Addendum: Wisdom from a school counselor

After watching Brene Brown’s talk, my friend Patti Agatston, a counselor with a school district in the Atlanta area and co-author of Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age, added some helpful background:

“I loved the talk as well. [Brown] alluded to my favorite quote from the psychologist Rudolph Dreikurs, “Have the courage to be imperfect.” He studied under the psychologist Alfred Adler and helped further the practical applications of Adlerian psychology. A central principle from Adler’s theory is that all humans strive to belong. When we feel like we belong and are accepted, behavior is usually productive. When we doubt our belonging and acceptance we may act in less helpful ways.”

As for bullying and cyberbullying, something for both home and school: “Bullying prevention that helps all students feel like they belong and are accepted really fits into this theory,” Agatson wrote me. “Use of family meetings is a key way to encourage socially interested behavior and a sense of belonging in the family. Class meetings can help accomplish the same in schools. Note that, according to the theory, the opposite of courage is to be discouraged – thus the importance of using encouragement in families and in schools. It’s so important to help kids develop courage!” [My post about the Brown talk is here.]


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