Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Workplace mobbing: Are they really out to get your patient?
James Randolph Hillard, MD
Professor, Department of psychiatry, Associate provost for human health affairs, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Initiated most often by a person in a position of power or influence, workplace mobbing has been described as “a desperate urge to crush and eliminate the target…. As the campaign proceeds, a steadily larger range of hostile ploys and communications comes to be seen as legitimate.” This behavior pattern has been recognized in Europe since the 1980s but is not well recognized in the United States.
This article discusses how to recognize symptoms of workplace mobbing, using a case study to illustrate the dynamics of this group behavior. An informed mental health professional can be of enormous help to a mobbing victim, but an uninformed professional can unwittingly make the situation much worse.
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