One of the amazing elements of my work is to personally share the NVR journey the parent / carer undertake whilst I work with them. I am explicitly involved in areas of their world that perhaps no other is permitted, the highs and lows, the tears and joy that each family embrace whilst embedding NVR into their world.
Every family is unique and special with their background history of events that has led them to use NVR as a therapy to support change. I treat each family with the respect they deserve, entrusting them each week to embrace something new which can be considered counterproductive and against their core values and beliefs.
Working with fathers in NVR has been an area of real interest for me. I seem to have had more success in getting fathers through the therapy room using NVR than within my family therapy practice; perhaps it is the language of ‘non-violence’, the doing approach, or perhaps it is just desperation and impotence that falls on fathers when their child is violent and they can do nothing to protect their family.
So what makes the parents shift from despair to hopefulness? Does the answer lie in the practitioner? Is it because home life has become so desperate that all else fails so NVR is the only hope? Is it now or never? Where does the courage to shift come from? Is it the first small sign of change that supports and encourages the parents to begin the slow journey of NVR? Part of the journey is reflection in oneself. How do I become non-violent? What parent do I wish to be? How do I want my relationship with my child to look? All these thoughts are considerations to change and beginning the cycle of change.
After an interesting session with an adopted parent, who has spent 20 months committing to her relationship with NVR and developing presence with her 14 year old son.
“Can you use NVR with autism?” …I was asked during some in-service training abroad “…because when we were first trained in NVR, we were told you cannot, that people on the autistic spectrum don’t have the social capacity.” I’m glad we missed out on that warning in the UK; many families with children on the autistic spectrum have benefitted from the introduction of nonviolence to their family life – families with young people who were showing aggressive, violent behaviour, and/or those families whose children were anxious and socially withdrawn, spending their nights on the internet and refusing school.
This is the first nonviolent blog. The Nonviolent Blog will attempt to be topical whenever possible, while casting a light on different aspects of nonviolence. Hardly a topic has received as much attention throughout the history of writing as violence – but very little has been written to date about nonviolence, which is generally just seen as the absence of physical force. It is even a struggle to find the right name for it – the word “nonviolence” is merely the negation of violence. A future blog will focus on the language and definition of nonviolence. For now, it shall suffice to say that each blog will open another perspective on nonviolence.