Maastricht, 3-5/11/16

NVR and its interventions in adult-children

In this workshop we share, for the first time, the results of six years of  NVR interventions with a rapidly growing population of treatment-proof, dysfunctional adults and their families. During three days we introduce NVR interventions for families of young adults suffering from:

  • Extreme social withdrawal (“Hikikomori”)
  • Adult Entitled Dependence (AED)
  • Failure to emerge into adulthood
  • Treatment refusal
  • Suicide threats and anxiety
  • Externalizing problems and other disorders

The program aims to provide mental health professionals with the theoretical and practical basis of performing interventions, in either parent counseling and/or family therapy settings. Personal supervision will be offered to course graduates interested in further guidance.

What are adult-children?

In the past 40 years the transition into adulthood is becoming longer. The ages of independent habitation, marriage and onset of parenthood are older than before. As the path to adulthood is prolonged, an increasing number of young men and women experience difficulty in completing it. In many cases the transition to fully autonomous functioning does not occur or is reversed after an abortive attempt at independence, leading to chronic dependence on parental support. We call these individuals Adult-Children – young people whose psycho-social development towards normative adulthood has stopped.

What are NVR interventions for adult children?

Our intervention applies the principles of Haim Omer’s NVR to cope with difficulties of treatment refusal, extreme social withdrawal, entitled dependence in young adults with and without mental disorders. Systemic change is initiated by unilaterally working with the parents and their social support network. As young dependent adults often say to their parents: “I’m all right! It is you who have a problem. Go treat yourselves!” NVR interventions for AED begin when parents take this advice seriously. They come to treat the situation as their problem, and then learn to re-define the boundaries of their responsibility.

A typical NVR/AED intervention lasts about 10-15 sessions and involves mainly the parents and their social support network. It implements NVR principles such as non-escalating struggle, transparency, publicity, documentation, support and self-change, with the goal of unilaterally changing not the adult child directly but the ecology which nourishes his maladaptive dependence. Like all other NVR protocols, NVR/AED interventions can be applied either as a standalone, short-term parent counseling, or within the larger context of family or couple therapy. It can be performed with or without the adult child’s cooperation, and can be effectively combined with psychotherapy, CBT, psychiatry, social work, coaching and education.

The course

The course offers 18 training hours covering the following topics:

Day 1: Introduction to NVR 

  • The family as a political place
  • The evolution of NVR from parental toolbox to a model of parenthood
  • The Principles of NVR Interventions
  • The NVR toolkit (intake, announcement, support mobilization, reconciliation and repair, gestures, documentation etc.)
  • NVRPSY’s prototypical applications: Behavior and anxiety
  • The NVRPSY family of applications
  • NVR as a setting
  • Coping with suicidal threats and anxiety
  • The typical NVR intervention process

Day 2: The Adult Child

  • The clinical phenomena of adult-children
  • The Socio-demographic context of Emerging adulthood
  • Extreme social withdrawal
  • Suicide anxiety and threats
  • Treatment refusal
  • The adult child in family systemic context
  • The social history of adulthood
  • Understanding functional and dysfunctional dependence
  • The adult child in the clinic

Day 3: NVR Interventions for Adult children

  • Distinguishing features relative to other NVR interventions
  • Treating the absent client
  • Coping with suicide threats
  • The model of change
  • Typical intervention course
  • Overcoming barriers and resistance
  • Family-Systemic aspects of NVR Interventions for Adult children
  • Technique
  • Presentation and discussion of relevant cases.

 Course Teacher: Dan Dolberger

Dan is a psychologist and family and couple therapist specializing in NVR-oriented systemic interventions, with particular emphasis on AED (Adult Entitled Dependence), resistance to family violence, and crisis intervention. Dan manages the Center for Non-Violent Resistance Psychology, a private counseling center for parents of adults suffering from AED and behavior and anxiety problems, which he co-founded with Professor Haim Omer. Dan has developed and published, together with Professor Omer and the center team, a NVR-based intervention model for Adult-child crises and AED. He is also founder of an international forum of NVR practitioners and a team member of the School of Non-Violent Resistance. In the past, Dan has held various journalistic positions, as well as senior business development, marketing and entrepreneurship positions in Israel’s High Tech industry. Dan holds an M.A. degree in Social Psychology from the Tel Aviv University and is a graduate of the Herzeliyah Shinui Institute of Family Therapy.

Course Settings and Registration

The course will take place, in English, at the School voor systemische opleidingen in Maastricht, Holland, on November 3-5, 2016. 

The training fee will be €360 including lunch, coffee and tea. Information on available hotels ,B&B and lodging, will be provided to those interested.

Class seats are limited. To register please leave your details in the form below and the school will get back to you, or you can contact Marielle Gelissen, the school’s manager, at +31 618 050 855 or at More information in Dutch is available from the School voor systemische opleidingen Website.

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