By Tom Gillespie
HYPNOTHERAPIST Laura McDonald is in the national finals of the Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year in October.
Castlebar-based Laura was named the Mayo Solo Businesswoman earlier this year after launching her business in April.
Laura is a clinical hypnotherapist and BrainWorking Recursive Therapist (BWRT). She can help you let go of old habits, beliefs, thoughts and behaviours that you feel no longer serve you well.
Using powerful techniques from a choice of therapies, you can take control of what goes on in your mind, allowing you to live a freer, more contented life.
Laura is daughter of the late Denise Henaghan of Ellison Street, Castlebar. Her sister is Joyce Prendergast, Castle Street, and Denise’s brother was the late pharmacist and councillor, John Henaghan.
Laura’s grandparents were Marjorie and Dr. Brendan Henaghan, Ellison Street.
Since 2004 Laura has assisted with a number of issues including smoking cessation, stress, PTSD, weight loss, childhood trauma, abuse, childbirth and so much more. Laura uses a range of different therapies from hypnosis, EFT, life coaching, and BWRT.
Laura told me: “Since I opened it has been challenging but brilliant and full on. It has been very busy and the amount of people who came in who hadn’t heard of me even though I was in Kachina for 15 years. It will be 18 years this Christmas I will have been in business.
“For the smokers, I have to ask them lots and lots of questions to make sure they are in the right mindset. Some people might tell me ‘my doctor told me to quit’. But I ask what do you think? Do you still like smoking? If they say yes I’ll say they are wasting their time and money and I won’t take them on. I want them lighting up and hating that they are lighting up. Then it works.”
Laura also deals with the stress of parenting, which was especially prevalent during lockdown, anger management, weight loss mindset, fear of public speaking, relationships to difficult people, difficult relationships, break-ups, or co-parenting.
I asked Laura how dealing with these situations affected her. She said: “I have to work really, really hard to not cry when they are sitting in front of me. I try to keep neutral until they say something that triggers me that I have experienced but I have trained to be very neutral.
“I am always telling people to take care of themselves, mind their minds, and I have to practice what I preach – to do nice things like having a bath or painting their nails. I have to do all these things otherwise I’m being a hypocrite.
“It is hard and there are days when I think I’m just going to go and get a job, work for someone else. But then I get people coming back who saying I have changed their lives.”
Laura’s, whose clinic, Eden Wellness, is at Newline, Castlebar (F23 KD68), added: “If you are ready to make a change, whether that be breaking free from a habit, increasing confidence, finding motivation, moving forward from fears, letting go of limiting beliefs or just looking for direction in life, I use a variety of techniques in my work that may be just what you are looking for.
“You can bring your mind to a place of focus and discipline so that you can navigate your days as best as you can, and deal with things constructively from a point of clarity and confidence.
“We can’t control what goes on around us or outside of us, but we can learn to control what happens within, and this can be beneficial in every area of life.
“I know what it’s like to feel lost, unsure, uncomfortable in your own skin, and unsure of who you even are.
“I stepped onto this path of studying the human mind purely to figure out my own, and once I started, my original chosen career goals took a complete turn and I became a hypnotherapist in 2004.
“Since then I have gone on to become a BrainWorking Recursive Therapist and coach, allowing me to help more people across a broader range of issues.”
Laura works Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m. but she stressed she is totally flexible to meet clients. She had an online calendar where people can book an appointment. During lockdown she joined the Emergency Services Discount App – ESDA – so anyone who is in the emergency services gets a discount.
Laura continued: “I work with general stress, worry, confidence issues, sports motivation, exercise motivation, smoking cessation, fears, changing your reaction to a situation or painful memory, and more. I work with individuals aged 18 and above.
“If I can’t help you, I can often point you in the right direction and refer you to someone else who can.
“You can come to me for one or two sessions and you will see a major difference. I charge €100 an hour. If it’s smoking it is €200 for an hour-and-a-half. But it is life-changing stuff.” Clients, she said, leave feeling empowered, with a sense of clarity, and tools to help themselves as often as they wish.
Laura, a mother of four, trained in hypnotherapy with the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis, London, in 2004.
She said: “I began with the foundation course, continued on to do the professional course, and studied a further diploma in the advanced professional course. I set up my practice as soon as I qualified, starting in a Notting Hill SureStart clinic specialising in helping pregnant women give up smoking. It was the start of a wonderful new career.
“In 2006, I began practicing in the Chaim Centre, Willesden Green, London. I spent a year there before moving to Ireland, where I set up my practice in Kachina Alternative Health and Beauty Clinic, Castlebar, in February 2007, before launching Eden Wellness last April.
“Over the years, I have continued to expand my knowledge, studying weight management, reiki, healing, life coaching, emotional freedom technique, NLP, stress management, and the amazing new BrainWorking Recursive Therapy® (BWRT), a model of psychology and psychotherapy created by UK professional therapist Terence Watts, MCGI.
“It’s a totally confidential method that does not require you to reveal your private information or personal secrets to your therapist and it is carried out in a completely conscious state.”
Eden Wellness is located at Newline, Castlebar (F23 KD68) and can be contacted on (083) 0234503 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.edenwellness.ie or www.bwrtireland.ie.
* Do you have a story to tell about your business? If so, Tom Gillespie would be delighted to hear from you. Get in touch at (087) 9680780 or email@example.com.