When I’m allocated to work with a family via Skype and not having met them in person beforehand, I often wonder if this process can hinder our working relationship or enhance it?  Most topics are usually discussed in the privacy of a clinic or family home face to face..  Speaking to a complete stranger about sensitive subjects, such as child on parent violence (CPV) and living with a controlling child, may at first, feel daunting and unfamiliar.  How will the practitioner see things?  Will I be judged?  Will they really understand how difficult my life can be at times?  How do I say negative things about my child but still love them?  These are common questions and thoughts from parents that arise in the first few sessions.

The start of the Skype journey is crucial and the parents get a sense of the work we are setting out to achieve and our discussions will be based on a trusting, honest, non-judgmental and non-critical view point.  So it is of no surprise that a parent can start the journey with the best intentions, eager to progress and gain a better understanding of NVR, then present with resistance.  As time passes it becomes apparent the parent may feel overwhelmed with disclosing so much information about their child and hearing the practitioner sharing how NVR could help.  Of course the practitioner has no idea how home life is impacting on the parents, the lack of sleep, the unreasonable demands coupled with the physical violence and property damage, school refusal and sibling violence.  Despite the parents earlier wishes to engage in a therapy that could help, now they’re here it feels strange and imposing!

Resistance is one of the hurdles a practitioner can come across and communicating via Skype can hinder this and prevent a parent to talk things through.  It almost feels like I want to reach out and touch the parents to offer a physical assurance that things can and will improve, just have faith.  This faith has been shown by a recent family I am working with via Skype and has assured me that remote working does work, even when you feel you want to be closer and offer face to face support.

This parent showed some natural resistance to NVR and although I showed great empathy, understanding and diplomacy in my practice the parent was overwhelmed with guilt.  A guilt so deep rooted that was preventing them from parenting in the way they wished.  Despite the parent doing much preparation and reading up on NVR, despite having an indication of developing change within the relationship of parent and child, the resistance was present.  However, six sessions later ‘The Shift’ has taken place.  The parent has expressed a change in behaviour in parent and child relationship.  Feedback included an acknowledgement in putting up a barrier and resisting NVR, followed quickly with a deeper understanding in change coming from within and letting go of the guilt.

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.


This blog provides general information and discussions about NVR and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as professional advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a concern, you should consult with a professional NVR advisor. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog or in any linked materials.

The opinions and views expressed on this blog are those of the blog post author and have no relation to those of any academic, health practice or other institution, including those of PartnershipProjects UK Ltd.