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The Collaborative Problem-Solving and Resolution (CPR) Approach

When bullying behaviour occurs it is important to help all the parties involved. The Collaborative Problem-Solving and Resolution (CPR) approach does this by allow the targets voice to be heard and balance restored. This can lead to the bullying behaviour user acknowledging responsibility and accepting change. This is how it works:
Once bullying behaviour is reported, separate mentors are assigned to the target and bullying behaviour user to act as their representatives and coaches. The mentors meet with their assigned parties and get their side of the story. Afterwards the mentors meet to collaborate independently of the parties and discuss the respective issues.

Mentors then return to their respective person and inform them about the other parties feelings, perspective and situation. Mentors provide support and coaching with the aim of their party being able to reach a stage where a joint meeting can occur. This meeting includes the target, the user of bullying behaviour and their respective mentors. Other support people might also be included.

At the joint meeting the discussion is facilitated by the mentors with the aim of getting agreement to change behaviour. Unlike mediation it does not require the target to also make changes but it can. A followup or closure meeting is held once it has been shown that positive actions have occurred.


  • Individual and independent support provided to each party
  • Can address provocative behaviour of the target
  • Helps build empathy and understanding
  • Solution focused
  • Allows mentor to focus support on their party
  • Bullying behaviour user can be held to account without target having to commit to change if they are not provocative


  • Staffing required
  • Can take time to build up targets strength to agree to a joint meeting
  • Training required for facilitators/mentors
  • Stakeholders can be more focused on having consequences as the outcome rather than changed behaviour
  • Does not handle group situations or bystanders
  • Appears no supporting evaluation of effectiveness has yet been carried out

This has some great elements to it as it gives individual help and support to all parties. Sometimes bullying behaviour users are being bullied themselves or simply do not understand the impact of behaviours so they can get help. Sometimes the target is being provocative and could use help in changing some of their behaviour as well. CPR is a useful way of helping create change.

Key reference:

Sullivan, Keith (2011) The Anti-Bullying Handbook (2nd ed.)
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