Information for
State Of Victoria/Department of Justice
Setting The Scene - Training

Welcome to our web site
Thank you all again for being such generous and keen students and participants.

This is the first installment of the information many of you asked for and that I promised.
I have included some of the following:
  • A bibliography of philosophy and ethics books.
  • Some more information about bullying

(Also coming in the next e-mail will be the supporting data/proof for the use of CBT and cognitive skills in the treatment of antisocial behaviour.)

Once again, Phrases from the training:
  • What I think, feel, believe affects what I do
    If I change what I think, feel, believe I can change what I do

  • You cannot change what you don't know

The aims of cognitive skills (from James Mc Guire):
  • To develop skills for thinking about problems and for solving them in real life situations

  • To apply those skills to the problem of offense behaviours to reduce the risk of future offending

Thinking -- can you think outside the box-
  • Why are taxis painted yellow ?
    Because the original colour was the calling sound of the interglobal taxi warbler.

Anti-social beliefs include:
  • They’re all bastards.

  • You can’t trust anyone.

  • They’re all out for themselves.

  • Get them/him/her before they get you.

Now before you go onto the next information - are any of you interested in being filmed in five role-plays portraying ethical dilemmas? We (John) want to start to film these at the end of May. It will take just one, maybe two days.
If you are interested, please contact John Bergman at or

Here’s a reading list that I use and that’s useful for this course. Although some of the books are very short, like INTRODUCING ETHICS - they are great for getting around the literature—it’s a good way to see if you want to know more about HOBBES, for instance.

Reading List: Ethics
Being Good: An Introduction to Ethics
Simon Blackburn
Oxford University Press, 2001
The Moral Sense
James Q. Wilson
MacMillan, The Free Press, 1993
Dramatherapy and Psychiatry
Dorothy M. Langley, Gordon E. Langley
Croom Helm Ltd., 1987
Philosophy: The Basics
Nigel Warburton
Routledge, 1992
Dramatherapy: Theory and Practice 3
Sue Jennings
Routledge, 1997
The Story of Philosophy
Bryan Magee
DK Publishing, 1998
Ethics: Theory and Practice
MacMillan Publishing
Teach Yourself Ethics
Mel Thompson
Teach Yourself Books , 2000
Introducing Ethics
Dave Robinson, Chris Garratt
Icon Books, 1999
Thinking Through Philosophy
Chris Horner
Cambridge University Press, 2000
Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life
Sissela Bok
Vintage Books, 1979

This is a selection from the paper that I used on bullying. A few of you asked for more references to this. There is a huge literature on bullying and we will supply more references as we enlarge this material.

(sponsored by the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Education Union)

“Firstly, it is vital to identify that bullying is the problem as bullying causes not only stress and stress breakdown, but post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. This was first identified by a Swedish researcher, Professor Heinz Leymann (2), a decade or so ago, there have been similar studies since and the most recent at hand reports that:

* 76% of bullied workers who were studied were suffering the symptoms of PTSD.

* Bullied workers had higher PTSD scores than person involved in very serious traumatic events.

* Five years after the bullying 45% still suffered symptoms above the threshold required for a diagnosis of PTSD (3)


The work of Professor Leymann which identified that bullying, which he calls mobbing, can cause PTSD led to the introduction of legislation in Sweden prohibiting victimisation at work. The Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health (4) adopted in 1993 contains provisions relating to victimisation at work and lists the following victimising behaviours which we call bullying:


* slandering or maligning an employee or his/her family

* deliberately withholding work-related information or supplying incorrect information

* deliberately sabotaging or impeding the performance of work

* insulting, ostracising, boycotting or disrespect for the dignity of other employees

* persecution in various forms, threats and degradation, eg sexual harassment deliberate insults, hypercritical or negative response or attitudes (ridicule, unfriendliness,etc) supervision of the employee without his/her knowledge and with harmful intent offensive "administrative penal sanctions" which are suddenly directed against an individual employee without any objective cause, explanations or efforts at jointly solving any underlying problems. The sanctions may, for example, take the form of groundless withdrawal of an office or duties, unexplained transfers or overtime requirements, manifest obstruction in the processing of applications for training, leave of absence, the resolution of disputes, etc“


Any disrespectful behaviour, however trivial at face value, if regularly repeated or occurring in a context of unequal power can be described as bullying.

Refer bullied workers to the following:
This is a comprehensive web site dealing with workplace bullying run by Tim Field and I have yet to speak to a bullied worker who has not wept with relief when reading it.
Another extensive website dedicated to workplace bullying.
This is the website of the Australian Beyond Bullying Association which whilst not offering information has a number of publications which can be order, eg. Understanding Stress Breakdown by Dr William Wilkie.
Examples of Bullying Behaviours
Source: "Bully in Sight: How to predict, resist, challenge and combat workplace bullying"
Tim Field, 1996, pp 41-47
(this key resource can be ordered via

Bullying is the repeated and regular infliction of behaviour such as:

* criticism which cannot be justified or reconciled with reality or disagrees with the assessment of others

* refusal to be specific about criticisms or to substantiate or confirm in writing

* claims of underperformance etc which do not square up with the fact

* ignoring, marginalising, dismissing as unimportant people, ideas, opinions, contributions etc

* removal of status and authority, real or implied, especially in an underhand or devious manner

* tasking with additional responsibility, but not informing

* excluding from anything to do with the running, operation, workings or management of the section

* isolating, cold-shouldering, snubbing, ignoring, forcing to sit apart from colleagues

* singling out for special treatment, eg others can be late but disciplinary matter if the target is

* threats of disciplinary action for trivial or fabricated incidents

* giving peformance markings significantly lower than documented achievements merit or than those which were given by previous managers

* taking advantage of good nature, especially on a regular basis

* refusing to accord respect or acknowledge the rights of others

* demeaning, belittling, ridiculing, patronising, degrading, humiliating, etc, especially in front of others

* deliberately undervaluing, ignoring or minimising the value of an individual's contribution

* refusal to acknowledge performance, achievement, results, worth, value, success, etc

* deliberate and persistent underming of professional competence

* making mountains out of molehills: twisting or distorting everything that is said

* focus on trivia - a big fuss made over incidents and indiscretions which are insignificant or irrelevant

* refusal to clarify job description and function or put it in writing

* changing a person's job description without consultation and imposing it without right of reply

* persistent unwillingness to make clear what is required

Obviously there is more than this – I have just included some of what Ms Harper discusses.
Let me know if you need more.


Last Update - June 2003