Meet the Team

We envision a world where all people have easy access to safe spaces where they can grow, heal and be nourished by connection.

Our workshops, coaching and retreats incorporate the most powerful methodologies we have found to support individuals to heal their wounds from the past and awaken to the life force that flows through them.

Driven by a shared passion for empowering people to live from the heart, Sarah and Nic founded Compassionate Self.

With time, a few more wonderful souls joined in to support this transformative work.

Sarah Dekker & Nic Burnand
Internationally Certified NVC Trainers & Therapeutic Coaches

Sarah  Dekker is passionate about integrating Nonviolent Communication (NVC) with embodied spirituality. Her workshops offer ways to cultivate daily practices for living life fully and authentically, deeply grounded in compassion for one’s self and others.


Sarah’s interest in individual and collective trauma healing has had her exploring Dyad meditation, Internal Family Systems Therapy, Mondo Zen, Gender Equity & Reconciliation training, Breathwork & Trauma Release Systems, Enneagram and other modalities.​

Nicholas Burnand is a certified Nonviolent Communication trainer and therapeutic coach. Nic was born in South Africa and currently lives in Belgium. He has travelled the world, exploring different inner transformation, meditation and communication practices.


His passion is creating safe spaces to support people through deeply transformative inner journeys. He combines inner parts processes and mindfulness with NVC to form a powerful trio that support inner healing and personal growth.

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Jacqueline du Plessis

Community Building & Project Management

"I'm here to help create a better world. I work with companies who do the same."

At Compassionate Self, Jacqueline makes sure that things get done, brings strategic direction to our online work and marketing. She spearheads ideas on reaching new audiences with our work and how to nurture our community on their path of growth & healing.

You might well meet Jacqueline as our tech support in one of our webinars or retreats. 

And you might be surprised to discover her talents as a singer-songwriter. 


Sigrid Wilmsen

NVC Trainer & Facilitator of Life

“Shine from within”


Sigrid is here to let her light shine on people's hearts. In deep contact with her soul's journey, she loves to guide people to express themselves from the heart and to listen to their hearts. Then, they can come in contact with what life is all about: making it more wonderful!


She has a passion for exploring spirituality and other forms of communication than the ones we ‘know’.


Thanks to her two sons and in relationship with who & what surrounds her, she dives deep into integrating Nonviolent Communication into daily life. Creating a heart-centred world, that’s what she embodies as a facilitator of life.

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Vilien Coetzee


Copywriting & Social Media

With a background in media production and book publishing, Vilien is most drawn to content and messaging that uplifts and inspires. She likes to believe that we can change people’s lives with the conscious intention behind our words. 


While books were very much her mentors as a child, she has since discovered the value of having teachers to guide her on her real-life personal journey. Thanks to them, she’s enjoyed discovering modalities from Imago Therapy, Sensory Deprivation Floating and Craniosacral Therapy to Hypnosis, Brainspotting and FasterEFT. She’s highly interested in the nervous system and ways to self-regulate or self-soothe and has written and published a few articles about it.


Learning how to communicate and connect with people from a calm and loving space is a lifelong devotion of hers. It would give her the greatest satisfaction and joy to travel to different parts of the world to meet people of vastly different cultures, and still find common ground.

partners & collaborators

thatfield robert krzisnik

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing...


Klarweit - Aussergewohnliche Seminare

Living Compassion Austria - e

Living Compassion Austria

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The Center for Nonviolent Communication

Stemverbinding logo


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Koningsteen Conference & Retreat Centre


Language that Works South Africa


AANAAJAANAA CONNECT - workshop hosts & organisers

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Ixopo Buddhist Retreat Centre KZN

See our online Courses and Course Platform here: