Cordelia Addison

I am a certified trainer and mediator with The Center for Nonviolent Communication and have been learning NVC since 2010. NVC is the most powerful tool I know for creating ease and harmony with those around me. It is also the most powerful tool I know for mediating conflicts and creating peace. It is a life-long project for me to learn and embody this language of the heart and to share it across business sectors, schools, and in families in the Netherlands and around the world.

Here’s a little about my life:  I was born in Scotland and grew up in Michigan, the United States. In 1994, I moved to Amsterdam.  They say, “Good girls go to heaven and bad girls go to Amsterdam.”! I found out in a deep depression in India in 1995 that I had held the deep-seated belief  I was bad since I was 15, due to a trauma I experienced. From age 15 up until age 28 I struggled with self-destructive behaviour in many forms, including drug abuse, an eating disorder, unhealthy sexual behaviour among other things. It was a long road of healing and learning to self-love to get to where I am today.  In 1998 I started a deep healing journey through homeopathy, yoga, and body-oriented psychotherapy. Within a year of making big changes in my life, I had regained my energy and found work I enjoyed. I worked for 15 years giving in-company English language coaching and training throughout the Netherlands, with business people from all walks of life. After having my two sons in 2002 and 2004, I became a doula (birth support) and breath coach, which I did for 6 years, until the life-changing illness of my children’s father led me to make the decision to go back to teaching. I am eternally grateful that NVC landed on my path as it has shaped my relationships with my family of origin, children, partner, friends, and even strangers, and in all my working relationships with clients, students and colleagues. Its effect in my life has been emmensly supportive to continuing my growth on the path of self-love and compassionate living. 

Democratic school LIFE!

In 2015, I co-founded the democratic primary and secondary school LIFE! (Learning In a Free Environment). Frustrated by my children’s school experience, in 2013 we switched to democratic education, which is based on self-directed learning.

After long drives to a democratic school far from home, I decided to start a democratic school in the Amsterdam area—a heart-based school, based on the values of Nonviolent Communication. The Democratic School LIFE! has been running since 2015. In school year 2021-2022, we merged with the Guus Kieft School and moved location to Amsterdam Sloten.  Our new name is Democratic School Amsterdam.