Susana Rusch

Language of Report: 
Year of Report: 
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
A team of the municipality of the city of Utrecht & The Hague, Visko Teepak Company in Brno (Czech Republic), Family Camp (Vashon Island, Seattle, August 2016) with 140 parents and children, private participants at the People University in Utrecht, a directors of huge company (private NVC training with his wife) and participants of my year training ‘Living fully’. Nineteen people of a family doctors’ practice in Utrecht and 24 people of a Social Support Organization in Bilthoven.
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
In general, I celebrate growing (emotional) balance, more presence and calmness in my trainings and life. I celebrate more balance in ‘being inspired’ and ‘inspiring others’. After being overstressed in 2015, I started to follow courses in 2016 myself. I went to: yoga, dance, singing and intuition-training. Doing so, I landed more into my own body and my NVC trainings benefit from this. Look at question ‘I’ for more celebrations during Family Camp in Vashon Island, august 2016. Significant was a process I witnessed at Family Camp. There was a ‘horse’ (golf cart), sometimes driven by (young) children and considered as dangerous by most adults. What touched my heart is that no power-over was used and that after 3 days of nervousness, we ended up in a circle of around 16 people, age 4 - 74, talking about needs, strategies etc. around the ‘horse’. We could listen to each other and came with a solution that met both the children’s need for play as well as the adult’s need for safety. This is so much the world I want to live in. I so celebrate being part of this LIFE. I also celebrate interviewing Allan Rohlphs in August for many hours with Jan Carel van Dorp.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
Interrupting ‘talkative women’ has been a major difficult experience and stimulus, noticeable by a freeze reaction. One morning I could clearly notice how I kind of “woke up” from my immobile ‘blurr’, just after a group had left: I suddenly and clearly realized I was fed up with my inability to effectively interrupt participants. I wanted to recover my power and presence to support the shared purpose and focus at any given training moment. I had practiced these situations a few times in role plays with colleagues, with success. But trauma took over any time a training situation ‘got real’. I finally handled this ‘stubborn trauma tail’ by choosing EMDR. Awesome: I immediately interrupted one woman 2 times in the next training and she explicitly thanked me for the clarity she got from that in her feedback! Also, I wrote a self-empathy journal after that “wake up” moment, changed names and shared it with that group. I received an e-mail from one women a few weeks later, telling me she realized much later that the self-empathy journal (I had sent them) was referring to the group she was in. She thanked me for that mirror, learning opportunity and example.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
By ‘practicing what I preach’ and, mostly, by reminding participants of their intention. Do you want to be right or do you want connection? During one training a woman did a role play, 5 times over again. She was driving in a car in the dark and a woman on a bicycle without lights ‘scared the shit out of her’. She wanted to be able to share the shock she had in the car with that cyclist afterwards. After 3 role play try outs, she said: “Well…actually I DON'T want connection with her! She is just wrong. She should have her lights on… she could be dead by now…and me too!” I told her that I liked that clarity, that her wanting-to-be-right is not NVC and that that is perfectly OK for me. I also told her that connection, for me, is the quality that makes it possible for that bicycle-woman to HEAR her deep concern and shock. “So can I conclude that you do not care about that cyclist being able to hear you?” I asked her. She then changed and noticed she DOES want her message to come across. The next time she tried the role play it was a piece of cake. Amazing what a shift. For me this is a very practical approach of the NVC spirituality.
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
My dream is to write a novel (or more) in which NVC is naturally woven. Also an NVC study-book. My longing is to effortlessly reach more and more people with NVC. So that there will be a significant change... I am practicing my Spanish and will support the IIT trainer team next April in Spain. Yeah! I picture a movie being filmed based on a NVC novel, with well known actors (so that they would need a thorough training in NVC before filming) after which NVC could have a boost and many more people would like training in NVC. And I want to give more long term In-Company trainings.
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
Since April 2016 I am board member of the Dutch speaking NVC circle. I am also, since many more years, co-responsible for our website ( In 2016 we came together twice as Certified Trainer and twice with the large circle (Certified & not Certified trainers). The meetings for CT’s are organized by other trainers every time. We come together in person and I love that. We have "open-space" sessions, support each other, share impressions and brainstorm about how to integrate Laloux his model. Finally, I am part of CNVC, following the New Future Process with awe and gratitude, with a partner as treasurer and board-member of CNVC.
K. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.: 
After training 19 people of a Family Doctor practice (with Jan Carel van Dorp), we received feedback that the example we used in a demo was not clear and seemed emotional to me. Also, they had longed for more coaching during the time that they were practicing in small groups. Even though we had explicitly told them that they can “tug at our sleeves” whenever they wanted support, even though I closely watched them work and concluded that they were doing fine (except one subgroup I coached) … I learnt from this that I cannot be explicit enough in announcing what we will do and how. I also learnt that we better stay VERY close to their everyday (working) life reality, when choosing examples for a demo, specially in an In-company or organization setting. It is important for me to realize that I live in another paradigm than most people, living a hectic life. When I was doing the demo of self-empathy (with those doctors), they had the impression of me being more emotional than they thought appropriate for that setting, while I was (in my perception) at ease and just saying out loud my feelings and needs. Noticing this difference in perception reminds me to do more 'fine-tuning' when going to organizations. Sometimes, during my basic NVC course (10 times 3 hours), I give a demonstration of “healing the past”, based on a vulnerable example out of my own life. I use my ‘scary honesty’ then as a ‘tool’ to help participants share deeper, more vulnerable themes as well. The feedback of one woman made me re-think my choice between sharing my own example, or just asking a participant right away to share his or her example.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
I worked on tough challenges last year. Now I want to be even more explicitly clear about what I am asking of the group (expectation management) or about what I am offering the group. And I want to use examples that better fit the group I’m in, specially during In-company trainings.
M. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year, please share the most meaningful experiences for you.: 
Please read ‘I’ again. There was also a learning experience, about the importance of listening to my gut feeling. In the autumn of 2016 a woman of my ‘deepening NVC course’ asked me if I was interested in providing a 1,5 hour “lunch session” at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment for about 120 people. I met her and the organizer of those “lunch sessions” in The Hague, at the ministry. When I asked them, afterwards, if, for the sake of self-care, another date (of this lunch session) was possible (initially there were 2 dates to choose from and I did not realize how ‘rigid’ their planning structure was), the organizer told me she did not have faith in more collaboration with me. The atmosphere of our introduction-meeting, as well as the overall ‘power-over’ atmosphere I sensed in that Ministry, gave me a sense this lunch session would not be fun. On the other hand, this one session would mean a month salary and an interesting challenge for an NVC trainer. I advised them to work with my partner, Jan Carel van Dorp (they felt desperate with the session planned for so many people in their agenda) and, to my relief, he could provide this session. Hearing the stories of my partner afterwards, I felt happy I had listened to my gut-feeling. Also, I was proud and at ease that self-care was more important to me than money.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
I feel curious and hopeful about the New Future Process. A huge thank you to all who put so much energy in that. I wonder what we can ‘do’ for more humanity in a country that has chosen the actual president of the USA.

The Center for Nonviolent Communication
9301 Indian School Rd NE Suite 204
Albuquerque, NM 87112-2861 USA
Tel: +1.505.244.4041 | Fax: +1.505.247.0414 | US Only: 800 255 7696

NEW fundraising opportunity for US residents.