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Hello and welcome. First off thank you for your openness to trying something new. I look forward to connecting with you. I am post graduate qualified in clinical hypnotherapy and have been in private practice for 6 years. 18 months in NYC. I specialize in relationships (LGBTQIA+ and alternative lifestyle affirming!), big life changes and balance. I also have 10+ years experience working with people with disabilities in relation to work and personal relationships. Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to make healing or change easier. It works with the subconscious mind, bypassing all the filters, barriers or anxieties of the conscious mind. Depending on the therapist or the needs of the client, the hypnosis and the therapy parts would vary (there are so many different approaches). It will always involve some sort of focus on a task or the therapist’s voice as a distraction and some sort of relaxation. My approach usually has a meditative/dream journey where I work with the client on figuring out exactly what they want and why. This is completely accessible even to people who say they have no imagination or don’t identify as open minded. Hypnosis makes this really easy for anyone. Then we work on the issue, rewriting the story, usually with metaphors, without having to talk too much about it. It’s always held in a nurturing space and although clients sometimes cry, they rarely feel bad at all. Then I reinforce the changes the client has made as well as boost good feelings, and we put in some practical tools to apply in their daily life. Please note during telehealth sessions there will be less of what is known as direct suggestion hypnosis (i.e me telling you what to do when you're super relaxed) and more hypnosis informed guidance. I will still be using the same observation and analysis techniques to get to the heart of what's truly going on, and there will likely be some hypnosis or recordings to play at home, but there won't be any deep trance work. I only do this with a handful of clients anyway but as I won't be able to hold space physically, it's safer to take a slow and steady approach at this time.
Weekdays After 5pm
Weekdays 9am - 5pm
In-person available: Yes
Virtual available: Yes
Non-Traditional Romantic Stress
Existential Crisis or Transition
Out of network providers
Why state matters
Get to Know Joanne
Sarah Gokhale, Client
Siobhan Harper-Nunes, Client
Dr. Kerry West, Colleague
Usually there will be some self hypnosis to do at home, to practice going to a place where you can be as you are and escape some of the conditioning from your daily life, in between sessions. I will often share tips, tricks and techniques that can help with managing specific situations that are coming up. We sometimes co-create exercises or intimacy rituals to try at home. Occasionally when clients like to read up on things themselves I will suggest books or online resources that are unique to their experience. I also sometimes recommend other providers, modalities or groups that might be a good fit. It depends on the client. Some just like to come to the session, be really in it while they're there and then take that with them and let it play out, others are more action oriented so it depends on you.
I first make sure we have the best possible chance of success by only working with clients I feel will benefit greatly from working with me. We have the MyWellbeing matching and then also our consultation and I always make sure that if someone else or something else seems to be a better fit, that I recommend that. During the sessions our work together is very active and reflective. At the end of each session there there is a very obvious shift: a lightness, a brightness, an openness, a relief. My training is to be deeply aware of even the most subtle changes in a person's being. Micro-movements in their face and body as they process, share and receive so we are fine tuning it the whole time. As we will likely only be working together for a short time (a few weeks or months), and every session is intended to address your deepest needs and impact your life, there will be a noticeable shift from each session. That's how we know if you're benefitting or not, based on whether you are healing and noticing improvements weekly. Many of my sessions include hypnosis or meditation of some kind and in this deeply relaxed state we don't filter ourselves or judge our experiences. There is no worry about people pleasing or not speaking up. Clients get used to answering from their higher selves about what is and isn't working for them at every stage, so when it comes to the overall question of if they are benefiting, it's really obvious to both the client and me. Occasionally there are a couple of weeks when things do not appear to be having a real life impact and it can indicate that we need to move in a different direction and sometimes we need to stick with something through a little resistance (either with the clients or through coaching them to combat the resistance from others in their life) but if I do my job well we find a way. If for any reason it comes to light that there is something or someone else that will support a client better, such as referrals for diagnosis or a specific type of therapy or alternative healing, or to move on to, then I will create opportunities for that to make sure that your investment in yourself always benefits you.
I have extensive training both in my previous career as a disability and discrimination attorney and as a clinician. I have lived and worked in several countries and I understand that different cultures have different approaches to addressing diversity in the room. For me to personally see it and acknowledge it to myself so I am mindful, is sometimes the most appropriate. Other times it's appropriate to expressly acknowledge it and ask. I try to do little things to make clients feel like their space with me is normative for how they identify and mitigate any barriers as much as possible so they can share anything and everything about their lived experience. When or if they want to. Some lived experiences of diversity we might share, others we might not. I'm very fortunate enough to have been in diverse and not so diverse spaces at various times in my life. To have been a majority and a minority for a variety of reasons. To have taught others but also benefited greatly from being taught and called out. Things are always evolving too and I do still learn from my clients, especially younger clients. That said I try my best to create a space where what they share with me is how their diversity experience is for them in their life personally, so they are not responsible for educating me on things I can learn myself.
I only work with a maximum of 12 clients at a time to make sure that everyone gets my full attention. Not just during the session but in between too. I may be researching things for them, meditating on them, responding to emails from them, creating recordings or resources. My goal is to invest in my clients and hold things for them so that all they have to do is be there. That's not to say they won't be doing the work, just that it won't feel like it. Sessions with me are typically 90 minutes. Most therapy tends to be 50 minutes and I often found in my own therapy that I'd spend 10 minutes brining my therapist up to speed about what we were working on from last week and then 15 minutes explaining what had been going on and then I'd have 15 minutes of getting in there before the session was over. It took so long. If you ever felt impatient in therapy, or like you needed more time to come out of your shell, or like you wanted a way to integrate it all after speaking then this might be a good fit for you. I'm not aware of anyone else that does 90 minutes. Some clients end up only needing an hour and that's it. And that's totally fine too. But the time and extra support is always there, if they ever need it. It's intense, fast paced, active, solution focused and dynamic in terms of efficacy and yet the experience feels very gentle, loving, deep, casual and peaceful at the same time. Never re-traumatizing. Never exhausting. But the work is never bypassed either. My approach is really eclectic, so I never know quite how I am going to show up for my clients, just that I promise to! Oh and I'm a hypnotherapist so that's a little different too! Most other hypnotherapists I know of seem to fall into three categories: They are clinicians specializing in a particular approach, that have added some hypnosis to the mix. In New York there is no requirement for the amount of hypnosis training someone needs to have done to call themselves a hypnotherapist, so while they should be competent therapists, the hypnotherapy part is usually an adjunct that has often been studied just over the course of a weekend. This is a long term approach that if done well, uses hypnosis to aid relaxation, build trust and overcome barriers, but too often clients come to me saying “my therapist tried hypnosis and it didn’t work". The other is traditional hypnosis that isn’t really investigative or collaborative but involves telling someone that they’re changing their undesirable thoughts and habits, often in one or two sessions. If done well this can be useful for interrupting unhelpful patterns, providing a strong counter argument to habitual thinking and provide a will power boost. Unfortunately it is limited and often in the long term it’s just not that easy. Good for quitting smoking, generic motivation or acing tests. Then finally we have those who use hypnosis as part of a range of holistic healing practices. All sorts of weird and wonderful ways to work on the body and soul. Again this can often be beautiful and an expression of spiritual and cultural healing practices used for centuries, this can come up short when it comes to the workings of the mind, practical applications or where those belief systems don't match up with those of the client. I offer a blend of all 3 and a bunch of other stuff that is adapted to suit the needs of my client.
You will likely only be working with me regularly for a few months and then we may just keep in touch periodically or we might not, it depends on you. My door is always open but I like to make sure that my clients have all the tools they need so that if anything comes up in the future they have the resources available in themselves (and sometimes on google docs or a recording). My business model is to help clients feel better and be empowered. I'd much rather have a client recommend me to someone new because I've done my job and they no longer need me, than keep clients for years because it's easy money. During our time together we will get to know each other and we will form a connection. We are human beings and I am definitely on the warm, loving and friendly side of the spectrum when it comes to therapeutic approaches. So in some ways it might feel like you're talking to a friend or loved one but a friend or loved one who's feelings you don't have to think about, who you know will respond in the right way to you, and it's a good thing that it's all about you! Our relationship will be a collaborative effort, and it will feel natural and easy and I will earn your trust. You won't need to hold anything in terms of the process or the relationship. That's my job. I'll be taking care of the boundaries and managing the dynamic in the background in ways that I have been trained to do, and I've been doing it for so long now it will feel natural. This is your therapy, not mine, so I'll know more about you than you do about me. That said I am quite an open book when it comes to my real world experience either clinically or personally on things. I'm 38 and I have lived a full life so far, so in addition to the 9 years studying and training I also bring practical real life (my life, the life of others in my life, my other clients or colleagues) applications of these things into the mix. A final note: it varies vastly too from client to client and what you want from this. With some its a somewhat distant business like relationship, other's have sent me pictures of their new babies, dogs or plants years later with a check in!
My first career was as a disability rights lawyer and then, after retraining, I worked for Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, in the UK (healthcare services, including mental health services, are delivered in the UK through the government run National Health Service and this was my regional division).
I worked in disability equality law and began running wellness projects for people with mental health conditions. I used martial arts, meditation and self hypnosis to heal from my stress and poor mental well-being and decided to study on weekends to incorporate it into my professional life. After qualifying I set up my own practice offering one-on-one therapy but also continued to work on projects with businesses and the government mental health service part time.
Seeing people leave with hope and smiles after first arriving all shrunken and overwhelmed. Truly seeing people who had closed off part of themselves. Getting random emails with updates of good news years later from old clients.
- A, 64, He has not been sexually intimate with his wife for 2 years and he is worried that she will leave him. We identify that he processes visually and is an over-thinker. He is very busy with work and is disconnected from his physical body. He is short on time and just wants to fix it, now, as he feels he has already left it too late. I use a visual induction (this is what we call the ways we get clients into a trance state) where A looks at the palm of his hand, analyzing everything he sees until he just wants to rest. I use a counting down technique to take him deeper and I ask him to indicate “yes” answers by raising his right finger and “no” answers by raising his left finger. I then ask his subconscious if he genuinely wants to have sex with his wife, and he indicates “yes” by raising his right finger. I ask if he knows the reason why he isn’t, and he indicates “yes” again by raising his right finger. I ask if he is ready to begin to investigate this today, and he indicates “no” by raising his left finger. I ask if he would like to do some work on feeling good about himself today, and he indicates “yes” by raising his right finger. So I give him a pep talk of sorts using the information gleaned from our consultation, while he is in this very receptive state, and then I ask him if he feels better and is ready to come out of trance. He indicates “yes” by raising his right finger and I count him back up. - B, 27, has been following the keto diet for 3 months, but unlike her friends, she hasn’t lost weight. B is very connected to her physical sensations, and so we use those to get her into a light trance. We take a meditative walk to a beach, and she brings the feeling of her grandmother sitting beside her on the rocks. Her grandmother tells her that she never liked greasy things growing up and they used to make her sick. Her grandmother tells her that her father had gallbladder issues and maybe she does, too. She knows that her issues are stress related and by putting her body under further stress with this diet, she is making matters worse. She needs to look at how to comfort herself in other ways. Together we promise that B will return to this place to talk some more and figure out where she needs comfort and how she can give herself this, to naturally let go of the weight and nurture herself. - C, 48, hates their job, but has no idea what else they could do and doesn’t want to give up the money. C reveals that they have ADD, so it’s important that we make the induction very interactive and engaging. C is also very distracted by noise, so we use the sound of the air purifier as an attention anchor. I guide C to picturing their perfect office, down to every detail. It is exceptionally quiet and serene there; it transpires that the work they are doing is not the problem, it is the location. They want to work on their own. We make a plan for how we will spend the next couple of weeks making that a realistic long term goal and teaching C how to become more aware of ways they can connect this to opportunities in their life that can’t be seen right now.
We would usually be able to tell from the consultation whether this was the right approach for you or not. The work I do is focused on getting changes in your life in a few sessions—6 usually. We evaluate what is and isn’t working every week, and you will either feel better or you won’t, so you’ll know, and I will know. It’s not common, but it may be appropriate to take a break and invest in something else (I have referred clients for all sorts of things such as breath work, physical therapy, nutrition support, psychiatric assessments, etc.) when something has come out during hypnosis that requires outside intervention. Sometimes it also comes out that something such as grief counseling or a specific type of therapy would be beneficial before hypnotherapy, alongside it, or after it. Although I used to work as a mental health practitioner, I no longer diagnose or treat specific mental health conditions that go beyond the scope of the hypnotherapy I offer, but we would get you to a place where you knew exactly what was right for you and where to go.
There is nothing you need to do to prepare.
Very. I am either directing the hypnosis, asking questions, or facilitating a change. There are times when I am silently observing or giving clients space to talk or explore or release, but these would be short, contained periods of time during a session.
I respond completely openly to questions about myself, and I like clients to know me and see me as authentic. As hypnosis is a very liberating experience where people share a lot of deeply personal information, often in unusual and raw ways, it’s important that we bond as real people so that there is never any embarrassment. This is, however, a time for you, and I tend not to go into any details about my experiences (or other client’s experiences with a particular issue), as I believe every individual experience is different. What matters is what’s going on with you.
Typically I ask clients to commit to at least 4 sessions/ 1 month. Also my sessions are 90 minutes each so please bear that in mind.
Clients will always tell me either outright or it will come across during trance. People don't really hide anything during hypnosis, so that's the beauty of it compared with other approaches. Another huge part of my training is in picking up on how someone feels or thinks even if they don't feel they can express it or have adapted to hiding it. This is such a gentle and open space that there really are no rules about how things should or shouldn't go or how clients should or shouldn't feel. We talk a lot throughout the sessions and I check in via email regularly. While there is space for clients to share freely, my listening will be active as I seek to understand them fully. I also share with them ways to help other people in their life understand and hear them and do some interpreting.
Yes. I complete 8 CFU hours of hypnotherapy training every year in the UK, as well as a lot of holistic offerings here in the US and all over the world. I am always learning something new to improve myself and offer more to my clients to cover any eventuality that may come up in therapy. Last year I completed a course of training with Tara Brach on the RAIN process to healing, and I will be attending a Kundalini meditation teacher training workshop this summer.