Welcome to the website for Kelly Bryson MA, MFT.

Kelly Bryson MA, MFT is a licensed psychotherapist and authorized trainer for the international Center for Nonviolent Communication (a nonprofit organization).

You will find valuable information here about Nonviolent Communication (sm) including:
•   a way to order helpful books & compact discs
•   info about presentations or trainings for your business, church or organization
•   a calendar of local classes and presentations

There’s a lot of great content here presented with Kelly’s inspiring humor, wit, and wisdom. Here are just a few of the things you’ll find:

  • Kelly’s dynamic speaking topics geared toward improving organizational communication
  • info about his best selling book “Don’t Be Nice, Be Real. Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others.
  • an anthology Kelly contributed to: “The Marriage of Sex and Spirit: Relationship at the Heart of Conscious Evolution” (With Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, John Gray, has been voted “Best Health / Sexuality Book” in the Best Books 2006 National Book Awards.)
  • free original articles like “Don’t pay the Price of being Nice”
  • poems like “The Places you could go if you weren’t afraid of No”
  • list of organizations served
  • testimonials about his work
  • Kelly’s resume and biography.

Below is Kelly’s blog where you’ll find outstanding articles, songs, videos, and interviews.

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An open call for Interns

it-takes-a-village-300wBe part of an evolutionary tribe – time with Kelly & attendance of events. Potential growth and learning, speaking NVC in a team, doing/practicing Zegg forum & other modalities in a community based organization.

Possible team roles include:

• Social Media Coordinator – Want to spread word about transformative ideas & intriguing events? Have a knack for getting words on the page? Chat with Jeremy & flesh out outreach ideas to raise awareness of local opportunities for community & spread transformational ideas about meaning & passion for the life that we’re here to lead…

• Kelly is looking for an email ‘weeder’ – someone to review his inbox, sort and reply to simple inquiries & bring relevant messages to his attention. This can be done in trade for participation in event/workshops or private sessions.

Please email Jeremy if you’re interested in any of these opportunity or have other ideas and skills you’d like to contribute.

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German NVC Community Interviews Kelly Bryson on Community Building


• Questions: What led you to non-violent communication? Have you had a key experience on your way?

What led me to NVC was my own violent childhood and attempting to heal the scars.  In that attempt I was completing a Masters in Humanistic psychology when a group from our program was invited to attend a Humanistic Educators Conference where Marshall Rosenberg was presenting.  He invited a couple from the audience to work on stage with him and in a matter of 10 minutes had resolved a conflict the couple had been working on for years.  I was hooked.

• What exactly inspires you about non-violent communication? Continue reading

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My Interview on The Art Conscious Living

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Community’s Role in a Planetary Shift

Earth_Western_Hemisphere_transparent_backgroundThe ‘New Earth’ will come about through small groups of people coming together and dropping their egos. 

As the new consciousness emerges, some people will feel called upon to form groups that reflect the enlightened consciousness. These groups will not be collective egos. The individuals who make up these groups will have no need to define their identity through them. They no longer look to any form to define who they are. Even if the members that make up those groups are not totally free of ego yet, there will be enough awareness in them to recognize the ego in themselves or in others as soon as it appears. However, constant alertness is required since the ego will try to take over and reassert itself in any way it can. Dissolving the human ego by bringing it into the light of awareness – this will be one of the main purposes of these groups, whether they be enlightened businesses, charitable organizations, schools, or communities of people living together. Enlightened collectives will fulfill an important function in the arising of the new consciousness. Just as egoic collectives pull you into unconsciousness and suffering, the enlightened collective can be a vortex for consciousness that will accelerate the planetary shift.

Eckhart Tolle, pages 126-127 from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

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“Community as a Universal Way Of Living” – from the book The Sacred Matrix by Dieter Duhm

The original community of humans is not the family, but the tribe. The original community is the human vessel, into which all human life, including the family, is embedded. The community is a part of the Sacred Matrix. In it, the cosmic order connects with the social order. It is not bound to certain times or cultures, rather it is an integral part of our human social existence that lies beyond history. It could only be destroyed through violence, and it is only when we have found a full equivalent to the tribe that is aligned with our times, that we again can enter into full and wholesome relationships with each other.

ZEGG Community Event

ZEGG Community Event

Community is the universal organ that has experienced the greatest damage. It is a necessary part of the whole, which was destroyed worldwide. Everywhere, where people were abducted, enslaved or sold, communities were annihilated, thus destroying the life nerves of entire peoples. This process began with the Kurgan people’s invasion of Neolithic river settlements 7000 years ago. It continued as the Native American peoples of North America were annihilated by the European invaders during the 17th century, and we find it right up to the present day, when the last indigenous people on all continents are being driven out and destroyed in the name of commercial interests. The disappearance of human community left behind a bad wound in human civilization. It was through the destruction of community that humans lost their authentic morality and sense of responsibility. People were torn away from organic communities. Piece by piece, this also separated them from their own higher selves, from their higher knowledge, and from the higher orders of life. Community was and is the natural breeding ground for trust and solidarity. If this humus is missing, the uprooted human being becomes violent, evil, and ill.

Continue reading

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New Culture Center/Community House Starting Soon!

Move in date, July or August, 2013

“Long before there were families, there were tribes” 

says Dieter Duhm in his book “The Sacred Matrix”.

A group of us want to live together, probably in a house in Santa Cruz, and create a transparent, trusting, touching, transformational tribe where choice, awareness and self responsibility are valued as essential to each other’s growth.

Our home would be a soulful learning hub for teaching all sorts of “Tribal Technologies” like Nonviolent Communication, The Zegg Forum, Next Culture work, Improv, Dancing Free, Biodanza, Tantra, SoulFull Singing, Theater of the Oppressed, Qi Gong, etc – as well as your own individual gifts.

If you are interested, send a paragraph about yourself and your interest to sfbay.nc.events@gmail.com and we’ll send you the invite to our meeting. By the way, if you’d have a hard time hearing a no – declining your request to come – we ask that you don’t apply at this time.

This house/center would most likely be for from 4 to 22 people.  We will make our center sustainable by living new culture values and practices and offering our learning, healing energy, workshops, classes, individual sessions, etc.  Some of us are healers/teachers, others are computer promotional wizards, and behind the scenes people.  The intent is that we create our own field of support and consciousness and then invite others to step in to learn and grow with us.

Part of our process is finding a space in which to live. We’re looking for a large house or even a complex within Santa Cruz or Live Oak – or something nearby if it’s really awesome. Let us know if you know of a possibility, we would be most grateful for your networking support. Please send any leads you may have to Jeremy.

Spring Camp Group

We gathered to bless the land that Lupin has agreed to allow us to use.

Kelly is also inviting recommendations for professional/experienced organizers to help (possibly to hire) facilitate his own move from his current property over the next three months. Please email us your referrals.

We are also planning to put Kelly’s yurt, hot tub and RV at Lupin Lodge (see Lupin.org) and create a sort of Club House/beginning community there. Volunteers are needed to plan for and organize the moving of these things, especially the yurt. If you feel inspired to be on this team, please contact Greg.

There are cabins and yurts to rent at Lupin, too.

Both community spaces are inspired by the Zegg and Tamara Communities of Europe.

- Jeremy, Kate, Kelly & others who have contributed to this dream.

Quote from the book “The Sacred Matrix” by Dieter Duhm on community spaces:

We need a new concept of love, of universal, personal and sexual love.  We need a new freedom and a new order for our relationships, as well as new courage that liberates us from the lies that our culture is based on.  We also need an inner understanding about how to attain and retain joy.  “It is your spiritual duty to be happy,” said the Native American grandfather to his granddaughter Dhyani Ywahoo.  Joy is a high value in the cosmic hierarchy.  A new world that is worth living in will emerge from joy, not from fear.  We are therefore called upon to create both internal and external life spaces where life can flow freely without being blocked by fear and distrust.
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ZEGG’s Twelve Theses for a Nonviolent World

by Dieter Duhm, 1992

The worldwide violence against animals, children and nations demands a new concept of human civilization. The inner and outer crises are two aspects of the same problem–a problem that can only be understood or resolved if both aspects are considered. For several years, Project Meiga – Experiment for a Humane Earth – formed in Germany, has been working to form an international cooperative for a human existence free of fear and violence. The following 12 theses emphasize the direction of this effort. Continue reading

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Radio Interview on “It’s the Way of Love!”

Kelly was interviewed on the radio show, “It’s the Way of Love!”, on August 18, 2012. Below is an excerpt about supporting Occupy Monterey, using the Zegg Forum process to regain trust and connection after some trying times…

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It takes a village to raise a consciousness!

“Why can’t you just admit it! You were too projecting your judgments onto Jane! Weren’t you John!” said the head of Fred with bulging eyes and forehead veins.  At this John walks out of the room to never come back to this newly forming New Culture Community group again.  “No wait, he didn’t mean to hurt your feelings…” cried Jane down the hallway after him. Here we have a small but complete example of what Clinton Callahan calls “Low Drama” from his Next Culture trainings work. (See http://nextculturetrainings.org)  We have the victim John, the perpetrator Fred and the rescuer Jane unconsciously playing out their painful and destructive roles in what is called the Karpman Drama Triangle.

Fortunately this group had invited a New Culture Community trainer to help them grow their skills and consciousness for an upcoming weekend workshop.  These three people were not new to personal growth, in fact all three were what you might call workshop junkies.  I have known them all for many years and witnessed their struggles with people and power.  Unfortunately the way they communicated and reacted in these kinds of situations had not evolved much in my opinion.

Fred received a lot of priceless feedback thru the community building process called The Zegg Forum. (See http://languageofcompassion.com/about/zegg-forum/)  Fred got into the middle of the psychodramatic Zegg Forum process and did his best to express what was alive, authentic and true, but kept saying he felt stuck, and distant from the group and the only feeling word he  came up with was feeling “separate”.  After his “performance” others were invited to give him reflective mirrors (expressions, comments) about his piece.  I went into the middle of the circle and expressed my sadness that the only words Fred used to express himself were spatial images like “separate” or “distant”.  I spoke of my own frustration at not getting the sense of personal connection I wanted to feel with Fred at the being/emotional level.  (The facilitator and others expressed similar discomfort at not being able to feel Fred’s heart in his words, as he seemed to speak only from his head.)  I also expressed in words, sounds and movement what I thought was the elephant in the room, Fred’s sadness, loneliness, longing for connection to himself and the community.  Fred later thanked me for “not being nice” in my mirror to him as the honesty impacted him in a way that allowed him to access and deeply feel his sadness and thereby bridge a connection to himself and thereby to others.  (For a good book on this subject I recommend “Don’t be Nice, be Real” by Kelly Bryson MFT)

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Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and Sex, Love and Intimacy

Chip August: Welcome to “Sex, Love & Intimacy”, I am your host Chip August. Today’s show I’m talking to Kelly Bryson. Kelly’s quite an interesting guy, he’s a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in marriage family therapies. He’s a certified trainer for the Center for Nonviolent Communication. He’s the author a great book called “Don’t Be Nice, Be Real” and the subtitle is “Balancing Passion for Self With Compassion For Others” and he’s a contributor to a recent anthology I saw called “A Marriage of Sex and Spirit”. He’s really…all of that and a really interesting fellow and a nice guy. Hopefully, we’re going to be talking today about non-violent communication, sometimes called NVC, sometimes called Compassionate Communication. It’s a style of communication that I think…I’ve done some studies in and that a lot of people I know have done some work on and I think is sort of…in my mind is the technology for the 21st century on how to communicate without hurting, pushing away, being aggressive, being violent. It’s an extraordinary technique, so we’re going to be talking about NVC and Compassionate Communication. We’re also going to really take a look at ineffective and sometimes really tragic ways that people communicate and see if we can come up with some alternatives, and I’d like (I hope)  we’re going to talk a little bit about how to use this kind of communication in sex, in relationships, in all kinds of things that couples face. So, I’m looking forward to an interesting conversation with an interesting friend.
Kelly Bryson: I think as one of the major difficulties, major problems you can say, couples have is that when they’re in pain, instead of asking for understanding, they tell the other person what’s wrong with them. What they did, what they should have done and they usually do so in terms that are exaggerative or imply blame, or imply wrongness in some way. I say just what they did, but I do so in observational language. I don’t say “You left a mess in the bathroom”, I say “You left your clothes on the floor.” So just that is a big shift. One element that non-violent communication helps us with a lot is to train us to begin thinking in these terms, is how to have empathy, how to have not just mental reflectings, know how to have impactive sensing. How to feel into what’s going on energetically with the other person. This, I’ve been told, is what makes great lovers. And of course that never makes anybody feel safe and open… “Oh NOW I’m…I’ve been in denial! That’s where I’ve been, let me come out. Now I want to make myself vulnerable and naked and trust you now that you’ve called me those names.”
Chip August: Well behind every inhuman deed is a human need. I love that.
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