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The Soul of Leadership™: Optimal Resilience and

Integrative Health Coaching Program

Developed by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB FRSPH MISMA

Medical Specialist: Health and Wellbeing

OutThe heart and soul of leadershipline

Target audience:

Executive management – HOD’s, EXCO, MANCO

Size of group:

10-30 participants


Content Summary

Combining the science and mental training of mindfulness, with an understanding of the challenges, complexities, opportunities  and responsibilities of today’s leaders

The Science of Leadership

  • Approach: Practical, enjoyable, experiential approach with interaction, small group activities, integrative learning and sharing
  • Science and optimal brain function
  • Mind, brain and consciousness
  • The science of meditation with practical experience
  • Heart and brain synchronisation: from high beta to beta, then alpha, theta and delta brain rhythm, touching on the high performance gamma range. Ways to access preferred brain wave ranges using the 3 P’s (practice, patience and perseverance).
  • Brain entrainment and resonant frequencies of brainwaves for whole brain functioning and creative thinking
  • The effect of negative stress on the brain, heart and immune system
  • Neuroscience, new biology and quantum physics
  • Epigenetics, DNA activation and EPS (emotional positioning system) process work, tuning into the right brain (and right mind!); thoughts, emotions and resonant brainwave patterns; unconditional love as key business tool of the new leader: the heart as brain!
  • Enhancing leadership strengths with a salutogenic* approach (*Wikipedia: Salutogenesis is a term coined by Aaron Antonovsky a professor of medical sociology. The term describes an approach focusing on factors that support human health and wellbeing, rather than on factors that cause disease, depression and unhappiness. More specifically, the “salutogenic model” is concerned with the relationship between health, stress and coping)

A visionary leadership culture creates a ripple effect that impacts all employees, extending into family, community and social groups (in line with the Social Responsibility leg of triple bottom line reporting of the New Companies Act of 2011)


  • Finding Creative Stress Solutions: Facing the Challenges of Modern Leadership with Strength, Equanimity and Clarity of Purpose
  • Being able to use the Twelve Tools for Optimal Stress Resilience on a daily basis
  • Knowing how to manage health risk factors in an integrative approach to health and wellbeing
  • Basic understanding of Quantum Physics and its Practical Application in Daily Life and in Leadership


Options available:

1. Two Day Intensive: Optimal Resilience breakaway for leadership team as stand alone intervention or the following can be added for more comprehensive intervention:

2. Part of executive medical screening with lasting behaviour change and improvement in risk factor profile:

i. Full executive screening, incl. Live Blood Analysis, Cardiac Age Risk Analysis, medical risk assessment, stress assessment, Wellness Inventory on 12 aspects of life, etc.

ii. Two days’ intensive group session as per point 1 above, but then also addressing health risks identified (during point i. process) in group setting (rationale: to understand physical health from a broader whole being perspective)

iii. Follow up integrative health coaching sessions (2-3 monthly sessions per executive) with relevant expert consultants in the team: individual consultations to address identified health risks and expert advice on implementation of a solution based integrative approach to manage these risks from a physical, mental-emotional and psycho-spiritual perspective

iv. Final half day group workshop to integrate learning and knowledge gained into an approach to leading from within.

3. Part of existing company teambuilding/breakaway leadership sessions

4. Part of partners of leaders’ programs

Feedback from recent interventions

Anglo American Pilot Study with HOD’s from Mogalakwena Mine near Mokopane

  • James Morotoba (General Manager) – Profound and true trigger of self discovery. A good follow up session would complete this revolutionary cycle. I experienced this as significant personal transformation and it far exceeded my expectations.
  • Wanda van Zyl (Protection Services Manager) – I have found the sessions very educational, relaxed and meaningful. I will think different about things and found other meaningful things life offers. Presenter is calm and has very positive influence on the students. I have found the sessions excellent!!
  • Frank Pieterse (SHE Manager) – Very well presented. Good scientific information. Very helpful practical information

Two Day Workshop for School Principles of Schools for Special Needs Children

  • Dr Marius Pieterse: Mpumalanga Dept of Education – I found the workshop of great value in terms of coping with the many demands of my environment. I have learnt a lot about wellness and health without involving schedule 4 and 5 medicine. Practical examples of relaxing and combating stress would definitely be incorporated in my life. Thank you!
  • Dorothy Malebane: Mantjedi Special School – The facilitator was present and enthusiastic at all times and engaged us completely. I learnt how to de-stress myself. May God bless you with more healthier living years so that you can be able to help the nation

The workshop was excellent! To summarise: It was mind enhancing, brought a sense of living optimally, gave us a sense of finding out who we really are, accepting ourselves through all the challenges of life to face the world totally with a positive mind set; that good and best, will always overcome the bad ideas and happenings and we can each be a positive change person!

Short Biography of Facilitator

Dr Arien van der Merwe is a medical doctor, public speaker and trainer, internationally published author of 19 books and training manuals on health and wellness. Dr Arien is a specialist corporate health and wellness service provider, with 18 years’ experience in training, workplace wellness, stress management, and a body-mind-heart-soul approach to executive wellness. Shewas the Medical Specialist, Health and Wellbeing, for EOH Health and the appointed Editor for the Integrative Medical Journal SA. Dr Arien writes for, and consults regularly, too many magazines and journals in South Africa, and is a regular guest on radio and TV. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK, for the work she does in South Africa to promote public health and wellness through education, training and communication. She is also a Member of the International Stress Management Association, UK branch. Arien believes in a holistic, integrative approach to optimise health and wellbeing. For more information, please visit

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