Bullying will be the focus of two upcoming events at Fairfield University



Image: Jo Ann FreibergBullying - how it happens and how to foster a more respectful climate - is the timely topic of two December events sponsored by Fairfield University's Marriage and Family Therapy Department. During a public lecture on Thursday, Dec. 1, and a professional development workshop on Friday, Dec. 2, noted experts will focus on what causes bullying, the rise of cyberbullying and ways to counteract it.

"Bullying has gotten a lot of attention recently in the press, particularly with the tragic instances across the country of suicide among students believed to have been bullied," said Rona Preli, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of Marriage and Family Therapy at Fairfield. "The internet and the prominence of technology have led to new venues for bullying, which creates its own unique set of problems. Our events are aimed at addressing these contemporary issues with the expectation that awareness and information will enable parents, students and professionals to deal effectively and meaningfully with the problem."

The public lecture, Bully is a 4-Letter Word: Creating Climates of Respect, will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, in the presentation room of the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Center on campus. Dr. Jo Ann Freiberg, an educational consultant for the Image: Susan Dafoe-AbbeyConnecticut Department of Education, and FBI Special Agent Christopher Munger will address cyberbullying and internet safety, the background of 'bullymania' and practices that diminish or eliminate bullying. The cost is $10 for adults. To register, go to www.fairfield.edu/mftdecone.

The School will also sponsor a professional development workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2. Susan Dafoe-Abbey, BIS, MEd, RMFT, a marriage and family therapist and parent consultant, will present "The Making and Unmaking of a Bully: A Systemic Perspective" for mental health professionals and educators. This workshop will focus on the family processes at play in the making and unmaking of a bully and present family therapy interventions to address the issues of bully, victim and family interactions systemically.

The cost of the workshop is $75 for professionals and it includes a certificate of attendance or 4 MFT CEUs. The cost for students is $35. To register, go to www.fairfield.edu/mftdectwo.

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Posted on November 2, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 103