December 15, 2019

Check out our article in the next Journal of Employee Assistance, first quarter 2020! Here is a brief overview.

The frequency of mass shootings is increasing.  Each incident does not just impact one EAP client, as many other critical incidents or disruptive events do, but come with such potency to employees and organizations that the ripple affects are more widespread;  often moving beyond local communities, to reactions felt across the country. EAP’s are being recognized as a critical employer/employee resource and partner to successfully navigate the crisis, restore safety and return to normal operations.  The work demanded of EAPs challenge their own resilience where internal operations succeed through grit and perseverance all while maintaining a quality of excellence over their entire book of business.  What is within our control when providing EAP CIR, is prevention and preparedness. Making sure all our moving parts are in sync with up to date training in CIR consistent with the E...

November 15, 2019

All we can do is keep at it.  According to the Violence Project who have studied every mass shooting incident since 1966, Active Shooters have 4 common elements:  1. Early childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age; 2. An identifiable grievance or crisis point; 3. Validation for their belief system, have studied past shootings to find inspiration; 4. the means to carry out the attack.  All of these items can be addressed. Specifically, Number 2 by EAPs who promote and engage in preventative planning with their organizational clients. "Grievance and crisis points" can occur in workplaces and according to the Department of Homeland Security, most commonly around organizational change. In fact, the DOH cites in its 2015 Interagency Security Committee the value of an active, well-known EAP presence towards its workplace violence prevention initiatives.  EAPs are subject matter experts and should be involved when planning before, during, and after these situational events. Ove...

Still, a very fresh memory.

In response to the Sandy Hook shooting, I received a call from an EAP call center to check my availability to provide onsite EAP CIR.  During the description of the incident, the counselor broke down into tears. He apologized repeatedly while he tried to get through the discussion. I listened, assured him it was ok and normalized his reactions. He said they have been getting so many calls about this. I asked him if he needed to take them all or if he could take a break from them. His response was "I'll be alright", cleared his throat and changed the topic back onto the case to finish the referral. Now I was in tears.

One call, one moment. Sometimes intense, sometimes routine, but they always come. We all have a story.

We have to take care of our own.  All this work we are providing for others. The calls we take on a daily, sometimes hourly, even on a back to back basis will take its toll.  The things we see, the way we experience them in the aftermath of an inc...

January 11, 2019

Robert Douglas and Associates (RDA) is excited to release its new trainings for 2019 and beyond, in EAP Critical Incident Response. Its been over 5 years since the release of MSRA, and we've learned a few more things...

The Resilience Continuum 

Expanding the Multi-Systemic Resiliency Approach

MSRA focused on an onsite, EAP crisis intervention approach operationalizing the power of resilience. In its release over 5 years ago, MSRA has become a top CIR approach within the EAP community.

Let’s do better. We optimize our interventions, by elevating the value of pre-incident partnership with our EAP organizational clients and support greater flexibility and adaptability of their employee base. While these two attributes are key sources of strength in bouncing forward through any adversity, they are particularly helpful in maximizing an onsite, CIR effort.

We also have to ask ourselves, what can EAPs do to help employees and organizations sustain resilient outcomes? What is our post-incident rol...

In today’s political climate, critical incidents have brought upon discussions beyond the traditional focus on psychological and emotional impact. The passionate debate on gun regulation in response to mass shootings as witnessed by the recent Parkland HS shootings in FL, organizations being shaken up by sexual harassment claims, and the use of government funding and allocation of resources for natural disasters, have all entered the EAP CIR environment. These emotionally charged issues are relevant and have the power to change or solidify one’s belief system.  As a responder helping employees with their reactions, your views, beliefs, and morality may be tested and will have to be managed so that it does not affect your judgement in responding to clients.  This is not a new concern. Acts of violence from homegrown terrorism aimed at abortion clinics, environment, religion, etc., have raised our awareness of the need to be impartial despite our personal beliefs. It is our ethical respo...

Request for EAP CIR after a sexual harassment allegations, claims, investigations and subsequent job actions, like termination, of high level employees have been increasing. The sudden exposure and exit of executive leadership and public figures have stunned institutions, colleagues and the general public. What is usually investigated internally and as confidentially as possible, the #MeToo movement has ripped open the curtain and news has rippled down through the ranks creating internal shake ups, policy review, and cultural awakening. EAPs have been asked to send onsite counselors to provide services.

Sexual harassment issues are not new to EAPs. Counselors often work with employees who are sorting out their options on how to proceed when they believe they were subject to harassment. EAPs receive referrals from Human Resource professionals when allegations are made, claims substantiated, and may be involved with sensitivity trainings. It can be a delicate and complex process when, as...

October 13, 2017

Recent events like the hurricanes, earthquakes, shootings, and fires go beyond just providing primary crisis intervention response services, but additional services beyond initial response. Such impactful events require a Psychological First Aid approach initially, which promotes safety and access to concrete physical and psychological resources. Our work, however, is not done. While we have helped to restore a sense of safety, what’s next?

Like we have seen with Hurricane Sandy, shootings in San Bernardino, Newtown CT, Tucson AZ, Orlando, FL and events of 9/11 and Oklahoma City, amongst others, organizational and employee needs do not end when we go home from our onsite services. Now that they are safe, how can we assist them in moving forward.  While the Multi-Systemic Resiliency Approach addresses this, consider follow-up trainings focused on post incident resilience building.  This is a didactic training 1-4 weeks post initial onsite services.  This is a time where employees and org...

Leadership on the Management Consultation (MC) phone call get the opportunity to talk about the incident, and improve emotional regulation which puts them in a better position to lead having had the chance to gain support and empowerment from the EAP and colleagues. Knowing that a strong source of employee resilience comes from the interaction of leadership, how they conduct themselves post critical incident is key. Discussing these strategies is part of the MC and an important reason why they need to be on the call.

Getting leadership to the table to participate in the MC after a critical incident is often argued from the point of the need for assessment information. While this

remains to be true, very often the organizational contact’s primary task is to engage the EAP to send out a crisis responder(s). In addition, they may have little information about the actual incident and its impact. When this is learned, the management consultation becomes more of an order fulfillment process....

September 13, 2016

The EAP CIR A Multi-Systemic Resiliency Approach book has been released in Japan! JEAP Peacemind Inc., Japan’s leading EAP provider, teamed up with author Robert Intveld to create a Japanese translated edition.  This edition is not only translated in language, but with the necessary additions to meet the needs of Japan’s workplace culture. Leading the translating efforts were Ayumi Nishikawa and Kaoru Ichikawa of JEAP Peacemind. Together they coordinated a team of University and Mental Health Professionals across Japan with the task of translation. Speaking on behalf of the year long project, Ayumi NIshikawa, President of JEAP Peacemind, stated that 90% of the book was relevant and similar in addressing American and Japanese workplaces. Additional information was added to address some of the cultural nuance relevant to resiliency building.

The impact from any critical incident occurring anywhere is based on one’s interpretation of the incident’s threat upon themselves and/or significant...

Responding to acts of terror that create mass casualties and draw great amounts of media attention, place a strain and drain on EAP resources. We rely on our local response networks to provide primary and secondary EAP CIR.  There is a great demand on a limited supply of trained responders. Every EAP and crisis response vendor is calling into the area to secure providers for their EAP clients. Some do this as soon as the incident hits the news by asking providers to be on stand-by and make themselves available for extended hours and return services if needed.  Others, do not do anything until the call from the EAP client comes in and by then, they are playing catch up. They must now scramble to find providers.  What do you think happens when we exhaust this supply? Two things- the rate of secondary trauma is likely to increase due to increased fatigue levels of responders willing to keep on going, and/or second, untrained professionals are added to the mix.

It is not unusual f...

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