Previously referred to as The No Blame Approach, the work of George and Barbara has been popular amongst practitioners but criticised by politicians. This publication incorporates an updated edition of their best selling Crying For Help and charts the recent controversy which lead to the removal of the method as a recommended intervention from the DfES website. For those who are interested in understanding, using and evaluating the method, this will provide a clear practical guide and an explanation of the theory underpinning the work.

The Research Evidence

The research evidence

In this section we will:

  • provide reference or full accounts of the evaluations and research projects undertaken,
  • describe how both the controversy and the opposition to The Support Group Method have included a continuing demand that we provide ‘research evidence’ to validate this work while some other punitive methods appear to rest on nothing more than intuition,
  • refer to the recently published report on bullying from the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee Session 2006–07 (


When the method was published by us in the form of a video training pack (Maines and Robinson, 1992) a book (Robinson and Maines, 1997) and various articles, the established experts in the field, even when open-minded, were understandably cautious in their appraisal. For example, Rigby (1996: ...

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