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Stella Koukougianni portrait

Stella Koukougianni

Choosing Empathy
Speaks English, Greek
Certified Trainer since 2022
"It’s doing something with the chaos and the pain, giving an opportunity for people — all of them — to be heard and seen. We say that for us, conflict is an opportunity for connection, just allowing this pain to be seen, and the beautiful needs that are causing this pain to be heard."

When Stella raises her forearms, two mirror-image tattoos come into view. “Reindeers are the only female deer with antlers,” she says. “In Neolithic ages, the female reindeer was perceived as the ‘Life-Giving Mother.’ She facilitated the rebirth of light in the darkest of nights," Stella explains. “For me it is a symbol of hope and of our power to change. I see NVC as a tool that supports this process.”

The Busy City Years

Stella spent a big part of her life in Athens, the busy capital of Greece. She worked as a speech and language therapist for more than eighteen years. “I was working on multidisciplinary teams with psychologists, psychiatrists, educational therapists, play therapists,” she recalls. “I worked a lot with parents, children and also collaborated with schools. I could clearly see all the human struggle and pain in both family and professional relationships.” She remembers this work being rewarding and frustrating at the same time. 

Searching for more tools to work with people and make sense of relationships, she signed up for a weekend introduction to Nonviolent Communication (NVC). “Just hearing the words ‘Nonviolent Communication,’ she reflects, sighing, “I thought, I could use some of that in my field!” Stella found inspiration in that first introductory workshop, and in the years to come took a deeper dive by self-studying and following more specific workshops in NVC, applied in parenting and school education.

In these earlier years, after losing both of her parents to cancer and three best friends to accidents and drugs, Stella, in her quest for meaning apart from NVC, also took classes of Chinese medicine, Thai massage, and pilates. She traveled in Europe, Asia and Africa. 

In 2017, she had the chance to receive a scholarship from CNVC and attend the first International Intensive Training (IIT) in Greece, where she first met with her Assessor, Gina Lawrie, and many other people with whom she would form deep friendships and a sense of belonging in the years to come. 

“Those ten days in the mountains were a profound experience that changed my life,” she says with a sense of deep gratitude. “It was like I was home at last! By the end of the IIT there was no doubt that I would dedicate the following years to becoming the second Certified Trainer in Greece.”

Stella's passion in NVC is the energy of curiosity, a state of not-knowing and being open to discover something new.

The Dancefloors

Stella loves to explore human anger, guilt, and shame with curiocity using the Dancefloors. She has been trained in the Dancefloors by Gina Lawrie and Bridget Belgrave, the creators of the method, and is one of the first worldwide trainers of trainers in the technique. Stella has translated three dancefloors in Greek.

Of the Dancefloors, she says: “We use cards on the floor, labeling the different steps of the NVC processes. We also use a purple ribbon that surrounds the cards. In a world that runs fast we take a moment to stop before we enter the sacred space of the ribbon, our sacred inner space. We dedicate that moment in connecting with ourselves with the intention to explore any experience with the energy of curiosity and compassion. For me, that is a transcending and healing moment that defines what happens next. I feel deeply touched to stand by, support and guide people in that energy of exploring life.”

Stepping Forward, A New Life 

In 2018, Stella left the big city life behind her. She moved with her husband to the island of Crete where she can watch the hawks and feed the goats on a daily basis. In 2022, she became the second Certified Trainer in Greece. She dedicates herself full time to practicing and teaching Nonviolent Communication, working with individuals and groups all around the globe. She loves working remotely and occasionally traveling for her workshops to enjoy the physical presence with a group. 

Looking ahead, she hopes to spread NVC in Greece and work more with people who work with people. “This is my dream, to find a way to multiply social impact, reach people who work with others.”

Most of all, Stella seeks to connect. “I’m here for anyone who wants to have an experience and the training of NVC,” she says. “I’m here to listen and to become a tool for people, to connect with something deeper.”

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  • Business
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Counseling & Coaching
  • Education
  • Mind-Body-Spirit
  • Parenting & Family
“It’s like something has shifted in the way I can take part in a conflict. And this is so resting for my soul, on a deeper level.”

Contact Stella Koukougianni