The Bullied Brain - Dr. Jennifer Fraser PhD

Why do we say we have zero tolerance for bullying, but adult society is rife with it and it is an epidemic among children?

Because 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 at the source 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 and 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.

Foreword by Dr. Michael Merzenich, "the father of neuroplasticity," and he 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.

"The genius of this book is that it explains the neurological and physical impacts of bullying in an effort to help people recover from the traumas. While there are many people like me who help organizations prevent and address workplace bullying, there are few that provide concrete and tangible information and actions to help the victims heal from within, using neuroscience as a guide. Dr. Fraser gives us insight into the brains and bodies of those impacted by bullying, offering them and the experts that treat them a path forward. A must read for anyone in fields that counsel, treat or help heal those impacted by workplace bullying."

Paul Pelletier LL.B. PMP CAPS
Author of The Workplace Bullying Handbook

"The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health is an incredible book that digs deep into such an important topic. We all need to be aware of the impact of bullying and abuse on the brain. More importantly, we all need to be brave in calling out individuals who operate cultures of fear and those who cross the line between being demanding and demeaning, and those who think that results can only be achieved this way. Sport managed in the correct way still remains today one of the safest vehicles for children to develop both physically, holistically, and learn character and life skills that will allow them to thrive on any path they take. Jennifer has done a wonderful job in highlighting this through real life stories, providing support and guidance by using the science, and translating it for us in a way that allows all of us to work with it."

Gordon MacLelland
CEO WWPIS – Working With Parents in Sport, UK

"Dr. Fraser dives deeply into the bullied brain and ways to improve and restore health. The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health is a must read for any coach, parent and teenager, or anyone who works in and around children. Dr. Fraser puts the book into 10 steps that can heal scars, restore, maintain and improve our health. The book is unputdownable and has your brain working, thinking and visiting past experiences and future experiences and how to handle certain situations. It is a book that is evidence-based, rich in examples and backed by science. The book is holistic and helps you align the mind and body and get more out of your brain. We must be able to keep as many children engaged and involved for as long as possible in the best possible environment. We must not let "power" or "bullies" dictate how their future or childhood looks. Children get one childhood and it is our job as parents, educators and coaches to make it the best possible and most memorable as we can. Following the book's 10 steps we can better do this and help children have roots to grow and wings to fly. Dr. Fraser thanks for sharing your passion and experiences with us to make it better for those who come after."

Chris Panayiotou
Director of Coaching Senior Boys
School Of Excellence-Virginia Rush

"Dr. Fraser and I are passionate about seeing, stopping and healing all forms of abuse—especially the abuse of children in sports, schools, and other community activities. The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health focuses on healing, offering a powerful and engaging mix of heartbreaking personal story, rigorous scientific research, and proven practices to heal bullied brains. The Bullied Brain is a must read for anyone devoted to ending cycles of abuse, and helping victims become sur-thrivors."

Dr. Amy Saltzman M.D., Creator of How to Spot a Spider: Protecting Yourself and Others from Abuse Video series.
Author of Still Quiet Place for Athletes: Mindfulness Skills for Achieving Peak Performance and Finding Flow in Sports and in Life
Board Certified in Integrative Medicine.
Director of the Association for Mindfulness in Education

"This book reflects a key turning point in the history of the human race which has massive benefits for all of us, for our children, and their children but only if we accept and address our ignorance of the past. Across the globe there is now a groundswell of courageous men, women and children speaking out about their abuse, of established institutions taking ownership for the first time of their past wrongs and agreeing to redress them. Together, I am confident we can build a better future for our children and grandchildren. "

Wendy Haigh
Co-Founder and Director of Stronger Brains, Australia

"I have had the opportunity to get to know Jen (Dr. Jennifer Fraser) over the last few years after reading and doing a podcast with her on her book, Teaching Bullies, and was humbled to be provided a digital copy of her upcoming book The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health. I can say without question she has again exceeded my expectations with the extent of detailed research into the neuroscience of how the brain responds to various forms of bullying and abuse, but what I found particularly refreshing is the latter part of the book where Jen highlights what can be done to recover optimal brain health, AKA - Mens Sana in Corpo Sano = A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body. For anyone involved in sport, education, or the business world, I highly recommend you add The Bullied Brain to your must read list."

Glen Mulcahy
Executive Director, For The Love of The Game
Founder, PARADIGM Sports

"Jennifer Fraser has undertaken a complicated task…..write about a topic with professional distance whilst sharing with the reader the deep pain imposed on her family by those who deserve to be called out. It is a daunting and imposing mission; on the one hand, dispassionate, on the other hand, passionate. Because Dr. Fraser wears her emotions on her proverbial sleeve the prose confronts, challenges, and yes makes you uncomfortable. Good for her for carrying this off with extraordinary aplomb, depth, and searing honesty. For that, she deserves both our warmest congratulations and our attention. Whether you agree or disagree with her style, analysis, and core assumptions you will be enriched by engaging with this most important book."

Amos N. Guiora, Professor of Law,
S.J. Quinney College of Law
University of Utah
Author, Armies of Enablers

"As a seasoned counselor and educator with over 23 years of experience working with children and adults, I am forever changed as a result of this book. Dr. Fraser’s in-depth and revolutionary approach to Bullying advances the reader’s solution focus and/or prevention approach, exponentially. The tools and insights gained will have long lasting effects on the populations I serve. Thank you Dr. Fraser for transforming your pain into this seminal instrument for us all to apply and positively impact the lives we serve."

Dr. Maria Martinez-Salazar
Educator, Therapist, and Qualified Supervisor MHC in Miami, Florida

"The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health is a must read for every parent and educator. Dr. Jennifer Fraser shows us step by step what damage occurs through different types of abuse experienced in childhood through many experiences, some of which are accepted or brushed aside in schools around the world, or even labelled as character building. Through the book we learn about the neuroscience of our brains and what effects this type of trauma has on our brains. The 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. Little of this information is taught to parents or teachers and knowing this information leads us on a brighter path forward where we can nurture and repair our brains. The book is 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

What’s the most complex thing in the universe? It is our brain yet we fail all children by not acknowledging it. The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health shines a spotlight on the very subject most people have ignored their entire lives. Unfortunately, being bullied, especially from people in power has lasting change. On every sideline of a sports field, every day, you hear bullying: from aggressive coaches to pushy parents. Adults are dictating the future participation and enjoyment of sport through bullying. Do you even notice it? It is accepted as that’s how you were coached or taught and look at you. That’s why this book is vital. A coach, as an adult can dictate lifelong changes in an athlete. Coaches have the power to fuel lifelong dreams or end life itself. So how do you wield such power? Through fear or encouragement? Do you belittle or build? Do you bully or empower? That's why you need to understand the brain. The life-long mental health of an athlete is ignored in sport because we can’t see the damage that’s being caused. The frightening fact that it’s better to strike a child than to mentally bully a child. That has to get the hairs up on the back of your neck. It’s time for change. The change is the work Dr. Fraser has created.

Jonny McPhee, Coach
Elite Scottish Football Academy Coach
Host of the Play Train Grow podcast

Thank you Dr. Fraser for having the courage to write this important book. The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health shares an important and timely message. Once you read this book, you will better understand the neuroscience behind bullying behavior and will gain great insight into how to change these behaviors as well. The topic of the brain / behavior and bullying needs increased understanding and awareness and I want to applaud Dr. Fraser for her efforts to bring this topic into the limelight.

Mark Watson, MA
Chief Executive Officer
ABI Wellness


The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health is a catalyst of how we, as educators / trainers / counsellors /advocates need to develop strategies that facilitate the healing of those who have ‘bullied brains’ (been traumatised). From our perspective, understanding these points forms a foundation that enables us to facilitate the individual person’s learning and understanding more effectively. Developing real-world scenarios for them to work through including some past behaviours and the consequences they are likely to have experienced, they can reflect and identify patterns of behaviours. The aim is to ‘break’ the cycle and pathways to negative outcomes; to then re-focus, develop and strengthen more effective thinking and decision-making techniques. Assisting them in practical ways, to use information extracted from The Bullied Brain that are most relevant to them as individuals and promote self-empowerment. With opportunities to practice, there is greater potential to identify their own and other people’s response triggers and to make changes in their own behaviour for the better. Dr. Fraser, thank you for sharing your research and interpretations. We envisage incorporating strategies we have gathered from this reading and implement them with our training solutions. It is highly relevant and beneficial across vocations and industries.

Dianne Flakus
Founder and Director of Learning Design

In a world where allegations and investigations of abuse are as common in the sport sections as match reports, Dr. Jennifer Fraser has done more than just illuminate a systemic and insidious problem. She’s written a guidebook for everyone, the abused, the abuser, and the spectator, to find their way out of the darkness and back into the light.

Andrea Neil
Former Captain of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team
Inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame
Founder of Andrea Neil Coaching

Parents make decisions about their children’s participation in organized sport, school and church activities based on woefully inadequate information. Most of us don’t realize the well- established system we are entering into or how to navigate it. When abuse occurs, there is literally no place to turn. It is, then, incumbent upon parents to help their children heal from wounds they can’t even see. Dr. Fraser’s The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health offers us hope, support, and a pathway.

Kim Shore
Former Elite gymnast
NSO board member turned Athlete Advocate

Parents make decisions about their children’s participation in organized sport, school and church activities based on woefully inadequate information. Most of us don’t realize the well- established system we are entering into or how to navigate it. When abuse occurs, there is literally no place to turn. It is, then, incumbent upon parents to help their children heal from wounds they can’t even see. Dr. Fraser’s The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health offers us hope, support, and a pathway.

Dr. Lee-Anne Gray
Author of Educational Trauma

We know that concussions cause damage to the brain, but recent biomedical imaging vividly demonstrates that being the victim of bullying also causes detectable injury to the brain. In this important book, Dr. Jennifer Fraser uses scientific evidence to illustrate how being abused hurts not just youths' self-esteem and emotions, it has physical impact on their growing brains. This book guides our understanding of the brain's neuroplasticity and lays out the steps to achieve emotional and physical healing, and lead a fulfilling post-bullying life.

Deborah Rosenthal, PhD
Author of Performatively Speaking

For me, as a victim of sexual abuse as a young athlete, I learned how trauma works the hard way, by experiencing it. For years after I had challenges with anxiety, depression, eating disorders etc. I just suffered through it and never really understood or even had it explained to me that there was an imbalance in my brain, that there were very good reasons for why I was feeling this way. I felt like I had lost control of my mind and my emotions. What Dr. Fraser has done with The Bullied Brain is extraordinary. For me, it really supported my healing in understanding that there are very good reasons for the struggles victims feel. By bringing scientific rationale and deeper cognitive levels of understanding to what victims go through and the trauma response will surely help thousands in their healing journey. Bless you for your work Dr. Fraser.

Allison Forsyth
Former Olympian

Dr. Fraser is a genius in so many ways. She has educated us, taken us on a tour through the brain and graciously laid out a healing plan for both the bully and the bullied. Congratulations and thank you for this body of work!

Wendy Schulz B. Ed

We decided to homeschool our five children for many reasons (pre-pandemic). Chief among those is the bullying that my wife and I experienced from both faculty and other students when we were in school. Central to our curriculum is preparing our kids to actively oppose the bullying culture they’ll encounter almost everywhere when they’re adults. This is no small task, considering the extent to which “winning” and “dominating,” no matter the cost and no matter the moral compromise, is the predominant principal of our society. Enter Fraser’s The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health. It is virtually unimaginable that a book that ultimately builds itself around neuroscience could be a page-turner, but that’s what it is. In the manner of some of the greatest novels, The Bullied Brain tightly weaves together the author’s personal experience and reflection, ripped-from-the-headlines examples, deep neuroscience research, and nuts-and-bolts how-to advice. It presents a blueprint for not only navigating and surviving the bullying world but also for pushing back against it and building something better. From our own experience we know that the lessons here apply not only to raising children but also to my own practice of law, my wife’s practice of medicine, and well beyond — all in a book that is an absolute tour de force of brain science and storytelling.

Max Simmons

Whether on the playing field or in the classroom, bullying and abuse from coaches, teammates or classmates has no place, and can leave long lasting scars. Jennifer Fraser collects the latest research in psychology, neuroscience and medicine and demonstrates a path to healing for victims of abuse, and their abusers. The time is now for The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health and its positive solutions to the bullying epidemic facing our children.

The Bullying Paradigm has become endemic in the absence of insight. Dr. Jennifer Fraser’s The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health delivers insight sufficient to cause a seismic paradigm shift. Fraser’s new “NeuroParadigm” understands everyone is doing their best. It is not simply the mind, but the brain that can become scarred by adversity. The neuroscientific lens magnifies the neuroplastic path to healing the brain to restore the mind. As the 21st century “NeuroParadigm” becomes endemic, so too, will be the return to humanity.

Sandra Walden Pearson
PhD Candidate MBA BA DipEd ACMC PRI CReC High Adversity Resilience (HART) Coach
Resilience First Aid (RFA) Responder CINERGY Accredited Conflict Coach

I haven’t been so impressed by a book in long time as I am with Jennifer Fraser’s The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health. The main thing that strikes me is that Jennifer takes us along with her on an intensely personal journey that ultimately becomes profoundly universal. We are able as readers to go from oblivion to awareness without blame and step into self-compassion and empathy for others with important information about the relationship between our social world and our neurology.

Denise Goldbeck

PhD Cand., DipC, RCC
Founder | Kids in the Spotlight

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"Jennifer Fraser has been a crucial resource to myself and other athletes as we navigate unfamiliar waters around the scope and damage of what abuse does. As athletes, we are not armed with the education to understand the long term damage that bullying and abuse do. Far too often, when we think of abuse in society, our definition is solely sexual assault. Yet through Jennifer’s important work, I’ve finally been able to name the complex feelings of trauma that I spent a decade carrying after dealing with situations first by a coach and then people in an organization who covered up his abuse. Through being able to name and identify what I experienced as abuse, I have been able to heal. I’m so grateful for Dr. Fraser's work, her passion on the subject, and can’t wait for this valuable book The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health to be released."

Ciara McCormack
Former pro-footballer
Founder of Topp Soccer