Stopping smoking is not easy but it can be
done. To be successful you have to really want to stop and
you have to be ready.
How Can Hypnotherapy Help In Smoking Cessation
Hypnotherapy is a wonderful collaboration
between the client and the hypnotherapist. The client tells
the therapist what they want to work on - and the therapist
then takes (or induces) the client into a state of hypnosis.
Typically this is done through a guided relaxation of the
mind and body as the client continues to focus more and more
intently on the voice of the hypnotherapist. When the
hypnotherapist is satisfied that the client is in hypnosis
he then introduces powerful suggestions and visualizations
into the focused mind of the client - carefully crafted so
that the client can achieve their stated goals.
Does the Client Lose Control In Hypnosis?
This is a common fallacy and nothing could be
further from the truth! You can hear and respond to
everything during the therapeutic process and you are an
active participant in the therapy. Everyone under
hypnosis has the experience "oh I could stop this and
come out of this anytime I want."
Addictions = habits = conditioned reflexes
A habit is simply an automatic way of
responding to a given stimulus - an automatic reflex.
Usually a positive experience has become associated with a
particular action; this is nearly ALWAYS a reduction in
stress, anxiety, emotional distress, agitation or
boredom/restlessness - and a consequent feeling of relief.
Sometimes pleasure, rather than lowering of stress, is the
dominant associated emotion.
Negative behavioral habits are nearly always
associated with lowering stress (self-soothing) and/or
Triggers for negative habitual behaviour are
usually agitation, boredom, uneasiness, emotional distress,
mild or medium levels of anxiety or stress - or sometimes
simply not getting sufficient pleasure and satisfaction from
other areas of our life.
The subconscious mind is programmed by
society to know that the use of tobacco (smoking or chewing
it) is not healthy and is undesirable behavior, therefore,
it accepts the fact that use of tobacco is a disorder. While
the client is in a hypnotic state, the therapist programs
the client's subconscious mind to automatically link
anything the client does which perpetuates this disorder
(use of tobacco) to the client's past emotional feelings of
sadness. For instance, a client may have experienced sadness
as a child when his puppy dog ran away from home. The act of
perpetuating the client's disorder (smoking a cigarette)
causes the client to feel as sad as he was when he was a
child, and his puppy dog ran away from home. The result of
this method causes the client to change his behavior. The
act of smoking a cigarette or chewing tobacco no longer is a
pleasure for the client. Indeed, it brings on a mild state
of sadness which can only be corrected when the client
chooses to stop the behavior which perpetuates his disorder
(smoking or chewing tobacco).
Conversely, with use of hypnotic regression
and neurolinguistic programming, the client is regressed
back to times which were the happiest he experienced. The
emotional state of happiness is then neurolinguistically
linked to the client's act of refusing to smoke or chew
tobacco. Therefore, every time the client chooses to not use
tobacco; he is filled with the feelings of happiness and joy
from his past experiences. The client now derives pleasure
by merely doing what he should be doing to eliminate his
Hypnotherapy incorporates stress relief to
promote successful tobacco use cessation. Immediately after
our client's have completed our hypnotherapy session, they
are in a state of total relaxation, free from stress and
stress induced pain such as headaches and muscle pain. They
feel relieved of negative issues in their life which can
only be remedied with forgiveness. After the session, many
of our clients are in a state of mind where they realize
they have a fresh start in life and may recreate their life
to become what they want to be in a most wholesome and
healthy manner (which includes not using tobacco products).
This is an excellent mental platform on which to stand when
eliminating addictive and habitual use of tobacco from one's
Therefore the treatment plan for overcoming
habits or addictions focuses on:
i) Becoming more aware of trigger situations
and emotions and keeping a diary of the habit (developing
ii) Increasing motivation noting costs of
negative habits and benefits of change). Hypnosis can be
used to explore deeply and experience the costs and benefits
- leading to a profound increase in motivation to change.
ii) Learning rapid deep relaxation techniques
to lower stress, anxiety, agitation etc. Also to lower our
reactivity. Tension increases reactivity, relaxation lowers
it. As negative habits are negative automatic reactions
therefore relaxation gives us greater self-control (rather
than be at the mercy of tension induced habitual responses)
iii) Learning hypnosis and self-hypnosis to
increase relaxation and build confidence (relaxation and
confidence go hand-in-hand)
iv) Mapping out and challenging negative
beliefs and then replacing negative beliefs with positive
beliefs, self-talk, images and coping statements.
v) Developing a daily schedule that avoids
trigger situations and learning how to handle trigger
vi) While in hypnosis imagining negative
trigger situations/emotions and rehearsing alternative
positive responses (note: we repeat this enough times to
create a new reflex/automatic response).
vii) Hypnosis to consciously develop a more
positive self-image and imagine yourself changing and
developing the qualities and behaviors you wish for
Relapse is avoided by making sure that
clients have there sources - positive habits and new
experiences and understanding - to stay on their chosen path
of being free from the habit. The whole programme fosters a
deep sense of self-belief and this is essential for change
and relapse prevention.
My goal is for clients to become addicted to
positive habits... in particular deep muscular relaxation.
When one is able to experience deep muscular relaxation at
will then the mind is calm and negative habits lose all
meaning and purpose. In addition all reflex responses are
lowered when our muscles are more relaxed.