Smoking Cessation Hypnosis

by Robert F. Otto, CHt © 2004

(Excerpts from the “Official Consumer Guide To Hypnotism”)

By and large the habit of smoking in our modern day society is regarded by the overwhelming majority as one of the most distasteful and intrusive behaviors to remedy. The residual effects caused by this habit not only affect the smoker, but carry over to those who live, work or play in a relatively close proximity of the transgressor. When change is desired, it is not uncommon for a person to initially seek out a remedy that is of the least resistance. Before seeking hypnosis as a viable therapy, quite often one will try the patch, the gum, acupressure, acupuncture, etc only to discover that perhaps at best they’ve achieved only a temporary success in quitting. The reason for this is because using these methods to quit smoking entails an approach that uses only half of our mind. The half we call the conscious mind.

How can hypnosis aid in the cessation of smoking? Making an attempt to quit smoking using only the conscious mind is very much like doing a job with only half the workforce or manpower. To successfully stop this unwanted habit it is recommended that one utilize what I call the ‘whole mind’ approach. Resolving the conflicts of the minds and getting both the conscious and the subconscious mind to agree accomplish this. This resolution is easily achieved by using the modality we call hypnosis.

What is hypnosis and how does it work to stop smoking? Hypnosis is a tool utilized with great success the world over in many areas, including smoking cessation. Simply put, hypnosis is a vehicle used to transport an image, idea or concept into the subconscious mind. The exciting reality is that for behavioral change, only a light state of hypnosis needs to be achieved to effectively alter ones thoughts and desires regarding smoking. This light state of hypnosis would very much favor the state we all have encountered many times in our everyday lives and have come to recognize as daydreaming. Through hypnosis the cessation of smoking is achieved by coupling physical (relaxation) with Beta conscious activity (imagery) and integrating the correct suggestions at the correct time. When these things occur hypnosis automatically happens. Furthermore, the effects of a single hypnosis session for the cessation of smoking have been known to last a lifetime!

What part does the client play? When using hypnosis to alter a behavioral pattern for the cessation of smoking it is important to highlight the pivotal part played by the client by which their own motivation, desire and willingness to succeed may make the difference between short-term versus long lasting results. Simply stated, “the harder the ‘want’, the easier the ‘how.’”

Before beginning the formal induction of hypnosis it is highly suggested to discuss how habits are formed and the idea that perhaps the client may already be hypnotized into believing that they cannot quit the habit of smoking. And that they’ve continually re-enforced that same negative idea over and over and over again for more than thirty consecutive days thereby formulating, solidifying and embedding the negative habit into the subconscious mind that they cannot stop smoking. They are literally hypnotized into believing that they cannot have a success. It is the job of the hypnotist by way of rapport and technique to de-hypnotize a person by reaching one’s subconscious mind and changing the thoughts associated with smoking to thoughts of a non-smoker, and then re-enforcing the altered thoughts to produce a permanent, new thought pattern to that of a non-smoker.

Written by COPHO member Robert Otto, CHt, CEO of the International Association of Counselors and Therapists (IACT) robert@robertottohypnosis.com 
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