Mrs Teresa Bliss is an Independent Educational Psychologist with expertise in Autistic Spectrum disorders, management and intervention, Educational Tribunals and educational support, Literacy or numeracy assessment and support, Emotional or behavioural difficulties and talking therapies and Learning Difficulties and behavioural advice or coaching. She talks to NoBullying.com about Restorative Justice.
The interview can also be found here and here.
Below is a transcript of her interview with Ciaran Connolly, Founder of NoBullying.com on Restorative Justice
Ciaran Connolly: I would like to welcome Teresa Bliss to join us today to have a chat about bullying and education. Teresa is an educational psychologist with years of experience. Teresa if I can hand it over to you and you can tell us a little bit about yourself.
Teresa Bliss: I am an educational psychologist. I also have three children of my own who are grown up now. And I really took an interest in bulling and anti-bulling work thorough my own children’s experience being bullied at school and I realized what a huge impact could that have, not only on the children but on the whole family. My youngest daughter was very badly bullied at school and it affected us all for quite a long time, and I was in a position as educational psychologist looking into doing something about it in terms of supporting children at school.
Ciaran Connolly: What techniques do you recommend to deal with bullied children?
Teresa Bliss: I recommend to schools that they use restorative practices. Well, so what happens first of all is that each person explains what happens from their own perspective or point of view. The rules are that they have to allow each other to have their say and then each person explains what they were thinking and feeling at the time. Now, this is a really key thing to do because quite often people make assumptions about what the other person was thinking and feeling and it’s not the case at all. So that question, what were you thinking and what you were feeling at this time – is very important in this process. The next question that they answer is “Who else is being affected by what happened?” and how have they been affected? So, when you are dealing with this in school, it can have a quite wide ripple effect when you are thinking about who is being affected. Within families actually and siblings, again that could have a quite wide ripple effect. So, that is another important question. Then the next one is “What is your thoughts and feelings now?” because both have the opportunity to explain things from their own perspective. It is probably the most powerful technique that I have used with children and young people. Having practised it in my own family, I can recommend it to families too.