EAP Offers New Web-Based Therapy
(This article first appeared in the May-June 2016 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CCBT) is the newest addition to the bank of confidential Employees Assistance Program (EAP) services that are available to postal employees and their families through Magellan Health (MH), the program’s national service provider. The new, free, web-based therapy program is accessible day or night from any device that can connect to the Internet.
CCBT is different than traditional “talk therapy” counseling services. It is a self-directed therapy that focuses on “here and now” problems to help individuals improve their state of mind.
CCBT helps make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts so it is easier to recognize how they are connected and affect us. How we view a problem can affect how we feel physically and emotionally, which can influence how we act. Likewise, how we behave can govern what we think and how we feel.
There are healthy and unhealthy ways to react to most situations. Individuals who take advantage of CCBT will be asked to input non-identifiable personal data that will help distinguish patterns of thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and actions. CCBT users will learn to assess what is healthy or unhealthy, realistic or unrealistic, and discover how to change negative patterns to improve how they feel while using program resources in a private, convenient setting.
There are currently five categories built into the EAP web-based therapy program that are linked to 80 percent of all mental health issues. They include anxiety, phobias and panic attacks; insomnia and sleep problems; mild to moderate depression; alcohol and substance abuse, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Therapy is offered in modules that permit participants to progress at their own pace. Users first receive an initial screening and are given an overview that helps them understand the problem and the CCBT approach. Terms and expectations are explained. Goals are set and an interactive review is conducted. From there therapy begins. The number of sessions varies based on the chosen course.
Success of the program is evident. According to a report published by MH in July 2014, symptoms of CCBT users are reduced between 52 percent and 80 percent, depending on the category. The software has been recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a federal agency charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services in order to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
This is a great resource for anyone who is struggling with or thinks they may be suffering from difficulties associated with mental health issues. CCBT can be particularly useful to individuals who live in rural areas that have limited access to EAP professionals or affiliate services, who prefer not to combat traffic in densely populated cities, or who don’t have access to help with childcare or eldercare.
CCBT can reach people who are unwilling to participate in traditional counseling sessions or who aren’t comfortable talking to others about their personal circumstances. It allows individuals to “test the waters” and can potentially lead them to seek other EAP Services.
We are particularly excited that retirees who are otherwise barred from seeking services from EAP counselors or program affiliates after their postal careers end will be able to utilize CCBT as an enhancement to other EAP web-based resources.
To try CCBT, visit EAP4you.com and link to “Web-Based Care” under the Benefits tab on the toolbar. Registration is not required but it is encouraged to customize the program, track personal progress, access select online tools, and save session information. Users who opt to register cannot be identified. They simply create a unique user name and password, indicate their gender, birth date and answer a security question.
Change negative patterns to improve the way you feel.