The NVR approach
Our approach to parents, teachers and caretakers is known under two names: NVR (non-violent resistance) and NA (the new authority). The reason why there are two names is that in its beginnings, the approach focused chiefly on how to resist, in strictly non-violent and non-escalating ways, violent and self-destructive behaviors by children and adolescents. Gradually, however, more and more parents, teachers and therapists applied the approach not only for interventions in highly problematic cases, but also in prevention with "normal" families. This is when the concept of NA (the new authority) was coined. The concept designated a positive and legitimate kind of authority, which contrasted with the authority of yore, which was based on an ideal of distance, rigid control and strict hierarchy. The new authority, in contrast, was based on presence, self-control and a network of support and legitimization.
The response to our approach (by parents, teachers, caretakers and therapists) was nothing less than amazing. My first book on the subject was close to the top of the best-seller list in Israel for many months. The repercussion in other countries was similar. My books were translated to 12 languages and have already sold more than 300,000 copies. Centres for consultation and training in NVR and NA sprouted in many countries (e.g., Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the UK, Holland, Belgium, France, Sweden, Denmark and Italy). Five international conferences took place (in England, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Israel – the next one will take place in 2020 in Austria), each with hundreds of participants.
The areas of application of the approach became more and more varied. Detailed intervention programs were developed and researched in fields like: computer and smartphone abuse, dangerous teen driving, school problems and school refusal, prevention of risk factors in adolescence (drugs, alcohol, delinquence, etc.), ADHD, anxiety disorders, adult entitled dependence, adolescents with unbalanced diabetes, foster parents, violence against siblings, school violence, and more.
The approach also developed a solid evidence base. Studies attesting to its effectiveness were published in the leading academic journals dealing with parents, families, child-rearing and problem youth. In a number of fields we were the first approach to show effectiveness, for instance: helping the parents of anxious children who refused to receive treatment; helping the parents of adult chidren (over 18) who did not work, study or function; helping parents to prevent dangerous teen-driving, and helping parents to prevent smartphone abuse (such as use at late hours of the night, excessive day-time use and surfing dangerous sites). These and many other studies placed NVR and NA at the cutting edge of treatment and prevention approaches regarding the perils that endanger children and teens. In all the fields that we have researched the approach not only led to improvements in the child's problematic behaviors, but also reduced escalation, improved parental self-control, and promoted better parent-child relations.
When we ask "what is the secret of NVR's success?" our answer is a double one: a) We offer an effective answer to the flood of dangerous temptations and influences that threaten the safety of our children more than in any other period of history, and b) we show parents and teachers, who have been weakened by massive social changes (such as progressive isolation, reduced authority and growing confusion), how to regain their place, voice and influence. In short: We help parents to become an anchor for their children against the torrents that threaten to sweep their children away.