Feedback from Students and Clients
(see additional testimonials on the "Work With Me" pages)
Working with Kathy as part of the teaching team for the Living Peace retreat from 2010-2017 was something I looked forward to each year, arranging my often-international work travel schedule to make sure I could be there! Kathy is one of the NVC Trainers I’ve seen who really ‘walks the talk.’ She is a pleasure to work with. To witness Kathy holding space and teaching people in ways that are accessible to the widest array of life experiences, as well as being so responsive to what is happening in the moment, has at each retreat spurred such hope in me for the world that I’ve been energized for months to come!
Humanitarian Aid Worker, NVC and Somatic Practices Teacher, and Painter
Kathy is a wonderful, inspiring teacher and presenter. She is able to personally connect with the participants, make the content relevant and meaningful, and often a great deal of fun too! She facilitates with ease, constantly modeling the practices of nonviolent communication and empathy. I refer to her ideas and language all the time in my work, community organizing and family / personal interactions. She has greatly enhanced my skill set with managing difficult conversations and being able to listen more deeply and communicate with empowerment and clarity. Kathy Simon is a master teacher for all who would like to gain insight into conflict resolution, attuned listening and healthy communication.
Kathy led a year-long program on nonviolent communication that was transformative for me. It was Kathy’s leadership that made the program outstanding. Kathy is among the very best workshop leaders because she combines mastery of NVC material, excellent facilitation skills, and a palpable authentic presence. This gives her enormous depth and flexibility to accomplish the goals of the program while varying her style to create value for each participant. She truly embodies NVC attitudes and behaviors, so her way of leading is as instructive as what she says. Her insight, compassion and pragmatism are a powerful potion for learning and transformation, and I am so grateful for her contribution to my personal and professional development.
Kathy is nothing short of amazing as a teacher and embody-er of NVC. She brings a deep kindness and sensitivity to the people in the room, along with the kind of brilliance that accounts for complexity and subtlety and multi-layered-ness without skipping a beat. She knows her NVC inside and out, and simultaneously lives it with a warmth, humility, and realness that can disarm in an instant. Anyone who gets to work with her is one lucky duck indeed.
After participating in a year-long program with Kathy, I asked her to set up a private class on Nonviolent Communication for six family members and close friends. Kathy really embodies NVC, and I find her teaching style gentle, yet clear and focused. Kathy helped us learn how to make requests by genuinely getting in touch with our own feelings and needs, which has helped me reduce 'demand energy.' I love her emphasis on helping us believe that our own needs truly matter. Two pivotal learnings that I have from Kathy are first, that even our internal critic is defending our beautiful needs, and second, in her words: "I want to speak when I can be heard, so I choose, when I'm able, to listen first!" I feel so much gratitude to Kathy!! She has helped me make changes that have greatly improved my quality of life and my relationship with myself and with all those around me.
Empathic Coach and NVC Group Facilitator
Kathy leads with confidence, clarity and ease. She has a natural way of engaging participants in practicing new skills, supporting them to explore honest expression, vulnerability, and empathic presence. She models curiosity and compassionate communication in a way that demonstrates how it can help others shift from a more confrontational stance and open their hearts. Working with Kathy was both fun and deeply meaningful.
Teacher and Social Worker
Working with Kathy has literally changed my life. I have participated in a number of different workshops and communities of practice with Kathy, all focusing on Nonviolent Communication. Kathy has helped me become a better listener and a more attuned speaker. She has helped me develop much better ways of communicating, especially in difficult conversations. The things I have learned with and from Kathy have transformed my relationships for the better. Whenever I have a chance to learn with Kathy, I jump at the opportunity!
Watching Kathy teaching or facilitating a group, it is tempting to see what she does as magic – holding everyone in the room, balancing the individual and group needs while still keeping sight of the piece she is teaching. Having been part of the team for the Living Peace retreat for seven years, I have seen time and again as Kathy navigated the group through sometimes extremely charged sessions, helping them to emerge with more understanding and connection. Over this time, I have realized that what I was seeing was not magic, but someone who lives the spirit of NVC fully, who has completely integrated it into her life. It is this that brought me back year after year.
It's one thing to know NVC, and it's quite another thing to actually apply NVC to our intimate relationships when we're deep in conflict. For me, this is where it's been the hardest. I'm so grateful for Kathy's couples support because she helped me internalize some NVC principles that I hadn't been able to in the classroom setting. For instance, when we came to see Kathy after we'd had a huge fight, I entered the room with shame and left the session with an immovable understanding that we humans (including me) only resort to violence when we don't have access to other strategies. This embodied understanding led to tremendous compassion for myself and more compassion for everyone who behaves in violent ways.
I worked with Kathy for several years as a student and assistant, and I can't tell you the number of times some version of the thought, "I'm the luckiest person in the world," ran through my head. Tears of gratitude start to form in my eyes just writing that. Kathy's combination of clarity, big-heartedness, intelligence, and integrity make her an extraordinary teacher, and contribute to her being the most trustworthy leader I've ever encountered. I always felt safe in her presence, and trusted that she was holding everyone in the retreats and workshops with so much care. Not only did I learn tons about NVC from Kathy, I also learned a tremendous amount about teaching, leading, and facilitating from her. As a group therapist and workshop leader, Kathy is my model for how I try to lead: with a big heart, a lot of trust in the participants, a good dose of humility, and a passion for nonviolence in everything said and done.
Marriage and Family Therapist
Kathy has a rare depth of understanding about how people learn as well as an incredible spaciousness and clarity about navigating complex group dynamics, so that I feel emotionally safe, inspired, and able to learn more thoroughly than in any other setting I've been in (and now in my 60's, I've been in many!). I'm asked often in my work where to learn communication skills and/or NVC, and of many NVC teachers I know, Kathy is the one I refer to.
Susan Strasburger, Ph.D.
Kathy is an amazing teacher -- her pedagogy is the best I have experienced in teaching nonviolent communication. She deeply understands how to structure a learning experience for a diverse group with different learning styles, yet support all learners to deepen their own practice of NVC. Her approach to NVC is rooted in social justice and a commitment to democracy that is radical and revelatory. She models the types of relationships she wants to create in the world in how she works with her team and participants. Her teaching is nuanced and layered, yet never obfuscating nor showy. As a teacher myself, I have learned from watching her teach. And as a human being, I have grown in my interactions with her, feeling cared for and met, and also invited into discovering what more I have to give or where I choose to grow. Run, don't walk, to sign up to learn with Kathy Simon.
Community college teacher and
human rights activist
Kathy effortlessly embodies NVC in her interactions with me and those others I’ve been witness to. As a group facilitator, she presents NVC basics in fresh clear language that I can get. In private couples work, she stands in compassionate support of both my wife and me - listening, supporting, and offering options only a person with deep personal understanding of life lived in harmony with NVC can do. My life has been vastly enriched by Kathy's heartfelt warmth coupled with penetrating NVC insight - a perfect combination for my journey of noticing, questioning, and choosing strategies to meet my needs while keenly aware of the needs of others. Thanks to Kathy, a profound realization has dawned inside me: I can live in peace with myself and others.
Retired general building contractor