Sunnyvale Therapy

Stacy O'Leary, LMFT

California License LMFT40414

As a Sunnyvale therapist, I help people heal from trauma, childhood abuse, anxiety, stress, alcohol abuse, addiction, loss, and grief. I use EMDR therapy, mindfulness therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and guided meditations.

Hypnosis or Guided Meditation

Therapist in Sunnyvale - Stacy O'Leary, LMFT

Hypnosis (also called hypnotherapy) can be a peaceful and powerful way of transforming old patterns by accessing internal strengths and resources, even if you are not initially aware of what your strengths and resources are. Hypnosis can be particularly useful if you are feeling stuck with an issue and are not sure what more to do.

I am a therapist/counselor in Sunnyvale, California. I use hypnosis and guided meditation, along with other approaches, to help people reach their goals.

What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?

Hypnosis is often experienced as a deeply relaxed, peaceful state. Guided meditation is a form of hypnosis that many people are familiar with. Hypnotherapy simply utilizes this state of relaxed attention, creativity, and flow to help people accomplish their goals.

Trance or hypnosis is a normal state that we have all experienced. People experience a light trance during 'road hypnosis' (i.e., the experience of driving down the highway, thinking about something else, and perhaps suddenly realizing that you missed your exit). Also, another type of trance is when you are so focused on a project that you forget about time. Because trance or hypnosis is so common in everyday life, some people are surprised at how normal they feel during hypnosis.

What Are the Benefits of Hypnosis?

Hypnosis or guided meditation can be helpful with many issues:

If you are interested in hypnosis but are not sure if it would be helpful for a particular issue, you can call or email me. I can tell you whether or not I think hypnosis can help and suggest other resources if necessary.

Guided Meditation

Guided meditation can be a way of feeling calmer and more grounded. I often find that even just a few minutes of guided meditation can help people feel much calmer. You can experience the benefits of guided meditation, even if you do not want to use formal hypnosis.

What Happens During a Hypnosis Session?

To do hypnosis, we would first briefly explore the problem, your desired goals, and your personal strengths/interests. I would create the hypnosis individually for you during that session; I do not use generic scripts.

How Long Will It Take?

Hypnosis can be used in brief therapy (a few sessions) or part of longer-term therapy. How long therapy takes depends on the issues and your goals for therapy. Also, in a session or two, you can learn self-hypnosis tools that you can do by yourself to feel calmer and more grounded.

Can Everyone Use Hypnosis?

Most people can enter into a light trance which is sufficient to get the benefits of hypnosis. The ability to achieve a deep trance is not necessary.

Do People Remain in Control & Conscious During Hypnosis?

Sometimes, people are concerned that they will lose control during hypnosis. However, you remain completely in control of yourself during and after hypnosis. You are always given the opportunity to accept or dismiss suggestions. You can also remain aware and conscious of your surroundings during hypnosis.

What Is My Approach to Hypnosis?

I primarily use Ericksonian hypnosis. I have trained with several different teachers. I received training approved by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (one of the main organizations that trains therapists). During hypnosis, I usually focus on the person’s goals and strengths, breathing, centering/grounding, nature, and storytelling/metaphor.

Hypnosis is most effective if it is customized for the individual (as opposed to a generic script or recording), so I tailor hypnosis for each person.

Differences Between Stage Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

When people think about hypnosis, they often think of stage hypnotists and authoritarian hypnosis, where the stage hypnotist gives formal commands or suggestions in order to amuse an audience. The volunteers at those shows are willing to play along and act in amusing ways. Stage hypnotism and therapeutic hypnosis are very different. Therapeutic hypnosis is done to help someone. Also, as stated above, I use a form of hypnosis that emphasizes more gentle suggestions, storytelling, and the person’s goals, interests, and strengths- which is a very different style than what stage hypnotists use.

Are There Alternatives to Hypnosis?

Not everyone wants to use hypnosis, and that is okay. If someone does not mention an interest, I might ask about hypnosis. However, I am always happy to use other approaches if you prefer. Having control over your own therapy is very important.

Therapy Office in Sunnyvale

My office is in Sunnyvale, California on Wolfe Rd., near El Camino Real (also close to Santa Clara, Cupertino, and Mountain View). Parking is easy; there is a large parking lot.

1021 S. Wolfe Rd., Suite 255
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Directions to Sunnyvale Therapy Office

About Me

I am a therapist/counselor in Sunnyvale, California. I work with adults, teenagers, and children. (LMFT Lic. # LMFT40414)

Please visit my therapy home page for more information about me.

To Schedule an Appointment or Ask Questions

Call me at (650) 429-8224 or email me at to ask any questions you have or set up an appointment. You can also schedule a free phone consultation with me.