NVR in Israel

Written by: Dr. Uri Weinblatt & Idan Amiel


NVR was born out of the need to find a new therapeutic system for treating children with behavioral problems, reducing parental helplessness and helping families that suffer from intense conflict between parent and child. The forerunner to NVR therapy, the “Parental Presence” model was developed in a research study conducted by Prof. Haim Omer and his student Uri Weinblatt in Tel-Aviv University between the years 1996-1999. This model defined the basic principles for empowering parents and revolutionized the field of parent training in Israel. Prof. Omer’s book from 2000, Parental Presence: Reclaiming a Leadership Role in Bringing Up Our Children, which described this approach, became a bestseller in Israel. During the next few years, Prof. Omer and his students initiated a number of research projects with the aim of generalizing the parenting model to different contexts. While the Parental Presence model had an enormous impact on parenting culture in Israel,by providing a fresh new look on how to help parents reclaim their parental role in the family, it did not define a unified set of interventions to deal with the situations in which the power struggles escalate as a result of the new parental actions.This growing need led tothe development of a therapeutic system which sought to provide solutions to the problem of escalation.
The inspiration for this new model came from one of the parents who took part in the original Parental Presence project. The parent, a single mother, was dealing with intense fights with her fifteen year old son who would become physically and verbally aggressive towards her. This mother opposed any use of punishments and every time she would try to speak up her son would retaliate harshly. In the process of tailoring an intervention for this mother, Haim Omer began describing the basic tenants of Non Violent Resistance. She was so inspired that in the next session she described different acts of protest and demonstration she had conducted with her son.  In the process of therapy with this mother, other interventions (such as public opinion interventions) were initially developed and suggested.The dramatic impact that the Non Violent Resistance actions had in this family emphasized the huge potential that was inherent in this approach.
Haim Omer continued to work in this direction and in 2001 published in the journal Family Process a paper titled “Helping parents deal with children’s acute disciplinary problems without escalation: the principle of non-violent resistance” in which he describes for the first time the use of the sit-in. In 2000 Haim Omer suggested to Uri Weinblatt to join him in empirically evaluating NVR. The study, which lasted 5 years, with 3 therapists (Carmelit Kerwinkel, Uri Weinblatt & Idan Amiel) and close to 100 B.A. students who participated as phone supporters was to become the first outcome study on NVR. During this time the NVR manual was written in which the different NVR interventions were described. The manual was later published in Omer’s 2002 book Non-Violent Resistance: A New Approach to Violent and Self-destructive Children (published in English in 2004). The study also included the work of many students, some in research positions like Irit Schor who evaluated the impact of the NVR interventions on the child’s siblings, and close to hundred B.A. students who participated as phone supporters to the families in the project. The results of the Weinblatt-Omer study showed significant improvements for parents and children alike and in 2008 were published in the Journal of Marital and Family therapy.
In 2004 The Parent Counseling Unit at Schneider Children's Hospital opened, and in 2005, Idan Amiel became the director of the Unit.  Psychologist working in the Parent Counseling Unit, under Prof. Omer and Mr. Amiel's supervision, began implementing and applying the concepts of NVR with hundred of parents who came for counseling. As the bulk of the work in NVR took place at Schneider, it became a fertile ground for the continuing development of the theory, as well as additional research.
In between the years 2005-2008 two main developments evolved in the model. The first was greater emphasis on community and support in working with parents. Secondly, working with schools and community institutions took on new dimensions. The developments in the model were described in Prof. Omer's next book, The New Authority: Family, School and Community (2010). The New Authority re-examined the traditional approach to authority, and presented an alternative model, one that emphasized the necessity and power of molding and applying a consensus.
While the work in the Parent Counseling Unit in Schneider continued to thrive, and Prof. Omer's counseling model continued to gather greater interest, more and more therapists and professionals expressed a desire to learn the theory and application of the model. To answer this demand, the New Authority Center in Israel opened in 2007.
In order to make the principles of the New Authority accessible to therapists and professionals, and thus create a professional network both in Israel and in Europe, the New Authority center in Israel created this site.  The content of the site and the use of the forums are open to all professionals who are interested in NVR and the New Authority. Lastly, the site has become a medium for which all individuals can see the latest developments and applications and the continued growth of NVR/NA in numerous countries and professional settings.