Developments in our Community - 2017

 In this year’s annual Newsletter, summarizing the NVR & NA work done in Europe and Israel in 2016 and looking at the year ahead, we start our journey in Malmo, Sweden, where our last international conference was held. The conference, titled “This is how we do NVR”, kicked off with the gathering of more than 300 participants from 15 countries on a sunny Thursday morning in May. If you wish to see live lectures from the conference you will find them here.

We will take this opportunity to thank Paul Johansson (Sweden) and to Nina Boelsgaard and Rikke Lyngdam (Denmark) who organized the professional part of the conference, as well as the candlelit conference dinner. We proved, as Rikke writes in her summary of the event that “NVR people are the best party crowd”!

Taking a short flight south west from Malmo, we find ourselves in Ireland and welcome Dr. Declan Coogan who adjusted the NVR concept to Ireland. In his work concerning Child to Parent Violence and Abuse Dr. Coogan implements NVR to help parents in those hard and complicated circumstances.  We also congratulate Catrina Scanlan and Tara Kelly on their new venture - New Authority Parenting - Building Stronger Families.


A short ride from Ireland we find ourselves in the UK where Peter Jakob describes the work done by PartnershipProjects team.  Read about the contributions to professional and academic debates with themes ranging from the integration of NVR and Narrative Therapy, NVR and trauma to the development of the new psychological concepts of ‘erasure’ and the ‘presence mind’. In addition, we congratulate Peter for publishing his new article – ‘Multi-stressed families, child violence and the larger system: an adaptation of the nonviolent model’ in the Journal of Family Therapy. Look for the abstract in our growing resource section.
Still in the UK - NVR Action and Practice CIC – a London-based social enterprise company, was established by Elisabeth Heismann and Julia Jude.
Last, but not least, The ‘NVR UK Association’ that was founded in 2007 by a group professionals from all over the UK, have also created a new website and in June their national NVR conference – ‘Mobilising communities through NVR practices' will be held London.


Crossing the channel to Belgium we have Willem Beckers from Interactie-Academie, who begins a new NVR training in Belgium together with Peter Jakob.
While in Belgium, we offer our congratulations to Frank Van Holen for winning in 2016 the ‘De Vroede Prijs’ for his PhD-thesis under the criteria for ‘scientific value’ and ‘societal relevance’. In addition,  Frank published two peer reviewed articles (look again for the abstracts in the resource section) and via BIGV he is organizing a conference day in 2017 for professionals and a conference day for parents and foster parents, in Brussels. Congratulations Frank!
In Belgium, we can clearly see that the concept of New Authority is gaining more and more support.  EXPOO - the Flemish Government’s expert center for parenting and family support has begun incorporating the concept of New Authority to preventive settings in family support. In co-operation with and Jeugdzorg Emmaüs (youth care from Antwerp), Tineke Herwege arranged an interview with Idan Amiel and Goedele Plovie (pedagogical director of Jeugdzorg Emmaüs) on the concept of NA. You can read the article in a new themed page on the EXPOO website or watch the video recordings of this interview (in English and Dutch) on the EXPOO YouTube Channel.
In addition, Sarah Muschang & Eline Smessaert sent a call to create a solid French speaking NVR network in Belgium. Read here about it and if you speak French, this is the right time to join us!

Last note regarding New Authority in Belgium - we are happy to report that a 3 days training will be held by our team from Israel in collaboration with Sven Bussens & Chris Van Dam.  You can read here an interview for this occasion (in Dutch) about the New Authority concept and what the participants can expect in this training. You can also watch some parts of the live interview with Michal Herbsman &  Idan Amiel (in English) on the Facebook page of the Center for Solution Focused Work and Coaching.

Crossing the border to The Netherlands is much easier now with a new NVR collaboration between Greet Lust from StapWijzer (Belgium) and VraagKracht! (Holland). In 2017 they began sessions of ‘open intervision’ for caregivers and professionals in Vlaanderen. Wim Braamse from VraagKracht sends us a description from the Nederlands Netwerk Nieuwe Autoriteit summarizing the NVR work done by several activists and organizations. Rubicon Jeugdzorg - a social welfare organization have trained more than 200 of their executive workers with the concepts of NA/NVR. VraagKracht’s teams expand their activities in southwest Netherlands & Zeeland and a new neighborhood intervention was successfully implemented. Wil van Nus’s new book - 'Geweldloos verzet op school, het ijzer smeden als het koud is' (2016) set a boost for the implementation of NVR in Dutch education. Alberdingk Thijm Scholem - a group of schools in Hilversum with the slogan: ‘Learning Beyond Boundaries’ held a 2 day workshop for head teachers in NA with Michal Herbsman, Tal Maimon & Idan Amiel.

Eliane Wiebenga from Lorenzhuis continues to successfully promote the concept of “verbindend gezag” (Connecting Authority) and has organized a conference day about it, including an interesting meeting between Haim Omer & Paul Verhaeghe (Belgium). We’re sure that more interesting ideas will follow the development and assimilation of verbindend gezag – check out their logo here.
We end our Dutch speaking part of the journey with Nick Goddard, former director of Panama ward from DeBascule – where 10 years ago NVR began in residential settings. Nick serves now as the medical director in Intermetzo, where together with Kirsten van Gink they train and evaluate more than 15 residential groups in NVR. While we’re still waiting for the results of their research Nick sends us a delightful NVR puzzle called ‘Who is using NVR?’. Our conference in Sweden has already proven that we can dance, but now let’s see if we can use our brains!  The first 5 solvers to publish their answer in our Activists' Community forum will win…. Our respect! (It’s free but quite rewarding)


Crossing the border to Germany we encounter the long standing and active use of NVR along with new and surprising news and developments with the New Authority concept. We will start with our friends at IF-Weinheim, the oldest institute for systemic therapy, who continue to offer NVR courses and as in every year, held a conference with Arist von Schlippe & Haim Omer. You can read here a summary of IF-Weinheim activities by Barbara Ollefs.  Another veteran organization - SyNA also sends us the activities and their prospective NVR work for 2017 written by Joscha Körner.

Alongside the work and innovations done by veteran institutions, “new” developments are on the way in Berlin! A conference day - 'Stärke statt Macht – Die Neue Autorität' with Idan Amiel will be held there in October. The conference will be followed by a 3 day training with 3 team members from Israel. The conference and training are organized by Pfefferwerk Stadtkultur gGmbH & “balagan” in cooperation with DGSF e.V. and GST Berlin GmbH GST (Society for Systemic Therapy and Counseling in Berlin & Munich). Read here for more about this training.


In Austria, the spirit of collaboration between AJKF (Akademie für Kind Jugend und Familie), INA (Institut for Neue Autorität) and PINA (Pädagogisches Institut für Neue Autorität) has led to many developments, as can clearly be seen in Philip Streit’s summary of AJKF NVR activities. More than 400 families were coached on the concept of New Authority, a conference organized with “Lebenshilfe Liezen” hosted Idan Amiel and Frank van Holen and a new handbook about implementing New Authority in schools will soon be published by Philip and his teams! Speaking about NA in schools, just read the impressive summary sent to us by Martin Fellacher from PINA - A conference in Vorarlberg with 400 participants gained media attention regarding NVR in the region; and in Reutte (Tyrol), all the Primary Schools of the educational region (“Bildungsregion“) are facilitated by PINA for 3 years, based on the ideas of NVR. Keep up the good work Martin!


In Switzerland, isi-netz24 continues to lead and disseminate NVR & NA, especially in schools and social institutions. NA keeps becoming more and more important as a reference for a value-based and relationship-oriented pedagogical approach. The 16th annual conference (!) “Stärke Statt Macht” with more than 300 participants hosted Haim Omer, Eia Asen, Uri Weinblatt, Martin Lemme, Bruno Körner, Susanne Quistorp and more.
Three basic NVR trainings with Idan Amiel, Uri Weinblatt and Claudia Seefeldt took place in Zurich, and as stated in our call for action, each 3 day trainings will be followed by a one day pro-bono training for schools and social institutions that work with Muslim refugee children. Read here a summary of isi-netz24 NVR work for 2016.

Our journey ends in Israel where our team continues to promote the New Authority concept, elaborating new ideas and making bridges between NA and other concepts. The 4th annual conference ‘From NVR to the New Authority concept’ was held in April at Schneider Children’s Hospital. Our guest for the conference was Philip Streit who presented ‘Positive Psychology & New Authority – acting with both concepts’ - ways to connect those ideas in clinical work. Other lecture topics included in the conference were how parents can confront “computer addiction” in their children (by Galit Siegman). ‘When the village turns global – New Authority in a multicultural Era’ - ways to build professional (new) authority in long distances (by Nir Sonnenberg) and lectures about NA in schools (by Tal Maimon and Ofri Bachar) focusing on concrete tools to create a parent-teacher alliance. For the Hebrew speakers – read here about the conference and for our European friends we send here a short funny video about Authority and setting Boundaries. Presenting new ideas to an audience can sometimes be difficult but trying to start a conference with more than 350 professionals (Israeli professionals no less!...) on time is a much more challenging task. Here’s how you can try to handle it…