Solution-Focused Counseling

Solution Focused Counseling

Work/Life Connections-EAP counselors serve as "travel agents for psychological support services."

Faculty and staff come to the Work/Life Connections-EAP for a wide range of reasons, both personal and workplace related.

The WLC-EAP counselor initially meets with you for an hour. During your first session, you will complete some paperwork and then meet with a counselor to discuss why you are seeking assistance and to determine how WLC-EAP can be of the most help. During the initial assessment you will be asked to share information about the problem for which you are seeking help and some background information. Options will then be discussed for addressing your issues. These options might include additional sessions with the WLC-EAP counselor or a referral to a provider in the community who specializes in your concerns. In most cases, WLC-EAP will schedule your initial appointment on the same day or next business day of your phone call, unless there is a specific counselor or appointment time you need.


Confidentiality is critical in the success of the counseling relationship. Our counselors are legally required to maintain the confidentiality of client information. Confidential requirements are subject to State mandatory reporting issues. Information concerning your use of Work/Life Connections-EAP are not part of your personnel record or recorded in StarPanel medical record. Records are kept in the Work/Life Connections-EAP office and protected according to confidentiality protocols.

Your counselor will not share information with any persons outside of the Work/Life Connections-EAP without your permission, except as required by law. Generally, legal rules do not require a release of such private information except where life or safety is seriously threatened. However, the following situations are the exceptions:

  • If, in the professional opinion of the counselor, the client is actively homicidal or suicidal, Work/Life Connections-EAP has a duty to warn/intervene.
  • If, in the professional opinion of the counselor, the client possibly poses a threat to the health and safety of patients, students, customers or co-workers, resulting from an emotional illness or substance use, Work/Life Connections-EAP has a duty to intervene/protect.
  • In situations of child or domestic abuse, the law requires reportage to appropriate authorities.
  • If there is suspected fraud or abuse, Work/Life Connections-EAP, in accordance with The Legal Compliance and Integrity Plan, is required to report to the Corporate Compliance Department.
  • The individual signs as release of information.

The Work/Life Connections-EAP Clinical Team may review the clinical components of a case. In rare cases, audits of the program may be conducted, but the auditors also bound to confidentiality.

Making an Appointment:

The first step in accessing services is to call us at 936-1327 and we can set up a confidential appointment with one of the Work/Life Connections-EAP counselors. The receptionist may ask you a few questions to help us determine the best counselor match to assist you with your concern.

What to Expect:

During the first visit with the Work/Life Connections-EAP counselor, you will be asked to complete some intake forms and inventories. The counselor will gather some information from you to aid in an assessment and the formation of a plan for treatment. You and your counselor will discuss the issues you are concerned about. At the end of the session, the counselor will make recommendations about the most appropriate steps to be taken to address your situation.

The initial session at Work/Life Connections-EAP usually requires one hour. If the counselor feels the problem can be resolved within the few sessions, you may agree to continue to work on the problem with your counselor. If it is determined that additional expertise or more extensive treatment is needed, the counselor will give you three referrals for professionals or programs within the community who specialize in the area specific to your needs.

Referral Types:

There are two kind categories of referrals to Work/Life Connections-EAP:

  1. Voluntary Referral: The majority of faculty and staff seek assistance from Work/Life Connections-EAP on their own to work toward a solution to a concern. It is between the employee and the counslor. No one will is notified of the individual's use of the Program unless the individual requests it and signs a release of information except as noted in the statement of understanding outlining the terms of client confidentiality.
  2. Mandatory Referral: If an employee contacts Work/Life Connections-EAP as the result of a supervisory requirement, the supervisor will be asked to clarify the reason for the referral, goals, expectations, and potential consequences for non-participation. With the client's permission the supervisor would be notified that the employee has kept the appointment and whether their participation is satisfactory or not satisfactory.

The match between a therapist and the client is the most important predictor of a good outcome. The Work/Life Connections-EAP counselor may suggest a referral to a community mental health provider who has an expertise in dealing with your specific issues and practices in a location that is acceptable given your specific circumstances. The counselor will give 3 referral suggestions. The client is responsible for the payment when seeing a community provider however; the Vanderbilt insurance may cover a portion of this in accordance with the plan.

For benefits eligible faculty and staff members, Vanderbilt provides choices between health plans that include mental health coverage.