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Empower Yourself To Stop Smoking - More Than Just a Quick Fix

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

I am pleased to be launching my new 'Empower Yourself to Stop Smoking' programme (sessions available from 14 February 2022) - a powerful blend of hypnotherapy and life coaching designed to empower you to be in control of the smoking habit, equipping you with tools to make healthier life choices so you can choose to quit smoking on your own terms (full details within this blog including a 30% Discount if you make an early booking).

Prior to launching this new programme I have been researching how effective hypnosis is at combating smoking (including reviewing my own approach to helping people quit smoking). My conclusion is that whilst there is a lot of evidence to suggest it is as strong, and arguably more effective than other types of therapies available, there is still room to improve the overall effectivenes to a broader range of clients, not just those who are more susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. Although there is limited evidence on how effective combining different therapies can be, I know from my own experience that combining coaching and hypnotherapy, along with mindfulness techniques (meditation and breath work) has proven successful with clients overcoming a number of issues including smoking, binge eating, emotional trauma, stress and anxieties. For many clients the smoking habit will be linked to some kind of emotional need, whether it be stress, anxiety or to boost their social confidence in certain situations — so there is a strong case to suggest that addressing these issues with life coaching as well as hypnosis will only improve the client's chances of succeeding to become a non-smoker.

And of course, a combination of life coaching and hypnotherapy has no side effects associated to it compared to pharmaceutical Nicotine Replacement Treatments (NRTs). It could also be argued that NRTs prolong the nicotine addiction, as nicotine cravings in general last a relatively short time compared to the other habitual and emotional attachments that smokers have to overcome (it is commonly considered that nicotine withdrawal typically peaks at around 2-3 days after quitting).

I have found that for some people one or two intensive hypnosis sessions can work quite effectively and they may stay a non-smoker for some time. This is supported by a clinical study in 2008 (Green, Lynn and Montgomery) that found that around one in four people who had been treated with hypnosis for smoking remained non-smokers after six months. This trial used carbon monoxide measuring apparatus as well as participant questionnaire when assessing the outcomes, as cited in this article from the Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2011. A similar study was carried out in 2006 for the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis which found that 60% percent of participants of intensive hypnosis sessions remained as non-smokers after twelve weeks, reducing to 40% after 26 weeks.

If you are looking into quit smoking therapies these types of case studies are important to consider, as you may see much higher results being claimed when you see 'quit smoking' therapies being advertised. It may be the claims used for those adverts are not from studies as thorough as those clinical trials cited, so it is always worth asking where the source of such claims are from!

The results of those studies are still very encouraging and shows that hypnotherapy is a very effective tool to tackle the smoking habit and (as mentioned earlier) does not have any risk of the types of side effects that may be associated with NRTs.

However, it cannot be ignored that a significant number of people who try to quit smoking using a therapeutic method such as hypnotherapy, are unlikely to achieve their goal in one or two quick sessions, and they may require more time and patience in order to be successful. As a Life Coach, I also feel that the quick fix approach can often leave a lot of issues unresolved — and that there is real value to be added by working with clients to replace an unhealthy habit with new behaviours that will enhance their lives. At the very least I want to give them far more control over their habit than before. For example, there may have also been levels of stress, anxiety and other emotional needs connected to their smoking habit, that now need to be managed in some other way. There are also a whole variety of scenarios that could trigger a relapse in to smoking, which can also be addressed through coaching strategies as well as hypnotherapy.

There will always be those who will never go back to smoking following one or two intensive sessions, because they have taken on the hypnotic suggestions at a really deep level — I have found that this is often down to the individual rather than how effectively the hypnosis is being applied. For example, some people are more in touch with their emotions so taking on hypnotic suggestions can be very powerful for them. Whereas someone who is less in touch with those emotions and who perhaps prefers structure and order to taking on information, then hypnotherapy will work to a degree but it is likely that repetition and practice of new behaviours will be more beneficial for them in the long run, as it will allow them to gain control over the habit whilst empowering them to be able to stop on their own terms.

My new quit smoking programme is designed to take a more holistic approach to beating the smoking habit, and to be inclusive to all individual needs. The aim is that everyone will gain value from being able to control the habit, whilst increasing their chances of being able to quit altogether either during the sessions or further on down the line through continued practice of new behaviours and strategies that they will learn.

Is this Quit Smoking programme the one for you?

Real change requires dedication so when you enrol on this programme you will be asked to begin making changes to your lifestyle before you start the sessions, to give yourself the best chance for success.

Everyone will have a unique goal when coming into the sessions, for some it will be quitting altogether, for others it will be cutting down considerably, and there will be those who want to gain more control over the habit.

Even if you are able to quit after the first couple of hours you will still gain something further from the extra coaching you will receive.

My sessions with you (around eight hours in total) will cover a number of areas blending hypnotherapy — to remove the old habit from the sub-conscious — and life coaching — to empower you to make healthier life choices, providing you with strategies to develop new habits and behavioural patterns that work best for you to beat the habit, or at the very least to get it under your full control.

You will be given tasks and exercises to practice between sessions to ensure you maximise your chances of success. You will be encouraged to continue practicing the new habits after the sessions have finished for them to become engrained into your new smoke free lifestyle (new habits can take up to three months to become fully imbedded) so the good practice has to continue well after the sessions finish.

You of course have my full commitment to helping you staying quit too.

Here is what you can expect from the sessions:

* Advice and guidance to set your non-smoking lifestyle on course before sessions start so you are in the correct mindset before, during and after the sessions

* Hypnotherapy to overcome your emotional connection to smoking, and break old habits and behaviours

* Visualisation techniques to step you into the new lifestyle that works for you

* Working with you to discover new healthy habits and activities to replace the old smoking ways

* Developing strategies to cope with situations that would have previously been triggers for you to have a smoke

* Setting boundaries for yourself and others

* Mindfulness and breathing techniques to help you keep a clear mind and remaining focused on your goal to overcome smoking

* Working together to remove stress or anxiety related to smoking (this may require more sessions for some people. I ask you to complete a consultation survey before we start so I can advise accordingly)

* A booster phone call each week between sessions to help you through testing situations

The Empower Yourself to Stop Smoking programme is available in person (in Norwich, UK) or online, so location is not an issue. I am also offering sessions for couples and will be doing group sessions on various dates (please enquire for more details for group sessions).


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