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Jean McElhaney

Interfaith Minister, Master’s degrees in English Literature & Counseling Psychology
Supporting people with life transitions and death/dying
New Zealand
Speaks English
Certified Trainer since 2013
"I LOVE how Nonviolent Communication integrates my interests in inner work and outer work from a place of deep spirituality and through language."

I love the power of nonviolence to light up our hearts, give meaning to our lives, and build connection across division. I am ordained as an inter-spiritual / interfaith minister; have been certified as a Dances of Universal Peace leader; and am certified to share “Be Peace” (also known as the Connection Practice). 

My involvement with spiritual activism / social change goes back many years: working for the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, being arrested for civil disobedience (to protest weapons and war), and marching about oh so many different issues, and more. In addition, I have worked as a social worker and mental health counselor. 

I have offered communication training skills to a taxicab company, led groups for survivors of sexual abuse, trained social change activists, provided communication coaching for a business, mediated conflict in couples, and offered individual counseling and therapy for people with a wide range of concerns. My experience has been in both urban and rural settings, one on one and in groups, online and in person, in the USA and in New Zealand. Helping people focus on what matters most to them, so they experience more of what they value, is particularly satisfying.

What brought me to Nonviolent Communication was a decades-long interest in nonviolence: I read Marshall’s book sometime before 2004 because it had the word “nonviolent” in it. But NVC is not about words on a page; for me, it is about the magic that happens when we truly connect with what is underneath all that, in ourselves, in each other, and in the relationship between us. It’s about how my heart softens when the separation between “you” and “me” falls away.

My counseling work included serving individuals, couples, and groups, with a focus on trauma, stress management, depression and anxiety.  She has also offered mediation, facilitated workshops, and presented at professional conferences in the US regarding trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and communication skills. In my spare time, I enjoy walking on beaches, knitting, music, and posting poems on her Poetry Stand.

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  • Conflict Resolution
  • Counseling & Coaching
  • General
  • Intimate Relationships
  • Mind-Body-Spirit
  • Social Change
I love discovering what can light up our hearts, give meaning to our lives, and build connection across differences.

Contact Jean McElhaney