Method of shared concern

The Method of Shared Concern is a non-punitive multi-stage strategy used with groups of students who are suspected of bullying someone. It facilitates the emergence of a solution to a bully/target problem through the use of a series of interviews and discussions with the parties involved.

Students suspected of bullying others are first interviewed individually. The practitioner shares a concern for the bullied student and invites each of them to say what they will do to help. When it is clear that helpful actions have taken place, the students meet as a group with the practitioner, plan what they propose to do next, and subsequently meet with the person they have bullied to finally resolve the problem.


The rationale behind using the Method of Shared Concern is:

  • bullying behaviour is commonly (though not always) undertaken by, or with the support of, a peer group
  • approached in a non-accusatory manner, individual members of such groups will typically acknowledge the distress of the victim and agree to act to reduce that distress
  • a minority of targeted children have in the past acted provocatively and need to recognise their part in the ensuing conflict
  • once some individual members of the group have begun to act constructively, the group can be brought together to plan how they will finally resolve the matter with the person they have targeted
  • an agreed resolution involving all concerned is likely to be sustainable.

This content used with the kind permission of Bully Stoppers.

For more information, visit Bully Stoppers at Method of Shared Concern.​​