Friday, August 8, 2014

Be a Quitter: Stop Smoking with Hypnosis

Quit smoking in an effective, lasting manner that takes into account your history, health, and needs. Regular cost is $750, but I'm offering this as a package for $600 if you pre-pay. That's 5 hours over the course of 4 sessions. 

Share this important information with your friends and coworkers! Be quitters together and enjoy better health and a longer life.

First appointment: history. During the initial appointment, we'll discuss your history, any potential pitfalls, your smoking habit, set your quit date, and determine a realistic plan for you. We will also be discussing your support system, behavior changes, and anything I can think of to help you stay quit for good. Never will I berate you for your habit; none of us are saints. I will simply help you get from good to great. This appointment is 90 minutes and includes a complete history. 

Before second appointment. Now is the time to cut back on your smoking. Do not quit cigarettes cold turkey as it is a shock to your body and often leads to relapse. We will assess how much you are currently smoking, and cut it in half and half again before your last cigarette. I recommend skipping the gum or the patch or the electronic cigarettes. The goal is to be free of all nicotine. If that means you need longer to cut down, that is a smarter option.

Second appointment: loathe cigarettes. We're going to do some hypnosis and Rapid Resolution Therapy at this appointment. We're going to change the way your mind stores data so that you loathe the idea of smoking. This is going to be your quit day, the day before quit day, or as close as we can arrange it with our mutual schedules. If you want to have your last puffs before you see me, we could do it that way also. We're going to use strong words and imagery to make smoking absolutely repulsive.This appointment is 90 minutes.

Note: If there are issues that I feel are relevant as obstacles and need clearing before your smoking (perhaps you smoke because of anxiety symptoms or there is concurrent substance abuse), we will be using the second appointment to clear that issue instead. If that issue is more involved, I will tell you during the first appointment and we will discuss pricing. If you have concerns, just ask me.

Quit Day. The day you wake up free of the chains of tobacco use and enjoy detoxification in every cell throughout your day. You're already doing wonderful things for your body and mind just in the first day.

Third appointment: recheck. I check in with you and we discuss how it's been. This will be shortly after Quit Day, maybe in a few days or a week. If there were any cravings, I want to make them absolutely gone. If there was any slip up, I want to be sure we institute behaviors and thoughts to immunize you from them in the future. This appointment is one hour.

Fourth appointment: final recheck. This appointment is a check in to see how things have been going. It should occur somewhere between two and six weeks from the third appointment. This is to make sure that you're on the path and doing great. This appointment is one hour.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Anxiety in Others

Question: How can I enjoy my visit with my friend, who is often plagued by anxiety so badly that he makes plans, but then can't or won't leave the house? On past trips, I've been so frustrated by his seeming ambivalence to go out with me that I've wanted to leave early. I've gotten angry and upset and it ruined my visit. I want to have a different experience this time, but don't know if things will be any different on his part.

Answer: Reframe the situation. Your friend likely has social anxiety, generalized anxiety, or agoraphobia. All of these are treatable conditions. However, you simply want to work within his parameters while still enjoying his company and controlling the feelings within yourself.

Imagine your friend is the emcee of a play. His job is to announce the play, thank you for coming, do the introduction. He is on stage, holding a microphone, with a velvet curtain behind him, hiding the actors. You are sitting in the audience with the other theater goers. The theater lights come up and he says "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm very sorry, but there is a delay. Please bear with us." There is a rumble in the crowd as people murmur to one another. He leaves the stage and comes back 5 minutes later stating the lights are having a problem and it will be about 10 more minutes before they are fixed, to please excuse the further delay. Another rumble and some groaning as people express their upset to one another. 10 minutes more and he reappears. He says, "the lighting problem is more complicated then we initially thought and it doesn't look like we can solve it in just a few minutes. We will be happy to refund you or give you tickets to a later performance, if you will be a little patient as you leave, we'll get everyone satisfied as you file out."

People in the audience are visibly upset now. They are complaining about the wait and the inconvenience. They shout things like "just do the play, we can see," and "who cares about the lighting," and "the show must go on," and "we got all dressed up for this." The man on stage, your friend, looks off to the side where the director is shaking his head, though you can't see him, and says "I'm sorry, but we have to cancel this performance. Everything must be just right."

Your friend's job is simply to introduce the play, and to stall when needed, but not to determine if the play will or will not be seen. The director, unseen, un-blamed, makes those decisions. If everything is not just so, the director says "stall" or "cancel", not the emcee.

So it has been with your friend. He desires to be with you, to keep the plans you have made together, but the director, behind the curtain, is saying that it will not be possible at this time as things are not perfect, and must be made so before further action can take place.

Imagine, now, another ending to the same scene. Your friend has stalled the audience twice at the director's insistence. He goes back out to tell the audience that the play is cancelled and refunds or later tickets are going to be issued immediately. The audience, this time, reacts with disappointment, but understanding. They still murmur to each other and are saying "that's a bummer," and "I was really looking forward to this, but I guess we can come back tomorrow night," and "aw, man," and "I get it; the lights play a part in the feel of the play." How, now, does the emcee feel? Still torn, but not persecuted.

The answer, then, in how to work with someone who is responding to an unseen director, is to be a good audience member. Practice patience and empathy. And your friend, he'll feel much better, too, which will cause him to rebound faster than if you were angry and upset with him. Remake plans and notice the change in yourself. You won't feel like your visit is a loss as you won't be so angry and upset. Reframe and regroup.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.