Smoking addiction is legal and is neither shameful nor easy to hide. So, smoking cessation requires something bit different.
Smoking cessation requires moving fast
Smoking addiction is legal while the physical addictive impact of nicotine is pretty high. And so, even though smoking cessation is basically the same as other addictions, there are a couple of nuances. This means a subtly different approach to smoking cessation therapy.
The first difference is that smoking does not destroy lives (this is leaving aside the long-term health consequences of smoking). And so it is perfectly possible for a smoker to be getting their needs well met.
Smokers have their why they smoke stories well rehearsed – to de-stress and “I enjoy it so why should I stop?”. Despite the baleful health effects of smoking, compelling motivation to stop is sometimes illusive.
Direct smoking cessation work can therefore move much more quickly than other addictions (though there are exceptions – see Lyn’s story in Case Studies).
My experience is that one or two sessions of therapy is normally sufficient – assuming that the general level of motivation is high enough or can be raised.
Trance and reframing is the heart of my smoking cessation treatment. Reframing to buttress motivation and open to the possibilities of a life without smoking and then using the full panoply of trance, rehearsal and indirect suggestion. The box below taken from my notes over the years shows some of the possibilities.
Smoking reframes for smoking cessation
I just want to remind you when you did not smoke
Consider how one can think of cigarettes in a different way. Like shoes as a child growing up. The attitude changes when the purpose changes.Imagine qualities of a really good friend.
Imagine walking, being hit and your friend picks you up. Then you turn around – it is the same person who hit you.
What part of you wants to stop. What would your heart say? (and lungs, arteries, breath). The rest of your body would like choices, wants to enjoy good health.
Your unconscious mind can integrate – acts in your best interest and will communicate to your conscious mind and wants you to stop smoking when you are ready to listen.
A man in love with a house – but finds it makes him sick.
Smoking is the Trojan horse
Imagine saying to your family/children – I have killed myself
Testimonials of successful smoking cessation
“I truly wish I had come to see you before to give up smoking. I have no idea how it worked but it did. Hopefully, my little baby will now have a healthy start in life and I will always be grateful for your help.” A pregnant woman desperate to stop smoking
“I had been smoking for over 30 years, and had attempted to quit on numerous occasions, but had failed. I used gums, patches, e-cigs and anything that I could get my hands on to stop. Nothing worked. One day, whilst in the dentist waiting room, I came across a leaflet that was promoting hypnotherapy to stop smoking, I called the number and after a brief consultation I was referred to Andrew. Admittedly I was rather skeptical and relayed this to Andrew when we met. I smoked a cigarette prior to our meeting. I found Andrew honest, genuine and easy to talk to.. We chatted for around half an hour before I was hypnotised. I could hear everything that was being said. I don’t know what Andrew did but to me it’s like a miracle. I haven’t smoked a cigarette since that day, and have been out socially and haven’t been tempted once. Thank you Andrew. For once I feel free and confident that I can live my life as someone who doesn’t smoke.” Businesswoman in her forties