Dr. Melanie Bryan | May 25, 2006
Filed under: General — SDBlogger @ 11:35 am
Many people desire to stop smoking yet feel powerless to do so, given the momentary pleasure or relief they derive from cigarettes. My flexible approach to helping people give up their habit recognizes and respects the various satisfactions smoking can provide and seeks to develop alternative behaviors which offer equal or better short and long-term satisfactions.
I have found hypnotherapy to be a particularly effective method for enabling people to stop smoking quickly and comfortably. This is not surprising as hypnosis is a gentle and creative means to bypass or extend learned limitations of the conscious mind, develop dormant potentials and introduce new understandings and perspectives within a context of security and comfort. In clinical hypnosis an altered state of concentrated attention is gently facilitated, with the client’s attention progressively narrowed and purposefully focused inward, with the aim of altering the psychological and behavioral patterns around their smoking behavior.
It is common knowledge that smoking and other addictions are some of the most difficult problems that health care professionals treat. Popular non-chemical techniques such as acupuncture, behavioral modification programs, aversive conditioning (continuous smoking to the point of nausea, and/or lectures with vivid descriptions of the harmful effects of smoking) have shown little difference in success rates over the long-term. All have worked with a few people while few have provided help for many.
In contrast, treatment programs utilizing hypnosis in a two to four session format have achieved impressive results. Several studies have reported a 60-67% abstinence rate upon six-month and one-year follow-up with individual hypnotherapy. Individual hypnotherapy was also found to be more effective than group hypnosis.
In my own practice I have found hypnotherapy, when utilized within an individualized treatment approach that recognized and incorporates a person’s unique motivations, beliefs, concerns and smoking related behaviors, to be remarkably effective. And should a relapse occur, one refresher session invariably enable the client to resume his or her life as a nonsmoker.
My approach to liberating people from their smoking attachment generally entails a twofold complimentary process.
First I gather information regarding a person’s individual and social patterns of behavior around smoking, the benefits they receive from their habit, their reasons for quitting now, etc. Later this information will be utilized in constructing hypnotic suggestions in accord with each person’s values and beliefs concerning their smoking habit.
Second, during the initial session I teach people a particular self-hypnotic technique for reinforcing the new perspectives they receive in my office, which I recommend they do daily, as it only takes a few minutes. Some comply, others do not. In either case, I have come to expect a 50-70% reduction in a person’s smoking behavior following this initial session. Subsequent office visits, if necessary, given many do quit immediately, further develops and refines the changes that have been achieved previously, utilizing hypnosis and other strategic methods as required.
Most people are nonsmokers within one to three visits. Many note positive changes in other areas of their lives as well. All enjoy the process.
This is an article reprinted from Dr. Melanie Bryan’s website on how to quit smoking… Visit Dr Melanie’s website at http://www.mindmatters.hk
For further inquiries or to book an appoint, call Dr. Bryan on 2575-7707.