Two years ago my husband Cris and I were about to break up. We contracted Toni for a three and a half day intensive session. She taught us the basics of Non Violent Communication and then helped us use that framework to address issues that had seemed insurmountable prior to the session.
The most important thing Toni did for us was to help us work in partnership to resolve our issues and to avoid us blaming each other for the dysfunction. She encouraged us to both take responsibility for our emotional reactions. Her ability to remain neutral in our issues, but still connect fully with each of us was inspiring.
Toni also taught us how to sit in a position of empathy, listening fully and showing that we had heard the other person’s feelings and needs. This is such a valuable skill to have learnt, because so much dysfunction stems from each person not feeling heard.
Toni is incredibly perceptive and notices subtleties in language, facial expression and posture that are very important for resolving issues. She sometimes picked up on things that we might be feeling before we were aware of them.
Toni’s gentle, perceptive manner enabled us to both be completely honest and to show where we were most vulnerable. She was expert at gently keeping us focussed on the relevant topic, and making sure we took responsibility with our use of language, not resorting to any blaming, name calling or personal evaluations that would undermine what we were trying to achieve.
I can confidently say that without Toni’s exceptional skill and care we would not have stayed together as we did not have the skill to navigate the complicated situation we found ourselves in. She saved our marriage and taught us enough skills that we are able to resolve things ourselves now, in a quiet, more connected way.