By Dr. Victoria Yancey, TFT-DX, TFT-ADV
Young people around the globe are taking their own lives because of cyber bullying. Teen suicides have occurred within the past ten years in Missouri, Florida, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy and numerous other cities and towns.
Cyber bullying has created a social nightmare and has caused far too many teens to hang themselves, jump from bridges or find other ways to harm themselves. The number of suicides continues to grow with the easy access to and the increasing number of social media sites available to teens.
Cyber bullying is using digital technology to harass, embarrass, threaten, torment, humiliate or to make another person feel uncomfortable or scared. A study was conducted in 2010 by Cyber bullying research. It involved approximately 2,000 randomly selected middle school students from school districts in the United States.
The study revealed that of the students 20% reported seriously thinking about attempting suicide. Those figures include 19.7% females and 20.9% males. The results also showed that 19% reported actually attempting suicide with 17.9% females and 20.2% males. In addition, it is suggested that cyber bullying can cause emotional scarring, since it involves threats and humiliation.
Cyber bullying victims were almost twice as likely to have attempted suicide compared to youth who had not experienced cyber bullying.
Young people spend up to 7 hours a day on the internet communicating with others on social networking sites. Technology cultivates a fertile ground for bullying. The internet has allowed bullying to occur on a 24 hour basis. Schools are unable to monitor student activity on the internet while not in school.
You no longer have to sit at a monitor to cyber bully. Cell phones, smart phones, tweets, texting and blogs are all places where cyber bullying can take place while walking, riding, home or away, at any time or anyplace.
The growing number of digital technology sites allows young people to hear, see pictures and read hateful and embarrassing words about themselves, friends and family members. Studies reveal that there is a correlation between cyber bullying and low self esteem.
Those who experience cyber bullying as a perpetrator or a victim had significantly lower self-esteem than those who are not involved in bullying (Hinduja & Patchin). They suggest that schools should take this fact into consideration when developing prevention programs.
Thought Field Therapy is a comprehensive and effective tool to use with students who experience self-esteem issues. Thought Field Therapy has been successfully used with the children who survived the pain of genocide in Rwanda and those who suffer bullying in the United States.
This non-evasive, self-help technique should continue to be considered by schools, mental health professionals, parents and students themselves world-wide to reduce and eliminate negative thoughts and increase self-esteem and motivation.
Read more about TFT and bullying.
Callahan, R. and Callahan, J. (2011). Tapping the Body’s Energy Pathways. Callahan Techniques
Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Suicide. Archives of Suicide Research, 14(3), 206-221.
Yancey, V. (2009). The use of thought field therapy in educational settings. Germany: Verlag Press
Dr. Victoria Yancey, TFT-DX, TFT-ADV, is a therapist and an educator. She is known as the Guardian Angel of Hope for the children and families of the city of Philadelphia. She is Contributing Faculty at Walden University and Certified Advanced Facilitator at University of Phoenix