Club President, Rande Chmura, Guest Speaker, Dr. Mary Cheyne and Rotarian Joe Adiletta

Today’s speaker was Dr. Mary Cheyne, Forensic Psychologist. She was introduced to the Club by Joe Adiletta.  Dr. Cheyne is a member of the Threat Assessment and Management Professionals, testifies at CT Family Court, member of the Association of Threat Professionals and received her Doctorate from the Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology.

Forensic psychology concerns the way that psychology interfaces with the law. Threat Management differs from Risk Assessment in that it blends mental health, security and law enforcement.
Everyday we predict dangerousness. The decisions that we make to protect ourselves is based on the dangers we perceive – for example, how we act in a dark parking lot.
Threats alone are not a predictor of violence. Targeted violence can be predicted – it is not the result of snapping or a trigger event. Threat management is looking at behaviors versus verbal threats.
There are four pathways to violence: grievance, ideation, breach and attack. Targeted violence has additional pathways: grievance, violent ideation, research and planning the attack, pre attack preparation, probing and breaches, and then the attack. The warning signs can include: physical violence, threats, leakage, loss of temper, bullying, bizarre behavior and uninvited contact. Mental illness is not a predictor of violence except for a schizophrenic who is off their medications or a psychopath because they have no remorse.
The Threat Assessment Model, WAVR - 21, has 21 questions to assess the level of threat.
Crisis occurs when prevention fails. All organizations should have a workplace violence policy and a workplace domestic violence policy. It is important to review the policies and assure that all employees know what the policies are. Also, is important to have a Corporate Threat Assessment Team. It is important to establish protocols, meet regularly, use experts and have an ongoing evaluation process.