I met Richard Walsh at a party and he said “Pam, if you ever write a book let me have a look at it.” At that time he was the Managing Editor of Angus and Robertson, book publishers. Later I wondered if he said that to everyone. When I’d accumulated a sizeable amount of scripts I wrote a brief Introduction and Conclusion and made an appointment. He liked the idea and I had a contract.
I thought that was it. As people often say, if I’d known what was involved I’d have downed tools immediately! Three, four years hard labour and it was done.
I was invited to the Christmas Party A & R gave for their authors, and chatted for ages to Alice Doyle, matriarch of the Doyle’s Restaurants family, who had a cookery book published.
Some interesting facts emerged from the smoking research. Many people initially disliked the sound of their own voice on tape, but almost invariably grew to like it. To me it seemed that learning to like their voices translated into increased self-esteem.
I discovered that motivation was not nearly as important as had been believed. Some people played their recordings avidly, keen as mustard, and writing reams of commentary. One of these highly motivated individuals ended up smoking even more cigarettes at the 6-months follow-up!
I persuaded two people to be experimental subjects, neither of whom had the slightest intention of giving up. They didn’t believe in hypnosis and didn’t think it would make any difference to their enjoyment of smoking. Both of them gave up smoking and one of them glared every time he saw me: he had loved his Gitanes.
After the results were in and the findings had established the greatly increased effectiveness of self-hypnosis over hetero-hypnosis, I began to use it frequently in my private practice and with the students and staff of U.T.,S., and to experiment with certain issues of my own. I need to emphasise that most things respond well to either approach: the more difficult issues are those that respond far better to self-hypnosis – cigarette smoking, weight problems, nail biting, drug-taking, gambling, procrastination and perfectionism, for example. More next time.