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hypnosis in philadelphia media

Overcome Fears, End Bad Habits, and more...

philadelphia phobia
Hypnosis can help change many types of unwanted thoughts, feelings and behaviors because it deals with your subconscious mind. At a deeper level, it can alter habitual patterns and retrain your brain to better handle anxiety and stress.

Many bad habits are driven by underlying stress, or an uneasy feeling of boredom. A skilled hypnotist can help reverse the effects of unhealthy mental conditioning that has taught your brain to engage in unhealthy habits.

Of course, two of the most popular uses are stopping smoking and losing weight, but there are many other issues that can be helped.

From my experience over the years working with thousands of clients in the Philadelphia area, here is a partial list of the types of issues I have personally and successfully worked with:

(DISCLAIMER: Although these are issues I've worked with in the past, there is no way to guarantee specific results in the future. Individual results may vary.)

fear of public speaking excessive shyness anger
skin picking nail biting cheek chewing
procrastination test anxiety habitual drinking
exercising more dealing with difficult people approaching people
fear of flying fear of driving fear of heights
fear of auditions athletic improvement picky eating
negative outlook over-reactiveness guilt and shame

...and much more

One thing you won't find on that list is "motivation". This may come as a surprise, because people often think hypnosis helps by getting you motivated to change. Even most hypnotists seem to think that motivation is what it's all about. But relying on motivation is a poor strategy, because motivation is a temporary mood.

Anyway, if willpower, motivation and good advice were enough to make positive changes happen, all those self-help books and motivational quotes should've worked by now.

Has anyone with a fear of public speaking ever gotten better by hearing: "Don't worry, everyone gets nervous about giving speeches", or through tips like: "Just imagine the audience is sitting there in their underwear"?

And people with fear of flying already know: "Airplanes are the safest form of travel. You have a higher chance of getting killed on the drive to the airport." --- What a comforting idea!

With hypnosis, we can go beyond that kind of well-meaning but ineffectual advice and reassurance.

It is particularly effective in helping people stop unconscious stress-related habits, nail biting for example.

People who have suffered the effects of chewing their nails, the bleeding and soreness, and the embarrassment involved, do not need more advice, motivation, or the pressure of being told "Just stop it!" That doesn't work.

I have helped many many people with this type of habit and even I am still surprised and puzzled at how easily this kind of problem can be resolved (here is an email from a client, shared with permission):

Hypnotism can also help resolve many other types of anxieties and fears:

Of course, individual experiences and results may vary!

"He Was So Calm at His Bar Exam,
He Read the Sports Section of the Paper During Lunch Break!"

Test anxiety is another one of the most common things I've helped people with. It's very satisfying because so many people run into obstacles after a lot of dedicated studying and effort, only to run into problems when they're trying to pass a certification or board exam in order to earn a professional credential.

I love this story from a client who overcame nervousness about taking the bar exam (listen to the full audio clip here):

"Before I came to the first initial session with Steve, I had sat for the bar exam previously which is, as a lot of people know who have to take it, extremely anxiety producing... After the first session with Steve, I had actually taken the bar exam the following morning, the next two days... The more the process went on through the day, the more comfortable and relaxed I felt.

At the break time for lunch during the first day, I would see all the fellow candidates around me who were frantically on the floor studying and trying to cram within that hour whatever pieces of law they could. People just looked so despondent walking around and just had their heads in their hands... I comfortably just had my lunch.

That morning I brought the sports section of the paper and opened up the sports section and actually read that comfortably and understood what I was reading with calmness and confidence. I just felt relaxed and folded it up and went back before the exam began.

I guess I didn't realize it at the time but two people had actually passed me coming down the hallway and pointed out to me saying, "Wow, you really look relaxed today," in a joking way. I guess it wasn't until I thought about it and explained the feelings and the situation later that I guess, you know what? If I were walking down the hall and saw somebody sitting on the side reading a newspaper, I guess I would be pretty envious of that guy..."

* (link to standard disclaimer)

When someone carries that relaxed attitude of being calm and confident even in high pressure situations, people take notice, just like the story describes.

Imagine the impact this could have, not just on directly measurable things like test scores or passing/failing grades... but also on your relationships, both personal and professional, and your ability to achieve goals:

* (link to standard disclaimer)

Another example, a client who overcame a paralyzing fear (her husband related this story to me about a year after I saw her):

Here is a partial transcript of that video:

"My wife was, not just afraid of spiders, she had paralysis with regards to spiders. She could see a spider as big as a flake of pepper, and if she recognized it was a spider, she was running across the room with her chest in contraction...

After one session with you, where she doesn't remember actually discussing the spider phobia, she actually can go up to a spider, up to a spider web, and then examine the details on its legs. She doesn't like spiders, and she thinks they're kind of gross, but if she sees a spider, she's like, take a look at this spider.

But it's absolutely amazing because her phobia was obviously non-rational but... it was a very deep fear. Pretty miraculous recovery from that. And we live in a house where we have a lot of house spiders and our garage has a lot of spiders in it, and she walks under a web every single day going down to our car, and she just looks at the spider, oh that's interesting, straight blanks. But before, she wouldn't even be able to go near the garage if that spider was there. Thank you!"

* (link to standard disclaimer)

Here are more comments, all shared with permission:

"This is embarrassing to admit, but for 20 years, I was a cheek-chewer... After two sessions, I am free of this affliction. I will say, it didn't happen overnight, but when I was tempted, I would think of his words... and eventually, my mouth healed and the urge subsided. I highly recommend Steve if you are looking to break a bad habit, or just want to feel better in general."
--- Kim A.

"It was amazing how I got hypnotized so easily and it truly worked almost immediately in my every day thinking...My reasons for [seeking help] was to work on my self confidence issues and boy did it work. The hypnosis has allowed me to be a more positive person in many areas of my everyday life. I think this is so worth it for any sort of situation in life."
--- Name withheld by request

"Thank you so much for your help. Quitting smoking has truly changed my life in so many ways."
--- Lisa T.

"Achieving relaxation and introspection, not easy for me in the ‘real world’ but your guidance helped clear the path... Thanks so much for your help. I appreciate your sensitivity and patience. What a great experience!"
--- Maggie W.

"A refreshing alternative to traditional 'therapy'. Steve really strives to help you help yourself... Thanks, you helped me deal with that emotional baggage I've been carrying around."
--- W. O.

* (link to standard disclaimer, individual results may vary)

Please note: although hypnosis can help with a wide variety of issues involving unwanted behaviors, stress or emotional factors, this doesn't mean that hypnosis can "cure" or "treat" disorders, or that it should be used in all individual cases. It should not be used as a substitute for comprehensive medical or mental health treatment.

Take a look at the rest of the site for more videos, audio clips and emails from clients describing their experiences, as well as information about how to setup your FREE personal consultation.

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Want to Stop Smoking?

philadelphia stop quit smoking

If I could show you how you can become a non-smoker, no matter how long or how much you've smoked, without drugs, pills or patches, would you be interested in knowing more?

According to the largest scientific study to compare the effectiveness of various smoking cessation methods, hypnosis has the highest success rate of any approach, with one exception.

This study, published by the University of Iowa, analyzed the results of over 600 previous scientific studies involving more than 70,000 people. But don't take my word for it: the link to this study is here (Adobe PDF document).

The one exception? The scenario where a person is experiencing serious cardiac events or pulmonary diseases that force them to stop smoking for medical reasons.

In other words, the only thing that was more likely than hypnosis to get a person to stop smoking, was an extended stay in the intensive care unit!


If the main reason you want to quit is:

* Someone in your life is nagging you
* You are doing it for your children
* You are pregnant and doing it for your unborn child
* Your doctor says you need to

...BUT you still like the idea of being cool and rebellious by smoking, or think of cigarettes as "your friend" ---

Sorry, you probably aren't ready to quit!

I'm not kidding about that. ESPECIALLY if your mindset is "I should quit smoking because my doctor tells me I have to stop."

I'm sorry to say, that language is almost guaranteed to indicate someone who does not actually want to stop smoking! It is the language of someone who is thinking like a child, who needs to be goaded and nagged into taking care of themselves.

Hypnosis can help you easily stop unwanted, unconscious habits,
but it cannot stop you from doing what you choose to do.

If you are hoping that a hypnotist will "make you" want to stop smoking, that is not a good sign. Any adult who expects someone else to make them take care of themselves has bigger problems than just a smoking habit.

If you are no longer a 12-year-old and yet still believe that smoking makes you more mature, glamorous or tough-looking, I doubt that I can help you.


Finally, if you are hoping that hypnosis will make you think that cigarettes taste and smell awful --- you are in denial. You see, cigarettes actually do taste and smell dirty and trashy... but smokers have become desensitized to that.

It's like those people who live in filthy houses with dozens of cats or dogs in the house --- they have become so used to the smell that it's "normal" to them (or maybe they think just a little bit of Febreze makes it all better).

Effective hypnosis is about helping people experience reality, not about adding an illusion on top of an existing delusion.

So the question is: are you ready to face reality?

Try this: if some part of you believes that smoking is associated with youthful rebellion, or glamour and excitement, for the next few days, every time you go past an office building or bar, take an honest look at all the "edgy", "sexy" people huddling outside on their smoke breaks.

Isn't it Time You Grew Up?

If you can't stand the idea of cigarettes having control over part of your life, then I'm ready to help you. But I'm not here to convince anyone to stop smoking if it's something they choose to do.

I believe people should have a right to treat themselves however they choose, as long as they accept responsibility for the consequences of their choices.

I used to smoke too, so I know how it feels when well-meaning people try to convince smokers that they "should" stop by nagging them or trying to use scare tactics. It's bad enough having an unhealthy habit, and it's only made worse when people try to make you feel bad about it!

For this reason, DO NOT setup an appointment for a loved one or friend, in the hopes that this will somehow "get them" to change.

Do not fool yourself by thinking "my boyfriend / girlfriend / wife / husband etc. really wants to stop smoking, I'm looking into this for them." Face it: if they really wanted to stop smoking they would be the ones looking into this, not having someone else do it for them, as if they were a helpless child.

If adults want to smoke they should be given every opportunity to smoke their brains out, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

As a Darwinist (in the evil, non-scientific sense), I believe it is the natural order of things that people who choose to engage in harmful behavior will suffer, and they will make their families suffer. That's their choice.

As a general rule, if a person does not care about their own health and survival, I don't care either. This is important to understand so that people do not mistakenly think that the hypnotist is supposed to "motivate" someone to change.

I use the term Darwinist in the non-scientific sense here, because technically, unhealthy behavior such as smoking would only be an effective mechanism for natural selection if it killed people BEFORE they had a chance to reproduce and have children.

From that perspective, the real problem with smoking is that it doesn't kill people fast enough, because the negative effects generally don't effect people until they've already had a chance to breed and/or transmit that behavior to others in their families or social circles.

The Biggest Misunderstandings
about Hypnotic Smoking Cessation

Here is what it's NOT about:

   * It's not about hypnotizing you and telling you that cigarettes taste and smell bad

   * It's not about hypnotizing you and pleading with you to care about your health, or "think about your children"

   * It's not about hypnotizing you and telling you that smoking is for idiots, losers and low-lifes

   * It's not about hypnotizing you and trying to scare you ("imagine having lung cancer")

You already know smoking is bad, you've heard these things before, or at the least have thought them to yourself. You probably already feel like an idiot for smoking, so you don't need to hear that kind of message during hypnosis. Those kinds of messages, by themselves, aren't going to help most people (although a few people are responsive to that kind of "aversive" approach).

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, hypnosis can cause non-voluntary changes in perception and behavior --- so, technically speaking, it is not necessarily the case that someone truly needs to be self-motivated in order to change.

However, trying to change people who do not really want to change would lead to less reliable and consistent results. In any case, I do not see the point in trying to do that!

Some people who consider hypnosis are concerned that they might be too control-oriented to get hypnotized. This is almost never a problem, IF the hypnotist is doing their job correctly. A hypnotist should be able to make use of that trait, in order to help achieve the client's objective:

(DISCLAIMER: Testimonials and customer reviews are not guarantees of similar results. Individual results may vary.)

Here is a partial transcript of that video:

"My background is that I tend to think of myself as a control person, someone who likes to always be in control of their environment and the elements that they're with. And I always was frustrated that what I couldn't control, specifically, was smoking. I couldn't somehow control that environment. I couldn't get beyond it.

One of the things that I found very interesting after our sessions was that what I have always led myself to believe and I've been, I guess, taught, is that this is a chemical dependency beyond habits, and boy, if you don't break it, it's not your fault, it's the chemicals.

And I have to tell you that it's not the chemicals. They're easy to break, and it's really a matter of being in control and believing that you have the talents within yourself to do this. What I've found through our sessions is that talents came in the door with me that were just unlocked by our sessions together.

I've been smoking for about 40 years. No, not about 40 years, in fact, a little longer than 40 years, and I have always convinced myself that it wasn't my fault. I couldn't stop because of all the other elements.

Honestly, I've tried the chemicals, I've tried patches, I've tried just about everything else, and I've always found a reason why that didn't work. But I guess the elements, the times, and everything else was right for this and that using these sessions to really let me get control back over the habit of smoking cigarettes. And it's been extraordinary for me."

(DISCLAIMER: Testimonials and customer reviews are not guarantees of similar results. Individual results may vary.)

PS. If you're wondering what's up with all these disclaimers, they are just required to be in full compliance with Google policies regarding site quality.


Clients are often amazed to discover that, in many cases, they do not experience the commonly feared "withdrawals" or "cravings", or if they do, they find them to be surprisingly manageable.

For example, in addition to the client in the audio clip above, another long-time smoker (38 years of smoking two packs a day) reported to me that he was stunned by the fact that there were no withdrawals or cravings after our first session.

Through hypnosis, we help people experience the reality that withdrawals and cravings are just illusions in their mind.

For people who are stuck in an illusion, it sounds hard to believe, but we use hypnosis to shift people's reality so that the illusion has no more power over them.

Here are a couple of other surprising things I can tell you about ending bad habits such as smoking:

So, are you ready to take control and leave this useless habit behind?

But first, be honest with yourself.

It's very important that you honestly self-assess whether or not smoking is being used to distract you from some other ongoing problem in your life. Consider to what degree the smoking habit is being used to avoid dealing with something that you find uncomfortable dealing with.

For example, if you think of cigarettes as "your friend" --- what will happen if you don't have cigarettes around any more? Do you actually have friends or other forms of healthy support in your life? If cigarettes have become the main source of pleasure or escape in your life, are you ready and willing to work on developing other healthier sources of pleasure and satisfaction and support?

If not, that's a different problem.

One thing is for sure, as long as people use smoking (or any unhealthy habit) as a crutch for problems in life, they "fall behind" because any crutch used chronically inhibits the development of genuine mental and emotional strength.

Here is a set of guidelines as examples to help you self-assess. If you started smoking because...

A) you thought it would help you fit in and be accepted by the other kids, AND IF YOU STILL feel "left out" and not accepted...

B) or, you were in an unstable, oppressive, or insecure environment and smoking provided a means of escape, independent choice, and control, AND IF YOU STILL feel like your life is out of control...

C) or, it made you feel like a "bad boy/bad girl" or a "rebel", AND IF YOU STILL have a need to feel that way, and still think that you need to look like a sophisticated lady or a tough guy by smoking...

...then it is strongly recommended that we address the underlying issue first. Please consider this carefully. Do not pretend that things are fine, because that will cause us both to waste time heading in the wrong direction.

Fortunately, in most cases people are just smoking because it's just a habit that's stuck around past their adolescence.

In that case, using hypnosis to help them quit can be pretty simple, and people are often surprised at how much easier it is to quit than they thought it would be.

SPECIAL OFFER for Smoking Cessation

Smoking can usually be handled in two sessions (many people stop after the first session, that is always our goal).

I'm confident about offering that FREE reinforcer because after working with hundreds of stop-smoking clients, experience has shown that few of them need to use it... but if they do, I don't want them to hesitate to come back in for additional help.

Compare this to the lifetime cost of continuing to use cigarettes! Example:

stop smoking hypnosis calculation

My clients are so cool; this client sent me the email above (used with permission), after calculating how much money she saved after our sessions.

Aside from the money, can you imagine... if she hadn't quit smoking, she would have smoked over 10,000 extra cigarettes over the span of just a year and a half!

Yes, I accept credit cards.

hypnotist philadelphia

Fee structure subject to change.
Please note: I cannot process transactions from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).


Still hesitant about using hypnosis to help you stop smoking? Thinking that "it's too expensive" (while ignoring the money you already spend on cigarettes)? While I know that hypnosis can be very effective for many people, I also understand that some visitors to this site could benefit from learning about other options.

So here is a link to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Project (SEPA TCP), a regional coalition of nearly 60 organizations providing free tobacco control services in the area:

I had the pleasure of meeting representatives of SEPA TCP at the recent launch of the Body Worlds "I Quit" program at the Franklin Institute (see my blog for details about that event). Check out their programs if you aren't moving forward with a hypnotic-based solution.

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Diets and Exercise Not Working?

philadelphia lose weight loss junk food

You've probably tried a lot of different diets.  Maybe you've signed up for expensive gym memberships but just couldn't force yourself to work out enough to make a difference.  The problem is that conscious willpower usually fades before good eating habits and regular exercise can become part of your normal routine. 

Hypnosis works by making positive changes directly to your subconscious mind, which is what controls your automatic habits.  It also influences your emotions and beliefs about your self-image, which can be factors in how you treat yourself and your body in regards to food. 

(DISCLAIMER: Testimonials and customer reviews are not guarantees of similar results. Individual results may vary.)

US News and World Report, October 2010:
Top fitness professionals identified six smart ways to spend your money: #1. Behavior changing programs. Programs designed to help you adopt a new exercise mindset, such as audio tapes, hypnotherapy or motivational classes can be a great way to break those ingrained sedentary habits.

"These types of programs can help with [any] behavioral issues that prevent you from engaging in a healthy lifestyle," says Marta Montenegro, a professor of exercise physiology at Florida International University in Miami. Many use techniques such as visualization, positive suggestion, repetition and reinforcement to change patterns of thinking so you're more likely to hit the gym after work instead of the couch.

Even better, we have the ability to go beyond the typical visualization approaches. Those are often little more than exercises in listening to a pep-talk while you relax with your eyes closed! In many cases that is insufficient to bring about real, lasting changes.

The real power of hypnotism is in subtraction.

Many people have tried things like CDs, "visualizing themselves thin", group sessions, etc. Those things can be helpful for some people, but individual, personalized hypnotism tends to be more effective. This is because hypnotic suggestions will only "work", if any reasons that they "wouldn't work" are removed first.

In other words, in order to program your mind with positive desired behaviors, it's essential to first use hypnotism to de-program you from unhealthy conditioning. This is of course much easier to do with individual interactive work, rather than a generic "feel good" scripted process.

You have already been hypnotized into subconsciously believing:


Hypnosis can help you WAKE UP from that unhealthy trance

Something alarming is happening across the country...
watch this shocking animated image:

Did you know that 1 in 3 American adults are now pre-diabetic?

If they do not change their food habits and get into better shape, most people who are pre-diabetic will develop full-blown diabetes within 10 years. This is according to a January 2011 Bloomberg news article and the Centers for Disease Control.

Have you ever considered what that really means?

It isn't just about "I want to be slender and fit and look good"... it means that for a huge portion of the population, a critically important hormonal system is slowly being destroyed by careless eating habits. This can happen even in people who do not appear obese or heavy!

To make matters worse, many people have picked up a habit of connecting emotions like boredom, insecurity or sadness with food, so that eating becomes more than just a way of satisfying true physical hunger. Hypnosis can help break those emotional connections between food and feelings.

* (link to standard disclaimer)
PS. If you're wondering what's up with all these disclaimers,
they are just required to be in full compliance
with Google policies regarding site quality

Willpower and motivation are temporary and unreliable. Any approach that primarily depends on conscious willpower and motivation over the long-term is a weak strategy.

When a person changes their attitude about themselves and their relationship with food, healthy eating stops being a big struggle or a chore. I can help you do this. The focus is not on depriving yourself so that you lose "X" number of pounds in record time, just to gain it back later.

In fact, I am very reluctant to work with potential clients who have the intention of using hypnosis to make them stick to some crazy diet plan. I'm not in a position to judge what's right or wrong for an individual, but it's obvious that "crash" diets often end up wrecking people's health, so I'm sorry but I have to opt-out of enabling such disasters.

This isn't about a specific "diet" or program, it's about a fundamental shift in how you approach the process of feeding yourself, and taking control of what you choose to eat, instead of mindlessly sucking down what is promoted and fed to you, both physically and mentally.

Yes, most of us were fed this kind of stuff growing up.
We didn't have a choice back then.

Here is an email (used here with kind permission) from a client who had tried all sorts of diets before, until their doctor recommended looking into hypnosis:

philadelphia weight loss

During hypnosis, we modify subconscious thought patterns to change how you relate to food and eating. Then you will be able to treat your body with respect, so that you don't overdo either dieting or consumption. Positive change will follow. Good eating habits will become a natural part of your personality.

Unhealthy, sugary snacks and processed foods will become less appealing to you. You will spend less time thinking about the next opportunity to have a donut or piece of chocolate cake.

Of course, results may vary, and you should not assume that another individual's experience will be the same as yours. This is just an example of what is possible.

Many different factors play a role in determining outcomes, including current life circumstances, a person's daily environment, and the accumulated damage that's already been done to a person's metabolism and hormonal systems by unhealthy eating and sedentary living.

Along that line, if you're trying to lose weight, it'd make sense to work with a medical doctor who specializes in the subject. Dr. Charlie Seltzer is a local MD who can help people get into shape, and he has deep expertise about the physiological side of things (I'm not a doctor, I'm a hypnotist, and unlike many "hypnotherapists" I don't pretend to be one).

Working with an expert like Dr. Seltzer, who is also a certified exercise specialist in addition to being board-certified in obesity medicine, can be a great idea because it gets you all the benefits of medically-supervised nutrition, exercise, diagnostics and testing, and/or medication and supplementation, in addition to the behavioral "reprogramming" of hypnotism.

So I recommend you check out his site:

Steve is wonderful, a kind and caring individual. I felt totally comfortable with him. I can not believe the difference hypnosis has made. I asked to be "re-programmed" so I would not crave soda and sweets constantly, and that is exactly what I got.

I have made a real positive change in my life with Steve's help, and would not hesitate to recommend him to others.
-Marsha S.

* (link to standard disclaimer)

I recently had the pleasure of helping HughE Dillon ( and Philadelphia Magazine) overcome a lifelong sweet-tooth. He was kind enough to post an unsolicited tweet about his experience:

* (link to standard disclaimer)

HughE tweeted that about two months after our first meeting... making it through Halloween and Thanksgiving and many holiday parties noticing a real difference. Thanks for the plug HughE!

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*DISCLAIMER: Testimonials and customer reviews are not guarantees of similar results. Individual results may vary.