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.

Therapeutic NLP

Therapist in Sunnyvale - Stacy O'Leary, LMFT

NLP can be a powerful way to make the changes that you want in your life. NLP is a combination of several therapy approaches. The founders of NLP studied the work of several therapists and integrated the core concepts of each approach. I use a compassionate, therapeutic version of NLP (also called neuro-linguistic programming).

I have a Master Practitioner Certificate (NLPU with Robert Dilts and Judy DeLozier). I am also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. (Lic. # LMFT40414)

Change 'Stuck' Patterns & Find Solutions

Do you sometimes wonder how you can have so many resources and strengths and yet still struggle with certain problems? People have both strengths and problem areas where they are not fully utilizing their strengths and resources. NLP involves accessing your own strengths and resources to help heal and resolve your problems.

What Happens During an NLP Session?

During the session, we would sit and talk briefly about what you want to accomplish in the session. Then you would have the option to continue to sit and talk about the issue, move into a more formal NLP technique, or choose a different approach to accomplish your goals.

Most NLP techniques are done while standing and involve walking a few steps to move to different physical locations. Of course, if standing is difficult, it is possible to do the techniques while sitting.

Typically, we would begin any technique with a brief centering exercise to help you feel more grounded.

Examples of NLP Techniques

In many of the techniques, we explore your problem, your short-term and long-term goals, and your internal resources/strengths.

If you have a particular problem, a desired goal, and something preventing you from fully achieving your goal, we might explore both the 'problem state' and the 'desired state'. We would also explore what is holding you back and find a way to access your internal strengths in order to achieve your goal.

Another technique allows you to use visual images to transform habits or work through fears. 

Other NLP techniques allow you to explore how past experiences are impacting present-day issues. The goal is to heal past issues so that they are not negatively impacting you.

Some techniques focus on conflict with other people and allow you to experience the conflict from someone else’s perspective. Often, speaking from the other person’s perspective gives you more insight into the situation.

There are many other techniques. It is usually easy to find a technique or adapt a technique to fit for each person’s needs.

Why and How Does NLP Work?

Exactly how NLP works is not fully understood yet.

Perhaps, differentiating the problem from the goal and then integrating them helps to integrate the brain, which is thought of as a sign of health.

I also think it is helpful to realize that we can consciously step into different mindsets. We do not have to live at the mercy of every passing emotional state. (Not that we can control every feeling, but we do interact with our feelings, thoughts, and experiences.)

In addition, the techniques of NLP can give you the structure needed to explore and work through difficult issues. Specifying a location for the 'problem state' creates a contained way of experiencing the problem, which usually makes it more tolerable. Being able to sit with the problem begins to change your relationship with the problem, which usually changes the problem itself.

I was excited to learn NLP because it brought together many of my skills and beliefs about healing. NLP combines neuroscience (how the brain works), empathy, connection/rapport, movement, language patterns, and centering/grounding. The founders of NLP studied different therapists and were curious about what was most useful in each therapeutic approach. NLP is based on the work of Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy), Virginia Satir (family therapy), and Milton Erickson (Hypnotherapy).

What Are the Benefits of NLP?

Neuro-linguistic programming can be helpful with many issues:

  • Changing difficult habits and patterns

  • Resolving conflicts with others

  • Increasing motivation and clarity around a task

  • Making routine or life-changing decisions

  • Exploring and resolving the history of a problem

  • Decreasing anxiety and worry

  • Increasing connection with one’s life purpose

  • Increasing self-confidence and self-esteem

If you are curious if NLP might help you, please feel free to call or email me. I can tell you if I think NLP would be helpful and suggest other resources if necessary.

How Long Will It Take?

NLP can be used in brief therapy (just a few sessions) or part of longer-term therapy. The number of sessions depends on the issues that you want to work on and your goals for therapy. You would have a good sense of whether or not you think NLP is useful after a couple of sessions. Also, I can teach you tools that you can use on your own.

Most NLP techniques can be done in a regular-length session. If you want to do a longer technique, we can arrange a longer session.

Is NLP Manipulative or Mechanical?

Some people think that NLP is manipulative or mechanical. NLP has changed a great deal since it was first developed. I was fortunate to learn a very compassionate and caring version of NLP (referred to as 3rd generation NLP). I don’t think that the version of NLP that I learned is mechanical or manipulative.

As with any therapy, the connection or rapport is very important in NLP. I am always willing to modify a technique if it is not working for someone. If you are working with me, please let me know if something does not feel right. Any good therapist can change her/his approach or technique to better suit you.

Are There Alternatives to NLP?

Yes, there are many alternatives to NLP. If you do not mention an interest, I might ask about NLP. 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.