I strongly recommend this book as a first read on the subject. I recommend Work Abuse: How to Recognize It and Survive It
as the second--a longer and more complex read, it goes into more detail and a therapeutic approach.
Anyone who has been the target of mobbing knows that by the time you finally recognize that something's wrong and seek help, your nerves are so frayed and your focus is so shattered, that it's hard to even find the energy to read a book, much less the time.
This book is a great place to start because it's easy to read and understand. It helps you move from feeling powerless to empowerment. It explains the dynamics behind the mobbing syndrome and that it is very rarely (if ever) the target's fault. Regardless, there is absolutely no justification for any kind of abuse in the workplace.
The authors detail what mobbing is, why it persists, how organizational structures contribute, how it affects you, and how to cope. It also describes how family and friends are affected. The final section details how it impacts the organization, conflict resolution, the law, and the final chapter lists resources one can turn to or help.
Although this book is designed for an American audience and the legal information is based in the U.S., most of it is just as relevant to Canada.
It really helps put things into perspective. Contrary to what most targets and their abusers think, those who mob are coming from a place of weakness and fear. Cowards and bullies move in packs; they need the others to feel safe, intimidate their prey, and corroborate their stories (the truth doesn't need to be corroborated--it is fact and truthful people can state fact without first comparing their versions of events with others).
If you are a target and stand up for yourself and your truth, you are coming from a place of strength, courage, and intelligence. If they weren't desperately afraid of you, there wouldn't be so many of them trying to bring you down.
If you are a target, they selected you to do this to out of insecurity and jealousy. They know that you are capable and competent, but will belittle and lie about your past achievements, making your mistakes appear as if they vastly outnumber your successes by exaggerating them. They will deny evidence of your abilities and slander you to others (e.g. your union rep, higher management, etc). They see you as a threat to their image (i.e. hard-working people are chosen as targets because others don't want to raise their own standard of work and envy the recognition you receive for it) and their intense need to control others. No matter what they say to sully your reputation and damage your career, you are the better person and you do not deserve this.
This is about who they are, not who you are. They aren't focused on solutions, only assigning blame which is a very time-consuming, counter-productive, no-win strategy for everyone.
Just calmly and quietly stand your ground, be true to yourself, and have faith. Don't put yourself down if you make mistakes along the way--you're only human and this isn't an easy situation to deal with. Forgive and be kind to yourself.
People's true intentions ultimately reveal themselves and this will be their undoing. Remember: The worst thing anyone says about me contains some truth--about them.
Yes, it's scary to be in the expulsion phase--I'm there right now. However, if you give up and back down, sacrificing your self-respect and self worth, you lose everything that genuinely matters.
Ultimately, you may lose your livelihood for a time, but if you still have what matters most--yourself--intact at the end, you can look yourself in the mirror knowing you did your best and you still have something to build on.
They think it's about power, money, assets, reputation, and status. But what really counts is our values and character; that which makes us who we are. As long as you protect that, you will get through this no matter how tough it gets. It won't be easy and there will be many despairing moments, but you will get through, even if you have to fight it alone.
Nonetheless, I strongly recommend that you seek professional help from a counsellor or therapist--you will need to talk about what's happening--a LOT! This is a grieving process on many levels and well-meaning as they may be, people who haven't been through it don't understand it. It can quickly wear on your family and friends and damage your relationships with them. A good professional is more objective and won't judge you (if you run into one who does, find another--trust me).