Is this you?

When you can offer empathy to another, your own needs for contribution and connection are met. You appreciate the opportunity to care for another in this way. But sometimes, there are other needs alive for you and when someone asks for empathy you want to say “no” with connection.

Or, you have found that sometimes offering empathy crosses boundaries for the other person. They may not have wanted empathy or to be in contact with their emotions at that moment. Learning to respect implicit or explicit communication regarding another’s boundaries is an important part of offering empathy.

What is it all about?

Mindful Compassionate Dialogue naturally supports you in creating the relationships you want by integrating the wisdom and skills of three powerful modalities:  Hakomi, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and Mindfulness.

Hakomi offers clarity about reactivity and healing, NVC offers a means for self-responsibility, skillful communication, and agency, and Mindfulness adds the stable attention and the clear focus needed to continuously refine your understanding and skills.

MCD is a system meant to provide access to agency, compassion, and wisdom through transformation and practice with 12 Relationship Competencies, 9 Foundations, and the intention to connect. 

Empathy is MCD Relationship Competency 2, and Life-Serving Boundaries is MCD Relationship Competency 8.

How it works

For each class we will begin with five minutes of guided meditation. I will present a particular concept and skill. Then you will practice the skill in a short structured exercise. You will hear questions and comments from previous participants both clarifying the material and debriefing exercises.

You will follow along with the video (60-90 minutes) and your handout. Some exercises you can do on your own and some are best done with another person.

As you take the course you can ask questions via email:

Thank you so much for your participation and dedicating your time and energy to this important work. We look forward to connecting.


In this workshop, you will be introduced to Life-Serving Boundaries and how they apply in the context of offering or receiving empathy. You will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of what it means to truly choose to offer empathy and to say ‘no’ with connection when you don’t choose to offer empathy. 

Self-connection is an essential aspect of offering empathy and you will learn strategies to support you in maintaining it.

You will learn why it’s important to not offer empathy at times or to say no to receiving empathy. You will learn boundary setting phrases for saying ‘no’ to receiving empathy.

Lastly, you will practice attuning to and responding to nonverbal communication regarding empathy and boundaries.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome! Download and print this handout

    • Getting the Most Out of Your Pre-Recorded Course

  • 2

    Empathy and Life-Serving Boundaries

    • Workshop Video

Be supported in your learning

  • Weekly Reminders

    Each week, you will get an email reminder encouraging you to login and complete content for the course. You have the option to manage this feature.

  • Learning Schedule

    If you get behind, you have an extra eight weeks to catch up. This format helps support you in your commitment to stay engaged throughout the duration of the course.

  • Live One-on-One Connection

    Private sessions with Wise Heart's MCD Companions are offered to you at a discount while you are enrolled in the course.

  • Get Questions Answered

    If you run into questions during the course, you can send us an email at