Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation, How it Works?

by Cas Willow on June 27, 2011

Smoking remains to be one of the hard habits to break for the modern individuals who are faced with everyday challenges and stress. Perhaps this is because smoking to some people is associated with stress relief, mood stimulant, diet suppressant or simply as a means of socialization. If a hypnotherapist is to look closely, it will be easy to spot that a high possibility is that these factors mentioned are mental, emotional and psychological in nature. Meaning people may be dependent on smoking because of emotional issues.


If these factors are to be considered, a hypnotherapist can effectively employ the method of hypnosis to work with the client in achieving smoking cessation efforts. Since smoking is an issue of dependence and a way to cope for some people, it needs to be approached not just for its physiologic outcomes, but more for its psychological implications. It is not new for hypnotherapists to hear people wanting to quit the habit, but remain trapped in it because of several failures with other quitting efforts in the past. 


For people who have tried so many smoking quitting methods from cold turkey, cut down, pharmacological methods, nicotine replacement, cigarette substitute like e-cigarette, herb substitutes and smokeless tobaccos and vaporizers. This may have all failed because the approach used is to address the symptoms and the effects of smoking. Hypnosis may be a better way to advance in the objective of smoking cessation and to address the psychological aspects of the habit, which is the primary factor responsible for keeping people hooked up with smoking. Hypnosis for smoking is so far the best method in addressing the psychological aspect of this issue of dependency.


Some of the popular psychological hypnotherapist approaches include: aversion therapy using mild  shock tactics, which may be rather too aggressive; acupuncture through stimulation of the pressure points, behavioral therapy and now, hypnosis for smoking.


Hypnotherapy has steadily earned its popularity in smoking cessation because of the positive outcomes from clients. But, how does it really work?


Hypnosis is the method used by a hypnotherapist to work with the subconscious mind of a client, one of which is through the Spiegel’s method. In this method the client will be asked to focus on three main concepts which are: 1) cigarette contains nicotine, which is poison to the body; 2) the body needs to be alive and 3) to be able to live, a person needs to respect and protect the body against any harm. Self hypnosis can be performed by an individual constantly throughout the day by reminding themselves of the three concepts. It is the objective of this method to motivate the client to refrain from smoking.


Another method is the cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) method, this uses a multi-modal approach in working with the client achieve smoking cessation. It uses a combination of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy. This theory believes that a combination therapy will be more effective in working with a complex issue as smoking. This is supported by a study conducted by Marks entitled “CBT methods can improve the results of any treatment programme.” (2005, 16).


Hypnosis for smoking can be employed using three methods: self-hypnosis, working with a hypnotherapist or a combination of both methods. And for hypnosis for smoking to be effective the following factors need to be considered: client’s readiness for the therapy, an understanding of the cessation process including its probable effects and the mental and overall health condition of the client. It is also important to note that whatever method a client chooses, it is important to seek for professional hypnotherapist services to guide the client throughout the entire hypnosis for smoking therapy.

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