Heather Straun - Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapist BA (Hons), HDP and DSFH.
Trained at the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy School (CPHT) an accredited centre of excellence in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.
I am passionate about helping creatives and those who work with them. I want to help relieve the anxiety and depression so often brought on by the very nature of our industry and enable people to not only reach their true potential but also enjoy the pleasure of working creatively in a way that is sustainable and healthy.
I have spent 40 years working in theatre, film and TV as an actor and in theatre as a director, producer, educator, trainer, consultant and mentor working under the name of Heather Williams.
My professional life has been illuminated and inspired through working closely with writers, choreographers, composers, stage managers, technicians, designers, actors and musicians. My family shares that experience of working in collective creative environments. My husband has worked as an actor, theatre director and lecturer in theatre and film. My son is a lighting designer and director for the music industry. In short I understand the challenges all people in the industry face particularly to their mental health and well being.
In my home city of Bristol I was resident at Bristol Old Vic for 12 years as an actor, and director and Head of Education and Youth Theatre. Subsequently I co-created Myrtle Theatre Company, where I was the Artistic Director for 15 years.
During my time with Myrtle Theatre Company our creative practice focused on health and wellbeing, working with communities and groups of people who found themselves in difficult situations. We developed a number of productions focusing on mental health issues and collaborated on a number of occasions with mental health organisations and services.
I have always been fascinated by how the mind works in relation to creativity and out of personal interest and research I tried Solution Focused Hynotherapy. I was expecting a lovely relaxing experience - but what I gained was so much more. Even though I don’t see myself as anxious, I quickly came to realise I was carrying a great deal of stress around due to the pressures of my job. I was amazed at how calm and relaxed I became, how my sleep improved, and how much better I became at controlling my emotions. My thoughts became clearer, I grew more confident and became more motivated to do the things I wanted and needed to do. I began to think much more positively, and became, dare I say it, happier. I understood in greater detail about how our minds work and was given a range of strategies to help cope with the everything life throws at us along the way.
I quickly realised I wanted to share this with other professionals working in the creative and performance arts sector and so embarked on the training at CPHT a National Centre of excellence in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.
"Many years working as a Choreographer and Movement Director had taken it’s toll on my mental health. Insomnia, inability to switch off, mental exhaustion, hyper-vigilance and negative thinking had become unwelcome patterns of behaviour that I was desperate to change.
A weekly session on Zoom, away from the madness of household in lockdown, literally saved my sanity and began noticeably improving my health, sleep, outlook and mood. Other people began to notice a calmer, less reactive, positive me. I came to this therapy looking for balance and better productivity and this has been happening in all aspects of life, professionally and creatively. It has been an absolute revelation. Heather treated me with such care and respect. I recommend it to anyone who has become ‘stuck’ in patterns of behaviour they don’t want and can’t change."
Choreographer and Movement Director
The sessions I had with Heather introduced me to new ways of thinking that I could use both in professional and everyday life. She really took care to walk through how the brain worked and I would finish each session feeling educated, positive and rejuvenated! As an actor, she helped me to use positive thinking within my craft and I have seen massive results due to Heather's sessions. Cannot recommend enough!
I found the hypnotherapy sessions beneficial in many ways, my self-belief, clarity and drive to achieve has continued to improve even months after the sessions has ended.
Heather's naturally warm-hearted empathetic approach put me in a safe place allowing the healing to begin. I would highly recommend this to any one needing a helping hand, as from time to time we all do.
Talking and working with Heather over the last 10 weeks has been crucial in helping me find where my creative journey is heading. Thinking about what I could do better and accentuating the positive aspects of living has given me the confidence to continue a creative process that I previously thought was beyond my capabilities.
Thank you Heather. I was a bit nervous about hypnotherapy but you have a wonderfully sensitive presence that you put me completely at ease so our sessions were really enjoyable and deeply relaxing. I am amazed that in just a few sessions we were able to address a number of things that had been bothering me, and it was all done in such a gentle and caring way. I can honestly say that the improvement to the quality of my sleep has been nothing short of miraculous. I hope other people are able to experience your wonderful gifts.
With lockdown lasting for so long and work looking as if it had no future I was on a downward path emotionally. I was worried about my life, work and the future. I talked once a week with Heather about myself and my feelings, which improved my well being a great deal. After doing the therapy for two months it was actually working. It’s given me the tools to recognise and understand the feeling of self doubt and how to change to a positive outcome. Heather has a lot of understanding and patience and is a great person to talk to.