Smoking weight gain
I had an unusual client yesterday. She was very insistent that when she stopped smoking, she does not want to start eating instead. She is very afraid of putting on weight. And of something much deeper.
When we were talking about the reasons for her smoking, she hinted at various dark things in her childhood. But she was also adamant that she was not going there. She told me that she wanted me to stop her smoking. That was her number one priority. And when she has successfully done that she might look into dealing with the other things in her past. She had stopped smoking for four days when she was taken into hospital to have a stent put into her heart after having had a heart attack. In the hospital she felt great. She could clearly feel the benefits of not stopping. But as soon as she got into the car on the way home it smelled of smoke and her husband was smoking. She immediately said "give me one of those." And has been smoking continuously since then.
Reasons for smoking
We talked at length about why she smokes. She smokes whenever she is agitated, whenever she is unsure what to do, whenever she is getting stressed. Basically smoking is an avoidance mechanism. She is using cigarettes as a way of putting off dealing with whatever it is that she has to deal with. I spoke at length about finding out what it is that is driving her to smoke, what is that is making her nervous and unsure. I asked her for examples. She said "when I'm giving a presentation, when explaining things to a client". I said that after 30 years surely she should have gotten over that. I said that "this is just a clear example of the way that something is making you uncertain and unsure of yourself".
I said that we really should try to deal with the deeper issues. But she absolutely refused. I told her that I could stop anyone smoking, and I didn't want her coming back in a few weeks. If she was in a smoking household the pressure is so much stronger. Her husband smokes around her, he smokes indoors, she needs to put some pressure on him to be more supportive. He needs to recognize the danger he is posing to her. We left it at that.
Hypnosis for smoking
I suspected that she needed some willpower, some strength, some belief in her own ability to get through this. So I hypnotised her and took her to a bridge. On the bridge there was a powerful figure waiting for her to give her the strength that was missing. The figure got her to realize that she was carrying something around with her. The figure said that these were stones. She dropped the stones off the bridge. And in return the figure gave her a magic talisman.
I then reconnected her to the feeling she had in hospital, of being a non-smoker. After she had experienced what it was like to be a non-smoker, I did a metaphor of draining all the doubt out of her mind. This removed her belief that she could not give up smoking.
When she came back from trance she said that one of the stones was white and the second one was black. She said that she knew what they represented. She told me that the talisman was just a light. She went away convinced that she could stop smoking.
But I still wonder what deep secret she is holding.
He is highly regarded in the hypnotherapy community. He is Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (NZAPH).
He is regularly consulted for advice by other hypnotherapists around the world. He is known for the quality of his published scripts. He presents at international conferences and has published on hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy.
He lives in Wellington New Zealand with his wife Trish and a cat called Parsnip.