21 tips to help your clients stop smoking
In 1992, the New Scientist magazine reported research by scientists at Iowa University who analysed the results of 600 studies of nearly 72,000 people in Europe and the USA who had used different methods to quit smoking. They found that hypnotherapy is consistently the most successful way to become a non-smoker. Among those exsmokers who had successfully quit the habit, 30 percent had done so through hypnotherapy, compared with 25 percent through aversion therapy, 24 percent through acupuncture, ten percent through nicotine gum, nine percent through books and mail order advice, and six percent through willpower.1 The hypnotherapist, then, has at his or her disposal an extraordinarily powerful method for helping people stop smoking, one that has astounding potential for benefiting the millions of people now smoking who now want to quit the habit. Yet despite this proven success - and superiority to other commonly-used methods - hypnotherapy still does not enjoy approval as a smoking cessation method by “officialdom”, in the form of government and the medical profession. Many members of the public, too, remain sceptical of its capacity to help them become non-smokers. Why should this be? I believe that it is because of a lack of a consensus as to what constitutes “best practice” in enabling clients to stop smoking – and stay stopped – via hypnotherapy. This is in some ways quite remarkable. In most occupations, whether they call themselves industries, crafts, trades, professions, sciences, arts or whatever, many years of experience have led to the creation of recognised “bench-marks”. A bench-mark is a recognised standard “best practice” way of carrying out some task, known and practised by everyone in that field. An engineer, an accountant, an insurance assessor, a dentist, a car mechanic, a plumber, an osteopath – all these have a standard “best practice” way of doing something, which remains standard until a particular innovation proves itself to be superior to the previous way and supersedes it as “best practice”. Yet when it comes to the use of hypnotherapy to help people quit smoking, no such generally accepted “best practice” exists. Newcomers to the field of hypnotherapy have to more or less “reinvent the wheel”, stumbling along and doing their best to apply what they have picked up from numerous sources in order to help those clients who seek their help in order to become non-smokers. By a process which is as much trial-and-error as an application of proven effective techniques, the hypnotherapist either comes to some understanding of what techniques are most likely to work, and bases his or her future practice on them, or else stops taking smokers as clients or even drops out of the hypnotherapy field completely. Indeed, it is estimated that about 85 percent of people who set themselves up as hypnotherapists are out of the field within twelve months. I believe that this is both an appalling tragedy and a waste of resources. Thousands of people – just like you and me – set out to begin a career helping people, and pay substantial fees to attend hypnotherapy school, then probably a lot more money on ineffective advertising and marketing, only to find that their aspirations for a new career dashed because not enough paying clients come through the door to enable them to make ends meet. Partly this is because those hypnotherapists simply do not have the marketing and practice-building knowledge that they need to build a practice which gets a steady flow of paying clients in the door. Partly
it is because they don’t know the most effective, real-world techniques for getting rapid and effective results with those clients when they do arrive. This is not just bad news for those unfortunate newcomers who end up leaving the field so quickly, despite their best intentions. It is also damaging for long-established hypnotherapists who have stayed the course and built up...
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