Kathy Ziola, MA, Center for Nonviolent Communication Certified Trainer
I grew up in a family with six siblings. I remember my parents saying, “If you can learn to get along here, you will be able to get along anywhere in life.” Along with the incredible love, fun, adventure, closeness and companionship I felt with my family, I also experienced mayhem, conflict, frustration, fear, violence and stress. I was interested in understanding human behavior from an early age as I struggled to navigate life in a large family. As the oldest daughter with only one older brother, I was given a lot of responsibility and I worked hard to try to live up to it. I wanted peace and harmony and to live love, even in those very early years. As much as my parents tried to guide me, I found myself lacking the skills to really express myself fully and peacefully at the same time. On some days, I remember screaming in frustration, bursting out in anger or hiding from overwhelming feelings. On others, I would try to be perfect and set a good example, even though I was not really being my true self. In retrospect, I know that I just wanted to be heard and understood, enjoy life and people and have some peace. My attempts at getting my needs met were sometimes effective, while at other times, created suffering for others and myself. These early experiences informed my interest in personal awareness and development.
My mother had a keen focus on understanding others experiences empathically. She lived from love and was committed to growing personally and spiritually. She was the mom that all of us (and our friends) would go to with problems or just to talk. Her nurturing presence contributed to my interest in psychology, awareness, relationships and living with purpose, meaning and contribution.
My life has been an exquisitely full adventure of learning – from traveling the world performing music and dance to promote understanding between cultures, to parenting two amazing daughters into young adulthood. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) came into my life after years of education, personal growth work, deep spiritual inquiry practice, facilitating workshops and retreats and working with others in counseling and healing capacities using a variety of modalities. When I discovered this work I was struck with a clarity that came to me as, “This is the missing link!” I knew immediately that I wanted to teach NVC and implement it into my therapeutic work. It was clear to me that this versatile model can be applied to any aspect of life. Using this model, I realized that others and I could actually live our deepest values instead of just wanting to do so. The ways in which I continue to offer service continues to unfold so uniquely, which I thoroughly enjoy, and NVC has added an important dimension to life. It has allowed me to live authentically. I am delighted to share this significant, life changing approach to living and communicating.
I am grateful for the healthy relationships I have with my family of origin and particularly with my daughters. Knowing and using NVC has contributed so much to the success of my relationships. I feel very close to my daughters and have only experienced momentary lapses in that connection. Today, at ages 19 and 21, they are very open with me and we enjoy mutual empathy and honesty.
When I am not working, I enjoy taking improv theater classes, hiking, cross-country skiing, time with friends, swimming, movies, healthy food and dancing.
I find a lot of enjoyment in living in the Colorado sunshine and taking in the incredible beauty that is so accessible through nature here.
I am inspired writing poetry and have produced a CD called Feast for the Soul: Awakening and a book called Feast for the Soul. Writing and sharing the poetry in different ways feeds my soul and is a fun way to express my creativity.
I want to work with you if you are hungry to learn a new way of relating. It is such an honor and pleasure to teach Compassionate Communication and support people as they learn to apply it. I love facilitating transformation for individuals in the midst of challenging life situations and relationships. Their “Ah-ha” moments, shifts and newfound freedom are very exciting and moving to me. There is a powerful ripple effect that takes place when any one person begins to speak with honesty, self-responsibility and compassion. The ability to live your deeper values can give you a great sense of power and personal satisfaction. Integrity and congruence will nourish you deeply as you live more authentically. I am grateful to be living this myself.
I have been teaching and speaking about NVC for the past 10 years with great passion and enthusiasm. I am dedicated to creating a clear path of learning that is easy and fun. I value professionalism and excellence while maintaining warmth and connection. I am committed to helping you build your capacity for being fully present and available to interact in alignment with your highest values and goals. Class sizes are limited so you will always receive high quality instruction, the attention you need and the opportunity to participate fully. If a training event is larger, in addition to your trainer, there will be a team of experienced practitioners to support you in your learning.
I have spent years gathering and developing learning materials and programs to bring you the best of what I have garnered throughout my years of receiving and facilitating trainings in NVC.
I also work in private therapy practice with individuals, couples and families or small groups of interrelated people. I support people in navigating grief, transitions, self-esteem issues, healing the past, relational challenges, anxiety, finding meaning and discovering a deep sense of presence and peace. Discovering greater awareness of the true self is a foundation and integral piece of any personal counseling or coaching that I offer. I integrate the work of Compassionate Communication into the therapeutic setting as appropriate.
I provide NVC based coaching for addressing communication issues in the work place, family, intimate relationships or any other arena or life issue that requires support.
Kathy Ziola received her MA in Agency Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Northern Colorado, and her BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University. She received five years intensive training in Nonviolent Communication through Bay NVC, The NVC Training Institute, the NVC International Intensive Training and the CNVC Trainer Certification Assessment. Kathy earned her CNVC Trainer Certification from the Center for Nonviolent Communication in 2009.
During her 35-year career as a human service professional, Kathy has provided leadership and facilitation of personal growth opportunities in a variety of venues from community mental health and private therapy practice to creating and managing the Loving Relationships Training Center in Denver. She also developed and supervised the Peer Counseling Program in Delta County, and founded and managed a Reiki clinic. Kathy has presented workshops, classes, professional in-service training and retreats on communication, stress management, relationships, healing, personal and spiritual growth, breath work and yoga. Throughout the past 10 years, Kathy’s primary focus has been on offering training, coaching and counseling in Compassionate Communication to people in all walks of life across the country.