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Irmtraud Kauschat portrait

Irmtraud Kauschat

Peace is possible
Germany
Speaks English, German
Certified Trainer since 2006
Assessor - Accepting new candidates
"My dream is to live in a world where everybody’s needs matter, and we connect with each other as human beings with the same needs all over the world. I am a member of the NVC community where we walk our talk with joy. It is important for me to support people living in economically less privileged countries to gain access to NVC. Mein Traum ist in einer Welt zu leben, in der die Bedürfnisse aller wichtig sind, in der wir uns gegenseitig als Menschen mit den selben Bedürfnissen auf der ganzen Welt sehen. Ich bin ein Mitglied der GFK Gemeinschaft in der wir GFK mit Freude leben. Mit ist wichtig, dass Menschen, die in ökonomisch weniger privilegierten Ländern Leben, Zugang zur GFK zu ermöglichn."

I got to know NVC 1994 during a peace camp for youth from eastern and western Europe including Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. During that time there was war between these countries, so I expected fights between the youths. Instead, they were sitting around a bonfire, singing and dancing. When I asked how this could happen, I was told they came with trainers for Nonviolent Communication. I found this inspiring and after coming back home a NVC training in a neighboring town “found me.”

I grew up in post-war Germany with guilt and shame about our history. NVC supported me to differentiate between guilt/shame and responsibility. Out of this responsibility and being inspired by Marshall’s work I chose to share NVC in regions of conflict like Israel/Palestine, Kenya, Ukraine, and Somalia to support reconciliation and social change. It is important for me to contribute to a world where everybody’s needs matter, get to know about the advantages/privileges I have and be curious about how I can use them in collaboration with people who have less access to resources.

Peace is a topic for me since my childhood when I saw ruins in Frankfurt/Main after WWII and witnessed the broadcasting of the Auschwitz process in Frankfurt in my teenage years. I was confused getting to know that the same people who killed Jewish children and parents were described as caring parents. My passion is to contribute to reconciliation, mediation, peace building, and social change. I love supporting people in sharing NVC and social change – especially women getting a voice in patriarchal societies. When I got to know NVC I worked as a medical doctor (in a private practice with Chinese Medicine). NVC helped me in caring for myself and listening with empathy to people who came to my practice.


After my certification in 2006, I started to give more NVC training. In 2007 I began my journey to share NVC in different countries.
When I heard Marshall talk about his experiences in Israel/Palestine I was enthusiastic about the impact of NVC on people’s lives. My vision was to contribute to peacebuilding in a similar way. It has come true. In 2007 people from Kenya invited me for a training on Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria. Since then, I have been in Kenya every year but 2020 and 2021 because of Corona. I had a chance to facilitate reconciliation meetings with introduction to NVC between different ethnic groups after the post-election violence following the presidential elections in 2007 and with internally displaced people. With this, those affected were able to perceive the members of the other ethnic group as human beings and not as enemies. The meetings contributed to a peaceful coexistence.

From 2011 to 2015, I and Kenyan friends introduced NVC and facilitated reconciliation meetings with members of two ethnic groups (Rendille and Borana) who had been fighting each other for over 20 years. We started with the elders, in 2012 with young warriors, the main actors of violence, in 2013 with widows who incited revenge to violence, then again with young warriors and local administration police. After the meeting with the elders the violence decreased, after the meeting with the young warriors they ended the armed conflicts. The training did not only stop the intertribal war, it also supported social change: the elders started to talk with the women and youths, which was not part of their culture. The women are still meeting with each other.

With deep gratitude I was part of an international trainer-team that held 9-day seminars for Israelis, Palestinians, and international participants for 4 years. This was also a healing journey for me. The invitations to share NVC in Ukraine from 2015, the warm welcome with which I was received despite the atrocities the generation of my parents had committed there during WWII was also part of my healing journey. When I went back this year (2023) I often heard from participants an appreciation that I came despite the ongoing war. I told them that they also live there, so, why would it be so special for me to come. The answer was: “That is our country.” Yes, it is their country, and isn’t this at the same time OUR ONE EARTH?

Another country where I learnt much while sharing NVC is Somalia. I went first in 2018 for an UN-project about Restorative Justice. I trained elders, religious leaders (Islam) and women leaders und understood that they have a traditional and Sharia-related justice system that has systemic components. During the training period they added empathic listening to both authors and receivers of violence, especially listening to women directly instead them being represented by male relatives. We had separate sessions for the male and female participants and joint meetings. During this training (2 years) men started to talk to women, included them in working on cases where women were involved, and even support women now to abolish FGM, and early and forced marriage. Women became more self-confident and started to mediate especially in conflicts of domestic violence on their own.

I enjoyed contributing to the building of an African English speaking NVC network by giving training and sharing my experience in building organizations. I also enjoy supporting spreading NVC in African and European countries by serving as an Assessor. I have published the following books:

  1. Das große Praxisbuch zum wertschätzenden Miteinander - 101 Übungen zur Inspiration Ihrer Seminare und Gruppen auf Basis der Gewaltfreien Kommunikation. 52 x ICH - Praxisbuch zum wertschätzenden Umgang mit mir selbst auf Basis der Gewaltfreien
  2. Art of Appreciative Communication. 101 Exercises to inspire your seminars and groups based on Nonviolent Communication
  3. "Stepping Stones to Peace" about NVC related to the experiences of people in Kenya and Somalia, which also has been translated into Somali and published by UNDP as a handout to the Somali participants.

Contact me using the form below to inquire or order any of these books

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TRAINING FOCUS:

  • Business
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Counseling & Coaching
  • Education
  • Mind-Body-Spirit
  • Parenting & Family
  • Social Change
I enjoy contributing to healing, reconciliation and self-empowerment, being it on a personal or interpersonal level. This happens with offering intensive trainings as well a with mediation for example between warring tribes in Kenya. Ich freue mich, wenn ich zur Heilung, Versöhnung und Selbst-Ermächtigung beitragen kann, sei es auf persönlicher Ebene, sei es auf zwischenmenschlicher Ebene. Dazu tragen Intensiv-Trainings ebenso bei wie Mediation zwischen sich bekämpfenden Stämmen in Kenia.

Contact Irmtraud Kauschat