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In the last section, we discussed steps three and four in the evaluation stage for dealing with an incident of internet bullying. These second two steps are, gain the individual’s understanding of the situation, and explore the feelings of the individual being seen.
In this section, we will discuss the final step in the evaluation stage for dealing with an incident of internet bullying. This final step is to explore potential feelings as seen from the other participant’s point of view.
♦ Step # 5 - Gaining Individual's Understanding of Situation
In order to keep emphasis on Kasey’s progress in her understanding of herself, I most frequently introduced the task of considering Laurie’s point of view about early in our sessions. I felt that since Kasey generally exhibited difficulty generalizing, it was important to not change the subject when she was displaying progress in struggling to understand herself.
Instead, I felt it was important to allow the feelings of success go with Kasey as our session ended. By introducing the task of considering others’ points of view early in a session, I was able to provide Kasey extra time for reward and processing time to observe, think about, talk about, and take action to verify individual gains when she made progress during a session.
♦ 'Plant a Seed' Technique
I began the Plant a Seed technique by stating, "Next time I’d like for us to talk a little about what might be going on in the minds of some of the other people involved, especially Laurie. I’m understanding where you are coming from much better, but I’m less clear on Laurie. The better we understand both you and Laurie, the better chance we’ll have to make things work in a positive way for both of you."
Kasey stated, "I don’t know what I can say about Laurie. You’ll have to ask her."
I stated, "Don’t worry about it. I will talk to Laurie. But sometimes people, like you, see some things or can figure out things that the person themselves cannot see. We’ll talk more next time about the situation and see where it leads. Then we’ll make some decisions on what would be the best things for you and me to do."
During our next session, I led Kasey into a discussion of how Laurie might feel about being bullied on the internet. Kasey’s initial reaction was fairly typical. She insisted that she had no insight into Laurie’s point of view because they were nothing alike. In response, I stated, "Right, but you’ve been around Laurie and other girls at school quite a bit. What are some of the ways anybody might feel in this situation? How would you feel if someone spread rumors about you on the internet?"
As you are well aware, by asking Kasey to imagine what her feelings, thoughts, and reactions might be if she were Laurie, Kasey receives direction and support for coming up with ideas, without an emphasis on the correctness of the ideas.
I often find that exploring potential feelings of the victim with an internet bully, it is important to find ways to encourage the client’s exploration without telling her or him "you should recognize this." In addition to the projection technique we have already discussed, I have also found brainstorming to be an effective technique. Brainstorming allows the therapist to play an active role, allows extremes to be legitimized. Evaluation, as you know, is also minimized in the process of brainstorming.
♦ 'Other Shoes' Technique - 3 Steps
-- Step # 1 - Key Feelings
-- Step # 2 - Affirmation & 'What Else?'
-- Step # 3 - Imagine Life
Think of a Kasey you treated following a case of internet bullying. Would the Other Shoes technique help your internet bully begin to think of the victim as another person who has a life and feeling the internet bully can understand?
In this section, we have discussed the final step in the evaluation stage for dealing with an incident of internet bullying. This final step is to explore potential feelings as seen from the other participant’s point of view.
In the next section, we will discuss the first two steps in the Direct Intervention stage. These two steps are decide on individual therapy needs, and have individual discussions of common concerns.
- Paulson, A., (2003). Internet Bullying. Christian Science Monitor.