It is beneficial to identify the emotional and problem areas best suited to both forms of counselling and what skills and qualities go to make good long- and short-term counsellors. We are then more likely to make appropriate referrals, deal more effectively with our client work, whilst being congruent in our approach.
As a counselling supervisor I see supervisees whose counselling talents, attitudes and philosophy towards counselling fall more readily in either short- or long-term counselling. However, some are trying to work in a way which goes against, rather than with, those talents.
Like anything else in the counselling world, EAPs which are synonymous with time-limited counselling have their limitations, yet they also contribute towards improving the quality of life for many people – in particular people who might not normally have access to or use counselling services. There is many a person who carries a positive message about counselling into the world because of the help received through an EAP and many who have gone on to other forms of counselling because of this experience.
Some might see EAPs as a political tool to keep the masses adjusted to their oppression. However, I see EAPs as one way of providing the opportunity for people to ease their immediate distress. Once such distress has been relieved a space is created which allows the individual to consider the wider implications of subjects such as oppression. I know from my own experience I am less likely to care about society, politics and the world in general if I am in emotional pain. It is the same for many of the clients with whom I work.
EAPs may not be perfect but good providers seek to improve the quality and effectiveness of their services.