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Bill O'Hanlon, MS

Songwriter, Author, Public Speaker, Psychotherapy & Hypnosis Teacher

Kind of Retired...but still full of Possibilities 

William "Bill" O'Hanlon is a world-renowned leader in the fields of brief psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis. Bill is the author of nearly 40 books and has delivered over 3,700 talks around the world. He was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show with his book, Do One Thing Different.

Though now mostly retired from the mental health field, Bill still offers a few online courses a year, sometimes with occasional group consulting. Along with teaching clinical skills around psychotherapy and hypnosis, Bill also teaches others how to write and publish their own books and how to become paid public speakers.


Bill is the co-founder of the Solution-Oriented Approach, a therapeutic method that focuses on identifying unrealized possibilities while acknowledging emotional and contextual issues. During graduate school, Bill studied with the eccentric and creative psychiatrist Milton Erickson (he was Dr. Erickson's only work/study student), he later became a major teacher/translator of Dr. Erickson's approaches to clinical hypnosis and change.

Image by Lauren MacNeish

In this season of life, Bill split's his time between his long-term home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and his community of fellow songwriters in Nashville, Tennessee.


As of 2022, Bill has written or co-written over 1,000 songs and has had more than 30 of these recorded by other artists, with some of these songs being feature in television and other media. 

More on Bill's Music here

About Me
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below you will find the answers to common questions people ask Bill, about his work and his life. We put these up in hopes you will find the answer you are looking for, since it is often difficult for Bill to respond in a timely manner to the many emails, letters and phone calls he gets. You might even find yourself amused by reading some of them, even if you don't have a question you want a frequent answer to.

Questions about Bill and his work

I wrote Bill an email and haven't heard from him. Wassup with that?


Your email might have gotten lost in cyberspace, so you may want to write again. But more likely, because Bill gets hundreds of emails per week, he sometimes finds it hard to keep up and it may have slipped through the cracks or still be waiting on the flight deck to be answered. Again, please write again.

I called Bill, or wrote him a letter, or sent him a package, and haven't heard back from him.

Why not?

Bill's personal time is precious, since he used to be crazy busy. He is also a little phone-avoidant. Email is way better. It can be responded to at any time and is more time-manageable than phone calls, which can take from a few seconds to much longer. Writing letters is a lost art and Bill hopes it stays lost. It takes much less time to write an email than write a letter, find the address, print out the letter, find an envelope, put a stamp on it, put it in the mailbox. Geez, it's exhausting just writing all that. Email is way better.

I would like Bill to:

  • A) Read my dissertation

  • B) Co-write a book with me

  • C) Let me be his gardener

  • D) Hang out with me when I am in Santa Fe or Nashville

  • E) Write a blurb for my forthcoming book

  • F) Tell me all about solution-oriented therapy for a class paper I am writing

  • G) Mentor me

  • H) Etc., etc.

For "A" to "D", we are sorry to disappoint, but Bill is very busy and guards his personal time fiercely. If he didn't he wouldn't have much of a personal life. Bill has been blessed with a fertile imagination and has outlines for many books on his computer and is not looking for collaborations. He doesn't have much time to read, even for very worthy dissertations.

For "E", Bill writes very few blurbs out of the hundreds of books he is sent each year, but he does a few. Contact him by sending an email to this address ( to receive instructions for how to make it more likely he will give you a blurb.

For "F", that is why Bill has written 39+ books and 60+ articles/book chapters. Please do your research and look at those before you write to ask questions. You will probably find what you are looking for in one or more of those books or articles or on the Internet. It is even easier with the Internet and inter-library loans. After you have done your legwork, then you can write and ask some follow-up questions.

For "G", Mentoring is a mysterious process and does not usually result from deliberate applications for the position of protégé or mentee. If it happens, it happens, as it has only several times in the past, but Bill does not take applicants for this position.

For "H", Use your imagination for other requests/interests after reading these FAQs.

Wow, Bill has done a lot of things, has traveled a lot, written a stack of books and tons of songs. He must never sleep.


Bill usually sleeps quite well, thank you. He likes to sleep a good eight hours a night. He is just very energetic and stimulated by taking on new projects. He works fast when he works and is profoundly languid and lazy when he doesn't, often reading four or five books a week when he's on a tear.

He also plays guitar and piano, writes a boatload of songs, watches lots of movies, exercises regularly (except when he doesn't) and likes to nap daily. Bill participated in raising three step-children and one biological child, who are all grown and on their own and he didn't sleep as much during that era, but he is catching up now.

Can I see or call Bill O'Hanlon for therapy? Does he do telehealth sessions?


Sorry, Bill has recently retired his psychotherapy license, so that ship has sailed for any new therapy clients

I was at a presentation Bill gave and I have a sense we could be great friends.

It may be so, but Bill's is barely able to keep up with the friends he has. Also, Bill wears his magic charisma power pack at workshops and seminars; he is much more dull and boring in everyday life, really. Truly, it's difficult to be charming and charismatic 24 hours a day. Bill has the same sense of enthusiasm and connection when he hears a good presenter, but he knows enough from the other side that it is probably an artifact of the magic of the moment. Give it some time and this sense will very likely fade. No offense intended. 


How do I sign up for Bill's excellent, witty and informative email newsletter that might just change my life for the better?

Click below and you will be placed in the list almost instantly. You can unsubscribe at any time. -->
Click here to sign up for Bill's Possibilities e-mail newsletter

How can I get in touch with Bill?


You can contact Bill through Possibilities/O'Hanlon and O'Hanlon, Inc., 223 N. Guadalupe #278, Santa Fe, NM 87501 or email him at

Bill prefers you not call him. He's doing what he can to have a life outside his work.


I want to hire Bill and pay him outrageous amounts of money to do a workshop, keynote address, training, consultation or talk for my group, my company, my association, my church group, my posse, my Ya-Ya Sisters and me, my book club, my [fill in the blank].

Bill has retired from in-person public speaking as of December 2020. He is now mostly focused on his new passion and career in professional songwriting.

However, do stay connected with Bill's email newsletter, as he would love to share what he is continuing to create.

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