We want each participant in the West Coast Intensive to have accomplished three goals.

  • Deepening and Integration of NVC Consciousness
    We want you learn and integrate the principles of NVC that will enable you to accomplish your work more effectively. Whether your work is activism aimed at changing social structures and supporting communities or healing and support designed to empower and nurture individuals, NVC offers many paths to effective change. We’ll explore topics ranging from facilitating more effective group decisions, communicating more impactfully, creating shifts in our relationships with others and healing old wounds, based on participant interest.
  • Self Care
    We want you to leave with a deep understanding of what sustains you in your work. We want you to leave the retreat rejuvenated, with skills and tools you can take home to maintain a healthy, nurturing self-care practice.
  • Client Care
    We want you to have a deep understanding of both the theories and practices underlying two approaches to supporting others’ healing and growth.  We want you to have a deep understanding of the application of these tools, as well as practice in utilizing them.  We will also provide you with information on next steps to become certified to provide TRE to clients or certified NVC trainers.

What is NVC?

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) has been described as a language of compassion, as a tool for positive social change, and as a spiritual practice. NVC gives us the tools and consciousness to understand what triggers us, to take responsibility for our reactions, and to deepen our connection with ourselves and others, thereby transforming our habitual responses to life. Ultimately, it involves a radical change in how we think about life and meaning. NVC is based on a fundamental principle: Underlying all human actions are needs that people are seeking to meet; understanding and acknowledging these needs can create a shared basis for connection, cooperation, and more globally, peace.

Understanding each other at the level of our needs creates such connection because, at this deeper human level, the similarities between us outweigh the differences, giving rise to greater compassion. When we focus on needs, without interpreting or conveying criticism, blame, or demands, our deeper creativity flourishes, and solutions arise that were previously blocked from our awareness. At this depth, conflicts and misunderstandings can be resolved with greater ease.

What is TRE®?

Tension & Trauma Release Exercises (TRE®), developed by Dr. David Berceli, is a set of simple exercises that elicit natural tremors helping to release chronic stress and tension held in the body.  Allowing the body to release the protective stress of being ‘on alert’ that is held in the deep muscles, self-induced therapeutic tremors can travel the body and release tension where it is most needed.  The process of doing TRE, once learned along with the skill of self-regulation, does not require ongoing outside support – it is a sustainable self-care method that can take just a few minutes a day.  After doing TRE, people report deep relaxation, better sleep, alleviation of long-standing symptoms, resolution of tension, and release of trauma.  TRE taps into our body’s own inner wisdom, helping to bring us back to our center and closer to balance.

By activating a self-induced therapeutic tremor, TRE contributes to deep well being that allows people’s nervous systems to be in balance, thus allowing them to be responsive rather than reactive. Practicing TRE with mindful attention to physical and psychological comfort, there is usually no need to actually talk about any ‘story’ to achieve lasting, positive effects.  For more information on TRE, see Dr. Berceli’s website:  TraumaPrevention.com

How does TRE® support NVC?


TRE® and NVC are complimentary practices in that they address different layers of our being – the physical and the mental respectively – and both of these feed into spiritual and emotional well-being.  Both practices can contribute to allowing us to have the relationships we long for with ourselves and with others.  TRE promotes the release of charge held in the body – something which can allow us to be more present for the conversations we want to have in our lives.  NVC can then help us figure out what we want to be heard for and to say it in a way that it is more likely to be received!

TRE provides a physical mechanism to help provide the conditions in which our cognitive capacity can come back on line after a stressful or traumatic incident.  By helping to regulate and soothe the nervous system, TRE allows us greater access to true choice – rather than living from our habitual reactivity.  NVC then provides a way in which we can explore this experience of more choice both internally and in relationship with others.