Stop smoking relapse prevention

STOP SMOKING METAPHOR SCRIPT

A stop smoking metaphor

This is a stop smoking metaphor. Metaphor is an unusual therapy for smoking, but it can be very effective. People giving up smoking often show black and white thinking, that is; things are either perfect, or they are a total failure. Oftentimes smokers have no problems in the first week, or the first month, but then they start to feel the need again but they can still manage OK. Then some event happens outside their control and they immediately reach for the cigarette. The problem isn't the cigarette. It is that the person immediately thinks they are a failure, that it has all been pointless and they are back where they started.

Having one cigarette is not a failure

The fact is that they aren't - having one smoke is not a failure. It is simply a step on the road. This metaphor should be used in the stop smoking session as a sort of post hypnotic instruction, putting the idea in their mind that one slip is not a failure, and they can take a lesson from that one smoke and never do it again.

This metaphor reframes taking one smoke as being something that can be expected, unfortunate, but something to accept on the way to finally giving up smoking. Taking one smoke, does not mean that you have failed. You have inner resources that will get you through. The message for the smoker is that even if you fail on the way to your goal, you get to keep what you have achieved so far. You can give up smoking.

 

EXTRACT FROM STOP SMOKING RELAPSE METAPHOR

Induction section
When I was a student, I went out one winter's afternoon and I found that my car wouldn't start. I had been up all night getting my thesis finished...the final part of my degree... I had spent so long on it.... In fact I had been working on it without sleep for days....I was exhausted. I had finished 365 pages and it was all tied up. I had to get it into the mail before my deadline. It was very important to me. If I didn't get it right this time....well I didn't know what would happen..... and so I reluctantly set out to walk to the Post Office ten blocks away. The weather was terrible, it was grey and miserable....there was slush on the roads and icy patches on the pavement. After all my hard work it was just so unfair to be held back like this.
I started to walk very very carefully at first... being very careful where I put my feet.... and then as I got going I got more confident.... I was in a hurry to get there...I began to pay less attention... and suddenly I found myself flat on my back... sore and bruised... I lay there winded.... and imagined everyone laughing at me.
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The rest of the script is in the collection
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