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A Visionary Peacemaker

By Dianne Witte

Marshall Rosenberg who died February 7, was a psychologist and the creator of Nonviolent Communication, a communication process that “helps people to exchange the information necessary to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully.” He was the founder and former Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization.

Although I didn’t know him personally, I appreciate the contribution Rosenberg made to the cause for peace in the world and want to share his accomplishments with you.

During his life, Rosenberg authored fifteen books, including the bestselling Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (PuddleDancer Press, 9781892005281), which has sold more than one million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Rosenberg has a Wisconsin connection in that he received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1961, where he studied under Carl Rogers. Since then, his influence has expanded to more than 35 countries around the globe. The Center for Nonviolent Communication, which he founded in 1984, now has hundreds of certified NVC trainers and supporters teaching nonviolent communication (NVC).

The center trains educators, managers, mental health and health care providers, lawyers, military officers, prisoners, police and prison officials, clergy, government officials and individual families in unique conflict resolution techniques. It occurs to me that the NFL might offer this training to football players, to help them understand why they beat their wives or act out with other violent behavior when not on the football field. In fact, this training is offered as a resolution in domestic abuse situations and other conflicted family relationships.

Other examples of his work can be found at the NVC website www.nonviolentcommunication.com. It includes a video interview with Rosenberg in which he demonstrates his powerful methods with role playing. In addition, the site has multiple other resources. You might be inclined to find a training session near you. We honor and appreciate Rosenberg’s contribution to world peace by supporting his vision.

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