Sylvia Haskvitz has been doing her best to know, share, and live the Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication (NVC) process since stumbling upon NVC while working as the executive director and youth director of United Synagogue of American in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1980s. She worked alongside Kim Alison, who studied with NVC founder, Marshall Rosenberg, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. After her first encounter with Marshall, she was sold on this work and mentored with Kim for two years while planting the seeds of NVC in the Bay Area alongside five others, including Jean Morrison. She became a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) in 1989.
Prior to her NVC exposure, she received her Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Texas Allied Health Sciences at Houston. Once her excitement soared about sharing NVC worldwide, she went on to San Francisco State University to complete a Master of Arts in speech and communication studies with an emphasis in interpersonal and intercultural communication. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, Sylvia enjoys supporting people on their journey to sustainable health and well-being. As a client stated: “Sylvia cares about what goes into peoples’ mouths and what comes out of them.”
Sylvia is the author of Eat by Choice, Not by Habit: Practical Skills for Creating a Healthy Relationship with Your Body and Food, an NVC-inspired book that combines two of her passions — NVC and healthful food. Eat by Choice has been translated into several languages. She has co-written an e-guidebook to accompany Eat by Choice for both adults and children. Sylvia’s essay, “Enemy Images” (based on her work facilitating a Bay Area dialogue group every Sunday for a year and a half in the 90s during the Oslo Accords), was published in the book, Healing Our Planet, Healing Ourselves.
She has directed and produced a weekly radio program, Call in a Conflict, and hosted a television show, People Skills, both of which were based on her NVC training.
Sylvia has offered training in Israel and Palestine, Brazil, Germany, Romania, England, South Korea, China, and throughout the U.S. She enjoys sparking peoples’ interest in embracing this language and consciousness as she sees the profound impact on clients’ health and well-being and those whom they touch. She now serves the CNVC as an assessor, advocate, and accompanier to support the next generation of certified trainers, and is the cofounder of CALF (Candidates/Community Active Learning Forum — did you know that a CALF is a baby giraffe?) as a way to create community for this learning journey.
Her passion is also supporting couples to connect in a more satisfying way. NVC has been a significant and life-changing path on her own journey in partnership. And she is eternally and immensely grateful to have found NVC in her thirties.
Her guiding light is the words in her head and heart that woke her up in the middle of the night many years ago:
Imagine living in a world, where we trust there are enough resources for everyone, where competition is about being and becoming our best selves, where support and caring is the name of the game, and where I meet my needs in cooperation with yours, not at your expense. This language of compassion in speaking and listening is the world of Nonviolent Communication. I invite you to play in this world and explore your relationship with yourself, with others, and with power in your communication and the consciousness in which you choose to live your life.
Sylvia lives in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with her partner of twenty-five years and enjoys traveling in her travel trailer with her husband to places known and unknown. A favorite is hot spring hopping in Arizona and New Mexico. Sylvia loves animals and especially dogs and is currently dogless, though she regularly connects with those needing love and support for dog-sitting and foster care. She is also an enneagram enthusiast and has translated the nine enneagram personality types into their greatest needs.
“I care about what goes into your mouth and what comes out of it!”
- Conflict Transformation
- Counseling and Therapy
- Education (including schools and youth programs)
- Family and Interpersonal Relationships
- Spirituality and Inner Work