One of the more common fears or concerns of my stop smoking clients is that they will not be able to take a break, because the only time that they do is when they smoke. I consider this to be a bit of bad self hypnosis. By bad self hypnosis I mean that they came to a false conclusion and then began acting as if it were true.
In practice, I have found that the bad hypnosis can be eliminated in a few moments of conversation.
In a respectful and caring way, I point out to my clients that their pay will not be docked if they take a smoke free break. I remind my clients that their smoking buddies do not care whether my client smokes or not when they are socializing during work breaks.
And, I also remind my clients that, as adults, they can make a decision to take a break, just because they need or want one.
This all sounds like common sense. But, when someone has hypnotized themselves into thinking that they have to smoke to get a break common sense has, at lease temporarily, stopped applying. Most of the time, the metaphors and reframing statements above are enough to eliminate the bad hypnosis, and restore common sense to the client’s thinking.
Later, during the formal hypnosis session, it is easy to have the client establish the habit of taking smoke free breaks using what is called end point imagery. In end point imagery the hypnotherapist simply has the client in hypnosis imagine him or herself in the future taking breaks at will, without any need for an excuse. Mentally practicing taking smoke free breaks in hypnosis for several imagined weeks ingrains the new habit easily and immediately.