Find The Right Counsellor!
By Glynis Sherwood
bullied can be an overwhelming and exhausting experience.
The personal resources that targets need to rely on
to cope - clear thinking, concentration and emotional
equilibrium - are often in short supply, due to unrelenting
stress. Moving on from the experience can also be
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to
find a counsellor who understands bullying and knows
how to assist. For bullied targets, effective counselling
support is a valuable investment that helps them get
back on their feet as soon as possible.
How should a target of bullying
go about finding a skilled and appropriate counsellor?
The Importance Of Good Fit
The common thread that runs through
any successful counselling experiences is a positive
relationship between counsellor and client. In other
words, you like the counsellor, feel that s/he understands
you, and that s/he is able to help you in ways that
have tangible benefits, such as feeling more in control
of your life, able to move on, etc. Aside from personalities
that ‘click’, and evidence of professional
training, a good counsellor for bullied targets should
have the following qualities:
- Understands that you are a victim of abuse and,
if necessary, reminds you (over and over again)
that bullying is not your fault
- Does not confuse psychological injury with mental
- Is familiar with the emotional and physiological
symptoms of bullying. Neither minimizes nor misattributes
symptoms to other problems
- Is aware that you may be traumatized, screens
for that possibility, and is prepared to treat the
- Knows the difference between bullying and “personal
- Monitors for substance abuse, sleep deprivation
and appetite disturbance
- Concentrates on solutions and moving forward,
helping the bullied client to feel more in control
- Teaches healthy coping and stress reduction skills
(EG Assertiveness, Meditation)
- Helps client to focus on resilience, strength
- Has some practical knowledge of concrete steps
to take and can provide coaching around this.
(EG What to say/not to say to employers, physicians,
insurance companies, co-workers, unions, lawyers,
- Can write psychological reports/letters identifying
the consequences of “psychological injury”
to the target
- Has knowledge of community resources (EG Support
- Permits client to grieve loss, hurt and injury
- Helps the target build personal strengths that
will reduce the possibility of being targeted at
future job sites (EG Developing office politics
- Fits your budget. A certified counsellor with
a master’s degree will cost around $100 per
hour. A registered psychologist costs closer to
$150 per hour. There is often little difference
in counselling expertise and experience between
these two professional groups. However, a psychologist
has additional academic training and is licensed
to perform specialized psychological assessments.
During initial contact with a prospective
counsellor, clients should ask about their experience
with bullied targets and get a sense of the counsellor’s
approach. As the experience of bullying is so disempowering
and potentially life destabilizing, targets should
look for reassurance that they will get to solutions
as quickly as possible.
Glynis Sherwood, MEd, CCC, RCC
Counsellor and Author, Vancouver BC and around the world by Phone or Skype video.
Glynis Sherwood is a counsellor in private practice who helps people who have left abusive workplaces to heal from psychological injuries caused by bullying and mobbing. Specifically, I provide counselling and psychotherapy to help former targets overcome stress, anxiety, depression or trauma.
Visit my website to learn more about how counselling can help you rebound from workplace abuse.
Pat Ferris, PhD
601, 1177 - 11th Ave. S.W.
Calgary, AB., T2R 1K9
Phone 403 269-9600
Catapia MA, CCC
Counsellor in Private Practice
232 - 2628 Granville St.
Vancouver, BC V6H 4B4
Phone 604 868-0958 (10 am - 9 pm)
- Emotional Distress, PTSD, Anxiety
- Coaching in Anti-Bullying Strategies
- Relationship Issues
- Career Change, Job Search
- Harrassment & Mobbing in the Workplace Training
(Prevention & Response)
- Emotional Intelligence Seminars
- Natural Teambuilders in the Workplace Training
- Decision-Making Strategies Seminars
us to have your name added to the directory.