Healthcare Training Institute - Quality Education since 1979
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In the last section, we discussed 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.
In this section, we will discuss four strategies for skill training for internet bullies. These four strategies are identify support, increase the ability to empathize, gain a more accurate self-concept, and improve social problem solving and anger management.
Remember Tamara from the last section? Tamara stated, "After Mira ratted me out for bulling, I was really pissed. It was like everyone started looking down on me. So I gave her what was coming to her. I gotta stand up for myself!"
♦ Strategy # 1 - Identify & Seek Support
I encouraged Tamara to reopen a dialogue with Ms. Johnson. I stated, "Ms. Johnson may support Mira’s action, but she’s obviously very concerned about you, too. She can like and support both her students, and she clearly cares about you enough to ask how you were." Clearly, while encouraging dialogues with people outside the internet bully’s immediate support group is important, it is important to remember that any perceived slight, regardless of how small or unintentional, will likely send the internet bully immediately back to the closed circle of ideas and friends that support bullying behaviors.
♦ Strategy # 2 - Increase her Ability to Empathize
Reverse Role Play Technique
I stated to Tamara, "It would be nice to know how Mira would react if you said that, but she’s not here. Let’s do a little role-playing here to see if we can imagine what would happen. You react to me the way you think Mira would, and I’ll react the way I think you would. You’ve seen enough and thought enough about her that you can guess how she would react. Try to get in touch with how she would feel and you be her. I’ll start."
Although I practiced the role play in a traditional format as well, I was also able to borrow a pair of laptops from the school so that Tamara and I could practice the reverse role-play over instant messenger, through a pair of neutral screen names we set up specifically for the purpose.
♦ Strategy # 3 - Gaining a More Accurate Self-Concept
Mentoring allows the internet bully to spend non-defensive time trying to understand another person, who often looks up to them. To help her practice these skills online, I also helped Tamara find an internet support group in which she could participate. Being able to give others helpful advice and support in an online support group helped Tamara begin to recognize that individuals on the other end of an online interaction are real people with feelings sometimes similar to hers.
♦ Strategy # 4 - Improve Social Problem Solving & Anger
In this section, we have discussed four strategies for skill training for internet bullies. These four strategies are identify support, increase the ability to empathize, gain a more accurate self-concept, and improve social problem solving and anger management.
In the next section, we will discuss four therapeutic interventions for the friends of internet bullies and their victims. These four interventions are, give permission to act on feelings, decide on specific actions, provide immediate and follow up support for victims, and help bullies change in positive ways.