Laura McDonald

Mayo therapist uses pioneering therapy to help tackle mental health ticking time bomb

As stress, anxiety and depression levels soar under Irish Covid-19 restrictions, a Castlebar-based therapist is helping Mayo residents feel better fast thanks to ground-breaking treatment which can be done online.

With the rising tide in mental health issues caused by the pandemic driven by uncertainty, redundancies, fear of becoming ill and the grief of losing loved ones – Laura McDonald has seen a 30% increase in new clients with stress, anxiety and depression which is only set to increase over the coming months as widespread lockdowns are re-imposed.

With traditional therapies, this surge in demand would mean a long waiting list but thanks to a pioneering new technique called Brain Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT®), that dissolves mental health issues often with just a couple of sessions, Laura is able to treat clients faster.

BWRT is designed to get a fast and permanent fix from issues such as anxiety, irrational fear, stress, depression and trauma.

It was created by Terence Watts, UK-based psychotherapist, Fellow with the Royal Society of Medicine and founder of the BWRT Institute.

Laura McDonald of BWRT Ireland said: “With all the uncertainty around coronavirus and the impact it’s having on our day to day lives, I’m seeing an increase in the number of people coming to me with anxiety and depression which is making their lives miserable.

“BWRT is very effective and powerful,’ says Laura.

"The advantage is that it doesn’t require a lengthy course of treatment like some psychological therapies, so it can work fast which makes it cost effective and people feel better quicker. It can also be done online which is perfect under the current restrictions.’

“The therapy works on the hind brain, the part of the brain that controls the fight or flight response we experience when exposed to danger.

“Sometimes referred to as reptilian brain, the hind brain controls systems that don’t require conscious thought such as breathing, perspiration, heart rate and liver and kidney function as well as the hormone system.

“If it recognises a pattern such as a fear or stress, it automatically prompts the release of hormones such as adrenaline when the trigger is encountered.

“I encourage my clients to create an artificial freeze response — literally visualising the traumatic memory or source of anxiety in a freeze frame and then stop their responses to it in its tracks, by repeating the freezing action.

"They are then invited to replace their past response with a different positive emotion."

Brenda, who had anxiety, said: “I’ve tried so many treatments over the years and in one session Laura has achieved what none of these previous treatments did.

"I’m so grateful that I found her and as far as I’m concerned BWRT is nothing short of miraculous.

"I cannot recommend Laura and BWRT highly enough and thank her for completely transforming my life."

If you’d like to find out more about the therapy, visit

Self-care tips during these uncertain times

If current events are causing you to feel anxious, here are some self-care tips:

1. Whatever happens, it really is only temporary and will pass when it's right to do so.

2. Imagine a wonderful day in the future when you're remembering how you got through this.

3. Anxiety is just a reminder from your subconscious to stay safe.