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Advanced NVR Interventions
with Children & Adolescents 

With a focus on Attachment and Trauma 

Training | AL-1 | Child & adolescent track ​​

Special announcement

On April 3, 2024, CNTP will announce its next-generation training framework. The content of this page will change accordingly.  

Advanced Level 1 Training Track:

Interventions with children and adolescents 

Instructor: Dr. Peter Jakob

Harmful behaviors in children tend to adversely affect them, their caregivers, and their relationships. Whether or not originally driven by exposure to trauma, the very act of repeatedly hurting others or oneself creates an impasse marked by feelings of helplessness and hopelessness for the family, foster family or residential care home. This impasse can worsen, when adults develop a narrative of the child as a ‘problem’ or as a victim, and even more so in contexts of social inequality, racism and sexism.

This Advanced Level training provides clinicians and other practitioners with the requisite knowledge and skills to practice NVR competently with families that have experienced high levels of abuse and/or disadvantage.


The overall prevalence of significant trauma in families referred for NVR can be estimated to lie at around or over 40%. The knowledge and skill-base taught on this course is transferrable for working with a general population of NVR referrals, where children and adolescents present with serious aggressive, harmful and self-destructive behaviours (so-called ‘externalising problems’), but also serious difficulties relating to self-harm such as suicidal behaviour or self-injury (so-called ‘internalising problems’). The difficulties to which the theoretical understandings and methodological elements of the course apply may or may not be concurrent with neuro-diverse presentations in children and young people.


The course is structured in a manner to lead participants into an understanding of the family as a potentially ‘healing system’, whereby the clinician or practitioner attends to three system levels in facilitating the transformative generation of such a healing system: creating an emotionally safe wider (communication) system around the family, utilising NVR principles and methods in helping parents and/or other caregivers process traumatic experience, and finally,  developing a child focus in NVR. Apart from addressing transformative processes within the family of origin, adoptive family or foster family, the course also introduces key elements of working with residential services for children and adolescents.

Course Topics and Themes

Part I: Working with the Larger System

  • Anchoring of parents in the wider system / anchoring of the child in the parent’s post-traumatic strength

  • Nuclear family as a recovery environment

  • Emotionally safe, critical and prescriptive, dangerous and coercive positions

  • Avoidant, compliant, escalatory parent positions

  • Identification of dominant and safe positioning by adults in the wider system

  • Risks presented by dominant positions of other adults in the wider system

  • Parent blaming

  • Definitional power and taking it back

  • Embodiment in identifying other adult’s positioning

  • Principles of developing a safe support network: exception utilization and resistance principle

  • Compassionate and appreciative witnessing, multi-directional partiality

  • Exception principle

  • Utilization principle, utilizing conversations

  • Appreciative parent questioning

  • Resistance principle

  • Vectors of resistance


Part II: Systemically processing parent trauma

  • Resistance to aggression or abuse as therapy of fear

  • Progressive narratives in NVR

  • Erasure

  • Presence mind

  • Hope and confidence

  • Working with setbacks in NVR

  • Parental self-regulation strategies

  • Parental inter-personal co-regulation

  • Use of grounding strategies in NVR

  • CBT and insomnia treatment

  • De-sensitization in positive acts of resistance and interpersonal co-regulation

  • Theory countertransference and the crossover effect.

  • Moment of strength method

  • Parental strength


Part III: Child-focused work in NVR

  •  Child accountability and responsibility

  • Anchoring function of attachment for trauma-experienced children

  • Reconciliation and dialogue as forms of generating peaceful interaction

  • Caring dialogue

  • Constraints to accepting care in the child

  • Polyphonic self of the child

  • Inclusive, need-aware acts of resistance against harmful or self-destructive behaviour

  • Parent apology

  • Reconciliation gestures as need-focused relational gestures

  • Identifying encoded child needs.

  • Stimulating caring dialogue: the imaginary caring dialogue

  • Stimulating caring dialogue: interview of the imagined future child

  • Stimulating caring dialogue: therapeutic network meetings

  • Categories of child need in young people with histories of abuse, experience of trauma, disadvantage


About the instructor 

Peter Jakob is a leading teacher, contributor and thinker in the NVR movement. His contributions includes an adaptation of NVR to trauma, and paths to reinstate the broken dialog of care. Peter helped to introduce NVR in the UK in the early 2,000's, and is now supporting the effort to introduce it to professionals and caregivers in North America. Read more about Peter.  

Recent publications related this track


Jakob, P. & ‘Sarah’ (2021). Beyond parenting: Therapeutic integration of non-violent resistance and narrative therapy. Context 175, 18-22.

Beckers, W., Jakob, P. & Schreiter, L. (2021). Imaginary methods in systemic therapy using nonviolent resistance: a sense of mattering and parental presence. Family Process, 00, 1–13.


Jakob, P. (2019). Child-focussed family therapy using nonviolent resistance: hearing the voice of need in the traumatised child. In E. Heismann, J. Jude & E. Day (eds.): Non-violent resistance innovations in practice. Brighton: Pavillion.


Jakob, P. (2018).  Multi-stressed families, child violence and the larger system: an adaptation of the nonviolent model. Journal of Family Therapy 40, 25-44. ​

Child- focused family therapy  using non-violent  resistance: hearing the  voice of need in the  tra
Dem Trauma Widerstand leisten
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