Supporting Internships

Are you looking to increase utilization of your services without the added cost of extra staff?

Do you need to know latest changes in the field regarding best practice vs. theory?

Do you want to give back to your field in a meaningful way?

Do you need to implement various aspects of your EA services but, haven’t had time?

Great! Then you’re ready to join our growing list of Employee Assistance provider agencies that have already discovered professional student interns!


Common Tasks Performed by EA Interns

  • Conduct Intakes & Clinical Assessments
  • Provide Individual Counseling
  • Conduct Mediation Sessions
  • Assist with Conducting CISDs
  • Conduct Professional & Psychoeducational Trainings
  • Analyze Statistical Information Regarding Utilization of Services, Outcomes, etc.
  • Provide Staff Development to Current EA Staff Regarding Latest Changes in the Field
  • Assist with Policy Development & Changes As Needed
  • Assess for Alcohol & Other Drug Use Disorders
  • Consult with Community Agencies
  • Case Management & Referral
  • Assist with Scheduling of Clients


There is a lack of professionals entering the EAP field. As a state professional association, we believe it is imperative to continue to encourage and mentor new professionals when entering this specialty area.

We are no longer in the day of interns being a negative word (consider the medical field’s resident doctors). Interns have a wealth of information that will aid companies and employees in increasing job satisfaction and productivity.  Find out how to integrate internships into your business or organization by using the model below:

Facts for EA Companies:

  • Universities provide internship guidelines that are carried out at the University and EAP therefore, you don’t have to recreate the wheel.
  • Most are open to accepting unpaid internship opportunities while gaining valuable, practical experience in their chosen field(s).
  • There are criteria under which students or individuals can work in “for-profit,” private sector internships or training programs without compensation (these guidelines are provided by the Dept. of Labor).


Advantages of EA Interns:

  • Interns have the most recent and cutting edge information from the field.
  • Opportunity for the company to receive support in the workplace when budgets don’t allow for new hires.
  • Maintain profit margins while keeping up with growing service utilization.
  • Train and mold individuals for a position in one’s company if company has job openings or anticipated job openings.
  • Network and collaborate with a University which is another community resource for the company (such as free CEU’s for workshops hosted by the school and access to the schools’ online research journals).
  • Give back to the field of EAP and the local community.


First Steps:

  • Commit to training EA interns as they operate within your company
  • Meet with EAP Intern to determine if is a good fit for company or organization
  • Identify the onsite supervisor who will be able to meet with the EAP Intern at least 1 hour a week to: staff cases, discuss professional development needs and company protocol.
  • Secure confidential space in which to work with EA clients
  • Ensure onsite supervisor meets minimum requirements in order to supervise students. Most graduate programs require a minimum of 2 years as a licensed counselor, social worker, or psychologist. This may differ for Human Resource professionals and students from other business backgrounds.
  • Ensure EAP Intern is able to carry out various EAP responsibilities as required by the university and needed by the company
  • Ensure both company and intern understand the University’s internship educational requirements, including the number of hours to be completed for internship


Once Intern is Onsite:

  • Provide orientation for EAP interns in order to understand the expectations of the company, their role within the company, and align internship responsibilities with University responsibilities
  • Ensure orientation process includes information about procedural processes/work manuals, dress code, service model(s) offered by the company, and best practices for providing services to clientele according to the company
  • Understand that the intern has specific internship coursework requirements to complete. Often times if interns are not able to complete those requirements, they will not graduate.
  • Allow opportunities for interns to ask questions/learn about processes and procedures of the company
  • Complete internship forms at the end of the internship term. Usually includes: an evaluation form of student, as well as confirmation of hours completed with the EA company
  • Consider hiring outstanding interns upon graduation as well as providing ongoing supervision as your new employee works toward state professional licensure requirements
  • Interns may need to record some of their sessions via video and/or audio in order to meet curriculum requirements. Most universities already have a release form for clients to sign in order for sessions to be recorded

Points to Ponder:

  • School systems accept teaching interns with our most valuable possessions–our children
  • The White House/government trust interns with our most confidential information
  • Hospitals accept interns who work with major medical issues

Why can’t we?        Let’s pass the torch on!