Clinical Psychologist Dr. Albert Jerome was featured in a recent article published by Elizabeth Coe in the Loudoun Times Mirror.
Ms. Coe wrote that bullying among school-aged children is a widespread and serious issue. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, studies show that between 15 and 25 percent of American students are bullied. Several examples of specific cases of bullying were described in the article.
Dr. Jerome was cited as a local expert on bullying, who has both knowledge of the relevant research literature and clinical experience working with youngsters and families that are dealing with bullying. Dr. Jerome stated that bullying can have a significant impact on children and can lead to significant distress, withdrawal from activities, and even refusal to go to school.
He also talked about how schools can best address bullying. The ideal approach involves the whole school, including school administrators, teachers, and students. Schools should keep track of what is happening by collecting detailed incident reports, and school administrators and teachers need to communicate known problems so that everyone can be aware. It is also important for children who are having difficulties to have someone whom they can trust and talk with in the school–a teacher, guidance counselor, or administrator.
In his clinical practice with families, Dr. Jerome works both individually with the child being bullied and also by reaching out to the school to make sure that they understand the severity of the problem and have appropriate resources in place for the child who is being bullied.
A further approach is to provide “resiliency” training for children so that they are less emotionally distressed by and reactive to bullying. Dr. Jerome stressed that the school should always be informed of what is happening and that children should not be advised to take things into their own hands by fighting. However, in some cases, learning to be less reactive can be helpful in reducing or eliminating verbal teasing.
Dr. Jerome is available for assisting families with issues related to bullying, anxiety and fears, OCD, depression, school refusal, and a variety of other behavioral problems.
He can be reached by email at email@example.com or by calling Ashburn Psychological Services (703-723-2999).