Blog

Overcoming erasure can mean ‘letting go’.

Overcoming erasure can mean ‘letting go’.

Chris Holmquist works with adoptive families, in which young people who have suffered early childhood adversity develop behaviours that are harmful to others and to themselves. He told me this story about William Penn who was a Quaker and the founder of Pennsylvania. Quakers have played an important role in the history of the United States

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A barking cough in the bathroom

A barking cough in the bathroom

Sometimes, parents no longer experience themselves as being important for their children and don’t feel competent anymore to take care of them. This can cause a downward spiral, where the idea of a brighter family future seems remote. In this post, I will address how parents and their children can co-develop a fatalistic outlook on the future. Using a case example, I will try to illustrate how professionals can support parents to separate their own outlook from that of their children once again.

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Obituary for Ahmed Tawahina

Obituary for Ahmed Tawahina

By Michaela Fried with commentary by Peter Jakob.
My friend and colleague Ahmed died two days ago, torn from the middle of his life, out of the middle of his family in Gaza. With the event of an invitation to deliver a keynote speech in May, by our friends and colleagues in Israel, I had asked him to write a brief bio, no longer that 100 Words, and I asked him whether that was even possible, given his rich and varied life. Ahmed smiled and replied in that modest manner of his that it would not be difficult to do that – there wasn’t that much to say about him anyway.

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Persistence

Persistence

The families I work with never cease to amaze me – their strength, their determination, their stamina in keeping their child safe. Recently, a mother shared with me some amazing practice in NVR which demonstrated her parental presence and her pledge to continue on her path to resist her son’s aggression and controlling behaviours.

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We All Need NVR

We All Need NVR

I have found over time that the NVR approach has not only influenced me personally in many ways but has had a profound effect in my own family life. I am particularly taken with the ideas of using supporters, unifying, being ‘disobedient’ to the attempts of others to control you and of reclaiming personal power and agency. Understanding that my co-operation and obedience is required in order for the oppressive practices of others to be legitimised is a powerful realisation.

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Non violent resistance and the road ahead

Non violent resistance and the road ahead

“It will happen, but it will take time”
John Bowlby

With its philosophical and historic roots in the framework that Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King created for their political struggles, the therapeutic approach of Non Violent Resistance that Haim Omer and his team developed has gained an impressive international following over the past 20 years. One can also see it as reflecting the principles of Martin Buber’s ‘dialogical principle’.

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When is enough, enough?

When is enough, enough?

My work brings me into contact with parents who are developing their NVR skills, and sometimes I am privileged to stay with these families for a long period of time, helping them embed non-violence in their world, coaching them in exploring ways to de-escalate and remain peaceful – facing the day-to-day challenges that their young person presents and the emotional toll it takes on the whole family.

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NVR Youth Group

NVR Youth Group

I have been working therapeutically with young people and their families for the last 18 years. To this day I regularly work with groups of 13-19 year olds and in our sessions we agree, by consensus, to actively practice a culture of non-violence. To make clear why non violent practice is a part of my methodology for delivering youth work, it is necessary to look back.

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