I did have a certain amount of trepidation about starting hypnotherapy – I didn’t know where I’d go to within myself, or what kind of journey it would be. I didn’t know to what extent there’s be an exploration of things I’m not happy with about myself, and the emotions, difficulties and sadness around all of that.

But it has actually been nothing like that at all. It turns out hypnotherapy doesn’t involve talking about your vulnerabilities like I thought it might. It’s actually about learning techniques to apply in a really practical way in your daily life. It’s the very opposite of what I thought, in a way, in that you actually learn to be with yourself, and not be with your vulnerabilities.

Hypnotherapy didn’t take the route I was looking for at all. I spoke to Orla initially about wanting to do some sessions to improve my confidence in work settings. I am currently running a small charity and I thought I wanted and needed to be a super-confident “leader”, always able to be putting on an excellent show. But I’ve actually just leant how to be me more, how to sit more closely with my own needs and desires, in a more authentic way. I can see now that there’s no particular need for me to be “flashy” or “high-volume”, and I no longer particularly want to be up on a stage giving big presentations, at least not often. I can see more clearly where my true natural skills and interests lie, and I know the kind of life I want to be living. I’ve made arrangements to leave my role in charge of the charity over the next few months. Instead I will be concentrating on writing, researching, and finishing my book, as well as investigating opportunities for other kinds of work alongside this, such as perhaps training and working as a celebrant for marriages and other celebrations using rituals based in traditional practices from around the world. I already work  in rituals in a small way, and this is something I’ve wanted to develop and expand for a very long time.

And even before I put that plan into action, I feel my life has changed for the better already. 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)

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