• Testimonials

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    Wild Heart Testimonials

    Wild Heart

    10-week journey of Cultivating Wholeness for the connected self you always wanted

    Free Yourself Testimonials

    Free Yourself From Reactivity

    10-week journey of emotional liberation through NVC

    Conversational Connection Testimonials

    Conversational Connection (NVC)

    Practical Skills for Communicating Compassionately

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  • General Testimonials

    a few words from satisfied clients

    Steve Fitzsimons

    Quionna Allen

    Founder, Caldwell Allen Consulting

    "This class with James gave me practical skills to deal with challenging conversations in my personal and professional life. My favorite takeaway was self-empathy. Learning that I could apply NVC for myself was eye opening! I highly recommend courses with James!"

    Steve Fitzsimons

    Margaret Reed

    Professional Actor & Acting Coach

    "I'm extremely grateful for the modeling of NVC techniques & Compassionate Connecting that James Prieto continuously and humbly exhibits during all the classes along with his compassion and expertise in answering participants' needs and questions. If you've ever had difficulty in communicating with your relatives, your spouse, your office mates, your students, your boss, or anyone, this course will give you vital insights, skills, and practical tools that will help you reach successful connections and conversations with them."
    Sandra Shpilberg

    Sandra Shpilberg

    Founder & CEO of Seeker Health, Author of New Startup Mindset

    "I highly recommend James for organizational culture communication training and coaching. He's an outstanding facilitator and coach. I’ve experienced his facilitation skills in corporate and in community. He led an empathy workshop for our employees, and his work was extremely well received and effective in building trust and compassion among our team. He tunes in to the needs of his audience and delivers both content and an experience that are centering, inspiring and effective."

    Mala Ramakrishnan

    Mala Ramakrishnan

    Founder and CEO at Stealth Startup

    "I've attend his workshops as well as 1:1 training on using NVC. He's incredible, his listening skills as well as ability to exude empathy is very infectious. He is an excellent teacher, very passionate about bringing NVC. His ability to manage a crowd is truly admirable - driving home points on empathy in time-bound workshop -presenting conflicting situations among a very interactive and diverse crowd, while still driving his agenda within strict time limits. I highly recommend working with James."

    Rich Worthington

    Rich Worthington

    Senior Engineer at ZOLL Circulation

    "James led the workshop effectively; several men described it as 'life changing', and as having a profound impact on how they view their personal relationships. James effectively managed our group of 50 men, including a number of strong and vocal personalities firmly but with great compassion. I highly recommend James Prieto."

    Josef Houska

    Josef Houska

    Senior Counsel at Valle Makoff LLP

    "Have you ever understood something intellectually, but then had someone cause you to experience that understanding, so that inexplicably your understanding is not just in your brain, but in your bones? Mr. Prieto helps me in that way..."

    Steve Fitzsimons

    Steve Fitzsimons

    Senior Project Manager at W-Trans

    "He was a very effective leader, organized, provided very useful handouts; he led the seminar with a nice blend of instruction, demonstration, and practice sessions, with an emphasis on the practice sessions. I recommend him to others who want to enhance their team's collaboration skills."

    Steve Fitzsimons

    Stefan Schmitz

    Sr Staff Software Engineer at Accuray

    "His teaching style is masterful, he's extremely effective in any size group from 1:1 to over 50. He facilitates learning by creating rapport and an open and accepting atmosphere. His explanations are clear, concise, insightful, wise and so easy to absorb."

  • Practical Skills for Communicating Compassionately (10-week series)

    Leah Hancock, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing at a New England independent school

    "I came to Conversational Connection not knowing what to expect: perhaps that I would learn skills to communicate more effectively, especially when it came to disagreements or fraught situations. What I came away with was a transformed sense of how I relate to myself and others through the lens of observations, feelings, needs, and requests; and true empathy for myself and others. I thought this training would be helpful at work—it is, but it's so much more than that... the presentations coupled with 1:1 practice sessions with other participants made the work tangible in every facet of my life. I learned as much from members of my cohort as I did from James and come away with gratitude for the opportunity to have started this exploration of the world of nonviolent communication with these wonderful people. Now I have working knowledge of the basics and an extensive reading list to learn more. Thank you!"

    Leticia Adams, Creative Director

    "I’ve taken both the Conversational Connection and Free Yourself from Reactivity series and found them to be revelatory and transforming, resulting in better connections with others and even a better connection with myself. More and more, I find that NVC is a way to practice active. And ‘practice’, as a verb, is essential! Reading about NVC isn’t sufficient…learning and listening is not enough. I have to keep practicing in order to spread the compassion I want to see more of in the world… being in community with others who want the same nourishes my growth and spirit. James’ workshops provide a space to express myself openly and honestly through the NVC practices and to keep growing. I’m truly grateful."

    Eric Bassett, Product Strategy & Development Manager, Education Technology

    "The language of NVC really does work to help you connect with people! James has set up a course that offers just-right material and buddy sessions that let you immediately apply what you've learned in a safe environment. I've seen a real difference!"


    "The Conversational Connection series genuinely changed my view of myself and the world. This series offers practical skills and frameworks for communicating in ways that facilitate connection. And it offered me an expanded view of what it means to be human - to recognize, acknowledge, honor, and express my needs. I experienced deep and sincere connection with people I hardly knew, and I learned how to actually identify my inner feelings and needs. As a late-diagnosed autistic person, these experiences were completely paradigm-shifting for me. Before signing up for this class, I could not identify or understand my own needs. I often believed I didn't have needs, or I questioned whether my needs were "real." My attempts to go inside and connect with myself all felt intellectual - like I was rationalizing my needs or "making them up." I had also struggled my entire life feeling like I couldn't connect with other people, like I was missing something. When a mentor recommended that I take a nonviolent communication course, I registered for the free Conversational Connection workshop and realized just how much I needed to develop my own Needs Consciousness.


    This series is not actually about learning the concepts or mechanics of nonviolent communication more broadly. Instead, this series is an immersive, engaging, hands-on experience in Connection - with others and oneself, through an NVC framework. Sometimes this series will be uncomfortable. You may have experiences that shift your view of yourself, other people, or how the world works. This series can challenge and expand you in ways beyond your intellectual knowledge. There is so much to potentially gain from this series, and it's directly correlated to how much time and intention you invest in it. I was very skeptical and resistant for the first few sessions, but with each session I learned and opened up more. Having completed the series, I cannot recommend it enough - whether you are totally new to NVC and Needs Consciousness, or you are an experienced practitioner."

    Sarah Johnson

    "My experience in James Prieto's comprehensive introductory NVC course far surpassed my expectations. As a newcomer to NVC, I especially appreciated the design of his class -- combining instruction and a lot of practice -- to help me safely find my footing as I learn new skills and habits. The often challenging process of acquiring these new communication skills was broken down into highly organized micro-steps each week, in a way that felt "natural" -- each week's lesson built upon the knowledge and skills learned in previous sessions. The many practice sessions were essential learning pieces during this course, and James and Leticia facilitated an online classroom environment where everyone seemed to feel supported and open enough to both express their authentic selves and to "mess up" as it were -- to learn by doing about what is -- and isn't -- empathic communication. It's transformational work, but expertly broken down into pragmatic steps that were completely approachable to this beginner (me!). I also appreciated James's abilities to guide the class dynamic in a consistently productive and positive way, to keep the class task-focused and time-aware, and to remain flexible and curious about questions and feedback. Lastly, James's Heart-Canvas tool is one of the most powerful things I accessed in this course -- it was amazing to be able to reference a visual-spatial illustration of the complex worlds of feelings, needs, values, and states of emotional intensity. It really does help me "map out" naming the key elements of any NVC interaction. The foundation of my trust in James as my introductory NVC instructor is that he seems to come from a place of having walked the walk in his own life -- having already been through a process of changing the quality of his connections with others by learning how to put empathy (and self-empathy and honesty) into everyday action. I am at the very beginning of learning to communicate effectively in this way, but I feel like I'm on the right track having taken James's course."

    Chris Henry

    “The Conversational Connection series was a life changing introduction to Non-Violent Communication for both me and my wife. We had worked with therapists for years to improve our communication and lower tension. While this work had produced a great deal of improvement, NVC, with its overriding focus on connection, has been a breakthrough. James Prieto has developed a great way to introduce this material. He taught us new, usable skills right away and things expanded from there. It was a therapist that directed us to James and I am so grateful she did!”

    Margaret Reed, Professional Actor & Acting Coach

    "Taking time to connect not only to my own self-empathy process & practice but to other's needs during conversations is an invaluable skill that I'm glad to be in the process of learning through the Conversational Connection Skills course. I'm extremely grateful for the modeling of NVC techniques & Compassionate Connecting that James Prieto continuously and humbly exhibits during all the classes along with his compassion and expertise in answering participants' needs and questions. If you've ever had difficulty in communicating with your relatives, your spouse, your office mates, your students, your boss, or anyone, this course will give you vital insights, skills, and practical tools that will help you reach successful connections and conversations with them."

    Aurélie Brisac

    "James is an NVC natural. He helped us create a safe environment in which we could all explore our own vulnerabilities. The format is awesome as it allows for just enough group work and individual practice. I highly recommend this course if you're looking for an introduction to NVC or want to better understand how to apply NVC theory to daily challenges. Thank you James for inspiring us every week. I am extremely grateful as this experience met my needs for connection and efficient communication."


    "This is a wonderful way to improve emotional communication skills. It is a path for deepening and improving personal relationships. It is also a tool for smoothing and improving mundane and practical interactions."

    Layla Z.

    " I am sincerely grateful for the healing and insight that I have received from my NVC work with James. I have been having much difficulty communicating with a close family member and through working with James, I have had breakthroughs that I have been searching for for years. For example, I had been doing a meditation and had difficulty feeling and sending loving kindness to this family member. I had a profound breakthrough in class and was finally able to truly empathize with this person. In my meditations, I have begun tuning into his needs, and empathizing with him, which has opened the door for loving kindness to be expressed. It has led to me sincerely being able to feel and send loving kindness to him. After a few days of this practice, evidence of this healing manifested in the form of positive conversations with him. I am so inspired, hopeful and excited to continue this healing journey and extremely grateful to James for his insight and skilled teaching. NVC has become alive in me and I am very much looking forward to continuing this journey and developing these skills. I will definitely continue to work with James and I highly recommend his workshops."

    Quionna Allen, Founder, Caldwell Allen Consulting

    "This class with James gave me practical skills to deal with challenging conversations in my personal and professional life. My favorite takeaway was self-empathy. Learning that I could apply NVC for myself was eye opening! I highly recommend taking this course with James!"


    "I often realize that I am not “getting through” to another person. This class has given me the knowledge that I need to decide the ONE most important thing I want to communicate BEFORE I open my mouth."

    Hari Prasada, Co-Founder, Coach, & Consultant at Upbuild

    " I was heart-warmed by this experience and felt very inspired at the close today. There's so much I learned and am digesting. I'm waiting to see how best I can integrate these teachings and make an impact with them. Praying very much to be empowered to do so. With deep gratitude to James and to my fellow classmates."

    Chandali V.

    "I appreciated James' heartfelt and genuine guidance in learning how to put NVC to use in connecting more deeply with others. I found this course to be both easy and challenging at times, with a nice balance of information and live practice, inviting me to step out of my comfort zone without overdoing it. James has a very warm and caring manner, I enjoyed the community we created in the class space and the freedom to show up in any way I was feeling. I would certainly recommend this class as a great introduction to NVC!"


    "I appreciated James' heartfelt and genuine guidance in learning how to put NVC to use in connecting more deeply with others. I found this course to be both easy and challenging at times, with a nice balance of information and live practice, inviting me to step out of my comfort zone without overdoing it. James has a very warm and caring manner, I enjoyed the community we created in the class space and the freedom to show up in any way I was feeling. I would certainly recommend this class as a great introduction to NVC!"

    Jen Cheng, Senior Software Engineer

    "I find the weekly series to be very supportive for my personal growth in communicating needs and feelings. Getting in touch with my needs and feelings is something that I’ve lost as a child. I am also grateful for having a consistent group of folks learning and growing together as we are experiencing life and practicing the tools from NVC."

    Tom - Principal at Tom Knott & Associates

    "James Prieto's NVC class was amazing! I will use his communication techniques the rest of my life. I'm deeply grateful."

  • Journey of Emotional Liberation (10-week series)

    Ratika Dayaldasani

    As a homeschooling mom and working professional, I am constantly in the midst of high-demand situations. Reactivity was a huge issue for me, one that I felt hopeless to overcome. However, the tools that James empowered me with during the first half of the course have empowered me to free myself from reactivity for the last 6 weeks! James is very well organized with the content and the method of delivery. This met my need for organization and learning. The role plays we did together provided a healing balm to my heart. He has developed a fantastic buddy system and I was able to tap into the rich life experiences of my peers in the course. Above all, James' empathic heart led to a life-transforming experience for me, one that I highly recommend to anyone considering living a more wholehearted life! From hopeless, I feel hopeful!

    Stefan Benton, MFT Private Practice

    "Free Yourself from Reactivity" is a great class if you want to learn about what makes you angry and how to internally manage it using Non Violent Communications knowledge and skills. James Prieto is extremely well versed in NVC and an extremely compassionate person. He taught with skill and confidence and made each session interesting and relevant. I learned a tremendous amount and have started to integrate and embody the information and skills."

    Brian Chien, Principal, Guided Corner, Education

    "This 10-week series helped me to build a mental model on how I can bring empathy, compassion, and connection to myself. Through understanding the VORTEX of Submission, Protective Force, and Beneficial Regret, I am now able to consciously embrace my inner conflict. After the 10-week series, I was able to find deeper connection to myself and show up in my day to day with authenticity."


    "I appreciate James' heart-centered teaching style and his commitment to expanding Non Violent Communication in the world. While this class was on Zoom, I made REAL connections with people that I will remain friends with. This speaks to James' ability to foster vulnerable and authentic connection. I am taking several new practices with me that are helping me to deepen my self-empathy and meet my needs in a way I haven't before. THANK YOU JAMES! Well done!"


    "I thoroughly enjoyed the 10-week series. I feel I received a clear understanding of the basics of NVC and it provided a great jumping off point for further exploration and study. James models a solid understanding of NVC and creates a safe container for participants to share freely and confidently. I showed up to class in search of practical, elevated communication skills and walked away with so much more."

    Beth Morrow, Retired

    "I entered this class with an intellectual understanding of NVC - looking for reasons why people around me are so reactive. And I left the class with an open heart that feels their pain and looks via numerous methods taught in the class to find the underlying need of the person. Knowing this underlying need has such power and empathy. It changed the way I walk around in community. James Prieto is an excellent teacher, empathetic listener, and purveyor of connecting the emotions in your heart and moving them through your body. The class was WAY beyond my expectations and I would highly recommend it especially in this crazy divided world where empathy, listening and understanding each other are critical to us moving forward."

    Jim OBrien, Registered Nurse and yoga teacher

    "This 10-week series is well worth the money and effort. It is an excellent complement to the foundation work of NVC. I received a lot of new insights and awareness, I have been applying in my life, helping me to be less reactive and more connected to others that work. I highly recommend committing to this NVC series for the new growth & peace of mind it offers us."

    Catherine Etmanski (Victoria, Canada)

    "James is a skillful online facilitator who was able to translate complex ideas into digestible lessons for weekly practice. Thank you, James, for sharing your generosity and wisdom."

    Megan Heikes, Childcare and Elementary teacher, Cook County Schools

    "This course helped me find freedom. I don't feel tortured by other peoples' words and actions. Now it's apparent to me that they were trying to get their needs met, even if they didn't use an effective strategy. Any event in my life that causes bad feelings can be used as a tool to go deeper within to learn my feelings, my needs and my desires. From there I can nurture myself and ultimately see the humanity in others."

    Mike, recovering enginerd

    "I've done quite a bit of NVC reading and online video watching, however it's the in-person (even virtual) practice of the communication methods and techniques with others who aren't in my normal, daily life, that really grounds the practice and opened my eyes to gaps and opportunities to grow. Taking the class has been a huge step in my journey toward a more mindful, less reactive interaction with the world."

    Laurie Winestock - vocalist, designer and teacher

    "James Prieto's class 'Free Yourself from Reactivity' was a great place to get reacquainted with NVC for me. The material was clearly presented, and the exercises were authentic and powerful. James was also very generous with his time and was willing to stay after class to answer questions, which was very helpful, especially as we were learning on zoom."

    Gwynne Pratt, Attorney, State of California 

    "The breadth of material in this series was amazing. Even more so the skill with which it was presented by James Prieto. To anyone wanting to deal with reactivity, as well as learn how better to connect with oneself and others, I highly recommend both the series and James. I'm seeing changes in all my relationships, particularly my relationship with myself."


    "I love James’s simple and clear style for setting up practices to bring each participant an experience of connecting to the compassionate energy of NVC. I learned a lot that is still coming into understanding as I’m in my relationships and able to know the exercises we did more deeply as real and applicable in my world, making life more wonderful. Thank you James!"

    J.W., Hypnotherapist, Jungian based Inner Work Facilitator, Life Coach, Consultant and Author

    "James has put together an outstanding course for learning and practicing NVC. His skills are well disguised by his gentle, compassionate and humble approach. What appeared to be subtle and insignificant delivered a powerful and profound result in my personal life. I highly recommend James' NVC courses for anyone looking to come alive to relating to Self and others with a newfound depth of Empathy and Compassion."

    Celia Hoenig, LMFT

    “My experience with James and his NVC expertise has been a fun and enlightening journey! I’m in much gratitude for the multi-dimensional teaching James brings to his full body yet simplistic teaching style of compassionate communication. I was open-hearted and wanted to dive deep quickly: this course was perfect for a spiritual experience of healing my souls need for connection, peace, & joy! James is a thoughtful, energetic, and intuitive teacher: I was especially impressed and appreciative of James’ out of the box thinking re: feelings & needs that incorporated a deepening connection to one's self, others, and Source/Spirit/God! Very grateful my friend recommended this course to me. In much gratitude."

    Anne Hockett, Founder You!Healing International

    "I highly recommend this course. I learned many tangible skills, strategies and ways of processing that are now central to my entire family's way of communicating. This has fostered a fundamental shift in how I will endeavor to communicate with loving kindness. I highly recommend this course to couples and families. I will also be able to use these practices in my professional work with clients! I hope you sign up and take this powerful course!"

    Sam Lebowitz, Pharmaceutical Engineer, Charlotte, NC

    "Free Yourself from Reactivity was an enlightening next step in my NVC journey. I learned the process of developing my own self-management practice for Reactivity that is true to my needs. James chose appropriate material for each session that was a "curated collection" of his own vast NVC experience, going far beyond a Basic NVC Introduction. James made good use of Break Out Rooms and experientials."

    Catherine Cooley, Principal at Peaceabl

    "I enjoyed every session of Free Yourself From Reactivity. It moves at a comfortable and engaging pace, and James' presentations are really clear, informative and well organized. He covers some really important and impactful communication and relationship skills and covered a lot of territory without giving me the feeling of rushing. This course is a great introduction to NVC, and provides good amounts of practice time. James is a clear, highly skilled and very caring trainer! And he attracts interesting and caring people into his classes and community. Thank. you James!"


    "This 10-week class series, 'Free Yourself From Reactivity', has been the very definition of a Life Changing Experience for me. Taking the time to really absorb the lessons and slowly integrate the NVC strategies has been far more beneficial than simply attending a short workshop or one-day seminar. I have found that James' class series opened my eyes & heart to a new way of interacting with the world. I would recommend this class without hesitation to anyone who found themselves struggling to express and/or cope with their feelings & needs."

  • Journey of Cultivating Wholeness for the Connected Self You Always Wanted (10-week series)

    Raf Poggi - General Practitioner and Clinical Director (NHS UK)

    "Thank you James for these really great 10 weeks: you took us underneath the surface and you guided us to investigate the multiple aspects of the self. It was like navigating and exploring the caves of our own iceberg that represents our beautiful and complex wholeness. Your enthusiasm and passion for nature is contagious and your curiosity for the wonder of the human beings spread amongst all of us. This is something I will continue practicing and bringing with me."


    "James' approach to melding Wild Mind and NVC is such a powerful and worthy approach to this work! I really appreciated how the two concepts were interwoven to dive deeper into the natural self. I'm super grateful for the insight this course provided and hope to expand more into this work as time goes on. Thank you, James!"

    Kelly Knowles

    “Wild Mind, Wild Heart really opened my eyes--and heart! I was drawn to the workshop because I wanted to reawaken my "natural self" to become more connected to nature and integrate my spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical being into "wholeness." This workshop was an excellent way to do that! Exploring the four facets of wholeness and subpersonalities gave me a deeper awareness and understanding of parts of myself that I hadn't fully explored and a helpful framework to use as a guide. I also made meaningful connections with others in the workshop. I enjoyed the discussions, learning from each other's stories and perspectives, and the weekly exercises both in class and out in nature. I had many aha! moments and memorable experiences. I highly recommend this workshop!"


    "It was great to learn about the different directions and how they relate to aspects of ourselves. Because of the class, I feel like I can better embrace wholeness by nurturing my aspects and paying attention to nature's messages to me."


    I recommend Wild Heart as a useful introduction to the work of Bill Plotkin and his map of the psyche. This map characterizes development of the "whole self" in ways that are thoughtfully derived and based in real people's experiences of personal transformation. It has opened up a world of practices and possibilities for me.

    Carol Grabec

    "I am a retired high school teacher with almost 40 years experience. Initially, when I decided to write a testimonial, I would have simply listed a number of extremely positive aspects of the Wild Mind course with James Prieto. However, I chose to mull over the two months the group met until I could distill its essence. James managed to take what could be judged as two disparate curriculum and integrate them seamlessly. His keen intellect, his passion for both Non-Violent Communication and Wild Mind, and his willingness to devote hours to create aesthetically pleasing and pedagogically sound material resulted in 8 weeks of class that were relevant and inspiring to me. I left the course with a heightened appreciation both for what it means to be fully human and for the unified whole that is our existence."