How to manage NVR Interventions with Adult Children

Op 21 en 22 januari 2019 organiseert de School voor systemische opleidingen een tweedaagse workshop How to manage NVR Interventions with Adult Children. De workshop zal worden gegeven door Dan Dolberger i.s.m. Jan Olthof.

Tijdens de workshop wordt Engels gesproken

Course Trainer: 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.

Dan Dolberger is psycholoog en systeemtherapeut, gespecialiseerd in Geweldloos Verzet-interventies. Hij heeft een behandeling ontwikkeld voor adolescenten en volwassenen (ook wel "het volwassen kind" genoemd) die last hebben van rigide afhankelijkheidsproblematiek (AED) waardoor ze de stap naar verzelfstandiging niet kunnen maken. Dan is werkzaam als vrijgevestigd therapeut in het Center for Non-Violent Resistance Psychology (Centrum voor Geweldloos Verzet), een advies-en behandelcentrum voor ouders van volwassenen die lijden aan AED en daarbij horende gedrags-en angstproblematiek. In het verleden was Dan werkzaam in de journalistiek en bekleedde hij diverse functies in de High Tech-industrie van Israel. Dan heeft een mastergraad in Sociale psychologie van de universiteit van Tel Aviv en is afgestudeerd aan het Herzeliyah Shinui Institute of Family Therapy.

How to manage NVR Interventions with Adult Children?

In this workshop we delve into the actual, step-by-step (hands-on) management of change in families with adult children. Over two days we will learn:

  • The typical phases of an NVR change process in a family with an adult child.
  • What are the characteristic obstacles to change, associated with each phase?
  • How these obstacles can be identified and overcome
  • To assess the family's change potential
  • To deal with treatment refusal
  • To formulate significant, yet attainable goals
  • To maintain the therapist's presence facing the family's despair, guilt, fear and objective risk factors
  • To help the family recuperate its capacities to believe, to hope and to envision
  • To help the family break it's wall of social isolation and mobilize its social support system
  • To deepen our sense of how NVR works
  • A general introduction to what are adult children, Adult Entitled Dependence and NVR (see below).

We will also deal with special cases and complications such as:  

  • A parental couple crisis
  • Major illness or very old age of the parents
  • Divorced, alienated or single parents
  • Anxiety synergies between family members
  • Extreme states of self-isolation, social withdrawal, violence or suicidality in the adult child
  • Acute crisis management

Workshop Emphasis

This workshop emphasizes practical change management skills. Participants are encouraged to bring actual ongoing cases as illustrations. Live interviews with families are also welcome. The course assumes some general knowledge about the NVR approach, as well as about emerging adulthood, Adult Entitled Dependence and the Adult Children phenomenon. As a minimal level of pre-knowledge it is recommended that read our 2012 paper.[1]

Who are adult children?

A new class of “invisibles” is rapidly growing in post-industrial societies: young adults who are socially withdrawn, not in employment or training, and dysfunctionally dependent on their families. Invisible because they typically refuse treatment, their distress often falls under the radar of mental health and other social services. The suffering families often present their distress to mental health services, but these services are not equipped to help invisible clients.

In the past 40 years, as the transition into adulthood is becoming longer, the population of adult children has grown dramatically. The ages of independent habitation, marriage and onset of parenthood are older than before, and as the path to adulthood becomes more prolonged and twisted, an increasing number of young men and women experience difficulty 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, treatment refusal, extreme social isolation, digital network and other addictions, escalation of psychiatric conditions, and social and other forms of anxiety. We call these individuals Adult-Children – young people whose psycho-social development towards normative adulthood has stopped.

What are NVR interventions for adult children?

During the past eight years, we have developed an NVR intervention which helps families of “adult children” break their devastating cycles of invisibility, despair, dependence and accommodation, even without the adult child’s cooperation. Our intervention applies the principles of Haim Omer’s NVR to cope with difficulties of treatment refusal, extreme social withdrawal, and 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.

Praktische informatie / Practical information

Locatie en tijd

Locatie: Schoolpad 7, 6241 CK Bunde
Datum:  21-22 januari 2019
Tijd:      09.30 tot 17.30 uur, met een uur lunchpauze


Deelname aan deze workshop kost € 290 (incl. lunch).


De workshop is door het SKJ geaccrediteerd met 14 punten.

Place and time

Place: Schoolpad 7, 6241 CK Bunde
Date:  21-22 January 2019
Time: 09.30 to 17.30, with 1 hour lunch


The training fee will be € 290 including lunch, coffee and tea.
Information on available hotels, B&B and lodging, will be provided to those interested.


Accredited with 14 points by the SKJ.

Aanmelden / Sign up

Het aantal plaatsen is beperkt. Aanmelden kan door een e-mail te sturen aan Dan Dolberger ( of aan Mariëlle Gelissen ( Aanmelden kan ook via of door te bellen naar +31 618 050 855.


Gelieve het cursusgeld na registratie over te maken naar ons rekeningnummer:
IBAN: NL93 ABNA 0438168062 - BIC: ABNA NL 2A
t.n.v. School voor systemische opleidingen te Bunde


Class seats are limited. To register please write to Dan Dolberger at, or to Mariëlle Gelissen at You can also register at or call +31 618 050 855.



Please transfer the course fee to our account number after registration:
IBAN: NL93 ABNA 0438168062 – BIC: ABNA NL 2A
To: School voor systemische opleidingen in Bunde.

School voor systemische opleidingen

Schoolpad 7 ~ 6241 CK Bunde ~ 0031 (0)6 18050855 ~
IBAN: NL93 ABNA 0438168062 - BIC: ABNA NL 2A

 "Context is the message"

Gregory Bateson