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Workplace mobbing is real

Vol. 8, No. 7 / July 2009

I found Dr. James Randolph Hillard’s article on workplace mobbing timely and extremely interesting (“Workplace mobbing: Are they really out to get your patient?” Current Psychiatry, April 2009). As clinical director of a consultation service for corporations, I am asked to assess employees suspected to be at risk for workplace violence and for fitness for duty. Mobbing seems to be more prevalent and the consequences more dire for a victim who is feeling pressured to leave his or her job when there is little hope of getting another one or is taking on responsibilities previously held by others who have been laid off.

This brings to the forefront a very important consideration for individuals who confront such assessment challenges. Gathering collateral information is critical for diagnostic accuracy and well-articulated interventions that may be recommended. Evaluators who do such assessments at the behest of corporate clients should insist that they have access to employee files investigative reports, and—if appropriate—permission to interview supervisors, employee assistance program representatives, and human resources personnel familiar with the case. Mobbing is real and deserves much greater attention by researchers and clinicians in the United States.

Scott Bresler, PhD
Clinical director
Center for Threat Assessment
Institute for Psychiatry and Law
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH

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