NINE years after celebrity self-help guru Paul McKenna inspired her to become a full-time hypnotherapist, Hari Vaudrey will join him on stage.
The Witney mum-of-three is one of six international therapists, including Mr McKenna, who will be teaching the new “Havening” technique for managing stress at a conference in London this weekend.
It will complete a full circle for Ms Vaudrey, 44 – who previously struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – after she watched him treat a fellow sufferer using the power of the mind.
She said: “To be picked with Paul McKenna is a pretty big deal as he’s the biggest self-help author in Britain.
“It’s a really amazing opportunity to be able to work with such world-class people and it’s a great endorsement of my work.
“There’s a lot of interest in this nationally and internationally so it’s exciting to be involved from the beginning.”
It was after suffering from PTSD following the birth of her first child Sami, now 11, that Ms Vaudrey first investigated hypnotherapy.
During the birth she caught an infection at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital which left her unable to walk properly for several weeks. The mum said she felt like she had been “physically attacked” and was left struggling to look after her baby.
The trauma was then triggered during her second pregnancy with nine-year-old Amba, when she found herself sobbing uncontrollably for no reason.
Ms Vaudrey said: “I was having flashbacks to the awful birth and feelings of panic like I was driving at full speed into the same brick wall I’d hit before.
“I didn’t know I was suffering from trauma and I wasn’t depressed so I didn’t go to the doctor.”
The trauma stopped when she gave birth to Amba with no problems. Her third daughter, six-year-old Asha, was also born peacefully.
Shortly after the second birth, she attended one of Mr McKenna’s weight loss seminars and watched him treat a woman with a similar problem as her own, resolving the woman’s issues within minutes.
Ms Vaudrey had already written to the NHS and met Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron to discuss the national shortage of midwives, and believed hypnotherapy could help suffering mums.
She enrolled on a course and now has her own office at the Anderson Clinic in Witney’s Corn Street, having been a qualified hypnotherapist for seven years.
Ms Vaudrey, a former bursar at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, said: “I thought I was lucky because my problem got resolved, but what about people who have repeatedly bad experiences? It affected the way I saw things and I wondered how many women don’t recover from this, so I decided to help them.
“It’s similar to what war veterans have when they come back. You have emotional outbursts you can’t control and don’t know why you have them.
“Seeing Paul McKenna ‘cure’ someone was a lightbulb moment for me.”
Ms Vaudrey has helped a 50-year-old Oxford woman to stop having flashbacks of finding her mother hanged. She has also removed anxieties from another woman in her 40s who was gang raped as a teenager.
She was picked for the Havening technique’s training conference after completing 30 case studies on the treatment.
“Havening” works by using a series of eye movements, as well as tapping and stroking a patient’s arms, to release brain chemicals that can remove negative emotions and free them from anxiety.
The conference, which is open to the public, will be held at the Novetel hotel in Paddington on Saturday and Sunday, 9am-5pm.