Clinical Hypnotherapy For Stopping Smoking

Hypnotherapy & Clinical Hypnotherapy is possibly one of the most successful processes used for giving up smoking, 60 to 90% success rates being common. The basic principles & processes have been used for smoking cessation for many years with great success. As with most processes that have been around for some time hypnotherapy has seen many advancements which have resulted in increased success for the, would be ex smoker.

Clinical Hypnotherapy is perhaps one of the most misunderstood & perhaps one of the most mistrusted & or feared therapies used today. Hypnosis has gained a bad reputation largely due to the way it has been misrepresented in films on TV & in the press. In addition to this one or two rogue practitioners have not helped the situation.

All professions have individuals who do not abide by the rules and regulations laid down by the professions guiding bodies. It does not matter if they are engineers, plumbers, builders, doctors or hypnotherapists; the more they affect the public the more they will be publicized for their acts and make the news. This however does not make it right, but it should also not stop us from using successful processes such as clinical hypnotherapy that are available.

Have you stopped visiting your doctor when you're ill? Of course not! Just because one doctor does wrong it does not mean that we should not see any doctors anymore, nor does it mean that all doctors are dubious. There are thousands of Clinical Hypnotherapists fully trained & examined by their training schools & validated by professional guiding bodies.

The British Society of Clinical Hypnotherapy (BSCH) is one such body that controls & examines the training requirements & continued practice for hypnotherapists in the UK. Any hypnotherapist that has been through the London College of Clinical Hypnotherapy (LCCH) training program & is a member of the BSCH will have a significant level of knowledge & skill before beginning any practice. In addition the BSCH will police member therapists & any wrong doing will result in cessation of membership.

The psychological state of hypnosis as used for smoking cessation will not result in the loss of control. A person will always be in control of their actions, fully aware & are able to stop the process at any time. This however has resulted in many people believing that they were not hypnotized. The state of hypnosis as created using clinical hypnotherapy would not normally result in a loss of control, hearing or memory. A person in a state of hypnosis will be fully aware at all times.

Often in the hypnotic state a person will be more aware in every sense than normal at the same time as being fully relaxed. This is in fact the main difference in sensations experienced. You are fully & deeply relaxed at the same time as being in a heightened state of awareness. Most people experience this altered state in this way, however the description & actual experience differs slightly for almost every individual.

Here are two examples of a hypnotic experience or state.

Have you ever driven a long way on the motorway or highway, your mind begins to wonder while you are driving. You are thinking about something completely different. You are perfectly safe driving & if at any time you needed to take action you would, but a part of your mind is elsewhere. When this happens for a longer period you may suddenly come back to the present so to speak, observing your surroundings & wondering what part of your journey or the motorway you are on. You simply have lost track & do not recognize you surroundings. You were in an altered state of consciousness, known as a light hypnotic state.

Here is another:

Perhaps you do not drive, but you have done something like a sport or other activity so repetitively you can do it with your eyes closed. Sometimes you sense you are in a different state, in sport they call it being in the zone, you some how know that you can’t miss, lose or do something wrong. If it is a repetitive activity and you may be thinking of other things while you simply actively do the task. You know you have sensed yourself in a different state; it is as though one part of you was somewhere else, or your whole being was just completely relaxed & you were buzzing, electrified. You were in an altered state. This is very much like the state of hypnosis & you are fully aware & in control.

Clinical Hypnotherapy uses this type of light hypnotic state for smoking cessation.

A hypnotherapist is like a carpenter with his tool box, a NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) practitioner is like a builder with his toolbox. The toolboxes are slightly different in size shape & colour, however many of the tools used within the boxes are the same or very similar. Many successful practitioners today utilize both Clinical Hypnotherapy & NLP processes both within hypnosis & outside of formal hypnosis. This combination of processes & techniques in my view makes such practitioners very effective indeed, especially for helping others become free from smoking.

My next statement may be very contentious & may be viewed as negative towards the process or towards the, would be ex smoker. Trust me it is not meant to be critical to either, especially as I am both a practitioner of clinical hypnotherapy & ex smoker. Many therapists today advertise the one stop one hour & cured for good process for smoking. Many Clinical Hypnotherapists, especially those utilizing a combination process are reporting great success rates, 60 to 90% success, however I do not believe we are doing our profession any favors by advertising the single shot process, & perhaps more importantly we are not doing our would be clients any favors either.

Lets be honest both as therapists and as would be ex smokers.

The, would be, ex smoker wants the quick fix, at low cost or no cost, it’s what our society has trained us to want & expect. If you are human with a brain & your emotions have not been disrupted, eg you have not started to give up tobacco, you will know deep inside that giving up smoking is not going to be a one hour & alls wonderful scenario. In fact you know that part of you wants to give up but another part just keeps you at it. If it was that easy you would not need help anyway would you? So let’s take responsibility for our life & our bodies & accept that if it is to be we must be realistic. If someone offers a one session quick fix it may be enough for you, but it may not. This does not mean you give up, what this means, is you have to accept the fact that one session may not be enough. Let me explain below.

The Clinical Hypnotherapist should consider this also, the one hour quick fix may give good results but it’s not 100% is it. Let’s work for that 100% success rate & let’s be realistic on how we measure it & report it. Our clients are after all our life blood & they deserve the best. Here is my view on the therapy process, let me know what you think.

Step1:

Before any smoker attempts to reduce the intake of tobacco or stops smoking they should be fully committed to success within themselves. We have to ensure they have a very strong belief in their ability to succeed & your ability to see them through to the end, or should I say the beginning. The beginning of a healthier smoke free life.

The would be non smoker must commit to never ever giving up giving up. They should be ready to react to any relapse with an immediate positive response. The therapist should instill that once the process starts & commitment has been given there is no such thing as a failure. Relapses are not failures, failure can only happen if a person does not re-commit, and if they do not do this then the full commitment was not there in the first place.

It is both the responsibility of the Clinical Hypnotherapist and the client to gain this state before beginning the process of quitting smoking. If you as a smoker really wish to give up you will go through this process first. There is no alternative. In fact I would recommend going through this process no matter what therapy you choose to continue with. Hypnotherapy, patches or any other.

The good news is a fully trained therapist will have many skills, tools & processes to help you gain belief in yourself & will help you prepare for the day you quit. Even if you have no belief when you start. If this step is not done first, & it rarely is, success in quitting for the client & rates of success for therapist will be reduced. Clinical Hypnotherapy rates combined with other processes available can be 100%. It is up to us to achieve it. As therapists we owe it to our clients to offer the best. As clients we owe it to ourselves to give us the very best chance of success possible. We are talking about saving a life after all. Your life!

Step 2:

Some practitioners do a one step process which I believe is too short to really be 100% effective. That’s just my opinion however. To get the best out of a clinical hypnotherapy session, preferably combined with NLP, a thorough history is required to gain as much understanding of the persons background related to smoking & also some understanding of their personality.

Many aspects of the process can be enhanced by inclusions of relevant personal data. The history taking may very well point to other dependencies which suggests that a totally different process & or approach would also be beneficial. In these instances it is not in the interests of the client to change track during this first session, but it would be beneficial if not imperative that the client return for additional sessions.

This however may put the therapist & client in an awkward situation. If the therapist promised a one session fix, how does he or she introduce the need for more work without sounding as though they are just trumping up business? For the client it may pose budgetary problems if they only expected a single session fee.

In my view an open treatment plan should be considered from the outset. This may sound expensive & daunting to the client but the eventual success rate may very well be much greater. Also if a therapist treated a smoking session or group of sessions in the same way as standard practice the cost may not be much different. I would suggest that initially part one is planned & continues with homework until a satisfactory level of commitment is achieved. Step 2 & 3 is then begun with a two or three session plan spread over 4 to 6 weeks depending on specifics.

Step 3:

This would include any specific areas that are deemed necessary after a full history has been taken in Step 2, and or further support sessions on an agreed basis with the client over the first 4 to 6 weeks. It must be made clear to the client that further support sessions may be desired or necessary on an as required basis. These are usually to re-install commitment after a relapse or to assist in preventing a relapse when one is feared. Clinical Hypnotherapy may also uncover issues in a person’s history that need to be dealt with as part of the treatment.

In my view not enough is done by us clinical hypnotherapists to support our clients through the long haul. Becoming free from tobacco is rarely a one day, one week or even a one month event. Some people will need to have support for up to a year or more, & simply knowing that the therapist is there ready may be just as important as the need to visit. Clinical Hypnotherapy can do a better job.

Smoking is a drug addiction. It kills lives. It is the number one cancer killer known to man. It should be treated by both clients & Clinical Hypnotherapists very seriously. The correct approach could save a life, maybe yours.

The Clinical Hypnotherapy single session event in my view sets a person up to fail. They stop smoking today or fail. Becoming free from tobacco is about not smoking today, then not smoking tomorrow & every day after that. Having a cigarette is not an event that signifies a failure; it’s simply a relapse that lasted a few minutes.

To get back on track all you have to do is to re-commit & stop smoking. Don’t be tempted to wait till tomorrow, don’t be tempted to just finish the packet you just bought, re- commit immediately. If that is too difficult get on the phone & get back to your therapist, treat it as an emergency, it is.

Your life depends on it.

The clinical hypnotherapist has an array of techniques & processes at his disposal. Some shared by the NLP practitioner & healer. Here is a list, I do not expect you the client to understand the technicalities behind them, and I only show you this list so that you can understand why continued sessions can often be very beneficial.

Each & every one of us is an individual, & each clinical hypnotherapy process may be more successful for one person than another. As a therapist we try to incorporate all the best processes in one session for optimum results, but we cannot include everything & sometimes one particular process may be identified as the right course of action which is not usually considered for the problem of smoking.

List of some Clinical Hypnotherapy techniques & processes available:

Belief System Enhancement

Direct Suggestion,

Visualizations,

Timeline,

Swish,

Parts Therapy,

Regression Therapy,

Anchoring,

Triggers,

Replacement,

Goal Directed Therapy,

Inner Healing,

Aversion Therapy,

Future Pace,

There are many techniques & processes available within Clinical Hypnotherapy & only a sample are shown here.

Some of this may sound a little negative. It is not however. Remember that Clinical Hypnotherapy has one of the highest success rates for smoking cessation in the world. Way beyond other well known options.






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