NVR stands for Non-Violent Resistance, a continuously developing approach that is effective in responding to violent, self-destructive, harmful and controlling behaviours.
The approach has been used successfully to support families and settings where young people struggle with anxiety, addiction to the internet, substance misuse, vulnerability to child sexual and criminal exploitation, self-harm and suicidal ideation, eating disorders, school refusal and other harmful behaviours.
Using non-violent resistance, parents or caregivers learn to raise their presence, avoid the unhelpful and painful battles of the past, acquire a position of strength and not give in to the unreasonable demands of the young person. NVR is not about changing the behaviour of the child but changing the response of the adults in order to strengthen the relationship.
WHAT IS NVR
HISTORY OF NVR
The NVR Association is a professional body that aims to promote and develop the practice of NVR as a psychological intervention. The Association provides a forum for practitioners of all levels to collaborate, share and develop their practice of NVR in order to ensure high standards.
The NVR Association also acts as an independent accrediting body for the practice of NVR, regulating clinical practice, supervision and training against standardised criteria. We welcome parents and caregivers who have current or past experience of using the approach with their young people to become members as well as anyone with a keen interest in the approach.
NVR POSITIVE ACTION METHODS
When a young person repeatedly demonstrates harmful behaviour, positive action can address this. As the supporter, your role may change depending on which action method is used. Prior planning will take place for each of these.
This is a letter that is written to the young person by significant adults. It is read aloud to the young person. The letter allows the adult to highlight the qualities they see in the child, whilst specifically addressing the harmful behaviour. It also informs the child of their commitment to resist such behaviour, to no longer keep it private or secret, to involve other adults to support them, and to not act violently themselves. Finally, the letter defines the future that they hope for, both for the young person and for their relationship.
A SIT IN (SIT WITH)
A sit in is where a small number of adults, who care about the young person carry out a silent protest whilst giving a strong message that specific harmful and destructive behaviours will no longer be accepted. The young person is asked to come up with an alternative to their harmful behaviour or a way of making amends, as the adults sit in silence. The purpose of the Sit-in is for the adults to protest peacefully demonstrating their concern for the young person rather than an expectation that a solution will be found in that moment.
Sit ins can take place in different locations including the young person's bedroom, at school, or elsewhere in the family home. It is planned carefully beforehand.
Once the adults have communicated their concerns they remain in the space and sit silently for an agreed length of time. The Sit in might be ended early if the young person has made a helpful suggestion or thought of a solution in terms of how they will act in the future or make reparation for what they have done.
BUILDING NETWORKS OF SUPPORT
Parents, care givers or teachers are coached to build networks of support made up of family members, friends, neighbours, or other adults. Supporters take on a variety of different roles and responsibilities which can be practical and/or help to strengthen the voice of the significant adults as they raise their presence, rebuild their relationship with the young person and resist their harmful and destructive behaviours.
CAMPAIGN OF BELONGING AND CONCERN
Supporters are asked to send the young person individual messages. These will be to acknowledge moments when the young person has thrived (however small), to appreciate exceptions to the problem behaviour, or to challenge them after a harmful or destructive incident. Supporters are also encouraged to send or offer reconciliation gestures.
Areas in which parents, caregivers and teachers, with support become active:
Adults will develop tools to manage risk without getting into escalatory conversations or power struggles. Removing themselves from these conversations allows the adults to not act in the heat of the moment, but instead take time to reflect and challenge the behaviour once calmer.
Parents and carers of young people with challenging behaviour may have a tendency to avoid taking action because of fear or shame. With support, they are able to resist the ‘rules’ set by the young person, regain parental authority and take back the freedom to act as adults and parents.
TAKING BACK PARENTAL CONTROL
TAKING NON-VIOLENT POSITIVE ACTION
Punitive consequences are not effective and result in escalatory behaviour patterns and so adults raise their presence in and out of the home/setting by carefully planning delayed action.
These are small, unconditional gestures of love and acts of kindness that give the supporter, parent or carer the chance to connect with the young person.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”