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About Maren

Maren is a coach, mother, artist, educator, and musician. She is the co-founder of NVC Family Camp in Washington State and the Madrone Grove PMA youth Program, founder of the Living Compass Classroom, Madrona School, and Healing with Compassion.


She has her Masters level in the study of Neuro Linguistics (MaNLP) through NLP Marin, which includes conventional NLP, Psychology, Neuro-Physiology, Quantum World-View, Systems Dynamics, and Metaphysics in a frame of “honoring what is while embracing what can be”.

(read more about NLP below). She has been practicing since 2007.


She also has extensive immersive experience with Compassionate Communication (NVC- with a colloquial bent), leading groups, training staff, building community, mediating, planning full retreats, classes, and programs, mentoring teachers, parents, youth, care providers, and more.

Maren is a co-founder of the Washington Nonviolent Communication Family Camp on Vashon Island and has been a core team member as well as the Youth Program coordinator since 2004. She also helped found other NVC family camps in D.C. and CA., organizing the structure of camp programming, implementing an immersive and family-oriented community program, as well as training her staff of up to 12 practitioners. She has worked for multiple co-housing and other communal groups, helping with training, mediation, team building, and skill integration, as well as facilitating countless hours of individual, couples, family, group, and one-on-one sessions over the last two decades.


Along with the above, Maren has spent most of three decades creating and running programs, educating, and supporting children, families, and practitioners in individuated, integrated, compassionate, holistic, community-oriented environments.

She also has 28 years of experience in attachment parenting.


Maren lives in Northern California, with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, consulting with communities and holistic schools nationally, and running her client practice, classes, and camps.

She is also a musician, primarily performing and touring with Honey of the Heart.

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The Tools I Love and Use

NVC (Nonviolent Communication, also known as Compassionate Communication

Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC, also called Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication[1][2]) is an approach to nonviolent living developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s.[3] It is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence or behavior that harms themselves and others when they do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs.[4] Habits of thinking and speaking that lead to the use of violence (social, psychological, and physical) are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behavior stems from attempts to meet universal human needs and that these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes that people identify shared needs, revealed by the thoughts and feelings that surround these needs, and collaborate to develop strategies that meet them. This creates both harmony and learning for future cooperation.[5]

NVC supports change on three interconnected levels: with self, with others, and with groups and social systems. As such it is particularly present in the areas of personal development, relationships, and social change. NVC is ostensibly taught as a process of interpersonal communication designed to improve compassionate connection to others. However, due to its far-reaching impact it has also been interpreted as a spiritual practice, a set of values, a parenting technique, a method of social change, a mediation tool, an educational orientation, and a worldview.



NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming/Processing)

“Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a wonderfully rich mix of perspectives and perceptual and behavioral skills and tools for personal development and enhanced interactions with others.


NLP is about the ability to discover, understand, and change our own and others’ processes of decision-making, communication, motivation, and learning—simply, elegantly, effectively.

NLP is a model for understanding and working with human behavior. NLP has the ability to get direct access to our internal maps of reality (how we have our life experience represented in our minds) and to shift them, to re-assemble the connections, to update them, and to correct mistaken representations, so that our life experience reflects more of what we want—personally, in our relationships, and on the job.

NLP’s ultimate objective is to contribute to increased choice leading to more fulfilling lives. Put another way, NLP’s ultimate objective is to assist you to change your mind about what is possible for you.


The Name
While the name is awkward—and some object to the word “programming”—it is nonetheless descriptive.

Neuro refers to the brain and neural pathways of the human organism through which our experience is processed via our five senses (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory).

Linguistic is about the content that moves across and along these pathways. It is about the language and nonverbal communication systems through which our neural representations are coded, ordered, and given meaning. These include: pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes, smells, and words.

Programming is the way the content is directed, sequenced, and connected by each of us to produce the thinking patterns and behaviors that are our experience of life. Training in NLP provides the ability to discover, utilize, and change these programs to assist us to have new experiences in life that are more satisfying, fulfilling, and enjoyable.

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