Bullying can be described as repeated behaviour which intentionally hurts another person or group of people. The hurt can be either physical (for example being physically hit), or emotional. Emotional bullying includes more recent forms of bullying such as ‘cyber bullying’ where new information technologies and social media are used to emotionally bully a person or group of people.
Most of us will be affected by bullying at some point in our lives. It can affect anyone, from school children to adults in the workplace, or elderly people who may be in care or rely on the support of others. Bullying can be carried out by an individual or a group of people. Victims of bullying are generally individuals but it is not uncommon for groups of people to be the victims of a bully.
The impact of bullying on the victim can vary, but in the worst cases it can be devastating. Bullies take away a persons self-esteem and self confidence, and create fear in their victims. Bullying commonly causes the victim to become withdrawn and depressed, and may alter mood and behaviour. In extreme cases, victims of bullying can become suicidal where they feel unsupported and see no way to escape the bullies.
Counselling is an effective support mechanism for victims of bullying in terms of helping them understand what has happened to them, helping them to cope with anxiety and rebuilding self esteem and confidence.