Bully Bystanders Unite Week

[officers-table shortnames=”mariezubiate” positiontitle=”Therapist” officertitle=”Phone” contactform=”http://ccdcounseling.com/contact/”]
Marie Zubiate, MEd, LPC Intern

(Clinical Supervisor LPC Interns are required to list their Clinical Supervisor after their name in the same font as their name. We know. This is confusing for the consumer. But we like therapists that know, and follow their licensing rules. LPC Interns should not be confused with school interns who are still in school. We don't employ any school interns. LPC Interns have completed their masters degree and passed their licensing exam. But they can't be fully licensed until they have an additional 3,000 hours of supervised practice and a minimum of 18 months. That's a lot of hours, so most take longer than the minimum.: Rebekah dePeo-Christner)

The month of October commonly brings to mind the festivities associated with celebrating Halloween. Many also know that October commemorates Breast Cancer Awareness and National Domestic Violence Awareness. In addition, the month of October commemorates Bullying Prevention Awareness.

In order to prevent bullying, we must educate youth, parents, and the community on prevention strategies. Bullying was once thought to be a typical part of childhood. Victims were coached on how to cope with or avoid the assault. Sometimes perpetrators would be punished, but often their behavior was minimized as normal kid behavior. However, bullying is not limited to a specific age group, and can result in both short-term and long-term consequences.

It is important for youth and the adults who care about them to be taught how to identify bullying as well as the effects of bullying. Bullying usually occurs more than once over a period of time. Individuals bully for many reasons. Bullies may wish to exert power and control. They may also bully out of jealousies or insecurities. Bullying takes many forms. Common forms of bullying include: physical, verbal, property destruction, or exclusion. It can also take the form of cyber bullying.

When someone is bullied, life cannot be enjoyed to the fullest. Those who are bullied may live in fear wondering what will happen to them next. Bullying affects an individual’s education, health, and safety. The effects of bullying can be severe. Some victims of bullying commit suicide to escape the bullying and stop the pain.

Lots of youth witness others being bullied. However, they are afraid to intervene or don’t know how to intervene. Many adults are also not sure of the best way to intervene. Bullying thrives when it is met with silence and inaction. Due to the severity of bullying and its effects, it is important for everyone to recognize steps they should take to stop bullying.

If you know someone being bullied…
– Befriend them
– Encourage/support them
– Talk to an adult (parent, teacher, principal, counselor, church leader)

If you are being bullied…

– Stay calm, talk friendly
– Move to a crowded area
-Talk to an adult (parent, teacher, principal, counselor, church leader)

If you are bullying someone…
– Think about the effects of bullying
– Remember, everyone deserves respect
– Apologize (I’m sorry for..)
-Talk to an adult (parent, teacher, principal, counselor, church leader)

If you are the adult…
Discussing bullying can be difficult. It is important that adults be aware of the sensitivity of this issue and respond accordingly when turned to by someone in need of assistance. Here’s some places to start:
– Listen without blaming: allow the youth to express their feelings
– Coach, and allow the youth to practice their response to the bullying
– Intervene: If you are not the one who will directly intervene, notify the adults who are. They will want to take immediate and decisive action.
– Help the youth access any needed medical or mental health services needed

If all of us take decisive action the incidence and impact of bullying can decrease. Bullying Bystanders Unite Week is designated as October 19-25. Let’s act together.

MarieZubiate leads Bullying Prevention Workshops in local schools and daycares about bullying prevention. She counsels individuals and their families in the CCD Denton and Lewisville offices.

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