Initially I was a bit cynical about hypnotherapy, and whether or not it would work. It all felt a bit wishy-washy I suppose, not very practical, so I wasn’t sure how it would help me. But I’ve been completely surprised by the process and the outcome. I know now that it’s based in biology, and I am a firm believer in science. I’d say that it’s hugely practical and it’s helped me to apply small changes to my life almost immediately, and big changes on a longer term basis.

I came to see Orla originally because I wanted to address the claustrophobia I’d had for years, and which would always worsen when I was under stress. My sessions enabled me to address the cause and not just the symptoms, and the cause was definitely anxiety. Certainly now my claustrophobia is very nearly entirely gone – I’ve gone from feeling uncomfortable in a small room, and unable to get into lifts, to being able to do long solo car drive and flights on my own (which used to really trigger my claustrophobia).

Before hypnotherapy I was extremely stressed and almost always working – I did very long hours in my work in Communications and also had a side—business I poured lots of hours into.  have always been a high achiever and  perfectionist, but I was really pushing myself to my limits. In particularly busy periods, I hardly saw my partner, and I found it hard to make time for family and friends. I knew this wasn’t good, but at the same time I wasn’t really aware how much of a problem it was. Anxiety just took over me, and I lost a clear sense of who I am, what I like, what I’m passionate about – I felt like I was just treading water and trying to keep going.

As part of the process of hypnotherapy, I was able to reflect on myself as a person, and find out what I really want in life, and what’s important to me, with my family, my partner, and my mental and physical health taking a much higher priority than before. I’m much calmer now, and I have very much improved relationships all round as a result of being calmer and more centered. Right from the start of sessions I began allowing myself more time for rest and relaxation. I really feel I have much deeper, more connected relationships with myself and my family, friends and my partner as a direct result of coming to hypnotherapy.

At the end of each session, there’s this really practical bit where you come up with ‘’something to do”. I found that really empowering. Because when you’re feeling very vulnerable and anxious, those small steps can feel like big wins.

And also they’re a get-out from thinking: ‘you have to do everything or it’s all a fail.’ I found these small decisions really helpful and good practice for getting comfortable, later on, with making bigger decisions.

I also now understand that putting myself first in terms of self-care, and leaving work on time does not mean putting other people last. It’s actually better all round! I feel calmer, more controlled, more free, and certainly more empowered, and that’s better for everyone around me too – it’s been a transformative experience in the truest sense of the word!

(Caroline, 30, Communications Professional)

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