• The STEAM Room
  • David Lawson, Psychotherapist and Coach
  • Key English School
  • Collège du Léman
  • iDental Studio


Christiane Raza Romana's Pilates studio in Morges

What exactly is Pilates?

Joseph Pilates (JP, 1883-1967) was a German physical trainer and invented the "Contrologie" known as Pilates: a method that brings together hundreds of movements using gentle and precise physical exercises that require a total concentration of "body and mind". Pilates is performed on the ground, mat, or on machines by systematically engaging the deep muscles of the abdominal strap "powerhouse" in order to stretch and simultaneously tone the whole body. This is why this discipline (both authentic and classical types) is practiced without music. The program will gently reshape and rebalance the body, and bring wellbeing through self-centering in less than one hour.

This discipline can be practiced from age 16 for as long as you are able, and at any level. Athletic or not, a clear improvement in physical performance and a gain of flexibility will be visible and felt.

JP's priority was to keep your body in shape and improve your daily life through individual programs. He worked tirelessly all his life to perfect his movements and invent his own machines. Romana Kryzanowska, one of his pupils, managed to pass on this pure teaching by opening the training school "Romana's Pilates" around the world.

Christiane Razakarivony, Christiane Raza Romana's Pilates, has been athletic since a child, and graduated as a fitness instructor from "Les Mills" in 1999. She decided to join Romana's Pilates in 2013 and is certified to teach. She boasts, "I am nearly 47 but my body has regained its flexibility of when I was a teenager!". She remains loyal to the CPE (Continuing Pilates Education), which encourages instructors to deepen what they have learned over 6 and 24 months (depending on their availability and location) as well as attend an annual conference that helps to better understand all aspects and focus of what JP has put a lifetime, and how to teach the same exercises differently on different bodies: the result should be the same — a healthy mind in a healthy body. She believes that this is a sport that exceeds all other sports she's tried (judo, swimming, gymnastics, dance, tennis, karate, triathlon).

David Lawson 1

For many years David has been known and highly respected in the counseling and coaching circles and is considered by many professionals in the field as having world-class knowledge and experience. He has been published many times by specialty magazines focused on expatriate life and has been frequently interviewed by World Radio Switzerland on a variety of psychological topics, see links to the podcasts below.

Born and raised in Scotland, David took a job in Cannes, France, in 1986 where he supported the UNIX (Linux) operating system across Europe for Hewlett-Packard. He was transferred to Geneva in 1990 as director for all their Linux needs. During this period David completed his Master's Degree in Counseling and was awarded a certificate of outstanding recognition for the implementation of the Student Counseling Service. He went on to become known for his innovative counseling and coaching services to the international community.

Now that you know the educational and work side of David, it is now time to see the softer, more caring, side of him! With a keen eye on improving his counseling style since all those years ago, David has continued to create new conceptual ways of working with individuals and couples. He uses conversations with clients to restore hope, open new possibilities and develop movement to solutions that matter to them. David helps people to understand and fix the daily life issues most of us face from time to time. He is specialized in all forms of addictions, mindfulness practices, anxiety, depression, sexual disorders and borderline personality disorder. In addition to individual therapy, he also focuses on couples and marriage therapy.

Speaking to knowitall.ch, David told us, "I have been working as a counselor and psychotherapist for over 17 years in private practice and recently worked for the Geneva Mederi Clinic to offer psychological services as part of their core team of over 15 medical doctors and surgeons. I then decided to take some time off to follow my passion for social constructionism — ground-breaking modern thinking in psychology that privileges relationships — with the Taos Institute PhD."

He continued, "From time to time we all face concerns and difficulties in our emotional lives and feel the need to talk with someone who can help guide us through these. The challenges can come from many areas that impact our home, relationships, family, wellbeing and work. I support clients through a process of self-discovery, clarification, and exploration of possibilities. Clients develop perspective in their life; define their goals and become an active participant in the change process. Using the latest innovative therapies, I help individuals and executives in Geneva’s international community with their emotional and psychological growth and find new and achievable possibilities in moving forward."

Bronzed booth2

When Lindsay Moody moved to Switzerland in 2013 from the UK she was surprised that sunbed shops here do not provide a spray tan service. So she did what any entrepreneur would do in this situation — she set up a business providing year-round airbrush tanning solutions!

It wasn't as simple as all that. She needed to first complete a Sienna X training course. She admits, "I have always had a passion for fake tans being of Celtic origin and thus quite pale! I am also a firm believer in staying out of the sun, looking after your skin and keeping it healthy. Sadly, the number one enemy is the sun. We all want a tan but a tan is just sun damage and is your skin’s way of telling you it’s being damaged, dark spots, premature aging, wrinkles, and in the worst case scenario, skin cancer." 

Not only is this treatment with immediate results but a great confidence-booster, particularly in the grey winter months. Sunless tanning is perfect for a simple pick-me-up, parties, weddings, pre-holiday, special occasions, and perfect for naturally pale skins that burn and never tan. The custom airbrush spray tan is a 1-on-1 personalized spray tanning session done in privacy. The process takes around 10-15 minutes for a full body spray tan and takes around 6-8 hours to develop. The "One Hour Tan" is also available and can be washed off after one hour and the color develops over 2-4 hours. (designed for people that want to quickly wash off the color guide and not sit around in tan for hours while it develops).

Lindsay said, "I found spray tanning is the perfect business to run alongside my current home and life commitments. I am a mother of 3 young boys and it provides me with a sense of fulfilment outside my busy role of mother and wife."

sunshine therapy 2

Living abroad can be lots of fun but when you’re an expatriate struggling to find the right English-speaking speech therapist for your child then it starts to become less exciting!

Even if you’re lucky enough to find a therapist near you who has some availability – and in the Lake Geneva region that doesn’t happen very often - the chances are that their accent will not match that of your child and you will not see the progress you are hoping for.

So is there a solution? Swiss-American, Birgit Suess, believes she has found the answer with her teletherapy business, Sweet Sunshine Speech Therapy, which she launched online around 10 years ago.

Using video software such as Skype, Gotomeeting or Zoom, Sweet Sunshine Speech Therapy enables children to meet with speech therapists in a safe environment online. Children can see and hear their therapist on-screen and share their mouse/keyboard controls so that they can fully participate in therapy activities. Teletherapy follows all the same ethical and professional guidelines as on-site therapy. Privacy is of the utmost importance so all communication, documents and sessions are kept confidential.

With no geographic limits on her network of therapists, Birgit is able to match therapists with the specific needs of her clients – most of whom are aged between 3 and 21.  All of her speech therapists are native English speakers, nationally certified by their country of origin, and trained in accommodating for various English accents and dialects, as well as cultural differences.  Birgit told us, “If you’ve ever had a child go through speech therapy, you will appreciate just how important it is to limit any dialectal differences between the therapist and your child!"

ellen kocher

Free 40-minute discovery session and follow-up consultation for knowitall.ch readers (conditions apply)

Do you feel frustrated or stuck as you struggle to manage your work-life balance and cope with things like food, exercise, stress or sleep?  

Do you find that you are always preoccupied with the problem but lack the time or motivation to get the results you crave?

If so, then now may be the time to enlist the support of a health and wellbeing coach to help you take the first steps towards finding your authentic, vibrant self again!

With more and more health coaches setting up business in this region, it’s important to find someone you can relate to, someone who’s on your wavelength and understands your issues.  But how can you be sure to find the right person, without spending a fortune on lots of introductory sessions with different coaches?

To help make the selection process easier, one coach, Ellen Kocher is offering our readers a free 40-minute discovery session that will give you all the time you need to ask those important questions relating to your own health and wellbeing. If, following the discussion, you decide to follow a course of coaching with Ellen, then she is also offering an additional 50-minute consultation free when you book 4 x 50 minute Skype or Phone consultations with her for the price of Fr. 400.-.  There is absolutely no obligation to take up the consultation offer to claim your free discovery session, and if you just want to head straight to the consultation then you don’t need to have the discovery session first!