Original Paper

Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 1-12

First online:

Using Relational Theory to Treat Adolescent Girls Victimized by Social Aggression

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While much has been written on social aggression in adolescent girls, less has been written on the clinical treatment for victims of such bullying. This paper will look at social aggression in girls from relational and psychodynamic perspectives. Further, the interplay of trauma dynamics which are integral to the social aggression paradigm will be reviewed. Using a clinical example, the author will show how victim/victimizer/bystander roles inherent in trauma dynamics were enacted in the clinical dyad. Enactments were discussed in the treatment process leading to a new and different outcome. Implications for practice with girls who experience social aggression will be discussed.


Social aggression Relational aggression Adolescent females Bullying Countertransference Projective identification Relational theory Enactments Trauma theory Victim–victimizer–bystander