EAP case study for depression

An employee had been feeling unhappy after the break up of his long term relationship. After a discussion with his his line manager about depression he called the EAP.

Firstly, the initial conversation with a counsellor identified that the employee could be suffering from reactive depression. The counsellor recommended that the employee made an appointment with his GP and provided short term support.

His symptoms included lethargy, unmotivated about his life at work along with his home life, very poor sleep pattern and loss of appetite.

An initial face-to-face session was arranged with a counsellor located nearby. The aim was to explore the employee’s feelings of sadness and loss.

Goals of counselling

The therapy aimed to encourage the employee to talk about the feelings he had experienced with the end of his relationship.It was agreed that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques would be used to challenge any negative thought patterns and expectations. Challenging his automatic negative thoughts was intended to break the chain of internal thoughts and processes that had strengthened his feelings of sadness and loss.

Subsequent counselling sessions

In the second and third sessions the employee spoke more about the relationship break up including other losses he had experienced in his life. By the end of the third session he seemed more in touch with his feelings and had gained some insight from these self-exploratory sessions whereby he was developing some motivation to come out of his depression.

In the last three sessions, he learned how to challenge negative thoughts about himself and his life. He became more enthusiastic about the future, and his feelings of sadness went away.


The counsellor closed the case and reported back that the employee had managed to work through his depressed feelings without being absent from work. The combination of exploratory therapy with cognitive techniques allowed him to reconnect with his own sense of self.

Both the employee and the counsellor were satisfied with the outcome of the therapy sessions.

It seemed like a longer term depressive episode had been prevented without loss of time at work. The outcome indicated that he had benefited from the therapy.

To read more about CBT