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PHONE      1.855.EMPATHY or 1.855.367.2849
  EMAIL       marina [at] shamelessheart [dot] com


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Gainesville, FL

1 (855) EMPATHY

Life and communication coaching for women.


I'm here to serve.

Please note that even though Marina is a mental health provider in the state of Florida, her coaching practice is distinct from therapy, and is not a substitute for assistance from a trained mental health professional or doctor.

Hi, I'm Marina...

...and I'm here to launch a love bomb on the epidemic of shame in our world.  

Photo: Alyson Larson

Photo: Alyson Larson

I am utterly committed to our evolution through the composting of shame into radical self-love, and the creation of a world where we no longer have to hide who we are, but rather, where our bare-bone, authentic, undefended selves are welcomed out of the closet.  A world where the fullness and messiness of our imperfect humanity are savored, and where we can reclaim our right to love.... without pecking orders, without permission slips, without perfection... just our raw and simple hearts, burning wide open.  

I bring a decade of training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and coaching to my work with women, couples, and families.  I currently serve as a co-founder of Gainesville Nonviolent Communication (GNVC), as well as a collaborative trainer with Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC), with a specialty in using NVC to support women's growth and empowerment in all their relationships.

When you work with me, our time together is sacred.  I bring my fully human self, not just my coach self to our sessions, a fervent desire to support you in the unique timing and form of your unfolding, and permission to give voice to whatever is real for you, no matter how "ugly" or "shameful" it seems.  I hold what is real in you as our more trustworthy guide for our work together, and will be your ally and guide in unearthing the truth in your bones that is calling you home.

My home base is in Gainesville, Florida, where I relocated in December of 2016, though I continue to offer my coaching services by Skype to shameless hearts around the world.


In my mid-twenties, I graduated from law school and immediately sought work in the field of employment law, representing Latino immigrant workers whose basic rights were routinely violated.  I loved and cared about my clients, but found the actual experience of practicing law to be in opposition to my values of humility, truth-telling, and compassion.  Indeed, I wanted everyone's humanity to be seen and acknowledged, even that of the "enemy" who so often, for reasons both personal, cultural, and structural, contributed to the inhumane treatment of their employees.   

In the end, I left the law to pursue another form of healing and reconciliation, finding Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to be a trustworthy path to creating a world where, truly, everyone's needs matter.

Since early 2011, I've been offering Nonviolent Communication practice groups, workshops, and coaching to those finding themselves broken-hearted and wary, conflict-ridden and bereft, seeking in so many ways to find their way home, and a gentle hand to hold along the way.

A world where everyone's needs matter

I have a particular love for the application of NVC to anti-oppression work, and firmly believe that the liberation of those most oppressed is the underpinning of the liberation of the most privileged as well.  I welcome clients to bring their whole selves to this work - whether in terms of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, culture, or other identities - and welcome awareness of how systems of privilege and oppression can make it more difficult to connect with and/or access our essential human needs. I welcome the opportunity to work with all self-identified women, including queer women and women of color, as well as all self-identified women seeking to bring their contribution to making their communities - and this planet - a more just, sustainable, welcoming home for all of life.

Honoring my elders

My work draws upon the wisdom of many who have gone before, and who continue to generate phenomenal work in this world.  Their dedicated efforts have been essential to guiding this heart and helping me to hone my craft.  

My teachers include the faculty of the Hakomi Institute of California (2015-16), Steve Bearman of Interchange Counseling Institute (2012-13), NVC trainers John Kinyon and Ike Lasater of Mediate Your Life (2010-11); Jim and Jori Manske of Compassionate Leadership (2010); Lynda Smith of the BayNVC Immersion Program (2008); John Kinyon in his earlier incarnation as NVC practice group leader (2005-06); and Marshall Rosenberg himself, the founder of Nonviolent Communication way back in the 1960s, and whose teachings have given birth to countless miracles of compassionate reconciliation for thousands upon thousands of people around our planet.  

In addition, my mentors in the realm of NVC and anti-oppression work include Alicia Garcia, Edmundo Norte, Kristin Masters, Nancy Kahn, and Roxy Manning.

Lastly, I am forever indebted to Jeannie Zandi, wise woman, embodied guru, and my wild-hearted spiritual teacher, who has allowed me to remember deep in my bones what it means to Live as Love.


I particularly dig this description by its founder, Marshall Rosenberg:

“I would like us to create peace at three levels and have each of us to know how to do it. First, within ourselves. That is to know how we can be peaceful with ourselves when we're less than perfect, for example. How we can learn from our limitations without blaming and punishing our self. If we can't do that, I'm not too optimistic how we're going to relate peacefully out in the world. Second, between people. Nonviolent Communication training shows people how to create peace within themselves and at the same time how to create connections with other people that allows compassionate giving to take place naturally. And third, in our social systems. To look out at the structures that we've created, the governmental structures and other structures, and to look at whether they support peaceful connections between us and if not, to transform those structures." ~ Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication

Shameless lawyering

My partner Itzel Berrio and I are also co-founders of WiseHeart Lawyering, offering continuing legal education to attorneys in the art of empathic client representation.  Attorneys interested in how Nonviolent Communication can assist their practice can find us at: