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Healing the harm of bullying: Lessons from restorative practice A workshop with Margaret Thorsborne IPBA conference, San Diego 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Healing the harm of bullying: Lessons from restorative practice A workshop with Margaret Thorsborne IPBA conference, San Diego 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Healing the harm of bullying: Lessons from restorative practice A workshop with Margaret Thorsborne IPBA conference, San Diego 2014

2 Retributive JusticeRestorative Justice Crime and wrongdoing are violations against the laws/rules: What laws/rules have been broken? Crime and wrongdoing is a violation of people and relationships: Who has been harmed? In what way? Blame must be apportioned: Who did it? Obligations must be recognized: Whose are these? Punishment must be imposed: What do they deserve? How can the harm be repaired?

3 Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014 Cold and demanding Warm and demanding Cold and undemanding Warm and undemanding DEMANDING UNDEMANDING WARMCOLD Maurie Abraham, 2014

4 Case study: “Skinner” Your physical education class worked a treat - and you begin to dream of that cup of coffee at recess. Nick comes out to collect his watch and you notice him white-faced and in tears. You thought you heard some loud noises from the change rooms…… Nick, after some reluctance, tells you the story and how he now hates PE. Nick is very embarrassed about getting changed in front of his peers - he has been called a ‘skinner’ by Sam and his mates. So he goes into the toilet cubicle for some privacy. Sam, with his mates looking on, give Nick a terrifying time by trying to knock the cubicle door down and shout awful names at Nick, “skinner”, “sook”, “big girl”. The door has been damaged and will need some serious repair work just as Nick will. Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014 Case study by Dave Vinegrad

5 Sociogram Take a minute with someone sitting next to you and together draw a sociogram connecting up all the parties in this story. Think through who is in this story and see if you can draw some connecting lines between them that represent the relationships between the parties. Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014

6 Dad Sam Tch Mum Nick Janitor Class Dad Mum Mates Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014

7 Basic innate wiring for our emotions Interest – excitement Enjoyment – joy Surprise – startle Shame – humiliation Distress – anguish Anger – rage Fear – terror Dissmell Disgust © Margaret Thorsborne & Associates Tomkins,

8 The Central Blueprint: rules for living an emotionally balanced life 1. Maximize Positive Affect 2. Minimize Negative Affect 3. Minimize the Inhibition of Affect 4. Maximize the power to do 1-3 Directs all behavior and thinking to: Tomkins,

9 PE should be a source of both interest and enjoyment for all members of the class, including the teacher. Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014

10 Emotional harm What feelings and emotions would have been triggered in the case study? Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014

11 What is Emotional Harm?  Presence of persistent or unrelenting negative affect (especially fear, distress, shame, or anger) when: a) the negative stimulus persists or b) a mood state has been activated or c) both.  Chronic distortion in the rules of the Central Blueprint as a means of compensation. Kelly, 2014 Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014

12 What is the effect of Harm? Persistent negative affect and moods:  reduce positive affect so that interest and enjoyment of life diminish because they become more difficult to trigger.  increase disease risk including depression, suicide, hypertension, heart attack, gastric ulcer, etc.  reduce one’s ability to concentrate or care about work or school (things that require interest).  impede interpersonal connections triggering shame in relationships. Kelly, 2014 Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014

13 1. Maximize positive: can become impossible or can become excessive pleasure seeking to the exclusion of life’s realities. 2. Minimize negative: can become impossible creating a withdrawn, avoidant, even paranoid life style. 3. Minimize inhibition: can become the opposite, reducing awareness of self and ability to connect with others. 4. Maximize power: can become impossible freezing the ability to grow and develop new personality strengths. Distortion of the Central Blueprint Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014 Kelly, 2014

14  When harm causes shame (as it almost always does), it usually creates further harm. Shame is triggered by any impediment to positive affect BUT once triggered it also acts as a further impediment.  The extreme end product of this process is TOXIC SHAME that completely isolates people from self, friends, family, and community.  Traditional methods of punishment for misconduct (especially bullying) increase shame in both person responsible and person harmed, alike making toxic shame outcomes more likely. The harm tha comes with shame Adapted from Kelly 2014 Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014

15 Defensive Responses to Shame How do people respond when shame is triggered and the information shame provides cannot be used to constructively remove the impediment ? Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014

16 Compass of shame Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014 Attack other Attack self WithdrawalAvoidance Nathanson, 1992

17 A note about Anger emotions:  Feeling angry is much less toxic than feeling shame, fear, or distress. As children, we notice that when angry, we pump some adrenalin and feel stronger. Soon we replace the more vulnerable feelings of shame, fear, and distress with anger scripts.  Always look beneath anger for the real feelings and vulnerabilities that make a person appear simply angry.  Anger blocks emotional connection while expression of vulnerable feelings enhances it. Hence the use of restorative questions such as: What did you think at the time? How has this affected you? What has been the worst of it?

18 Shame-proneness: evolves from biology and those individual & interpersonal shame experiences which foster seeing the self as defective, as shorn off from others and with little hope of change  Compass of Shame scripts. Guilt-proneness: evolves from biology and those individual & interpersonal shame/fear experiences which foster seeing specific behaviors as having a “bad” effect on others but as reparable  action oriented scripts to fix the problem. A brief note about Shame vs Guilt: Adapted from Kelly, 2014

19 4 Important principles of restorative problem-solving Inclusive decision making Active accountability Repairing the harm Rebuilding trust Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, 2014 David Karp, 2013

20 Margaret Thorsborne Margaret Thorsborne and Associates, 2014 Contact details Web: Mobile: Marg Thorsborne Margaret Thorsborne and Associates


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