When people come to me to stop smoking, my first question to them is ‘do you really want to stop?’. Because if they don’t, then it is unlikely that anything, including hypnosis, will help. It has to be something they really want to do for themselves, not for their partners, parents, employers etc.
Smokers are addicts – they are addicted to nicotine and if that was not enough, they have got into the habit of smoking and that in itself can be as difficult as the addition to nicotine to deal with.
My next question is ‘what does smoking do for you’. The answers generally include ‘it helps me to relax’ or ‘it helps me to concentrate’, ‘it calms me down’, ‘it gives me something to do with my hands’ or ‘I feel more confident with a cigarette’. I have not yet heard any of the following: ‘It makes me smell good’ ‘It makes me healthier’ or ‘I will live longer’, ‘I really need to get rid of this money so I buy cigarettes, to stop me buying useful things that matter’
Hypnosis has been proven to be the most successful way to stop smoking permanently. In my experience, my success rate is in the area of 80%. How does it work? I use strategies to help the smoker relax (hypnosis is a very deep form of relaxation) into such a deep state that smokers no longer think with their conscious mind which puts up all the barriers to stopping smoking. Hypnosis allows them to begin to work with the subconscious mind which is open to change, as long as previously mentioned that the patient really wants to stop. The subconscious is then re-educated through the means of suggestion, visualisation and affirmation to break the old negative desire/habit of the perceived pleasure of smoking and redirecting the subconscious into the benefits of the more positive lifestyle and health issues by allowing the smoker to stop.
There are no side effects using hypnosis to stop smoking – indeed the withdrawal symptoms are significantly reduced. It is highly successful and is a pleasant, safe and relaxing experience. It allows for the root causes for smoking to be changed in the subconscious mind which then flows into the conscious mind.
I do not believe that the one session system to stop smoking is effective. If you went to the Doctor with an addition to a chemical substance, he would not take you off immediately. It is too much of a shock to the body. Instead it would be tapered off gently over a period of several weeks. I generally find that it averages four hour long sessions over a period of 4-6 weeks that produce the most consistent success rates.