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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Written by a knowledgeable and competent forensic psychiatrist, this text discusses the relevant features of a complete psychiatric assessment in the area of sexual harassment in occupational settings, addresses historical perspectives on its development, and identifies important legal concepts relevant to this specific area of law.
Purpose: While infrequent to many evaluators, the number of these legal actions is growing. Yet, few understand the complexities of these cases or the sensitivity and self-reflection required to provide fact finders with the appropriate data to form an adequate decision. This book attempts to address these issues, and does so quite admirably.
Audience: Written primarily "to assist psychiatrists and psychologists in providing credible, well-reasoned opinions" in the area of employment related sexual harassment, this book may also prove useful to attorneys or other legal professionals practicing in the field.
Features: From introduction to conclusion, the author discusses various aspects of this litigation vital to understanding the issues in question. She cites case law and provides other useful references in order to broaden the reader's perspective. Most importantly, she addresses common misconceptions and identifies possible underlying evaluator bias, which could result in creditability problems if not addressed properly prior to participation in these cases.
Assessment: The first text of its kind, the author adeptly addresses multiple areas unique, and potentially treacherous, to this type of litigation. The chapters "Bias in the Assessment of Sexual Harassment," "The Assessment of Welcomeness," and "Psychiatric Diagnosis and the Assessment of Causation" are particularly enlightening and almost essential for a more complete understanding of sexual harassment litigation. This book is a must read for any mental health professionals participating in these evaluations, as it will be worth the time, effort, and expense.