CRA Newsletter
WPV StickJuly 2013
Critical Response AssociatesVolume 12 Issue 4


Welcome to our Summer Newsletter


We at CRA hope that you are all doing well and enjoying your summer. It's been a relaxing, but rainy, summer for us here in Atlanta - after an extremely busy winter and spring.


Most of our work recently has concentrated more on the prevention side (i.e., delivering training programs), as opposed to casework. This is a good sign - suggesting that companies are shifting their emphasis to early detection and prevention, as opposed to just responding to high-level threats.


We have been particularly busy developing and customizing our Employee Awareness videos for companies, which often have also included translating the program into various languages (even Chinese!), so that companies can deliver it to their global facilities.


I am also just beginning the preparation process that will eventually lead to another book, either as an adjunct or as an update to my previous work on

"Aggression in the Workplace: Preventing and Managing High-Risk Behavior."

I have put aside some time in November to focus on the bulk of the process. As with all large projects, the initiation of the process (overcoming inertia) is the most difficult part. 


In August, I will be on my annual trip to Anaheim for the
Association of Threat Assessment Professionals' (ATAP) annual
Threat Management Conference. For any of you who have any interest in this area, this is a must-attend event. It occurs

August 13 - 16

, and its participants are quite diverse - including psychological specialists such as myself, members of law enforcement, and corporate representatives from Security, Human Resources and Risk Management. If you find yourself there, please look us up. Drs. Tom Evans and Joe Konieczny will also be in attendance. Information is at



Safety and High-Risk Behavior

Although we generally focus on the term "Workplace Violence" in our writings and communications, this is actually not the behavior with which we generally deal.


To be sure, most of our work is focused on preventing violent behavior, but it actually focuses on those who are possibly at risk for engaging in some kind of violent or harmful behavior - but who may not as yet have actually engaged in an extreme act of violence. Further, we are continually promoting and developing programs for organizations to help them identify these warning signs as early as possible - under the proven assumption that it is safer and less costly to deal these risks as early as possible.


We cannot eliminate all risks. We can have the best employee selection program, and we can put together a good response program - but people are people, and we simply cannot rely on the absence of adverse events in our lives. We will not be able to reduce the possibility of high-risk events to zero.


For example, let's take the issue of domestic violence. Statistically (according to the recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey), 1 in 5 women in the U.S. report being sexually assaulted or a victim of domestic violence, with 1 in 6 women report being stalked. As mentioned in my presentations on this subject, domestic violence is likely to find its way into the workplace, due to the simple fact that the workplace is where women predictably spend much of their day. This is a given - it just happens.


Let's take another example. Approximately 4.6% of the population (approximately 1 in 20) will make a suicidal attempt in their lifetime, according to NIH statistics. Severe depression and suicide is a concern not only for the sake of the victim, but also for others in their environment. Lest we forget, some of the more notable incidents of mass violence (Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, etc.) were suicidal events.


We cannot assume that these kinds of issues will not make it into our organization. And as Dr. Todd Conklin, one of our associates who specializes in safety and accident prevention, is fond of saying: "Luck is a remarkably complex thing to manage."


So while we cannot reduce the occurrence of all adverse events and risks to zero, we can focus on successfully and safely managing the consequences of these events. We do this through having the appropriate programs and strategies in place.


In the area of Workplace Violence, that means that we have a process in place that can successfully identify and recognize these risks, and deliver information about them, early in their development, to those who are prepared and trained to deal with these kind of risks (or at least know the resources to call in to help deal with them). The right program in place can operate to address these issues before their potential consequences can cause significant harm.


These are not new concepts. Those in the fields of Safety, Risk Management and such will readily recognize them. But remarkably, these very same tried and true concepts are often not applied to the area of violence and similar high-risk behaviors that occur in the workplace.


If you would like more information about this for your organization, please feel free to contact us as at any time.



Marc McElhaney, Ph.D.

CEO, Critical Response Associates






About Us

"Critical Response Associates helps keep companies safe and secure. Our expert team of psychologists identifies and resolves high-risk threats and violence in the workplace. We have a 100% success rate, using a comprehensive behavioral process that we developed. We protect our clients from crises and expensive litigation, and their employees from harm. When we walk away from a situation, everyone can walk away feeling safe." read more... 





Book Image
Dr. McElhaney's textbook 
also available in EBook.

American National Standard ASIS/SHRM
"Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention"