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Hypnotherapy to help you stop smoking - one to one sessions in the Bristol & Bath area.

Please note: I am currently not offering anti smoking treatments and this article is here for information only. You may wish to contact my colleague Stephanie Miller here: - 


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The New Scientist reports, "Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit.  Willpower, it turns out, counts for very little."     

Recent studies show that over 70% of smokers would like to give up smoking altogether and 50% of smokers would like to do so within the next year. A proportion of that figure will achieve their goal. People do successfully quit smoking. Actually about 2% per year in the UK are quitting. However, these figures show quite clearly that although there is a conscious desire to quit in a large percentage of  smokers, and over half are actually fairly focused on doing so (aiming to quit within the next year) there is still an X factor which stops a large proportion of well intended people from doing so…..

Smoking is irrational. We know it’s dangerous. We know it’s expensive. We know that we are gambling our health and quality of life against slipping odds. One part of us understands the costs of smoking but another part just never seems to get the message and continues to promote smoking day in and day out; often to our great frustration. So WHY?! Well….there are a number of reasons that people continue to smoke despite their better judgment, but the primary driver of any behaviour is the subconscious mind. One way or another, your subconscious mind has accepted the message that you need to smoke, that you like to smoke, and that smoking is advantageous for you. Now you know differently, but if you can’t quit then the new message is not getting through! 

There is a way though. It is possible to create a clear channel of communication between these two minds using hypnosis and tip the balance. This is the great strength of hypnotherapy as a treatment for smoking. Using hypnosis, it’s possible to communicate new highly positive instructions for quitting to the subconscious mind. When the two minds are in agreement and working together then success is surprisingly easy to achieve.           

Some Considerations.

More people die from tobacco use than from road accidents, AIDS, drug abuse, suicides, and alcohol put together! If you were an alcoholic, you might consider yourself to have a pretty bad problem. If you were a drug abuser you might really think you had a problem, but these statistics show that as a smoker, your chances of survival are statistically worse than either of these groups! According to the British Medical Association one in two full time smokers aged thirty, will die as a result of smoking by the age of 65. These days that’s middle age. The BMA also asserts categorically that if you do make it to 65 as a smoker, you will be suffering from some form of degenerative disease as a result of your habit. So, however you pitch it to yourself, the facts show that the odds are extremely poor if you’re banking on having a happy healthy extended life as a smoker. A 20 a day smoker will spend in excess of £1800 in one year on cigarettes!

If you'd like to work out exactly how much you personally spend on smoking click here to try using this quick calculator! 

Reason suggests that to continue smoking is logically unacceptable. Just allow for a moment though, a different consideration….

A New Perspective

There is an alternative future for you. Just imagine for a moment. Six weeks from now, you are free.

You no longer crave cigarettes. Whole weeks pass without you even sparing a thought to cigarettes. The desire to smoke is absent! You breathe freely. You have taken up exercise. Your children (if you have them) are happier. Your house is fresh. You notice that you don’t get ill nearly so much. You have £1800 this year that you didn’t have last year. And…you feel good! You’re in control. This is a reality for many ex-smokers. Feelings change. Perspectives change. Quitting may sound like deprivation today, but that is just one way of seeing things. A few smoke-free weeks later and things look very different indeed. Isn’t that worth considering? And…it doesn’t take as long as you think! Experts tell us it takes about 3 weeks to change a habit. Nicotine leaves your system in about 48-72 hours. The rest is just a state of mind…… 

You may already have started to feel a twinge of anticipation as you begin to see the possibility of a different future. Harnessing this feeling is the key to success and hypnosis is uniquely suited to doing just this! Hypnotherapy makes it possible to fix this motivation and positivity firmly into the subconscious mind. When the focus is positive then the experience of quitting can be quite different from the terrible ordeal you may have been imagining! Rather than finding you are focused on a loss, you can find instead that the feeling you get from quitting is a feeling of control, and satisfaction, because you're taking control and doing something truly loving for yourself, and that translates back to yourself as true self respect, which IS self esteem.  The feel good factor comes from actually DOING something good for yourself rather than just HOPING something nice will happen! Quitting smoking is an enormously positive thing to do and this anti-smoking therapy is positively focused. Whilst addressing your worries and concerns about quitting we will also concentrate on what you are gaining rather than what you may perceive you are losing. Often, successfully breaking the smoking habit can lead to huge steps forwards in other areas of your life as it is hugely empowering to take back control in this way. 

The anti-smoking hypnosis programme I use is award winning, proven as highly effective, and enjoys an excellent success rate. It is a compassionate, understanding, and highly informative programme designed to motivate you, and to provide you with all the tools and knowledge you need to quit, including of course, the special ingredient…..having your subconscious on your side!  

The Big Question- How does it work?

The question everybody asks is “ How?!” How will hypnotherapy help me to quit smoking? What exactly do you do?” Understandably, you’d like to know what’s involved before you commit to quitting and certainly before you commit to using hypnotherapy to quit smoking so it’s my pleasure therefore, to do my best to fill in the blanks for you prior to your seriously considering this hypnosis based therapy.

The anti smoking session lasts approximately two hours. About one hour fifteen minutes is spent in consultation and the hypnosis part of the session takes about 40 minutes.

The consultation part of the session begins with me asking you some non-invasive questions just to get a very general overview of how things are for you in your life right now. This is simply to assess any possible sticking points/major stressors for you, in order that you can be forearmed with the necessary knowledge to overcome any potential difficulties should they arise. Everybody’s life situation is different so I make sure you have what YOU need to quit.

It would be easy for you to assume that smoking ”counselling” means somebody wagging their finger at you and telling you how bad it will be for you if you don’t quit! And there may be anti-smoking clinics around that do just that, but I want you to rest assured that mine isn’t one of them! Neither do I practice aversion therapy. With that said however, I will use a tiny segment of the session to present just a necessary few of the shocking facts and statistics which are usually so easily avoided. After all, part of what we have to achieve here is getting your subconscious mind to recognise that smoking is dangerous, so I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t include some reference to this fact. We're never judging! Smoking is not a moral issue...it's ultimately a choice issue!

This therapy is positively focused. It is also hugely informative. The topics which we will cover in the consultation include:

·  Current smoking statistics

·  The links between Stress, Anxiety, Control, and Smoking (Why SOME people find it hard to quit and how to gain more control if you’re one of them).

·  Undermining Modern (disempowering) Myths about Smoking.

·  Explaining the formation of subconscious programmes…..why the pro-smoking programme continues to operate despite the fact that we know intellectually that smoking is dangerous, and how we can use hypnotherapy to assist in the overwriting of that programme.

·  Willpower and why using willpower alone can exhaust us.

·  The psychology of taking control. How to deal with your whims and urges!

·  Habits and thought patterns. New Models of understanding. How we can change them…and what to expect.

·  How NOT to come unstuck!

·  What to do in an emergency.

·  The chemistry of smoking. Why our brain chemistry will promote the urge to smoke under certain circumstances and how to avoid/minimise this response.

·  A few of the hard knock facts.

·  The importance of positivity as a strategy for success and how to create that positivity!

The counselling part of the quit smoking programme is very comprehensive, and you can be sure that you will leave this session with an understanding that you didn’t have before you came in; including a better understanding of your own patterns generally...not only about smoking. Moreover, your motivation to quit should be at an all time high since you will be able to see HOW to quit once you have all the understanding in place. Knowledge is power, they say, and that was never truer than it is here!

The hypnosis part of the session involves you lying comfortably on the couch (covered with a blanket if you choose), being lulled by quiet soothing music, whilst I speak to you. Essentially, I will be using words to guide you into a very pleasant state of focus, concentration, and relaxation. Once the hypnotic state has been attained, I will use suggestion and metaphor to bring about a change at the subconscious level which will support you enormously in the coming days, weeks and months of your new life as a non-smoker.

The great strength of this treatment is that you leave the therapy feeling empowered at EVERY level….both consciously and subconsciously. When these two minds are in agreement then success is always much easier. I like to think that even the counselling alone would be enough, but couple this with the focus and intent we can create through hypnosis and you have a very powerful dose of change power! As with all of these therapies we promote healing and success from every possible angle in order to be assured of achieving what we want to achieve. You will be given a comprehensive information pack to take away with you which covers all of the most important points raised in the consultation as well as my addiction busting e-manual. This is extremely helpful, since the consultation does cover a lot of ground and it can be a lot to remember, so you are assured that you won’t forget the important points! You will also be given a relaxation/hypnosis CD which you can use generally to reduce stress in your everyday life and keep yourself positively focused as you move through the transition to becoming a natural non-smoker.

Success rates - the truth about claims and guarantees.

I value transparency! I too am skeptical of wild claims and need to understand the science of something before I invest time, money or energy into it. Some people like the hype. I don't. I do sincerely believe that hypnotherapy is a phenomenally useful tool when it comes to quitting smoking or overcoming any addiction indeed. I also fear that over-inflated claims of 90% success rates do sadly rather undermine our credibility, and thus the baby goes out with the bathwater! I'm going out on a limb here by being so frank, because I stand the risk of scaring away those people who are excited by the hype, the success claims, and the guarantees! On the other hand, I may well invite a more discerning client by addressing these matters honestly. I'm quite sure everyone is pleasantly surprised by the authenticity and genuine "makes sense" power of the work that we do in my anti smoking clinics, but you don't know that yet, so this is an effort to allay your fears somewhat.

Okay. First of all, it's written into every good professional hypnotherapy organisations' code of conduct that practitioners must not guarantee a "cure" of any condition. There is a good reason for this. When working with any difficulty there is no "one size fits all" treatment. That's not a failing on our part as therapists. That's just the way the world and people are built. Can any medical establishment guarantee to "cure" people? No. Clearly not....or there would be no suffering! Like the NHS, or any other quit smoking service, we increase your chance of success. Of that I AM sure!  When it comes to whether you will or won't quit smoking though, it's a simpler matter. It boils down to this: Nobody but YOU can guarantee that you'll quit smoking. People who "guarantee" that they'll "make you quit smoking" come in different shapes and sizes but they are clever marketers. These guarantees usually state that you can come back as many times as you need to for "top ups". Some will offer your money back (with time limited conditions of course!) knowing that many wouldn't claim it even if they didn't quit, and that the premium loading from the guarantee will more than cover any people who do claim refunds anyway. Of course they will expect a good level of success too so their "risk" is minimised from the start. Nobody offers you a deal where they lose money. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!

We know statistically from experience that if you offer a free "top up" on anti smoking hypnotherapy you'll expect on average 1 in 10 people to return for the top up session (I don't offer a free top up for reasons I'll clarify in a moment). So when you see therapists claiming a 90% success figure this is born from the flawed assumption that everyone who didn't come back must have successfully quit. Clearly we know that's not the case. We know that for whatever reason (often the person actually wasn't really fully committed to quitting) some people go back to smoking and don't come back for a top up session even when it's freely available. 

So, when a therapist offers this "guaranteed" service, there is usually a price for it. It is basically insurance, and as we all know those that don't claim on their insurance pay for those that do. Guaranteed anti smoking therapy will usually cost anywhere from £200-£500. If 9 out of 10 don't go back for their top up, then the guarantee has served the therapist very well indeed. He or she has effectively been paid nine lots of "insurance premium" that were never claimed on, and the one lot that was claimed on paid for itself! Even if one or two clients use a couple of top up sessions the therapist has still done very well. If you were to use your guarantee, have you considered how you'd feel about returning more than once? How many times would you be comfortable returning? Would you claim your money back after the therapist has repeatedly stressed that ultimately it's YOUR decision to quit or not? So, I'm not saying guarantees are unethical. They are just therapy where you pay extra for an extended warranty that you may or may not use. In most cases you will never use it. Ethical practitioners belonging to good hypnotherapy associations (APHP, HS, NCP, NCH etc) will not offer guarantees, "cures", or testimonials, as these are all contrary to the professional code of conduct, and are specifically disallowed because they have the potential for misuse. Testimonials for instance could easily be forged.   

So to summarise. No, I don't offer a guarantee......but then I don't charge you for one that you probably won't use either! I EXPECT to be able to help you to quit in our two hour session...I really do. We DO enjoy a great deal of success in this regard. I know this as a result of the many referrals I receive from satisfied ex- smoking clients! Some therapists suggest that a single two hour session is not enough and doesn't honour fully the "process" of quitting. I have quite a few years experience now. I've given this a lot of thought, and have to go along with my mentor on this one. If we want to get on with quitting smoking then we need to get on with it! It has been said that it takes 0.0025 of a second to quit smoking. Essentially, it's a stand we take. It's a decision. If we make too much of a meal of it we are giving it more energy than it deserves or needs and actually fuelling the fire. If there are any difficulties which follow quitting (you are given tools in our session to deal with any you might encounter), then we can deal with them separately. So I don't offer a free "top up" session because it sends a message to you that says "It's okay to fail" (because you can come back for free). This is dis-empowering when quitting smoking because frankly any excuse will do. We cover this in our anti smoking session and talk about how NOT to buy into such propaganda. So we have to get really clear right in that moment that today is the day, and that we're doing it! Not next session, not next week, but now! Of course the hypnosis part of our session STRONGLY reinforces this feeling. You will thank me for taking that position! There is nothing in the rulebook however that says that you are strictly limited to that one session. If you wanted any help further to the initial anti smoking session you would be welcome to come in for any single sessions required for a booster or to address any difficulties. You would simply pay for and use a normal one hour session. This seems fair to me. Again, some therapists charge you extra because it's a "one off" anti smoking session. I don't. I charge you the standard cost for my therapeutic services which is £55 per hour x 2 = £110.  If you needed any further sessions then you would pay £55 each for them, but what I'm not doing is assuming that you will need them (because you probably won't!) or taking money to "insure" you against future slippages (which incidentally would weaken your resolve, because you believe you'd have someone to bail you out!). I hope you will value this transparency. It's an honest exchange of expertise for payment...nothing more...nothing less! I will be sincerely happy to help you quit smoking. 

I trust this explains all you need to know. If you have any other questions or concerns, please do contact me and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

Anti Smoking therapy takes two hours and costs £110. An initial consultation is not necessary. Book now.

A few facts:-

The bad news:

•      Tobacco is the only legally available consumer product which kills people when it is used entirely as intended.

        •     Every year, around 120,000 smokers in the UK die as a result of their habit. This is the equivalent of a plane crashing every day.

        •     More peope die from tobacco use than road accidents, AIDS, drug abuse, suicides, and alcohol put together!

 •     UK government earned £9,510 million in revenue from tobacco duty and VAT in the financial year 2000-01. The Government currently spends around £17m on anti-smoking education campaigns. A further £20m is spent on measures to help people stop smoking.

The good news:

After you stubb out that last cigarette......

Within 20 min:
Blood pressure, body temperature, and pulse rate will drop to normal.

Within 8 hours:
Smoker's breath disappears. Carbon monoxide level in blood drops and oxygen level rises to normal.

Within 24 hours:
Chance of a heart attack decreases.

Within 48 hours:
Nerve endings start to regroup. Ability to taste and smell improves.

Within 3 days:
Breathing is easier.

Within 2 to 3 months:
Circulation improves. Walking becomes easier. Lung capacity increases up to 30%

Within 1 to 9 months:
Sinus congestion and shortness of breath decrease. Cilia that sweep debris from your lungs grow back. Energy increases.

Within 1 year:
Excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a person who smokes.

Within 2 years:
Heart attack risk drops to near-normal.

Within 5 years:
Lung cancer death rate for the average former pack-a-day smoker decreases by almost half. Stroke risk is reduced. Risk of mouth, throat, and esophageal cancer is half that of a smoker.

Within 10 years:
Lung cancer death rate is similar to that of a person who does not smoke. The pre-cancerous cells are replaced.

Within 15 years:
Risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a person who has never smoked.

With a practice near you in Bath or Bristol -

It's never too late!