My Story

Stella Koukougianni

Stella holds a BA in Human Communication Studies (Speech & Language Therapy) from the university of Exeter / UK. In 2001 she created one of the first Special Education Centers for children with developmental delays and disorders in the West of Athens / Greece. She has since then, worked with children and parents, in multidisciplinary teams, for more that 18 years. Her scientific interest focuses on methods that support human communication and connection to ourselves and others.

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In her journey she has also been trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Pilates (Basi Pilates 500h), Τhai Massage (Ong’ s Thai Massage school Thailand), Yoga Nidra, Baby Massage (ΙΑΙΜ), Social Enterpreneurship (AUEB), Art of Hosting, Attachment Parenting (Attached at the Heart parent educator), Forest Schools and more.

In 2012 she has met and fallen in love with NonViolent Communication. Since then she has been devoted in studying and practicing NVC in her personal life and work with children and parents. In 2017 she enrolled as a certification candidate in the Official Training of the Center of NonViolent Communication (Center for NonViolent Communication, CNVC). During her training she has been travelling around Europe to train with world known trainers, students of Marshall Rosenberg and pioneers in developing and sharing NVC worldwide.

She is one of the first trainers’ trainer worldwide in NVC dancefloors, a method developed by Gina Lawrie and Bridget Belgrave which Stella has also translated in Greek

The last few years, she lives in Chania, Crete and works full time as a NonViolent Communication Trainer.

Choose Empathy

Choose Empathy cultivates communication and empathy skills and opens pathways towards deep human connection in our daily lives.

The program envisions and acts towards a world where the presence of empathy in our thinking , language and behavior will be what defines our relationships in groups, couples, parenting, education and professional life.

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Through various actions such as personal sessions, trainings, practice groups, collaborations as well as group facilitation and conflict mediation, Choose Empathy creates space so that we can experience and get to know all about empathy and connection towards ourselves and others.

The program’s main tool is NonViolent Communication, as it was developed by Dr Marshall Rosenberg and as it has been evolved by his students. At the same time, it takes a lot of knowledge and inspiration from Attachment Theory (John Bowlby) and Interpersonal Neurobiology (Dan Siegel).

NonViolent Communication

NonViolent Communication, as it has been developed by Marshall Rosenberg and as it evolves through current trainers is a method that supports human connection. NVC has many different aspects and various applications.

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Dr Rosenberg was a clinical psychologist with influences from his mentor Carl Rogers who was the father of Person-Centered Psychotherapy and a pioneer of matters around Empathy.

Dr Rosenberg preferred working with the community than doing clinical work and had developed a special interest in conflict resolution. Inspired by Gandhi, the movement of Non-Violence and in combination with his knowledge around human psychology, he created a practical method to support human connection through language and communication. His method reflected the consciousness of Non-Violence in simple practical steps.

Today, trainings on NonViolent Communication, worldwide, are based on basic principles and the consciousness of Non-Violence as well as on the steps one can follow in dialogue. NVC, more than a set of skills, is a way of living life, being with oneself and others and looking at the world.

NonViolent Communication is addressed to all humans who wish to work towards having flow, harmony, sustained depth in their connections, effective communication and relationships that are based on mutuality, respect and collaboration.

NVC can be an inner practice and a communication method that can support parents, teachers, couples, psychotherapists, groups, organizations etc.

Empathy & Communication

Empathy and communication go hand in hand. Empathy helps us understand another’s point of view and experiences that can be different to ours. Empathy means that we listen to understand even when we don’t agree with others. Low levels of empathy equal high levels of judgements, disagreements, misunderstandings and lack of communication.

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A modern way of living, which is often characterized by rush, tiredness and stress tends to lower our empathy levels, weakening our capacity for compassionate communication. Lack of empathic connection is reflected first within ourselves and then within our environment.

NonViolent Communication helps us reconnect with our feelings and needs, creating more space to understand and accept ourselves and others. We slowly learn to listen to our inner self, to say ‘no’ with more confidence and ‘yes’ when we truly mean it. We become more conscious, re-examine our priorities and redefine our lives. Relationships in which we experience more flow and communication, mean a more joyful life, less sickness, more happiness and space for creativity and social change.

NonViolent Communication can help us start a new life.


“Stella ‘s presence supported us to carry out difficult conversations and encouraged us to rethink the processes we use, the way we organise things and most importantly the way we communicate between us.”

“As journalists, we are often called to record the traumatic and difficult stories of other people. Stella has showed us the way to look after ourselves & our team in order to be able to stand by other people with empathy. “

“After our meetings with Stella we are more open to give and receive feedback between us.”

“With NonViolent Communication we learned not to fear or avoid conflicts.”