Deborah Frimpong, Louise Target, Sarah McClay, Elisabeth Heismann

Whose Tune Are We Dancing To Anyway?


A guide to parent participation in Non-violent Resistance (NVR) for parents, carers and professionals



Parent participation in Non-violent Resistance (NVR) is an approach developed by author Elisabeth Heismann and colleagues that uses principles of NVR to help carers resist violent and out of control behaviours and to establish a warm, loving and containing parental presence with their children.  It is based on 15 years of collaborative practice in various settings and organisations and is presented as a formula for good practice.

In this unique book, three parents with lived experience of using NVR and a family therapist who has used the approach extensively, demonstrate the experience and positive impact of parent participation in NVR in one of London’s most polarised boroughs in terms of the distribution of wealth and deprivation, where gang problems, knife crime and child sexual exploitation are rife. The challenges they have faced represent issues many families experience in the UK and beyond, where young people, families and communities can feel judged and pathologised as ‘bad’ and consequently do not voluntarily access existing social care, mental health and educational services, or want to ‘dance to their tune’.



ISBN: 9781913414221

Publisher: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd

Publication date: May 2020



Elisabeth Heismann, Deborah Frimpong, Louise Target and Sarah McClay

Contents list


Part 1: Why we write about parent participation in this book?
Part 2: Stories about participation in NVR from the authors
Part 3: Discussion of communalities and differences
Part 4: The contribution of parent participation to the NVR model
Part 5: What our parent participation model looks like in practice


Glossary of NVR terms



This publication will benefit all those caring for or supporting children, adolescents and young people in a range of care settings in the UK and worldwide.

  • family support services
  • looked-after children’s services
  • fostering agencies
  • children’s mental health services
  • youth offending teams
  • schools
  • the police
  • housing, domestic abuse, faith organisations and community and voluntary organisations

It will also be of value to parents, foster carers, grandparents and informal carers, as well as students on professional training courses.



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