Relieving the Trauma of Bullying

“I’ll Do Anything to Make It Stop”

by Dr. Victoria Yancey

“You are fat, stupid and ugly.” This is just one example of the taunting that some students endure from peers and classmates. These and other harmful statements are instances of bullying.

Bullying is a form of violence. It is negative, aggressive and unwanted behaviors intended to cause harm, hurt or humiliation to another student. It is anything that hurts another student, when things are repeatedly said or done to have power over that individual.

There are many types of bullying, including racial bullying, sexual bullying and cyber bullying. Bullying includes name calling, saying or writing derogatory comments, purposely excluding an individual from activities, spreading lies and rumors, ignoring, threatening, doing anything to make another person feel uncomfortable or scared, stealing or damaging belongings of others, kicking, hitting, slapping, and making someone do things they do not want to do.

Children handle being bullied in many different ways. Those who are bullied are subject to peer pressure. Sometimes they end up doing things they really do not want to do in order to “fit in”—hoping that the bullying will stop. Those who are bullied often feel pain, fear or hurt.

They lose self-confidence and feel lonely, scared and sad. They sometimes do not feel safe at school, at home or at play—and often have poor grades in school. They may suffer from depression, headaches, stomach aches and other health problems and they may also have thoughts of suicide. Some feel it necessary to fight or bring a gun or weapon to school to stop the hurt of being bullied.

I worked with a group of middle-school students who felt they were being bullied. The students were referred to me by their parents because they where getting into trouble at school. Many of the students were receiving declining or failing grades. Some of them had experienced detentions or suspensions for fighting inside or outside of school.

When meeting with the students for the first time, they explained the reason they got into fights was because they felt they were being “picked on.” A group of students constantly bullied them, and they got into the fights because they felt angry and wanted to lash out against the bullying.

Statistics reveal that one out of every four students are bullied, picked on, or abused each month. In addition, 30% of students in the United States admit to being bullies, victims of bullies, bystanders of bullying or have participated in all three roles.

My work with the group began with explaining Thought Field Therapy to try to solve the anxiety, fear and feeling that they had to fight to end the bullying. The students rated their SUD (subjective units of distress) which ranged from “10” or above for fear and anxiety to “7.”

I began leading the students through Psychological Reversal to correct any reversals that may negatively effect the treatment. I then taught them the tapping sequence for General Anxiety and Stress, checking frequently for SUD as their distress steadily lowered by at least two points for all students in the group.

We continued in this way until the SUD for each student was down to “0” or “1.” The students reported feeling better and explained that “feeling better” meant they where having fun doing TFT and did not feel tense or angry when they thought about being bullied.

Studies show that the less confidence a student has, the more likely they are to be bullied. The more confidence a student presents, the less likely it is that bullying will occur. They continued to practice the steps of TFT until they learned the sequences well enough to do them throughout the week whenever they felt like fighting, felt scared or felt less confident.

When the students arrived the next week, they were laughing and talking with a completely different demeanor from the previous week when they where somber, sad and angry. The students reported having used TFT throughout the week. All of them explained that they did not participate in any fights during the week. They all told of using tapping when feeling scared.

One student explained that she was able to concentrate on her school work and was able to pass her math test because—for the first time—she was able to study. But the most compelling comment came from one student who was constantly engaged in fighting and was on the verge of being expelled from school, even though she was actually the victim of bullying.

“I didn’t fight when some kids were picking on me,” she said. “I just started tapping and walked away.”

Excerpted from Callahan Techniques’ latest bookThe Tapping
Solution: Tapping the Body’s Energy Pathways

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