Tim Updike,

Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

About the Center and This Guy

A graduate of the Hypnotherapy Training Institute of Corte Madera, CA , a state-approved school, Tim is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist.

He has also completed several advanced courses that qualify him as a Medical Hypnotherapist.

He was certified by ACHE, the American Association of Hypnotist Examiners, the nation’s most prestigious and widely recognized professional association for hypnotherapists.

Tim’s practice is based on the ACHE’s Code of Ethics and high professional standards as well as those provided by similar professional organizations including the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (AAPH) and the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) whose logos are shown here.

Members stay current with the latest hypnosis methods and techniques by meeting each organization's requirements for continuing education on an ongoing, annual basis.



Text Box: A place for change, healing & personal growth.

How to Become a Hypnotherapist

After a 21-year career in banking and financial systems as a Vice President and Director, Tim Updike wanted something completely new and different but inspired by something in his past.

When asked at the age of 14 what he wanted to be when he grew up, Tim blurted out “a psychiatrist!”

After discovering what his dream career would require, Tim loaded up his high school curriculum with advanced math and science classes, four years of French and Latin, and extra-credit courses in English composition.

Graduating 119 out of 630 was no disgrace, but some of his closest friends included that year’s valedictorian and salutatorian and the rest capturing places expressed in single and low double-digit numbers.

Tim wasn’t exactly thrilled but he didn’t need to impress any Ivy League schools since he’d planned all along to attend the state university. It was close to home and he’d already fallen in love with the campus (Indiana University in Bloomington).

As the semester proceeded, Tim started to realize his grand plan wasn’t such a good idea after all. First, it was the late 60’s and, as he would find out many years later, IU was a veritable hotbed of radicalism and extreme political action.

He joined a protest to keep corporations like Dow Chemical from recruiting on campus (Dow invented and manufactured Saran Wrap and napalm) and joined the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) later identified by the CIA as a dangerous group of anarchists—whatever that was supposed to be.

Tim joined the group for an entirely different reason—to entertain. You see, ever since he got the lead role in his Cub Scout Pack’s grade school play, he’d been bitten by the theater bug. He even enrolled in two acting classes to temper all the hardcore pre-med courses that had begun to feel a bit oppressive.


All I ever wanted to do was act, preferably in cinema—not your everyday variety movie star, but a really good actor who happens to get rich.


In addition to plotting the overthrow of the government, a group of SDS’ers had, in their spare time, begun engaging in what they called guerilla theatre, the practice of entertaining the unsuspecting public by appearing spontaneously in crowded places and improvising a performance. He remembers thinking it was, “Far out.”

Struggling to make D’s in his science and math classes, Tim was excelling in everything else. He managed to skip freshman English completely by submitting a paper on the first day of class that so impressed the Dean of the school that he awarded him full credit for both semesters.

When he got permission to enroll in three writing courses the first summer after freshman year and earned A’s in all of them, one professor told him that they had nothing more to teach him. “We are all looking forward to your first novel,” he told Tim. “Now go out there and write!”

After meeting the love of his life, Tim decided to leave school and move to Upstate New York so the two could be together. With no idea how he might begin earning a living, prospects were bleak for the first couple of months. Then one day, he heard about a small independently owned weekly newspaper that was looking for a reporter.

Tim was hired on the spot for $95 a week. He was promoted to editor and a year later, jumped ship to be the news, feature and everything else writer for another small paper who stole him for an impressive $115 a week.

Tim said being a reporter was one of the best jobs he ever had. A bone fide member of the Fourth Estate.

During those two years, he once managed an exclusive interview with a fellow radical, the then infamous Jane Fonda who’d come to Rochester University to inform the students on the increasing military involvement in Viet Nam and the secret bombing campaign on Laos and Cambodia.

The resulting news article was approved with great reservation by the paper’s staunchly Republican and rigidly conservative publisher. Despite the difference in politics, the man was a journalist first and, after all, a scoop is a scoop. So he gave  Jane a place on the front page—at the top so she’d be visible on the news stand.

Then in 1972, Tim met San Francisco—the city, not the saint. After three years in the snowy outback of the north woods where two-story snowplows frequently stalled on the interstate highways they were trying to clear, a life in Baghdad-by-the-Bay—the one before anyone had ever heard of Iraq—was his singular obsession.

But it would require a lot more money than a reporter could make.

At age 16, Tim had a job selling fine suits and men’s accessories to an upper middle class clientele. This was all he needed to land a similar job at a local department store in the newly constructed mall about a mile down the road. In his first year, he doubled their sales. The store manager wrote a glowing letter of recommendation, hopefully for Tim to give to an employer in San Francisco, and off he went.

A high school friend offered him a place to stay until he could find a job and a place of his own. After laying about and getting underfoot for two entire weeks, the formerly convivial comrades were beginning to wear on each other’s nerves. So the next Monday, Tim put on a suit and tie and walked downtown to see what they were selling at Liberty House, a department store in what is now Macy’s for Men.

He was hired on the spot, but it only for six months—the result of greed, jealously and corruption, but a tale too long to tell here. The sour note it struck announced much better things to come and, for the second time, Tim worked in a bank—the Chartered Bank of London formerly on the southeast corner of 6th and Market.

Today’s Tenderloin pales by comparison. This was circus maximus on a daily basis—a never-ending parade of characters, costumed eccentrics on roller skates, hustlers and con men, drooling druggies, pickpockets and would-be robbers and all the locals who were too poor, too old or too physically impaired to leave.

When one man died while standing in line to cash a welfare check at Tim’s window, the people behind him simply stepped over his body. It wasn’t his first experience with death, having spent a year as a medical assistant in the Emergency Room of a local hospital to decide if he really wanted to be a doctor, but this was too much. 

Indignant over the crowd’s disregard for the event they had all witnessed with the same interest one might have for watching the swatting of a fly, Tim closed his window, marched into the lobby and chastised everyone still in line, demanding they make room and walk away for no other reason than to give the guy some respect.

The story spread along with tales of similar examples of Tim’s initiative which lead everyone to believe he was the sort of no-nonsense, take-charge kind of guy that makes good management material. He had become an official tough guy, a quality necessary for becoming the manager of Loss Investigation.


They want you to be a team player. I am not a team player. Never have been and never will be. Why? Because there is no “I” in team.


One day, an employee told him he was wasting his time and that if he really wanted to get somewhere, he’d talk to her husband, a manager at Wells Fargo who hired Tim as a Technical Writer. He continued climbing the ladder until one day, amidst the chaos of reorganizations and acquisitions, he came face to face with a creature so hideous and terrifying, Medusa herself would have averted her gaze.

The creature said, “Your job has been eliminated,” and while she had worked hard to make it happen, added “Nothing personal, of course.”

After sending out a general SOS to everyone he knew, a loyal friend hired him two weeks later, and a month after that, Tim found the most lucrative job of his life at a credit card company that was fated to fold just two years later. Twice in two years, no job, no income, and now, no prospects.

One morning, after a year with no income and living on investments, an ad appeared in one of the city’s two dailies. It was  from a school with classes for anyone interested in becoming hypnotherapists. Things had come full circle.

Tim remembered one summer many years before when, at the age of 12, he watched The Steve Allen Show and a guest named Pat Collins—the “Hip Hypnotist”  who made people fall sound sleep before making them do crazy things like dance the hula and get stuck to their chairs and then made them believe they were on television standing totally naked in front of the whole world. It was nuts.

Right after that, Tim checked out every book he could find on hypnosis from the local library. In the weeks that followed, he hypnotized everybody. Family, friends, and friends of friends were all fair game.

One boy was such a good subject that he was able to remain completely rigid as he lay suspended between two dining chairs placed back to back a few feet apart, his heels on one chair and the back of his head on the other. He barely sagged in the middle at all and stayed that way until commanded to drop—which he did without a single complaint or sign of pain.

While it may seem a roundabout way to a new career, Tim says that this is exactly how life works. One thing leads to another, like it or not. Measure success in whatever way you want because no one else knows what matters to you.

Don’t judge other people and when other people try to judge you, listen politely and if they say something useful, use it. Reject the rest and continue living your life. Know that every mistake is a lesson on how not to do it again. Forgive yourself for anything you’d like to do over and congratulate yourself for everything you did right.

Finally, find something that makes waking up everyday worth it and live for as long as you can. Eventually, you may learn something you never knew before.

In July 2004, Tim began a new life as a therapist doing business under the name, The San Francisco Hypnotherapy Center.

In addition to his professional hypnotherapy training, Tim is also a student of Astrology, Jungian psychology, Gestalt dreamwork and the Enneagram.

With nearly 70 years of his own life’s experience, Tim has all the  intuitive abilities, analytical skills and the understanding and compassion expected of an expert in his field.  As a result, the Center’s clients have realized dreams, reached goals, solved problems, and resolved issues easily and enjoyably.

If you have questions, want to know more, or just need to talk, please don’t hesitate to call 415-781-1500.