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Natalie Zur Nedden, Ph.D.

The long Story

I was raised by my grandparents, who not only had several siblings each, but also had ten children of their own. This large extended family, including numerous cousins, shaped my early years. However, our household faced its share of challenges.

Long before acquiring a formal education, I honed my street smarts. I left home before finishing 8th grade and soon after, left school as well. I lied about these parts of my life so that I could find work.

Understanding that adults discriminated against youth with my background, I continued lying about my age and education. This strategy landed me increasingly better jobs until, at 21, I was presented with a life-altering opportunity to live and work in Saudi Arabia as a flight attendant. There, I learned about geography, religion, politics, and so much more.

Upon my return to Canada, I was fortunate to secure a position with the Canadian Federal Government. I loved my work for many reasons: it was a tremendous opportunity for me to connect with people from the many countries I had traveled to; I drew on my teaching and coaching proclivities to reassure people of their rights in Canada, and again, I learned so much about life. After a fulfilling five-year stint, I felt the urge to legitimize my lies about having a formal education.

I share this backstory because it deeply informs my worldview. By the time I decided to return to school, I had learned a lot about the world – the struggles people had day-to-day, in Canada and abroad.

I had always wanted to become a psychologist. Though I was accepted into my chosen program, life had different plans for me: I started in psychology but finished with a Bachelor in Education. With a teaching degree in my back pocket, curiosity as my divining rod, and a constant desire to understand people and the world, I continued to travel and work overseas: teaching and learning in equal measure.

I returned to Canada, taught and worked with youth-at-risk, where I was driven to create a paradigm shift in how life skills was delivered. This led me to pursue graduate studies, culminating in a PhD in Adult Education and Transformative Learning. While I loved teaching and research, my interest in psychology persisted – helping people live more fulfilled lives – formally.  I say formally because many have said that, through my instruction, they learned as much about themselves as about the subjects I taught.

My journey hasn't been without its challenges. Having had my share of bad relationships, including a failed marriage, I wanted to make sure that in my current marriage I had all the necessary tools to strengthen my relationship, which is how I discovered Relational Life Therapy.

As I experienced and worked with RLT, I loved how it helped us move through some difficulties in concrete, meaningful, and hopeful ways. Being a Relational Life Couple's Coach, I have the privilege to bring my passions to one room: helping people, teaching, and transformative learning.

My work is informed by a social justice lens, where I take into account (my) privilege. I stand for inclusivity, equity, diversity, and belonging.

  • Relational Life Therapy Certification (in progress, 2024)

  • Special Topic Courses from the Relational Life Institute,
    • Working with Infidelity

    • Relational Brain

    • Courses in Relational Parenting​

    • Working with Grandiosity

  • Other courses

    • Integrative Sex & Couples Certification (with Tammy Nelson)​

    • Empowering Survivors of Narcissistic Relationships, Emotional Abuse, and Gaslighting

  • Themes that inform my work

    • Complex-PTSD​

    • Adult Children of Immature Parents

    • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement 

    • Chronic Pain 

    • Spirituality 

    • Conscientious uncoupling – breaking up with grace, for you and your family

  • Certificate in Thanatology (studies of death & Dying, Centennial College))

  • Ph.D Adult Education, Community Building, and Transformative Learning (University of Toronto)

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