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marked improvement had histories of other traumas and were considered
to be chronically distressed. Therapy was equally effective for recent trau-
mas (3 months previously) and prior traumas (30 years previously). In
contrast, the women in the control group did not improve at all.
Case Study: Worker to Worker Violence
Robert Sanders is a 55-year-old Caucasian engineer working in a tech
company making drivers for computers. Because of the poor economy
and a downturn in sales Robert and his colleagues have been on pins and
needles about their job security. Robert thinks he'll be one of the first to
go if the company starts downsizing, because of his age and his troubled
relationship with his supervisor. For the past 2 years, Robert and his
supervisor have had a running battle over the quality of Robert's work.
Robert thinks that his work is fine, as do his colleagues, but the supervi-
sor believes that Robert doesn't follow directions and that his work wan-
ders off into areas that aren't related to his assignments. On several
occasions, they've almost come to blows.
Robert was referred to the company's Employee Assistance Program
and was told by his supervisor that he either accept counseling or that
he'd be fired. Robert has a wife who doesn't work and two children in
college. His salary barely covers his expenses and, many months, he lives
on credit cards and loans. Quitting isn't a realistic option since a weak
business market in the computer industry limits his work opportunities.
The opportunities to transfer to a different department at work are also
limited since what Robert does is highly specialized. At 55, he doesn't
want to ruin a very good pension plan. He feels stuck and resents going
for counseling. He believes that his problems at work are the supervisor's
fault and thinks the supervisor should be in treatment, not him. He is
becoming surly and difficult at work. On several occasions he's written
derogatory things about the supervisor in the men's rest room or on the
company elevator. While no one can prove that Robert is guilty, every-
one knows that he is to blame.
In the past 6 months, Robert has begun to deteriorate. He often
comes to work looking haggard and unkempt. People have begun to find
his body odor offensive and wonder if he bathes. His EAP counselor
suspects that Robert is drinking heavily and has ordered a random alcohol
Robert has made several indirect threats against his supervisor that
co-workers have heard but have not reported. They believe that Robert
has a grievance and they feel obligated to protect him. His co-workers
just feel that Robert is going through a mid-life crisis but, on closer
examination, Robert
is deteriorating badly. His
thoughts, which he
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