Supporting personal & professional growth.

About Us


Leslie K. Ritter-Jenkins

Leslie holds a bachelor's degree from Carleton College, and a master's degree from The University of Chicago Divinity School. She worked for 30 years in positions of associate and lead pastor in a mainline, progressive denomination contributing to pastoral care, programming, strategic planning and organizational development. She is committed to interfaith dialog. Leslie's studies in Bowen Family Systems and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) have provided effective tools in counseling individuals, teams and organizations. She completed her assessment and joined the worldwide network of Certified Trainers with the Center for Nonviolent Communication in April 2013. She enjoys gardening, reading, wine-tasting, swimming, yoga and gathering with friends and family.


"Nonviolent Communication creates for me a bridge between the fields of psychology, education and religion. At the heart of NVC is the language of human needs - central to these disciplines. 'Need language' has given me ease and understanding in cross-cultural, racial and other common divides. I enjoy facilitating workshops in NVC because it has brought me great joy and satisfaction in relationships and because I have seen its capacity to help individuals and organizations seed, grow and flourish."

~ Leslie


Myra Walden

Myra holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master's degree in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She has practiced psychotherapy since 1991. Trained and certified by Marshall Rosenberg, the developer of Nonviolent Communication, she is a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Since 2000, Myra has taught Nonviolent Communication in social service organizations, corporations, schools and churches in the United States and Mexico. Originally from Mexico, she conducts seminars on the Mexican culture to enhance mental health professionals' and educators' efficacy in working with Mexican clients and students. She is co-founder of the Institute for Empowering Communication. She enjoys nature, meditation, connecting with her husband and friends over dinner, Mozart, reading, yoga, aerobics and weight lifting.


"Nonviolent Communication (NVC) has enriched my life in important ways. Employing NVC processes to address life's challenges increases my sense of peace and freedom. Identifying and connecting with the needs underlying the actions of others has brought greater harmony to my personal and professional relationships. For these reasons sharing Nonviolent Communication fills my life with passion and meaning."

~ Myra

Workshops on the Mexican Culture with Myra Walden

The Institute for Empowering Communication is certified by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to provide continuing education units for: Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors, license #197.000.188; Licensed Social Workers and Licensed Clinical Social workers, license #59.001129; Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, license #168.000192


"My life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can."

~ George Bernard Shaw