!

With gratitude,
Eve Edmond, MDiv, MS, LMFT
President, Los Angeles Chapter

January
2011

Welcome Message from
Incoming President
Eve Edmond

I am honored to serve as your new President. It is a daunting task and I look forward to getting to know all of you much better.

I have served on the EAPA-LA Board for many years and have been extremely impressed with the high level of integrity and commitment to the EA profession exhibited by the members of our Board. I couldn’t have a better group of professionals to work with. We even manage to have fun in the process!

I think connection may be more important now than ever before due to the world situation and the drive toward immediate gratification via technology. We can’t seem to get whatever it is we think we want fast enough. An organization like EAPA-LA can provide a personal connection on a manageable scale -- a welcome alternative in these faster than the speed of light times.

Hopefully, in this new year, we will slow down and take a deep look at one another with compassion and appreciation for who we are and what it has taken to get here and to stay here.

We welcome your input and hope we meet your needs by providing stimulating programs in a professional yet warm, accepting atmosphere. Please say hello and let us know how we can make your time with us more fulfilling.

Eve Edmond, MDiv, MS, LMFT

January
2011

Farewell Message from
Outgoing President
Janeen Weiss

Dear Colleagues:

It has been my joy to serve you as EAPA-LA President for the past two years. During this time, we have had great presentations that have been extremely well received. Our regular meetings, the special 3 hour workshops, as well as our January Kick Offs, have proven highly successful, bringing new members and recognition to our chapter.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be the voice and leadership of the organization since 2009. With the help of a terrific Board, (and a great webmaster) EAPA-LA continues to grow, educate and generate new relationships. We carry on our tradition of being the Experts in the field of Workplace Behavioral Health.

As I turn the Presidency over to Eve Edmond, who has already gracefully stepped into her new role, I know that EAPA-LA will continue on its path as the pre-eminent EAPA chapter in California. The new Board is strong and supportive, and the 2011 programs are terrific. You will not want to miss a single meeting.

My best to each and everyone of you for a happy, successful and healthy 2011. I look forward to continuing my service to EAPA-LA and to seeing all of you at our meetings.

See you at the January Kick Off.

My Best, Janeen Weiss

December
2010

Well, if you missed our last EAPA-LA meeting because you were sleeping, you missed out on excellent information about sleep issues in the workplace, presented by Ross F. Liebman, MD of Memorial Pulmonary and Sleep Consultants in Long Beach. As each of us left the workshop, we realized we needed to assess our clients for possible sleep disorders that might be the cause of their work and/or personal problems.

Most doctors and therapists fail to assess fully for drug and alcohol issues and the same goes for sleep problems. It’s a good idea to ask your clients how many hours of sleep they get each night (7-9 preferred). Is it uninterrupted sleep? Do they snore? Do they fall asleep during the day or are they unable to perform their assigned tasks at work due to fatigue or brain fog (may be a result of sleep deficiencies)? There was much more information given and it did not put us to sleep.

The next and last EAPA meeting of the year will be held on Dec. 8 and IT’S FREE FOR ALL ATTENDEES. It’s our annual Holiday party for our members and supporters. We will be having our Best Practices roundtable discussion – so bring your questions and difficult cases to your peers, who always give sound and helpful advice. There will also be some raffles and gifts along with a nice breakfast.

So join us as we begin the Holiday season. I look forward to seeing you on December 8 at Thelma McMillen Center and to wish each and everyone of you a Happy Holiday season.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP
President EAPA-LA

October
2010

A new EAPA-LA Board has been elected. The new Board will be announced at the November meeting and will be officially sworn into office at our January 2011 Kick Off at Shanghai Reds.

At our September event, Dr. Neva Chappette gave a very empowering and informative seminar on Burnout and Boundaries. The audience loved her. I know that many of you had RSVPd for this event and were not able to make it. Hopefully, you will be able to come to our future sessions, especially the January 16, 2011 Kick Off.

We do not have any meeting in October due to the International Conference being held in Tampa, Florida this year. However, our November meeting promises to be another top-notch program. Dr. Ross Liebman from Long Beach memorial Pulmonary and Sleep Center will be speaking on Sleep Disorders and Their Effects in the Workplace. Sleep issues have become a prominent topic in workplace forums, along with health and fitness matters. In someway, we are all affected by sleep issues.

Please note that due to the winter holidays, the November meeting is on November 10 and not the usual last Wednesday of the month.

Our December meeting is also early: December 8. It’s our holiday party and is free to all attendees as a thank you for supporting EAPA-LA throughout the year. We will be having our popular Best Practices round-table discussion. So, bring your troubling cases and let your colleagues enlighten and assist you.

Look forward to seeing all of you in November. And, remember, you can always call on your colleagues in EAPA should you have any questions that you might want or need supervision on. We are here for you.

My best,
Janeen Weiss, EAPA-LA President

Aug/Sep
2010

PLEASE READ THIS ONE TO THE END

As most of you know, we do not have any August meeting. It’s our summer break. But, that does not mean your Board is not continually working for you. We will be planning next year’s calendar of events during our hiatus. If you have any ideas or requests for speakers or topics, please let us know asap. Some of you have already suggested some wonderful ideas - which will be brought up to the Board for full approval.

Do not miss September’s special 3 hour workshop with Dr. Neva Chauppette. The topic is Professional Boundaries and Burnout. You will get more information from Dr. Chauppette in 3 hours than you can imagine. She is an exciting and incredibly well informed speaker.

Our Board retreat meeting will be held on August 25, 2010 from 9-noon at Torrance Hospital in the Health Center (2nd floor). We will also be discussing any membership issues, the January Kick Off (which we all love), sponsorships, best uses of our website, along with the slate of officers to be elected this...

... September. This is an important meeting. If any member would like to attend to express their views and get more involved, please attend. These meetings are open to members and others who wish to get more involved.

EAPA-LA’s upcoming election will be conducted both online and at our September meeting. The newly elected Board does not take office until January, however, we elect in September so as to be able to send our incoming President to the International EAPA Conference which is held annually in October. This year, it will be in Tampa, FL.

As this year all Board positions are open, any member in good standing is welcome to put their hat in the ring. Currently, we do not have anyone slated to assume the role of Secretary. You can submit your name or another member for any of the positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member-at-Large (2). These are all voting positions.

Please contact me via email or by phone (323-651-0329), if you are interested in discussing any of the issues above – including suggestions for speakers.

As the song goes…See You In September (am I showing my age or what?)

Have a Great Summer,
Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP
President EAPA-LA

July
2010

ELECTIONS COMING UP
TWO BOARD POSITIONS OPEN

A new EAPA-LA Board will be taking over in January 2011 – at our big kick off at Shanghai Reds (make sure you’re there). However, our elections are held in September. We will be giving out ballots at the September 22, 2010 meeting. This is a special meeting, by the way: a 3-hour seminar with none other than the fabulous Dr. Neva Chauppette. If you have never heard her speak before, you definitely do not want to miss hearing her.

We will also be allowing members in good standing of our chapter to vote via email, if they prefer. Information on that can be found on the EAPA-LA.COM website in a few weeks.

There are two positions open: secretary and member-at-large. They are both voting positions. Members of the Board get into all meetings gratis, as they give their time and energy to our great organization and we believe they deserve a ‘perk’. If you are at all interested in being slated for one of these positions, please contact me, or any of the Board members, right away. As I’ve said in other messages...

...the time commitment is not extensive and the camaraderie is another wonderful ‘perk’. We have lots of fun.

You can also let us know at the July meeting. This month we are having a presentation via the internet from the 2009 opening plenary of the EAPA International Conference held in Dallas. The speaker, Daniel Conti, PhD, is excellent, as is his information. After the hour presentation, we will discuss the implications of his presentation and discuss any other issues which his speech may have brought up for you.

EAPA-LA does not meet in August – though we will be having a Board Retreat at TMMC the same time as our August meeting would have been. As a member, you are welcome to join us. Again, let us hear from you as to your interest in being part of the EAPA-LA Board.

See you July 28.

Janeen Weiss,
EAPA-LA President

 

June
2010

President’s Message for June

Just returned from the first West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders held in La Quinta. One of our sponsors, RecoveryView partnered with C4 Recovery Solutions to host what is now going to become an annual event. There has been an East coast Symposium for years on Cape Cod. They decided to finally allow us West Coasters an opportunity to experience some of the excellent presentations. I was fortunate to hear Dr. Mel Pohl speak on pain and addiction; Dr. Andrea Barthwell – not to be missed – who can speak on anything; and Anita Avedian from the SFV EAPA chapter, who gave an excellent presentation on Anger Management cf. Substance Abuse. The presentations were informative and the exhibit hall was filled with great sponsors. Both George Melgarejo (eapa-la Treasurer) and I were glad we attended – in spite of 100+ degree weather (but it was a dry heat). You might want to check...

...it out for next year, June 2-5, 2011.

Summer is upon us, but we have both June and July meetings before we take our August break and then we have EAPA Board elections in September.

This month, Sheri Long, MFT, CEAP, is speaking on the influence of Hispanics in the Workplace and how it may effect the way EAPs do their job. Has it changed the workplace? Come and find out.

Next month, we will be presenting the opening keynote from the EAPA conference in Dallas. “Making the EAP Case in Difficult Times: A Data-Driven Look at the Opportunities!” Domains I, II presented by Daniel Conti, PHD, of JP Morgan Chase in Chicago, Managing Director for the EAP. (He was terrific.)

That’s it for now. See you at the June 23 meeting.

Janeen Weiss
EAPA-LA President

May
2010

Well, if you weren’t at the April meeting, you missed a lot of information about EAP. We had over 50 people attend and 5 great speakers on our panel. The reviews have been terrific. The Leadership Conference that followed for EAPA chapters in District 4, was also quite successful. These events should excite all of you into getting more involved with this great organization.

For those of you who are planning on getting your CEAP or renewing your CEAP, there is a new requirement – EAP ETHICS TRAINING. EAP ETHICS differ quite a bit from your standard therapist ethics as we have more than one client and must consider broader issues. Because of this, the International EAPA has instituted this Elevating Ethical Awareness training.

To make sure you all have the requirement and information you need, even if you are not going to go for your CEAP (what a shame), EAPA-LA is giving this training...

...in May. It is 2 hours and includes a power point demonstration along with numerous scenarios that you may face. I have reviewed these scenarios and they are TOUGH. No matter what phase of EAP you are in, be it an affiliate, a manager, a CEAP or doing crisis intervention, you will benefit from this training.

Check out the website for more information.

George Melgarejo, MFT, CEAP, will be facilitating the training and everyone will be participating in the breakout sessions.

See you then, May 26, 2010 at 8:30 a.m.

Janeen Weiss, EAPA-LA President

 

April
2010

This month EAPA-LA is enlarging its territory by joining with the San Fernando Valley Chapter. Together, we are presenting the April monthly workshop on finding out everything about EAP – with great speakers. We are also hosting the District 4 Leadership Conference, which follows the monthly meeting and continues on the following day from 8:30-5:00 p.m.

This is a time of transition for our chapter, as the Board will have served its two year term and it is time to elect a new Board that will serve the membership and our visitors. Elections are being held in September and we need replacements.

Now, I know I discussed this in the March President’s blog, and I am doing it again. I have received many emails from people who are interested in the organization and interested in the profession, but they have not offered to be part of a great Board. The work does not take that much time and the rewards are great.

Maybe a couple of hours a month and emails going back and forth between the Board is the current extent. We have our monthly meeting and try to have a Board meeting following for about an hour when possible. This is not done at every meeting. We also have a Board retreat about 3 times a year – held at one of our member’s homes. That’s an evening meeting for a couple of hours to plan our goals and specifics needed for the organization.

Now, I know there are those of you who like being involved with your professional organization. Don’t be shy. Contact me or any of the Board members to discuss your involvement. There are openings for Treasurer, Secretary and Vice President. We also have committees, if you would prefer to be on a committee. Let me know.

See you on April 28, 2010

Janeen Weiss
EAPA-LA President

 

March
2010

APPEAL TO READERS

In September, EAPA-LA will be having elections for new officers. I want to invite those of you who are interested in becoming more involved in this wonderful organization to put your name in for consideration.

My tenure as President ends in January 2010. Eve Edmond is slated to become the next President, however the positions of Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, as well as member-at-large are still open.

The current Treasurer, George Melgarejo, has done a magnificent job for the past 3 terms. However, our by laws do not permit him to run again.

Terms are for 2 years. The Board meets occasionally after regular meetings for about an hour and we have an evening retreat 2 or so times a year – which is a bit longer and typically covers our needs for the year (it also includes a great dinner).

The work is not overly time consuming and you get the joy of being with a terrific group of people who are dedicated to the EAP profession. We also try to meet socially and just have a good time at least once a year.

In addition, it is the best way to enhance your career. I have good friends and contacts all over the world now due to my involvement in EAPA. Job offers are also easier to come by with involvement in this organization, especially if you are involved in the Education Committee.

Please contact me directly or any of the current Board members to discuss what holding an office entails. We also welcome anyone who wants to be involved in the Education, Publicity or Sponsorship Committees to join us as well. These would be specific event driven.

I look forward to speaking to all of you. In April, we will be hosting the District 4 Leadership Conference. It is free to anyone who would like to learn more about EAPA and what it has to offer you. The conference is Wednesday and Thursday, April 28 and 29. All are welcome.

My best,
Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP
PRESIDENT- EAPA-LA

February 2010

Wow, what a great Kick Off EAPA-LA had this year. Held at Shanghai Reds in Marina del Rey for the fifth year in a row, this year was very special. The attendance was high, all of the appetizers were eaten, and we were blessed with 5 sponsors. Thank you to RecoveryView, Positive Change for Men (and Women), Casa de las Amigas, and Workplace Options for your invaluable support. Please take a look at their websites and utilize these facilities if appropriate for your clients.

Dr. Alan Downs, our speaker for the evening, was great, as always. Dr. Downs let us all know that he is leaving his...

... position as Director of Michael’s House in Palm Springs, to open his own private practice in Studio City. Though he will continue to consult with Michael’s House, his base of operations is now in Los Angeles. Alan is a specialist in gay and lesbian issues and in substance abuse. If you want to contact him to discuss his work or if you have a client for him, contact me and I will put you in touch with him.

There are changes on the horizon for CEAP candidates. You might want to check out the eapassn.org website for more information. But, in brief, you will not need 24 hours of advisement – only 12 – so it should be easier to find an advisor. But, you now will need 10 hours in Domain 1 and far less hours in Domain 3. The chapter will do its best to provide Domain 1 workshops, and if you need additional PDHs, you can find them online at the eapassn.org website.

Don’t miss February’s meeting (or any of our meetings for that matter): Domestic Violence as a Workplace Issue. A very important and timely topic. Check out our calendar for all of our workshops for the year and make your plans to attend.

See you soon and you can always contact me or any or the Board through email or by phone if you have any EAP related questions.

My Best, Janeen Weiss, President EAPA-LA

January
2010

Challenging Times and a Challenging Year Ahead.

A Happy, Healthy and exciting 2010 to all of you. The saying ‘may you live in exciting times’ is more appropriate than ever - what with the challenges we face in the workplace. Now that everyone has returned from vacations and the holiday season, what new questions do you face with your clients and yourself. And, above all, how can EAP be of assistance to you in that arena.

In December, we had our Best Practices workshop. As always, great insight and wisdom from our cohorts let’s us know that the information we need is available to each of us. Don’t be afraid to ask EAPA and your colleagues here when you come up against a dilemma. That’s part of what this organization is for.

This year, we have a panoply of topics and speakers to enrich your skills and knowledge. Please check out the calendar and mark your own calendar for the seminars you plan on attending,

To start off the New Year, we have our annual KICK OFF at Shanghai Reds in Marina del Rey on January 27, 2010. Our only evening meeting for the year, you don’t want to miss the pleasure of hearing Dr. Alan Downs—an exciting and renowned speaker—discussing Shame Based Trauma. You will also be treated to great and abundant appetizers (don’t eat beforehand) and some raffle prizes. Mostly, you get to network with your colleagues. It’s always fun and enjoyable. If you haven’t received the Evite, it’s only because I didn’t have your email address. Check out the website for more details.

See you on January 27.

My best,
Janeen Weiss
President

December
2009

IS A FREE EAP REALLY FREE?

On behalf of the EAPA-LA Board, I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2010. I look forward to seeing all of you at our December meeting – which is free to all attendees as a thank you to those who support us all year long. We will also be giving away some nice prizes and there will be goodies to eat.

Also, please save January 27, 2010 for our annual Kick Off event at Shanghai Reds. It is an evening meeting with great appetizers (you can make a meal out of it) and a fabulous speaker, Dr. Alan Downs, the CEO of Michael’s House in Palm Springs.

It’s been a rough year for many of us (me included) with the financial mess the country is in and personal issues we all face. But, it makes us that much more creative during the holidays when it comes to giving.

One of the drawbacks of this ‘creative marketplace’ is the advent of...

...free EAPs - the ones that are embedded in health plans to entice clients – the old ‘loss leader’ to get them into your book of business. With the insurance field having taken over much of the EAP product line, how do EAPs now differentiate themselves from just another behavioral health provider? With companies looking more at the bottom line that at human potential, free EAPs are not going to disappear soon – in fact, they appear to be on the rise.

In the most recent World at Work Journal, an excellent article on the perceived value of Free compared to Fee-based EAPs discusses the broad implications of the free trend. In a free EAP, the insurance company absorbs the cost into an overall plan fee. Of course, the services given are minimal – typically a 1-3 session model without any consultation benefits, no crisis management, lower utilization rates and typically, less accountability and service to the company. It is more or less a linkage to an affiliate provider without any tracking or reporting. (And, for those who do business in California, it eliminates the need for a Knox Keene license.)

If that is all a free EAP does, insurance companies can cut their costs by not having designated employees who specialize in EAP. They do not have to consult, why just answer the phone and refer out or direct them to the company website. The value of an EAP and a CEAP becomes more diminished with every cut.

The main problem that I glean from this article is a problem that has plagued EAP since its inception. What do we do? How do we benefit companies? Who are we? We are not the EPA!! Greater productivity and lower disability claims, insurance claims, lower absenteeism, are just a few of the benefits from a fee based EAP. BUT – that message has not gotten across to companies. Most employees and employers are unaware of their EAP and all its benefits.

That makes it our job to inform and educate everyone about the benefits and differences between EAPs and a therapist. Because this problem is so pervasive, the LA chapter and the San Fernando Chapter are joining together at the April 2010 meeting to present EAP 101. And, HR, management and affiliates need to be present to learn all that an EAP does and why we are so vital to the workplace.

I realize that date is four months away, but I want to impress on all of you the importance of our profession and why we must be the messengers. What we do is unique. What we offer is invaluable.

Happy Holidays.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP, SAP
EAPA-LA President

October
2009

UPCOMING EAPA ISSUES

For those of you who missed September’s workshop, you missed out on a great session with Waverly Farrell, who lead us all in learning about Imago Therapy as it applies in our personal and professional lives. Check out her website for more information.

There is a great deal on the horizon for EAPA. This month, the International Conference is being held in Dallas, TX. Among the great topics (and they are always great) will be a pre-conference session that I am attending regarding the ethical implications of working in cyberspace. As more and more people go online to find the answers to their dilemmas, and more companies wish to minimize their costs, eyes and ears will turn to the internet to solve EAP issues previously discussed face to face (or at least on the phone). What will this mean to us as EAPs and licensed therapists? Will it affect our fee structure and our ability to assess face to face? Will it expand our practice? How will it affect our malpractice insurance? What are the positive and negatives of this new way of interacting on a therapeutic level?

When I return from Dallas, I hope to have a lot more insight into this topic and will share it with all of you. If you are interested in attending the conference, go online to www.eapassn.org for more information. (It’s tax deductible.)

There is a new Ethics requirement now for CEAPs and those becoming CEAPs. We will be holding a special EAPA session on Ethics training for EAP professionals in 2010. This is a separate requirement from your ethics requirements under your LCSW or LMFT licenses. I have read the course and the ethical issues facing CEAPs is very unique and is a must for all of us working in the EAP field. I was astounded by some of the issues. They will certainly test your creativity.

Due to the International conference, we do not have an October meeting, but get ready for our November workshop with Margarita Artavia, LCSW. Learn more about how your cultural background affects how you come across to others. This workshop is limited to the 25 people. Please let us know if you will attend [RSVP by clicking here].

And, as always, get involved with your EAPA chapter. This is your professional and educational organization. We want you involved. I am available to speak with you so please feel free to contact me via email or by phone [866-494-2782] if you wish to learn more or offer your talents and services.

Till November,
Janeen Weiss, President EAPA-LA

September
2009

Every September, I feel like a new season is starting. It’s probably due to remembrances of childhood when we started school after Labor Day and had to get new clothes and discover new teachers and friends. It was also frightening because you had no idea what you were in for.

Well, here at EAPA LA, we know what we’re in for and we want you to join us in it. This September, we have a 3 hour workshop on Imago Therapy, a method to resolve relationship issues. This methodology can be applied in both personal and business settings.

In October, there is no meeting due to the International EAPA conference being held in Dallas. A few of us are already scheduled to go and we would love to have all of you join us. You can find more information on the conference at www.eapassn.org. The topics this year are pertinent to everyone’s work. I will even be attending one of the pre-conference day long workshops on the ethics and issues surrounding online and telephonic counseling.

In both November and December, we meet earlier than the 4th Wednesday of the month due to the holidays. Be on the look out for the date changes. In November, Margarita Artavia, LCSW, from USC, will be conducting a fun workshop on culture diversity. Please bring an object that represents your culture (as long as it’s not the drug culture).

On December 9, we will be having our annual FREE meeting to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the year(s). We will also be having a Best Practices discussion. Bring your difficult cases and get the advice that will assist you – it’s always a favorite. We will also be having some extra goodies to eat and a few raffle giveaways.

Our January Kick Off is already in the works with a fabulous speaker, Dr. Alan Downs.

I would especially like to ask everyone to participate in our organization by becoming a part of one or more committee. Get involved. It’s a great organization with great people. We are currently seeking additions to our Education and Public Relations & Event committees. Contact me directly if you are interested. Support your profession.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP, SAP
EAPA-LA President

 

August
2009

August typically gets quiet with it being the final weeks before the kids go back to school. Lots of people taking their vacations and clogging the highways of California. But, this month has started out rather hectic at my office. Not sure about yours. There have been more calls for financial and legal assistance than ever before, even with all the bailouts. [Of course, we don’t have any bankers calling for help lately.] A few threats of violence coming down the pike that are truly ‘hunters’ and not ‘howlers’.

Recently, we have been privvy to resources from organizations like SHARE that offer a great deal to people (though in a limited geographic area). But, the other day, I discovered that, in general, getting assistance if you are in need is not easily available. Resources are not responding to the calls of those caught in the middle – the under 65 yr olds, not illegals, not low income. I’m referring to a person, say 50, who gets hurt, unexpectedly, in an accident – one day short of their insurance kicking in (yes, one day). She has to go to County for medical and waits over 20 hours with others to get seen. And, then they just want to give her meds and send her home, even though she actually needs emergency surgery. Because of the severity of the injury, she cannot work. She cannot even cook for herself or button her clothes or put on a bra or write. She has to rely on family to help, and they are not readily available. She is in constant pain and on medication.

Being relatively resourceful, she calls resources, i.e., Jewish Family Services, United Way and others to see if there is someone who can at least assist her or bring her a meal as she cannot drive or move due to the pain. No one responds. They take the call, but can do nothing. No one assists. Nobody can help her. If she were 65 or older, she could get assistance. If she had minor children, she would be eligible for untold benefits (even if she could work). If she were an immigrant, she would also have other things available to her. But, as an American, single woman, benefits are not available to her. And, it seems, neither is help from organizations that are there to assist.

This was incredibly disappointing to me as part of our work is linking people with organizations that can assist. But, finding out that the assistance is not given, concerns me. Are we doing our job? Are people getting the assistance they need? I know SHARE does their share and there are many fine organizations working hard to help. However, for those in the middle, the under insured, the singles without a lot of support, the ‘just making it employed’, there may be little if any help. This needs to change.

See you on September 23 at the Thelma McMillen Center.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP, SAP
EAPA-LA President

 

July
2009

BEST PRACTICES IN THE EAP WORLD

Last December, EAPA-LA had its first round table discussion on Best Practices. Individual cases were brought up and attendees received excellent and useful information on handling problem cases from colleagues. This meeting was so significant to attendees that no one wanted to leave and everyone asked for more of these sessions. So, we are honoring your request and making sure you have the best information and advice possible.

This month, on July 22, we will be having our second Best Practices session. I can only tell you that the guidance and recommendations given by our colleagues last year was invaluable. This is one workshop you do not want to miss. You have the chance to bring your specific cases to the round table (more like a rectangle) to get feedback that will enlighten and inform. Our field differs from all others in the therapeutic world, so we need to know the best way to handle EAP matters. There is little supervision on handling EAP cases and less on handling difficult HR/Management matters. Where else can we take these difficult cases to et the guidance we need to perfect our trade? We only have each other.

So, be there on Wednesday, July 22. Bring your cases and be heard. I know that what you have to offer your colleagues is also invaluable. We value you and want you as a part of this terrific organization.

By the way, if you missed the June meeting, you lost out on valuable resources for your clients and even, for yourself. We will try to bring back some of those fabulous speakers for future events.

See you on July 22 at the Thelma McMillen Center.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP, SAP
EAPA-LA President

June
2009

WHAT IS THIS MOMENT WORTH TO YOU?

If you missed the May meeting with John Gaspari, LCSW, the Director of Work and Family Life at USC, you missed learning a lot. Not only did you miss out hearing some of John’s untold personal secrets, but also about what is happening in the workplace with terminating employees – along with the effects these layoffs have on the surviving/remaining employees. John is one of our favorite speakers and always brings insight into any topic.

Speaking of self disclosure, I, personally, had quite a medical scare this month that puts a new perspective on life for me. As someone who has always exercised and eaten right (for the most part), it was a shock to get chest pains that turned into a hospitalization and a stent being put into one of my arteries. I am now, officially, a cardiac patient. Something I thought would never happen to me. But, I’m happy to say that the ‘cardiac incident’ was a blessing in disguise and caught what could have turned into a major heart attack in the future.

After John discussed burnout and all of its consequent symptoms, my realization to de-stress my life a bit and go from my normal Type A to a B+ or B personality got a kick in the hynie: that personality type isn’t something easily changeable. How could I do it? Of course, meditating, going slower – the old standbys. But for me, the most effective way is sort of a CBT approach. Paying more attention to the signals – like when I start to feel overwhelm encroaching, I know I need to stop, breathe and ask myself, ‘what’s important’ at this very moment. What will this stress do for me at this moment? And, as one of our attendees said, ‘accept what is.’ Afterall, I can’t change what is right now, so acceptance of the now is calming in itself. (Good ole 12 step and Buddhism combined.)

In our profession, we want to effect change in others. When we feel we can’t, it often gives rise to stress and frustration. We need to know that we DO effect change, every\time we speak with someone. How great is that! But, what is the change that those conversations effect in us – is it positive and uplifting or stressful and negative.

This is what I am more aware of now in myself. I’ve always tried to pay attention to it, but now coming to grips with the effects negative conversations have on my physiology, my awareness level has increased 10 fold. The norm has changed – I just hope it can stay this way. And I continue to ask myself, ‘What is this moment worth to me?” And what is this moment worth to you?

See you at the June 24th meeting – with all its wonderful and informative moments.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP, SAP
EAPA-LA President

 

May
2009

For those of you who missed the April meeting with Dr. Steve Albrecht you missed out on lots of great information on handling scary situations in the workplace and how to advise management in dealing with these employees. As always, there is so much to learn in our field of being the behavioral health experts in the workplace.

If you missed Steve, he is doing an afternoon presentation for the San Fernando Valley Chapter on May 15 as part of a day-long workshop they are holding. You can check out their website for that information.

On the heels of working in a threatening situation in the workplace, we will be having John Gaspari, LCSW, CEAP speak at the May meeting on a humane way to discharge employees. It’s interesting what has happened in these economic times. I have found that many companies are using this economy as an excuse to get rid of employees. They pressure them; make long time and valued employees obey policies and procedures that have never been enforced. Suddenly, any violation is grounds for dismissal and a legal reason to not pay unemployment compensation or any other dividends. Instead of becoming more compassionate, the termination process has become more brutal.

People are shunted out of the office and told their personal items will be shipped to them. They don’t even get to say good bye to their colleagues. Steve Albrecht discussed giving ‘lovely parting gifts’ to certain employees so they will not return and do harm. But, it seems companies have forgotten how to treat those loyal employees who do not intend to do any harm with compassion and caring – or decent parting gifts for that matter. Might that result in more employees intent on doing harm – or at least becoming Howlers?

At this month’s meeting, let us have an intense and caring discussion of ways to move management into a more compassionate place when it comes to terminations . It pays dividends for everyone – for the workplace, for the individual and for society at large.

See you on May 27.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP, SAP
EAPA-LA President

 

April
2009

VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE AND EAPs

In our special 3 hour workshop this month we will be doing breakout groups on how to handle violent situations in the workplace. Here are some basic facts on this issue to prepare you for this advanced practicum.

A basic definition of workplace violence: Any act of physical violence, threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. Workplace violence can affect or involve employees, visitors, contractors, and others at the work site.

In a 1993 article by Joseph Kinney and Dennis Johnson, the phenomenon of violence in the workplace has emerged only since the mid-1980s, but its increase now threatens the safety of the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control declared workplace homicide to be a serious public health problem in 1992. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the United States experienced 750 workplace homicides a year. That was 1992. What about today? It appears fatalities in this area are decreasing while there may be an increase in workplace aggression, with domestic violence issues predominating. (see the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence and/or the CDC 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey.)

Violence in the workplace is a serious safety and health issue. Its most extreme form, homicide, is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), there were 564 workplace homicides in 2005 in the United States, out of a total of 5,702 fatal work injuries. (Journal of Management, Vol. 24, No. 3, 391-419 (1998))

Contrary to the impression generated by an increasing number of news reports in the past several years, the occurrence of workplace violence and extreme acts of aggression involving direct physical assault represents a relatively rare event in work settings. However, workplace aggression--efforts by individuals to harm others with whom they work or have worked---are much more prevalent and may prove extremely damaging to individuals and organizations. These studies are separating violence from aggression – not something all companies do.

This information would indicate that workplace violence has actually decreased since 1992. I would entertain that this could be due to greater awareness and vigilance on the part of employers and the advent of EAP involvement in this arena. Since most Fortune 500/1000 companies have EAPs either internal or external now (that number continues to grow), there has become a greater awareness on the part of all business that have resulted in workplace violence policies. There are now threat assessment teams/risk management. EAPs have played a great part in increasing attentiveness to this problem in the workplace and EAP involvement is part and parcel of all risk teams.

Domestic violence issues in the workplace will be the next arena for EAPs to attend to. Few companies have policies specifically on this and the cost is great: 70 billion dollars a year cost to business - $64.4 billion due to lost productivity with the remaining $5.6 billion spent on medical care.

People are deeply concerned today that due to the massive layoffs and economic downturn, workplace violence may increase. While it has not been shown to be true, the possibility is important for EAP providers. We need to be armed with the knowledge, skills and ability to defuse angry employees and assist management in what to do when confronted with a possibly volatile situation. Our April meeting is targeted to help you learn these very skills.

If you would like more information on current trends in workplace violence issues, I direct you to the OSHA website The USDA Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention and Response – which specifically mentions EAPs and their positive role, as well as the Tips for managers section on the EAPASSN.org site (though this is after a critical event occurs).

See you on April 22.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP, SAP
EAPA-LA President

March
2009

HELPING EACH OTHER

This year is certainly one filled with change, both professionally and personally. We have a new US President (and a new EAPA-LA President), a rapidly changing economy and continuous alterations in much of the old familiar ways of doing things in this country. Because of these changes, EAP professionals may find themselves facing new challenges as well. How do we deal with our own economic situation while counseling our clients with theirs? Are we reactivated by issues our clients bring us which may affect the way we can best serve them?

With all the current changes facing us, I would like to make sure that EAPA-LA is taking care of its own members and being there for your needs too. (Sorry, it does not mean sending you money.) Our calendar this year is filled with top notch speakers to enhance your skill set. And, we have started our round table discussions where you can bring your cases and gain insight into ways to address problems. Last December, at our first round table, I was extremely impressed with the quality of input that our members gave each other. Everyone walked out of that meeting raving and wanting more. So, in response to our members’ needs, we will be having Round Table supervision twice this year – in July and again in December. Bring your troublesome cases for enlightening input.

In addition to those two dates, we want our members to know that you can call on each other if you have any questions or needs. If you are in private practice, you may find yourself rather isolated. EAP is a specialized field and we need each others’ support and insight. It is invaluable. I want you to know that the Board and the membership are here for each other, as colleagues, friends and EAP professionals. I look forward to getting to know each of you and finding out where, we, EAPA-LA, can best serve you. Feel free to contact me at anytime. Bring us your ideas too and be a part of this terrific organization.

See you at the monthly meetings.

Janeen Weiss, LCSW, CEAP, SAP
EAPA-LA President

   

 
 

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