During her 50 years as a psychologist, Pam has studied and practiced hypnosis in order to help people with their problems. Her work and research into the fascinating area of self-hypnosis has resulted in an important technique for promoting personal change.

Post No. 24: Smoking Cessation

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Post No. 24: Smoking Cessation

When I began writing posts for my Website I went back to where it all began – in the late 1970’s with my research into smoking and my subsequent book, “Personal Change Through Self Hypnosis”. .

As a Student and Staff Counsellor at University of Technology, Sydney, I made frequent use of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique, and made an audio tape of each session so that it could be played regularly at home. One day a recording I made for giving up smoking cigarettes tangled up so I made another, and listened to it for quality control. Then I simply stopped smoking.

Setting about researching the comparison of making your own tape recording and listening to it versus being hypnotised by someone else, I found a 75% abstention rate for those who made their own recording.

This was amazing.

I had many interesting experiences and incidents carrying out my research. The 120 people I used for my experiments came from the staff and students of U.T.,S. and from outside. I advertised for subjects in the Sydney Morning Herald, and had a few high profile participants. Fortunately out of four who could have made disparaging remarks to all and sundry, three gave up smoking and the other reduced his intake dramatically.

I followed them up for six months, receiving feedback at regular intervals.

The participants who gave up smoking completely reported that they did not need willpower. For most of them, as happened with me, smoking seemed to disappear from conscious awareness: other people’s cigarettes did not bother them, they were not aware of smoking ads in the cinema, no cravings, no interest at all.

Two of the participants complained that they had undertaken the project for a lark, with no intention of giving up because they loved their Marlboroughs and their Gitanes. But they found they just couldn’t bring themselves to smoke after the sessions. Both had constructed their own hypnosis recordings.

So for cigarette smoking at least, self hypnosis was much more powerful than hypnosis by another.

More next time.

About the Author:

I will soon be 81 years old and tickled pink to be still upright. I have a good life. I still see clients, mainly in their own homes. I attend a lot of congresses, conferences and training sessions (never too old to learn). My apartment sits across from the north end of Maroubra Beach with 270 deg. views. There is always something intriguing to gaze at – the whales and dolphins twice a year, the stand-up paddle boarders, the surfers, the walkers, the beautiful surf in all its moods. Every morning two lorikeets come for their wholemeal bread. I often sit on the balcony and cook lunch on my portable grill, sitting amongst pots of lettuce, spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, chillies, and herbs: French tarragon, bayleaf, basil, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, mint and parsley. Throw a handful of herbs on every meal. My wonderful son has an equally lovely wife and three sons, 18, 16 and 14. They are the joy of my life as are my many good friends (some dating back to primary school) and colleagues. I was divorced, and later had two very dear partners, now deceased. One of them was Bill Peach; many of you may remember him. I was with him for 15 years until he died in 2013. He infected me with the travel bug, with many overseas and domestic Journeys taking place each year. The other long-term relationship left me with a taste for champagne, good wine, gourmet food and the Opera. Most of my life I have played tennis and golf, surfed (even in winter) and skied overseas and locally. Slowing down a bit now, love to see a film and do cryptic crosswords and sudoko. Passionate about bridge. I feel I have been very fortunate and would like to continue in that vein. Fingers crossed.