Did you know that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 out of every 5 deaths? Smoking related diseases are a well-documented phenomena showing devastating and sometimes deadly effects such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, infertility, gum disease and many other types of cancers such as mouth/throat/nose/blood/cervix/ and pancreatic cancers.
Americans are inundated with information about the negative long term effects of tobacco and smoking through mass media campaigns, informational flyers, pamphlets, infomercials, large billboards and the like. Regrettably, however, the decades long education campaign has resulted in still more than 16 million Americans living with a smoking-related disease every day!
To Stop or Not to Stop
The decision to stop coupled with the actual process of stop smoking is not an easy task for most. Many people report repeated attempts to stop smoking, only to relapse back to their old patterns of smoking. Some people find it difficult to stop smoking if other family, friends and loved ones continue to smoke around them; or that they fear gaining weight after quitting; or not being accepted by their smoking friends in social situations; or are concerned with losing the one perceived mechanism used to cope with fear, anger or stress, etc. Tobacco is an addictive chemical and the addiction is both a physical as well as a psychological one making the decision to stop much more complicated.
Pressure from Others
Unfortunately, an over whelming number of clients seek treatment because their spouse, co-worker, employer, children, physician or friend applied some level of pressure on them to quit, resulting in a secondary desire to stop smoking. This has been shown to reduce the likelihood of long term success.
When people decide to stop smoking or proclaim to ‘kick the habit’ primarily because of their family members and loved ones discomfort, tend not to experience long term success. Smokers seeking treatment based on a secondary desire (because of what other people want for them) tend to rank among the highest ‘no shows’ for their appointments with a therapist because the decision was an external rather than an internal motivational desire. Secondary motivation to quit comes from others rather than from within. Primary motivation is when the client truly desires to make this change for him/herself without pressure to do so, from others.
Negative Self Talk
Barriers to treatment include fear and anxiety about your ability to stop because of previous failures often render feelings of hopelessness. The negative ‘chatter box’ in the subconscious mind constantly remind you of your past failures and feed you with self-doubt and shame. Self-limiting beliefs and sabotaging behaviors may try to take hold of you and delay your goal of being smoke free.
Hypnosis as a Solution
Hypnosis has been found to be a highly effective therapeutic tool used by trained hypnotherapist to treat a wide range of emotional, physical, and mental conditions and smoking cessation is no exception. People who seek to stop smoking are among the largest group that request hypnosis as their method of choice, especially when all else has failed.
As a hypnotherapist it is important that I establish a good rapport with you so we can work together for an agreed upon time to reach your desired goals. Another important goal is to build trust with you by not to making you feel bad, guilty, shameful or embarrassed about your smoking habits or your addiction to tobacco, but rather to let you know that I am aware of the physical and psychological struggles one goes through when making the decision to kick this habit as reported by my clients. I want you to feel good about your decision for a healthier lifestyle and to support you as you make this commitment to yourself. I create an environment that is comfortable, non-threatening and nonjudgmental so you can feel at ease with this experience.
Benefits to Quitting
There are so many benefits to choosing a healthier lifestyle and to stop smoking. Of course most people know the benefits to quitting smoking such as longer life expectancy, improved overall health, increased energy, boosted immune system, better breathing, greater lung capacity, less stress, younger looking skin, clean smelling hair, clothes and living space, and a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, just to name a few.
Are You Ready to Quit?
As a hypnotherapist and licensed Clinical Social Worker I know that it is my professional duty to start where my client is. When my clients come to me, I assess their readiness for change. Readiness to change is the most important component to the success of hypnosis with smoking cessation. If the client is not motivated to change and stop smoking, the likelihood that the cessation is long term is reduced tremendously. When clients feel connected (mentally, physically or spiritually) to their reason to change and when they experience an emotionalized desire to do so, success is highly probable.
What I Do
In my practice one of my main goals is to help you, the client, feel good about your decisions to stop smoking and to embrace a healthy lifestyle. I replace negative thoughts and behavioral patterns with positive, productive ones so you feel empowered to take control of your habit/addiction and develop new patterns of thinking that promote healthier behaviors. I don’t judge, bash or condemn past or current decisions and behaviors. I don’t make you feel guilty, shameful or question why it took so long, etc. I start where you are in this process and go from there. Together we look to the future in a positive way and work together to reach our goals. Another key component to your success is that I have confidence in your ability to make your desired change or reach your desired goals (as long as it’s your very own and not anyone else’s desire…. including mine) and that I believe in the power of the subconscious mind and the effectiveness of hypnotherapy.
What to Expect
During a hypnosis sessions with a certified hypnotherapist, he/she will guide you into a deeply relaxed state where your mind is more open to positive suggestions. One important thing to know is that you will always be in control of what you say or what you do. Hypnotherapy is not mind control nor is it a ‘truth serum’ where you are made to say things that you do not want to say. You can stop at any time and you cannot get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis.
Once in a trance state (like when you are in a day dream or like that sleepy twilight state right before dozing off to bed) the hypnotherapist will help to create agreed upon positive suggestions to and imagery while you are in a trance state for better communication with the subconscious mind. The reason hypnosis is so effective is because when people are alert and conscious they tend to use their conscious, logical mind to block all new incoming information that does not match the old negative programming of the past that supports the smoking habit. In hypnosis, your critical factor is relaxed which allows new, positive, life affirming suggestion to enter in, giving you a new outlook on your desired goals.
To make this experience as comfortable as possible, try to wear comfortable, loose fitted clothing and shoes that are easy to remove (optional). Bring a bottle of water if possible, a neck pillow if needed and a small sweater if you get cold easily. The whole session usually lasts about 45-90 minutes. Most of my clients love the relaxation component of the session. They say that for the first time in a long time, someone invited them to finally give themselves permission to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the world around them, lay back, kick off their shoes (optional), take a few deep breaths, relax and let go!
So whether you use my serices or someone else's, please take action on your behalf right away. After all, you are worthy of the investment in yourself and for your overall health.