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Smaller, M.D. (2013). The Plague of Bullying: In the Classroom, the Psychoanalytic Institute, and on the Streets. Psychoanal. Inq., 33(2):144-152.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 33(2):144-152

The Plague of Bullying: In the Classroom, the Psychoanalytic Institute, and on the Streets

Mark D. Smaller, Ph.D.

This article addresses the social epidemic of bullying that impacts our schools, workplaces, and communities from a psychoanalytic perspective. It has been estimated by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2008) that nearly half of our children are bullied at some point during their school years. Bullying has increased with use of the Internet and social networks, with cyber-bullying having become a new concern of parents and educators. Clinical examples will be drawn from an individual psychoanalytic treatment, a school setting, and a psychoanalytic organization. As a social issue, bullying behavior comes in many forms and, at worst, can become the foundation of cyclical violent and suicidal behavior, creating childhood trauma and severe psychological symptoms in children, adolescents, and adults. Psychoanalysis has much to offer conceptually, with clear implications for solutions. A theoretical section describes one dynamic of bullying, utilizing a self-psychological perspective. This approach emerged from the Analytic Service to Adolescents Program (ASAP), an in-school treatment and research program of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and Morton Alternative High School. I argue that the applications of psychoanalytic ideas beyond our consulting rooms can, in turn, inform and enrich the clinical experience in our consulting rooms as well.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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