testimonials | Grok the World!


What people are saying about our services

Learning and practicing the principles and strategies of NVC has been invaluable in my professional life, as a mediator and communication trainer, and in my relationships with family and friends. It has become an integral part of how I understand the world and participate in it.

- Laurie McCann Campus Ombuds, Univ of California Santa Cruz

Thanks for helping me change in immeasurable ways and to see it's possible to get what I need in life and/or to talk about things.

- V.R. Integration Program student

My personal growth and healing was amazing. I love playing and learning with Christine and Jean!

- M.F. Integration Program student

Through integrating NVC into my being, I’ve grown tremendously. I’ve deepened my capacity to love and accept my whole and perfectly imperfect self—thereby allowing me to share myself with others with more ease, joy and acceptance.

- A.S. Integration Program student

I feel better than I have in over nine years. I’m more relaxed; feel safer and very, very free to do what I want.

- K.C. Integration Program student

If you’re ready to pour some “Miracle Gro” on your heart’s desire, try these workshops.

- W.B., student

The program helped me to stay true to myself and honor myself. The percolation of learning that I got from Jean and Christine will spill over to my community and the world. I am once again hopeful for a better world.

- J.L. Integration Program student

My shift in thinking will be of great benefit to me in all of my relationships. Thank you!!

- Peter S., M.D.

This week retreat with Jean was dense with crucial teachings of personal and global relevance. I learned how to better love and honor myself and others while maintaining connection – even in the most painful and challenging instances. For me it’s all about equality, respect, inclusion, and honesty. I now have a good foundation in nonviolent communication and I’m eager to practice and live it because I understand its relevance.

- Nancy S.

I’ve been to a lot of retreats in my life of learning. For me, NVC is a very powerful and effective model of communication and self-awareness. I’d call it “Gestalt Grown Up”, or: Compassionate Gestalt to evolve consciousness and connection with self, others, and our world.

- Robin B., Retreat Center Grounds Manager

My experience in the retreat with Jean was wonderful. It was informative, profound, accessible, theoretical, and practical. (I know those are my evaluations and labels!) 

- Jim S.

I most enjoyed being competently and gracefully led through (my) confusion of a new dialect for thinking about human relationships; and being gently guided through my absorption of new ideas. Unexpectedly, I became hopefully inspired to address the seemingly intractable problems of de-alienating my older daughter and my only sibling.

- Bill T.

I’m amazed at how much depth, information and insight I received in this retreat with you Jean – and with so much fun packed into it too.

- Eileen R

What was valuable for me during this week retreat ~
* to experience and live NVC in practice throughout the week
* The modeling of NVC by the leaders and assistants
* the play and fun during the seminar.

Highlights of my learning:
* self-empathy (hadn’t occurred to me before!)
* a deeper way to give appreciation and self-appreciation
* the essential vocabulary and key distinctions of NVC
* respecting the feelings and fulfilling the needs of everyone involved

- Jaim M., M.D.Ph.D.

This 2-month course is helping me at home and in the workplace. It integrates my life where sometimes it is difficult for me to be in “work culture” and have my personal life. I’m now better able to focus on myself and stay rooted in my values, as opposed to a “schizo life” and putting up walls when I’m at work.

- Jane R., Admin Assistant II

This workshop is jam-packed with useful info for me. Most useful – getting in touch with personal needs and feelings; more personal connectedness. And each week I’ve applied my new skills to daily personal life.

- M.T. Senior Pharmacist

After studying with Jean in several workshops and retreats, I'm able now to communicate with patients in a way where they feel heard and known. They clear out their fears and concerns before surgery , they actually get to connect with their needs; they feel more comfortable going in to surgery. They're able to know themselves better and feel more connected with their own needs when they leave the office. 

- Rick S. M.D

In your course, “Communicating for Success”, the role playing, the course materials, the exercises – all helped to build on each other and allowed the class to really come together, learn, experience, and grow. A very rewarding class, not only professionally, but on a very personal level. It exceeded my expectations.

- HR Rep; UCSC

Jean - your 8-week class has helped me so much to treat myself with more compassion and respect, and thus live a happier life. It was a safe space for me to examine unhealthy habits and thoughts in my life and create a concrete plan for changing them.

- Katherine

The only suggestion I have for this class is to make it longer! Thank you so much, Jean. I really appreciated your ability to respond to everyone in the group and to integrate our questions, concerns and real-life examples.

- Lori Z

These tools help me organize my thoughts and emotions, and now I can express myself without getting all nervous.

- Ken C.

I now have more confidence in my ability to enter into potential conflicts without mucking it up!

- Susan

Thank you Jean and Christine – taking this class was a big step for me in making some changes in the way I relate to my family – you made it easier.

- Aline D.

Taking this 8 week course through Training and Development at work gave me a big boost in communication skills. The most valuable to me was having specific ideas, guidelines, and materials that I can refer back to. The booklet is great – especially the pages on feelings, needs, non-feeling words – I have used them over and over already.

- Senior Analyst, UCSC

I've done meditation for YEARS, and knew about judgments and stuff, but since being with you in the retreat Jean, and seeing the Jackal puppets being used the way you do; NOW I can really see how my mind works with judgments! NVC puts together the pieces of what I've missed along the way with meditation...getting my needs met, and not judging others!

- Harold

Jean always seems to intuitively know the best most effective and nurturing way of learning and support for each person.

- Pamela L.

…the best features of this class were the materials covered and Jean’s enthusiasm and humor, and her teaching style.

- Maria M.

This series of classes exceeded my expectations – I expected techniques for communication, but received a better way to view the world. The most useful to me for my “everyday life” was in improving my work relationships and requesting the things that will improve department efficiency. Thanks Jean!

- Records Manager, UCSC

Hi Christine—

For me, NVC is life-transforming--I find myself looking at each relationship and interaction with anybody with more ease, tolerance and understanding. I'm more conscious. I still feel very green when it comes to the language but I'm catching myself rethinking how I could be more caring--even when I can't quite pull it off in the moment. So I thank you for this gift and your open, caring, non-threatening approach with our class.

- Lynne Lenger

The three best features of  Jean’s class:

* demonstrated the power to change my experience and perceptions – dramatically
* the participatory nature of the format
* concise, full presentation with enough skills to use the process

- Don M., group facilitator

Your class at College of Marin 1) changed my thinking 2) gave me skills in communication to implement right away 3) inspired me.

- George S.

Everything was extraordinarily useful in this course with Jean through Training and Development. Prior to my experience in this class I felt supremely dissatisfied with my career choice and questioned whether working in this environment was “worth it.” I feel the skills I’ve learned here have resulted in helping me develop a new and better understanding of my professional environment. Specifically, learning about listening and developing the language to articulate my needs was most helpful.

- University Academic Advisor

What I enjoyed most about your classes, Jean, is that I learned a lot in a short time, both personal and general. I liked that you could keep a diverse group moving forward.

- Kathy J.

Jean, I will always remember that you were my very FIRST teacher of NVC. Kind of like my Kindergarten / First Grade Teacher of my NEW life/language. Thank you!!

- S.C., videographer and workshop leader

My values do not need to be validated by anyone else. I've been going through therapy for over two years trying to figure out why people weren't seeing the situation the way I see them. I questioned myself on my values - are they realistic? Today after being in your communication workshop I could start the healing process because I don't need to have my values validated by anyone else. Therefore, I can value my own needs.

- Mindful Communication student

You should see the difference in my staff meetings! Everyone feels heard and understood, and everyone learns as they go. They get to take what we do there, without me even putting it out to them. They get to clear all of their thoughts out in the morning, so that they are free to set their intention and create what they want to experience for the day. They learn how to listen and they get to automatically listen to people differently, because they're doing it and getting to experience what it feels like.

- Dr. Eric Seigel, Troy, Michigan

Whenever Elijah (4) is doing something, I get down (at his level) and ask with honest curiosity - "hey - what's going on?". He then expresses WHATEVER it is, in his language; his own words. I hear his feelings and needs. I am present to him; I am with him (not trying to fix, control, invalidate, and definitely not punish!). Since doing this for the past several months, consistently, we now hardly have any conflicts. Thank you for your excellent coaching, Jean!

- Harold, father and director of a nonprofit for healthy children

Jean, what I've learned in your Mindful Communication class has enriched me with insight and understanding of others and myself. Although I struggle with integrating it into my daily life, I find that being aware and mindful is a big step toward the practice of connection and compassion. I love to catch myself making a judgment, back up and practice observing. What is really amazing is observing my response, as often the conflict is with my thinking.

- Jenny

After your coaching, Jean, I now have a way to guide my staff through group decisions that everyone can help with!

- Director of health care provider

Greetings Christine ~ I have had so much success since taking your course - two separate conversations/ incidents with family, using NVC language and listening skills saved the situation with grace, love and ultimately understanding. Thank you again for all the knowledge you bestowed in the last class I took that got me to that place.

- Debra Reiff, Business Owner

Jean and Christine have been my teachers since 2006 when I took their extended Integration and Immersion program. With the understanding I received through their teachings I have been able to form deeper relationships with my family and friends. 

Because of the community Jean and Christine have built, I know that when I get stuck in anger, despair, blaming, shaming, or should thinking, I know help is just a phone call away. 

This has been the biggest adventure of my life a journey into my heart. I highly recommend it.

- Janine Miller artist, tour guide at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, wife, mother and stepmother, daughter and sister

This series of classes exceeded my expectations – I expected techniques for communication, but received a better way to view the world. The most useful to me for my “everyday life” was in improving my work relationships and requesting the things that will improve department efficiency. Thanks!

- Records Manager, University of California, Santa Cruz

I took them to my Practice Group last night and everyone was excited to play the games. Afterwards, I sold all of the 10 copies I had brought with me. Send more quick!

- C.L.

We are really loving doing NVC together - with you and through classes. We've been practicing what we are learning, and we're having more connection, efficiency, and autonomy! Thank you so much Jean, for your delightful, deft and highly effective work/play. You made learning so much fun, and the insights are sticking.

- K. & S.

What People are Saying about Grok Products

I pulled the GROK cards out on Sunday afternoon while my sister and son were visiting at my mom's house. Since he is just 11 years old I asked if he would mind "playing the card game" with me so I could practice with a child since that is one of my plans to continue with my vision once school starts. He was very willing and we had a very rich experience listening to him share an experience that happened to him and then having him choose the feeling cards followed by my sister, mom and I guessing at his needs.

- P.A. Elementary Teacher

I have just spent the last three days facilitating between a GM and his management team. What started out as a situation that was fraught with conflict and seemingly irreconcilable differences has turned into an opportunity to move the whole team into a new space where honesty and compassion can create better cooperation and deeper trust. A dead end has become a path of opportunity. The tool that made the difference to the whole process? The GROK cards! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

- Angela Heise, Australia

Thought you'd like to hear that I let one of my clients borrow the cards.  Her husband isn't interested in "learning communication skills" and my client is longing for a deeper connection.  They use the GROK cards when she wants to connect with him and she says it works beautifully.

- Mary M; communication trainer

My sister was sharing some memories of times with her ex-husband. I asked her to just take the feeling cards in her hand and pull out the feelings that she felt at the time. I can't emphasize how POWERFUL those cards are when you have them in your hands. We had such a deep conversation centered around her feelings and needs and her eyes were opened to some thoughts and feelings that she didn't ever realize that she had experienced. Thanks for those cards. I love them!

- P.A.

Recently a friend and I took the opportunity to play some "one-on-one" Group Grok. Within a short time we found our consciousness shifting into a depth of discovery and insight. We both became quite energized, feeling the excitement and emotion of exploring through layer after layer of self-understanding. Later, we took time to write about it in our journals. I also gained the extra understanding that with such wonderful NVC tools at our disposal our practice group can meet my needs regardless of how many of us show up.

- B.L.

My 11 year old son is in bed and I am finishing saying goodnight to him.  Lights are out and he is lying down and I'm just getting off the bed.  He always likes to know the lay of the next day and we were talking about it.  He heard frustration in my voice when talking about a close friend - someone he and I are in contact with daily.  I felt cautious about influencing his opinion of this person. He asked what was up.  I told him I really shouldn't talk about it .  He replied to me " mom, but I can give you empathy, or even get those cards out, if you want".  What a kid!  We did talk and it was a great empathy and honesty dance!

- from a mom

I love these cards...I use them to check in with myself and carry them around with me all the time. I wish I could afford to buy a set for every NVC friend I have!

- A.B.

I want to celebrate you and Jean for creating the GROK cards.  It has been amazing for me to witness what a powerful tool they are for teaching and sharing NVC. This Wednesday one woman at the recovery center shared that before the class she only had two words to express how she was feeling "angry" or "happy".  The cards gave her a whole vocabulary and a deeper understanding of what was going on inside her. I really appreciate how the cards can so quickly allow for people to jump into the heart of the practice and experience contributing as well as receiving empathy. I wish we could get a grant so we could give them out for free to jails and recovery centers etc.

- John C.

My husband and I played the "what is irritating you" game last night. It was a hit!  It deepened our connection, lessening the stress from "on the go" living.

- Mignon M-S

I feel grok-cited about the new use I found for your cards - Needs Analysis! Following a melt-down at work today I rushed home, took out the cards, and made lists of my top ten needs at work, at home, with people, and in life. Then I rated how my needs with people are met by each of my co-workers on a scale from 0-10. Averaging 4.36, my needs are not well met by my work relationships. Then I rated each of my other top ten lists and found that my general needs at work are met 67%, at home 80%, and in life 74%. Back to the cards, I looked at my feelings at work, which topped out at: grumpy, troubled, vulnerable, and stressed. Now, on to the requests. Stay tuned for the next grok-citing episode...

- B.L.

GROK rocks! What a fun and exciting way to learn NVC! I'm going to replace my Yahtzee, Clue and Life games and instead play GROK with my family!

- S.J.

Wow, reading more and enjoying the details (of GROKit facilitation manual) -- even of consideration of what to bring, ideas for check in, etc. I like the thoroughness and that you determined skill levels of the exercises. Anyone trained could take this book, could take the exercises and have years of ways to practice the consciousness and skills. Fun pics, too!

- Sylvia Haskvitz, certified NVC trainer, Arizona

I have reviewed your Grokit and love it.  I love the simplicity.  With very few words you have captured the essence of an exercise that allows me to read it and take off with it.  Again soooo grateful.

- Judi Morin, certified NVC trainer

I find your GROK it Facilitation and Exercise Manual amazingly helpful in several ways:
* aesthetically pleasing and easy to read
* clear and concise
* comprehensive
* giving me new ideas and stimulating creative thinking certain ways that feel new to me, even though I've led hundreds of trainings since 2004.
Gratitude to both of you for the resources that you have developed and made available to others -- I am finding this to be a great contribution -- thank you!

- Jeff Brown, NVC Certified Trainer, Columbus, Ohio

Just a enthusiastic thank you for sending a copy of GROK it! with us to Sri Lanka. It was well-used during our 10-day In-depth Residential Training with Jeyanthy and we've turned it over to her hands. Before we did, though, we made sure we had a photo with the entire group with your book front and center. I'm thinking you might enjoy seeing it living in this faraway setting. I found your work very useful.

- John Cunningham & Cat Gilliam, Washington

re: Kids GROK; using them with 3 boys ~ the cards were great! all of the boys participated (the mom had said probably only one would). Even the shyest of the shy boys picked up the shy card right away. Everything went fantastic! They really felt heard; and they personally asked if I would come back. 
re:  GROK-it! manual ~ I love love love the facilitator's guide!  so great to have all of that!! Thank you! I love it!

- Nancy in Reno

Thanks so much for the work you do.   I do about 2 -3 workshops a week and I get bored of doing the same stuff.  Love having new ideas from GROK it! to make it creative for me and the people in attendance.

- Joe

I am working with two classes today - and I wanted to use the Buttons/Hearts exercise with some parents tonight and also Walk and Talk for a generative dialogue course this afternoon. I was pleased and grateful when I could just pull out my GROK it! activities book and find them there for ease and clarity. Thanks for putting that all together for us!  Yippee!

- Cindy in Arizona

Magnetic GROK
I love having the Grok Magnets in my house! Several times a day, I make a sentence or a phrase with them. Because all of the words are feelings and needs, every time I write a sentence I'm snapped back into connection with what's real for me.Having the magnets in a house with teenagers has also been a wonderful way for them to express themselves anonymously. I often find sentences and poetry that are added to and altered over time. I really appreciate the fact that the words only allow for giraffe, self-affirming expressions.

- Kara Bowman, NVC trainer, educator, and mother; California

....I opened the Grok magnets and showed them to my 3-year old son Bodhi; next thing I knew I'm finding them all over the place, in surprising little corners of the house.  I took a shower and there was "envious HONESTY" magnetized to the metal faucet!  I'm so happy to bring NVC into my family!

- John M

Those magnetic letters have been an instant hit in my classroom.   My kids have been quite spontaneously using them.  I have a special board just for your magnetic words and in the morning there is often a group of four or five busy filling in how they feel...some what needs are getting met or not getting met. Every now and then I get wind of something going on that I was unaware of and can address that.

- Mary Kay in Texas

Thank you for your excellent booklet, "Communication Fundamentals." Before going to a meeting this morning I sat down and browsed your booklet, from the back, forward. I found myself chuckling out loud at the humorous insights.Thanks again for your endeavors to help us learn how to communicate effectively and humanely.

- Don Hoernschemeyer

Your little booklet (Communication FUNdamentals) is really a gem. I have been keeping it with me when I go to work and I just read over a page each morning. It's really been a great tool for improving my skillfulness. I am often grateful for the sweetness of your gifting this to me, and how much it has meant to me, and unknowingly, those who receive my improved communication!

- Q. Events Coordinator, Meditation Retreat Center

I am so happy with the cards and the booklet. I read one page (jackal and giraffe on a topic) each night to my family, and we are using the cards in my office, at home, etc. I hope your work goes well. We really need the contribution you are making.

- J.P.

If you want to get serious - use THIS book (Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication); if you want to get REAL - use THIS book (Communication FUNdamentals) And of course...the ideal is....BALANCE!

- Chris, from New Zealand; at an organization that supports families

When we blame others, we give up the power to change ourselves.

- Marshall Rosenberg

I have been using the Kids GROK cards in my classroom this year, and I am loving it!  The kids were actively engaged in identifying feelings and needs. We talked about how to get our needs met while maintaing connection and friendship. A request was made and accepted. Whoo-hoo!

I thought  you'd like to know how much I appreciate the cards…

- Suzanne Lang, 3rd Grade Teacher

We have been working with your materials at our community dance school. The Communication FUNdamentals booklet is extremely clarifying and engaging, and the GROK cards have ushered in many inspirations for us as teachers already. Empathy between dance partners and within the community is very important to us and we are working on building this into our program. MM

- MM

We used the cards today in our group practice session. We are frequently astonished at the discoveries we experience even after many years for fooling around in this world of connected communication. The cards are a great catalyst for the process of deeper understanding...allowing a peeling back - layer by layer - to what is really happening. A few of us (me included) also have the Grok It Binder, which is a wonderful and regularly used tool in our practice sessions.    

- T.S., business owner and dad

I use the GROK cards for easy connection, laughter and fun to get the small groups underway.  First round: guess the feeling with body language and facial expression (no words); second round: guess the feeling by having each person say: "I would feel this way if . . . ." and third round: "I would have this need if. The important thing at the beginning is for CONNECTION and LAUGHTER and FUN!  It is always one of the students' favorite classes. Thanks so much for your wonderful CREATIVITY in inventing these cards and the various games. I have played GROK variations with, for example, my 8 year old niece and my 85 year old mother (at the same time!) . Students use them with their youth groups after they graduate, etc.  They are a big hit!


- Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger, Ph.D. Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology Princeton Theological Seminary

Thanks so much for the resources.  We used the cards in our home and really shifted some dynamics just playing one round.  It's already helping us to connect and understand each other better.  I'm drinking in the great content of the facilitator's manual--it looks perfect for both personal and professional use.  Exactly what I need to do the work I feel called to do.  Thank you for putting it all together--it is very rich with info, inspiration, and practical resources.


- In joy, Samantha Rose


Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

- Rumi

What we speak becomes the house we live in.

- Hafiz

To err is human, to forgive, canine.

- Unknown

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

- Mary Oliver

To ask for what we need is human. To be willing to receive what comes is grace.

- Unknown

Freedom is as simple as not believing my thoughts.

- Byron Katie

An enemy is one who’s story we’ve not heard.

- Gene Knudsen Hoffman

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

- Mother Teresa

We can make life miserable or wonderful for ourselves and others depending upon how we think and communicate.

- Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

1.Use a language that labels and evaluates them
2.judge them as bad or wrong
3.believe and treat them as if they deserve to suffer
4.teach them the strategies of reward, punishment, praise, guilt, and manipulation

- Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Take the time to be sure we come from the energy that WE CHOOSE! Not from the energy that CHOOSES US!

- Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Life is as good as your relationship with yourself.

- Cherie Huber