Smoking addiction can be relieved by sticking to tried and tested ways and moving fast
Smoking addiction is legal and is neither shameful nor easy to hide. Also the physical addictive impact of nicotine is actually pretty high.
So, although smoking addiction is basically the same as other addictions and requires the same basic approach, there are a couple of nuances which lead to a subtly different approach to smoking cessation therapy.
The first is that smoking does not destroy lives (this is leaving aside the long-term health consequences of smoking) – and it is perfectly possible for a smoker to be getting their needs well met. Smokers have their stories as to why they smoke well set up – 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 smoking cessation. 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.
- 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