Counselling in Wokingham – Bullying

Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 –
This blog is intended to give you a flavour of how I work. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page

Bullying can happen in all sorts of different ways. We might think first of physical bullying, but it can just as much be about words, looks or gestures which are, or are perceived to be, threatening or intimidating in some way. If there has been some form of physical bullying, an angry look can be extremely intimidating, carrying the very real threat of actual violence.

bullyBullying can happen in all sorts of different environments. We might think first of school, or maybe of the workplace, as the commonest places where bullying happens, but we can also see bullying in the family, in relationships, in business and between “friends”. Really, any situation where two people interact has the potential to lead to bullying.

What can you do about bullying? Well, in the first place there may be practical things you can do. Schools these days are very alert to bullying and will have procedures and policies. In the workplace too, there will be a formal channel of complaint.

Alerting the appropriate people can be very helpful in stopping the bullies but things are not always quite so simple. Bullies can operate in quite subtle ways, through looks and gestures, and those things are much more difficult to stop than actual physical violence. And if the bullying is happening in an environment where there is no complaint procedure – within a family for instance – there may be little you can do to stop it.

When the bullying is non-physical, the most effective remedy can be to stop it affecting you. Even if there is no physical pain, the bullying can still cause emotional pain, but this can be something you can control, because you own these emotions – the bullies don’t! And if the bullies realise that their games are having no effect, they will eventually get bored and stop – or find another target. They might try a change of tactics before that, but if that too has no effect, they will eventually stop bothering you.

So how can you stop the bullies getting to you? How can you stop the emotional pain? Here, counselling can help, in two main ways. The first is to find some effective techniques to help you ignore the bullies. There are various ways to do this and you will need to find ways that are effective for you – imagining yourself somewhere else, breathing deeply, imagining the bullies naked – all these can potentially help.

The second way in which counselling might help you is by exploring the origins of some of your feelings. It may be that particular phrases hurt you because they connect with childhood experiences – or particular looks may remind you of someone from your past. In these and other ways the bullies may be touching on nerves that make their behaviour much more effective that it would otherwise be. Identifying these links makes it possible to break them and see the bullies’ behaviour for what it is: a pathetic attempt to help them feel better about their own inadequacies.

About Paul Cockayne

Counsellor, musician, iPhone developer, games-player, cheese-lover....
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