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Sue Young & Solution-Focused Anti-Bullying

I am delighted and honoured to be able to present on our website a version of what I have long considered to be the best account of an application of the solution-focused approach outside of the therapy room. Sue Young’s chapter on her Support Group approach to anti-bullying appeared in the BT Press book, Solutions in Schools, in 2001, and Sue has since gone on to develop and extend her work on using solution-focused practice in schools (details of Sue’s book, Solution-Focused Schools: Anti-Bullying and Beyond can be found at the end of the article).

I first met Sue at a meeting at Birmingham University in December 2002, which had been convened by Bill O’Connell to discuss the formation of an association for solution-focused practitioners in the UK ( Sue and I formed a bond immediately, at first due to our shared approach to the development of such an association, which can be summed up in the phrase ‘ultimate inclusiveness’. And Sue is, for me, the ultimately inclusive practitioner and trainer in the solution-focused field. It is, for Sue, an approach for all children, all schools, and all workers who wish to work in this way.

I first read Sue’s chapter in 2003 and I was blown away, by the simplicity, elegance and sheer radical solution-focused-ness of her Support Group approach – as well as being most impressed by its effectiveness. It’s also an approach that is relatively simple to learn and use, and I would love to think that publishing this here may help to spread awareness and perhaps even use of the approach, even if only in a small way. Any and every school could benefit so much from being influenced by Sue’s work.

Anti-bullying support groups – Sue Young

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