My name is LaShelle Lowe-Chardé. I am passionate about helping people learn practical skills to access personal transformation and create thriving relationships.
This passion started with my family of origin. It was as rich with love as it was with loud arguments, explosions of anger, fear, and chaos. Growing up with a heart full of love and a mind wrought with confusion, I was highly motivated to find clarity and create the life of beauty and joy I knew was possible.
Ever since I can remember I have devoted myself to this search for clarity. At age six I had a vision of living in a monastery. At age eleven I started reading books on the life of the Buddha, the New Testament, the teachings of Don Juan, quantum physics, and whatever else I could find.
This quest continued through adolescence and young adulthood and led to a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a graduate degree in school psychology (Ed.S.). I then began work in public schools as a school psychologist. In addition to nine years in public schools, I spent several years facilitating group healing work for adolescent youth labeled “at-risk”. During that same time I led leadership and teamwork trainings for businesses and organizations around Portland.
Along the way I found Compassionate/Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and began training with Marshall Rosenberg and other internationally known NVC trainers. I immediately knew that Compassionate Communication was the missing piece. It offers a deep and broad yet simple understanding of human nature along with a concrete set of tools to help us act and live from a place of clarity and compassion. For me Compassionate Communication is the hands and feet of spirituality. In 2006, I was certified as a NVC trainer.
In 2002 I realized that my work in the schools and with youth had reached its end. I left my position as school psychologist and spent a year living in Great Vow Zen Monestary. Here I was able to do much healing work and deeply integrate NVC into my internal dialogue. Now the inner voice of compassion arises as habitually as the old voices and of self-criticism and judgment did in the past. I have continued a dedicated practice to meditation and mindfulness at Dharma Rain Zen Center where I am an active member today and my husband is the abbot.
Upon leaving the monestary in 2003, I began teaching and training full time. I founded Wise Heart in 2007 and pursued three years of training with M.E.T.A. - Mindful Experiential Therapeutic Approaches. Training with M.E.T.A. included a primary focus on Hakomi (body centered therapy) and shorter trainings on dynamics of attachment, trauma modalities, Recreation of the Self, group process, and character theory. Shortly thereafter, I completed introductory trainings in Emotionally Focused Therapy and with the Gottman Institute.
Over 20 years of training and experience have led to the articulation of a system that integrates Mindfulness, Hakomi, and NVC called Mindful Compassionate Dialogue. I am enormously grateful to the very many teachers and mentors I have had along the way and the enormous work others have done over many decades that have served our understanding of what it means to heal and live a fulfilling life.
I currently live and work in Portland, Oregon. I feel continually blessed to be living in the great northwest where the lushness of nature is all around. I am happily supported here by my partner and loving community of friends and colleagues.
My name is David Zimmerman. I use he/him pronouns. I am passionate about helping people discover and work with the barriers that get in the way of expressing their inner worlds. It is from this place that deep connection is possible. I came from a family and culture that valued certain types of emotional expression over others. This resulted in a tendency to present myself in ways that ignored parts of my experience in favor of what I thought might be accepted. Being in this world where love was conditional on how I showed up made it difficult to know where I ended and where the shroud began. I didn’t know what my feelings were and I was angry about not getting my needs met even though I didn’t know what they were and was not able to articulate them. I was longing for a deeper sense of connection to myself and others.
I began my own healing path through nutrition based wellness and holistic approaches to mental health. The introduction of the framework of Mindful Compassionate Dialogue (MCD) changed my life. I finally had something concrete that I could use to access pieces of myself that had seemed unreachable for so long. This simple and approachable framework helped usher in a new era of self-responsibility and connection. The incorporation of the communication template of NVC, principles of body-centered therapy and the practice mindfulness into my life has provided the tools needed to take charge of my own healing process and connect with my internal landscape. These tools allowed me, for the first time, to connect with my agency to seek out and to cultivate the types of relationships for which I had longed.
I feel grateful to work with Wise Heart. In addition to my work with MCD, I hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Portland State University. I am currently completing a Masters of Arts in Professional Mental Health Counseling at Lewis and Clark College, as well as a two year comprehensive training in body-centered therapies at Mindful Experiential Therapeutic Approaches here in Portland, Oregon.
As operations manager, I am responsible for logistics of current and future projects, in addition to managing behind-the-scenes daily operations to ensure optimal functioning of Wise Heart as a whole.
I feel blessed to be rooted in life here in the pacific northwest surrounded by good food, lovely people, depth of community and the cradle of support that my partner and our two cute canine companions provide.
My name is Sarah Zimmerman. I use she/her pronouns. I am passionate about helping people have greater connection to themselves and others so that they might find greater access to freedom and choice in each moment.
Toward the end of a long-term relationship, in an effort to salvage the relationship, I stumbled upon Nonviolent Communication, and shortly after learned Mindful Compassionate Dialogue through Wise Heart. I immediately had the sense that this framework had been a missing piece in my life. Mindful Compassionate Dialogue has profoundly changed my life. This clear framework has allowed me greater access to myself, and in that process has allowed me the choice to have deeper and more fulfilling connections with others in a way that I did not previously believe was possible.
In addition to having a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara, I am currently completing a Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Therapy at Lewis and Clark College, with a focus in sex therapy and addictions. I am also completing a two-year comprehensive training at Mindful Experiential Therapy Approaches, which includes training in Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy, Re-Creation of the Self, Primary Attachment Psychotherapy, and Experiential Trauma Psychotherapy.
I plan to specialize in working with couples.
As acting Project Manager, I oversee many of our long-term projects here at Wise Heart, and am currently leading development of a series of online courses for couples. I also attend Wise Heart workshops, and help support participants in getting the most out of exercises as a workshop assistant.
I feel grateful to live in close proximity to nature with my partner and two dogs, and to be a part of this special community.