Bullying has been a hot topic for many years and author Dr. Jennifer Fraser Ph.D. not only asks hard questions as to why this form of mental, emotional, and psychological abuse is still a worldwide problem.
In her new book, The Bullied Brain, Dr. Fraser explores why we say we have zero tolerance for bullying, yet adult society is rife with it and it is still an epidemic among children. Dr. Faser points out that the injuries that all forms of bullying and abuse do to brains are invisible. We ignore them, fail to heal them, and they become cyclical and systemic. Bullying and abuse are the sources of much misery in our lives. Because we are not taught about our brains, let alone how much they are impacted by bullying and abuse, we do not have a way to avoid this misery, heal our scars, or restore our health.
In The Bullied Brain readers learn about the evidence doctors, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and neuroscientists have gathered, that shows the harm done by bullying and abuse to your brain, and how you can be empowered to protect yourself all others. Not only is it critically important to discover how much your mental health is contingent on what has sculpted and shaped the world inside your head, it is also the first step in learning ways to recover. While your brain is vulnerable to bullying and abuse, it is at the same time remarkably adept at repairing all kinds of traumas and injuries. The first part of The Bullied Brain outlines what the research shows bullying and abuse do to your brain. The second part of the book, The Stronger Brain provides case studies of adults and children who have undergone focused training to heal their neurological scars and restore their health. These accessible and practical lessons can be integrated into your life. Strengthening your brain acts as an effective antidote to the bullying and abuse that are rampant in society.
Q&A With Dr. Fraser
Within the foreword, Dr. Michael Merzenich, the father of neuroplasticity, and also contributes his knowledge, insights, and research in The Bullied Brain to help show you how to empower your brain to fulfill its power and potential.
“This book is full of hope and practical ways we can change and grow, how we can learn and repair our bullied brains to move forward with joy, passion and confidence in life…written in an easy to read format that translates complex neuroscience into language we can read and absorb (and put into practice) with ease. Highly recommended.”–Dr. Helen Maffini, MindBE Education.
Q: Why did you use neuroscience to write a book about bullying when you’re not a neuroscientist?
Dr. Fraser: My academic training makes putting two diverse concepts like bullying and neuroscience into an arena an utterly normal activity.
Q: What’s your academic background?
Dr. Fraser: I have a PhD in Comparative Literature and the key word is “comparative”. We’re trained over the course of years to compare ideas, approaches, lenses, discourses.
Q: What did you discover from neuroscientists that changed your understanding of bullying?
Dr. Fraser: I discovered first of all that we know next to nothing about our brains, and secondly, that we have no concept how all forms of bullying and abuse damage brains.
Q: Why do we know so little about our brains?
Dr. Fraser: I’ve been a lecturer at University of Toronto for years followed by being a teacher in university prep schools for years. Never once, as someone in the business of learning, was I actually taught anything about how the brain learns, what motivates it, what helps it retain information or develop skills. I also did not learn what hurts the brain.
While neuroscientists are daily discovering more and more critical insight into our brains, vast majority of society remains uninformed. Why are we in this state? I think there are a couple of factors. We cannot see our brain so we tend to ignore it. We obsess about our bodies because they are visible. The education system acts as though knowing about our brains is not a priority. The workplace has gotten engaged in the importance of body fitness but not brain fitness. Learning about the brain has to be something you do on your own.
The Bullied Brain is available on Amazon.
About The Author
Jennifer Fraser, Ph.D, is the founder of Exit Bullying and she has researched and written extensively on the topic of brain trauma and has been applauded by industry experts.
She has written for Edutopia on new ways to understand the impact of bullying and abuse from a brain perspective. She has advocated for an end to abuse and cover-up in media such as CTV’s W5, The Toronto Star and The Huffington Post. She is asked frequently to give interviews by organizations such as Changing the Game and Corebrain Journal. She is featured on the radio by counsellors like Tiffany Werhner for her “Moments of Clarity” program in Florida.
She is the bullying and abuse expert for BrandNewAthlete, contributing video presentations for athletes on how to manage bullying and abuse https://brandnewathlete.com/. And she is one of the resource experts for Personal Sport Record https://personalsportrecord.com/. She has been asked to co-host a podcast this fall on bullying and abuse in sport at Ryerson University in their RTA: School of Media.