Supporting personal and professional growth.
Click each category below to view testimonials from participants at Empowering Communication Workshops:
NVC in Mental Health
"Since I took a weekend NVC training with Myra Walden in 2008, my ability to work with high conflict couples has significantly improved. The training offered me an opportunity to develop not only a set of skills, but even more importantly, an understanding of the healing power that lies in unearthing and validating people’s unacknowledged needs. There is no question that this training has been instrumental in my growth as a therapist, as well as in my own personal relationships."
"Empowering Communication helps you to get out of your 'head space' and ground into the power of your heart."
"I use the principles of NVC with virtually every client I see. With parents and children, the needs provide a language that is clear, useful, and blame-free. Conflicts can then be seen in a far more neutral light and can be resolved without coercion or damage to relationships. Adolescents and adults learn to use the needs to explore and validate what is inside. Needs are immensely helpful in making decisions, resolving ambivalence, and sorting out relationship problems. In addition, I see that working with the needs promotes self-esteem, resilience, and healthy responsibility."
After her first EC workshop, Kathy attested: "Empowering Communication has enriched my life. I found the self-empathy exercise particularly helpful and now use it as a meditative practice. As many of us know firsthand, our anger can build until it's unproductive, but this exercise allowed me to express emotions in the privacy of my heart and helped me to realize how I have limited -- even hurt -- a dear friendship by holding on to a grudge. I now have a tool for talking honestly about hurt, helping me to release regret and blame while being open to my friend's experience.
"NVC has greatly enriched my practice. It helps women embrace their needs unapologetically, and it helps men experience vulnerable feelings without losing a sense of their own strength. It empowers all clients with an increased awareness of their human needs and with a vocabulary to help fulfill them."
"In my experience, the tools and focus of NVC have great benefit for therapists. Employing and embodying NVC, therapists can deepen empathy for clients and strengthen the therapeutic alliance. They can teach clients skills for self-awareness and relationship-building. Clients learn to effectively and efficiently identify the needs underlying their actions. Through focusing on feelings and needs, people can experience relief and spaciousness, from which creative new ideas emerge to meet their goals. In addition, NVC processes can promote self-compassion and self-awareness in therapists. This in turn can enhance emotional sustainability, increase enjoyment of the work, and support clinical integrity – e.g., offering tools for identifying and transforming counter-transference."
Empowering Communication is effective in connecting with clients who are angry. One day, I was in my office at the community mental health center where I work. Suddenly, I heard someone scream at the top of his lungs, "Leave me alone!" He swore and cursed loudly. I waited for a couple of minutes thinking that this would pass, but it didn’t. I rushed to the office where the screaming was coming from. There was a woman outside the office, watching the door. “May I go in?” I said. “It’s okay,” she replied, “there's a crisis worker in there already.” I waited, but the screaming went on. I asked again if she would let me in as I knew a form of communication that might help, and she agreed. In the room, instinctively, I sat on the floor and said, “I’m guessing that you are very angry because you want to be treated with respect, is that it?” The young man, about age 17, was suddenly quiet. “You desperately want to be heard.” Silence. I asked if everyone would leave the room so I could connect with the man. The others in the room expressed concern for my safety but complied with my request. After ample silent time and continued attempts to connect he spoke to me. I expressed my concern that if he continued to yell he would be taken to the hospital forcibly. I said I was scared about this because I didn't want him or anyone to go through that experience. He looked at me and his eyes told me he had heard me. I asked the doctor and the father to come back in the office and the session ended peacefully.