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Bullying Counseling & Therapy


Does your child need bullying counseling? Find out before its too late.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying Counseling can help you or your child, but first you must understand what bullying is. Bullying refers to unwelcome or unsolicited acts of violence, aggression, intimidation, harassment, verbal abuse, social exclusion, or sexual coercion, which are enacted with the intent to cause physical or psychological harm.

Although bullying most commonly occurs among elementary school-aged students, adolescents, and teens, harassment among adults in the workplace is common and has earned media attention in recent years.

In children, adolescents, or teens, victims of bullying are often selected on the basis of perceived differences or weakness. Risk factors for bullying include: minority status (racial, ethnic, or religious minorities or LGBTQ+ identification); low-income students; individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities; overweight or underweight children; transfer students; unpopular or polarizing adolescents; and individuals with mental health challenges (including anxiety, depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, etc.).

Bullying Counseling | Types Of Bullying?

Bullying counseling is not limited to physical aggression. Bullying may include acts of verbal aggression, relational (or social) aggression, cyberbullying, workplace harassment, or physical assault, such as:

  • Verbal Aggression: Name-calling, criticism, threats of violence, insults, public humiliation, mockery, gossip; racial, anti-LGBTQ+, or religious slurs; language that degrades, demeans, or suppresses
  • Relational (or Social) Aggression: Ostracizing or blacklisting other children from play activities or social events; enlisting peers to bully the targeted victim; clique formation; spreading spiteful rumors about another child, gossiping, or backstabbing; ignoring or cold-shouldering the designated victim
  • Cyberbullying: Cellular or online harassment via texting, social media websites, emails, blogging, or instant messenger; using digital technology to spread rumors; impersonating, catfishing, or hacking the victim’s online accounts; disseminating nude or humiliating photographs of the victim; slut-shaming or sexual blackmail; uploading videos of a victim being sexually or physically assaulted; releasing sensitive information about a victim’s identity (address, social security number, medical information, etc.); infecting a victim’s computer with spyware or viruses
  • Workplace Bullying: Participating in malicious office gossip; verbal or sexual harassment; sabotaging an individual’s work performance or ability to meet deadlines; spitefully assigning unreasonable workloads or denying leave requests and extensions; slander or defamation; prejudice or discrimination based upon an individual’s protected legal status (gender, race, religion, etc.); undermining an individual’s work efforts or accomplishments; recruiting other employees or administrators to bully staff members; unjustifiable write-ups, suspensions, demotions, or punishments; yelling, cursing, berating, or belittling employees
  • Physical Aggression: Violent or antagonistic acts, including shoving, hitting, fist-fighting, tripping, spitting, property destruction, kicking, physical intimidation or threatening with the use of a weapon, restraint, and more+.

Warning Signs That Your Child Is Being Bullied

Children, adolescents, and teens are unlikely to confide in their parents that they being victimized by another student at school. Unspoken indicators of bullying may include:

  • Unexplainable injuries: Fresh bruises, lacerations, scratches, bite marks, scrapes, or defensive wounds
  • Stolen or destroyed property: “Missing” or damaged belongings (for example: clothing, electronics, toys, school supplies, money, or food)
  • Absenteeism: Skipping school or faking an illness, such as a stomach ache or headache, to avoid harassment
  • Declining academic performance: Plummeting grades, distractibility, or an abrupt lack of interest in academics
  • Social isolation: Regular exclusion by peers from social activities; willful avoidance of “unprotected” spaces where bullying is more likely to occur (e.g. unsupervised school bathrooms or locker rooms, bus rides, or walks home from school)
  • Mood Disturbances: Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social withdrawal, mood instability, PTSD, or irritability
  • Hopelessness: Self-harm or suicidal ideation; articulating feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, emptiness, loneliness, futility, powerlessness, or vulnerability; uncontrollable sobbing
  • Rage: Torments, taunts, or tortures younger and weaker siblings or children
  • Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia, hypersomnolence, fatigue, bed-wetting, or chronic nightmares
  • Eating Disturbances: Disordered eating habits (including anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating); loss of appetite; or stress-induced nausea/gastrointestinal upset

Warning Signs That Your Child Is Bullying Others

Obvious (and not-so-obvious) signs that your child is bullying others may include:

  • Unusual injuries: Blackened or bloody knuckles, fingernail scratches, or bite marks obtained from instigating or participating in fights
  • Unusual property acquisition: Unexplained or illegal possession of money, electronics, clothing, or school supplies
  • Behavioral problems at school: A conduct record littered with behavioral offenses, detentions, in-school or out-of-school suspensions, visits to the principal’s office, or expulsions; defiance of authority figures including teachers and school administrators
  • Relational (or social) aggression: Excludes other children from social activities; doles out the “silent treatment”; gossips or spreads malicious and unfounded rumors; forms alliances with peers for the purpose of isolating other children; participates in acts of cyberbullying, name-calling, manipulation, or withholding friendship; seeks revenge for perceived slights
  • Attitudes of pro-violence: Approves of the use of force as a means to achieve an easy end; engages in excessive consumption or idolization of violent videogames, movies, music, or pornography
  • Physical or Verbal Aggression: A history of issuing verbal threats or engaging in physical altercations; quick-tempered; or easily enraged
  • Conspicuous lack of empathy: Remorseless, cold, or indifferent to the suffering of others; regards his or her victims as deserving of physical harm or psychological humiliation; exhibits anti-social behaviors (including torturing animals or forcing sexual contact)
  • Rule-breaking: participates in co-occurring acts of vandalism, breaking and entering, drug or alcohol abuse, shoplifting, arson, or larceny

How Can Therapy & Counseling For Bullying Help My Child Or Myself?

For victims of bullying:

Few things are as disempowering as witnessing your child being bullied and feeling unsupported or incapable of ensuring your child’s safety. Bullying counseling interventions that support adult and school-aged victims of bullying can enhance psychological well-being and encourage trauma recovery by:

  • Manage complex emotions of anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness, or shame and mend deep wellsprings of psychological hurt
  • Enhance self-esteem or emotional regulation and instill healthy coping mechanisms
  • Practice effective limit-setting skills and assertive, pro-active communication
  • Break the victimization cycle of learned helplessness
  • Address co-occurring mental health conditions, including mood, sleep, or eating disturbances; PTSD; substance abuse; self-harm; suicidal ideation; or impulsive/risky behaviors
  • Access group therapy sessions to expand your social network and receive solace from other victims of bullying
  • Connect with innovative, therapeutic modalities for self-relaxation, including mindfulness, meditation, psychotherapeutic yoga, equine therapy, and expressive arts as therapy

For children who bully:

People have a tendency to point fingers at the parents whenever a child misbehaves; but we know that you didn’t raise your little peanut to become a teenager who bullies others! Bullying Counseling interventions that identify and extinguish the characteristic behaviors of bullying can assist your child to:

  • Develop a sense of consequence and conscience
    • Outline and adhere to effective consequences for bullying
    • Examine how spiteful actions affect the emotional well-being of others
  • Probe for traumatic events or environmental influences that cultivate anti-social or hostile behaviors
  • Reinforce interpersonal skill developmental, delayed gratification, self-esteem, and emotional self-control
  • Instill coping mechanisms to promote anger management
  • Foster pro-social behaviors (including empathy, altruism, volunteerism, or sharing)
  • Access creative techniques to promote self-soothing and stress management, including psychotherapeutic yoga, equine therapy, mindfulness, meditation, and expressive arts as therapy