about me

Hi! I’m Orla and I can help you learn how to use your own mind differently.

Do you feel like anxiety is controlling your life? Is your mind always flitting from one thing to another — always half-thinking lots of things at once? Is your brain always in overdrive? Do you feel stressed out or under pressure more often than not? Do you feel like you are often second-guessing yourself, overthinking your own actions, overthinking the actions of others? Do certain situations or triggers make you inexplicably, irrationally, nervous?

Do you feel frequently frightened about something you perceive as a lack of control — perhaps driving, being in a lift, being in a crowded environment? And do you find that this is especially the case when your stress levels are high? Do you have a strong dislike of getting water on your face, or a strong dislike of tunnels or enclosed spaces, or a dread of public speaking or doing job interviews? Is there something in particular that you really hate doing — something that you know would really be useful or beneficial to you — to the extent that you’ll do almost anything to avoid it? Is there something on the horizon — a new baby, a new job, a move to a new city — that you feel like you should be feeling positive about, but which is in fact filling you with dread? Or perhaps you are fearful just about one element of this major change — you mainly feel fine about becoming a parent, but are frightened about giving birth, or you mainly feel fine about the new job, but you’re nervous about having to give big presentations?

Do you find yourself saying frequently to friends, family and colleagues, ‘My sleep is dreadful’? Do you find yourself saying to yourself ‘I know I’d be getting on better with everything if I could just get some more sleep.’ Do you have difficulty getting to sleep and then sometimes wake up in the night as well and have trouble getting back — your mind switching to ‘on’ straight away?

Do you think of yourself as someone who has ‘anger issues’, or wish you wouldn’t fly off the handle so easily with your partner or your children? Do you struggle to regulate your emotions? Do you feel like, perhaps, you are not always handling tricky situations with family, friends and colleagues in quite the right way? Do you get worked up about things when there’s no need, and you know it doesn’t make any sense?

Do you feel a general sense of frustration, low mood and drifting? Do you really struggle to decide on a definite course of actions? Do you lack motivation? Do  you feel tired all the time and really hate that you feel tired all the time? Do you find yourself dwelling, more often than you’d like, on negative events from the past? Do you make negative choices when you’re in a bad mood? Do you get caught up in a spiral of negative thinking, and then find that this leads you to feel low and down? Do you see yourself as having low self-esteem?

If any of these problems sound like your problems, I’m afraid I don’t have a solution for you.

But I can help you learn how to become active in your own brain in an entirely different, more beneficial way from before. This will put you in solution-making, solution-forming mode, and you will be able to easily come up with your own solutions, and act upon the decisions that you make.

Do any of these statements resonate with you?

I’d like to be in a calmer and quieter state of mind.

I’d like to feel a bit more in control of myself.

I want to sort out a good balance of work / eating / social life / family.

I’d like to be stronger.

I’d like to be more in the present.

I’d like my natural ‘get up and go’ back.

I’d like to have more confidence.

I’d like to have more energy.

I would like to be able to express myself in the right way.

I want to feel more focused and positive.

I’d like to develop the ability to be a more full, genuine version of myself.

I want to sleep well.

I would like to have the confidence to say ‘No’ to things that I don’t want to do or to tell people when I think  they are behaving unacceptably.

I would like to feel positive about myself.

I’d like to stop ‘beating myself up’ about things.

I’d like to be more open to new experiences.

I want to rewire and retrain  my brain.

I would like to find new ways of dealing with anxiety.

I’d like to be more productive.

I want to feel I am reaching my full potential.

I’d like to be more rational — to stop feeling afraid when there’s no reason to be.

I’d like to develop emotional resilience.

I’d like to be able to relax properly.

These are some of the kinds of things I often hear clients say they would like to achieve at the start of their hypnotherapy process. And then, over a series of weeks, I have had the pleasure of seeing many people work successfully towards their goals, and indeed even sometimes shifting and discovering or creating new goals altogether, and working towards these new dreams, plans and ambitions instead of or as well as the goals they had at the beginning.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is truly an excellent process for moving yourself forwards towards your goals, your plans and dreams, towards where you’d like to be in life and the kind of person you’d like to become, or perhaps, to rediscover you are. It is a true honour for me as a practitioner to accompany people on this journey for a little while, and to witness people making amazing changes in their lives.

For two or three years, there’s been lots of things I’ve wanted to change. In particular, I’ve been becoming more and more aware that there was a need, for various complicated reasons, to move myself away from the business I started up ten years ago…. and I was feeling worried about it all…. Now, instead, after just 12 sessions of hypnotherapy, I feel like I’m in a totally different and much more positive headspace. I’ve made the dramatic shift I needed and wanted to make in my career, and I’ve felt great throughout that whole process of telling people and making changes and making plans. I’ve felt very happy and calm and relaxed and all the decisions have happened very naturally. It’s all just slotted into place. 

In a more day-to-day sense, I’ve managed to change my life so I can do all the things I always knew would make me happy….  I’ve realised that I’m a much nicer person to be around when I’m happy, and doing those things makes me happy. And so of course it isn’t selfish at all, it’s good for everyone. Instead of rushing around trying to do everything, I know what I need to do to put myself into that happy state. I already knew before, really, what I needed to do each day to feel well and to feel myself – the meditation, the exercise,  the good food, the  kind of work I want to be doing – and it’s as if coming to hypnotherapy is what’s allowed me to give myself the green light to actually do these things.

Sophia, 44, Business Owner

I came to hypnotherapy because I was feeling really ‘stuck’ in life. ….I really very intensely disliked my job, and I’d wanted to get out of retail for a long time, but I never seemed to be quite able to do so. Also I was always making plans to use my free time to study or to start my own business, but never quite managing to do this either. I struggled with motivation and discipline and would frequently become distracted…

I am so much more positive and confident now and I have a new job that I am starting next month. It’s not my ideal job or anything, but it is not a retail job, and it moves me in the directions I want to be going, and towards the kind of work I want to do. There are things that are difficult or awkward about it, which previously would have prompted me to reject the idea, but now I am just making it work. I’m still applying for lots of other jobs too – I’ve no plans to slow down on that front, and I feel so much more able now to look  out for good opportunities, and to move towards them effectively.

A huge amount of what has shifted in  terms of what has made all of this possible for me is that I have a lot more confidence in myself now – a great deal of faith in myself and my own abilities. I think this came out of the really positive focus in sessions each week on the things I like, the things I enjoy, and also on what I believe and feel passionately about. I’ve also learned techniques around being assertive. This has helped a lot in terms of feeling calm and ok about going after what I want, whatever other people’s reactions might be.

And perhaps more significantly than any of this, in a way, I’ve learned an entirely different and much more positive way of thinking about and planning my future, whether that’s next week, or next year, or in five years.

Georgia, 39, Education Professional

Because I was in such a bad way at the time I started sessions, I wasn’t sure particularly how much hypnotherapy could help me. My anxiety and depression were very bad at that point, and I was so often preoccupied with very negative thoughts, that it was difficult to imagine anything making it any better…. Now, having come to hypnotherapy session for around a year, I am in a much more positive place, and feel, for the first time in a long time, genuinely hopeful about my future…. I have ways to deal with my anxiety when it is getting too much – I know what I have to say to myself and what I have to do to feel differently. And it’s helped me look at things in a different way – I look on the positive side of things lot more now, and I really appreciate it when positive things happen. Plus I have a lot of practical knowledge and information about the brain and how it works, so I know what’s actually going on if I feel anxious or down – I can see through the emotion of it, to an extent, and see what’s really happening.

Rosie, 40, Online Marketing Professional

I signed up to train as a hypnotherapist in 2017, around the time I was headed back to work after the birth of our second child, and I completed a DSFH (Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy) at the excellent Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Trainining in the summer of 2018.

I first discovered hypnotherapy because of doing HypnoBirthing for the birth of our two daughters. I had lovely, calm, peaceful births, with very low-level pain, and also felt amazing throughout both pregnancies — I was happier and calmer more continuously than I ever would have thought possible previously. 

Before having children, I think I would have thought about moods or emotions as being pretty similar to the weather — if a bad mood or a fit of anger or anxiety comes along, the best thing to do is to simply ride it out, try hard not to take it out on anyone around you, and remind yourself that you will no doubt be feeling better in the morning, or later on that day.


Through HypnoBirthing, however, I discovered techniques and approaches I could use to take a different tack, and actually shift myself out of states of anger, anxiety or low mood, and into different mental states of happiness and calm. This was not about covering anything up, or hiding anything, but rather about genuinely shifting what’s occurring in your mind.

This was such a huge shift for me, and I feel passionately about spreading awareness about the possibility of this, and about helping people to learn  the techniques and approaches necessary to gain this kind of control over their own thoughts, emotions and actions.

I had undergone my own experiences of mental health difficulties in my teens and early twenties, and while the therapy I had at that point in my life helped me move away from the depression I had experienced, I would still sometimes have periods of being in a bad mood for a few days continuously and not feeling like there was much I could do about that other than put up with it. And there were certain tasks and experiences I would shy away from because of a lack of confidence or a slight anxiety that seemed easier to avoid than to experience. In these respects, I certainly feel that I gained hugely from the work I did in HypnoBirthing, and later hypnotherapy. I now feel much more confident, much more able to make decisions easily and follow through on those decisions, and generally I feel able to take charge of my own thoughts, moods and actions in a way I would previously have considered impossible.

I have established two important beliefs as a result of my personal work in HypnoBirthing and hypnotherapy, my training in Hypnotherapy and my work with hypnotherapy clients.

I believe that people shouldn’t have to put up with poor mental health, that they shouldn’t have to tolerate, live with or ‘manage’ ongoing anxiety, depression or fear.

And I believe that the human mind has a huge capacity for healing, renewal and change, and that the techniques for tapping into this capacity are teachable and can be learned by anyone.


I am so glad that hypnotherapy and HypnoBirthing opened up to me the possibility of being able to work with people as they create the kind of change and transformation  that they want for themselves. It’s a great honour and a privilege to see clients leading themselves through such a transformative and beneficial journey.

I have experience working with many clients across a range of different areas, including anxiety, OCD, phobias, lack of confidence, low mood, low self esteem,  exhaustion, insomnia, outbursts of anger, work stress, exam stress, overwhelm, relationship and family issues, and difficulties around establishing or sticking to healthy habits, motivation more generally, or problems with following through on plans and ambitions. For a full range of all the issues I have worked with people on, and all the things I can help people with, please take a look at what hypnotherapy can help with.

I’d been having problems over the course of a year or so with anxiety and recurring negative thought patterns. I’d also been finding my emotions really hard to manage and had been dealing as well with intrusive thoughts about a past trauma which I’d never had the courage to fully deal with.

Working with Orla led me to develop a totally new mindset, more confident, more sure of myself and with a different perspective on certain things that have happened in the past. I definitely feel that I’ve come away with some really practical tools that I can go on using to maintain this new mental state. I feel like I have a lot more choice in terms of what I am feeling and thinking. I definitely have a more peaceful and positive internal landscape.

Meredith, 26, Youth Worker

I’ve developed a totally different and much more positive mentality. I’m much more aware of when I start to think negatively, and I have a range of techniques and methods I can use to guide myself away from this. I’m not dwelling on stuff anymore and I feel like I have much more control over what I am thinking about and how I am feeling.

I’ve also started fitting in a lot more — yoga, sport, regular Skype conversations with close friends who’ve moved to different countries, biweekly music composition sessions with a good friend here in Bristol, all things which as a busy father of 3 young children, had somewhat fallen by the wayside. And I’ve started playing piano, something I’ve always wanted to do, ever since I was a child.

Most astonishingly, perhaps, I’ve completely given up smoking, which at the start of the sessions wasn’t even an intention of mine! I was a pretty dedicated smoker, and had kept at it despite time spent in hospital with pneumonia where I had been told that my lungs were scarred from it….

Stephen, 38, Higher Education Professional

I have definitely created a more healthy rhythm in my life and I’m making more healthy decisions. I’m spending a lot less time fretting about things and switching off a lot more.

Life was very structured before for me. I did everything on a timetable! There wasn’t much room to breathe, activities were so crammed in, and even pleasure and relaxation were very much planned and scheduled. Now I feel  lot more natural and spontaneous about things.

I’m able to decide what’s best at any given time – whether I should work or rest, whether I should spend time with others or need to be on my own – without feeling pressured or stressed or like I might choose the wrong thing. Like, sometimes I just want to go home, or I just want to go off by myself for a bit, and that’s fine. I feel a lot calmer and slower, and interestingly, this shift seems to have had an impact on my partner too, and he is also noticeably calmer and slower himself as well, which is wonderful.

Patricia, 32, Researcher, Third Sector Professional and Writer

I’d love to work with you on changing whatever you’d like to change about the way you use your own brain. I’d love to help you learn the skills to put yourself into a state of confidence, happiness and calm more or less whenever you like, and in more or less any situation. I’d love to teach you a simple scientific understanding of your own thoughts, moods and behaviours which will then enable you to amend, adjust and alter these patterns of mind and action in the way in which you would most prefer. I’d love to witness you rediscovering who you truly are with a good deal less of that troublesome fight / flight / freeze stuff getting in the way. Please do click the button below and get in touch if you would like to book in begin hypnotherapy sessions and start that journey.

For a long old while I’d been stuck in a pattern of just working very hard and focusing on other people’s needs – my clients, my children (aged 2 and 4), and I had kind of lost track of who I actually am as a person – who John is, and what he might want or like or need. There’d been a breakdown in the relationship between myself and the mother of our kids, and I didn’t have much support from her in terms of childcare or household stuff. So pretty much all the time I wasn’t working in my full-time job, I was looking after the kids or doing stuff around the house. And although I’m quite a positive person, and there were still a lot of elements of my life I was enjoying – I love my work and I love spending time with my kids, and I have friends I enjoy seeing and spending time with, and hobbies that I love like camping and climbing – I did feel a bit lost, and a bit fed up at times. There was a generally sense of frustration definitely, and I really wanted to learn how to become more productive and to set achievable goals, and used to listen to podcasts to try and learn about this sort of thing, because it seemed like there was just never enough time….

The whole process of hypnotherapy has helped me to build a framework to approach my life differently. There’s a lot I can’t change about the way things are right now – there just is a lot of pressure, in terms of work, in terms of the kids. That’s not going to change particularly for the next few years at least. But this structure I’ve now built for myself is extremely useful. It includes for example short periods of a minute or two minutes of breathing and visualising distributed evenly throughout my day, and different, more assertive and specific methods of planning what I’m going to do tomorrow or next Wednesday. And this structure has allowed me to approach life differently, with a renewed sense of vigour and purpose. I’m also just being a lot kinder to myself. I’m more able to take a break when I need to, and also to not worry about doing this.

John, 35, Dentist


With a pleasing sense of things having come full circle, I have now also completed my training as a HypnoBirthing Instructor. It is the original Marie Mongan Method HypnoBirthing method that I practiced myself as a pregnant mother and that I am now fully am now fully trained and qualified in. I did the intensive in-person  training in November 2019, handed in the paperwork in January 2020, and received my certificate in February 2020. In December 19 / January 20 I worked with one couple individually while I was waiting for my certificate to come through and hugely enjoyed the experience. 

“I feel really

ready and prepared.

Rather than just rushing around trying to get loads of stuff done, or fit it lots of things before our baby comes, I feel like we’ve both learned how to really carve out a space for just resting and relaxing in a really effective way, where you can just completely let go. And I think the tools we’ve learned in order to be able to do that, the hypnosis, the breathing, the exercises, will be a huge advantage in birth, but also during our first few weeks and months as parents.”

I will be launching a group course in HypnoBirthing in  May 2020, with a maximum of 6 couples on each course, to keep things intimate and so that everyone has plenty of space to ask questions. If you are a pregnant mother taking part in one of my courses, I will also be offering you a free individual hour’s session. The purpose of this will be to focus in on your breathing, and check over this important element of HypnoBirthing more closely and individually with you by yourself. The session will also give you the opportunity to ask questions by herself about any element of HypnoBirthing in a more private space should you wish to do so. 

From April I will also be providing a free facebook group where pregnant women and their birthing companions will be able to find help and advice on HypnoBirthing. This will be designed to support and help the people on my training courses, but will also be open to any pregnant woman or birthing companion who is practicing HypnoBirthing, whether you are on my course, somebody else’s course, or DIY-it from books and audio recordings.
I am calling the my HypnoBirthing course HypnoMamaBears because I absolutely love how HypnoBirthing both helps you to be fierce and brave in defence of the birth you want to have, while also helping you to connect with the deep, gentle, primitive-mind-level bonding and love between you and your developing baby that has a physical, ancient element to it, and then does all of this while also allowing you to connect more deeply with the anamalistic and earthy side of birthing and with your own body and physicality more generally.

There will be two HypnoMamaBears courses running at once, one of Wednesday evenings and one on  Saturday mornings from April 2020 onwards, and I honestly simply can’t wait to get started! HypnoBirthing is how I first came to learn about everything related to hypnosis and hypnotherapy, which is now of course one of my chief passions and joys in life, so I am hugely enthusiastic about it. It truly was life-changing for me, and not just in terms of birth but also in terms of facing all the challenges and wonders of early parenthood and beyond. I still feel like what I learned in HypnoBirthing I use every day of my life today, because it is in part (although it is many things) an intensive course in deep-level meditation and hypnosis skills.

I did also have amazing birth experiences, which I would very much credit to HypnoBirthing, and I felt very calm and peaceful while I was pregnant because I was able to look forward to birth rather than fearing it or dreading it. And I want as many women as possible to have births and pregnancies that feel calm, peaceful, joyful, and where they feel deeply connected to their baby throughout the whole of both experiences. Please do get in touch and click on the button below in to find out more about HypnoBirthing and whether my HypnoMamaBears HypnoBirthing courses would be the right path for you, your partner and your baby.

Whether as a 
or a 
HypnoBirthing Instructor
I would love to support you and work with you.
to see if we are a good fit for each other and to learn more about how I can help you move towards your preferred future.