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Restorative Justice, Heartspace® & Nonviolent Communication®
Susan Allan -- The Marriage Forum Susan Allan -- The Marriage Forum
Santa Barbara, CA
Sunday, March 7, 2021


In recent months, watching the news has offered me a reminder of the extraordinary value of Nonviolent Communication® for myself, my clients and the world. As I absorb the verbiage that I hear and read, I feel so grateful that I learned how to translate words of rage, grief and even hatred into Feelings and Needs language and I find great solace in memories of Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. the founder of NVC® who worked in war-torn countries, in refugee camps in Israel and with prisoners and disenfranchised groups worldwide.   


Observing Marshall for many years as he calmed and empathized with extremely troubled people, I learned that Empathy is the root of all healing. And in order to feel empathy for others we must first master this skill and internalize it; Self-empathy always must come before speaking if we are triggered to fear, anger and/or sadness our self!

Whether I coach clients to create a loving and intimate relationship; to avoid divorce through peaceful, loving reconciliation or to regenerate joyous relationships with their family, I offer these skills. If a client is suffering from radical health challenges or addiction within the family; from financial crisis or career disappointment, this single tool, Empathy, is the most important tool I have ever discovered.   When reasoning doesn't work because someone is too upset to be logical; when fixing the problem is much too soon because someone is in terror or rage or grief; this is when Empathy is the key and teaching Self-empathy and Empathy are among the first skills I offer to everyone.

In the past, I wanted to fix problems and as I was so new to NVC I hadn't yet realized that Marshall had discovered an entirely new way to think and communicate with people in grave distress.

Attempting to solve a problem before understanding the full extent of someone's Feelings and Needs doesn't work.    

Attempting to jump in with any form of communication before someone has been fully heard doesn't work. 

Assuming that someone needs us to solve their problem is very often erroneous. 

With Self-empathy, I can remain calm and quiet until a client or friend has been fully heard. When we Self-empathize and offer someone else Empathy, we see that the other person visibly shifts and can express gratitude; the appearance shifts, too, and someone begins to smile and relax.

It's been wonderful for me to do my very best to channel Marshall Rosenberg as often as possible and to be sure to do so whenever my presence and Empathy can make a difference. I have been offering Self-empathy and Empathy to clients every day for 20 years and recommending to my clients and friends that they also practice everywhere they can, with everyone they meet. When working with clients in order to support their goals in their intimate relationships, families and careers, the key is Self-empathy and then Empathy This one tool has turned around so many marriages that had been headed to divorce. While our culture recommends feeling and expressing remorse and then making amends, based on the common 12 Step program, I have 20 years of evidence that feeling guilty isn't helpful at all and Empathy is the key to peace, and it is both more peaceful and more powerful as a strategy to generate loving relationships with anyone!   

Susan Allan’s Heartspace® The Marriage Forum Inc. 805-695-8405   818-314-1200


Nonviolent Communication® expert           Certified Mediator The Divorce Forum®  

Dating, Marriage, Reconciliation, Peaceful no-court divorce


https://www.youtube.com/user/susanallan2001  240 videos


News Media Interview Contact
Name: Susan Allan
Group: The Marriage Forum Inc.
Dateline: Santa Barbara, CA United States
Direct Phone: 805-695-8405
Main Phone: 805-695-8405
Cell Phone: 818-314-1200
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