Bullying may be defined as a persistent, deliberate attempt to hurt or humiliate someone.
There may sometimes be misunderstandings about the meaning of the term‘bullying’: one-off incidents, may be very serious and must always be dealt with but do not really fall within the definition of ‘bullying’ which must be persistent. The information here has been prepared for the victims of bullying. However, the “bully” him/herself will also benefit from therapy by addressing the need for them to bully others and other issues. If you are or have been reasonably accused of bullying then you may benefit from seeking therapy.
Types of bullying
There are various types of bullying, but most have three things in common:
1. It is deliberately hurtful behaviour. 2. It is repeated over time. 3. There is an imbalance of power or even a perceived imbalance, which makes it hard for those being bullied to defend themselves.
Bullying may take various forms, including:
Physical e.g. kicking, hitting, pushing, intimidating behaviour or interference with personal property
Verbal/Psychological e.g. threats, taunts, shunning/ostracism, name-calling/verbal abuse or spreading of rumours
Racist Bullying e.g. physical, verbal, written, on-line or text abuse or ridicule based on differences of race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, culture or language
Faith-based Bullying e.g. negative stereotyping, name-calling or ridiculing based on religion
Sexist Bullying e.g. use of sexist language or negative stereotyping based on gender
Sexual Bullying e.g. unwanted/inappropriate physical contact or sexual innuendo
Homophobic Bullying e.g. name-calling, innuendo or negative stereotyping based on sexual orientation or use of homophobic language
Disability Bullying e.g. name-calling, innuendo, negative stereotyping or excluding from activity based on disability or learning difficulties
Gifted/Talented Bullying e.g. name-calling, innuendo, ostracism or negative peer pressure based on high levels of ability or effort
Cyber Bullying e.g. abuse on-line or via text message, interfering with electronic files, setting up or promoting inappropriate websites and inappropriate sharing of images from webcams/mobile phones
Effective therapy after bullying for the victim should include:
Affirmation that you have been abused, that you are a damaged person and that you are not to blame for the bullying
Validation of your experiences
Help in dealing with any traumatic memories so that they no longer control you or take over your life
Help in understanding and managing any post-traumatic symptoms you may be suffering
Help in overcoming fears and anxieties - but without pressure to tackle things before you are ready and willing to do so