Top 10 Questions
1) What does quitting “Cold Turkey” mean?
“Cold Turkey” refers to a mythic approach to quitting a habit completely – with no preparation or gradual tapering off. This method does work for some people. You may hear of people who simply decide to quit smoking one day, never to smoke again – with no problems and no difficulty. While this approach is ideal, it is not possible or reasonable for many people.
2) What does “Tapering Off” mean?
“Tapering Off” refers to a very common approach to quitting a habit. This approach involves gradually reducing the habit pattern over time. For example, a smoker may have a “pack-a-day” habit. By tapering off, the client reduces the quantity of cigarettes gradually… say 10 cigarettes a day for a week, then reducing to five cigarettes a day for the next week, one every day, etc, etc. Eventually the client feels able to completely let go of the habit. This gradual, tapering off method is easy for most people. By tapering off, the client gradually builds confidence that they can move forward with fewer and fewer cigarettes. The change is easier to accommodate and safe. Essentially, the client gains evidence that life without cigarettes is possible and safe.
3) How many meetings will it take to quit the smoking habit using hypnosis?
On average, people need three meetings. However, this does vary from person to person depending on the individual. Some need one meeting and some need ten. It’s hard to determine this ahead of time. Assuming a client has been thinking of quitting the habit for awhile and has prepared themselves by gradually tapering off to fewer and fewer cigarettes, possibly even quitting for periods of time, then three or fewer meetings are likely.
4) What is the first meeting like?
Assuming the client is ready to quit, the first meeting is designed to jump start this cessation process. Here the client stops smoking “cold turkey”. In the first meeting, we discuss what to expect through the detox period. We build negative references to cigarettes in a playful manner. We create a strategy to deal with any urges or triggers.
5) What is the second meeting like?
The second meeting should occur within four to seven days after the client has actually quit smoking. This second meeting is designed to support the client as they go through a mini detox and withdrawal period.
6) What is the third meeting like?
The third meeting is designed to clear up any loose ends and build a strong commitment to health and recovery.
7) What if the client has not prepared by tapering off?
Often a client is not quite ready to quit “cold turkey” on the first meeting. If this is the case, the first meeting is adjusted to help build the motivation and confidence required to quit. In this meeting the client usually commits to reducing the quantity of cigarettes per day and prepares them for the next meeting where they will hopefully go “cold turkey”. This is where the number of sessions can vary. Some seem to need a lot of support in preparing to quit. There is no way to know this ahead of time.
8) What is the Hierarchy of Values?
People need to identify with a purpose or have meaning in their lives. With this, a person will have a list of values that are prioritised from most important to least important. A person may value health and wellness very lowly on the list or not at all. In this case, quitting smoking can be difficult. It is recommended to explore ones Hierarchy of Values and reorganize the list with Health as a very high priority.
9) How does Purpose and Meaning affect one’s life?
When a person has a strong sense of purpose in life, all other activities backfill around the achievement of this purpose. A purpose may be to serve, or to build, or to grow, or to teach etc. If an unhealthy habit develops, such as smoking cigarettes, a person will feel incongruent with their sense of purpose or identity and eventually, they will want to quit the unhealthy habit in order to feel congruent and fully integrated with their true identity, purpose and meaning.
10) What if a person lacks healthy purpose or meaning in life?
If a person feels lacking in their identity, they will spend much of their time in pursuit of external solutions to fill their insufficiencies. For instance, a person may feel not good enough in some way (not smart enough, not attractive enough, not rich enough etc.). Often a habit like smoking cigarettes provides temporary relief from being insufficient. A brief moment of pleasure from a few drags on a cigarette is a possible distraction from their insecurities.