It's All Your Fault at Work! by Bill Eddy

It's All Your Fault at Work! by Bill Eddy

Author:Bill Eddy [LCSW Esq., Bill Eddy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781936268672
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: 2014-04-14T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Seven


IN THEIR BOOK Toxic Coworkers, authors Cavaiola and Lavender suggest that those with paranoid personality disorder are the group most likely to sue:

Individuals with PPD [paranoid personality disorder] often want to be part of the “in crowd” but seem to lack the skills and trust to pull this off. Instead, they will watch from the outside and often become more isolated from the work group as a result. They may feel that you’re out to steal their ideas or take credit for their work. Therefore, It’s best to be clear in your communication with these individuals as to what your intentions are and that you believe in giving credit where credit is due. Also beware of their filing lawsuits or grievances against you, if they feel they have been treated unjustly. We have seen that the majority of lawsuits are filed by this type of coworker. (178)

The Withdrawn Client

Joe was a client in a court-ordered substance abuse treatment program. He showed behaviors often associated with paranoid personalities. Delores was a very experienced and skillful counselor. Joe was assigned to her counseling group.

When Joe came to his first group session, he sat in the corner, held himself erect, and did not make any eye or verbal contact with anyone before the group started. During the “check-in” (when each group member provides a brief update about his or her week), the counselor attempted to engage Joe in the discussion. His responses were clipped and evoked a sense of anger and frustration. He definitely did not want to be in the group. Delores understood this reaction, as it was not unusual for court-ordered clients to be angry, especially at their first group activity.

According to Delores, Joe’s presence in subsequent groups during the first month was characterized as progressively more negative. Rather than begin to relax and participate in the process, Joe displayed body language and facial expressions that were hostile. The counselor noted a “dark aura” and a “brooding quality about him.” Group members began to complain privately to the counselor, stating that he made them feel uncomfortable.

Delores met with Joe privately to encourage a dialogue, but Joe remained closed and unwilling to discuss the issue. Joe continued this negative behavior and group members began to complain more openly to the counselor. Other group members reflected their uneasiness with Joe’s presence and wrote about their discomfort in their group notes.

To address the negative impact Joe was having on the group, Delores requested that he be seen by the center’s clinical director, Matthew Fields. Matthew met with Joe and his counselor on an early Tuesday morning. In a respectful manner, Delores explained the problem and the impact Joe’s negative demeanor was having on the group. Program rules specifically required “appropriate” group participation. Participation can be demonstrated in several ways and these behavioral guidelines were reviewed with Joe.

Delores told Joe that clients can respond verbally to topics under discussion, complete written exercises related to the topic, or write a group note that outlines their reaction to what is being discussed.


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