Welcome to the Community

Positive Behavior Change for People!

Over the past few decades, people across the world have increasingly chosen to train their companion animals with compassion and cooperation in mind. We know that committing to Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive (LIMA; also known as The Humane Hierarchy) strategies helps us build trusting relationships with animals while effectively meeting our training goals. We’ve seen such positive training work with dogs, horses, cats, birds, and countless other species. And yet we often have a hard time applying these principles in our relationships with humans--including ourselves.

What's a LIMA being?

A LIMA being is a member of our community of learners who seeks to apply the power of environmental changes to shape behavior in ways that are both compassionate and effective. LIMA beings are committed to building a world in which all are valued, and in which we celebrate diversity and work to counter oppression. Black lives matter. Diversity of genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, religions, abilities, and more are to be cherished, not merely tolerated. We know that there will be times when we fail to meet our aspirations in the complicated work of unlearning systems of oppression, but we are committed to learning and growing and listening.
LIMA beings

Meet the Founders

Dr. Chris Pachel, Kathy Sdao, Barrie Finger, Lynn Ungar, and Marissa Martino

All of the founders, in addition to being experienced dog trainers and behavior consultants who have devoted years to studying the art and science of positive training, are people who feel a deep calling toward building more functional, creative and respectful relationships between people: one-on-one, as communities and as societies. We are grounded in a variety of spiritual and wisdom traditions and some of us have studied Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. All of us think the world would just work better if we could apply the things we know about shaping positive behavior change to...pretty much anything. Maybe you feel the same way and would like to explore together with us?

Core Values

  • Vulnerability

    Changing how we communicate & interact with the wide variety of people we encounter takes practice and diligence. It’s a given that we’re going to make mistakes as we strive to develop fluency in applying LIMA principles to everyone. LIMA beings take risks -- and we support each other’s efforts & celebrate our successive approximations of the world we long to see.

  • Behavior Change

    Amidst so much divisiveness, discord & despair, we yearn for a kinder world. We believe that kindness & compassion, manifested in the countless small behavior choices each of us make every day, can be learned. The environment in which these behaviors occur (i.e., the antecedents & the consequences) exert enormous control over our choices. LIMA beings focus on modifying internal and external conditions, rather than controlling or coercing others.

  • Kinship

    In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., we “are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.” In our pandemic-plagued world, this connectedness & interdependence is more evident than ever. We urgently need to foster caring communities in which the needs of everyone are valued. LIMA beings work to erase the line dividing “us” and “them” -- because there is only us.

Start Here!

If you're new to LIMA beings, we invite you to start with our ABCs of Everything Course, which is a prerequisite to join other offerings. Once you have completed this course, we encourage you to continue the conversation and be a part of our Membership Community!

The Next Step: Join Our Community

After you have participated in our ABCs of Everything course, we warmly welcome you to join our ongoing LIMA beings community. It’s tough to be a lone LIMA being. So we’ve created a space to provide ongoing nourishment & support.