It’s important to challenge our own biases—and help identify biases in others—in order to combat the roots of bullying, says Anneliese Singh, professor and associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in a new article featured in Counseling Today.
Often, bullying is discussed in general terms. But as Singh points out, “If you look more closely at ‘general bullying,’ what you’ll see is a lot of bias-based bullying.” This means the bullying could be based on appearance, gender expression or gender identity, ranging from name-calling to physical and sexual harassment and assault.
And, she adds, it’s important for counselors to recognize their own biases, positive and negative as they work with clients. A counselor’s role is to interrupt the systems of bias-based bullying, which begins with an intake assessment and continues with cognitive behavior therapy for both clients and counselors to keep biased thoughts in check.