About Catalyst

Elsa Henderson
Facilitator, Trainer, and Coach.

Elsa Henderson is a facilitator, coach and educator based in Portland, Oregon. Her expertise lies in conflict facilitation and training development. She is a diplomate of Process Oriented Psychology and loves the predictable and unpredictable ways of people. Passionate about meeting the challenges of our current times, Elsa focuses on uncovering the emerging dynamics in individuals and groups, mapping complexity and deepening collaboration.

Elsa works internationally, teaching at the post-graduate level and facilitating in corporate and non-profit organizations. She specializes in complex change, emergent process and transformational work. Elsa has a passion for systems thinking and leveraging the potential embedded within tensions toward momentum and sustained impact.

Elsa  is a partner with Turning Forward, "an international network partner organization, providing facilitation, personal and professional development and coaching for leaders, teams and people-oriented organizations based on our ability to accompany complex transformations, in order to support your power to live your dreams."

"I have lived and worked in cross-cultural communities, eco-villages and educational contexts such as Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland and Sacha Mama in Lamas Peru. My experience spans from leading trainings in care provider organizations such as Transition Projects and Camphill, facilitating meetings and organizational change processes with local cooperative businesses, and cross-cultural organizations such as the Cyprus Friendship program.  

Along my journey, I have discovered that each individual, as well as each team, holds a field of potential, innate direction, and path toward development. Tapping into and unfolding this intrinsic direction is my passion. This unfolding is unique and multi-leveled, often arising at the fringes of our awareness. Bringing information arising at the fringes into the center, broadens collective awareness, enhances creativity, and enriches the culture of individuals and groups. Increasing awareness expands our capacity to flow with challenges, find meaning in difficulty, and embrace and live our full potential.

My Focus: I support individuals, groups and teams to increase their impact, through clear communication and deepening of relationships. I specialize in, communication, conflict facilitation, visioning, and leadership development. 

Education and Further Training

  • MA and Diplomate in Process-Oriented Psychology, from the Process Work Institute in Portland, Oregon
  • ICF Certified Coach
  • Process-Oriented Coaching and Facilitation, with the Deep Democracy Institute, Europe & US
  • BA in Anthropology, from Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Certified Grundkraft Facilitator, from Grundkraft, Zurich, Switzerland
  • “Train the trainer” certification through Leaders Empowered, Barcelona, Spain
  • “Mysterium Training for Helping Professionals” with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, focusing on analytical techniques that can be integrated into any form of healing, including developmental, depth, analytical, cognitive, and the expressive art therapies



Welcoming All Parts and Aspects of a Person

This attitude is known as Deep Democracy. Deep Democracy suggests that all voices, states of awareness, and configurations of reality, are important and necessary to understand the complete process of a system. A deeply democratic attitude brings to awareness voices that are both central and marginal, creating space for diversity, within the self, as well as within groups. Integrating information beyond immediate goals brings a better understanding of the dynamics unfolding within a system, and a deeper stability.

Discovery of Hidden Gifts and Strengths in Challenges and Obstacles

Challenges, when met as possibilities holding seeds of insight and transformation, provide an outlet through which we can expand our awareness and resiliency. Revealed are directions which point toward generative change. Intrinsic, though sometimes surprising, solutions result – but ones naturally suited for the unique system they evolved from.


In unearthing the insights and wisdom from the challenges that cross our path we can expand our awareness, increasing our capacity to move with the bumps of life. For many people this leads to an increase in energy and heightened sense of well-being as they are no longer spending as much time simply reacting to the things that disturb them.