An assessment refers to the initial intake session during which your counselor will ask you about the problem that led you to seek assistance, as well as background that may help him/her "assess" your situation and devise the best approach to your concerns.
Short-term counseling, also called time limited therapy, lasts for a brief period of time, anywhere from 1 to 12 sessions (depending on your company's EAP session design), with 6-8 sessions being a common length.
A referral is a recommendation provided by your EAP counselor to work with a skilled clinician who can help you resolve more extensive problems that are outside the scope of short-term EAP counseling.
Brief Therapy Model
The brief therapy model, also referred to as short-term counseling, is psychotherapy which lasts for a brief period of time, anywhere from 1 to 12 sessions (depending on your company's EAP session design), with 6-8 sessions being a common length.
Psychotherapy is a process in which a mental health professional (e.g., a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker) dialogues with a client who is experiencing distress (e.g., anxiety, depression, difficulty adjusting to a specific life situation) to promote healthy mental functioning through the use of specific techniques, increased awareness of the problem, its causes, and appropriate behavioral changes that will reduce the client's level of distress and improve functioning.
Group psychotherapy refers to a form of treatment in which two or more clients and the psychotherapist, or group leader, dialogue to resolve difficulties and effect therapeutic changes.