A Couple Successfully Quits Smoking Together
A married couple, ages 49 and 58, decided to quit smoking. They had been smokers for a combined 70 years, both having started in their teens. When friends or family members come together, I give them a group discount, even though I usually see them individually. I want each person to feel free to tell me what’s really on their mind without censoring themselves, and I want to tailor the hypnosis to each person’s needs and preferred imagery. Sometimes I will bring both clients into a joint session for teaching meditation or self-hypnosis, as I did with this couple. Each one had two private sessions, and then they shared a third session. When people quit at the same time, there is a small risk that if one falters, the other will feel discouraged and may even relapse. However, more often two people will help each other stay strong. Neither wants to let the other down. Besides, if they have been used to smoking together, it will be easier on both of them if they stop at the same time.
Of course, many clients quit successfully even when they are still surrounded by people who smoke. The husband in this case told me that he lost all desire for cigarettes, even when tested at a family reunion where smokers puffed away right in front of him. As this gentleman shared about his experience, “I feel more able to decide for myself what I want to do, and then do it. Quitting smoking was so easy once Cara showed me how to convince myself I could do it. It was a comfortable atmosphere and an enjoyable experience that seemed to work magically.” His wife said, “I loved it. The whole experience helped me to quit smoking while feeling calm and relaxed, not like things I’ve tried in the past that left me feeling stressed and uptight. It really was easy and a very interesting experience.”
A “Cigarette Addict” Quits Smoking with Hypnosis
This 54-year-old man described himself as a “cigarette addict” of 35 years who had “tried everything else and failed.” Through hypnosis, he said he found “the will to quit and the determination to do it.” He had had a career in the military but was now involved in the manufacturing industry and in community activism. In spite of stressful situations with his young adult son living at home, he was surprised at how easy it was to quit. After the first session, he said he had lost the desire to smoke. We met three times altogether. He felt confident that the skills he had learned and the hypnosis CD’s that came with his program would keep him on track. His parting comment was, “I am thrilled to say ‘I am a non-smoker’ now!”
Children are Happy When Their Mother Quits Smoking
A 37-year-old single working mother knew that her two young children wanted her to quit. She had been a smoker for 25 years, since her own childhood. Her own mother, also a smoker, had died of lung cancer. Often children develop the smoking habit by mimicking beloved family members. The same emotional need for love and belonging that causes young people to start smoking can also be harnessed to stop smoking. The pain of watching a loved one die and the desire to protect one’s children provide a powerful impetus for change.
I met with this client once for hypnosis, and then she did not return for two months. Normally I see clients several times over a period of two or three weeks when they want to quit smoking, but it was flu season when we began, and after getting sick, this woman clearly struggled with her initial commitment to quit. However, I had given her several hypnosis CD’s to bolster her, and when she was ready to return, she prepared by listening to the CD’s. After two additional hypnosis sessions, she had quit and was feeling in control. The best clients quit after the first session and use follow-ups for stress management. However, it is common for smokers to need two to four sessions to quit securely and to feel confident. After all, although nicotine may be out of the system in a few days, smoking is a learned habit, practiced over many years; it may well take a few weeks to unlearn such an ingrained behavior and to develop healthy new habits. This client achieved her goal in about two months’ time, writing, “Since coming here I have been breathing better and been told I am a happier person. I would recommend using hypnosis because it helped alleviate a lot of the stress that tends to happen when quitting. And my kids tell me I smell nicer!”
Smoking Cessation—“It’s Like Getting a New Sense!”
Hypnosis is widely recognized as a great way to quit smoking. A male engineer, age 49, was
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referred for smoking cessation after smoking a pack a day for twenty years. He quit after the first
session and used two follow-up sessions to learn self-hypnosis and to solidify his stress
management skills. His own testimonial says it best:
“Thought it would be much more difficult. If you really want to quit, you can! I’ve increased the
quality of my life, big time, health- and money-wise. I feel better and more refreshed after a night’
s sleep. I can work out without getting totally out of breath. All the foods I love taste even better.
My coffee in the morning is more enjoyable. I can smell so many different things now. It’s like
getting a new sense!”