A little about me

I'm David Bird. A Quest-trained Cognitive Hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, UK.

I trained with the founder of Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Trevor Silvester, at The Quest InstituteRegent's University London.

Before qualifying as therapist, I was both a listening volunteer and trainer for the Samaritans, providing anonymous support for people from all walks of life in emotional distress and despair.

Now I help people really transform their lives. To let go of their past, be more focused and present, and get motivated to create a brighter future.

There's nothing more rewarding than when those I work with tell me how their lives have changed in ways they never imagined possible.

I would definitely recommend David. He puts people at ease and really listens to what he’s being told. It’s clear that he’s passionate about what he does.
— S, Police Officer, Age 31 - Fear of flying

What brought me here


In my early-twenties, I'd spend the week at work wishing for the weekend. Only to wake up on Saturday mornings and stare blankly at the wall. Sometimes for hours.

One particular day, I felt a shift. The empty, hopelessness switched to frustration. Some degree of motivation. That's when I started trying to understand. To change things.

First I went to self-help books. Everything helped a little. But nothing changed a lot. I understood more about myself, but still felt stuck.

I was always searching for the 'thing' that would fix everything. Make me better. Good enough. Fix me. I had no idea then how that very behaviour - that need - was part of the problem. Then it all crept up on me.

Binges of self-medication and self-sabotage. Book-ended by all-or-nothing teetotal U-turns of impossible diets and exercise regimes. Doomed to crash and burn with a blow-out once I failed to find true happiness. I finally found rock-bottom.

Since working with David, I’m now more confident and content in myself, and as cheesy as it sounds, I feel more capable to deal with whatever life throws at me, and take everything in my stride… I now feel like a much better version of myself. I’m still me, but a more awesome version of me.
— E, Manufacturing Supervisor, Age 32 - Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts

A fork in the road

Eventually I curbed the self-medication. Though motivated more by fear of deepening wounds I'd caused than anything else.

But I still hadn't realised my addictive tendencies were only a symptom. That I was actually suffering with anxiety. Scared to do things others wouldn't think twice about.

It wasn't until I changed job roles outside my comfort-zone when I began to consider the 'dips' I'd experienced for years could be depression.

I had CBT, private therapy, and even trained as a Clinical Hypnotherapist. But I still struggled. My life had changed. But in many ways I was still feeling the same.

I did have concerns whether or not the changes would be long lasting. I was concerned that when in an environment where cocaine was present, I would be to tempted to give in. But I haven’t. They have lasted
— B, Account Manager, Age 28 - Cocaine addiction

My path with Cognitive Hypnotherapy


Almost by accident, I picked up a book on Cognitive Hypnotherapy. Light-bulbs went off. Things made more sense.

I signed up with Quest and started seeing a Cognitive Hypnotherapist. Within two sessions I noticed real differences in my life.

I realised I wasn't stuck being the person I thought I was. I could change. The world actually started to look like a different place. Full of possibilities. Ones I hadn't even seen before.

During my training I took every opportunity to use what I learned on myself. Not only did this accelerate my personal development, it gave me invaluable experience to build on when helping others.

I now run a busy and successful Cognitive Hypnotherapy practice in Leighton Buzzard. Both face-to-face and via Skype. And there isn't a session that goes by where I'm not rewarded seeing the changes I get to help others make.

The work we did together helped me become more confident, calm and ‘still’ in social situations. It helped me establish a better relationship with other people. Particularly my closest family and friends
— J, Teacher, Age 29 - Stress. social anxiety, feeling not good enough

Tools of the trade

As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, I'm trained in a broad range of skills and techniques.

These include:

  • Hypnotherapy

  • Wordweaving (hypnotic language & script-writing)

  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

  • Timeline Regression

  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping)

  • Eye Movement Integration and AMDR (EMI, similar to EMDR and IEMT)

  • Life Coaching

It is truly incredible that after all these years, being so fearful of something that you would lose your job over it, to not have that fear is a fantastic feeling. My husband and colleagues/friends at work are all very amazed at the change in me.
— N, Operations Manager, Age 43 - Spider phobia (arachnophobia)


graduation from  the quest institute  at regent's University in london, with  trevor silvester  and rebecca silvester

graduation from the quest institute at regent's University in london, with trevor silvester and rebecca silvester

In case you were wondering, here's what the letters after my name mean:

DipCHyp - Diploma in Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Awarded by The Quest Institute, the founding organisation of Cognitive Hypnotherapy.

HPD - Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma

Verified by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the HPD is accredited by the NCFE. This is the only independently accredited professional qualification for Hypnotherapy available in the UK.

MNLP - Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming

This is an internationally recognised qualification. NLP is about "modelling human excellence", using observation and language to do so.

NLP's use in therapy stems from the work by co-creators Richard Bandler and John Grinder. By analysing and reverse-engineering the approaches of three outstanding change-workers: the family therapist, Virginia Satir, the hypnotherapist, Milton Erickson, and the gestalt therapist, Fritz Perls.

Working with David was a hugely positive experience… He was empathic, warm and professional. He provided a safe space in which to be able to uncover my darkest fears. He was open and knowledgeable… He made me feel part of my therapy, not just a counsellor and client. I was in the driving seat.
— E, Pharmacy Care Coordinator, Age 44 - Lack of confidence, anxiety, family issues, and fear of flying
Our conversations where hard and sometimes challenging, but David gave me the confidence and ability to look at my life afresh and to approach life with a different perspective of awareness and mindfulness. Thank you so much for helping me change my life.
— G, IT Professional, Age 49 - Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, self-medication, compulsive spending