I have recently completed my NVR Accreditation Module through PartnershipProjects. My journey in NVR started 7 years ago, I can honestly say that this process has changed my view of communication and my ethos of life.  I am confident to shout from the rooftops what I have learnt through my NVR training. I have learnt we can work in co-creative ways to form positive relationships and treat others with unconditional positive regard, even when that means resisting outside agencies / organisations / influences.  As part of my journey to get to this stage in my learning, I found that NVR is “the only way”.

I work in a therapeutic environment supporting young people who have experienced many challenges in their lives, where their voices will not have been heard or valued. My presentation focussed on a young person who came from an abusive and neglectful background which unfortunately resulted in her being in a secure hospital before joining Anderida Adolescent Care.

In a short period of time, this young person’s mental health had declined and stepped into a crisis point, it was clear that the existing systems in place for supporting young people were not always person-centred. This young person was sectioned and was admitted to a side ward in a paediatric local hospital for 94 days, as a secure placement was not available.  It was our responsibility to continue to support her the best way we could, having NVR guide us through the action we took.

It became apparent to me and my team that to be able to fully support this young person we had to become the NVR coaches / teachers during her admittance.  We needed to share the NVR principles in the hospital and amongst the medical staff to help bring about some change.  We supported hospital staff to build their own in-house support network to enable caregivers’ presence to be increased and supported.  We encouraged staff to create transparency in their care package for the young person in helping her manage her difficult circumstances to aid her recovery.  We were challenged to explore creative ways that they could communicate with their teams, the young person, and outside agencies that were peaceful and inclusive.

The challenges we faced were agencies not seeing past the young person’s harmful behaviours and losing sight of the young person in need and distress.  As a team we worked hard to create a homely environment within the hospital unit, we ensured that the young person was still able to finish their studies, keep in regular contact with their family and for them to have home-cooked meals delivered each day. We were committed to being empathic with the outside agencies and not allowing a rupture between them and us.  We resisted getting drawn into the daily disputes of the limited funding streams and whose responsibility it was to look after the young person.  We recognised that the young person’s rights were not being adhered to. We wrote announcements to the hospital staff, outside agencies and the supporting family ways to resist the young person’s self-harming behaviours.

This effort brought about positive change for the young person.  My sense is that NVR was the only way.  I believe this was a true account of the unconditional love we had for what we believed in and what was right for the young person.  This young person is now in college, has a boyfriend, and a job and is in frequent contact with her family. Months on, she reported that Anderida had saved her life.

Being a part of this Accreditation Course has reminded me how creative and inspiring people are in their field of work and I have learned about other ways that NVR can be used. I will continue to shout from the rooftops and be an advocate for NVR and how it can enrich people’s lives.  Together we can make small changes that bring about a united front.

Maz Macmillan, registered Manager, Anderida Adolescent care

NVR Practitioner & Accreditation Module Participant (2022) 


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