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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Parrot therapy for stressed workers
Jesse and Dr Raymond Roberts
Jesse and Dr Raymond Roberts have regular clients
Businessmen suffering from stress are pouring out their troubles to a parrot at a Cardiff hypnotherapy clinic.

Jesse, a four-year-old green macaw, listens to the confidential problems of worried office workers.


I asked my client if he would consider talking to Jesse

Dr Raymond Roberts, hypnotherapist

Doctor Raymond Roberts who runs the Capital Hypnotherapy Clinic, started the service as an experiment, but says it has become very popular.

"It all started when a client came in and said he needed to talk about some problems but felt he couldn't because he didn't want to divulge confidential information to anyone," said Dr Roberts.

"I asked him if he would consider talking to Jesse instead.

"I think he thought I was a bit crazy, but had a go and it was such a success.

"He came out of the session completely relieved because he had been able to talk about his problems without breaking confidentialities to anyone," he said.

Stressed man
Clients feel relieved after talking to Jesse

Dr Roberts said since the service started two months ago he has been inundated with people booking sessions with Jesse.

"I have been researching animal therapy for quite a while," he said.

"It is well known that stroking a cat or dog can help reduce stress.

"So I wondered how it would work for people talking to an animal.

"I decided to use a parrot because they would be easier to look after than a dog or cat."

The bird therapy sessions, which last about half-an-hour, cost 30.


I thought he was absolutely crazy at first

Chris Sparks, businessman

"I take the clients into a room and use hypnotherapy to relax them," said Dr Roberts.

"I leave them to off-load their problems to Jesse and when they come out they are much happier," he added.

Chris Sparks, who has businesses in marketing and promotion, was one of the first people to use Jesse.

"I was quite stressed out and wanted to talk it out, but didn't feel I could speak freely because it was about confidential business matters," he said.

Unloaded

"Dr Roberts suggested I speak to Jesse instead.

"I thought he was absolutely crazy at first and wondered if he was joking.

"But I went for it and it was marvellous.

"There has been a marked change in my attitude to things and I would definitely recommend it.

"I was able to unload all my burdens without breaking confidentiality," he added.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Sian Richards
"Who'd have thought a macaw would be soothing people?"

More from south east Wales
See also:

25 Sep 02 | Health
17 Oct 02 | Health
15 Oct 02 | England
14 Oct 02 | Business
11 Oct 02 | Panorama
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