The Relational Turn

The Relational Turn LogoThe first week of June 2013, join us at Esalen for The Relational Turn, a conference on the practice of sustainability organized by The Relational Center. We lead two workshops:

Sustainable Parenting – What would a world that supports parents and respects children look like? How do we shift from a paradigm of control and isolation to one of trust and support? And how do we maintain that shift in the face of a dominant culture that gives harsh messages of how children and parents “should” behave? Join us to share your challenges, explore sustainable approaches to connected parenting, and collectively create visions for the future.

Theatre of the Oppressed – Developed by Brazilian writer and director Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) is a set of ethics and techniques that use theatre to address both individual and community transformation as interrelated and interdependent processes. Using T.O., participants will get the opportunity to explore, confront, and embody change in their communities. As Boal writes, “Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.” No experience necessary!

Embodied Empathy at Changing the Paradigm

Empathy Demo

We led our Embodied Empathy workshop at Echo Parenting & Education‘s Changing the Paradigm Conference in March 2013.

Workshop Description: Join us to witness and practice empathy so that you can return to your daily life confident in using the healing power of unconditional listening. A key element of trauma-informed and nonviolent practices, empathy is sometimes challenging to apply, as it is often approached from an intellectual standpoint. This participatory workshop offers you an embodied experience of connecting with an unguarded heart.

Holding Space Exercise

Participants practice literally holding space for one another.

Certified through Echo Parenting and Education, Andrei Andreev and Julianne Gale have been learning, practicing, and teaching connected communication techniques and embodied emotional processing since 2006.

TRANSformation 2012

one-day workshop offers practical tools for conflict resolution and emotional resilience for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their parents, partners, and other close friends/family

In collaboration with the L.A. Gender Center, the Empathy School presents:
Compassionate Self-Care on the Journey of TRANSformation

When: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, 2012
Where: APAIT, 1730 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015 (map)
Cost: $25 by October 1, $30 by October 15, $35 at the door
No one turned away for lack of funds. Please specify on your registration if you need disability accommodations or a scholarship.

Drawing upon practices of embodied emotional processing and Nonviolent Communication, this one-day workshop offers a powerful new perspective opening a door to a kinder journey — more human, more connected, more possible.

At this mini retreat, we offer practical tools for conflict resolution and emotional resilience for trans and gender non-conforming folks,* as well as their parents, partners, and close friends/family.

Bring a sack lunch and a snack to share, and come learn ways to heal from old hurts and transform shame into self-compassion, all the while staying connected with yourself!

Questions? Please contact us or find us on Facebook.

*When we say “trans and gender non-conforming,” we include people who may identify as transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, two-spirit, questioning, and more. People at any stage of their journey are welcome, including those who choose not to transition, those who transitioned decades ago, and those who are just beginning to start down the path of their chosen gender.


Andrei Andreev
is a photographer, dancer, and parent educator. Certified through Echo Parenting & Education, Andrei has presented workshops locally and abroad. He has been studying, practicing, and teaching alternative forms of communication and embodiment since 2005.

Julianne Gale is a genderqueer dancer, educator, and cultural fieldworker. Julianne has facilitated communication and social justice workshops with a variety of organizations, including Gender Justice LA; youTHink; and The Multicultural Center at California State University, Dominguez Hills. A credentialed teacher and certified nonviolent parent educator, Julianne received an M.A. in Applied Theatre Arts from USC in 2011.

Andrei and Julianne are passionate about collaborating with people to co-create the kind of world we want to live in.

Take the Tangle Out of Tango

We invite you to a brief workshop addressing common challenges which come up in the process of learning Tango and working in partnerships. Drawing upon practices of embodied emotional processing and Nonviolent Communication, this workshop engages the mind, the heart, and the body. You will learn simple approaches to providing feedback in an efficient, yet connected way, including methods for facing harsh self-criticism and frustration. If time permits, we will look at real-life situations based on your experiences.
(Originally presented at Oxygen Tango.)

Empathy Series: Connected Communication for Everyone

Connected Communication for Everyone (RakSa)
This workshop was originally taught at RakSa, a space for healing through transformative education, movement awareness, and holistic medicines. Contact us if you would like to bring this workshop to your organization or local community group.


An embodied approach to navigating life and relationships
In this series of three workshops, you will have the opportunity to redefine your relationships in ways that allow you to co-create with authenticity, joy, and compassion. Drawing upon practices of embodied emotional processing and Nonviolent Communication, we will explore conflict as a source of intimacy in all types of human relationships. These playful classes will offer both practical tools and a powerful theory that can be applied to a lifetime of possibilities.

Session One: Discovery: January 21, 2012
Connected communication begins with learning to distinguish between observations and judgments. In this workshop, we will look at assumptions and how they influence our thoughts, reactions, and behavior. Through play and investigation, we will expose the underlying narratives driving our lives and rewrite those stories with compassion. We will lay the foundation for taking responsibility for our own reality on a practical level.

Session Two: Understanding: February 18, 2012
We will investigate the underlying causes of our patterns and behaviors and gain deeper understanding for the driving forces behind our actions. Shifting from a paradigm of blame to one of exploration, we will explore the power of self-forgiveness and guilt-free learning from mistakes.

Session Three: Creation: March 17, 2012
This session focuses on applying connected communication to the art of relationships. We will work on offering feedback and making requests in a way that fosters honesty and collaboration. We will find the power of play in creating the life we love and true freedom of choice, allowing us to say “yes” or “no” without fear.



The Power of Vulnerability

In this touching TED talk, Brené Brown shares her research on vulnerability, reminding us of the value of being authentic, human, alive.

Brené speaks of the core emotional issues of our culture and leaves us with “believe that you are enough.” Which is easy to say but not so easy to do, very much like “believe that you are beautiful.”

In our workshops, we address cultural messaging layers and beliefs in a very practical manner. Knowing that the messages in our environment are often far from healthy, we offer our students the tools and understanding to continue the work in their daily lives.

In other words, even though you know you are the one, the matrix can still get you… but we got your back!