Welcome Friends

Welcome to my funny little world. Sometimes it's a bit sad, sometimes it's a bit mad, but I try to give you some uplifting words every day. And in amongst them I'll give you a little philosophy and celebrate just being. If you like a good bedtime story or you are just curious about your life or mine or you want to be encouraged, then come on in, the water's lovely!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Can you Stop Smoking in one Hour?

Well can you? Is it possible? Of course it is; you can stop smoking in an instant if you want to, it doesn't take a full hour for a magic transformation to take place!

Stopping smoking or quitting smoking is one of the standard treatments that Hypnotherapists offer. Almost all of them offer a one session treatment to be free of cigarettes. I don't do this. I think I may be alone in offering a 2 session program. But my program works!

What I do is to get to know the person properly first. We explore the reasons why someone smokes and why they think they smoke, what the cigarettes do for them. Then I bust all the myths about smoking - it helps me to relax, it helps me concentrate etc. After that we take a good look at what the person thinks they are going to find difficult and what things or situations might trip them up and cause them to smoke again.

You see, unless you really address all these issues, you have left too much to chance. If someone truly believes that he needs cigarettes to get through difficult work situations, if you take them away, how is he then going to cope with the difficult meetings? You can't remove something and leave a vacuum. "Nature abhors a vacuum" remember. If you are not careful, something else destructive might worm its way in, like overeating.

So, after I have found all the barriers to a person's success, I go about giving them strategies to overcome these barriers. I may use hypnosis or NLP. What I always do, is give them homework for the following week. This is in the form of Emotional Freedom Technique, to remove negatives, to blast barriers and zap obstacles.

My clients go away feeling motivated, uplifted and ready to set about the task of quitting. Occasionally they don't! And for these clients, they just go home and decide to carry on smoking or maybe come back at another time. You can't force these things, everyone has their own timetable and if someone is still unsure after a session with me then the time is not right for them. The chance of success is low so in order not to experience failure, it's better to wait until they are ready. And that's fine.

So my clients go away for a week and when they come back they have destroyed all their smoking paraphernalia. That pot outside the back door is gone, the lighters thrown away, ashtrays cleaned and given to charity. Clean fresh clothes on. One client even washed her curtains before her appointment.

So my client returns, absolutely ready to be a non-smoker, champing at the bit, raring to go. We do a bit more EFT and then I perform the hypnosis session. This is the hour long session that so many hypnotherapists give their clients. And the person walks out of the door as a non-smoker - every time.

The 2 session program works. I have seen it time and again. I have amended it twice for clients who were desperate to do it in one go and I won't do that again, because both of them ran into difficulties which they should not have done. I don't like to see that.

Let me give you some case studies. One lady came to see me, who identified in her first session that cigarettes helped her cope with stress and that if anything was going to stop her from successfully quitting it was her mother. So I was able to see that her problem was stress with her mother, not cigarettes at all. SO I worked first with her for 3 sessions on resolving that stress and how she could manage her relationship better. When she had that under control, she was then ready to become a non-smoker. If we had gone ahead and attempted the one stop smoking hypnosis session, I predict that it would not have worked for her in the long-term.

Another gentleman came to see me for stress, over-drinking and smoking. He revealed that he drank between 70 and 100 units of alcohol per week, he was generally mildly unhappy, had recently retired and couldn't seem to control his drinking. He said he wanted to get that under control first and then deal with the smoking. We worked together for 4 or 5 sessions, while he gained control of his drinking and became more optimistic and motivated. At that point he said he wanted to consolidate and wasn't ready to quit smoking just yet because he was so happy his drinking was now at manageable levels. He had achieved what he wanted to achieve at that point, it really wasn't necessary to push a stop smoking hypnosis session at him too.

So to answer my question I first posed; yes I do believe it is possible to stop smoking with hypnosis in one hour BUT this approach will not be successful with everyone. Hypnosis to stop smoking will be successful for nearly everyone when a longer, slower approach is employed that takes into account the individual's circumstances and beliefs and works to set the stage for success before the "one hour" session is employed.

There's more on my website http://www.northamptonhypnosis.co.uk/quit_smoking.htm

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Being Thankful

It's too long since I regularly "blogged" and I have lost many of my friends on the journey. But that's ok, perhaps I will make some new ones. I've not been in full health and there's a reason for that which I don't yet fully understand. Understanding will come though.

Today's post is about thankfulness and mindfulness. It will strike a chord with those of you who follow a religion. To others it will sound overtly "Pollyanna-ish" and perhaps some will want to scream at me. To let you in, I have been through all of those reactions so just accept your reaction fopr what it is. That's mindfulness.

So my subject is to be thankful. There definitely is something to be learned in every situation that life throws at us. When all is going our way, we rarely stop to consider what we are learning. Perhaps that is becuase the soul is not developing, perhaps it is too easy. When life is tough, sometimes a small voice nags us to understand that every part of life is a journey and that we will be picking up experiences and learning from them. Yet when we are in physical or emotional pain or mental anguish engulfs us, then how on earth can we take anything positive from where we are?

That's when the screaming voice can take over and want to cut down any self-righteous, patronising do-gooder who looks on sympathetically and tells us to "be positive."


But if you look closely, there is an ingredient missing from the recipe and it is TIME. In the thick of it, in the middle of the fight, all you can do is protect yourself from the blows and strike out when you get the opportunity. Only later when you analyse it with your coach and watch the video footage will you be able to gain the perspective you need to really learn from the mistakes you made in the ring.

So try this now. Look backwards in time and pick a time or situation or a person which you would rather miss out if you could play the film of your life again. With the perspective of time, examine the video footage and see if you can identify the positive aspects. What did you do well? But most of all, what are you thankful for?

I would rather forget and miss out the experience of marriage to my first husband but on so many days I have reason to feel thankful for the time we spent together. He taught me to cook! To cook real, fresh food and to experiment, to not be afraid in the kitchen. I still have the cookery book he patronisingly bought me the week before our wedding - it is a firm favourite of mine.

If I take this concept further and extrapolate the effect of learning to cook, I can thank my ex-husband for my health. Ten years of eating unprocessed, fresh food has doubtless had a positive effect on my health. It is a strange feeling to thank him for that but I cannot deny it.

Finding something positive in a bad situation liberates us from the negative emotional effects of that unfortunate experience. For some people there may be much healing required but the exercise of thankfulness can be a start.

Try that today.