Have or are you being bullied? Perhaps you’ve been bullying others and would like help to stop? Does it affect your day to day life? Would you like help and guidance? Here is some useful information you will find helpful.


What is Bullying??

There is no legal definition of bullying. But it is usually defined as repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically, and is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.

Bullying can take many forms including:

  • Physical Assault
  • Teasing
  • Making Threats
  • Name Calling
  • Cyber Bullying

Bullying can happen anywhere: at school, travelling to and from school, in sporting teams, between neighbours or in the workplace.

Cyber bullying is bullying through a mobile phone or online (e.g. by email, instant messenger or on social network sites). Cyber bullying is just as serious.

There are many ways of bullying someone online and for some it can take shape in more ways than one.

Some of the types of cyber bullying are:

Harassment – This is the act of sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages and being abusive. Nasty or humiliating comments on posts, photos and in chat rooms. Being explicitly offensive on gaming sites.

Denigration – This is when someone may send information about another person that is fake, damaging and untrue. Sharing photos of someone for the purpose to ridicule, spreading fake rumours and gossip. This can be on any site online or on apps. We even hear about people altering photos of others and posting in online for the purpose of bullying.

Flaming – This is when someone is purposely using really extreme and offensive language and getting into online arguments and fights. They do this to cause reactions and enjoy the fact it causes someone to get distressed.

Impersonation – This is when someone will hack into someone’s email or social networking account and use the person’s online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others. The making up of fake profiles on social network sites, apps and online are common place and it can be really difficult to get them closed down.

Outing and Trickery – This is when someone may share personal information about another or trick someone into revealing secrets and forward it to others. They may also do this with private images and videos too.

Cyber Stalking – This is the act of repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm, harassment, intimidating messages, or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety. The actions may be illegal too depending on what they are doing.

Exclusion – This is when others intentionally leave someone out of a group such as group messages, online apps, gaming sites and other online engagement. This is also a form of social bullying and a very common.

Bullying includes:

  • People calling you names
  • Making things up to get you into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
  • Taking things away from you
  • Damaging your belongings
  • Stealing your money
  • Taking your friends away from you
  • Posting insulting messages or rumours, in person on the internet or by IM (cyberbullying)
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls
  • Sending you offensive phone texts
  • Bullies can also frighten you so that you don’t want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them


Who Does It Effect?

Nearly all children will be affected by bullying in some way. They might be a victim of bullying, they might bully others, or they may witness bullying. Even if they aren’t directly affected, it’s likely they’ll know another child who is bullied or who bullies others. Anybody can be a victim of bullying, it could be because of their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. There is no age where people cannot be bullied, it is just more common in children than adults.

People may be bullied because they are shy, have low self-esteem or appear anxious. Popular and successful children are also bullied in most cases because others are jealous. Somebodies family circumstances could also be a reason they are bullied. Disabled people experience bullying as they are seen as an easy target and less able to defend themselves.


  • Over half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have experienced homophobic bullying at school.
  • 85% of parents with a disabled child who have been bullied believe were targeted because of their disability.
  • There were over 25,700 counselling sessions with children last year about bullying.
  • More than 16,000 young people are absent from school because of bullying.
  • Bullying is the main reason children aged 11 years and younger contact ChildLine.
  • 45% of young people experience bullying before the age of 18.
  • 36% of young people are worried about being bullied in school, college or university.
  • 38% believe that their school, college or university do not take bullying seriously.
  • 83% of young people say bullying has a negative effect on their self-esteem.
  • Over the last 3 years there has been an 87% increase in counselling sessions because of cyber bullying.
  • 7 in 10 young people aged between 13 & 22 have been a victim of cyber bullying.
  • An estimated 5.43 million young people in the UK have experienced cyber bullying with 1.26 million subject to extreme cases on a daily basis.
  • More than half (55%) of gay, lesbian or bisexual young people have experienced homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools.
  • 37% of adults are bullied at work.

Examples of People Being Bullied

This boy that went to my old school started calling me ‘mogly’, after a gremlin Anna’s Story


“Then I started to cut myself. It was addicting, I did it a couple times that night.”Alex’s Story


“I am now 30 years old and have only just started to get over my bullied years that happened years ago at school.” Emma’s Story


“This guy named Chris started calling me gay, and harassing me”David’s Story


“I moved up to my first school. This was when the bullying began.”Roses’ Story


All of the above stories were shared on; http://www.stampoutbullying.co.uk/things_by_you/stories/

How Can it be Treated?

The AOC can help you if you are or have been bullied and are still feeling the effects. We are HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) registered and also members of BACP (The British Association of Dramatherapists). We have a team of highly skilled, professional counsellors and associate therapists to help you through with the use of creative art therapies.

Creative art therapies involve using arts in a therapeutic environment with a trained therapist. You do not need to have any artistic skill or previous experience of dance, drama, music or visual art to find arts therapies helpful. The aim isn’t to produce a great work of art, but to use what you create to understand yourself better. In arts therapy, your therapist helps you to create something — such as a piece of music, a drawing, a play or a dance routine — as a way of expressing your feelings, often without using words.

Creative art therapies can be offered in group sessions, one-to-one or with family therapy depending on your own preference. We will match you to our best suited therapist/counsellor to help you with any of your issues. All our counselling is strictly confidential and nothing said in the therapy space will leave the room.

There are many different modalities in which creative arts can be offered to you ranging from the following;

Offers profound reflection on who we are and the roles we play. These art forms are also centrally concerned with how people change people, for better or worse, and the sort of connections they make with each other, e.g. superficial, conflictual, brutal, deadened or deeply enriching. Drama and puppetry can also offer vital insights into ‘situation’: how past situations are still colouring those in the present. Working with puppets is ideal for circumventing a reluctance to speak about feelings.

Sculpture offers a person the power to speak through touch. Its power lies more in the emotional resonance of substance. Sculpture invites a sensual engagement with the world. Clay expresses qualities and forms of feeling, directly, plainly, free of the clutter of any associations of the everyday.

Literal words can misrepresent, underplay, hide rather than reveal and frequently offering only approximations to any recalled experience. In poetry as a multi-sensorial form, ‘amplifies the music of what happens’ (Seamus Heaney). ‘A poetic basis of mind’ (Hillman) can lead to a far more profound experience of life.

Clients choose from a whole world of miniature people, animals and buildings and arrange them in the controlled space of the ‘theatre of the sandbox’. This theatre then offers a profound overview of important life issues. Once feelings are organised and externalised in sandplay, they can be contemplated from a distance, and then assimilated.

The dynamic forms in music are recognisable as vital forms of felt life: the rises and falls, the surges and flooding’s, the tensions and intensities, the changes in tempo, the dissonances, harmonies and resolutions. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing. Music can convey the full qualitative and energetic aspects of an important relationship, atmosphere crucial event, or ongoing situation.

Forms en-capture the complex inter-relations between time, weight, space, flow. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing, so much so that both movement and still pose can provoke all manner of resonance. It is also possible to work with what the body is already communicating symbolically, whether through posture, gesture and gait, or through illness and injury. Movement is integral to the very process of change.


The AOC. Counselling & Training 201

 If you would like to receive counselling from The AOC please fill out on of our online referral forms and send to support@theaoc.org.uk You will have a choice of 3 different types of referral forms;

  1. For individuals or couples
  2. Family referral form
  3. Group referral form

Please select the referral form most suited to you i.e. if you would like group therapy, fill out the group referral form.

Simply click the following link to find out more information and complete one of our referral forms:


We provide our clients with high-quality, evidence based expertise in the form of personal therapy and counselling. To help anyone suffering with any type of eating disorder.

Here is an example of a creative art therapy from The AOC in more detail;


Creative Arts Therapies (drama, art, movement, music therapy or psychodrama)

Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy/psychotherapy in which all of the  performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. Dramatherapy addresses a wide range of personal and emotional difficulties. Clients who are referred to a dramatherapist do not need to have previous experience or skill in acting, theatre or drama. Dramatherapists are trained to enable clients to find the most suitable medium for them to engage in group or individual therapy to address and resolve, or make troubling issues more bearable. Dramatherapists work in a wide variety of settings with people of all ages:

  • In schools
  • In mental health
  • In general health and social care settings
  • In prisons
  • In hospices
  • In the voluntary sector
  • In private practice

Dramatherapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their training’s in theatre, drama and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes.  The therapy gives equal validity to body and mind within the dramatic context; stories, myths, play-texts, puppetry, masks and improvisation are examples of the range of artistic interventions a dramatherapist may employ.  These will enable the client to explore difficult and painful life experiences through a creative-expressive approach. Dramatherapists are vtrained in both psychological and arts-specific assessment and evaluation techniques. They are committed to generating practice-based evidence and deliver sound evidence-based practice.

The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth)



We can also offer our clients integrative counselling;

Integrative Counselling

Integrative therapy, or integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances.

Integrative counselling maintains the idea that there are many ways in which human psychology can be explored and understood – no one theory holds the answer. All theories are considered to have value, even if their foundational principles contradict each other – hence the need to integrate them.

The integrative approach also refers to the infusion of a person’s personality and needs – integrating the affective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological systems within one person, as well as addressing social and spiritual aspects. Essentially, integrative counsellors are not only concerned with what works, but why it works – tailoring therapy to their clients and not the client to the therapy.

Top Health Tips

  1. Never Suffer in Silence – If you are being bullied don’t keep it locked away in your mind. Speak to someone whether it be your parents, a family member, a friend a teacher or colleague. They can help you seek further help.
  2. Is it a Crime? – Did you know bullying was a criminal offence? Only you can decide on how serious you perceive the bullying. If someone is physically or sexually attacking you, uses prejudice language toward you such as homophobic hate or racism, or even shares private information online – these are key signs that you should report to the police.
  3. Don’t See Yourself as the Problem – The sooner you realise that you are not the problem the better. It’s the person who is bullying who has the issue, not you.
  4. Do Not Isolate Yourself – Depriving yourself from any sort of support will not help you and won’t resolve the issue. It may sometimes feel like the best thing to do at the time but it will only lower your self-esteem and make you feel worse. Be around your friends, family and loved ones. Let them help.
  5. Look After Your Health – It is important that you stay healthy. Having a healthy diet and working out can help lower your stress levels. This will lead to stressful situation being easier to deal with. Other things you could try are meditation, yoga, cooking running, swimming or even listening to some calming music whilst doing breathing exercises. The AOC sell a wide range of relaxation CD’s. See them at – https://www.theaoc.org.uk/shop/
  6. Seek a Role Model – When you are going through a rough patch it can all seem like a black hole. It can be even worse if you are being bullied or struggling with your identity. Seeking a positive role model can show you that plenty of people have been in your position and have overcome it. There are many celebrities who you can choose from such as Gok Wan and Dr Christian Jessen. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity it could be someone else who has shared their story online or somebody you know.
  7. Lean on us – The AOC can really help you through this tough time, we are always here to listen and guide you through. If you need help or guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us – support@theaoc.org.uk