Hi Adrian, I’m considering using hypnotherapy to quit smoking but I’m a little nervous. Can you tell me what to expect? T.D., London
I’d be happy to walk you thorough what a first session will be like. Many people have misconceptions about hypnosis and it’s always helpful to correct those right from the beginning.
The first thing I’ll do when you call for an appointment to stop smoking is to ask how committed you are to quitting and to rate your commitment on a ten-point scale. If your answer is a commitment level of six or less, I will suggest that you wait to try hypnotherapy until your desire to quit reaches a level of eight or higher. You might wonder why I’d make that suggestion. It’s because, even in a state of hypnosis, a therapist cannot make you do something that is against your will. That comes as a surprise to most people. You have to really want to stop smoking in order for hypnosis to be effective. And it is also your own will and determination that will keep you a non-smoker for the rest of your life.
Once we decide that the time is right for you to try hypnotherapy, your first session takes an hour and a half. You will be instructed to smoke your last cigarette outside of my clinic and then asked to put packets, lighters, or matches into a container when you come into my office.
Then, we’ll just talk for a few minutes. I will share a little bit about myself. answer your questions, and then I’ll ask more about you. We will talk in detail about your smoking habit. Specifically, we’ll talk about when you smoke, where you smoke and who you smoke with, and what triggers you to smoke.
Next, you’ll make yourself comfortable and be placed into a light hypnotic state. This takes just a few minutes and the experience is similar to the feeling you get nodding off in a chair while reading a book: drowsy, relaxed, content, and comfortable. You will be aware of everything I say and do the entire time. During the session I will give positive suggestions about your life as a non-smoker; these positive statements help you to remain calm and positive about your decision.
At the end of the session you will emerge feeling calm and relaxed. Some people say they feel as rejuvenated as though they’ve been to a spa. When the session ends, you will emerge as a non-smoker. It’s as simple as that.
We will keep in contact to ensure that you remain a non-smoker so that your journey as a non-smoker is long lasting and stress free. No drugs. No gimmicks.