Is Hypnosis Only for Quitting Smoking?

Jan 01, 2014

You are probably familiar with the concept of using hypnosis to plant suggestions and change habits.  This is a common and well tested use of hypnotic techniques.  A suggestion is made to change a habit or belief, such as implanting a belief that cigarettes taste bad or that your pain is not as severe as you thought.

What you probably have not heard is that this same technique can be a part of the treatment of more complicated issues.  For instance, in my experience there is a great deal in common between the urge to have a cigarette and the urge to become irritated when their spouse talks about a certain subject.

In one sense, these are both patterns that we have developed.  Cigarettes are a response we may have learned and reinforced when we are stressed, and irritation with a partner may be a set of internal beliefs that have become a habit that you can’t imagine any way around.  So if a suggestion is planted that when your partner talks about money you take a deep breath and you become curious about what  your partner is wanting you to understand, then you can imagine that those conversations with your partner will go much more smoothly.

The difference of course is that the source of those more complicated beliefs go way back in your life and on the surface it appears that cigarettes can be dealt with on a more “surface” level.  I also find that some folks who don’t respond well to hypnosis need someone to dig a little deeper.  If hypnosis doesn’t help you quit smoking right away, maybe there is a more deep seated belief there that needs to be explored.  Sometimes smoking is just a habit, but sometimes it’s helpful to learn how you link smoking with your dad, or with that time in your life that you enjoyed so much etc…

It’s at this point that we start to cross the boundary from hypnosis in to hypnotherapy.  Hypnosis is a tool that I combine with my other tools as a therapist to help you address goals and concerns that may have been 30 years in the making.  Most hypnotists don’t diagnose and treat specific mental illnesses, they are more focused on simply planting those new suggestions.  As a therapist I enjoy learning about your complex issues, developing a treatment plan, and beginning more in depth work to help you achieve your goals.