Purpose

  • To enhance psychiatry's contribution to the well-being and productivity of workers, leaders, and work organizations.
  • To enhance the knowledge and skills of its members through various training opportunities and professional networking.
  • To liaison with other professional groups concerned with workplace health and mental health.
  • To encourage and support the practice of organizational and occupational psychiatry.

Who We Are

Work is central to our identity and sense of well-being. Freud observed that both work and love are essential in maintaining emotional, physical and mental health. Organizational and occupational psychiatry is one of the original specialty areas of psychiatry; its primary focus is on the relationship of work to general well-being and mental health. Organizational and occupational psychiatry—also called industrial, workplace or corporate psychiatry—is concerned with adaptation of the individual to the workplace. Organizational and occupational psychiatrists study the psychopathology brought to and resulting from the work setting, as well as factors that stimulate healthy behavior and functioning. Organizational and occupational psychiatrists then utilize consultative, clinical, educational and preventive interventions and strategies to reduce symptoms and conflict, and facilitate health and well-being. For more than 70 years, organizational and occupational psychiatrists have pioneered in the diagnosis, treatment and research of workplace health-mental health conditions. Unlike psychologists, social workers and other occupational health and mental health personnel, organizational and occupational psychiatrists have the medical and psychiatric training and expertise to address the complexities of workplace health and mental health issues.

History of AOOP

The Academy of Organizational and Occupational Psychiatry was founded in 1990 to provide a forum for an exchange of ideas between psychiatry and the world of work. The Academy's mission is to enhance the knowledge and skills of its members through various training opportunities and professional networking; to liaison with other professional groups concerned with workplace health and mental health; and to encourage and support the practice of organizational and occupational psychiatry.

Member Profile

AOOP members practice in diverse settings, including solo or group practice, managed care, academia, the military, and corporate medical departments. AOOP members provide various types of services including:

  • lndividual Clinical Services Assessment and brief therapy
  • Disability evaluations
  • Fitness for duty evaluations
  • Workers' compensation evaluations
  • Forensic evaluations and testimony
  • Organizational consulting education and training
  • Trauma intervention
  • Consulting on mergers and downsizing
  • Organizational development and planned change
  • Executive consultation evaluation and referral
  • Executive seminars
  • Coaching
  • Policy advisement
  • Clinical supervision
  • Case management
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Managed care

Why Members Enjoy AOOP

Comments from 6 AOOP members

1. Regarding AOOP, I value the topics we discuss, the scholarly discussions of these topics, the fact that we are small enough to have these rich discussions, and the warm friendships that have evolved over the years in this setting.

2. As a new member of AOOP I appreciate the opportunity to get to know a variety of individuals who manifest passion, professionalism, and dedication in their work and avocations. The organization offers a venue similar in enthusiasm to that of my college years, but suited to my current professional and personal place in life.

3. There are many things I value about AOOP:

  • Exploring the role of work in mental health and the role of psychiatric understanding in helping organizations contribute  to mental health with psychiatrists who have experience in work related problems.
  • Sharing ideas with psychiatrists whose ideas come from work with healthy executives and not from extrapolating from work  with mentally ill executives.
  • Exposure to the many ways psychiatric knowledge and skills are usefully applied to the problems of work and organizations.
  • Thoughtful, pragmatic challenges to my ideas by experienced colleagues.
  • Formal presentations and thoughtful discussions with minimal "war stories."
  • The presentations and discussions make me think.
  • The congenial, friendly atmosphere.

4. AOOP is the only professional organization annual meeting I attend "no matter what". I have attended 19 of the last 20 annual meetings. I make room reservations and plane reservations 6 months in advance. What I have learned and continue to learn through AOOP is indispensable to my practice. The professional and personal relationships that have developed through AOOP are unique and beyond price.

5. It is hard to quantify what I value about AOOP, because technically I'm a forensic psychiatrist and shouldn't really find a whole lot at AOOP that applies to my professional life.  I will likely never perform an organizational consultation, and the occupational work I do is well-discussed at other professional meetings.  But I return to AOOP meetings and stay involved in the organization because I enjoy the people, the warm and friendly interactions, the thought-provoking formal presentations and the lively discussions.  And the meeting content turns out to be highly relevant to what I do.  Using what I've learned at AOOP, I think differently about my forensic work, the individuals I evaluate/treat and the context in which they work and live.  

6. I find the tension between organizational and occupational psychiatry stimulating and value the creative learning that arises from this tension. 

  • Who is the client? 
  • What is our ethics? 
  • When do we think of the needs of the system (organization) and when do we see the individual? 
  • At the heart I see it as: where is the workplace supporting mental health and where is it harming it?