Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Hypnotherapy To Stop Smoking

In this article I am going to share with you some of the specific ways Hypnotherapy can help you to stop smoking. With the smoking ban fast approaching in the UK (July 1st 2007), many people are beginning to feel the social pressures to stop smoking. The benefits of stopping smoking are immeasurable. Without question you will be much healthier and perhaps more importantly free from the control you should have felt by being at the mercy of a horrible, smelly and expensive habit.

I use Hypnotherapy, at my practice in Hertfordshire, to support clients to give up smoking in a natural way. What this means is there won’t be months of relying on expensive nicotine patches and other replacement therapies, which in my opinion, just keep the physical addiction going, longer then necessary.

When you make the decision to seek support from a Hypnotherapist to help you stop smoking, you can generally expect to experience techniques similar to those detailed in this article.

Usually, steps are taken to ensure that you are given the best possible chance of quitting. One of the ways in which this is achieved is by assessing your motivation to stop. In my experience, it is clear that you must want to stop smoking now and you must also want to do this for yourself. Generally, a therapist will help you identify whether this is the case. Clients who are not considered motivated enough should be advised to come back, when the time is right. That way you are not wasting money and we are not wasting the therapists time!

Various different hypnotherapy techniques are used to assist clients so that they are able to stop smoking. The techniques used depend on the unique needs of the client. Some of the techniques include:

Identifying and consolidating your reasons to stop smoking- there is lots of information available now days about the negative effects of smoking on the mind and body. A hypnotherapist spends time with you, supporting you in applying this information to yourself and your life. The result is that perhaps for the first time, you can appreciate that harm from smoking, is not something that happens to other people. At this stage in a hypnotherapy session you will begin to will feel the strong desire to move away from smoking forever.

Identifying the benefits and positive rewards of stopping smoking – its not all doom and gloom! It is also very important to begin focusing on what you will gain by stopping smoking and how your life will improve massively for the better. The therapist will also spend time with you, discussing and exploring the positive impact quitting smoking and remaining a non-smoker will have on your life. You will also be guided to set goals for the future. These will focus on things you wouldn’t have been able to do as a non-smoker. You will be amazed at the new options you have for relaxing, becoming more healthy, going to new places and of course spending all that extra money you will save by stopping smoking.

Hypnosis with positive suggestion. Of course, part of your stopping smoking treatment, will involve you getting to sit back and relax whilst your unconscious mind does the learning! During this process you will be guided to a deep state of relaxation, whilst the therapist also directs your unconscious mind with suggestions and metaphors to stop smoking. You will also be supported to develop positive coping strategies. Acknowledge that your smoking habit has served a purpose in the past, in that it has likely been a method for coping. Hypnotherapy and NLP techniques (neuro linguistic programming) will enable you to develop positive coping strategies that serve you in the present and future. One of the new positive coping strategies could be learning to use an anchor. If the therapist feels that you would benefit from having an anchor created, this may also be part of the stop smoking treatment session. An anchor, is basically a positive resource of emotions that you can fire off, when you need extra emotional strength to cope.

There are also several formal change techniques, which are effective for helping you to stop smoking. The most appropriate technique will depend on your unique problem. Examples include: The Swish Technique which can be used if you wish to replace a highly contextualised problem behaviour with a more positive behaviour. It works to eliminate behaviours that occur in specific situations after specific triggers. 2) Parts Integration is very useful at uncovering the positive intention of your smoking habit and dealing with incongruent behaviour and feelings. 3) Like to Dislike – This technique is based on information about how we code memories in our brain. We tend to code things we like in a different way to things we don’t like. So, its possible to recode your memory of smoking into something that you find disgusting.

Some hypnotherapists, such as my practice in Hertfordshire provide a free consultation to those who make the decision to use Hypnotherapy Hertfordshire to stop smoking. In addition, free support is often offered for a certain time period following your treatment. This means that at any time within time period should you start smoking again, the therapist will work for free to get you to quit smoking again. Most hypnotherapists work on the basis that it is possible to have you stop smoking in one session. This is because all that aspects of your habit are dealing with in this session, so that you leave a non-smoker and are done with that old habit.

Karen Hastings is a NHS experienced mental health occupational therapist, Master NLP practitioner and hypnotherapist. Karen uses hypnotherapy in Hertfordshire, along with cognitive therapy approaches. For more information about Hypnotherapy, Herts visit http://www.karenhastings.co.uk

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