Support Team and Local Resources

Mediate Your Life is proud to partner with these trainers and immersion program alums who have enriched our programs around the country and around the world. Check out their bios below.

Newt Bailey

Newt Bailey is a business consultant providing training, coaching and mediation services. He has led and co-led multiple yearlong Mediate Your Life programs in the USA and Europe, and is the founder of The Communication Dojo workshops. Newt is also a Collaborative Trainer with Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC). Newt has also worked with couples for 10 years, and his first 5 years of NVC included extensive experience teaching NVC to prisoners and parolees. Newt’s passion is helping people to live life joyfully and to fill their work lives with passion, growth, mastery, productivity and creativity. He loves to share the particular approach to NVC that has led to transformation in his own life. Newt received a Masters in Physics from Oxford University in England. He then worked briefly in sales, followed by seven years as a high school math teacher and department chair, before moving into software engineering and managing a software engineering team. Newt started to study NVC and NVC mediation with John and Ike in 2005, and has been working full-time in the fields of communication, conflict resolution and leadership since 2007. See for more information.

Lisa Montana

Lisa came to mediation from the corporate world, where she witnessed frequent disputes, most of them handled in ways that nobody liked. In collaborative communication, she found a model that considers everyone’s needs and against all odds, has seen wildly antagonistic foes find common ground. Lisa is skilled at discerning core issues in complex situations and conflicts. She’s also versed in efficient problem-solving: Offering tools that are immediately effective, she helps build cohesive, committed teams enabled to do their best thinking and work. Lisa has a reputation for clarity, humor and compassion, and her workshops offer participants the chance to strengthen their skills in a lively and supportive atmosphere. Lisa began working with John Kinyon and Ike Lasater in 2006, and has been a lead trainer with Mediate Your Life. She’s also an instructor at Bay Area Center for Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and since 2013 has taught conflict resolution at San Quentin California State Prison. In her private practice, Lisa works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations around the country, offering mediation, executive coaching, organizational consulting and group facilitation. Read about Lisa’s work: Contact Lisa:

Gail Carroll

Gail (“Shivani”) Carroll began teaching NVC in 2006, when she began using the transformative power of compassion as the foundation of her practice and teaching. Gail studied NVC Mediation with John Kinyon in 2008 and has completed three rounds of John and Ike Lasater’s yearlong Mediate Your Life training. She also studied intensively with Miki Kashtan and Inbal Kashtan, and served as an assistant trainer with Miki in approximately 10 retreats. Gail offers individual clients and couples NVC empathy and mediation through her private practice in the Boston area. As someone committed to the spiritual practices of meditation and seeing humanity in all, she values NVC as a strategy for bringing this part of herself into her relationships and conflicts. She especially enjoys sharing/teaching from her experiences using NVC with her partner, Paul Merrill, and her teenaged daughter, Gemma. Gail is the lead trainer with NVC Boston. She and Paul Merrill offers a series of workshops entitled “The Alchemy of Relationships.” You can learn more about Shivani Gail in this interview.

Paul Merrill

Paul Merrill’s study of NVC began 10 years ago. He attended Bay Area NVC’s Leadership Program in 2005 and began teaching for Brooklyn NVC, where he was a founding board member. Paul has since assisted in NVC trainings in Belgium and Poland. An artist and a father, Paul enjoys sharing NVC skills for use in personal relationships, families and internal dialogues. He is currently a trainer with NVC Boston. For more about Paul, read this interview.

Joan Judson

NewJoanSq Joan Judson is a communication counselor and certified community mediator with her own practice in San Luis Obispo. Her leadership in the field of nonviolent communication (NVC) grew out of her deep interest in how people do and do not listen to each other. In 2012, Joan was the local organizer for a weekend workshop in San Luis Obispo; she also assisted John Kinyon with that workshop. A longtime educator, Joan completed three years in the Mediate Your Life immersion program and has since returned multiple times as a co-trainer in the yearlong program and in the new MYL Professional Seminar. You can read more about Joan here and at Joan Judson Counseling & Mediation.

Christine Flaherty

christine flahertyChristine Flaherty is a licensed clinical laboratory scientist and a healthcare executive. As a way of cultivating deeper and more satisfying relationships, she has integrated the practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) into her personal and professional life. Christine is a second-year participant in the Mediate Your Life immersion program and is working toward her CNVC trainer certification.  In 2012, she assisted John Kinyon with a Mediate Your Life training program for mid-level healthcare managers.

Katharina Dress

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKatharina Dress is a certified community, guardianship, and Elder mediator who serves on the Civil Court Mediation Panel on the Superior Court of Alameda County, California. As founder of Aging in Harmony, she helps older adults and their families, caregivers, and aging services providers to navigate challenging conversations about the later stages of life. Katharina’s professional life and personal life were transformed in 2007, when she discovered Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and started training with John and Ike. Since 2009, she has assisted John and Ike in Mediate Your Life trainings in the U.S. and Europe. In order to share her experience and skills in NVC-based conflict resolution, she also offers her own workshops throughout the U.S. and her native Germany. For more information about Katharina, visit the Aging in Harmony website.

Cindy Bigbie

Bigbie_Cindy_2013Cindy Bigbie spent two decades of her professional career evaluating educational institutions and social services. In that time, she became convinced that learning NVC processes is the key to stopping the cycle of violence in our homes and organizations. An alum of the Mediate Your Life immersion program, Cindy now teaches NVC to high schoolers and teachers and has her own business, It’s All About Connection. She has co-facilitated multiple Mediate Your Life workshops with John Kinyon and Ike Lasater, including  “Taking the Third Chair: Peacebuilding with NVC Mediation” at the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding in October 2013. You can read more about Cindy here. See a short video about her work here.

Pat Arcady

Pat Arcady completed the first BayNVC Leadership Training 
in 2001 and has attended numerous residential and weekend retreats throughout the country, including several with NVC founder Marshall Rosenberg. In 2003, she began teaching NVC workshops in the New England area and hosted a weekly practice group for five years. In 2012, she completed her third year in Mediate Your Life’s immersion program. A few years ago, Pat launched Arcady Mediation, a consulting practice that draws on her 33+ years of management and training experience and specializes in mediation services, customized conflict resolution coaching, and trainings for leaders of small businesses and nonprofits. She coaches leaders on how to have the sorts of “challenging conversations” that increase the levels of alignment, collaboration and partnership throughout their organizations. As a speaker and trainer, Pat enjoys delivering highly interactive workshops that are designed to offer the challenge of skill development and personal growth while also offering the support needed to take such risks. For more about Pat, visit and read this interview.

Carolyn Blum

CarolynBlumCarolyn Blum is passionate about helping people move from conflict to connection and creative expression. One of the most enjoyable aspects of her 20+ years as an engineer and program manager in the corporate world was helping people and groups understand each other. Carolyn used her three years in the Mediate Your Life program as a springboard to setting up her own practice. As founder and principal of Carolyn Blum, Carolyn coaches, mediates, consults and offers trainings. Her clients range from those in technical and business fields looking to increase workplace effectiveness to individuals and couples seeking deep personal growth. Carolyn was part of the leadership team for the 2013 East Coast Immersion Program.

J Kendel Johnson

J Kendel Johnson has been studying, practicing and supporting the growth of NVC since 2004 and began training with John Kinyon in 2008. In 2010, J completed Mediate Your Life’s yearlong immersion program with John and Ike Lasater; later that year, he became a member of the training team for the Heartland immersion program.  J has also studied directly with NVC founder Marshall Rosenberg, as well as Miki Kashtan, Raj Gill, Jeff Brown, and Karsten Schacht-Petersen. A founding member of NVC-DFW, J facilitates classes, workshops and practice groups in schools, spiritual communities, and wellness facilities. He also provides mediation for individuals and groups seeking compassionate resolution to conflict.  More recently, J has enjoyed putting his TV producer skills to work for Mediate Your Life, and he was the driving force behind the launch of the Texas Immersion Program in 2014. For more about J, read this interview.

Claudia Kenny

ClaudiaKennyClaudia began studying NVC in 2005, but it wasn’t until she attended John and Ike’s NVC Mediation training in 2010 and found the supportive practice community that she was able to integrate NVC into her daily life. Something really clicked as she experienced the power and potential for the “shift” that was possible in real-life conflict situations like those that John and Ike modeled in their workshops. Claudia completed three years in the Mediate Your Life Immersion Program. iIn her fourth year, she was asked to return as a co-trainer. She has dedicated the past few years to studying the potential for transformation that is a part of conflict and has recently completed a Masters Degree in Conflict Analysis and Engagement at Antioch University with a concentration in environmental conflict. As an organic farmer and sustainable food systems activist, Claudia works with her family and other farmers on multiple projects that involve the public, farm employees, and community organizations. She credits her Mediate Your Life training with having increased her ability to listen to these groups and individuals and to create a more collaborative culture.

Shoshi Morginn

Shoshi Morginn’s heart was broken open in 2003 when she first read Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication and realized what had been lost and what is at stake in how we communicate with each other. As a first-year participant in the 2008 West Coast immersion program, she began organizing additional NVC trainings in California. She has since assisted Ike Lasater and John Kinyon in other Mediate Your Life trainings around the country. Shoshi brings a degree in psychology and 18 years experience as a cardiac intensive care nurse to her work as a facilitator, health consultant, and NVC mediator. Since 1985, she has specialized in aspects of sexuality, emotional intimacy, and transformative conflict resolution. She uses traditional energy medicine to support her own health and vitality and to offer stress management and recovery for women, children and combat veterans. Shoshi draws on the wisdom of her own and other Indigenous Elders who show, by their living example, how to be real human beings. She likes to point out how, in the native culture of her ancestors, NVC is referred to as cante ista (chantey-eesh’tah) or hearing/speaking through the heart. Shoshi lives in the diverse and increasingly conscious community of Mount Shasta, California. For more about Shoshi, read this interview or visit her LinkedIn profile.

Brenda Nolan

BrendaNolansquareBrenda Nolan is a fifth-year participant in the Mediate Your Life immersion program, who this year returned as part of the 2014 East Coast training team. Her eyes were opened to the heartbreaking way that children are divided by socio-economic status in the late 1990s, when she was driving her school bus. It was during those years that she discovered Marshall Rosenberg and NVC. She immediately became a committed member of an NVC practice group that has continued in some form since 1998. For 13 years, Brenda’s husband Bernie would have nothing to do with NVC. So she was delighted when, in 2011, he entered the NVC Mediation/Mediate Your Life program of which Brenda was already a part. Brenda credits NVC and NVC mediation for offering an alternative way of being in the world. Rather than assessing the world through the lens of “shoulds” and “deserves,” and rather than separating people into categories of “good”/“bad” and “right”/“wrong,” it affirms the humanity in every person. She loves this work because it makes her feel hopeful—and no longer alone. Brenda has co-led multiple, two-day workshops in Harwich, MA. She also is a member of the 2014 East Coast Immersion Program training team.

Pam Refling

PamReflingIn 2012, Pam completed her third year in the Mediate Your Life program. For her fourth year, she was asked to return as a trainer. Pam became interested in the effects of our words while studying NVC with Marshall Rosenberg in 2006. An active school volunteer in her children’s growing-up years, she began helping teachers and students deal with the burgeoning problem of school bullying and other challenges that get in the way of teaching and learning. She continues this work today. In 2008, Pam began mediating with the Community Mediation Center in Bozeman, Montana. Today, she volunteers for many of their programs, by mediating in the Justice and Family Courts and assisting with the Youth Justice Council. Pam is owner of Communication Cues, a private mediation, consulting and training practice in Bozeman. She is officially certified as a life coach by Alan Cohen’s “Inspiration for Life” life coaching program.

Mark Roth

mark-head-shot-cropped-150x150 Mark Roth is a fourth-year in the East Coast Immersion Program, and is  a member of the 2014 training team. Mark retired from a fruitful career in educational administration leadership, where he was known for innovative practices and building cultures of regard and respect. Since his retirement, Mark has focused on building skills to support families, organizations, and individuals in conflict. He has co-facilitated workshops with Ike Lasater and, this summer, will again be a part of the support team at the New York Intensive in Nonviolent Communication. With his wife Helen, a fellow Mediate Your Life graduate, Mark offers empathy and coaching to build pathways and bridges to reconciliation and connection. You can read more about Mark here and can hear him speak on this video. Mark welcomes you to contact him for consultation, coaching, or support. Email markroth AT mediateyourlife DOT com.

Teresa Rose

Teresa Rose’s passion for nonviolent communication was stirred when she became a parent. She began her mediation practice “in the trenches” with her three children. She cares deeply about how best to deal with conflict within a family, how to make sure everyone can be heard and know they matter, and how to bring peace. As a strategy for bringing more love and connection to the world, she is committed to mindfulness and self-connection practice. Teresa has offered nonviolent communication and mediation teachings to teens, parents, schoolteachers, life coaches, and other NVC trainers. A credentialed high school teacher, certified life coach, and certified enneagram teacher, Teresa also works as a mediator within her local school district. Read more about Teresa’s perspective here.

Lori Woodley

A CPA turned Unity minister, Lori offers NVC workshops, mediation, coaching, and spiritual direction. For years, she co-facilitated and organized the USA Heartland Mediate Your Life Immersion Program—the first to fulfill John and Ike’s goal of others leading immersion programs. She has attended more than seven weeks of Mediate Your Life training with John and Ike, has participated in three yearlong US immersion programs, and is a candidate for CNVC certification. Lori earned her Masters of Divinity from Unity Institute. She founded Peace Matters, an alternative ministry devoted to helping others connect to themselves and others. She has also attended peacemaking training with the Lombard Mennonite Center, is a certified Ministry Peacemaking and Transitional Consultant, and is an approved divorce mediator in the state of Missouri. For more about Lori, read this interview or visit

Christiaan Zandt

BMCZkleurkleinChristiaan’s interest in nonviolent communication and mediation dates back to 2006, when he attended an international intensive training in Pune, India. John Kinyon facilitated several mediation-sessions and those experiences got Christiaan hooked. His connection with Ike took off in Waterloo, Belgium, where they spent a couple of days discussing experiences with NVC and aikido. As aikidoka, mediator and trainer, Christiaan’s focus has been on the embodiment of connection and compassion. Working with John and Ike has proven to be a great source of inspiration, learning and challenge. Christiaan has assisted during trainings in Germany and the Netherlands, and has invited John and Ike over to the Netherlands on several occasions. He enjoys building upon their work by providing trainings in NVC mediation, mainly in the Netherlands. Christiaan welcomes your comments or questions and can be reached through his website.