In today’s society, the term bullying is still as prevalent today as it was in the past. Kids still hurt each other physically and emotionally and now have moved onto the idea of cyber-bullying, which is using the Internet to ones advantage to hurt another. Due to this, the phrase, “anti-bullying” has become more common. At Second Story, we work with many kids who have either bullied or have been bullied. We strive to work help these kids and guiding them to realize that they have a second story that we are willing to help them write.
Most of the clients at Second Story that act out against others have a hard time regulating their emotions and therefore hurt others. Some also have hard home lives and may be experiencing being bullied by another. So for these people who are bullying, we try to get them out of their own head and into the fact of what they are doing. We use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Talk Therapy with them. We try to uncover what emotions are lying beneath the anger and hurt and what may be the overall cause to these emotions. We then try to create productive coping mechanisms for these clients in order to ensure that they will not act out on others. Through all of this, we attempt to show them that they are not bad kids, but their decisions can affect others.
For the people who are being bullied at Second Story, we try to work through the problem with them. We attempt to get them to see the bigger picture and attempt to help them work through the pain that they are experiencing. We use many similar techniques as the people who are bullying. We also try to get the person being bullied to speak up and take control of the situation in order to make it better for them. Whether that means talking to a teacher or talking to the bully himself or herself, we try to get the person to take back control so they are no longer being put down. Second Story’s goal is to help each individual succeed in writing the story that they love to live.
Shawna Johnson, MSW Intern