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Learner Experiences

"In the Inner Empathy work, I learned that my inner critical voices are not in fact trying to punish or destroy me, but rather that they are looking out for my best interests (despite some questionable strategies) has led to nothing less than a monumental shift. Before, "I" was the enemy' now, there IS no enemy. By learning to hear all those voices, to actually hear them as expressions of unmet needs, to empathize with them, and to not just accept but embrace or allow them has created a most spacious, quiet, peaceful interior."
Diane Almond

Courses, Workshops, And Retreats

Open Practice Group—No fee

If you want to experience the Compassionate Communication process, we have an open practice group that meets the 2nd and 4th Thursday at 5:00-6:15, which is free of charge. Open to people new to Compassionate Communication and experienced practitioners as well. Knowledge of the model is not required. Come share a challenging piece of communication you've had with someone (or want to have) and let the group support you in putting it through the consciousness and form of the NVC model. Or just learn by quietly observing others giving and receiving empathy and expressing their honesty. To receive reminder notices about the open practice group submit you email address above. To get directions, please call 252-0538.


The Level I Compassionate Communication Course
(Starting Wednesday, March 10th 6:30-8:3o. Located at 150 E. Chestnut St. in Asheville)

This course includes two-hour group sessions, practice sessions with other participants outside the class, private coaching sessions, and workbook exercises. It is experientially based and comprehensive. You don't need a partner to join the course. More information can be found in a three page Summary of the course or, if you would like, you can go ahead and register. This course is also offered to couples on a private basis should they wish to learn outside a group setting. (To receive notices about the upcoming course submit your email address above.) The course is flexible enough for you to apply your learning to the following areas of your life:


Romantic relationships/marriages: Our romantic relationships and marriages often our the most challenging context to hold compassionate conversations. Read more about how the compassionate communication language will transform your romantic or marriage relationship.

Parent and Child Interactions: Many parents use the model to reconnect with their pre-teens and teens. Also, senior parents connecting to older adult children (and vice versa) to work through any life pain or long standing conflicts is a common application of compassionate communication.

Friends and Siblings: Sometimes our friendships and sibling relationships are fraught with things that are disturbing to us, but we don't speak up for fear of hurting feelings and losing friendships. Compassionate Communication will deepen these relationships and teach you how to speak honestly and gently.

Professional Support: Compassionate Communication is powerful tool for any helping and healing professional. Course is offered for CEU's through Mahec. For more information about training Managers, Therapists/Counselors/Social Workers, and Nurses and Allied Healthcare workers, click here.

Spiritual Practice
: People on a spiritual path often use the compassionate communication training to make their language and speech more congruent with their spiritual aspirations.

After this basic course you can gain more fluency by coming to half-day workshops and practice groups. In addition, most people find their fluency will be increased by doing personal growth work, so we developed a personal growth track below called Inner Empathy work. The Inner Empathy work is taking the compassionate communication model and applying it internally.


Half-Day Immersion Workshops To Support Fluency

For people who have graduated from the 8 week Course or have sufficient years of NVC practice, we offer half-day intensives. The intention of these half-day intensives is total immersion in the NVC language as a way to connect with ourselves and others. For more....


Day-Long Immersion Workshops To Support Fluency

We offer day-long workshops on various specialized topics to support deepening the learning the language of compassion. Information and links describing the specialized topic will be contained on the home page when a new workshop is announced.


The Inner Empathy Level II

This course is for people who have been through Level I and want to learn how to use Compassionate Communication internally. It is based upon the book written by Jerry Donoghue: "Inner Empathy: Gently Revealing And Holding Compassion For Our Disowned Core Needs." For more information you can read a free book chapter or read the course summary.


The Inner Empathy Level III

This course is a continuation of the Inner Empathy II course. We will draw on material from Jerry Donoghue's soon to be publish book "Inner Empathy: Volume II." For more information you can read a free course summary


The Inner Empathy Level IV

This course is a continuation of the Inner Empathy course III. We will draw on material from Jerry Donoghue's soon to be publish book "Inner Empathy: Volume II." For more information you can read a free course summary


The 7-Month Inner Empathy Intensive

The Inner Empathy Intensive is an experiential course that is specifically designed for depth psycho-spiritual growth work using NVC. It has been developed, implemented and refined for the last three years. You will learn a unique way to support yourselves and others.More Info.