Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are offered by employers to assist employees who are experiencing problems that are causing some measure of life distress, and which may or may not impact work performance. EAP services are typically characterized by being a short-term, solution-focused process, with an emphasis on assessment, and appropriate referral, if necessary.


While EAP services are usually initiated by the employee seeking assistance, another way that EAP services may be utilized is as an employer-mandated referral, in which the employer requires that an employee attend EAP sessions as recommended, because of an identified issue that has had a recognized effect on work performance. The most frequent example of this type of referral is one that occurs in response to an employee testing positive for a controlled substance on a random urinalysis. In these instances, it is understood that the therapist is to provide recommendations to the employer, as well as assistance to the employee.