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In the last section, we discussed steps five and six of the direct intervention stage. These steps are agreeing upon actions and conditions, and reevaluating goals regularly.
In this section, we will discuss four steps in a technique for structured termination of joint sessions for internet bully and victim. These four steps are, setting the stage, introduce the rationale for termination, introduce preparation tasks, and the final joint meeting.
The model I have used for joint counseling for internet bully and victim emphasizes independence, and relies on each student increasingly to take control of their relationships as their interpersonal skills improve and tension levels decrease. As you are well aware, to further this emphasis on independent improvement, ending dependence on the therapy relationship as early as possible may be key to promote additional gains. In the rest of this section, I will outline the specific organizational structure I have found useful for successful termination of joint sessions for internet bully and victim.
Raoul, 14, had discovered a web page entitled "Raoul haters" at the start of the school year posted by some of his classmates. The website had spread rumors about Raoul’s sexuality, and had encouraged him to "leave school and never come back." Initially Raoul had been so upset that he had left the school for a period of two months and was home schooled. Raoul’s mother had agreed to home school Raoul for a short period of time as long as he participated in conflict resolution therapy.
However, Raoul and the student who had started the website, Janine, had made solid progress in joint session. At first Janine had not wanted to participate in joint session, but when told she would be suspended or expelled if she did not participate, Janine had agreed the session were in her best interest. Raoul had been able to return to school, and Janine had begun limiting her internet usage voluntarily to avoid temptation. Recently, Janine and Raoul reported that they had been able to stand next to each other in the lunch line without feeling tension.
♦ Step # 1 - Setting the Stage
♦ Step # 2 - Introduce the Rationale for Termination
I stated to Raoul, "Feeling anxious is very understandable. Yes, you both have done very well and you keep doing better all the time. I’ve been pleased to see how well you are getting along and deal with the problems come up. But both you and Janine have been handling these problems almost all on your own now. Most of what we talk about in sessions now are things you two have already worked out together. This is the way it is supposed to be, and you should both be very proud of that. I’ll always be here if you need me again, all you need to do is ask. Right now though, other people need me more."
♦ Step # 3 - Introduce Preparation Tasks
I’d also like you to look at yourselves and the other people in your lives this week to see how things have changed and what you think could still be better. We’ll talk more about how it feels to stop these meeting too. I’m pleased with how far you’ve come, and I’m excited to see where you are headed."
♦ Step # 4 - Final Joint Meeting
Think of your Raoul and Janine, whose joint sessions following an incident of internet bullying are drawing to a close. How does your current plan for termination compare to the technique which I have outlined in this section?
In this section, we have discussed four steps in a technique for structured termination of joint sessions for internet bully and victim. These four steps are, setting the stage, introduce the rationale for termination, introduce preparation tasks, and the final joint meeting.
In the next section, we will discuss four specific therapeutic strategies for victims of internet bullying. These four strategies are avoid giving the internet bully an emotional payoff, be verbally assertive, do something unexpected, and practice necessary behaviors.
- Smith, F. (2006). Going after cyberbullies a group of Internet "angels" is out to protect children. Prevention, 58(9), 143-144.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Kowalski, R. M., Dillon, E., Macbeth, J., Franchi, M., & Bush, M. (2020). Racial differences in cyberbullying from the perspective of victims and perpetrators. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Advance online publication.
Yang, C., Sharkey, J. D., Reed, L. A., & Dowdy, E. (2020). Cyberbullying victimization and student engagement among adolescents: Does school climate matter? School Psychology, 35(2), 158–169.