Our Mission

The Center for Compassionate Living is a volunteer organization working to create a culture of compassion in Central Oregon. Our mission is to provide education and support for people who want to improve their compassionate communication skills, deepen their self-understanding and enrich their relationships.

Our Team

Bryn Portrait

Bryn Hazell

Co-Founder, Board Member

Bryn Hazell met Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of Compassionate / Nonviolent Communication (NVC), in 2000, and it changed her life. She found a way to hear others without taking it personally, to understand herself and others more deeply, to enjoy life more fully, to speak in integrity, to resolve conflict peacefully, in short, to make her life more wonderful, and now she loves sharing these skills so others can also have more wonderful lives. Over the years, Bryn has taught and learned from many hundreds of individuals through workshops, classes, presentations and practice groups in Central Oregon, including at the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras. She is more enthusiastic than ever about Compassionate Communication, seeing how these skills have transformed lives and relationships and made so many lives more wonderful.

Email Bryn • 541-350-6517


Denise Torres


I fell in love with Compassionate Communication after my very first class. Why was that, you ask? Because even though I knew at a young age that I wanted compassion and connection in my life, I had never heard of a way to think and speak them until I found this class. By the time I finished it, I knew I wanted to teach it. I took the same class two more times and also started coming to practice groups each week. I think you’d call it an immersion process, because after a while I began to notice the judgments in my thinking and how to translate them into feelings and needs. It was a bumpy road, but well worth taking.

Shortly after those classes, Bryn and I started working together as partners teaching and organizing for the Center. Since then I’ve been teaching Compassionate Communication: The Basics, a class for professionals called From Conflict To Connection, and How To Be Kind To Yourself, where we learn how to befriend the inner critic.

OK, I know this is going to sound hokie, but frankly, it’s true. As I began to change my thinking from holding judgments to wanting connection, my life changed. It became freer, more inclusive, less controlling, more… well, happy. So for me, Compassionate Communication was and is much more than a port in a storm. It’s a new way of being here—truly being alive.

Email Denise • 530-867-3198

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Beth Hanson

Co-Founder, BOARD MEMBER, Secretary

Beth Hanson was introduced to Compassionate / Nonviolent Communication (NVC) by the Center's co-founder Evelyn Doherty in 2006. Through classes and practice groups, Beth learned this new way of communicating which has been transformational for her in responding to others and appreciating their feelings and needs as well as her own. Bryn, Evelyn, and Beth were part of a team of 14 who created the Peace Center in Central Oregon in 2007, which has since become the Center for Compassionate Living. It is Beth's pleasure to be on the board in a behind-the-scenes administrative capacity and wholeheartedly supports the continuing classes and practice groups that Bryn and Denise facilitate for the benefit of so many.

Email Beth


Sarah Mason

Board Member

Sarah Mason has practiced NVC for at least 10 years. She is an RN and also has a MS in Counseling. Sarah is passionate about her own growth and skill in communication, as well as in relationship healing and growth. NVC has changed her life and continues to be an invaluable tool.

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Tom Wykes

Board Member

Tom Wykes saw the potential and promise of non-violent communication after attending a workshop by Marshall Rosenberg in Bend. He and his wife Karen started taking classes on NVC at the Center for Compassionate Living and helped facilitate a practice group at the Higher Ground Co-housing community. Tom has found NVC to be a wonderful awareness practice that complements his Buddhist meditation practice. Tom has lived in Bend for over 30 years and is a retired mechanical engineer.


Joanne Diepenheim

board member, treasurer

As a wearer of many hats, I help folks get stuff done. As a parent volunteer for my children’s school, I both wrote a grant for a school garden and baked cookies. I keep precise financial books and am a trusted alliance builder. I own my own business and run the back office for many other businesses. Most recently, I helped create the Center’s new heart-centered website as the project navigator/guide/shepherdess. I also co-lead the Wednesday afternoon practice group at the Center.

I love how Compassionate Communication skills and consciousness have helped me to not only repair my relationships with family and friends but also deepen and bring joy to my relationships with the people I love.

I believe that Compassionate Communication can work for just about everyone. It will meet you exactly where you are. It is both simple and profound. You can dip your toe in and get a little immediate relief, or jump in wholeheartedly and have an entire sea of wonderful to discover.

I am committed to strengthening our world by reweaving our connections with each other. We can count on each other. Together we’re stronger.

Email Joanne • 541-419-7920


Barb Troyer

Media and Marketing Consultant

Barb is a facilitator for changemakers and organizations doing good in the world. She came to Compassionate Communication through a class offered at the Center and found that this new way of communicating resonated with her. Barb's been contracting with the Center for website development (including designing the look and feel and back-end functionality of the current website), newsletters, social media and other marketing and IT needs for a few years now. In addition to working on various nonprofit programs and campaigns, she runs a sustainable food cart, catering, and training business in Bend.

Email Barb