Helping abused parents by non-violent resistance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In clinical settings, parents are no longer only viewed as helpers in the treatment of their children: They are clients in their own right. After all, a parent’s pain is no less real and deserves no less help than a child’s pain. This position is most obviously the case in families where parents are abused by their child. Improving the well-being of parents in these families is not only highly justified in itself, but it is also likely to benefit the child, particularly if the improvements are achieved through a method designed to increase parental presence in a non-violent and nonescalating way. This is what parental training in non-violent resistance (NVR) is designed to achieve. NVR was originally developed in the socio-political arena. Groups that were politically disadvantaged and were morally opposed to the use of violence in their fight against exploitation and oppression – but who felt that dialogue and persuasion by themselves were ineffective – developed a variety of non-violent methods for conducting their struggle. The foremost authority in the history, principles and strategies of non-violent resistance is Gene Sharp (1973, 2005), who has described the scope of the approach and its influence in numerous confrontations throughout modern history. NVR as an approach to parent training was developed by a systematic adaptation of the methods described by Sharp to the family arena to help parents deal with aggressive, maladaptive and/or selfdestructive behaviors from their children.1.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking with Adolescent Violence and Abuse Towards Parents
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches and Contexts for Intervention
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781317613190
ISBN (Print)9781138807990
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


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