EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP) HISTORY
Welcome to the section of our website devoted to resources on the history of employee assistance programs. We will be including white papers, videos and other media that cover a range of historical and foundational events.
The History of EAP in the United States
In 2020, The Employee Assistance Research Foundation (EARF) announced the open access release of its latest research initiative: “The History of EAP in the United States”. The principal investigator and author of the project is Dr. Dale Masi, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland and former director of graduate EAP specialization, housed in the School of Social Work. This initiative addresses a critical deficiency in the EA knowledge base: the need for a definitive resource that accurately documents the history and evolution of EAP in the U.S.
The 156 page manuscript covers antecedents and early years, the emergence of external providers and the affiliate network model, continued expansion/diffusion/integration in the 1990s and 2000s, and future directions. The manuscript can be found HERE.
A brief history of contemporary EAP: Project 95 – Broadbrush: Lessons for Today by Jim Wrich
Jim Wrich is one of the pioneers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) - one of the original Thundering 100 who launched the modern EAP movement through Project 95-Broadbrush. In 1972, Jim implemented some of the first EAPs in the country. An early member of ALMACA, (later the Employee Assistance Professionals Association,) he served as First Vice President and was the founding President of the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA). Since 1987 he has managed his own firm, J. Wrich & Associates, LLC. (JWA), a health systems performance company which provides a broad range of consulting and cost analysis services to businesses and unions.
Employee Assistance Research Foundation (EARF) EAP History Project: video interviews
In April 2016, the Employee Assistance Research Foundation (EARF) sponsored a new research effort, the EAP History Project, to put together the first comprehensive history and evolution of EAPs in North America and across the world. Dale Masi, PhD, CEAP, was contracted to research the history for the U.S. and Canada. As part of this effort, she conducted video interviews with seven key EAP subject matter experts (SME) who were instrumental in the historical development of Employee Assistance Programs. In addition, Dr. Masi was also interviewed for the project by Jodi Jacobson Frey, PhD.
The interviewees were selected with the approval of the EARF’s History Project Committee, and included EAP professionals who have made significant contributions to the field. Five of the SMEs were EA professionals from the United States, two from Canada, and one from the Work/Life area.
Drs. Masi and Frey created a semi-structured interview guide for use during the interviews. The use of this guide to conduct qualitative interviews provided increased rigor to the interview process, while still allowing the interviewer to have enough flexibility to ask probing questions and to further investigate ideas and conversations that came up during the course of the conversation.
John Burke Interview: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/6506
Rick Csiernik Interview: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/6504
Rita Fridella Interview: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/6505
Dale Masi Interview: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/6502
Fran Rodgers Interview: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/6501
Dave Sharar Interview: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/6507
Carl Tisone Interview: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/6500
Jim Wrich Interview: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/6503