October is National Bullying Prevention Month

The therapists we've featured here are specialists, passionate about supporting children who suffer from the effects of bullying.

Let's talk about bullying

At TherapyDen, we want to help children that are being effected by bullies and boost their self-esteem.

Community leaders voice out

I can see a few common underlying factors that causes a child to become a bully. The first being that the child may have learned the behavior of bullying others from a parent who has, in some ways, bullied them. Of course, this is not always the case but it is one possibility. That being said, another reason could be that the child has been bullied by other kids, so, in order to make themselves feel better, they start being a bully themselves. Another part of this could be that the child has low self-worth and low self-esteem, so by bullying others they are attempting to make themselves feel better. Finally, I think another important reason to keep in mind is if the child is part of a group or clique and in order to be a part of the group they feel that they need to bully other kids like their friends are.

Jennifer Twardowski, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist


In regard to what I would say to a parent that encourages their child to act like a bully, rather than jumping to conclusions about why a parent would encourage their child to bully, it is important to align with the parent, ask gentle questions, and try to understand their perspective. Maybe they were bullied themselves. Maybe they were raised in- or currently live in- a community with different values than your own. I would first try to understand the parents’ experience, then provide some psychoeducation about the effects of bullying, and finally, I would work with the family (and school, when appropriate) to collaborate as a team to help their child in a meaningful, productive, and safe way.g

Liz Gray, Clinical Social Worker

I've been a parent for 22 years, a teacher for 25 years, and I've always been a child advocate. Anti-bullying programs don't work. What schools need are Acts of Kindness programs. Programs where kids secretly do something nice for another student once a week - maybe every Friday (for example) and no one ever knows who did it. Programs where little notes of affirmation are placed by kids for kids. Where kids sit together and talk about what it feels like to have a friend, to BE a friend. What loyalty means. What vulnerability means. Teach friendship, kindness, love. You won't have a need for an anti-bullying program.

Dr. Ali Dubin, Mental Health Counselor

Child therapists that can help kids who are bullied or become bullies.