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Innovation in therapeutic practice with 'violent youth': a discourse analysis of the Non-Violent Resistance approach.

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 21:01 authored by Newman Mary, Sevasti-Melissa Nolas
Introduction: The introduction of the innovative non-violent resistance approach (NVR) at a multi-agency service in east Kent, UK, has presented challenges in terms of the recruitment of the necessary wider professional support for the family, with some professionals seeing the approach as not child-focused. Aims and objectives: To identify child-focused themes among professionals, and to compare these with discourses used in NVR and, for comparison, in the Webster-Stratton approach, to elucidate possible obstacles to the acceptance by professionals of NVR. Methods and analysis: A focus group of experienced professionals was convened to discuss what it means to be child-focused, and a thematic analysis was conducted. Key texts from NVR and the Webster-Stratton approach were selected and analysed using Foucauldian discourse analysis. Results: Being child-focused was considered to require the child's voice being heard, at least by the parents. Power differentials and developmental issues were also highlighted in the discussion. The key text analyses suggests that the Webster-Stratton approach is communicated through familiar 'biomedical' and 'missionary' discourses, while surprisingly NVR is communicated through a discourse of 'war' as well as the more familiar and child-focused 'family values' discourse. Implications: The 'war' discourse used by NVR, in which violent young people are seen as aggressors and oppressors, challenges the traditional discourses of childhood formed around notions of innocence. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to furthering the adoption of NVR as an effective way of working to help violent children of all ages.


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Counselling and Psychotherapy Research









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