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Counseling | Training | Assistance for Managers | Emergency Intervention


The EAP will provide up to six sessions (per person, per problem) of individual, couples or family counseling with a licensed, mental health professional almost anywhere in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii or the Caribbean, but is not provided at overseas locations. EAP counseling is available to all DEA Employees,their spouses, children under the age of 27, or any child who is dependent for medical reasons on their employee parent.

Counseling with an EAP Clinician

May include one or more of the following:

  • Problem Assessment
  • Diagnostic Evaluation
  • Treatment Planning
  • Short-term Counseling
  • Identification of other DEA or Community Resources
  • Specialty Referral
  • Follow-up or Post-Referral Monitoring

How Does Counseling Help ?

Most people who seek professional assistance are healthy, well-adjusted people trying to deal with a “new problem” in their lives or get a fresh perspective on a long-standing issue. The goals of each person’s EAP counseling sessions are mutually determined by the client and counselor and are as varied as the problems they are experiencing. There are, however, there are some universal ways that counseling can be helpful.

EAP Counseling Can Help You To ...

  • Identify sources of distress.
    (“What is making me feel this way?”)

  • Determine if your problem is serious.
    (“Should I be concerned?”)

  • Problem-solve with a trained, licensed expert.
    (”What can I do about it?”)

  • Get things “off your chest”.
    (Which makes us feel better even when problems are not immediately resolvable.)

  • “Normalize” troubling (though not serious) sources of distress.
    (“Is it normal to feel this way?”)

  • Receive confidential, objective feedback.
    (Without being judged or risking your privacy.)

  • Identify additional resources to address your specific needs.
    (When EAP services are not enough to fix the problem.)

  • Follow-up as the situation changes.
    (With someone who knows you and your concerns.)

For more information on “EAP Counseling” or other related issues click on the "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)" link here.

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A Central Goal …

Of DEA's Employee Assistance Program is the prevention and resolution of problems through education. Each year the EAP provides over 400 workshops on more than 15 different topics with the goals of…

(1) Preventing problems before they start,

(2) Resolving early stage problems before get larger, and

(3) Explaining how to use EAP Counseling and Referral Resources when (1) and (2) are not possible.

The EAP strives to give trainings at all non-overseas DEA facilities with more than 10 Employee's on topics and at intervals mutually determined by the Division/Lab/Office Executives and EAP. Trainings are conducted by local EAP Area Clinicians or EAP Trainers with special expertise in a particular topical area. All EAP Trainers are evaluated after each presentation by workshop attendees.

Core Trainings …

There are five (5) workshops that the EAP considers to be essential for presentation at each DEA facility every 1-2 years. They are:

  • "Employee Orientation" An EAP overview geared toward DEA employees and commonly asked questions about the agency's Employee Assistance Program.

  • "Supervisory Training" An EAP orientation for DEA Supervisors which includes instruction on identifying employee problems, EAP consultation and Program referral procedures.

  • "Suicide Prevention" An overview of the motivations behind suicide and simple techniques each person can use to identify and intervene with individuals who may be suicidal.

  • "Critical Incident Stress" An overview of human reactions to trauma and DEA protocol and resources for responding to operational and personal traumatic incidents.

  • "Conflict Resolution" An overview of the nature and reasons behind workplace conflicts and techniques to diffuse disagreements and create "win-win" outcomes.

Supplemental Trainings …

Each year, additional Elective Trainings may selected by the EAP Administrator for presentation to DEA employees from the EAP's catalog of 31 curricula. As with Core Trainings, topics and training schedules must be approved by Division/Lab/Office Executives. These Electives include workshops such as:

  • "Stress Management"
  • "Workplace Survival"
  • "Coping with Change"
  • "Effective Workplace Communication"
  • "Team Building"
  • (And 20 additional topics)

Specialty Curricula and By-Request Presentations …

At the request of DEA Executives, the EAP can create special topic presentations for Management Conferences, special Schools or Meetings or to address specific Office issues of concern. Requests should be made directly to the EAP Administrator at (202) 307-8160.

Office of Training Curricula …

Each year the EAP Headquarters Staff provides between 30 and 50 Trainings to over 1000 personnel in different Classes at the DEA Training Academy at Quantico, Virginia. These audiences include:

  • All Basic Agents, Diversion Investigators, Intelligence Analysts and Chemists
  • Counselors for each "Basic" Core Profession Class
  • Group Supervisors

Trauma Team Member Training …

Trauma Team Members (TTMs) are DEA Special Agents who provide on-scene support of trauma victims. Each year (budget permitting), the EAP provides either Refresher Training to existing TTMs or Certification Training to train new TTM nominees. The latter provides 72 hours of specialized instruction in two, one week blocks covering human response to trauma, core elements of victim assistance and the EAP's Trauma Response procedures and Protocols. Agents interested in becoming TTMs should inform their SAC or Office head who can nominate them for training when slots become available.

For Question About EAP Core and Supplemental Trainings …

Please contact the EAP contract Management Analyst at 800-275-7460.

For All Other EAP Training Questions …

Please contact the EAP Administrator or EAP Specialist at 202-307-8160.

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Referring Employees to the EAP

DEA’s Managers are in a unique position to assist their Employees when problems occur. Because they closely observe the same people over extended periods of time, they are often the first to see signs of personal problems; usually as emotional distress, a decline in performance and/or misconduct. Early identification of, and intervention with, Employee problems by a concerned manager can do much to minimize their severity, duration and vocational impact. Should a DEA Manager notice a significant and/or prolonged negative change in a subordinate Employee, a referral to the Employee Assistance Program should be considered as an option.

Informal EAP Referrals …

An “Informal EAP Referral” is a “supportive suggestion” to an Employee from their Supervisor that they believe the services of the Employee Assistance Program could be of benefit in improving or resolving problems that may underlie observed distress or performance/conduct issues. An Informal Referral is appropriate when a DEA Supervisor is “concerned” about an Employee’s well-being, but has not observed significant distress or disruption in their on-the-job performance and/or conduct.

An Informal Referral should be conducted in private. The manager should express their concerns for Employee’s welfare, provide EAP contact information and suggest they call the Program for assistance. The EAP may not acknowledge Employee contact or Program participation and the Employee has no obligation to inform the Supervisor of EAP use or progress.

Formal EAP Referrals …

A “Formal Supervisory Referral” to the Employee Assistance Program is appropriate whenever a DEA Supervisor is “concerned” about an Employee’s well-being, and has observed significant emotional distress and/or substantial degradation in their on-the-job performance and/or conduct. The Supervisor should detail specific, observed deficits in an Employee’s performance and/or conduct and strongly suggest EAP utilization before their employment status with the agency is negatively impacted.

There are several component steps involved in making a “Formal EAP Referral”:

1. Consultation with the EAP regarding the performances and/or conduct issues observed, their possible causes and the options available to help the Employee.

2. A formal Memorandum, chronologically organized to detail each specific incident of performance and/or conduct deficiency and/or incidents in which emotional distress impaired their performance and/or conduct.

3. A conference with the Employee to express concern, review the Memo, request change, and strongly suggest EAP utilization.

4. EAP authorization by the Employee to inform their Supervisor of their EAP contact, participation and progress.

5. A collaboration among the Employee, EAP Clinician and(possibly) the DEA Supervisor to resolve the issues raised in the Memo and improve the targeted performance and/or conduct.

It is important to remember that regardless of the type of referral, no Employee may be forced to go to the EAP. If a Formal Referral is made but the Employee refuses EAP participation or to allow their Supervisor knowledge of their EAP participation, the Formal Referral process is ended and other means will be suggested to address the Supervisor’s concerns.

DEA Supervisors who desire assistance in making referrals to the DEA’s Employee Assistance Program, should contact the EAP Administrator or EAP Specialist at DEA Headquarters at 202-307-8160.

EAP Management Consultation

When Employee problems arise, it is generally the DEA Supervisor who first notices the deficit and who is expected to intervene successfully to address the problems before they adversely impact performance. While most Employee problems are successfully and sensitively managed by DEA’s Supervisors, there are times when the complexity, dangerousness and/or severity of such problems suggest that professional mental health consultation should be considered. In such situations in addition to always discussing it with one’s Supervisor, DEA Manager should consider consultation with the Employee Assistance Program Headquarter’s staff or Divisional Area Clinicians.

When to Consult …

EAP Consultation gives DEA Supervisors assistance with the identification, management and/or referral of Employees when they have problems, but before they become serious liabilities for the Employee, Supervisor or the DEA. Even if a DEA Supervisor is currently counseling an Employee themselves, EAP Consultation should be considered when:

    • The Employee’s problems do not improve.
    • The Supervisor feels overwhelmed or uncomfortable in supporting the Employee
    • The Employee’s dangerousness to self or to others is in question.
    • The Employee’s judgment, ability to perform, stress tolerance, and/or reality contact are in question.
    • The initial problem improves, but similar problems reoccur in new circumstances.

How to Consult …

EAP Management Consultation is a free, unlimited service available to all DEA Supervisors. The EAP Administrator and EAP Specialist at Headquarters are available for world-wide consultation during normal duty hours at 202-307-8160. Divisional Area Clinicians may be contacted directly for consultation. To find the name and number of your local Area Clinician, Click on the link here and go to the “Area Clinician Roster”.

Organization Development

Like families, work units (Operational Groups, Sections, Labs, Task Forces, etc) can become dysfunctional and fail to function as productive, DEA components. When this occurs, one approach to problem assessment and resolution is an EAP service called Organizational Development (OD for short).

In OD, EAP Clinicians perform on-site assessment of the issues preventing the organizational unit from being successful. The OD perspective views individuals as important, but not as important as the dynamics, morale and interactive habits of the unit as a whole. A structured Organizational Assessment is undertaken and findings presented to the Executives, Manager(s) and Employees in turn. Group-based “Organizational Interventions” are utilized to collectively resolve the identified problems. Interventions are conducted on site and at prescheduled intervals. The entire process can last from 3-12 months.

OD is a highly specialized, time-intensive service that must be requested through the SAC (or equivalent Executive). OD is subject to the approval of the EAP Administrator and availability of resources.

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The DEA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has been organized to provide emergency consultation to DEA Supervisors, Employees and family members and supportive response to victims of traumatic incidents 24 hours a day.

  • A toll-free “EAP HelpLine” is available any time of the day or night at 1-800-275-7460 for emergency consultation.
  • All EAP Area Clinicians are required to provide emergency contact information to their DEA Clients. Should an EAP Client experience a personal emergency, their Clinician may be consulted after hours at that number.
  • When an Operational Traumatic Incident occurs, the EAP immediately dispatches specially trained Agents (Trauma Team Members) who provide on-site assessment and victim support. Within 48 hours, EAP Area Clinicians provide Clinical Briefings to victims and those close to victims who would like that service.
  • When a Non-operational Traumatic Incident occurs, the services of Trauma Team Members and EAP Clinicians are available to EAP eligible employees and family member victims on a “by-request” basis.
  • In emergency situations, the EAP Headquarter’s Staff may be reached for any time of the day or night by calling the DEA Command Center at 202-307-4228.

For more information on emergency access to EAP resources click on the "In Case of Emergency" Link here.

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