Cathy Bergley and Scott Case of the WSU
Employee Assistance Program.
“We feel very fortunate to have a high-quality EAP program within our Behavioral Health program at Health and Wellness Services,” said Dr. Bruce Wright, executive director of HWS and Counseling and Testing Services. “EAP services for our employees are more important than ever in these times of economic and budget stress.”
While Pullman employees can access services directly through the EAP office on campus, non-Pullman employees should contact the Washington Department of Personnel Employee Assistance Program at 1-877-313-4455 or go to www.dop.wa.gov/EAP.
Support for maintaining balance
|Stress reduction listening tracks can be completed independently
When pressure is mounting in myriad and complicated ways, it’s hard to believe that something as simple as breathing can make a difference. What’s the alternative, right?
But, when I sat down to talk with WSU psychologist Scott Case about how to reduce stress, breathing was one of the first things we talked about. As director of WSU’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Case has developed a six-session stress reduction program that can be completed on its own or in conjunction with face-to-face counseling.
To reduce stress, you need to figure out what is within your control and try to let go of the rest, Case said. Stress isn’t just a state of mind – it’s also in your body. So, when you focus on your breathing – something you can control, within obvious parameters – you begin to calm your mind and relax your body.
Ultimately, Case said, this can create positive effects on our thoughts, feelings, bodies and behaviors, known as the four quadrants.
While the listening tracks are available online, Case prefers to meet with employees first to discuss their concerns and goals and help determine which listening tracks might be most beneficial. In addition to focused breathing techniques, there are also listening tracks dealing with state-of-the-art techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, letting go of anger or combating negative self talk.
By appointment, WSU employees are also welcome to listen to the tapes in the relaxation room in the EAP suite of offices in the Washington Building on the southwest corner of campus. The EAP offices are adjacent to, but separate from, student-centered WSU Health and Wellness Services.
With muted lighting, a comfortable chair and privacy, the relaxation room is a place to get away from it all, if only for 30 minutes or an hour. In fact, Case and Cathy Bergley, the program support supervisor, have worked hard to make EAP offices discreet, welcoming, comfortable and even serene.
“We’ve really tried to come up with a place that feels safe and inviting,” he said.
Open to all employees
The Employee Assistance Program is located on the ground floor of the Washington Building in suite G60. To find out more or schedule an appointment, call 509-335-5759 or visit http://www.eap.wsu.edu.