Lact - Palo Alto School Representative

Palo Alto School Representative

Center for training, intervention and research

Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

 01 48 07 40 40  | 

      • Joana Mindziak Cornali is a Master 2 student in clinical psychology, psychotherapies course. She participates in individual interviews, conducts interviews for the research dissertation, and leads photo language and writing workshops for young adults with psychotic or high-risk symptoms. Participated in Emmanuelle Piquet’s “collective brain” system.

      How does school bullying impact the mental health of young people? How does Palo Alto's strategic approach solve this problem? The systemic approach offers new perspectives, concrete solutions and promising strategies for research on the subject transforming our understanding of harassment for the benefit of well-being.

      The systemic approach and school bullying

      The systemic approach and school bullying

      School bullying represents a major public health problem, having profound consequences on the well-being of children and adolescents. Despite the efforts made in the development of preventive programs, the ineffectiveness of some highlights the need to explore new intervention approaches. Palo Alto's systemic approach represents interest in research on school bullying, highlighting its potential as an innovative lever.

      School bullying represents a major public health , impacting both the short and long-term well-being of children and adolescents, whether they are victims, aggressors, or witnesses (Ahmed et al., 2022; Catheline, 2020; Huang et al., 2019). The prevalence of this phenomenon, although subject to significant variations, is constantly increasing (Costantino et al., 2022; ENABLE, 2015b; Modecki et al., 2014; Nazir, 2019; UNESCO, 2019). Many intervention programs have been developed over the years, with varying results. Some have shown positive long-term effects, while others have failed to produce convincing results (Aïm, 2020; Bellon, 2021; Ben Ezra, 2004; ENABLE, 2015b; Espelage, 2016; Gaffney et al., 2018 , 2019; Georgiou et al., 2019; Huang et al., 2019; Olweus et al., 2020; Piquet, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020; Quartier, 2016; Ttofi and Farrington, 2011b).

      A little history

      Bullying has been documented since the 18th century and studied in greater depth since the 1970s. The work of researchers such as Peter Smith and Dan Olweus contributed to the recognition of bullying as a major social problem in the 1990s. "ENABLE" research institute in Europe has been fighting against harassment since 2014.

      Etymology and definition

      The notion of school bullying, translation of "school bullying" is complex to define in different languages. In France, the term is derived from the old French "herser" emphasizing the repetitive and serious nature of the acts. The Ministry of National Education defines school bullying as violence, repetitiveness, and isolation of the victim.

      Prevalence of harassment

      Studies reveal wide variation in the prevalence of school bullying, ranging from 2.2% to 56.2% for cyberbullying and 9.68% to 89.6% for traditional bullying. Measurement tools and definitional differences contribute to these variations.

      Types of harassment

      Harassment can take different forms, including physical, verbal, relational, sexual, discriminatory, extortion, cyberharassment and self-harassment. The distinction between direct (explicit behavior) and indirect (social manipulation) harassment is also underlined.

      Consequences of harassment

      School bullying generates stress with somatic, psychological, academic, social and family repercussions in the short and long term. Consequences include eating disorders, sleep problems, declines in academic performance, risk of dropping out, family conflicts, suicide attempts, and long-term effects on mental health and behavior.

      Systemic intervention and treatment modeling

      systemic intervention , focused on accountability and non-normativity, presents itself as a problem-solving method. This approach can be an effective lever for putting an end to school bullying. It also examines the parental component within the broader socio-ecological framework, introduces strategic systemic intervention, presents modeling of bullying treatment

      Modeling the treatment of harassment, as proposed by Piquet (2017) , offers a solid theoretical framework. These tools promote an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms underlying harassment and guide professionals in their intervention process.

      Research on school bullying

      School bullying, as an area of ​​research, offers an invaluable perspective for understanding, preventing and resolving this devastating phenomenon. Equifinality, a key concept, reveals the diversity of trajectories leading to harassment, highlighting the importance of in-depth and diversified research.

      Equifinality: the key to understanding

      Equifinality in the study of human behavior as applied to bullying suggests that different early experiences can lead to similar outcomes. This implies that the factors leading to bullying are multiple and complex, going beyond initial family influences. Research explores these varied pathways to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.

      The social-ecological framework explores the complex interaction of systems, influencing bullying. Parents play a crucial role, with their inclusion in prevention programs having a significant impact.

      However, a systemic approach emphasizes that problems are not only linked to family history, but to inadequate management of daily challenges. Parental involvement is important, but interventions must promote the child's autonomy to avoid compromising their self-confidence. Different prevention approaches, such as the Olweus program and the shared concern method, emphasize the need to act on the harasser. Emmanuelle Piquet 's method focuses on the bullied child, seeking relational solutions based on the principles of the Palo Alto School.

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      Exploring Palo Alto's Systems Approach

      Contextualization of the problem

      School bullying, whether physical, verbal, relational, or cyber, remains a complex challenge. The short- and long-term consequences, ranging from somatic and psychological problems to academic difficulties and increased risks of risky behaviors, highlight the urgency of effective solutions. Preventive approaches, although fundamental, are not always enough to resolve the problem when it is already underway.

      Exploring Palo Alto's Systems Approach

      Responsibility and non-normativity 

      Palo Alto approach is distinguished by its focus on accountability and non-normativity. Rather than focusing attention solely on the aggressor, it addresses the problem as a whole, thus avoiding keeping the victim in a helpless position. This innovative approach reverses the traditional dynamic by involving all actors in the system, from harassers to witnesses.


      Many programs aim to prevent bullying by developing social skills in children and emphasizing empathy. However, some programs have a weakness in focusing solely on the bully, leaving the bullied child in a helpless position. This is where Palo Alto's systemic and strategic therapy approach comes in, emphasizing accountability as a central focus. How can this approach be an effective lever to get out of the harassment situation?

      The importance of parental involvement

      Research on school bullying is enriched by integrating the parental component into the broader socio-ecological framework. Studies show that parental involvement, if balanced and empowered, can have a significant impact, regardless of country or type of intervention. Understanding how parents can contribute positively while avoiding the pitfalls of overprotection is a critical aspect of current research. The influence of the family environment on the behavior of bullying children is explored, thus offering an integral vision of the phenomenon. This comprehensive approach provides new perspectives for understanding the roots of harassment.

      The socio-ecological framework

      The social-ecological approach to bullying research explores the interactions between individuals and their environments. In the case of bullying, family factors, peers, school, community, and cultural elements converge to influence behaviors. Equifinality suggests that bullying can result from a variety of factors, beyond initial family conditions.

      Going beyond the limits of parental analysis

      Research on bullying highlights the need to go beyond the limits of family analysis. Adopting a systems perspective recognizes that problems are not always rooted in linear causality, but can arise from the day-to-day management of difficulties. Understanding family dynamics in their broader context is a stimulating challenge for researchers.

      Bullied children

      Young people do not always disclose their experiences of bullying to their parents. Parental overprotection can unintentionally increase a child's vulnerability. Overprotective parents , although well-intentioned, risk reinforcing their child's vulnerability by intervening excessively, thereby creating dependency and compromising the child's relationship skills.

      The research also examines the experiences of bullied children. The voices of young people, often silent, are essential for designing appropriate interventions. Understanding how prevention programs can equip bullied children to stop the cycle of bullying is a cutting-edge aspect of research.

      Innovation in prevention, evaluate and evolve

      Different prevention methods, from individualistic approaches to group strategies, are scrutinized by research. Evaluating the long-term effectiveness of programs such as the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and exploring alternatives such as the shared concern method offers rich insights for the evolution of preventive practices.

      Emmanuelle Piquet's unique approach

      Emmanuelle Piquet offers a bold approach focusing on the bullied child. Its systemic method seeks to remove the child from the role of victim by providing tools to stop harassment. Unlike approaches focused on the harasser, this method recognizes that change must begin on the victim's side, promoting their autonomy and avoiding disempowering them.

      Prospects for research

      Palo Alto's systemic approach expands the field of research on school bullying by introducing innovative concepts such as accountability and non-normativity. The Palo Alto approach offers a new paradigm for understanding and addressing school bullying. The implications of this approach on the mental health, well-being, and long-term development of individuals involved in or witnessing harassment open up rich and stimulating research perspectives. It opens doors for further research, rigorous evaluations of interventions, and the construction of effective strategies to curb this persistent public health problem.

      Towards a future without harassment and the role of research

      School bullying remains a significant public health challenge with profound consequences. Preventative approaches have shown mixed results, highlighting the need for effective intervention strategies. Palo Alto's systemic and strategic approach positions itself as a promising method, placing accountability at the heart of the process. This approach offers an innovative perspective to end the cycle of bullying and promote the well-being of children and adolescents.

      Research on school bullying is not limited to understanding the phenomenon, but also guides the implementation of lasting solutions. The research shapes a future where school bullying can be successfully combated. A future where every child can thrive without fearing the shadows of bullying.

      Where to train in the systemic and strategic approach?

      LACT offers several live certified web training courses with 50 international trainers.

      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action


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