“Life motivations in Geneva - A new international centre for life management skills and well-being”
At a time when stress-related illnesses and emotional upheaval are on the increase, where employees’ burn-out is not uncommon, Life Motivations in Geneva is offering solutions. This new Geneva-based institute proposes a variety of innovative approaches to these and other societal problems, teaches communication skills, relaxation and, most importantly, how to become self-confident so as to realize one’s full potential..
Isabel Contreras worked in the ILO for 24 years, and at the age of 48 decided to shift gears and launch a new career in advising managers, businessmen, and people from all walks of life, from Geneva enterprises, international organizations, banks, the airport, pregnant women, teenagers, you name it.
Q. Why did you leave the UN world ?
A. Actually, I did not leave the UN world, I just expanded my horizons. At the ILO I observed much and learned my share, and I felt that it was time to put into practice what I knew from observation and experience, in devising ways to make the best out of our respective situations.
Q. When did you launch Life Motivations ?
A. In November 2003, and our activities have been expanding ever since.
Q. Why do you call your institute « Life Motivations »?
A. Precisely because many people in our fast-moving world seem demotivated, disoriented and even demoralized. They need to rediscover the fun of living, of creating something, of working individually or in a team, of sharing with others. In this world where many persons are laid off, where highly qualified persons become unemployed for no fault of their own, it is necessary to help them develop a positive attitude conducive to finding an even better employment. Some of our clients are actually happy to have been laid off, because they have discovered other, more fulfilling occupations.
Q. What programs do you offer?
A. Massage, breathing, yoga, power chi yoga, counseling, coaching, craniosacral therapy, energy healing, kinesiology, reflexology and sophrology.
We have tailor-made seminars for the workplace and for individuals. This may entail a two- or three-day seminar at our premises in Bellevue-Colovrex or in other locations if so desired. We also courses and workshops on a variety of subjects, including positive thinking, goal achieving, stress management, meditation, etc. We help people discover why they are the way they are. Why they do what they do. How to cope with the changing challenges of the world. How to better communicate with others, so that our addressees understand what we mean and are not suspicious of our motivations. You see, what you say and what others understand you to say is not necessarily the same – so, choose your words with care. You have to ask yourself whether you have made yourself clear. We help you to learn how best to get the message across. Just come and see for yourself. It is quite a fun place. And after you have been with us, there are follow-up programs and even telephone coaching.
Zayas and Ms Contreras at Life Institutions in Bellevue-Collovrex
Q. Do you have weekend workshops?
A. Yes, for instance on conflict resolution, public speaking, marketing your brand, how to present your ideas so that people grasp them, Life skill course for kids, Kinesiology for kids and adults, professional training in sophrology and hypnotherapy, positive thinking, life skills, confidence and motivation, empowerment, and much more . With the energy rooms concept, we teach you how to create an environment that will be more conducive to inner peace and creativity.
We are planning for the near future a workshop “ Confidence and image for success” this workshop will assist professionals to learn confidence tools, image, colours, clothing, body language and presence.
Q. What else does Life Motivations do?
A. We offer group and individual therapy, body-workout, breathing exercises, pilates (an excellent exercise for back problems and good posture), hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. Through these and other therapies we have been successful, for instance, in helping people to overcome insomnia and other nervous problems. Our NLP neurolinguistic programming is growing, and shows you how language can affect your mood. We are also doing a good deal of coaching for adolescents and adults with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders. We offer programs to overcome phobias, panic attacks, anorexia, and on the other end of the spectrum to sensibly lose weight, to quit smoking and even nail biting.
Q. Do you provide family counseling ?
A. Yes, I work with family therapy assisting families in resolving conflicts and clearing obstacles to communication. We also have competent counselors who listen to parents and children and suggest solutions.
We offer a special program of holistic mother-and-baby care, addressing physical needs during pregnancy, preparation for birth, and post-natal realignment. We have other programs to help the spouses cope with the stress of divorce and the solitude and dislocation that follows. Counseling for difficult moments after the loss of a loved one, how to cope with grief and bereavement, is available.
Q. What is Kinesiology ?
A. Kinesiology encompasses a variety of techniques to identify and release stress and promote optimal performance and well-being. There are easy exercises to test our muscles in their response to various stressors. Kinesiology simply put, when the mind does not remember, the body does. Every cell in every part of our bodies has memory and this is how, with Kinesiology, we can identify behavioral changes and teach people to reconnect with and tap into their inner resources to attain and maintain well-being. Our workshops on Improving Performance & Building Self-Esteem for adolescents and parents integrate easy and safe exercises.
Q. Who are your clients?
A. We run the gamut of society. From very senior officials and top managers to regular office personnel at all levels, to persons who are seeking employment or career change to pregnant women and teenagers. We have regular clients from the international community who come every week, some who come every two weeks, others once a month.
Q. Who is in your staff?
A. Besides our friendly administrative colleagues, sixteen independent professionals who address the many needs of our clientele. We also facilitate access to external health professionals.
Q. Are all of your therapies recognized by health insurance schemes ?
A. Most of them are, e.g. by the Groupe Mutuel, Philos, Sanitas, Intras, Swica and others, but not yet by the principal UN family insurers. You can look in www.asca.ch for the list of all the insurances that recognize alternative and complementary therapies.
De Zayas: Thank you Ms Contreras for this most informative interview.
Alfred de Zayas
Professor of international law, Geneva School of Diplomacy
5, Chemin de la Radio
Tel. 022 7743348