• Testimonials

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    Conversational Connection Testimonials

    Conversational Connection (NVC)

    Practical Skills for Communicating Compassionately

    Free Yourself Testimonials

    Free Yourself From Reactivity

    10-week Journey of Emotional Liberation through NVC Self-Empathy

    Wild Heart Testimonials

    Wild Heart

    10-week Journey of Cultivating Wholeness, Self-Healing for the Self You Always Wanted

  • 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)

    Dr Nandini Menon MD Surgeon

    "This course has helped me resolve conflicts within my personal and professional space from day one. Just understanding the basic concepts has improved my interpersonal skills. NVC has helped me connect with my feelings and needs to better understand my triggers. It's a great introduction and stepping stone for Non Violent Communication. I look forward to continued growth and positive impact for years to come."

    Dr. Molly Gebrian, Assistant Professor of Viola, University of Arizona

    "This course deepened my understanding of the principles of nonviolent communication and gave me many opportunties to practice these skills, which are of great benefit in my personal and professional life. My favorite part of the course was the camaraderie and sense of connection that developed with the other participants over the 10 weeks and how much we all supported each other in our journey to learn a new way to communicate. I will always be grateful to this course and for giving myself this gift in signing up for it."

    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!"

    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!"

    Amy Pruett

    "I heard about NVC when I was met a leader at a technology conference in San Francisco last year. She shared with me that the book Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg had a huge impact on how she connected to her team and led her successful company. It made me curious and I immediately read the book. I loved the book and found it beneficial personally and professionally. The challenge was that I was not sure how to put the lessons into practice. I searched for a workshop or class and found James Prieto's site Compassionate Connecting.

     

    At first being online with a group of strangers to learn about and practice communication was definitely out of my comfort zone. Pushing myself to stay in it was hard at first, but that is what I loved about it. I would venture to say we were all uncomfortable and yet everyone was so encouraging and supportive. The best part is I felt surrounded by people who cared deeply and really wanted to improve their communication. We had the same goal which I believe accelerated the learning. For me I find that to really grow I have to put myself out there. I am so glad I did and that I had the opportunity to learn from James and from the other participants. It was life changing.

     

    I learned to observe, identify and start naming my own feelings and needs. If I know my feelings and needs, then it allows me to really see and hear other people. The hurt and pain we cause in the world seems to stem from not knowing our feelings and needs and then not having our needs met. I have noticed if I am not clear with myself, I am not really engaged and present for others. So obvious but it is an art form that takes an enormous amount of practice. I am looking forward to taking many more Compassionate Connecting NVC workshops to keep honing in and practicing.

     

    James is a highly skilled and gifted facilitator. He is able to listen deeply and quickly ascertain the feelings and needs you are expressing that you yourself may not have identified yet. I appreciate James' organization and ability to keep us on track while still allowing space for people. I highly recommend James and his workshops. Thank you, James, for bringing me together with like-minded people and teaching me how to better connect with those in my everyday life!!"

    Anonymous

    "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."

    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."

    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."

    Anonymous

    "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!"

    Anonymous

    "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!"

    Anonymous

    "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."

    Annonymous

    "This class is an essential part of growing as an effective, vulnerable, loving communicator! How wonderful would it be if everyone understood their own needs, paid attention to others' needs, and communicated them in a patient and caring way? This class, and James' present and caring facilitation are the way to that new world! Thank you!"

    What would you say to someone considering to sign up, that you know now about this series -- that you didn't know when signing up?

    • NVC has helped me understand my triggers and connect with my feelings and needs better.
    • This course has helped me resolve conflicts within my personal and professional space from day 1. Just understanding the basic concepts has improved my interpersonal skills. I look forward to continued growth and positive impact for years to come
    • It was much more interactive than I had expected (from the breakout rooms to the weekly buddy calls), in a good way. :)
    • Recognizing and honoring my own needs first allows me to be a more loving, authentic, patient communicator
    • Role playing is a common theme in the course
  • Journey of Emotional Liberation (10-week series)

    L.A. Oakland, CA

    "James' skillful facilitation and mastery of the material created a beautiful container for profound healing."

    Nancy Krop, Attorney

    Interested in living a more peaceful, more personally connected, and less reactive life? This workshop is for you. This workshop gives you the insight, awareness and tools to make the changes you want. The workshop is necessary to incorporate nonviolent communication into your life because, as with any changes sought in life, it's all about the practice, practice, practice. In a supportive environment, discover and connect to the often hidden layers of your feelings and needs, so you can live your life with increased empathy for yourself and compassion for others.

    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."

    Annonymous

    "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!"

    Tanya

    "James' course in non reactivity, I chose to really embrace how to become less reactive with myself hence intimate relationships which includes close life long friendships. Having sustained a severe traumatic brain injury, having to live with many symptoms from that, having days and moments with myself and others that were unnecessarily destructive and the sorrow and pain from that. I wanted a new way. A way to communicate that builds trust, conveys acceptance, that puts love and union in place of forced understanding. Especially with myself. The sorrow needed to stop. This course has given me an approach to when the tension, fears anxieties, panic and false realties and mis- comprehension that can happen when living with an injured brain. The soft voice of where am I in my body, memory, fears, unmet needs. Walking myself through what is now and what do i need. Then giving myself permission to embrace myself, even if its a move from trauma fear of injury into the present Or past wounds that have been on broken record trying to get attention and be heard. My self talk has improved. My awareness of what is happening within and what i am feeling and what I need. So, I can experience support and how to get support building self trust and trust worthiness. Its hard to live with quiet confusion and struggle getting through a day.

     

    What once was easy and simple is now exhausting and impossible.

     

    Discovering that underneath there is a very aware and alert and capable me with a working brain. Its just has a different orientation and expressions and needs then before massive impact trauma

    Empowered Functional Vulnerable vulnerability with embrace.

     

    The result. I find what i need and support arrives the moment i embrace my own deep honesty in peace and comfort.

     

    It takes the entire conversation and all the emotions and witnessing and acceptance. This slow shift from 'i don't deserve relationships or friends because i am injured' into

    'I am worthy of good and healthy friendships and relationships. I have flaws like everyone else and that's ok.'

     

    I no longer have to hide my injury

    It feels better and my good days are joy filled."

    Anonymous

    "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."

    Anonymous

    "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!"

    P. Monaghan, retired teacher

    As a person, new to NVC, this course was extremely beneficial and a great place to jump in. The focus of this course is self-connection and self-compassion. We learned to identify and get in touch with some basic NVC topics such as embodiment, feelings and needs, observations, evaluations, stategies, judgements, mourning needs not met and celebrating the beauty of our needs. Many techniques and activities were introduced for use in self-empathy, self-forgiveness, and self-compassion such as Nature Walk & Talk, Self-Empathy Wrap, Beneficial Regret, Hard-to-Hear Messages, and Healing Honesty. Instruction was given on how to recognize, avoid, and exit negative cycles using NVC techniques. One such cycle is the Vortex of Submission. Another instruction sequence defined and explained the Karpman Drama Triangle, involving power, judgement, blame and how to transform judgements into needs. The most effective strategy of the course was the peer to peer interaction both during the class session and outside of class sessions. This really brought the teaching to a concrete level with independent practice. James is very knowledgeable and intuitive. He is able to share the materials in a very hands-on and understandable way with continual practice opportunities and offers plenty of time for individual questions and discussion. I would highly recommend this class.

    A.P.

    "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."

    Annonymous

    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!

    What would you say to someone considering to sign up, that you know now about this series -- that you didn't know when signing up?

    • Behind all my emotions, there is a met or un-met need. And knowing it liberates me.
    • The key to learning NVC is practice, practice, practice. This is NOT something you can learn by watching videos or listening to podcasts.
    • Make sure you make space to do the practice sessions with a buddy
    • That needs are beautiful expressions of the soul.
    • carve out extra time to digest and process the content because it is impactful
    • You need post-class time to process the information and/or emotions. Don't schedule anything afterwards - give yourself time.
    • This class offers peer/buddy practice sessions, which are extremely helpful in trying out new learning in a non-threatening and non critical environment. It allows practice with less charged topics and gives time to think and plan instead of trying it out for the first time in a real-life charged situation without any practice.
  • Journey of Cultivating Wholeness, Self-Healing for the Connected Self You Always Wanted (10-week series)

    Tyler Madden, Coach/English Teacher

    "Participating in the 'Wild Heart' 10-week course facilitated by James Prieto was a very valuable experience. The course, which blended non-violent communication practices with Bill Plotkin's Wild Mind framework, offered a unique approach to personal development and group dynamics.

     

    James was a thoughtful, skillful, and fun facilitator who planned the sessions well and provided guidance that was both practical and insightful. His method of teaching was conscious and deliberate, which helped in understanding and applying the concepts effectively. The course activities encouraged practice and participation, allowing us as a group to collaboratively develop our understanding of the content.

     

    What was most noticeable was James' ability to build a sense of community quickly amongst a group of strangers with his kindness, humor, and inclusiveness. His approach to teaching was respectful and considerate of individual learning styles, which made the content more relatable and easier to grasp.

     

    Throughout the course, there was a clear emphasis on applying the learning, encouraging deeper exploration into, not only the Wild Mind "Map," but its application on our real life "territory."

     

    Overall, the 'Wild Heart' course was an awesome opportunity for connection, personal growth, and learning. James facilitated the course well, making it a meaningful experience. I highly recommend this course to those interested in exploring these topics in a structured yet open learning environment.

    Nancy Krop, Civil Rights Attorney

    Imagine living in a world where you you are fully seen, heard and understood. A world where you no longer feel any blame, judgement, or criticism. A world where it's easy to connect and communicate with other people. James's courses offer you the opportunity to live in that world. Every concept is fully explained, and followed with practical exercises. Gain full access to your feelings and needs, so you can live your life with full compassion and empathy for yourself, and those around you.

    Drew Stegmaier, Holistic Health Professional

    I had prior experience with NVC before this course. Despite NVC being a beautiful and useful tool, without proper embodiment, it's easy to get lost in the sauce and use NVC the wrong way. This course helped me get deeper into my heart and out of my head, resolving conflicts with self and others, giving me both tools and practice deploying them to use in real world situations.

     

    Figuring out the difference between what happened, what I'm feeling, my needs and story around those things, then communicating effectively has been a game changer!

    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."

    Anonymous

    "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!"

    Anonymous

    "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."

    Anonymous

    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."