Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hypnotherapy?

San Francisco Hypnosis - Frequently asked questions.  Learn the answers to all of the frequently asked questions about San Francisco Hypnosis.
San Francisco Hypnosis – Frequently Asked Questions

Hypnotherapy is a healing modality where you are guided into a deeply relaxed state of heightened awareness. While in this deeply relaxed state your mind is very open to positive suggestions and imagery. These take root at a deep level to allow you to more easily make substantial changes in your life.

The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is very powerful and it drives 90% of our behavior. Willpower usually doesn’t work to stop negative patterns because it is part of the conscious mind. This has little influence over behavior. Negative experiences that occurred early in life can get lodged into our subconscious mind. This can drive our behavior without us even realizing it. Past traumas often hold a powerful influence over our present day actions. Hypnotherapy helps to clear all of this out.

What is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?

EFT is an acupressure technique based on Chinese Medicine and it acts on the Meridian System of the body. It utilizes a sequence of acupressure points on the body while repeating certain phrase. This provides rapid relief from negative emotions, traumas and addictions. In Chinese Medicine the meridians are energy pathways in the body. According to Quantum Physics, everything in the Universe is made up of energy. It is very similar to acupuncture except that it doesn’t use needles. It acts on the emotions, so it really is an emotional version of acupuncture.

911 Survivors and Vietnam Vets

EFT was used with 911 survivors and Vietnam Vets. It was one of the few therapies that worked to relieve their traumas. It was invented by Gary Craig, a Stanford Engineer, who had a strong interest in Personal Development.

When a traumatic event occurs which causes a negative emotion, these energy pathways become disrupted. The tapping sequence used in EFT sends pulses through these pathways which heals this disruption and removes the intensity. The person focuses on the negative emotion. They say it out loud, while tapping on the points in the sequence and the negative emotion is released.

The motion and speed of tapping also entrains the brain into a light hypnotic trance. In this trance state, it is more receptive to the suggestions. For more information about EFT, click here.

How is your work different?

I was trained in transpersonal hypnotherapy which is a very holistic form of hypnotherapy. I also have extensive training in the Emotional Freedom Technique which is excellent for removing limiting beliefs. I also have strong knowledge of the Law of Attraction. This is used to create a powerful vision of how you want your life to be.

I combine Hypnotherapy with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also called tapping. This combination of techniques eliminates limiting beliefs. It also rapidly reprograms the subconscious mind, and creates a powerful vision of how you want your life to be.

EFT an energy psychology technique that is a very fast way of releasing negative emotions, blocks, and traumas. Once we have cleared what is blocking you using EFT, we use hypnotherapy to create a vision of how you want your life to be. This includes desired behaviors, increased motivation and positive new habits.

This is very much like planting a garden. Imagine for a moment, that you move into a new house, and that you go out into the backyard, and it is filled with weeds and large rocks. If you were to immediately plant a garden without removing these weeds and rocks, it wouldn’t thrive. EFT removes the weeds and rocks (blocks and negative emotions) so that the garden (positive vision, behaviors, and motivation put place in with hypnotherapy) can thrive.

Because I follow a holistic approach, I deal with getting to the root cause of your problem and finding what the underlying emotions are. Then I work with you to heal the root cause and your underlying emotions. People usually do not overeat, smoke or drink because they want to addictive substance. Most people do not procrastinate or sabotage themselves because they like doing those things. It is always about the emotions.

Some styles of hypnotherapy only work with reprogramming the subconscious mind. This approach does not get to the root of the problem. It usually does not have lasting results as it does not address the negative emotions that are driving the problem. Often the original problem will morph into something else because the underlying emotions were not addressed.

I also teach a lot tools that you can use to deal with and control your emotions going forward. I like for people to feel empowered and have tools to handle problems on their own going forward.

I have also studied astrology for 20 years. If you are very stuck, I can look at what planetary transits are influencing your life. I can determine when they will end and you can do to get through it.

What is a typical hypnosis session like?

When you arrive at my San Francisco hypnosis office you will be asked to fill out a short intake form. I will then ask you some questions about your problem. After that, we will either use the Emotional Freedom Technique to remove what has been blocking you or hypnosis. If we are using hypnosis, you will be guided into a deeply relaxed state. We will create a positive vision of what you are wanting in your life. This will include desired behaviors, increased motivation and positive new habits.

As I stated above, this is very much like planting a garden. Imagine for a moment, that you move into a new house. You go out into the backyard, and it is filled with weeds and large rocks. If you were to immediately plant a garden without removing these weeds and rocks, it wouldn’t thrive. EFT removes the weeds and rocks (blocks and negative emotions) so that the garden (positive vision, behaviors, and motivation put place in with hypnotherapy) can thrive. Some sessions will involve only hypnosis or EFT and some sessions will include both.

You will feel deeply relaxed and be aware of what is going on. You will be in control and will remember everything that happens. You will be given a short homework assignment at the end of each session. You will also get a recording of the hypnosis session to listen to at home in between sessions. Often you will be given a short, written EFT script that you can do at home as well.

Below is a testimonial from a client describing what a typical San Francisco Hypnotherapy session is like:

“I am a down to earth person. I get a little too freaked out if someone is too airy fairy. I have been to a therapist before and always found it so lacking in action. I get tired of just rehashing the past with no future plan. That is what I love about Susanne. She helps you shed the problems from the past but she also gives you action steps when you leave . If you have not tried hypnotherapy, it is really effective. It is not what you see on TV. Susanne tailors her treatment to each person. She listens and remembers things better than other therapists I have been to. The best part is you leave fired up ready to tackle the challenges in your life. She can really help if you are feeling stuck or can’t get over negative habits.”
-Shilo S, San Francisco Hypnosis Client

How is hypnotherapy different from more traditional forms of therapy?

Traditional therapies are extremely valuable and recommended, and work mainly with the conscious mind. Hypnotherapy reprograms subconscious mind which controls 90% of our behavior.

Traditional therapy tends to be about understanding your childhood, your past, and gaining insights from those. There is great value in that. Hypnotherapy is more action and results oriented and focused on moving your life forward. With hypnotherapy, you are given homework and action steps to take at the end of every session. This helps you move forward and succeed at a fast rate. Many people go to both Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy as they compliment each other, and some people choose Hypnotherapy as an alternative.

How can I get the best result?

The people who get the best results are really motivated to improve their lives and really want to change. You need to be open-minded and be willing to do short homework assignments between sessions and listen to the recordings. Up until age 7, people are in a natural hypnotic state and can be programmed easily. As adults though, the subconscious mind is harder to reprogram and requires repetition. This is why the recordings and tapping are so helpful because they provide the needed repetition.

Also, people who don’t really want to change have a harder time getting results (i.e. A wife books an appointment for her husband to quit smoking but he really doesn’t really want to quit, or a parent tries to book an appointment thinking I can make their child eat vegetables, but the child has no interest in eating vegetables).

How many sessions does it take?

It really varies. San Francisco hypnosis typically is much faster than traditional forms of talk therapies because hypnotherapy deals directly with the subconscious mind. A simple problem could take 4-6 sessions and something more complicated could take a couple of months. Often people with multiple issues will choose to work with me for longer periods of time. Packages are available to reduce the cost.

Does insurance cover hypnotherapy?

You have to check with your individual policy but usually it does not. However, I have found that most Flexible Healthcare Spending Accounts will reimburse for Hypnotherapy. Packages are also available to reduce the cost.

What conditions is Hypnotherapy effective for?

I specialize in:

  • Food Issues (Weight Loss, Food Addiction and Eating Disorders
  • Anxiety (General Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Test Anxiety, Dental Fears, etc.)
  • Releasing Traumas and Healing Bad Memories
  • Breakups/Divorce

Hypnosis is also effective for: 

  • Addictions (Smoking, Alcohol, Marijuana, Food, Other Drugs, Overspending, Love, TV, Social Media, iPhone, etc)
  • Fears and Phobias (Public Speaking, Flying, Bridges, Driving, Sex, the Future, the Current Political Situation, etc)
  • Relationships Issues
  • Self Confidence
  • Small Business Issues
  • Job Interviewing
  • Sports Performance
  • Chronic Pain
  • Negative Thinking
  • Feeling Stuck, Blocked or Trapped
  • Inner Child Healing
  • Sexual Problems
  • Achieving Goals
  • Anger
  • Life Purpose
  • Procrastination
  • Motivation
  • Grief and Loss
  • Stress Based Illnesses
  • Connecting to Spirit Guides and Higher Self
  • Writers and Creative Blocks
  • Surgery (Preparing and Recovering)

Can anyone go into a hypnotic state?

The majority of people can go into hypnosis. There are a few exceptions. People with very low IQs, mental disabilities and people with some forms of serious mental illness cannot easily go into hypnosis, if at all. People who do not want to be hypnotized will not go into the state, as hypnosis cannot make people do things they do not want to do.

However, most of us go into hypnosis all of the time. Anytime you planned on stopping at the store on your way home from work, but zoned out, kept on driving and missed your exit, you were in a trance. Television quickly puts people into a trance. Any time you intended on just eating a couple of potato chips but before you knew it the whole bag was gone, you were in a trance.

Hypnotherapy is simply allowing yourself to be guided into a deeply relaxed state of heightened awareness, and following instructions. If you are willing to be hypnotized, have a strong desire to change your life, are mentally sound, can close your eyes, relax, breathe deeply and follow instructions, you will most likely be able to hypnotized. Some people are not able to go as deep as others. However, people still get results even if they do not go as deep. Hypnosis is also a skill and the more you do it, the easier it gets. This is another reason why the recordings are so helpful.

Stage hypnosis shows however, are a different story. Often when a person tells me that they don’t think they can be hypnotized, they are referring to stage hypnosis which is totally different and has absolutely nothing to do with therapeutic hypnotherapy. In these shows, which many people have seen, people are guided to do strange things like bark like a dog or quack like a duck and then remember nothing or claim to remember nothing afterwards. This only works on a very small percentage of people. These people are very suggestible and will do whatever they are told, even if they are not in a trance.

Stage hypnotists are very skilled at reading body language and carefully selecting these people. These shows, while entertaining, create a lot of misconceptions and confusion about what hypnotherapy really is.

What about people who are very uptight and can’t relax, can these people be hypnotized?

If a person is very uptight and has difficulty relaxing, hypnotherapy is exactly what they need, as it is an incredible tool for stress management. These people can go into a hypnotic trance, it just takes a little longer, and it does get easier with practice. If these people listen to the hypnosis recordings in between sessions, they will have an easier time relaxing and going into a trance.

How do I know if I have really been hypnotized?

Hypnotherapy is simply a deeply relaxed state of heightened awareness used to solve problems. If you are willing to allow yourself to be guided into it, can follow instructions, are mentally sound, you will most likely be able to be hypnotized. People often feel a sensation of heaviness in their body and have time distortion. They may feel like only a few minutes have passed when really an hour has passed. There are many misconceptions that you will be put to sleep, wake up with a new life, and not remember anything when you wake up, but none of this is true. Everything that you have seen happen in old movies and hypnosis stage shows are not what happens in therapeutic hypnotherapy. Therapeutic hypnotherapy is deep state of heightened awareness where your subconscious mind is directed to let go of a problem and is re-programmed with healthier behaviors and habits.

Does hypnotherapy work if someone is not a visual person?

San Francisco hypnotherapy definitely works even if you are not a visual person. People are primarily visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. A good hypnotherapist will capture all the senses in a hypnosis session. Visual people see pictures very clearly with their eyes closed, auditory people hear things, and kinesthetic people feel things. There are some rare people who have access to all of them, and a small number of people who have difficulty accessing any of them; however, everyone has the ability to use their imagination.

Hypnotherapy is really all about using our imagination. If you do not see the picture, you simply imagine that you do, if you do not hear the sound, you simply imagine that you do, if you do not feel the feeling, you simply imagine that you do, if you do not smell the aroma, you simply imagine that you do; it is just as effective.

Will hypnotherapy work for people who don’t have good imaginations?

Worries and anxieties are generated by the imagination as well as daydreams. If you worry and daydream, you are able to use your imagination and can therefore have excellent results in hypnotherapy.

I don’t live in the area. Can hypnosis be done over the phone?

Yes, I work with many people over the phone.

What is the cost?


The first session is 75-90 minutes. 
Subsequent sessions are 60 minutes. These sessions can occasionally run a little longer to 70 minutes so please be sure to allow extra time.

Call me today to schedule at 15 minute confidential phone consultation at 415-336-6128. Sessions can also be done on the phone or Zoom video conferencing if you do not live in the area.

Cancellation Policy

San Francisco and Flagstaff Hypnosis Clinic, (415) 336-6128