Non-Violent Resistance Training

By cypscadmin, Monday, 3rd February 2020 | 0 comments
Filed under: Family Support.

Seminar held to look at experiences of using the Non Violent Resistance (NVR) programme to address the complex problem of Child-to-Parent Violence.

County Wicklow Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC), Tusla’s Prevention, Partnership and Family Support Dublin South / East Wicklow, and East Coast NVR Practitioners Network held a seminar on 24th January that looked at the experiences of practitioners who have been using the Non Violent Resistance (NVR) model in their work with parents in recent years. The East Coast NVR Practitioners Network is an interagency group that is led by Tusla Child and Family Agency.

NVR offers an innovative approach to addressing the complex problem of Child to Parent Violence. The model has also been used in other areas of family support work such as supporting children with anxiety and Autistic Spectrum Disorder, school non-attendance and drug and alcohol misuse.

Leading NVR practitioners and parents made presentations on their work and experiences of using the NVR model to address the issue of child-to-parent violence. The seminar also explored the future possibilities for the NVR model in addressing other areas of concern for families such as school non-attendance, drug and alcohol misuse and child and adolescent anxiety.

Tara Kelly, Project Leader, Prevention, Partnership and Family Support with Tusla, states:

In recent years an increasing number of families are seeking support in relation to child-to-parent violence and abuse. Parents can feel that they have lost authority, and struggle to deal with challenging behaviour from their child. This behaviour can include physical violence, threats of violence, and damage to property.

“In Tusla, we are using and developing the Non Violent Resistance model to help and to empower parents to bring the violence to an end and to re-build their relationship with their child. Parents are reporting that they find the model to be very effective.  We are exploring the use of the NVR model to support parents with other difficulties such as school non-attendance and anxiety.”

The seminar aimed to promote best practice and a shared approach to the issue, with a view to utilising the NVR model to create better outcomes for children, young people and families.

Child-to-parent violence is an increasingly recognised problem affecting families both in Ireland and internationally. It is a problem that is often hidden from view, and parents are often reluctant to talk about their child or adolescent’s behaviour until it becomes unbearable.

Dr Declan Coogan, Acting Co-director of the MA in Social Work, Lecturer at National University of Ireland, Galway, and Chair of NVR Ireland, said:

“Increasingly, parents and practitioners around Ireland are talking about the issue of parents being disempowered by the behaviour of their son or daughter who is under the age of 18.

“Many parents are living in fear due to the coercive and controlling behaviour of their child, and these parents may require additional support in order to bring this behaviour to an end and restore their parent-child relationship.

“In my experience of working with families, the Non Violent Resistance family intervention model offers an effective and positive solution to the issue of child-to-parent violence.”

The NVR programme is beginning to be used more frequently across Ireland and further afield to help parents and practitioners to bring an end to child-to-parent violence.

This programme has proven[1] to be very effective in ending child to parent violence in families while building better relationships. 

Supporting parents is one of the key goals of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People.  Its vision is that “Parents will experience improved support in the important task of parenting and feel more confident, informed and able.”

For more information contact Wicklow CYPSC Co-ordinator.

Click here to read more CYPSC news.


[1] Attwood, J. , Butler, C., Rogers, L., Batterrham, M., Cousinse, L  and Wilson, R. (2019) Non Violent Resistance parent training and adolescent substance misuse in  Journal of Family Therapy 0:1-2
Coogan, D. (2018) Child to Parent Violence and Abuse. Family Interventions with Non-Violent Resistance.  Jessica Kingsley
Lebowitz, E., Dolberger, D, Nortov, E. and Omer, H. (2012) Parent Training in Nonviolent Resistance for Adult Entitled Dependence Family Process, Vol. 51, No. 1
Lebowitz, E. and Omer, H. (2013) Treating Childhood and Adolescent Anxiety. A Guide for Caregivers  New Jersey ; Wiley
Newman, M, and Nolas, Sevasti-Melissa (2008)'Innovation in therapeutic practice with 'violent youth': A discourse analysis of the non-violent resistance approach' Counselling andPsychotherapy Research,8:3,141-150