Empathetical listening, Honest expressing

Véronique Bornet

Nonviolent communication. Compassion and honesty.
What more could one wish for the world?

The process of nonviolent communication (NVC) developed by Marshall B. Rosenberg promotes peaceful talk by excluding moralistic jugements, blame and violence from our language. It includes the understanding and expression of our own feelings, as well as the recognition and expression of our deeper needs, and those of others.
As physiotherapists, we are highly aware of the impact of communication on therapeutic alliance, problem solving and treatment outcomes. Deepening our knowledge and skills in the field of communication can help us being more successful in our mission as health promoters, and gives us tools for personal development, leading to satisfaction and well-being at work and in life.

Here are few tips for you to experiment NVC procedures. They are in line with the Maitland concept.

Separate observation - what we see, hear and touch - from evaluation.
* Re-play challenging moments like if they were video recordings, free of personal judgement. Then analyse your feelings, needs and requests in relation to the experience. Learn from it.
Identify and express feelings and emotional states.
* Remember there are no negative feelings, but comfortable and uncomfortable ones. All emotions are useful and their physical expression is healthy (Latin origin emovere: to move out, remove, agitate). Get familiar your own feelings, encourage patients to express them.
Judgements, criticisms and interpretations of others are alienated expressions of our needs.
*When our own needs are not fulfilled, we are accustomed to think that there is something wrong with other people. Teach your patient to think in terms of need and to express them.
Be conscious of the requests when speaking or listening.
* Help your patients identify what they want and express clear conscious requests. Then it will be more likely that their needs could be met. Reflect back to them, ensuring you understood them right. Define objectives and create a relation based on honesty and empathy.

Have a go… Try to analyse and apply these four steps in your verbal communication, both while receiving messages sent by your patients, colleagues or relatives and while expressing your thoughts. Keep in mind that when you analyse others, you are actually expressing your own needs and values, that classifying and judging people promotes violence, and that comparisons are a form of judgement. These thoughts are cornerstones of NVC. So let’s do our best to listen attentively and talk wisely.

“What You Say Next Will Change Your World”.


IMTA Teacher

- Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, Marshall B. Rosenberg, 2015
- Speak peace in a world of conflict : what you say next will change your world, Marshall B. Rosenberg, 2019
- Cessez d'être gentil, soyez vrai ! Être avec les autres en restant soi-même, Thomas d’Ansembourg, 2013

#communication #NVC #nonviolent communication #CNV #therapeutic alliance  #aims of the patient #observation #evaluation #feelings and emotion #needs and requests

Back to blog overview


You are logged in as {{user.name}}
{{ comment.length }} / 2000
  • {{ error[0] }}

Maitland News

Stay at the forefront of evidence-based care in physiotherapy! Subscribe to our Maitland® Concept newsletter for exclusive insights into advanced neuromusculoskeletal treatment and management strategies. Elevate your practice, enhance patient outcomes, and stay ahead in the pursuit of excellence.

Spinal Fractures.
Serious or not?

Be part of an exciting Webinar with the international top speaker Laura Finucane on February 7th 2024 at 20:00 CET in the live session or watch it later as a eplay.

Teacher Name

Add Your Heading Text Here

Add Your Heading Text Here

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Consent Management Platform by Real Cookie Banner