Because she failed to give up several times I decided that the screed needed to contain elements of ego strengthening (Chrysalis 2014 M6 p19) and as recently the amount of the cigarettes she smoked increased I have chosen the powerful screed based on imbedded and direct suggestions coupled with visualisations and elements of aversion therapy to help her to cease the habit effectively. When I created the screed I used few ideas from Diamond Smoking Screed by Roger P. Allen (Allen 1997 pg 253) and Nonsmoking Induction by Hadley and Staudacher (Hadley and Staudacher 1996 pg 79), as they seemed to fit perfectly to M’s needs.
The last stage of the session was planned as a feedback after the hypnotherapy and additional advices to follow after the session.
M arrived to the appointment punctual and excited. She was very determined to give up smoking. On scale 1-10 she gave herself the highest mark (Chrysalis 2014 M6 p19). She even mentioned that she had got rid of all smoking paraphernalia and spare cigarettes from her house before she came to the session. I congratulated her on determination and reminded that achieving success in the matter would be her responsibility when I gave her the best help I could (Chrysalis 2014 M6 p31).
As we like each other as friends and her daughter told her about good results of the relaxation session I had with her it was very easy to establish good rapport. We started with talking trough the history of her habit. She mentioned that her husband also felt strongly that she shouldn’t smoke and he supported her in her attempts to cease smoking. Actually it looked she was the only person that smoked in her circle. That and the fact that her husband managed to give up smoking gave her additional reasons to quit. She felt guilty that she was the last person burdened with that habit among the people around her. I explained her the subconscious affecting the habit and assured that she had much bigger chances to free herself from smoking this time if she engages fully (Chrysalis 2014 M6 p20).
When asked what benefit she had from smoking she mentioned: “It is something to do with my hands” and “A cigarette is something to wait for.” However in “WWW questionnaire” she revealed that she usually smoked when she felt lonely. When asked if she thinks her husband also felt lonely at new place she said he was more outgoing person. It looked she had some difficulties to find her place in new surrounding and wasn’t confident enough to go out to meet new people. I have suggested to consider a counselling session about that problem and she agreed to think about it.
There was a moment I suspected her to treat smoking as a way of attracting attention to her however she never smoked in presence of her family and claimed that she received more than enough attention from her relatives. Further questions confirmed that statement. She was embarrassed that she still couldn’t give up smoking. She didn’t seem to suffer with stress nor with pressure, however more questions revealed that she found it difficult to find something engaging to do in her new environment.
We went through the “WWW Questionnaire” and I have explained her that it was necessary for her to find new constructive and realistic options for the left column records, as she needed to change her behaviour pattern if she wanted to succeed.
I asked if she considered the possibility of involving in any other kinds of additional physical activities than cross-country running. That would make her form better and reduce the boredom she suffered. She answered that she might try swimming as her husband was a good swimmer and went swimming twice a week. We agreed that walking with her granddaughters in the nearby parks might be a good idea as well; especially that it could reduce her feeling of being idle.
When we moved to facts and figures regarding smoking she seemed to be aware of all the dangers and it looked she thoroughly studied the booklet given the day before. Before we started the hypnotherapeutic session I assured M that she could withdraw at any time during the treatment if she wished.
She was advised that she would remain motionless during the session so it was a good idea to use the toilet if needed before we begin. After she returned I have asked if she had any questions regarding the therapy. She didn’t have any.
I have chosen the PMR based on the forest motif, as M likes forests. Apparently it was a good choice as she relaxed very fast and with help of the deepener she reached the necessary hypnotic state. Her breathing was shallow and regular and she was sitting motionless but comfortable on the chair with her hands close to her sides. After she relaxed in her special place (dream forest) I delivered the ego strengthening suggestions in order to build up her confidence. Then implicit suggestions were given that she was already able to give up smoking. I supported them with numerous positive suggestions to convince the subconscious that smoking cessation is positive process and not deprivation (Karle and Boys 1978 p91). The client remained calm and seemed to be hypnotised deeply as the unexpected noise of the dustcart outside didn’t create any visible reaction despite the fact that it was very loud.
At this stage I delivered the metaphorical suggestion of M giving up smoking (Hogan 1961 pg 319) and then I noticed vivid REM for the time of the metaphorical picture. When we returned to positive suggestions the eye movements slowed down. Then I delivered a visualisation that included elements of aversion therapy however as many therapist suggest limited effectiveness (Karle and Boys 1978 p 93) and high relapse rates in such method of treatment (Cherry 2018) I decided to focus more on positive suggestions in further part of therapy. I utilised the motifs of her family and health, as they were important for her during the IC.
No visible signs of discomfort during the whole screed were noticed and the only noticeable reaction from the client while hypnotised were rapid eye movements and unusually flushed cheeks. The client came out of hypnosis without any problems.
End of treatment and Results
After reorientation M was puzzled and sleepy so she was advised to remain sitting for a while which she did until regained the balance. Asked about her feelings she confirmed she enjoyed the treatment and that she is a non-smoker now. She was advised about the possible withdrawal symptoms and cravings and we have discussed the improvements in her lifestyle in terms of participating more vividly in her family life and sport centre activities. M promised to keep me updated on her non-smoking. The effects of the therapy still remain successful after two months from the treatment.
Limits and flaws
I found the screed very long and considering that English isn’t my native language I found it very energy draining as I had to focus constantly on appropriate pronunciation, voice tone right emphasis and pace of the delivery. I was concerned about the effects of the treatment, as I didn’t have a chance to deal sufficiently with client’s problems to find her space in new town during a single session. However that wasn’t the main purpose of the treatment and she was advised about it as mentioned above.
M’s attitude towards giving up smoking was outstanding. From the beginning till the end she was committed and determined to succeed. This, combined with personalised PMR and authoritarian compound screed worked well. She is happy about the outcome and hopefully will not smoke again. The therapy revealed some other fields she could be helped but it is up to her if she is going to work on them in future as she was advised.