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Philip Saragoza, MD

Philip Saragoza, MD, is a board-certified forensic psychiatrist and Senior Associate threat assessment consultant with Work Trauma Services, Inc. He performs direct and indirect threat assessment consultations for WTS, workplace and campus violence prevention and WAVR-21 training, and assists other WTS associates with psychiatric consultation issues. Dr. Saragoza is an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. He is the psychiatric consultant for the University of Michigan's integrated disability management program and the University health system’s employee assistance program. Through these agencies, he has conducted case consultations involving claims of hostile work environments, workplace harassment, employee violence risk and fitness for duty. Previously, Dr. Saragoza served as the Director of UM’s Forensic Psychiatry Clinic, conducting evaluations and consultations on issues related to violence risk, fitness for duty, psychiatric disability, civil commitment, and other forensic issues. Dr. Saragoza worked for several years as a Consulting Forensic Examiner at the State of Michigan’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry, a maximum security hospital for mentally ill offenders. There, he treated inpatients found Incompetent to Stand Trial or legally insane, performed release-planning risk assessments, and conducted court-ordered examinations of competency and sanity, primarily for violent offenses. Dr. Saragoza has conducted hundreds of assessments of individuals who have engaged in threats, stalking and violent behavior, and has served as an expert witness on civil and criminal psychiatric issues in numerous courts. As an educator, Dr. Saragoza supervises residents and fellows in forensic psychiatry and provides lectures and seminars to a wide variety of professionals, including mental health professionals, corporate and human resource managers, and campus audiences. His peer-reviewed publications include topics such as psychopathy, malingering, workplace violence risk, and the role of expert opinion in various criminal contexts. Philip Saragoza, MD

Programs Featuring Philip Saragoza, MD

Threat Assessment Update 2020: Extremism and Lone Actor Terrorism
Domestic terrorism is on the rise in the United States as social and political polarization escalates. With a national election on the horizon, anxiety concerning a pandemic, and widespread civil unrest, how do threat assessors identify, assess, and manage individuals who may pose a risk of extremist violence? Are there ways to separate the supporters of various causes from those who intend to act and mobilize for violence?

This virtual seminar, over three half-day sessions, will discuss findings and insights from research and in-depth case studies that reveal the psychology of extremists and lone actor terrorists. Participants will be instructed on the use of investigative techniques and structured assessment strategies that inform case management decision making.

Initial topics will include the rising prevalence of conspiracy theory, practical tools for debunking such theory, extreme overvalued beliefs vs. delusions, and stochastic terrorism from political leaders. The training will continue with a focus on specific beliefs and movements, including accelerationists, replacement theory, the Incels and other extreme misogynists, White Nationalists, Boogaloo, QAnon, Atomwaffen, and more. The tactics of such groups include using progressive left wing protests to achieve extreme right wing (XRW) goals, and magnifying COVID-19 fears to advance anti-government attitudes. Intensive case studies will deepen understanding of the radicalization path, including the Toronto automobile massacre (Minassian), the false pipe bomb dissemination (Sayoc), and an updated perspective on the Isla Vista mass murder (Rodger). Emphasis will be placed upon both online and on the ground investigations. The training will conclude with a thorough introduction to the TRAP-18, a validated risk assessment instrument for lone actor terrorist violence.