What is Bullying?

Bullying occurs when someone or a group of people cause psychological or physical harm to another person, or damage their property, reputation or social acceptance, on more than one occasion. Bullying can take on many forms. Direct bullying involves physical aggression and verbal attacks. Indirect bullying is more subtle and can include actions such as exclusion and ignoring, spreading rumours, embarrassing and humiliating others. Cyber-bullying whereby a child/adolescent is targeted through social media or the internet has also significant risen in frequency due to the accessibility of smart phones and social media.

Bullying has three main components:

  • A deliberate intent to harm
  • A power imbalance between the perpetrator and the victim
  • (Often) repeated behaviour.

What are Indicators my Child/Adolescent may be being Bullied?

  • Does your child find excuses for not going to school, e.g. being sick?
  • Is your child tense, tearful and/or unhappy before or after school?
  • Does your child have unexplained bruises or scratches?
  • Is your child showing difficulties sleeping such as nightmares or bedwetting?
  • Does your child talk about not liking school or other children at school?
  • Have you noticed your child’s standard of school work declining?
  • Have you noticed a change in the usual behaviour pattern of your child?
  • Does your child have a lack of friends at school?

What are indicators my child/adolescent is bullying others?

  • Does your child talk about his/her peers in a negative or aggressive way?
  • Does your child have money, toys or other items that do not belong to him/her?
  • Does your child have difficulties getting along easily with others?
  • Is your child involved in a peer group that supports bullying behaviour?


Children or adolescents who have been victims of bullying may find a supportive and safe environment to address their feelings in counselling or therapy. Being a victim of bullying can result in difficult emotions such as anger, shame, anxiety, and isolation. Therapy can help victims of bullying notice, share, and process painful feelings, which left unattended can negatively impact one’s personal well-being.  Intervention can also focus on increasing self-confidence, resiliency and coping skills to respond to and stop bullying.


If you think your child or adolescent has been the victim of bullying and requires additional support please give us a call on 07 3341 4619 to make an appointment.