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About Bill

Bill O'Hanlon is a dynamic, inspirational professional speaker and prolific author (about 40 books so far) who has worked to motivate people and organizations to determine what they are meant to be doing and to remove the barriers to succeeding at those goals.

He is mostly invested in his career as a songwriter in this season of life, but he feels he still has more to teach on mental health and positive change. Bill maintains an online presence with offerings on Ericksonian Hypnosis, the Solution-Oriented Approach, becoming a paid public speaker, and how to write and publish books.


Bill is also working on new material on overcoming depression, treating anxiety/phobias/panic, thriving in the wake of trauma, and more (stay connected to see what is coming!)

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Originally trained as a psychotherapist, Bill became known for his collaborative & respectful approach, irreverent humor, storytelling, clear and accessible presentation style and his infectious enthusiasm for whatever he is doing. 

Bill grew up in large Irish-American family outside of Chicago, Illinois (USA). He attend Arizona State University from between 1970 and 1978. While there, he first earned his B.S. degree in Psychology, where he studied social psychology, general psychology, behavioral psychology, psychopathology and physiological psychology. He then obtained his M.S. in Family Studies, where he put together a clinical program designed to qualify him as a marriage and family therapist, since no clinical program in that speciality existed in the department, or at Arizona State University in general, at that time.

Bill began his professional career in 1975 as a hippie transpersonal counselor at the A.R.E. (Edgar Cayce) Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. Earlier, he ran growth groups and taught seminars at the Phoenix growth center Sentheon. Deciding he really ought to know something more about what he was doing, he studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP (before they even had a name for it), and he ultimately went back to school and became a marriage and family therapist (LMFT).


During graduate school, he studied with the eccentric and creative psychiatrist Milton Erickson and became Erickson's gardener (he was Dr. Erickson's only work/study student). He was so confused and impressed by Dr. Erickson's work, he felt compelled to spend the next several years of his career writing and teaching in an effort to make Erickson's approach more understandable and accessible. Bill then moved on to develop his own method, the Solution-Oriented Approach, a brief approach to change focused on identifying and using strengths to reach goals and overcome challenges. It has been applied with individuals, couples, families and organizations.


Bill has now authored or co-authored over 40 books. He is frequently heard to say, "Stop me before I write again!" and occasionally awakens in the middle of the night, exclaiming in frustration, "I'm having another book!" His books have been translated into 16 different languages. He has written over 50 articles or book chapters. In 1999, he appeared on Oprah with his book, Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life. He has also appeared on The Today Show, Canada AM, and Body By Jake. His work has been featured in O Oprah's magazine, Ladies Home Journal, New Woman, Newsweek, Bottom Line, Self, Women's Health and The Psychotherapy Networker


Bill currently splits his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Nashville, Tennessee (his songwriting basecamp). Bill's work in the music world is his main professional focus these days and he has retired his psychotherapy licenses/certifications as he is no-longer in practice, but some of his earned qualifications over the course of his career have been: 

Having been successful at getting his own message out, he is passionate about helping others get their message out as authors, paid public speakers, and mental health providers. Bill would love to share some the free stuff he his created around this, you can find that by clicking below:

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