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Bullying

3 Ways Hypnosis Can Help Children With Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can be difficult to escape for adolescents.

Key points

  • Cyberbullying includes sharing negative, harassing, false, or threatening content about the targeted individual.
  • Cyberbullying is known to affect about one in seven teenagers, and can lead to anxiety or depression.
  • Because electronic communication is available 24/7, children subjected to cyberbullying have little relief.
  • Children should be encouraged to report cyberbullying when it occurs and coached on how to cope with their associated fears.
Avi Richards/Unsplash
Source: Avi Richards/Unsplash

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place electronically through cell phones or computers. This kind of bullying can occur through texting, emails, photos, or videos posted on social media, and during online gaming. Cyberbullying can occur in groups or individually, as well as anonymously. It includes sharing negative, harassing, false, or threatening content about the targeted individual. Often, cyberbullying involves sharing personal or private information that causes embarrassment.

Cyberbullying is known to affect about one in seven teenagers. Often, such bullying leads to anxiety or depression. Ways that teenagers often deal with cyberbullying include avoiding social media or attempts at retaliation. Unfortunately, avoiding interactions over social media can lead to isolation at this age, when much adolescent interaction occurs in this form. This was especially true during the recent times of quarantine. Attempts at retaliation also frequently lead to a bad outcome in that such reactions can lead to escalated bullying.

Cyberbullying Can Be Difficult to Escape

Because electronic communication is available 24/7, children subjected to cyberbullying have little relief. Further, posts on social media can remain permanent and this causes children to develop anxiety regarding how the bullying might affect them in the future. Some children worry that the bullying may lead them to decreased employment opportunities in the future, or affect their prospects of being admitted to a good college.

One way to deal with cyberbullying is to simply ignore it. A child can be coached that if the cyberbullying becomes distressing it should be reported, including to the platform on which it is occurring, if appropriate. For example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat allow reporting of offensive content. Many states have laws against cyberbullying, and many schools take an active disciplinary role in addressing it. A child might also be reassured that there is an overload of information on the internet and thus it is very unlikely that bullying posts will affect the child in the future.

Hypnosis for Cyberbullying

Hypnosis can be helpful in dealing with cyberbullying in a few ways:

  • Children can be taught to calm themselves using hypnosis, which can help them better tolerate the frustration that can be caused by cyberbullying. In this way, they are more apt to be able to ignore it or to formulate an appropriate response.
  • A relaxed state achieved in a state of hypnosis can be a good platform from which children can be taught to project loving or kind thoughts towards a bully, which helps them feel more in control of the situation. Sometimes, the enhancement of good feelings on the part of the victim helps change their response to bullying.
  • An interaction with the subconscious through hypnosis can help the child gain insight into the reasons the bully might be acting in a hateful manner. Such insight can help the victim recognize that the bullying has little to do with the victim's intrinsic worth and is much more related to the psychological issues that are driving the bully’s behavior.

Takeaway

Cyberbullying is a challenge faced by many children in the 21st century. Children should be encouraged to report it when it occurs and coached on how to cope with their associated fears.

Hypnosis can be used to help children deal with cyberbullying including through the employment of relaxation; positive, loving thoughts; and helping children achieve insights into how to conceptualize the bullying in a way that promotes a healing perspective.

References

More information about hypnosis and how it can be used to cope with life challenges is available in my 2021 book, "Changing Children’s Lives with Hypnosis: A Journey to the Center." Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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