My background, my work
Licensed - SLP State of Washington
Certified - SLP, ASHA
Certified - Trainer, Center for Nonviolent Communication
Trained - Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center
I began my career in 1995 as a Speech-Language Pathologist, at the same time expanding my studies to include tools for personal development and social change. After eight years of extensive study and practice of Nonviolent Communication, I became a Certified Trainer for the Center for Nonviolent Communication in 2005. Having experienced first hand the depth and breadth of personal and relationship transformation as a result of applying Nonviolent Communication in my own life and its implications for social change, it became part of my life's work to share this teaching and practice with others. You can see more about my work as Speech-Language Pathologist here.
With Nonviolent Communication (NVC) at the heart of my work at Blue Heron, my services are rooted in mindfulness. They are also infused with insights and practices from the fields of interpersonal neurobiology, developmental psychology, the communication sciences, trauma-informed care, cognitive-behavioral approaches to counseling and more. It is because I have committed to practicing and integrating what I teach that I can attune deeply to the needs of my clients and creatively apply and teach these tools to support them in meeting their own goals.
In addition to 18 years of teaching and mentoring graduate students at Western Washington University in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders I've worked in various other settings, including medical institutions, public and private elementary and middle schools, private practice, and businesses and organizations as an independent contractor. Additionally, I have volunteered services to many individuals, organizations, and communities over the years out of my passion for sharing my work and serving others.
As a Certified NVC trainer I offer trainings both publicly and privately, mediate family and workplace disputes, provide individual and couples coaching, work with parents to apply this and other social-emotional learning practices with children, and offer healing and reconciliation sessions for families seeking to recover from short and long-term interpersonal hardship.
I believe that contributing to the well-being of others is one of the greatest joys any of us experiences. However, throughout our lives we adopt ways of thinking, communicating, and acting that take us away from our natural joy of giving and make it difficult to connect with our own humanity and the humanity of others. We persist in habits of judgment and a way of being in relationship that leads to pain, power imbalances, and ineffective strategies to meet our deeper needs in the face of conflict and challenge.
With few exceptions, I'm convinced that we can choose the trajectory of our relationships with intention, focus, and practice. When we remain aware that our deepest needs and yearnings are universal - shared by even those people we feel at most odds with -compassion can flow and a supportive, collaborative spirit can flourish. The secret lies in choosing to develop our awareness and skills that will lead to deeper insight, understanding, and connection.
My approach is one of partnership, with you. It is not just a philosophy but a practice of deep listening, responding, and individualizing my approach to meet your unique needs.
When I'm not working I enjoy time with my two amazing children and greatest teachers, Asa and Saheli, and our puppy Myla. My children provide me with unending inspiration and an unmistakable sense of purpose every day. Blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest, I love spending time outdoors and try to give myself a good dose of nature every. I make sure to nurture my connections with friends and community and lean into the things that inspire my curiosity, creativity, and joy. Each day I try to embrace both the challenges and joys of life and live my values as fully as I can. I love learning, writing, dancing and singing....though sometimes don't do enough of the dancing and singing! I enjoy the quiet moments, very much, and am convinced of the power of daily mindfulness practices in building my resilience, compassion, and presence in this fast-paced and complex world.
Some have asked,
Also known as a peacemaker, the blue heron is associated with....
Gratitude to those whose life's work has influenced and inspired mine, including, but certainly not limited to:
Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg - Nonviolent Communication
Rev. Angel Keyodo Williams - Belonging, the liberated life
Dr. Dan Siegel - Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight
Dr. Tina Bryson - Interpersonal Neurobiology
Gabor Mate - Compassionate Inquiry
Dr. Ross Greene - Collaboration and Proactive Solutions
S.N. Goenke - Vipassana Meditation
Tara Mohr - Playing Big
Stephan Porges - Polyvagal Theory
Bessel van ker Kolk - The Body Keeps the Score
Thomas Hubl - Pocket Project
Miki Kashtan - The Fearless Heart, Making Collaboration Real
Sheri Herndon - Awakening Together
Dr. Angel Acosta
Ken Wilber - Integral Theory
Dr. Meag-gan O'Rielly