Allan Rohlfs Communication

My business is to assist people and also organizations in resolving personal or organizational difficulties. I help individuals, couples, and families change and become more fully functioning people who relate to others with greater satisfaction and harmony. This change may include deep seated long lived personal problems or dissatisfaction with personal relationships or with situations at work. I assist organizations to realize maximum effort toward meeting their organizational mission.

I provide six primary services:

1. I teach an interpersonal process called Nonviolent Communication to groups of private individuals, to business, or to organizations.

2. I teach a marital skills seminar called PREP to all couples.

3. I provide counseling/psychotherapy to individuals and couples in my private practice.

4. I consult with corporations, government and organizations regarding management issues and concerns such as management development, employee morale, productivity, team building, restructuring, communication, conflict resolution, etc., and I provide training for any these issues when training is warranted.

5. I mediate disputes between individuals, couples, groups, and organizations.

6. I teach parents a parenting skills course called PET, Parent Effectiveness Training.

For further information scroll down to descriptions of specific services.


Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication is a model for transforming any relationship or conversation including those which are the most difficult into those which are harmonious and caring.

Most of us when confronted with another’s offensive behavior are limited in methods to influence the other to change. After asking politely we don’t know what to do, except to get angry, be sarcastic, threaten, call them names, (coerce them in some way), or put up with it.

This approach offers an alternative. It teaches you how to convey your negative reaction to someone or to hear their negative reaction to you in a way that transforms the communication from blame and punishment to openness and understanding. Frequently it works like magic—even though it is difficult to do and usually requires much practice!

Referred to as “the language of the heart”, nonviolent communication teaches each person how to disclose elements of their reaction (which at first are not apparent even to themselves), elements which are inherently both honest and at the same time non accusatory. So from the outset the climate is non threatening. And the response elicited is one of understanding rather than one of defensiveness.

I teach this within organizations and also to classes that I organize. My schedule of classes for the fall of 2013 is as follows:

Tuesdays beginning September 10 through October 15, 7 pm to 9 pm; introductory class

Place: St Pauls UCC, 2335 N Orchard, Chicago, IL 60614

The fee* is $150 per individual for registration early registration and $175 for late registration . Early registration is any deposit received seven days prior to the class.

To Register:  Mail $50 deposit along with name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address to Allan Rohlfs, 3743 N Drake Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

For further information or questions contact Allan Rohlfs, or at 773-474-0612

*If  you are unable to provide this fee, freely contact Allan Rohlfs

When I teach within organizations or business other time frameworks are possible such as a one, two, or three daylong class. Contact me regarding fees for organizations or businesses.



is a marital skills course which provides couples with a specific way to talk to each other when they have differences or conflict. Research indicates that how couples treat each other during conflict is critical to whether the relationship survives or dissolves.

Other skills are introduced such as how to present a difficulty in a non-blameful way (taken from Nonviolent Communication) and how to demonstrate caring to one’s partner within their definition of caring. Typical differences between men and women in relationships are explored as well as how to identify hidden issues and how to differentiate issues which need discussion from those which need solutions. And more.

My schedule of classes for 2012 is as follows:
In Chicago
June 2 from 8:30 am to 4 pm
September 29 from 8:30 am to 4 pm

The fee is $200 per couple which includes materials.

When a couple wishes this training, but their schedule does not permit them to attend on of my classes, then I offer them private instruction in my therapy office. Usually this takes four one hour sessions.



I’ve been a psychotherapist for over 35 years in private practice working primarily with individuals and couples practicing a form of therapy called focusing-oriented therapy. I utilize a sliding fee scale and see people at my office in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. I am licensed by the State of Illinois as a Professional Counselor.



I consult with management regarding organizational issues of concern to management and then design programs to address those issues. Frequent issues are lack of management training and development, low employee morale or low productivity, lingering conflict from labor disputes, introducing change either in products and services, in production methods, service delivery, or in organizational structure, need for strategic planning, lack of clear mission, and more.



I mediate disputes regardless of the intensity or longevity of the conflict between individuals and groups or organizations. The issues may be custody for couples who are divorcing, or how to work out the divorce, or discrimination charges brought by an employee to their company, or family disputes spanning generations, or church disputes between different groups or between the pastor and the congregation, or between neighbors, or between landlord and tenant, etc. As a third party I bring facilitation skills to the interaction to help the parties talk to each other in a way which is most likely to result in an agreement which is acceptable to each party. In 2001 and 2002 I’ve mediated many disputes between employer and employee for the State of Illinois Department of Human Rights, sexual harassment cases for the City of Chicago, disputes between parents and teachers or teachers and teachers at the Chicago Waldorf school, disputes between neighbors at the Center for Conflict Resolution as well as discussions between couples who are divorcing regarding child rearing agreements and financial agreements.



I teach PET upon request. It is a 24 hour course usually taught in eight 3 hour sessions. Parents learn skills called I messages, active listening, Method III problem solving, values collision alternatives, and more. Additional to these skills parents learn a new way of viewing and approaching relationships with their children. They practice the skills in class in role plays with coaching from the instructor.



What participants in my Nonviolent Communication classes have said:
— When I actually use NVC the conflict changes instantly! — Attorney, DCFS, Illinois

— Actual conversation between mother and child
Mother:  I’m tired. I don’t feel like going tonight.
Child:     Where?
Mother:  To my nonviolent communication  class.
Child:     You’d better go, Mom.
Mom:     Why?
Child:     You’ve been yelling a lot less since you’ve been going

— My relationship with my husband is much improved. He’s a lawyer and I could never win an argument.  I spoke to him in NVC and he listened to me!     — Clinical Social Worker

— I can now communicate without anger or judgment with my 3 year old and my spouse.     — Social Worker

— Instead of accusing my husband of ignoring me I said I was feeling lonely.  He said, Come sit with me.  I was amazed!     — Clinical Social Worker

— Speaking in NVC I had a breakthrough with my mother over a life long issue.

— This is the most mind bending thing I’ve done in a long time! It has really forced me to reconsider how I think about and approach every interaction.         — Attorney, U.S. Govt.

— My 10 year old had a temper tantrum at the store. When I spoke NVC he stopped.

— For Father’s day my family agreed to watch a movie I chose.  When later they didn’t do it I was hurt.  I spoke in NVC and we resolved it.

— I couldn’t believe it!  I spoke NVC to a friend on the phone and had the most meaningful conversation in two years.

— My relationships with people seem to be better as a result of this.  People are friendly to me.  I don’t get in arguments anymore.

— Your workshop aided our managers in improving their communication skills and provided a structure whereby difficult interpersonal transactions can be handled routinely in a positive manner.    — President of  a Chicago Bank

— My life has never been the same. My relationship has never been the same either.  I felt empowered and more able to ‘let go’.  I started getting in touch with what I wanted in every interaction—at work, at home, with friends and strangers.  In fact I’m known to be a more direct communicator than your average business person.  I apply the NVC principles in my training and developing those who work with me.  I am more in touch now than ever with all the baggage I carry which clouds and confuses my interactions with others.   — Director of  Communications for a Fortune 50 company

— Using NVC I talked to my supervisor, whom I both feared and hated, about her being so critical; and she changed!!!  We are now good buddies.

— Since speaking  NVC conflict at work is way, way down, from 98% to 2%.    — Manager, Public Works Industry

— This has given me a handle on how to critique without eliciting defensiveness.    — Detective and Trainer, Chicago Police Academy

— NVC is helping me with my wife,  brother, and here at home.  No more explosions.  It’s a joy!  Please keep teaching this course.

— Your relaxed, supportive style made learning and risking fun!

— A parking lot attendant in the Loop screamed at me repeatedly for parking in the wrong spot. Speaking in NVC I stayed calm and the situation resolved! Previously I would have righteously screamed back in his face. And perhaps have endangered myself.

— My husband confronted me unexpectedly. The gift of the course was that I had learned to have empathy for myself. I was not blown away by his display of emotion and we avoided our typical emotional tailspin. As tough as the encounter was I could retain the notion that he loved me and that I loved him. Our intimacy has improved.

— I’m getting along better with my boss. There’s less conflict, even though I’m not intentionally doing anything different.

— At first I thought, Oh, this is another feedback model. As we went along I realized that this is much deeper than that, much deeper. — Organizational Development Consultant

— I used NVC with a group member who was angry and it resolved.    — Clinical Social Worker

— I was annoyed with a friend, but expressed my vulnerable feelings instead, and it resolved.

— I’m able to be calmer than I used to be.

— This class enabled me to take a careful look at the way I approach others.  Nice job of teaching.    — Medical Social Worker

— I appreciated the opportunity to try these skills in class with my own real life situations.    — School social worker

— I’ve tried many times to help my sister who has serious problems and she ignores me.  For the first time after using NVC she listened to me.

— It is the most non-shaming and non-blaming model I have encountered.  I have gained tremendous insight into my own personality and the part I have played in conflict situations.  Although not therapy, this class has been extremely therapeutic for me.  — Social Worker, private practice

— I thought I’d learn some useful tools, but this is more than tools; this is deep.

— I’m now much more conscious of my communication and language at work especially that which actually avoids conflict; … and I don’t know why but my life is going better.    — Administrator

— I spoke in NVC to a couple who were about to quit counseling, and they came back.     — Marital therapist

— I expected I would learn something that would be helpful at work, but I had no idea how relevant it would be for my personal life!

— A neighbor wakes me up with his footsteps on the stairs. I spoke in NVC and he said, I can understand that. I’ll walk quietly.

— After the first class I saw how NVC could be useful for many conversations. After the next class I saw how NVC was relevant to every communication!   — Salesman

— I’ve been speaking NVC at home for some time. Now my 17 year-old daughter (who has had no instruction) has also begun to use it.

— I now empathize which I hadn’t ever done before. Instead I judged, always having an opinion. Now I’m holding back from expressing it.   — Attorney

— I used NVC in mediating a dispute between my kids and spoke NVC in a conflict with my spouse. The latter was scary for me. Both were successful.

— I wrote a complaint to a utility company using NVC and it felt good saying it this way rather than trying to get revenge. I was more at peace.

— NVC is slowly permeating my consciousness. I don’t use all the steps all the time. But it has completely changed the way I relate to people at least some of the time. I know how to connect with people a little bit better.

— I’m a lot calmer at work.    — Police Detective

— I have an 11 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. One week after attending a 90 minute NVC introduction my daughter said to me, “Mom, what has happened to you?”

— The NVC model is now in my mind, and 70-75% of the time I try to use it. At a classroom meeting with angry parents I spoke in NVC saying how tense I got when anyone yelled at me. For 1 hr. and 55 minutes out of 2 hours not one person raised their voice. Only at the very last comment did one parent yell at another.    — School Administrator

— NVC gets to your inner truth, to meaning, clarity and peacefulness. Its gets to what’s really going on with you and with the other.

— I am brimming with stories of using NVC in my new dating relationship. I must say that using NVC in a primary relationship has really improved my sense of connection with my partner. ‘T’ is very interested in learning about NVC and it has been gratifying to hear him try to tell me about his feelings and needs. We have both been using it to express our appreciation of this relationship and that has been especially joyful. He has also tried using it with his 9 year old son, who was not getting ready for school on time in the mornings. After ‘T’ had a long talk with him using NVC, his son has been ready on-time every morning for the last 3 weeks.

Contact me, Allan Rohlfs for further information about any of the above at
3743 N. Drake
Chicago, IL 60618