Hypnosis can be a powerful tool to stop smoking if it is administered
by a well qualified licensed psychologist.
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Hypnotherapy is a term referring to the
therapeutic application of hypnosis. Here is some information about my
recommendations and about what I do to use hypnosis for smoking cessation.
Be sure that you see a licensed psychologist
for any form of hypnosis or hypnotherapy to stop smoking. Do not see someone who
does an immediate standard stop smoking procedure the first visit without
conducting a clinical interview. The approach that I use is to start with an interview focused upon
identifying the most important personal reasons that my patient wants to
stop smoking. Pertinent motivational and psychological factors vary greatly from one person to
another, depending upon individual personality, life situation, and the
presence of specific health risks. I also identify and evaluate the difficulties
that you encounter when you try
to stop smoking in order to give you the help that you need. Because hypnosis works through reinforcement of individual
motivation, the hypnotherapy must be designed to fit your personal
motivation, needs and personality. I always explain to
my patient exactly what we will be doing and how hypnosis works.
The hypnosis is done during the
second office visit, and I make a recording of the procedure at the same
recording of the hypnotic procedure is important because the effects of hypnosis are greatly reinforced by
repetition. I will give you instructions about how to use the recording at home
for reinforcement. Most of my patients are able to stop smoking with just two office visits and the
use of the recording of the hypnotherapeutic procedure at home. If you are
a local resident and want to use hypnosis to
help you stop smoking, please call my office and I would be happy to help you.
If you do not live in the area I would suggest that you find a well qualified licensed psychologist who uses
hypnosis in an approach similar to the one which I have described
Information about Hypnosis to Stop Smoking
Patients in my practice who have been
addicted to drugs often report to me their surprise that it was easier
for them to overcome their drug addiction than their smoking habit. There are
two reasons for this.
The first reason is that we fail to recognize the highly addictive
quality of nicotine. Second, because smoking has not been an illegal activity
practiced only in special, private circumstances, it is a habit that becomes
enmeshed in the fabric of our daily lives and activities. Finally, until recent
years smoking has been an activity which was reinforced as a socially approved or
sophisticated habit. Even now it is socially reinforced in certain groups, such
as teenagers, who may still see it as a sight of "being grown up. "Some people are successful in
stopping smoking on their own. Often this is not the case. John Wayne is reputed
to have said that smoking is an easy habit to break as evidenced by the fact
that he has stopped smoking "thousands of times."
With the increasing evidence of the
health risks associated with smoking and with the increasing inconvenience of
the habit due to social disapproval
There has been much interest recently in
various new forms of professional help to stop smoking. The use of gum or skin patches
containing nicotine has been one medical approach. When the patient stops
smoking, it provides the replacement of nicotine into the body. The theory
behind this approach is to gradually reduce the amount of nicotine replaced
until none is provided. Some people succeed using this approach, but it can result
in dangerously high levels of nicotine in the body if the patient
"cheats" by continuing to "sneak a cigarette."
Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy is another form of
(To define these
terms briefly, hypnosis refers to a
procedure to achieve the hypnotic mental state, hypnotherapy refers to the
therapeutic application of this mental state. Contrary to popular opinion, it is
not an abnormal mental state. It is actually a mental state that we all
experience briefly from time to time in our everyday life. The procedure of
hypnotherapy allows us to elicit that mental state at a particular time and for
a specific psychotherapeutic purpose.) The theory behind this approach is to provide a
reinforcement of the patient's motivation and determination to succeed and to
provide psychological help in reducing physical or psychological withdrawal
symptoms such as irritability, nervousness or obsessive thoughts about
There are many stop smoking, or
smoking cessation hypnosis recordings on
the market and there are frequent advertisements for one session group hypnosis to stop
smoking. The group sessions are usually put on by a "hypnotist"
who travels from city to city, placing large newspaper advertisements about the
session which is usually conducted in a large conference room in a hotel.
The problem with this approach is two fold. First, the "hypnotist"
usually has no training in psychology and he usually fails to recognize the
importance of individual differences in motivation and personality in determining
the proper hypnotic procedure and instructions for any one person.
If you are very lucky, you may find
a group hypnosis procedure which, by chance fits exactly for your own
personality and motivation. In general, the greatest value of these group
procedures is that they make a lot of money for the hypnotist because he is
seeing dozens or even hundreds of people at a time.
How can you decide who is the
right professional person to help you with this kind of problem?
information about me at Marvin S. Beitner, Ph.D.
You may get information about how to evaluate the credentials of any
psychologist at Check
Qualifications. For information about finding a
well qualified hypnotist, click on selecting a hypnotist.