Non Violent Resistence
Non Violent Resistance (NVR) is an innovative systemic therapy, which has been developed to target aggressive, controlling, harmful and self-destructive behaviour in young people (Omer, 2001, 2004). It is delivered as coaching to parents, without need for the practitioner to see the focus child. The intention is to raise the self-esteem and dignity of the parent and to raise the regard in which both parent, and child, hold each other. NVR celebrates and builds upon the knowledge that the parents are the experts of their child(ren) and that the practitioner is there to coach them in the principles of NVR. Parents and Practitioner work in equal partnership to devise NVR based strategies that will be bespoke to their family situation.
The only person we can change is ourselves and invite others to respond differently to our changes.
prioritisation to address serious behaviours and allow other behaviours to be overlooked thereby increasing peace, focusing on reconnection and conserving physical, mental and emotional energy for resisting those most serious behaviours;
de-escalation techniques are explored and utilised, and escalation patterns analysed to further bring peace to the home;
Strike When the Iron is Cold as a philosophy used to further deescalate; bringing the child's harmful behaviour to their attention at a time and place of our choosing rather than reacting in the moment and further escalating an incident.
parental presence to enable proactive planning and preparation rather than continue the existing pattern of respond and recover;
unconditional connection, reconnection and reconciliation gestures to reposition the parent as trustworthy, loving and committed;
other adults (a Support Network) are invited to become supporters and support the parents and support the child to bring his 'outside persona' into the family home;
an announcement which is made to the child declaring their love for the child, the behaviours which must stop and the preferred future that will occur;
Sit-Withs as a way to peacefully, and publicly protest, and resist the harmful behaviours.
Self care underpins all our work. It is vital that parents are looking after their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing in order to have resource and capacity to resist their child's harmful behaviours.
Tom is our NVRA Accredited Practitioner and NVR supervisor. He’s an ex-primary school teacher with over 3 years experience of NVR not only supporting parents, but also working with schools and training professionals at foundation level.
Being passionate about NVR, Tom’s kind and supportive manner encourages parents and professionals to think deeply about their current styles and how these compare to NVR, giving parents and staff new ideas in a straightforward, non-judgemental, and supportive manner, cheering them on from the sidelines. Tom will become your rock, so that you can become your child’s rock.
For parent work, Tom can work from either our therapy space in Troon, online, or depending on the family’s flexibility and needs, from their home.
Most of Tom’s work with schools is done on location.
As an NVRA Accredited Practitioner, Tom has completed the full Partnership Projects NVR training journey along with courses using NVR in the group setting and NVR supervision. He is also now training as a Systemic Family Therapist.
Tom is registered with the NVRA and the AFT
A typical NVR session and journey
Firstly, it’s important to say that no two NVR journeys are the same. Every family is different and so how things are learned and applied varies. However, usually sessions are about an hour and a quarter and during initial sessions we check how a parent’s self-care is going, families share what happened over the past week in your home, we celebrate successful practice of principles and learn from incidents which may have arisen. Tom may then share an NVR principle and then we would discuss how this applies to your family, agreeing how the family will practice it during the week.
Along the way, it is likely that some assessment work will be required, often funders like to see how NVR has helped.
We will need some extra sessions along the journey to meet with the family’s supporters.
NVR can be successfully applied within the school setting with significant improvements in challenging behaviours.
Courageous Teachers, by Haim Omer is a helpful book which applies NVR to the school system.
Rather than a behaviour policy based on reward and sanction (points and detentions), NVR suggests school adopt a relationship based approach where:
students are set up for success (with adaptations and priorities)
unconditional relational gestures persistently position staff in high regard in student’s minds and hearts,
students are supported to properly repair broken relationships and
students are authentically invited to be part of their own solution in a persistent, resistant manner.
The approach explores how staff unintentionally participate in escalations, how deescalation tactics can be tried and practiced and how we can make sure those working directly with the child are given New Authority. The traditional idea of support and problem being within classroom is challenged and we ask for support from many members of the wider staff team to play key roles in successfully nurturing positive behaviours and resisting challenging ones.