Ritha Mälström´s observations about generalisation of SCm- effects
At the school there are some students who have had their own experiences about SCm. They had been involved in suspected bullying. On those occasions I intervened as a therapeutic mediator having talks with the involved persons and following the phases in SCm. They changed their behaviour and came later of their own accord asking for help when they felt they were in need of assistance.
On one occasion X came to me after a lunch break asking for help. He was very upset and fuming with anger.
”Can you help us? Z drives me crazy! I feel that I no longer can control myself! Soon I’ll do something really nasty! Please, can you help? We must talk! Can we do it now?”
It was clear that the boy was really upset and wanted to have my assistance immediately. Immediately after Z came to me and asked about the same thing. I succeeded in arranging meetings and talks according to the phases of SCm. It appeared that several people were involved and they had had three annoying conflicts in the morning. These occurred at places where there were no adults close by.
After our talks they agreed about how they should manage similar situations again. Nobody was punished and the suitable agreements were their own proposals. They were grateful for the assistance and considerable calmer and more satisfied after our meetings.
On another occasion Y came into the classroom of the sixth class and asked for help. During the lunch break they had played football and divided the teams on the fifth class against the sixth class. They played on the gravel ground behind the school building and none of the adults saw what happened at the end of the match. The match became unfair and degenerated into a fight. Everybody went in the schoolhouse when the break was over, but they were still angry with each other. Y had the feeling that the fight might continue and he didn´t want that, so he came and asked for help.
”I want to talk with you because we got into a fight when we played football on the gravel pitch. The fighting will continue, I am sure. Can you help us?” In this case the boys came with an interesting proposal. They wanted to discuss with me about how they themselves could try to talk with the players in the fifth class.
During the discussion between the boys in the sixth class it became obvious that they were aware of the things they had done that couldn’t be undone. Now it was more important to talk with the players in the fifth class and make agreements about how they should act in the future. To prevent trouble when they were going to talk with the players in the fifth class they decided to divide the talks into many small groups. They understood that they couldn’t come together in a big group, because then the risk was that the players in the fifth class could feel threatened. The boys in the sixth class agreed about who should to talk with whom in the fifth class and each person tried to get proposals how they should behave in the future. They also covered by getting my promise to still be in my classroom if someone might need my assistance. They succeeded with their commission and were very proud when they related their conversations to me!
Just after this occasion A in the fifth class was frozen out by his buddies. ”You can’t be with us! Your mum said that you aren’t allowed to be with me. I heard that myself when she said it.” It was rough on A and it didn’t get better by adding the comment: ”You others have to choose to be either with A or with me.”
The situation got much too difficult for A. He was heartbroken and cried so desperately and that his class teacher had to phone his parents and ask for one of them to come to the school. A was still inconsolable although his father came to the school, so I then became involved. When I came to A, he embraced me and said: ”You can help me!” He told me what had happened and he wanted me to talk with the other football players in the class, but he also added the comment ”You must talk with Y in the sixth too, because the others listen to him and he has become nice.”
In this case the conversation started with the suspected victim A, since I got urgently involved in the situation. I followed the advice to bring Y into the conversation, because he also plays football in the breaks. Ensued conversations and Y had a positive effect on the other boys. Afterwards A was allowed to be with his buddies again.
During the same week Susanne Porswald visited the fifth class. She was using our questionnaire to find out if someone was humiliated and needed help. In the class she got names of suspected victims.
I was brought into it as a therapeutic mediator and had conversations with the involved persons according to the phases of SCm. I took care of one case where B, a boy, was a probable victim. The suspected bullies were the same boys as those who excluded A from his buddies. It had been a very messy situation so it was quite natural that they wanted to have a follow-up of the agreements in a week at the latest. The booked meeting with the follow-up talks were also carried out according to the phases of SCm. During the talks one of the suspected bullies expressed a wish: “I want to sit in the class room with others than my buddies. I want to work with others and get to know many people.” It was clearly a desire to get rid of the enemy image and find new friends.