booming nonviolent communication courses

The pillars of NVC are the observation of facts, the expression of feelings, the identification of needs and the formulation of clear requests.

This is called “the experience of punishment”. Remember a punishment that marked you a lot as a child, try to remember the reasons why you were punished – sometimes it’s impossible –, the method used to punish you, and finally the emotions you felt. Then make an effort to imagine what the adult felt. What remains of this memory, years later? Most often a feeling of injustice, and almost always a tenacious impression of disproportion between the act and the sanction. This is what fifteen teachers and other National Education professionals are experimenting with during a training course in non-violent communication (CNV), organized by the Simone-Veil high school in Noisiel (Seine-et-Marne).

Of the 16 participants that day, 11 said they had suffered corporal punishment (slapping, spanking, etc.). The reasons for these punishments cast a chill: gossip, bad grades at school, being late… Things that are all quite banal. “It’s very violent. I feel helpless in the face of the discrepancy between acts and punishments,” says Lou Garcin, 23, a young PE teacher. In our group, we try to categorize the emotions of adults at the time of punishment, and the result is relentless. It’s 50 shades of anger: “angry”, “furious” Where ” out of it “. To sum up: the overwhelming majority of punishments that participants remember were given by adults who were neither calm nor rational.

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Throughout this course, which should last six days, experiences of this order will be analyzed. The goal: to deconstruct “eight thousand years” of binary thought supporting a system based on the “dominant and the dominated”, “good and evil”, “the normal and the abnormal”, “the true and the false”. Because the goal of NVC is “sociological” and no “psychological”, affirms from the start the trainer, Véronique Gaspard, a former intensive care nurse trained in non-violent communication for fifteen years. In recent years, CNV courses have multiplied in France, aimed at all types of public: social workers, caregivers, therapists, managers, teachers, parents… According to the AFFCNV, the association which brings together certified CNV trainers , 1,800 training sessions were organized last year, a figure that has doubled in five years.

natural goodness

Theorized by Doctor Marshall Rosenberg, a student of the American psychologist Carl Rogers and inspired by Gandhi, at the end of the 1960s, NVC originated in a childhood memory: in the early 1940s, Marshall Rosenberg grew up in Detroit (Michigan ), where racial tensions are high. One day back to school, when calm reigns, he is called a “dirty kike” when his teacher calls. At the exit, the two children at the origin of the insult beat him up. This event generates in him a double questioning: “How is it that we can cut ourselves off from our natural goodness to the point of adopting violent and aggressive behavior? And conversely, how do some individuals manage to stay in touch with this natural goodness even in the worst of circumstances? » wonders the doctor in Words are windows (or else they are walls) (La Découverte, reed. 2016).

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