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EAP CIR MSRA Book Reviewed

Since the EAP CIR MSRA workshops release in 2013 and the book's release in 2015, EAPs and the professionals that deliver EAP services, are learning the Multi-Systemic Resiliency Approach. The evolution is underway. What this means is that EAPs are not just talking about resilience and getting comfortable with its terminology, EAPs are putting it into practice. EAPs are receiving the necessary training in how to operationalize resilience and it's been a full court press. If you work with EAPs and have not taken the time to advance your learning, make it a goal for 2016. Providing a CISD when a Resiliency Group is recommended, will not do.

RDA has been the central source for live workshops, online training, coaching, customized staff trainings, conferences, website resources, email blasts and the book. Its resilience response focus has penetrated the natural resistance to new ideas and has been accepted. We haven't reached everyone and some are moving faster than others, but those who are embracing it, want more.

Since the books release, the feedback has been very positive. It has confirmed and validated what many had been thinking about CIR. It brought the information home to the world of EAP that other response approaches missed or did not find relevant to their mission. Most importantly, it encouraged how to look through the lens of resilience when addressing an impacted site. The book will soon be released in Japan with interest from China.

No matter where you are in your experience as a professional delivering EAP CIR services, the book should be part of your resources and if you are unsure of its value, here are some comments and excerpts from the latest professional review.

The Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health has published a critical review of the book, EAP CIR- A Multi-Systemic Resiliency Approach. JWBH identifies itself as an essential guide to best practice and research issues faced by EAP professionals who deal with work-related and personal issues including workplace and family wellness, employee benefits, and organizational development. It is a peer reviewed journal maintaining a Who's Who in EAP and Behavioral Health as it editorial staff.

The review was authored by Gary DeFraia, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University. Dr. DeFraia served as a Director at Magellan Health Services for 30 years, overseeing organizational development, EAPs, Behavioral Health Services and directing military PTSD programs. Presentations and publications address critical incident response, workplace behavioral health, disaster mental health, organizational resilience, military mental health, and practice-based research ( In addition, Dr. DeFraia recently provided a keynote presentation at the Critical Incident Response Summit held adjunct to the 2015 Employee Assistance Professional Association's National Conference in San Diego. It was titled, EAP-Based CIR: Organizational Outcomes Following Disruptive Events.

The review cites the book's emergence into the field to be “as timely as it is relevant” to the current EAP 's focus on CIR; that it successfully delivers a practical skill based training manual, and delivers on the central message of facilitating response through the natural occurring sources of resilience.

Dr. DeFraia provided some historical context to the evolution of CIR in EAP, followed by critiquing each chapter. Some recommendations for enhancements include adding a discussion of pre-incident training for employees as a source to bolster resilience, considering the risks of large scale specialization and departmentalization of CIR functions for discontinuity of response strategy and additional considerations for self-care.I found his comments insightful and relevant to include in the Second Edition.

Dr. De Fraia closed this review by recommending the book, citing:

"This work is recommended reading for EAP-based CIR practitioners, EAP executives, program and account managers, critical incident call center staff, and EAP CIR network management departments within large external EAPs."

I invite your comments to this article.

The full article can be found at:

Gary S. DeFraia PhD (2016) EAP critical incident response: A multi-systemic

resiliency approach, by R. D. Intveld, Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 31:1, 57-62

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