Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Year Motivation

How was 2014 for you? How much of what you planned for the year was actually achieved? How many of the things you wanted to happen in 2014 are still on 2015's "to do" list? And do you want to be looking at the same list in 2015? Whether it's a personal goal, a health goal, simply the re-programming of an unwanted habit or the all-important business plan for the new year, NLP mind coaching is the effective way to ensure that 2015 is the year it happens for you the way you want it to.

In a previous post, I likened the processes of the subconscious mind to a satellite navigation device. It knows where you are right now, and that you want to be somewhere else. If you give it a clear instruction for where you want to be, it can show you the best way to get there. Of course, a satellite navigator won't drive you to your destination! You have to do that yourself. Motivation is the fuel you need to drive the process.

To feel motivated about a goal it needs to be attractive. NLP mind coaching helps you formulate goals that are irresistibly desirable, and shows you how to keep yourself motivated towards them. It will align your goals to your values - those things in life that are most important to you, and are unique to you. If your life is lived to your values, rather than someone else's, it cannot fail to be happy and fulfilling.

Keeping an eye on your progress is also important if you are to arrive at your destination on time. Sometimes it is necessary to make adjustments to the route or speed, and maybe stop from time to time to re-fuel! Regular coaching sessions to keep you on course are a worthwhile investment, particularly in the business world where the priorities are often rapidly changing.

If you want to start living your dream instead of wishing another year away, have a look at my web site for more information; or better still, give me a ring on 021 487 6072 and we can start to install your perfect strategy for a fulfilling 2015.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

One week to Christmas!

Only one more week of frenetic shopping and social activity and the western world will be able to put its collective feet up and enjoy one day of peace. At least until the in-laws arrive.

Look after yourself, and plan in a few small micro-breaks over the next few days.  A cup of coffee, a short walk or best of all - a short spell of self-hypnosis, meditation or mindfulness can work wonders in keeping energy levels high and stress levels low. A merry Christmas is great, but a peaceful Christmas is priceless.

Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Gift vouchers

Give a gift with a difference this Christmas - peace of mind! Vouchers are available for mind coaching and also for giving up smoking. Call 021 487 6072 for more information.

Terms and conditions apply.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Fear of flying

The fear of flying is one of the most common phobias I deal with. For some people, the fear is of actually being up in the air; for others it is the fear of some kind of disaster or act of terrorism. Sometimes the fear is not actually about the process of flying itself, but of being locked inside the aircraft and having no way of getting out. Whatever the form the phobia takes, it usually has two aspects that need dealing with. These are first of a the actual panic that sets in when the sufferer is aboard the plane or at the airport; and secondly the dread that comes before the event itself. People often say that the "looking forward to it" is every bit as bad, if not worse than the travelling itself.

The cure can be surprisingly quick. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) provides a set of tools that can deal rapidly with the thought processes behind the phobic response - meaning that in as little as one session, a phobic "panic" response can be removed. The client also learns how to deal with the negative internal imagery they previously associated with travelling by air to an extent that they can actually begin to look forward to it in a positive way!

If you would like to know more, feel free to contact me via my website or by calling 021 487 6072.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A stress free Christmas

Will you be having a magical Christmas this year, or a manic one? Make plans now to ensure it’s a holiday to remember, rather than one that raises your blood pressure.

Christmas is but one day a year, but nowadays the festive season seems to start as soon as Hallowe’en is over. During the run up to the big day the best tip is to plan ahead. Buy a nice notebook and write all your tasks down. Then ask yourself which are really urgent and/or important. Try and do the important things before they become urgent. Delegate any less important tasks to others. Get the family involved! Set a cut-off point by which everything will be done and you can put your feet up and enjoy yourself!

When Christmas Day arrives, aim to create a relaxing atmosphere. Carols are much more calming as background music than modern festive pop songs. Light a soothing scented candle. It’s all about creating a wonderful memory. You probably don’t recall presents from two years ago but you always remember a wonderful time spent with friends and family.

For detailed advice on stress management see my website or call to book a personal session. It may be the best present you could give yourself this Christmas.

The Stress of Christmas Q&A

What causes the stress?

When the demands of a situation exceed what we believe our available resources are to deal with it, we feel stressed. Resources can include financial or emotional, or time and energy. These are all needed in large quantities during Christmas celebrations and also during the build up to the holiday period.

Why is Christmas so stressful for some people and not for others?

There are many reasons. For example, some people may be short of money but still face the emotional pressure of others’ expectations; some simply have their own emotional deficit because of bereavement; some are just not “party” types but feel obliged to “enter the spirit” of Christmas. Reasons are many but the feeling is the same.

How can I avoid being stressed over the festive period?

Plan ahead and avoid doing anything at the last minute. Shop online, or early. Send cards early. Look forward to the nice feeling of having it all done! Delegate jobs to other family members – don’t take it all on yourself. That applies to Christmas Day too.

On the day itself, if you are the not so keen on the merriment and find the pace of it all a bit too much; plan a few 10 minute escapes to let yourself wind down. Nip out and feed the birds or drop a “forgotten” card through a neighbour’s letterbox. Have a few escape plans ready and if you feel stressed, use one of these excuses to get away for a few moments.

Does planning really help stop the feelings of stress?

Having a written plan means you are not carrying too much around in your head, and that in itself is an immediate stress reliever. Ticking off completed tasks can be a great feeling, too! A plan makes you feel more in control and less overloaded.

Happy Christmas!

021 487 6072

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


A phobia is an anxiety disorder characterised by extreme and irrational fear of simple things or social situations. Unlike other anxiety disorders, there is not an underlying anxiety present for all or most of the time, but only when the "trigger" or source of the fear is physically present. In the presence of the trigger, the phobic response is immediate and can be very severe. Interestingly, the fear response can also happen just by thinking about or imagining the trigger stimulus. The sufferer often develops complex strategies to avoid any risk of exposure to the source of the phobia. This can often reach a stage where the phobia literally rules their life.

An NLP practitioner has several tools that tackle the thought processes behind the phobic response. Deeper therapy is not usually necessary as there is no need, in most cases, to look for a "root cause" of the anxiety, as the anxiety is only there when the phobic trigger is present. Treatment is usually a combination of hypnotic suggestion and neuro-linguistic programming techniques. Effectively, the subconscious mind is re-programmed to experience the previously terrifying subject in a new and different way. The majority of phobias are removed in a single session of treatment.

Phobia Q&A

Are phobias diseases?

A phobia is not a disease or a mental illness, merely a somewhat distorted thought process. The object of the sufferer’s fear is often imagined in a manner which is far worse than the actual risk to their safety. Of course, the sufferer knows that their thoughts are irrational and illogical, but this doesn’t mean they can stop them. The problem is not in the logical, conscious mind; it is in the instinctive, subconscious part.

Can they easily be treated, and how?

Fortunately most phobias are easily removed in one session of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and light hypnosis. The subconscious thought process which causes the phobic response is “scrambled” in such a way that the client finds it impossible to think about the former phobic trigger in quite the same way again!

Why do people get phobias?

Sometimes it is by exposure to a frightening situation at a young age. For example, a barking dog can seem very large and terrifying when you are only small; to most adults, much less so. The learned behaviour may persist into adulthood, and a phobia is born. Phobias can also be learned from parents, or older relations. Children use adults, and particularly parents as role models, and if Mum leaps onto a chair screaming every time she sees a spider, it is more than likely her child will learn to react in a similar way. After all, if it is that scary for an adult, what chance does a kid have?

Have you any advice for people who suffer from phobias?

There is no need to suffer. Contact a hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner and you could be free of fear by tomorrow. There is more information on my web site:

021 487 6072

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Depression is a disorder that involves the body, mood and thoughts, and can affect the way you feel about yourself, the way you eat and sleep, and the way you think about things. It is quite normal for most people to feel a little down or pessimistic from time to time. It is important to realise that depression is not a sign of weakness and that it is not easy for the depressed person to 'pull themselves together' and get better by themselves. Without any form of treatment the symptoms can often go on for months or years.

Anti-depressant medications, on a doctor’s prescription, are very helpful in addressing the imbalances in brain chemistry which occur in the depressed mind. However, it is my experience, both as a former pharmacist and a former sufferer of depression, that medication is not necessarily a permanent solution to the problem. The problem lies in the way we think; and the way we think is what causes that chemical imbalance in the first place. To change the way we feel, we must change the way we think. Of course, when you are depressed, that's much easier said than done! That's where therapy can help.

Depression Q&A

What is depression?

We all go through spells of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Depression affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and it may even feel sometimes as if life isn't worth living.

What are the symptoms of depression?

The symptoms vary between individuals, but typically include anxiety, insomnia, lasting feelings of sadness or hopelessness and loss of interest in things you used to enjoy doing. A fairly comprehensive list of possible symptoms can be found by following this link

How is depression diagnosed and treated?

Remember only a doctor is qualified to diagnose depression, so that should be your first port of call if you think you may be suffering. Medication may be prescribed, which is designed to correct some of the “chemical imbalances” which occur in the brain during depression. Although this does not “cure” depression, it can greatly relieve the symptoms and make therapy a lot quicker and easier. It is only by therapy that the underlying thought processes can be amended and the depression truly defeated.

How long does it take to feel better?

The time taken to feel better depends on how bad the symptoms are and how long the patient has suffered them. Typically an average of eight to twelve sessions of therapy may be needed to break the cycle of depressive thoughts and remove the associated anxiety. Feel free to contact me via my web site or by telephone if you would like to know more detail, or to arrange a free introductory consultation.

021 487 6072

Friday, 31 October 2014

Dark evenings

The clocks have gone back an hour and suddenly the evenings are dark and dreary again. Is it any wonder that November is seen as one of the more depressing months of the year? Fight back by making sure you get a regular dose of fresh air and light! Get out in your lunch hour for a few minutes each day and plan to spend time outdoors in the daylight each weekend. It is amazing how much it will literally "lighten" your mood!

021 487 6072

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Fear of speaking in public

The fear of public speaking is probably the most common phobia I deal with in my practice. Statistics for the United Kingdom show it to be even more common than the fear of death; which I suppose goes to show many people would rather die than to have to speak in public! 

The phobia generally has two aspects; a crippling panic when actually performing is just one part. Additionally and even worse for many people is the dread that goes beforehand. People with this phobia can spend days imagining the event, (usually going badly), over and over again, leading to high stress levels and loss of sleep. It can be quite debilitating and exhausting. Many famous figures throughout history have been victims, including movie stars like Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. Even the "father of psycho-analysis", Sigmund Freud himself was a sufferer. 

Unfortunately for Dr Freud, he was not around in the 1970's to see the discoveries being made in the field of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which have transformed the treatment of many phobias. Nowadays, NLP practitioners are able to teach people the skills needed to be calm and confident in front of an audience, and perhaps even more important, how to avoid worrying about the speaking engagement beforehand and actually look forward to it!

If you want to find out more, drop me a line via my website or pick up the phone and call 021 487 6072. One or two sessions is usually all it takes.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis, or "trance", is a very normal and natural state of consciousness, one we all experience from time to time in which the mind remains clear, alert and focused on something. Have you ever "become really absorbed" while watching TV? Or driven to work on "auto pilot?" That is a form of trance. It is not the same as sleep. It is not an unconscious state.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, hypnosis is not something that is done to you, rather it is something you do to yourself. Indeed all hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis - a skill you will learn during therapy. The job of the "hypnotist" is merely to guide the client into that particular state of awareness that is a trance state.

Sometimes people ask if they've really been hypnotised, just because it feels so normal and they were maybe expecting something very strange. The zombie like states seen in movies and on TV shows are pure fantasy. Unfortunately much of this popular perception of hypnosis is reinforced by what appears to happen in stage hypnosis shows, but the reality is far less dramatic than Hollywood likes to portray it!

Stage hypnotism is a totally different scenario, an entertainment setting where the vast majority of people in the audience have already "bought into" the idea that silly things are going to happen. Stage hypnotists pick their "victims" with great care. They have no interest in the shy, quiet types, they want the extroverts, and they also want people who are quite convinced of their "magic" powers, using so-called "suggestibility tests" to reinforce the belief. Curiously, people are still willing to believe in this even if the performer, like Derren Brown, is open enough to admit that his "mind control" power doesn't exist and that he is only using a combination of illusion, misdirection and showmanship!

Mind control by stage hypnotists is no more real than a magician "sawing a woman in half".

021 487 6072

Monday, 25 August 2014

Back to school - back to bullying?

Many children do not look forward to returning to school; not because it's the end of the free days of the summer holiday but for a more sinister reason. School is where the bullying often happens. Children seldom talk about it to their parents, so mum and dad need to be vigilant for the tell-tale signs of bullying, some of which are listed here:

  • Unexplained physical marks, cuts, bruises and scrapes
  • Unexplained loss of toys, school supplies, clothing, lunches, or money
  • Clothes, toys, books, electronic items are damaged or missing or child reports mysteriously “losing” possessions
  • Doesn't want to go to school or other activities with peers
  • Doesn't want to use the school bus
  • Afraid to be left alone: wants you there at end of school time, suddenly "clingy"
  • Suddenly sullen, withdrawn, evasive; remarks about feeling lonely
  • Marked change in typical behaviour or personality
  • Persistently appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed with no apparent cause
  • Physical complaints; headaches, stomach aches, frequent visits the school nurse’s office
  • Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, cries self to sleep, bed-wetting
  • Change in eating habits
  • Begins bullying siblings or younger children. (Bullied children can sometimes exchange roles and become the bully.)
  • Waits to get home to use the bathroom. (School bathrooms, because they are often not adult-supervised, can be hotspots for bullying).
  • Suddenly has fewer friends or doesn't want to be with the “regular group”
  • Very hungry when he/she comes home. (Bullies can use extortion stealing a victim’s lunch money or lunch.)
  • Sudden and significant drop in school marks/grades. (Bullying can cause a child to have difficulty focusing and concentrating.)
  • Blames self for problems; feels “not good enough”
  • Talks about feeling helpless or about suicide; runs away.

What can I do as a parent? 

Find out what is going on. Ask direct questions. Be supportive and caring. Don't threaten to confront the bully on behalf of the child - but give them the tools to stand up for themselves. Most people have suffered bullying at some time in their lives; so give the child an example from your own life and show them how you overcame it. Remember, to a small child in particular, adults are all-powerful!

Remember that bullying can happen on-line too. Social networks are frequently used by bullies to humiliate and belittle their victims. If you suspect this is happening, do a web search for your child's name, and discover what is being posted about them.

Why me?

Some children seem to be natural targets for bullies while others do not. The bully seems to have a natural instinct for picking his or her victim - so what are the signals being unwittingly transmitted by the child that invite the bully? Clearly it is not a conscious choice to be bullied; the signals are being delivered sub-consciously by the child's body language, expression, tone of voice and much more. It is possible to learn to change these, and it is easier than you think!

Can a therapist help?

Hypnosis and NLP can give your child a set of powerful techniques to feel more self confident and assertive, and generally better about themselves. Bullies invariably have self esteem issues of their own, but their approach is to make someone feel worse than they do in order to feel good about themselves. It is the strategy of a coward. Faced with a seemingly confident child, they quickly move on and find an easier mark.

All children have great imaginations, and NLP shows them how to use this to begin to engage in positive thoughts and beliefs about themselves, rather than using the imagination in a negative way. This generates a subtly different body language pattern, and the bully gets a different non-verbal message from the child.

Remember, anyone who is good at worrying has a powerful imagination! Let's get to work on using it to feel better, instead of feeling bad!

021 487 6072

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Something to look forward to

Looking back and asking "why" is a sure-fire shortcut to feeling bad about yourself. The past is done, and if it didn't quite go according to plan - well, of course that happens to everyone. A wise person learns from their mistakes and looks forward to improving next time. That way there is no such thing as failure, only opportunities from which to learn.

Having something to look forward to is an easy way to feel happier, whether at work or at home. Instead of dreading doing a task, try looking forward to how great you will feel when the task is finished! Promise yourself a reward when it's done. It might only be something small, but it's something to look forward to - and that keeps you going! In the short term you can look forward to your comfortable chair, to putting your slippers on, to the Friday feeling, to seeing the kids smiling when you get home. Longer term, look forward to the next holiday, to Christmas, to finishing a project and feeling good about it. 

Always have something special to look forward to. If you're feeling a bit stuck in a rut, plan a weekend away (and look forward to planning it!) or maybe just a shopping trip or a visit to the cinema. Then put it in your calendar. Whatever your interests are - put them in your calendar too. Sports fixtures, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, launch date of a new book or movie, new series of your favourite TV programme - all these things fill your future with possibilities for pleasant experiences. You might not get to do them all, but there is pleasure in looking forward to them too - and then again, why not?

021 487 6072

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Oral habits

It is curious that so many unwanted habits are oral in nature; thumb sucking. nail biting, smoking and of course comfort eating to name just a few. Sigmund Freud was one of the first to notice the apparent connection between a feeling of comfort and the presence of something in the mouth. It seems to be one of the earliest learned triggers, and it is fairly easy to see where it starts - a baby who cries, or expresses discomfort in some way soon gets a bottle, breast or maybe a soother placed in his or her mouth. The human infant rapidly begins to associate comfort with the oral stimulus. The process is reinforced throughout childhood. How often are children rewarded for good behaviour or consoled through difficult times by means of chocolate, crisps, ice cream or similar?

Fortunately NLP and hypnosis can give us the antidote. The subconscious mind can be taught quite quickly to break the connection between oral stimulus and comfort. The "comfort" feeling is simultaneously installed and attached to a different, harmless habit and the old unwanted one is gone. Sometimes additional regression work needs to be done to find the deeper reason for the discomfort occurring in the first place, typically where a lot of anxiety is present, but this is not usually the case for most smokers and nail biters.

Find out more by looking at my clinic web site or you can call me on 021 487 6072 to find out how this could work for you!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Cost effective treatment

On the face of it, therapy is a large investment. Hypno-psychotherapists typically charge between €80 and €100 per session. Is that good value for money? I would argue that it is, not only because it works, but because it works much more quickly then conventional psychotherapy, counselling or GP prescribed medication.

In Ireland, the average cost of a visit to the family doctor is estimated to be around €46, for a consultation of around ten minutes duration. A brief visit such as this is generally insufficient to investigate the symptoms of any emotional condition such as depression or generalised anxiety syndrome, or to measure the patient's progress since the last consultation. Then there is the subsequent cost of the prescribed medication (up to €144 per month) and the fact that anxiolytics, such as Xanax or Diazepam, and anti-depressant medicines only deal with the symptoms of the condition and not the underlying cause. In 30 years of practice as a pharmacist I saw little evidence of anyone permanently defeating depression or anxiety simply by taking medication.

Conventional psychotherapists and counsellors tend to charge less per session than hypno-psychotherapists do, but unfortunately both approaches take many more sessions to effect a cure. The very fact that hypnosis is used means that the subconscious mind is more readily accessed and the root cause of the clients difficulties found and dealt with much more quickly.

Before embarking on a course of treatment, it makes sense to ask how long it is likely to take, how much it is likely to cost, and how likely it is to work. Ask your potential therapist for a free introductory consultation to find out more about what they do and how they do it. It should take only about 40 minutes or so. You can get all your questions answered and also get to meet the person you will be investing in.

You can find out more about the treatments I offer on my web site or make your free appointment by calling 021 487 6072.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Professionalism and ethics

Hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and counselling are unregulated professions in Ireland and in many other countries too. Mainstream practitioners like doctors, pharmacists and dentists are regulated by the state. Their professional qualifications, codes of ethics and continuing fitness to practice are constantly under scrutiny by a regulatory body. As this process does not yet apply to the world of therapy and counselling, how sure can you be that the therapist you are considering using is both competent and professional?

Anyone can cover their website with glowing testimonials from past clients, whether real or imagined. Anyone can claim to be the "leading" therapist in their area or field. As guidelines, these are meaningless. If you are concerned (and you should be) about your potential therapist's ethics, training and professionalism the best thing to do is look a little bit below the surface. What is their background? What training have they received? How experienced are they? Most importantly perhaps, what professional bodies do they belong too? Professional memberships give a better clue into the true worth of the therapist.

Have a look at the professional body's web site and check:

  • Is it just a list of therapists' names or is there an actual organisation behind it? If all you have to do to join is to fill in an online form it is completely meaningless.
  • What qualifications are needed to become a member?
  • What is its code of ethics? Download it and read it.
  • Does it have a policy for members working with children?
  • Is there a complaints procedure?
  • What is the policy on continued education?
  • What is the policy on supervision? Supervision is of VITAL importance to therapists, counsellors and those working any psychological issues, ensuring their continued fitness to practice and providing essential protection to members of the public.
In the absence of statutory regulation, the best and safest option is to look for a therapist who is a member of a body which is providing its own internal regulation in the areas mentioned above, and preferably is co-operating with other organisations in working towards a framework of eventual statutory regulation.

Most important of all, before undertaking therapy, speak to the therapist! Booking online without making at least verbal contact by telephone is a leap in the dark. You need to be sure you are comfortable working with the person before you start. Anyone thinking of embarking on a course of psychotherapy should seek a free introductory consultation and find out exactly what is involved, how long it is likely to take, and what the costs are likely to be.

My own background and memberships can be found on my website. If you want to talk to me, just call 021 487 6072 to find out more about how therapy can help you.

021 487 6072

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Time to think

Summer holidays are about getting away from it all. It is a wonderful feeling to empty the mind and just enjoy relaxing in the mental space that appears when everyday life is hundreds of miles away. Sometimes, however, the mind does find itself drifting back to life, work, the universe and everything and there is something of a sense of wanting to get priorities right and maybe do things a bit differently "when I get back home". Projects that have been on the back burner are mentally dusted off and vague plans for actually implementing them drift into view. Sadly, for most people it takes about three days back in the old routine until the plans disappear once again into the back of the mind - until next year's holiday!

So if this happens to you, why not grab a piece of paper and jot the ideas down as they come to you and then just get on with enjoying your holiday? When you get back, the first item on your list should be "Book a Coaching Session". One session is all it needs to start organising your life, and getting done those things which are important to you. It might mean you get to spend more time doing what you enjoy, with the people you love and less time getting stressed out and counting the days to the next holiday.

Or you could just do it now by calling 021 487 6072. Does that sound like a plan?

Riverside Hypnotherapy and Coaching

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Web site re-launched!

After two weeks working up to my elbows in HTML and Javascript I am happy to announce that my new website is up and running, with a brighter and more modern design. Navigation of the site is now a lot easier, with direct links from the main menu to various articles about hypnotherapy, NLP mindcoaching, and the many problems they are used to help defeat. I hope you will take time to check it out and maybe share the link with any of your friends who you think may benefit from the services offered!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

I'll do it when I get around to it......

For many people, procrastination is the single greatest obstacle to actually getting important things done. It's not that they don't have the time, it's just that they waste it by doing other less productive things until there is insufficient time left.

This strategy is one of avoidance. The task is usually not a particularly pleasant one so any excuse is found to put off the actual "doing" of it. Of course what is happening psychologically is that the procrastinator is running an internal movie or looking at an internal picture of themselves bogged down in this unwanted task. This makes them feel bad, so the unconscious mind finds something else to do instead to take the mind off it. Short term problem apparently solved!

Of course if the job is important enough it has to be done eventually, and then what a great feeling it is to have it done! Suddenly the world is full of possibilities again! This good feeling is the key to defeating procrastination. Instead of thinking gloomily about how miserable you could be when doing the task, deliberately concentrate instead on how good you will feel when it's done - maybe promising yourself a nice treat or a reward when you get there. That way you get to feel good before and after the task, because let's be honest, procrastination is just another form of worrying, and we can all use less of that!

If all else fails, just print and cut out the image above. After all, you said you'd do it when you got "a round tuit"!

Riverside Hypnotherapy and Coaching

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Summer holidays - be mindful!

It's a strange thing but many people's memories of childhood summer holidays are full of sunshine and of generally having a great time. I'm sure there must have been some rainy summers in my own childhood somewhere, after all I was raised in Manchester, but somehow they are not the ones that stick in the memory. Children have an inbuilt ability to live in the moment and not concern themselves with yesterday or worry themselves about tomorrow. Most of the time they are just enjoying themselves, and that is often in their own imagined internal worlds if the outside world has wished a rainy day on them.

As teenagers we tend to lose this habit. The secondary education system and beyond does not encourage daydreaming, and the world of work definitely does not! However, the current growth of interest in mindfulness and self-awareness is perhaps beginning to see a reversal in this trend. Every time you live in the moment and really appreciate the beauty of what is around you, every time you notice tiny little fascinating details in your surroundings, every time you notice how good you actually feel inside you are adding a store of good memories and thoughts in the same way you did as a child during those summer holidays. When the not-so-good times come, you have installed a wealth of great moments to dip into so you can re-live those treasured moments and can feel good at any time.

This is particularly effective if you deliberately surround yourself with things that are associated with the good memories, The triggers are there when you need them. A photo of your loved ones or a holiday souvenir are obvious examples, but you could install others too. If you take the time to really appreciate a blue sky, or a leaf, or a particular bird song, or even a tiny valiant plant forcing its way through the cracks in a city pavement then that sense of wonder rapidly becomes attached to that image and you have the equivalent of that holiday souvenir inside your own head!

Catch yourself in a good moment and then notice something that you can connect to it - a sight, sound or smell maybe. You can use that same sensory stimulus later to re-live the good feeling. The more you practice it, the better at it you get. The better at it you get, the more good feelings you have!

Happy holidays!
021 487 6072

Thursday, 22 May 2014

International No Tobacco Day

May 31st is International "No Tobacco Day". Just another day maybe, or would you like to make it the start of your own personal "No Tobacco Lifetime"? The habit of smoking is a costly one, both financially and in health terms. Smokers live shorter, less healthy lives and even spend good money reducing their lifespan and life quality. Many of them want to stop, but find themselves prevented from doing so by the fear of "cravings" for tobacco.

As a hypnotherapist and NLP master practitioner, I have successfully helped many people permanently stop smoking. The vast majority of them have done so in just one session. It's a lot easier than most people think, and certainly a lot easier and less expensive than the nicotine replacement and electronic cigarette industries would like you to believe.

Cravings are good!

When people smoke, it's not usually for a love of the taste or the smell of the cigarette. It's not even for the nicotine. They do it because it has become associated with a nice feeling of some sort, and that is what the cravings are actually for. It may be relaxation, or just that self-indulgent "me" moment we all need from time to time, or perhaps an excuse to get away from work for a few minutes - but whatever it is, it feels good. Nicotine gum and patches don't let you keep that good feeling - hypnosis and NLP do. Imagine being able to feel that feeling just because you can do it, without needing the artificial support of a cigarette to get it. Imagine being able to access that good feeling instantly. There is no reason to smoke any more. That's what I teach - and it's surprisingly simple. 

Hypnosis is then used to install the process into the subconscious mind, which is where habits and other learned behaviours reside. The whole process takes about 90 minutes. The reason only one session is needed is because the hypnotic part of the session, which is specific to the individual client, is recorded and burned on to a CD for repeated listening over the next two weeks. A new habit is quickly put in place and the client is now in control of their own feelings. There is no longer any need for a cigarette to achieve the feeling they were craving.

It is easier than you think, and it needs a lot less willpower than you think. Call to find out more.

021 487 6072

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Love your job?

If you find yourself stuck in a job that gives you no joy it can be difficult to even see the possibility of how to change it. A good salary doesn't make a bad job any more pleasant - golden handcuffs are no more comfortable than steel ones!

Brian Colbert's Book "The Happiness Habit" opens the door to discovering what truly makes you happy in life and shines a light on the road towards making happiness a part of your everyday life. It shows you how to overcome the mental obstacles to freedom and actually begin to get off your butt, out of your rut and travelling that road. The book has been adopted as the coaching manual for the Irish Institute of NLP, and the weekend training based on the book is now the foundation level for membership of the International Association of Mind Coaches and the Diploma in Mind Coaching.

So if you are interested in living life the way YOU want to live it, and not the way someone else makes you live it, take a look at the book and the training. Because it really could change your life. The training is available as weekend workshops and as a set of one-to-one coaching sessions.

More information can be found at

021 487 6072

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Giant rats and other phobias..........

Recent news stories (Sunday World 3rd April) about two giant rats being found in Dublin homes have led to a lot of discussion about phobias on talk radio programmes around the country. Recently I took part in a phone-in on Joe Finnegan's show on Shannonside Radio in which callers described living in fear of not just rats, but many other things too.

Most people are unaware that phobias can be removed very easily - usually in one session of neurolinguistic programming (NLP). It works by scrambling the instinctive response that is triggered when exposure to the phobic stimulus occurs. Quite simply, you'll not be able think about a rat (spider, dog, snake, plane.....) in quite the same way again; and why would you want to?

All phobics are blessed, or maybe I should say cursed, with a good imagination. They easily imagine that the thing they fear is everywhere. Then they imagine the worst case scenario involving that thing happening. They imagine it large and scary! This can happen in a split second. They can go from just thinking of a spider to having an imaginary one crawling on them in less than the blink of an eye. It is this powerful imagination that the NLP practitioner teaches you to put to use - but in a positive way.

If you are near Cork and want to know more about how NLP could help you, or someone you know, change their life for the better and begin to live life fearlessly, give me a call on 021 487 6072 or visit Riverside Hypnotherapy's website. Practitioners elsewhere in the country can be found on the website of the Irish Institute of NLP.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Live life to your values

What is REALLY important to you in life? What TRULY makes you happy? When you find the answer to these questions and start to make time for those things in your everyday life happiness quickly becomes a habit.

Find out how you can do these things easily by enrolling for the Happiness Habit weekend in Cork on May 17th and 18th. Two days of fun, learning and installing a brighter future for €295. It could be the best investment you ever make. Advance booking essential.

For further details and to reserve your place......
021 487 6072

Monday, 14 April 2014

Are you wasting time?

Time is more than precious. You only get it once, then it's gone forever. How do you spend this priceless resource? How much time can you spend doing the things that make you happy?

I would like you to invest a weekend of your time with me at the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork on 17th and 18th May. I will show you how to make the most of your time to live a happy and fulfilling life. This is more than a weekend. This is a life changer.

Based on the bestselling book by Brian Colbert, and designed by him, this is a practical course which gives you powerful, easy to use tools to make real change in the way you live your life. It also forms the foundation level for the diploma in mind coaching offered by the International Association of Mind Coaches.

Advance booking is essential - call 021 487 6072 or visit to book your place. Investment €295 includes workbook and IAMC certification. Early bird discount available until Easter Sunday.

Monday, 31 March 2014

April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month

IBS awareness month happens every year in April. Of course, if you suffer from IBS you will certainly already be aware of the extreme discomfort it can cause. What you might not be aware of is that many people have found relief for their symptoms using hypnosis and relaxation techniques.

By definition, IBS has "no organic cause" which tends to suggest that the cause must be psychological rather than physiological. In my experience, this is usually the case. Any stress related gut problems ranging all the way from constipation to diarrhoea are conveniently labelled as IBS.

Please check my website for more information, including external links to dietary advice. If you would like to book a course of therapy to tackle your symptoms feel free to give me a call on 021 487 6072.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Lighter evenings on the way!

What are you going to do with that extra hour of daylight as summer time arrives again? And I mean what are you actually GOING to do, not what are you just PLANNING to do!

Good intentions are fine, but imagine how you would feel if you actually achieved those intentions and got done the things you planned to get done. Whether it's losing weight, exercising more, walking, running, gardening, or whatever you'd love to do but somehow never actually get round to, a coaching session can really help you to become motivated and stay with it.

NLP mind coaching shows you how to defeat procrastination and instinctively find that motivated state whenever you need it . So pick up the phone and make an appointment, or just get out there and enjoy yourself!

It's all in the mind.

021 487 6072

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Studying and Examination Nerves

Sorry for reminding you, but the exam season is nearly upon us. The evenings are getting longer, the weather is surely getting better, and the stress levels are increasing. 

Would you like to be successful but without the stress? Why not reduce the pressure by booking a mind coaching session? I can show you how to harness the power of your subconscious mind to ensure that you are in the right mental state for the task in hand; whether that is being focused on applying yourself and making effective use of study time, or being calm and relaxed enough to perform in that dreaded "oral" examination, or perhaps just being able to recall the information when the heat is on and the exam clock is ticking.

Knowing your subject is not always enough. The ability to recall information under pressure is every bit as important as being able to store it in the first place. A mind coach can make that vital difference, as well as helping relieve the stress so you can perhaps enjoy some of that nice weather a little more!

Book a grind for your mind. It might be the best investment you could make this exam time.

Call me to find out more
021 487 6072

Monday, 24 February 2014

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the traditional Christian season of self-denial, fasting and abstinence. For many people it is also the start of an annual attempt to give up smoking. Why not make the resolution a permanent one this year with one session of hypnotherapy? Results are impressive, and there is no need to carry on spending money on nicotine replacement therapy or "electronic cigarettes".

If you would like to kick the habit, and still feel relaxed and confident, give me a call on 021 487 6072 to find out more about how it works.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Happiness is just ahead!

If you live in Ireland, the "Happiness Habit" weekend seminars will soon be coming to a location near you. If you would like to reserve a place, or maybe you'd like to suggest your town as a possible venue for a course, then please get in touch, either by posting here or by visiting

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Happiness Habit

Based on the best-selling book "The Happiness Habit" by leading mind coach Brian Colbert, I am happy to announce that I will soon be offering weekend courses in the south of Ireland. Not only will I be teaching the beautifully simple approach devised by Brian in his book, but the course also forms the foundation level for your eventual qualification as an accredited mind coach, if you choose to take that path! 

By the end of this course you will know which things to focus on and when to focus on them in order for you to be happy more often so that live your life to its very best.   

What to expect

  • You will be having fun and learning. 
  • You will be doing not just listening. 
  • You will develop a deeper understanding of who you are 
  • You will acquire a set of workable tools that you can put to immediate use. 
  • You will create a realistic and workable life plan 
  • You will feel empowered to take positive control over your life 
  • You can expect to make a few new friends for life

What you will learn

  • How to live a happier and more fulfilling life
  • What you need to do to feel good more often. 
  • How to cure the tendency towards Toxic Thinking.
  • How to face adversity and overcome challenges
  • How to build your confidence and stay positive

For details of dates of courses near you, please bookmark this new website, or contact my office on 021 487 6072. Further information on how to become an accredited mind coach can be found on the Irish Institute of NLP's website. IINLP is the training body of the International Association of Mind Coaches.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Groundhog Day!

February 2nd is Groundhog Day. The day when, for some strange reason, the world becomes obsessed with the reaction of a particular rodent to his own shadow. The day achieved it's worldwide fame courtesy of the 1993 comedy film of the same name starring Bill Murray as a TV weatherman who gets stuck in a time loop, and is forced to live the same day over and over again.

The situation provided some classic comedy moments for the cinema audience, but I suspect none of the viewers would care to experience the phenomenon for themselves. It certainly is more fun to watch that it appears to be to actually be Bill Murray's character. Many people, however, do know what it feels like. I wonder if you are one of them? Do you ever get the feeling your are in a repeating loop? Are you like a hamster in a wheel, working hard to go nowhere? Perhaps you are stuck in a boring job, or maybe stuck with a habit you'd like to break free from? Or is it a state of mind or a way of thinking you'd like to change?

NLP coaching is the rapid way to break the cycle and start living the life you want to live, feeling the way that you want to feel. So if you don't want every day to be Groundhog Day, pick up the phone and contact me now.
021 487 6072

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Give me time!

Time is the ultimate finite resource. You are given only a certain amount of it to spend in your life, and you never know how much you have been given. The only certainty is that you can only spend that time once. There are no refunds. Perhaps now is the time to consider a budget for your time, so that you get the best value for your investment.

We are living in an age of time poverty. Despite the technological advances of recent decades, people find that the amount of discretionary time available to them seems to be under ever increasing pressure. This is without doubt one of the commonest causes of stress that I deal with every day as a therapist and coach. It seems everyone is making demands on our time – the boss, the kids, the parents, friends, e-mail, and even Facebook. Finding the way to balance these demands is vital to reducing stress, getting things done, achieving goals, and finding that precious quality time to recharge the batteries!

Time management coaching gives you back the power to control your own life; your own time. You will learn simple techniques to manage the demands placed on you, so that you always feel in control. You will find yourself doing the things that are important – doing them in a planned way. This leaves plenty of flexibility to handle a crisis if it occurs – without ever feeling overwhelmed. It also makes time for the good stuff in life, enabling you to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about what you think you “should” be doing.

You will also learn how to identify what is really important to you – your values in life. When you really understand your values and start living your life and managing your time around them you are on the fast track to happiness and fulfillment. If this idea appeals to you (and why wouldn't it?), call me on 021 487 6072 or visit to find out more.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

What are you looking forward to?

January is a time for reflection on the year past and for looking forward to planning the year ahead. The month derives its name from the Roman deity Janus, who was depicted as having two faces - on which looked back to the old year and one which was looking ahead to the new!

Of course, it can be a good thing to reflect on the past - what we learned there is, after all, what brought us to where we are today. If you want to be in a different place than you are today, however, a forward looking aspect is much more appropriate. After all, you can drive a car perfectly well by looking only in the rear view mirror - provided the road ahead is exactly the same as the road behind! But the mirror is essential to check for anything behind you which may have the potential to overtake you and become a problem in the future.

That is what therapy for. Putting things from the past where they belong. Behind you. Permanently. But it is even more important to have a destination in mind - unless you are happy to just drift along aimlessly through life. And isn't that why we make New Year resolutions any way? To have a purpose, a direction, a goal? To be fulfilled and happy?

As a therapist I can help you to leave the past behind and as a coach I can show you how to program your goals and resolutions into the SatNav of your mind so that as you drive forward you find those resolutions are easy to focus on and easy and enjoyable to keep.

Now, isn't that something to look forward to?

021 487 6072