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Hiba Samawi (formerly Giacoletto) is a Psychologist and Coach working in Geneva, Lausanne and online.

A Swiss-Jordanian mix, she has a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Lausanne and is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). She previously ran Healthwise.ch, a health coaching business where she also created healthy recipes.

Hiba uses mindfulness-based behavioural approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). These are more active forms of therapy where, more than just talk, you learn skills for living.

She specializes mostly in difficulties around relationships, emotions, making healthy change and eating, and also offers group sessions, both in-person in Geneva/Lausanne and online.

www.wiserhumans.com
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hiba blog rejection 2

By Hiba Samawi, Wiser Humans

Rejection hurts. Literally.

And like most human behavior, it makes sense.

It makes sense from an evolutionary perspective because back when we were cave men and women and we did something that was out of line with the social group, we were kicked out.

And being rejected meant social exile, which meant being left to fend for ourselves in the savanna.

And without the group, we wouldn’t have lasted very long on our own in the wild.

So the human brain became hardwired to be very sensitive to rejection.

To avoid doing anything risky which meant avoiding rejection which meant avoiding exile which meant avoiding death.

Or as a shortcut:

REJECTION = PAIN

And because we don’t especially enjoy pain, most of us learned ways of avoiding the possibility of rejection.

  • By not taking risks.
  • By avoiding social situations where we might not succeed or where others might be critical of us, like public speaking.
  • By comparing ourselves to others to make sure we are not doing anything ‘wrong’.
  • By avoiding situations where rejection is possible, like online dating.
  • By trying to behave flawlessly - to reach a state of perfection where we are beyond reproach.
  • By developing these amazing pro-social skills like empathy and compassion…for others - while simultaneously being really hard on ourselves. Because criticising ourselves before anyone else can is a sort of pre-rejection meant to help us avoid real rejection.

graffitiLisbon500

By Hiba Giacoletto, Wiser Humans

It has been six months since the end of my 11-year marriage and I wanted to share my personal experience of getting through the past six months in the hope this might help others, too.

I have room for it all
I learned that I could feel deep sadness about the end of this chapter, this identity, this relationship - AND ALSO excitement, gratitude, anxiety, doubt and regret all at once. In the past I would have denied some of these emotions as not being ‘real’ because I thought they couldn’t co-exist. And yet they can, and even more: They always do when we are honest with ourselves.

I learned that I had room for all of these emotions, that I didn’t need to reduce my emotional experience to ‘just’ grieving. That it was OK to feel whatever I was feeling - that I could hold all these experiences at once.

Grief ain’t linear
One of the most important experiences I had was realizing just how un-linear emotions are. One minute I would be feeling OK, and then BAM - a painful pang of remembering would show up. Or just when I thought I was reaching the end of it, a new realization that of this is really over would bring on a whole new stage of grieving. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

It all felt more like waves than a linear progression of feeling better. Again, being OK with this, even expecting it, made all the difference.

Peaceful turmoil
I have not cried or grieved as much in my life as I have in the past months. And yet, there has also been a sense of peacefulness because I was not fighting my emotions. I was neither trying to repress them nor allowing them to explode all over the place. As much as possible, I was simply allowing them to be, to hang out.

I noticed that inner peace is not about not having emotions or difficulties in life and being permanently zen. That isn’t realistic. It isn't real life. Instead, it is about bringing an OK-ness with whatever we are experiencing in all its messiness.

hiba cultivatingconnection500

By Hiba Giacoletto, Wiser Humans

Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.  - Brené Brown

A few months ago, my 11 year marriage broke-up.

Like all humans, I need connection. I crave connection. I can’t live without connection.

Learning to be just me after 15 years of being a couple, I needed to redefine connection.

I had heard Barbara Fredrickson speak about her research on Love 2.0 at a conference and I really related to her way of reframing love.

Her idea is that love is about so much more than romantic connections.

hiba hummus

By Hiba Giacoletto, Healthwise

Growing up in an Arabic family meant that hummus was a staple in our home. Whenever we had to bring something for school events, my mother would make hummus.

Something wasn’t going well? Eat hummus. Something to celebrate? Lets make hummus.

So yes, I do like my hummus. And for a long time, I stuck to my mother’s traditional hummus recipe. Then one of my Food Coaching clients casually mentioned she had thrown in a few sun-dried tomatoes to my hummus recipe. Sun-dried tomatoes and hummus? I was intrigued but did I dare mess with such an institution?

Next time I made hummus, I tentatively added a few sun-dried tomatoes. It blew me away. Excited by the idea of re-creating hummus, I started experimenting. I added in zucchini in summer. Pumpkin in autumn. Some raw beetroot in winter.

And I discovered that there is no one way of preparing hummus - that there were endless varieties of this delicious dish.

I put together these recipes and guidelines to help you get started. Once you understand the building blocks, you will know what you want to add more or less of - keep tasting as you prepare food and trust your intuition!

Click here to download my Everything Hummus Guide and Video.

hiba bodyworks 500 2

By Hiba Giacoletto, Healthwise

I recently met a woman called Rita Rütsche who does "bodywork" through a very unique approach. Following a number of helpful sessions with her, I was curious to know more about her approach and work. For anyone else who might be interested, here is the interview I did with her.

What exactly do you do?

I teach people to become more aware of their bodies so they can change disturbing behaviour patterns in their lives. I help them become conscious of how they walk through life, and what made them into the person they are today.

Through this process, they become aware of conditioning and influences. They are then able to find the freedom to make choices that are more fitting to their qualities and potential, that come from their heart, rather than being driven by common beliefs and other people’s expectations.

This is important because we are constantly influenced by the beliefs of our parents, our surroundings, our teachers at school etc from the moment we are born. Even though their aim is to provide a frame to grow and evolve in, they also transmit their fears, pains and limiting beliefs about life and about ourselves.

So even though these sources of influence give us a sense of security because of their familiarity, they also create dissatisfaction, physical discomfort and erroneous choices in our lives.