Frequently Asked Questions
It is possible to let go of habitual defensive patterns and triggers, to live with more ease and less stress. As you welcome all your feelings, you discover your personal GPS system guiding you exactly where you need to go.
Alchemical Hypnotherapy helps you resolve the most troubling areas of your life, whether that's letting go of anxiety or finding a sense of belonging in community.
After a session you might notice that something that has always weighed you down or limited you in some way is gone forever. You walk away lighter, more fluent in the intuitive language of the body, and empowered to continue your personal growth.
Q: What are some of the things you help with?
Existential pain or fear that feels overwhelming.
Feeling like you'll be alone forever
Being critical and judgmental of oneself and others
Childhood trauma and neglect
Giving up your needs for others and feeling resentful
Feeling too sensitive and unsure how to live in a harsh world
Q: How do you help?
Love heals. With curiosity and presence, we create safety and sacred space. We bravely inch towards unconscious pain and open to previously unknown strength, power, and peace.
Q: Is that it?
That's a fundamental element in my work. Loving acceptance is the glue that integrates parts of the self that are split off from each other.
There are other techniques that I use as well. They include describing sensations in the body, talking to important people as if they were present, breathing, evoking spirit and spirit guides, emotional expression, physical exercises, and many others.
Q: Who is your ideal client?
I love working with clients who are called to serve in the world. They are interested in spirituality and personal growth. At the same time, they are willing to face the darkness in themselves. I especially understand gay men, meditators, starseeds, psychics, writers, and seekers of all sorts.
Q: Um, I'm not sure I want to change my personality. I just want to feel better.
Sure, that's fine. But are you willing to look at what brings you down? Things like your beliefs, habits, feelings, and physical postures? Willingness is all it takes.
Q: Sure, of course. Can you really help me?
Let's hop on a call to see if the healing work I do will help you. Therapy is an intimate exchange, and trust and resonance are paramount. When those are present, I've seen this work steadily shift lives for the better, empowering people to pursue long-cherished dreams, build rewarding relationships, trust their intuition, and express themselves more freely. The effects of this work are clear and immediate and build upon themselves over time.
Q: How long does it take before I'll feel better?
You'll likely feel a profound, if subtle, shift that provides hope and motivation after your first session. After just a few sessions you will sense that you are changing and begin developing more skill to facilitate that process yourself.
The type of deep personality change that offers the most benefit takes time. Usually, two to three years. I encourage you to engage in Alchemical Hypnotherapy as you would a regular therapist, coming once a week or once every two weeks. Coming regularly allows the work to build on itself.
Q: How long is a session?
Sessions are either 55 or 90 minutes. The hour and half sessions allows for even deeper sessions. We can discuss which one is better for you during your first consult.
Q: How much does it cost?
55 minute session are offered on a sliding scale of $70 - 120.
90 minute session are $140.
Q: Do you take any insurance?
A: I do not, but I can give you a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Q: When can we meet?
A: Schedule a consultation call here and I'll let you know what days and times I have open for regular sessions.
Q: Where do sessions take place?
A: All sessions take place via Zoom.
Q: What is your cancelation policy?
A: Just give me 24 hours' notice, and we'll reschedule. Otherwise, I ask for $50 to cover the reserved time.
Q: Honestly, I'm a little scared to even book an appointment. Who knows what will be stirred up?
A: That's normal and understandable. Some people, even after doing this work with me for more than a year, feel some trepidation before a session. The reward comes after a session, though, when whatever was weighing their heart has been released and a lightness pervades.
It's important to remember that you are in charge of how far we go. I won't be pushing you into anything. If you're concerned about being overwhelmed, one of the first skills we will practice is how to regulate your emotional experience. It's important to be able to go to the edge of some unprocessed pain, maybe stick your toe in to learn about it, but not to get lost or overwhelmed by it.
Q: Is it even worth it? It sounds kinda unpleasant and awful.
A: It's worth it. It's actually the fastest, most direct way to the life that you want. Otherwise, what will happen if stick with your old habits? Looking several decades down the line, how will that work out?
As you touch the darkest parts of yourself, you also find your greatest gifts. Offering your gifts to the world and expressing your light makes it all worth it.
Q: What is hypnosis, anyway?
A: Have you ever meditated? It's basically guided meditation. Just as there are different types of meditation, there are different styles of hypnosis. Similar to mantra meditation, sometimes we use affirmations such as, "I am growing more and more confident every day." Other times we use our imagination to communicate with different parts of ourselves.
In one way we all are actually hypnotized most of the time. Driving to work, sometimes we awaken from trance to find that we have successfully driven several thousand pounds of aluminum without really being aware or remembering much of the drive. It is as if we have an auto-pilot who drove to work, freeing the mind to consider other matters. As we watch a movie, we often feel as if we are the protagonist, forgetting about ourselves sitting on the couch. These examples show that a state of trance is easily accessed and familiar to us, but we rarely use it consciously or intentionally.
Hypnosis as used in therapy is a state of alert relaxation. You are relaxed, but you are also present. You are lucid; you don't lose consciousness or lose time. You will remember everything that happened. Hypnotherapy can feel like a dream; images that were clear in the moment can slowly drift away after returning to everyday waking consciousness. In trance, you will feel the body more subtly, more clearly. It is the same type of mind state that is induced by meditation or shamanic practices. Because your conscious mind is also present, you can have a conversation between the conscious and unconscious parts of you. This can help resolve inner conflicts and allow you to become a more integrated person.
Q: So you said I'm having a conversation with my subconscious mind. What do you mean by the subconscious mind?
A: Technically, I mean any part of the body or mind that is not in present, conscious awareness. Compared to the subconscious mind, the conscious mind is just the tip of the iceberg. Practically this means the body. The line distinguishing between body and mind is thin, and in this work we let the body lead us where we need to go.
The body and mind have many years of memories, but they mostly remain dormant and unconscious. There is often a strong emotional charge associated with memories that tells us if that event was pleasant or painful, and what lesson we learned from that incident. By returning to the memory, the emotional charge can be cleared, and limiting beliefs can be replaced with more helpful, positive ones. This process works similarly with present life and past life events.
Q: Is this something I'll even be able to do?
A: Can you relax? Can you feel any sensation in your body? Yes, you'll be able to relax and stay present. Some people are more visual, while others feel things in their bodies, but whatever way you experience these sessions is fine. You'll even get better and better at accessing a relaxed state of mind as you practice. Being able to relax won't just help you do deep inner healing work; it will also help you in any of your creative or expressive endeavors. The top writers, athletes, and public speakers have been known to use visualization to reliably access a state of flow.
Q: Why do you call your work “Alchemical Hypnotherapy”?
A: When people hear of hypnosis, they probably think of stage hypnotism, which is not a fun place to get vulnerable! Or 'hypnosis' might also conjure the idea of direct suggestion, something like, “You are no longer a smoker. You enjoy clean air and clean lungs.” This is a helpful tool, but is only one in a large toolbox. I distinguish my work from these other things by calling it Alchemical Hypnotherapy, which is what my teacher David Quigley named it.
Alchemical Hypnotherapy is about taking the pain stored in the body and transforming it into wisdom, peace and freedom. Awareness alchemizes the dense lead of emotional pain into the gold of wisdom and love.
Q: What qualifies you to do this work?
A: Honestly, I think healing can happen in many places, in many ways. It tends to happen when people have the chance to be seen and accepted without judgment. So I think what qualifies me is being a human being with a loving heart. That said, I have also undertaken intentional practices to remember to stay in the present moment, to hold space, and to accept whatever comes up. I have dissolved some of the blocks separating myself from a love that I experience within my own heart. In addition, I also have a fair bit of practical, nitty-gritty training in psychology.
I received a BA in psychology at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. After graduating I spent 3 years living and meditating in Buddhist monasteries where I developed mindfulness and body awareness. I continued my psychological training at the Alchemy Institute of Hypnosis in Santa Rosa, CA and at the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, WA. I am currently enrolled in a three-year program at the Seattle School of Seattle Psychotherapy studying Core Energetics.
Q: What's your philosophical approach to healing?
A: I believe that there is a power within each of us that heals and guides us, far more powerfully than any doctor or therapist externally. Sometimes called the power of the subconscious mind, sometimes called God, I believe there is a love and power within that is integral to who you are.
Sometimes it's helpful to think of yourself as having at least two parts: A child, who is at times hurt and confused; and a mature adult, strong and full of love. Lovingly holding your emotional, reactive self provides space to also hear your deeper wisdom.
I welcome you, inclusive of your identity. Welcome to the gay, queer, non-binary, and trans folks. Welcome Indigenous and Black people. Welcome women. We do not all experience the world the same way, given a long history of oppression and violence towards certain groups. The rising of the oppressed is needed if we are to survive and thrive.
If you are interested to learn more, read about depression, past life regression, or my bio.