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Driedaagse training met Peter Jakob en Eric Sulkers “The use of NVR and Partnering for Safety in open child protection cases.”

maart 5, 2018 - maart 7, 2018



Peter Jakob from the UK and Eric Sulkers from the Netherlands will be holding a joint workshop on the use of Nonviolent Resistance (NVR) and Partnering for Safety in open child protection cases.

The workshop is open to participants either from the NVR field, who want to feel more confident in managing child protection cases, as well as for child protection workers who would like to work more collaboratively alongside parents of young people who are “out of control”.

We would like to discuss integrating both NVR and ‘Partnering for Safety’ (as a model to work with child protection cases), and have many practical discussions around actual cases.

On the first day Peter will spend the morning on an overview of NVR, whilst in the afternoon casework will be discussed through the lens of NVR.

On the second day, Eric will present an overview of the Partnering for Safety framework, whilst the afternoon will again be used for case discussions.

On the third day we will explore together how the two approaches can complement each other in such complex cases. The participants will be encouraged to share their ideas, and Peter and Eric will reflect on these contributions. Our integration of NVR and Partnering for Safety in this workshop will be informed by an understanding of trauma- and attachment models.



5, 6 en 7 maart 2018

Ontvangst vanaf 9.00u

Start: 9.30u

Einde: 16.30u



Engels (Peter) en Nederlands (Eric)



Kind & Gezin, Hallepoortlaan 27 te 1060 Brussel (op enkele minuten wandelafstand van het treinstation Brussel Zuid)



390€ (10% korting voor leden BIGV)




Peter Jakob is klinisch Psycholoog en Familietherapeut met meer dan 35 jaar ervaring. Hij paste het Geweldloos Verzet-model aan voor de behandeling van ernstig getraumatiseerde en ‘multi-stressed’ families. Hij is directeur van PartnershipProjects, een instelling voor training, consultancy en behandeling in Geweldloos Verzet.

Eric Sulkers is pediater gespecialiseerd in endocrinologie, diabetes en kinderbescherming. Hij speelde een belangrijke rol in de ontwikkeling van de Signs of Safety (SofS) benadering in Zeeland. Hij werkte mee aan talloze trainingen met Andrew Turnell, Sonja Parker, Vivian Hogg, Adriana Uken, Susie Essex, Rob Sawyer en Sue Lohrbach. Hij integreert/legt de brug tussen ‘Partnering for Safety’ met traumabehandeling, Geweldloos Verzet en ‘Motivational Interviewing’.


On day one, Peter will briefly introduce the main tenets and some of the key methods of the original Non Violent Resistance (NVR) approach that was developed by Haim Omer. He will then go on to outline some of the heightened challenges which adults and children in so-called ‘trauma-organised (family) systems’ (Arnon Bentovim) face, when young people who have experienced familial abuse, neglect or parents’ mental health or substance misuse problems, display violent and aggressive or other harmful and self-destructive behaviour patterns. These trauma-organised systems – the multi-stressed family, the foster family or residential children’s home with a seriously traumatised, insecurely attached child – will be a social field, in which trauma ‘cascades’ outward – and back into the nuclear family or group. As an alternative to this process of ‘trauma cascade’, relationships between family members and the wider social environment – larger family, professionals, community – can transform to become more emotionally secure. This enables the family or other care systems to become recovery environments, in which interpersonal resources help the young person, their siblings and parents to start healing.

Peter will outline the three areas of his trauma model of NVR:

(1)    Working with the larger system. This area of work corresponds very closely to what Eric refers to as ‘non-blaming’ interaction: When we are confronted with violent, aggressive of harmful child behaviour where there has been child abuse or neglect, parents, but often also professionals and others around the child and family often become the target of dominant communication. The question Peter discusses here is: As the NVR or child protection worker, how do we facilitate the transition for dominant interaction to emotionally safe interaction, so that the nuclear family, foster family and/or residential home can start becoming a recovery environment from trauma?

(2)   Beginning to resolve parental or trauma or caregiver ‘erasure’. Peter will introduce some of the ways in which the standard NVR positive action methods can be adapted to support the parents’ processing of trauma, as they challenge the young person’s aggression, and his integration of NVR and solution-focused work. This aspect of trauma-resolving NVR also includes ‘re-creating moments of strength’ to help parents and caregivers overcome survival reactivity so they can attune to the child.

(3)   Developing a child focus and re-kindling caring dialogue. In similar ways to Eric’s emphasis on parental accountability for future solutions, child focused work in NVR begins with helping adults commit themselves to nonviolence towards their child. This can become a very important step forward, where parents have acted aggressively or neglectfully towards their child in the past, or failed to protect them. Some questions asked are: How can we respectfully support parents to hold themselves accountable? How can we help parents and other caregivers imagine future dialogue with the child, in which the young person will signal distress and they will be able to address the unmet need of the traumatised young person? How, in the here and now, can they use NVR reconciliation gestures to address unmet need despite the child’s dismissal and rejection? How do professionals support parents in re-telling the family story to create more positive and coherent attachment narratives?

Peter will use many case examples, role play and small group work to illustrate these trauma-resolving ways of working in NVR.


On the second day, Eric will start with a brief introduction to Partnering for Safety (PFS). Like all safety-organized approaches that are based on the Resolutions Approach of Susie Essex, PFS, which operates in open child protection cases, combines the empowering, solution-focused way of talking to parents about what goes well, with a very detailed and clear description of what the problems are.

Eric will argue that strictly solution-focused therapists might find it difficult to openly talk about serious problems in parenting.

Energy emerges from talking about coping skills and strengths within the so-called ‘three-column model’, which helps clarify to parents whether we are talking about problems or strengths at any given moment. Switching between the columns in a sensible way, we can use this positive energy to collaboratively face the ‘demons’ of the (alleged) child abuse.

Eric will explain that for safety plans to work, an interviewing style very similar to NVR is useful, where the future behavior is planned and discussed in detail. In order to be as ‘non-blaming’ as possible, descriptions of past problems use ‘externalizing conversations’ as much as possible, in order to develop a genuine collaborative relationship with a parent. The ‘trick’ is to combine the ‘non-blaming’ stance for past events with zero-tolerance for future violence. Adriana Uken would say: “Accountability for solutions is more important than responsibility for the past”.

In Eric’s view, the way Peter approaches NVR is quite similar to the safety-planning ideas of PFS, by being very strict on future non-violence.

Eric will demonstrate that every worker in open child protection cases should be well prepared for (partial) denial of the accusations of child abuse. Being prepared and having a set of questions that are still strengths-based and goal-focused, while not letting go of an understanding of parenting problems is very important.

Giving young people an explanation, a ‘coherent and benign narrative’ is an important task, and Eric will explain how the ‘immediate story’, the ‘Words and Pictures’ and the ‘Trauma Healing Story’ interrelate. Interestingly, this is in Peters NVR work often a very important ‘unmet need’ of the child.

Before spending the afternoon on the practical applicability of PFS (with or without NVR) on cases, Eric will conclude by showing a few examples of creative adaptation of the principles of PFS by Sonja Parker, such as the house of the future drawing, and the collaborative ‘Family Road Map’.


The third day moves towards an integration of the two approaches. Eric and Peter will work together with one another and with the workshop participants, to discover how trauma-resolving NVR and PFS can complement each other in child protection contexts.

The day will begin with an extensive question and answer session, in which both presenters will respond to feedback and participant questions together sharing the perspectives of each approach. In a subsequent session, there will be two interviews of workshop participants on their casework, carried out by Eric and Peter respectively, with the other presenter sharing their thoughts and feedback at the end of the interview. This will be followed by small group work, in which participants will have the opportunity to collaboratively reflect on their own practice, and plan how they can integrate elements of either or both approaches in their own work around child protection issues. In the final plenary session, both presenters and a group of presenters will form a reflective panel, in which they speak with each other about questions and feedback raised by the audience.



maart 5, 2018
maart 7, 2018
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Kind & Gezin
Hallepoort 27
Brussel, 1060 Belgium
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