Last updated: 17 December 2015
If you’re new to hypnotherapy and you’ve scheduled your first stop smoking hypnotherapy session or you’re interested in learning more about this particular area of hypnosis, then here are some things to keep in mind.
Remember that for hypnotherapy to be successful, you and your subject both have roles to play and work to do.
If one of you drops the ball, the chances of success will bounce slowly away. If your subject gets derailed, it’s up to you to get them back on track!
It is common for someone coming to their first smoking cessation session hoping for a magic pill, from you the hypnotist.
That YOU will do all the work and hence if they end up smoking again, then it can’t have worked. So the commitment thing is more than a verbal YES! You are looking for an INTENSE EMOTION.
When you are just starting out you will have to learn to develop a good instinct about what it feels like when someone is being honest or not entirely honest with you.
Pay close attention when your subject states their commitment.
Just because they say “Yes I am committed” does not mean that they are. Does what they say feel normal, odd or maybe even incomplete?… That would be your therapeutic instincts!
When you elicit values and reasons for smoking from your client they should be able to respond in a fashion that makes sense.
If a client can’t tell you why they are smoking, this is a warning sign that they are not engaging in the process.
If they can’t tell you why they want to be smoking, then you need to ferret out their reasons for smoking. If they say they don’t know why… then PUSH HARDER (in a FRIENDLY way!).
It is ridiculous for them to be smoking if they have no reason, idea or desire for it.
They are holding things back, they are afraid to FEEL something or COMMIT to something. They have to give you major reasons for not smoking, the more the better. If they don’t light up, you have no leverage for the work.
Clients also need to follow through on their commitments, if they have homework or pre-work assigned, it must be completed before the session.
If they don’t comply, they are not engaged and you should work to increase their compliance and enthusiasm for the project.
Clients must follow through and you must hold them accountable for the work to take hold. Some clients may have difficulties creating a space for their subconscious to process this information, it may be caused by lack of engagement over thinking or critical factor.
Some clients are not willing to be uncomfortable and don’t want to do the work! They want you to do all the work. They are shirking their part of the process.
If I get to the point where I get a WEAK response from someone, I would be tempted to do one of a few things:
1. Bring them back for a loaded chat to find out what is really happening, how the session has been going, do they REALLY want to quit etc. Hopefully I would have done this before. I need LEVERAGE or I cannot push them over the edge into thinking “Damn it! I have had enough of these cigarettes!!
2. I might break into the NAS to totally confuse whatever bit of the conscious mind is holding on. Then reintroduce a NEW scene and test for compliance again with a “what’s over there to the left.”
3. My most likely response would be to take a RISK… depending on how much leverage I had ALREADY collected. I might say “over to your left, there, on the edge of what you can see… something is there or someone… can you make something out yet?” If they say “No”… I might INSIST that they are just missing the obvious “look carefully, its just starting to come into view over there… really LOOK and you WILL find it… its VERY IMPORTANT to you… so REALLY LOOK carefully…” Then THUNDERING SILENCE I want them to FEEL the PRESSURE of responding. I want them to REALISE that THEY have to do something. THEY will be on the spot. THEY have to do the work! NEVER accept a clients attempts to put the onus on YOU to “work your magic”. Your flexibility is NOT there so you can bend over backwards. It’s there so you can find better angles to ensure THEY bend over backwards to change!
Review the interaction you have OFTEN.
BUT do it in a spirit of GRATITUDE because your clients will teach you EVERYTHING that could possibly go wrong in a session… which means that if you learn the lessons well!
(HINT: its about MOTIVATION, COMPLIANCE and getting TRUE responses from the client) you will be UNSTOPPABLE as a hypnotherapist!
Do you have any other tips for any hypnotists out who are struggling to get subjects to quit smoking? Please share any techniques you have found to be particularly helpful below.