Marshall Rosenberg

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Marshall B. Rosenberg
Rosenberg lecturing in Nonviolent Communication workshop, Neve Shalom ~ Wahat al-Salam, Israel (1990)
Born (1934-10-06) October 6, 1934 (age 80)
Canton, Ohio, United States
Residence Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison (Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology in 1961)
Occupation Psychologist
Known for Nonviolent Communication

Marshall Rosenberg (born October 6, 1934) is an American psychologist and the creator of Nonviolent Communication, a communication process that helps people to exchange the information necessary to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully. He is the founder and former Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization.


Rosenberg was born in Canton, Ohio. His parents; Jean (Weiner) Rosenberg and Fred Rosenberg, moved to Detroit, Michigan one week prior to the race riots of 1943. He graduated from Cooley High School in Detroit.

In 1961, Rosenberg received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he studied under Carl Rogers[1] and in 1966 was awarded Diplomate status in clinical psychology from the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Center for Nonviolent Communication's office is located.


While Rosenberg is most well known for his work with conflict resolution through his system of "life-serving" Nonviolent Communication (NVC), he has also made education reform a major component of his work.

Building on the ideas of Carl Rogers, Neil Postman, Riane Eisler, Walter Wink, and others, Rosenberg's contribution to this field involves reforming schools into "Life-Enriching" organizations, with the following characteristics:[2]

  • The people are empathically connected to what each is feeling and needing—-they do not blame themselves or let judgments implying wrongness obscure this connection to each other.
  • The people are aware of the interdependent nature of their relationships and value the others’ needs being fulfilled equally to their own needs being fulfilled—-they know that their needs cannot be met at someone else’s expense.
  • The people take care of themselves and each other with the sole intention of enriching their lives—they are not motivated by, nor do they use coercion in the form of guilt, shame, duty, obligation, fear of punishment, or hope for extrinsic rewards.

The goals of such schools being

  • make life more wonderful
  • get everyone's needs met
  • connect with self and others
  • motivate through the joy of natural giving, i.e., contributing to the well-being of others
  • learning how to receive freely from others

This is in contrast with traditional "domination culture" schools which

Rosenberg borrows the phrase "Dominator Culture" from Riane Eisler and builds upon Walter Wink's theory that we have lived under a domination-culture paradigm for about 8,000 years. Rosenberg says this culture utilizes a specialized language and system of education to allow a small minority to rule over the vast majority of the people, so that the majority is not serving their own life-needs, but serving their masters'.[4]


The Center for Nonviolent Communication emerged from work Rosenberg was doing with civil rights activists in the early 1960s. During this period he provided mediation and communication skills training to communities working to desegregate schools and other public institutions.

He worked with educators, managers, mental health and health care providers, lawyers, military officers, prisoners, police and prison officials, clergy, government officials and individual families.

He is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Coalition for the Decade for the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence (2001–2010)

As of 2004:


According to Albert Ellis, Ted Crawford, who wrote a book Making Intimate Connections with Ellis, "particularly liked the anger-resisting philosophy of Marshall Rosenberg and made presentations on it."[5]



  • (2012) Living Nonviolent Communication: Practical Tools to Connect and Communicate Skillfully in Every Situation. (288 pages; compilation of prior short works) Sounds True. ISBN 978-1604077872
  • (2005) Being Me, Loving You: A Practical Guide to Extraordinary Relationships. (80 pages) ISBN 978-1892005168
  • (2005) Practical Spirituality: The Spiritual Basis of Nonviolent Communication. (32 pages) ISBN 978-1892005144
  • (2005) Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World. (240 pages) Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press. ISBN 1-892005-17-4
  • (2005) The Surprising Purpose of Anger: Beyond Anger Management: Finding the Gift. (48 pages) ISBN 978-1892005151
  • (2004) Getting Past the Pain Between Us: Healing and Reconciliation Without Compromise. (48 pages) ISBN 978-1892005076
  • (2004) The Heart of Social Change: How to Make a Difference in Your World. (45 pages) ISBN 978-1892005106
  • (2004) Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way. (48 pages) ISBN 978-1892005090
  • (2004) Teaching Children Compassionately: How Students and Teachers Can Succeed with Mutual Understanding (41 pages) ISBN 978-1892005113
  • (2004) We Can Work It Out: Resolving Conflicts Peacefully and Powerfully. (32 pages) ISBN 978-1892005120
  • (2003) Life-Enriching Education: NVC Helps Schools Improve Performance, Reduce Conflict and Enhance Relationships. (192 pages) Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press. ISBN 1-892005-05-0
  • (2003) Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. (222 pages) Second Edition. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press. ISBN 1-892005-03-4
  • (1986) Duck Tales and Jackal Taming Hints. Booklet. (Out of Print)
  • (1983) A Model for Nonviolent Communication. (35 pages) Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers. ISBN 0865710295
  • (1973) Mutual Education: Toward Autonomy and Interdependence. Bernie Straub Publishing Co. (Out of Print) ISBN 0-87562-040-X
  • (1968) Diagnostic Teaching Special Child Publications (Out of Print) ISBN 0-87562-013-2


  1. ^ Rosenberg, Marshall B. (1983). A Model for Nonviolent Communication. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers. ISBN 0865710295. 
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Marshall B., Life-Enriching Education, 2003, Puddle Dancer Press
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Marshall B., Life-Enriching Education, 2003, Puddle Dancer Press
  4. ^ Rosenberg, Marshall. "Nonviolent Communication - San Francisco Workshop - Marshall Rosenberg". YouTube. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Joffe-Ellis, Albert Ellis with Debbie (2010). All out! : an autobiography. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. p. 472. ISBN 9781591024521. 

2. Life History Studies of Committed Lives, Vol. 3, Chapter 7, Marshall Rosenberg. Witty, Marjorie C. 1990 UMI Dissertation Information Service, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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