The Empowerment Space is designed for adolescent and teen children who have been victims of bullying. Created and led by Danielle Matthew, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, , The Empowerment Space consists of ten weekly sessions, including at-home activities, and then followed-up with three monthly sessions to evaluate and maintain progress. At the end of the program, children should have increased self-esteem and confidence, improved communication skills and knowledge on how to respond to bullying situations. Your child will be better able to handle interactions with a bully, and have a support system to go to when things get difficult. These new skills and knowledge helps empower your child to heal from bullying.
Who Can Participate
To qualify for this program, children must be 10 to 17 years old and be the victim of bullying (repeated aggression toward them, not a single incident) without also having bullied other children. Children must also be clinically stable in other regards (risk factors are managed by safety plans, there are no active safety concerns, and the primary diagnoses are related to bullying). An initial consultation is provided prior to starting the program.
How The Program Works
While The Empowerment Space focuses on helping your child heal from bullying, it includes the parents and school from the beginning since they, too, are key to the child’s successful healing.
Your child will attend ten 1-hour weekly one-on-one sessions – some of them also include the parent(s). These sessions are designed to give you child a safe space, while teaching him or her how to recover from bullying and how to minimize the impact of any future occurrences. The curriculum is set up to give the child clear understanding of healthy and unhealthy boundaries, the difference between negative and positive self-talk, effective communication and when/how to take action following a bullying incident. After each session, your child is given an activity to complete at home to help reinforce the concepts taught.
During the course of the program, The Empowerment Space communicates and initiates meetings with the school to create safety plans for the child. Parents are taught how to engage in a productive dialogue with the school to help ensure safety and support where the bullying is likely to occur.
After completing the program, participants should be less inclined to hold onto negative emotions caused from bullying and be able to find positive outlets to address their pain so that they’re not hurting themselves or the people around them. Following completion of the ten weekly sessions, three monthly meetings are held to evaluate and maintain progress.