Smoking Cessation With Hypnosis

by Bob Walsh

This too is a guest-authored article. It’s an experience a friend of mine had with hypnosis – she actually stopped smoking with the help of a very simple and cheap self-hypnosis self-help tape set, without paying hundreds of dollars. She sometimes still craves a cigarette – but hey, let’s face it: craving a cigarette every once in a while is A LOT better than smoking a pack of cigarettes every day, isn’t it?

Having had a long-standing interest in hypnosis, I was delighted to see in the Daedalus catalogue an opportunity to try hypnosis as the ads say, “in the privacy of your own home.”

I had no interest in pouring over the Yellow Pages, trying to decide who was legit and who wasn’t and how would I know anyway? The remainder bookseller was offering a self-hypnosis booklet and a tape from Penguin Publishers for some nothing price like $6 (this was several years ago). I was delighted with my purchase, particularly the calm, English, and encouraging lady, Cherith Powell, who was speaking on the tape. I imagine this little set is out-of-print (hence the listing in Daedalus), but if you can locate one, buy it. Perhaps it is still available in the UK and the wonderful Net can put it in your hands.

There are two different scenarios (side one and side two of the tape) which explain the approach to “putting oneself under” in different visualizations. The central premise of the course (most pleasing) is that any hypnotist you go to should be teaching you to create your own hypnotic state. Depending on your susceptibilities this can take a while or be very quick, but it is refreshing, to say the least, for a teacher to follow a course of action that obviously puts the teacher out of business eventually.

And you can learn to produce your own trance-state by practicing. You then incorporate the suggestions for the type of behavior you wish to correct: smoking, eating too much, and so forth. All is explained in the booklet.

It takes about 30 minutes per side or an hour to do both exercises, but, as you become proficient, you can just go into a trance without the tapes. Not when driving, please! If you can’t locate this nifty package or a similar program that might be available now, you can at least be forewarned that your paid therapist should be working on teaching you to produce a hypnotic state on your own. This is REAL self-help personal improvement in the fullest sense of those words.

My own personal experience was a very slow progression since I turned out to be a difficult subject to put under. Some people just go immediately into a trance; I was not among those so fortunate! But I did finally get the hang of it and stopped smoking as a direct result. It took about three months to end a habit of 20 years after I learned to put myself in a trance state. That should make it an unqualified success story except that I still miss it! I can’t very well expect hypnosis to cure that, I guess.

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