I am passionate about creating safe spaces for honest sharing, connecting and learning.
In my early 40’s, I underwent a process of discovering what do I really want, as opposed to mostly being in tune with the needs of others and avoiding conflict. More than anything I wanted to discover how to be authentic while staying in connection with others.
In that time, I fortunately met NVC, which gave me a model for compassionate, connecting communication I now apply in all of my relationships, such as partner, mother, friend, colleague AND perhaps the most important one of all, the one I have with myself.
As an EMCC-accredited coach and NVC-based trainer and mediator, I live with my Dutch husband and our two teenage children. I work mostly in Haarlem and Amsterdam, supporting individuals, couples and organizational teams with their communication goals.
In my role as ombudswoman for three different organizations, I help individuals turn their complaints into needs-based requests. This includes the School of L.I.F.E—Learning in a Free Environment, an NVC Democratic school near Amsterdam.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach connecting2life courses, contributing to many others wanting to learn the empowering language of NVC!
The basic course has been a deep learning experience for me. I feel so happy and grateful. NVC helps me to meet my need for connection, first to myself, and through that, to the world around me. Your warm smiles together with an overall open attitude made me feel calm and at ease from the very start of the course. My need for emotional safety was met, so that I dared to expose myself in a vulnerable way. This is where true learning takes place for me.
We found Cara to be patient, understanding, compassionate, supportive and gentle. She did a great job helping us to toward connection by encouraging us to look inside of ourselves to communicate our needs better, by guiding us how to distinguish thoughts and feelings. She made sure both of us had a chance to speak and listen, which was an immensely difficult task given the ‘can’t get any worse’ state we were in. Seeing Cara individually was relaxed, introspective, and stimulating. She asked me questions that encouraged me to bring attention fully to myself, acknowledge and own my feelings, which helped to clarify some things troubling me.
Thank you so much Cara, for all your care, commitment and creativity in working with our team. I know it has been challenging at times to hold everyone’s needs equally and to find creative strategies. I feel extremely grateful for the learning that has happened and also celebrating that the team members are able to understand, connect to and express their needs. I feel there is a great sense of joy in having found their autonomy and empowerment to come up for and meet their own needs.