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the POWER of YOU

As featured in Femme Country, Spring 2024 Edition

In the bustling world of entrepreneurship money can often become a central drive, but for trailing businesswoman, Moira Johnston, her currency of success is measured in the amount of lives she transforms. Editor-in-Chief, Brontë Clare Mitchell, sits down with Moira to chat all about her unique blend of business acumen and therapeutic expertise, and how her sessions challenge stereotypes. Living in the picturesque tranquility of the countryside can be a dream for many. Yet, the reality behind the idyllic landscapes and serene plains can be extremely isolating. The vast distances and often sparse populations can leave some feeling disconnected and alone. However, amidst this isolation, a woman has created a beacon of hope, one which offers solace and support to those who feel stranded in the rural community. Working in the city as a lawyer, Moira Johnston spent much of her time commuting back and forth from her rural home in East Lothian to Edinburgh.

Whilst enjoying every moment of it, she always felt that she wanted more outside of the serious world of the courtroom. She knew life in the city was vibrant and exciting, but having come from a rural background herself, she always felt a tug pulling her back to home ground in the country. Amidst the

scariness of change, taking the leap to stay in East Lothian ended up being the start of another career journey for Moira. Growing up surrounded by serene beauty of rural landscapes, Moira witnessed firsthand the silent struggles of her community – the stress of farming life, the isolation of remote living, and the burden of unspoken emotions. Inspired by her own experiences and fueled by a deep-seated desire to help others, she embarked on a path of self-discovery, exploring various modalities of healing until she stumbled upon the transformative power of hypnotherapy during a private session. “Since an early age I’ve always noticed that mental health has been a subject frequently pushed aside or avoided when it comes to those in the farming or rural communities. We are slowly seeing more support and awareness being shared about mental health within the countryside, but I felt there was more that could be done.”

Retraining with the prestigious Clifton Practice, Moira gained a diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, with an aim to start up her own business and change societal views on mental health in the rural sector. The ten-month course provided her with a highly effective therapeutic framework guided by a Solution Focused approach. Fast forward to today and Moira is rewriting the narrative of mental health support in the countryside, one session at a time.

But, just what is hypnotherapy some of you might be asking? Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a type of talking therapy that incorporates psychotherapy with hypnosis. It utilises modern and well researched strategies, differing from other types of therapy in that it does not dwell on past traumas or events. Instead, it looks at what you want to achieve, the solution, and identifying what small steps can be taken to achieve that. By helping her clients to start focusing on the solution rather than the problem, along with giving them the ability to create their own bespoke tool kit, all of her clients get the very best out of themselves no matter what challenges life throws.

Hypnosis is a very normal and natural thing to do. We actually do it all the time, when daydreaming or watching television, we just don’t realise it. In my sessions hypnosis happens when the conscious and subconscious mind come together in focused attention using guided relaxation. It enables clients to relax on a deep level and let their imagination guide them through positive suggestions, to help them achieve their goals. All of my clients are fully in control throughout the session and can bring themselves out of a hypnotic state at any point. My drive to help my clients feel refreshed, relaxed and energised after hypnosis, leaving with an optimal feeling and ready to get the best out of themselves and the day ahead. Whether that is mucking out horses and getting ready for a competition or feeling motivated to complete farm paperwork.

One of the unique strengths of Moira’s approach lies in its integration with nature. Recognising the restorative power of the great outdoors and the animals that live in it, she often invites her Labrador, Tara, into the sessions. ‘‘Most clients do have their own dogs so this is a great way to build rapport and inject some fun into sessions. I’m also excited to announce that our new therapy donkey in training, Sally, will also be available during sessions and I can’t wait for new and existing clients to meet her!” Moira is deeply committed to making mental health support accessible to all, regardless of their geographic location or financial means. In addition to in-person sessions, she offers virtual consultations via video calls, ensuring that individuals in remote areas can access the support they need from the comfort of their own homes. By leveraging technology and innovation, Moira continues to break down barriers creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.

As the demand for mental health support continues to rise, Moira also remains steadfast in her commitment to empowering women in the countryside. Whether they find themselves wanting to work on their clay and game shooting performance, or it’s simply about being confident in the saddle, more and more women are approaching Moira for customised hypnosis to achieve their goals. “It was important to me that my love for all country pursuits was incorporated into the business. It brings me such fulfilment to watch women in the countryside believe in themselves after our sessions and achieve in the fields. While physical attributes are often the most visible aspect of sporting performance, mental skills play an equally significant role in determining one’s success. By addressing our emotions and considering how our mental health affects our ability in sport, we can enhance our performance, optimise our training and sustain long- term success both on and off the field.

What sets Moira apart is her unwavering dedication to each client’s individual journey. She fosters a safe and nurturing environment, where clients feel heard, understood, and supported. Her approach is holistic, addressing not only the symptoms but also the underlying emotional and psychological factors. But that’s not all, Moira has undertaken further training to work with children and young adults. “Whilst growing up can be challenging, it’s imperative to recognise that it is also a period of immense growth and self-discovery. For children, navigating moving schools can be tricky and for young adults the exam phase can increase both academic and personal pressures. Whether you’re seeking support for your children, partner or yourself, I will make sure you emerge through any phase of life with a greater sense of resilience self-awareness and personal fulfilment.

If you thought Moira’s career portfolio couldn’t get any bigger, it does! She is also a qualified hypnotherapy practitioner for pregnancy, supporting women through fertility, the birthing process and post pregnancy. For many having a baby is such an exciting time, but it can also be physically and emotionally stressful as our bodies start to change. “Hypnosis can address everything from fears and concerns to improving your sleep quality and managing pain. Whilst we should never use it as a replacement for medical care, it can be a valuable tool for promoting maternal well-being and creating a safe space for mothers in the run up to birth.” As Moira says, you really do have to experience Solution Focused Hypnotherapy to really appreciate the power it has!

You might also recognise her business, from the Femme Country Magazine Annual Fashion Show. As a sponsor, Moira was delighted to attend and promote the importance of her work through an event which highlighted every sector in the countryside landscape. We are ever so excited to welcome her back as a sponsor for the 2024 fashion show, which will be taking place in Autumn of this year. Moira explains that setting up her own business has been exciting venture , but not without its challenges. But since moving away from her previous job in the city, it has allowed her to achieve a wonderful work-life balance and enable her to help with the running of her husband Steven’s game farm when needed.

For an informal and confidential chat or to learn more, get in touch.


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