Non-Violent Resistance


The Non-Violent Resistance approach to Family Therapy was first developed by Haim Omer, Psychology Professor, in Israel in the late 1990s. The approach is influenced by concepts from political nonviolent resistance.

Non-Violent Resistance involves a series of activities through which the parent conveys to the child that they are no longer prepared to accept their destructive behaviours. The parent makes it clear they will do all in their power to change the situation – except by attacking the child, or young person, verbally or physically. A firm stance is taken on issues of violence and aggression. The problem of violence in the family is openly talked about and the parent’s sense of isolation is reduced through the involvement of a support network. (Omer, 2004).

The Non-Violent Resistance Programme supports parents to make fundamental shifts in how they manage aggression and violence. It has been shown to be very successful in ending the cycle of child-to-parent violence in families.


Studies have shown that 18% of two-parent families and 29% of one-parent families experience child-to-parent violence (Walsh and Krienert, 2009). Often, parents who are assaulted or verbally abused by their children deny or minimize the behaviour, and blame themselves for their children’s actions.
Aggressive and violent behaviour includes:
• Pushing
• Hitting, kicking, biting and hair pulling                                                        
• Preventing someone from leaving
• Spitting
• Invasion of personal space
• Throwing objects
• Damaging property
• Threatening to hurt someone
• Shouting, swearing and verbal abuse
• Making threats in person, writing or in text messages

What to expect from the NVR Programme?

The NVR Programme usually involves anywhere between six and ten sessions, depending on the presenting issues.

In the first session, we will:

  • Discuss what is involved in the Programme
  • Explore experiences of child-to-parent aggression/violence
  • Establish ant safety issues in the home
  • Identify your goals
  • Discuss how best we can work together, looking at issues such as confidentiality, record-keeping, information retention, etc.