Who We Are

Ania Fizyta

Ania founded the Institute for Optimal Living in 2012 out of a desire to bring positive energy and healing to humanity, in collaboration with a community of inspiring and awake growth facilitators.

Ania’s early training from CIIS was in depth psychotherapy.  Her practice has evolved in the direction of an empowerment model.  She no longer calls herself a therapist, rather a counselor, life and love coach, or spiritual guide.  She trusts that all humans have the resources to heal themselves from within.  She helps her clients shed old programming and reconnect with inner guidance through her own blend of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), NLP, Somatic Experiencing, Creative Play, Guided Meditation, and Shamanic Ritual.  Her main specialties are helping couples co-create amazing loving relationships through taking radical responsibility and transforming their communication skills, along with helping individuals follow their hearts to take viable leaps into living their life purpose and/or more alternative and creative paths.

Optimal living is about living fully present to this amazing journey of human existence.  Liberating your life energy from old patterns and thought-forms your organism created to deal with the past, so that you may bring your full light to the present and create the future you want.  Flowing in Joy, radiating Love.

to read more, visit:   www.ConsciousLife.us


Stuart Sovatsky

Stuart has created international projects on “One World Family” with Robert Thurman, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Office of the Dalai Lama in India and numerous others in Russia, post-apartheid South Africa, and on holocaust reconciliation in Germany that, altogether, have deeply inspired  his work as a Mentor for gifted students, leaders, writers, spiritual teachers, as a ceremonial chant master, and in transforming over two thousand troubled relationships over the past 40 years into creative and loving ones.

Degreed from Princeton, he is author of Words From the Soul (on creative psychotherapy), Your Perfect Lips (a poetic guidebook on erotic tantra) and Eros Consciousness and Kundalini (on inspired yoga).

Optimal living is a process of feeling life evermore deeply as we gain greater competencies in evermore areas of our lives, especially in our capacity to love one another.

For more information, visit:

http://home.jps.net/~stuartcs/StuartSovatskyResume10.pdf      home.jps.net/~stuartcs/about09.html    http://stuart.kzar.ru/node/64   or contact Stuart at  stuartcs1@comcast.net


Alexa Cole

 Alexa is a skilled trainer and experienced facilitator. In addition to helping facilitate a number of training’s for Cole Consulting, she has also begun coaching line managers and team leaders, to lots of positive feedback. Her approach is holistic, as she does not feel you can separate the personal life and professional life, and she draws on a variety of tools in her coaching practice such as understanding Social Styles, somatic exercises, and spiritual reflection.
Alexa manages the West Coast office of her family Consulting company, Cole Consulting, and also does work in New York and Vermont.

I am a natural caretaker and nurturer, but learning to take care of myself has been the most challenging and fruitful lesson I continue to learn in my life. To me, optimal living is about truly loving myself and understanding my own limits and strengths so that I can be more available to others in my place of work, at home, and with my partner.

to read more, visit:   www.coleconsultinglc.com


Therese Bogan

Therese Bogan, MFT, gained her MA in Integral Counseling Psychology through CIIS in 2004. Since then, she found training in Somatics, Attachment and Effective Consultation to deepen her professional skill with people in their work or homes. Therese has worked with young people, families or couples to support their empowerment and integration, in a San Francisco, for 8 years with play and psychotherapy. During this time, teaching and mentoring has become a passion. Her work as a consultant is focused on business communication skills and empowerment, in order to support rich integration of personal growth and right action for innovative business leaders.

For me, optimal living is about living in those places of fear or doubt and using them to open up. We all have strengths and the ability to pitch a tent inside the confidence left over from one or two moments in life. To grow and and develop means you get back into uncomfortable places, change, turn, burn, lose and re-fertilize yourself for the next growth into love and simple meaning that you share in life

to read more, visit:  www.ThereseBogan.com


Tina Benson

Tina M. Benson, M.A., is a modern-day SoulWhisperer and Transpersonal/Jungian-Oriented coach with over 30 years experience teaching, leading, and facilitating individuals, couples, large and small groups in the United States and abroad in consciousness explorations, chakra initiation/meditation retreats, couples’ and women’s retreats, ecstatic dancing, Voice Dialogue, Enneagram, chanting, ritual, and travel to sacred sites around the world. She has a private practice with offices in Mill Valley and San Francisco.  She is the founder and creater of the SoulSpeaks Project, and is also a non-denominational ordained minister officiating at weddings, birth, death and other life-passages and celebrations.

Living optimally results from the willingness and desire to engage in a life-long journey and exploration to know oneself and the mystery of life beyond the illusory reality of the ego and to see the infinite splendor of divinity manifested in oneself and all of life around us.

Her website is www.soulwhisperer.com, and she can be reached directly at tinabenson1@cs.com


Lani Klaphaak

Lani got frustrated that the modern world has led us away from face-to-face interactions and placed screens in between us where handshakes and hugs used to live.  So she made it a point to dedicate her work to increasing the connection – real, live, tangible human connection – in people’s lives.  Lani approaches life as a “social artist” and looks at each interaction as a social experiment.  She believes in playing, making mistakes, and celebrating vulnerability. Nothing is more exciting to her than helping other people connect, communicate effectively, and feel confident in their self -expression. She has a relationship and dating coaching practice in San Francisco and Berkeley and works with singles who want to find meaningful relationships and with people who want to deepen their existing relationships—both partnerships and friendships.  She has experience working with people across the spectrum: straight, queer, monogamists, polyamorists, and everything in between.

For me, optimal living is best summarized by this quote:

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha

read more at www.SocialStudioCoaching.com


Eric Nielson

Eric is the resident wizard at the Institute for Optimal Living.  His specialty is dramatically shifting subconscious programming, thereby shifting a person’s experience of reality.  Eric uses a symphony of innovative techniques including E.F.T. (Emotional Freedom Technique), N.L.P. (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), hypnotic suggestion, somatic healing, and 3000-year-old magical technology.  Eric works with families, creative professionals, people who work in corporate environments, or anyone who is ready to step into a new reality. Some of Eric’s practices focuses are healing child abuse, sexuality and relationships (including non-traditional relationships), and spiritual awakening.

To me, optimal living comes from listening to the emergent messages of your soul, even when they conflict with everything that your ego knows to be true. It’s having the courage to trust yourself, and move towards that inner truth, sometimes in baby steps.

To read more, visit Eric’s site at EricNielson.us

Liza Lichtinger

Liza Lichtinger gained the Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University in 2009 during which her graduate research included techniques applied towards sustaining levels of conscious and corporeal awareness. Continuing self care ultimately led Liza to become that which she was researching, overcoming her own endocrine disorder and genetics.

Liza guides clients towards steady healing having worked with individuals, couples, families, recovery populations, and led various groups as a psychotherapist.  Liza’s strength-based holistic model of practice helps clients uncover truths which led them into her office using a variety of approaches and tools appropriately aligned to clients needs, inner and outer growth.  Liza continues to elevate her intuition nurturing beings to embark on and maintain their chosen level of optimal living. Liza’s professional career is a devoted vision to service (seva) guiding you to find your own path towards inner and outer growth. Liza will return to San Francisco with the completion of the production for the film, OneTruth®.
Optimal Living is every beings’ gift to themselves. We are all capable of living to our fullest
potential, designing a balanced state of harmony in every branch of our existence.

For more, please visit: www.mindfulexistenc.com