Adlerian Therapy on Predicting and Correcting Bullying Behavior

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A systematic problem, bullying is a violent behavior constitutes by multiple factors including schools, individuals, peers, and social media. Bullying is not caused by any one factor but includes factors that interact with one another and can prevent an individual from participating in society. It is not just an individual problem but a systematic one that requires a deep understanding of the multiple variables with which it is associated. For example, school shootings, suicide, and academic difficulties have been found to influence all students who are involved in bullying. In line with this, students who exhibit bullying behaviors are more likely to have conflicted family relationships, substance abuse issues, and lower levels of life satisfaction, and display negative attitude towards themselves.

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Using an Individual Psychology lens, a loving family would foster social interest, and in effect, their children would be less likely to engage in ‘socially useless’ behaviors, such as bullying, drinking alcohol, and smoking. However, Adler’s theory on inferiority complex and the utilization of bullying to attain ‘superiority’ or better identity is challenged because it seems that students who feel very good about their relationship with their family, and those students who feel like their parents control too much of their lives are just as likely to bully. In the same way, Adler’s theory on social interest is arguable because students who feel good about themselves and their social standing in school as well as those students who receive favorable opinions from their teachers are likely to bully. In Adlerian Therapy, therapist’s main goal is to reorient and assist clients to form attainable goals, such as “I know that I made mistake by hitting my classmate, but I have learned that I can talk to him/her and tell him that I do not like when he makes fun of me and I plan to do this in the future.” Adlerian Therapy in this context also has four phases: (a) relationship, (b) analysis/assessment, (c) insight/interpretation, and (d) reorientation/reeducation. Establishing relationship with the client is believed to be the most important aspect of the therapy, and it must focus on encouragement. It is also important to examine students’ cognitions, thoughts, and values and encourage them to change how they view ways on attaining power. Through assessment of early childhood recollections, the therapist seeks out to understand where the student learned about seeking power and identity formation. Lastly, through encouragement the student can be educated to seek an identity that does not include violent behavior or bullying.

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