Why Promising Single-Session Smoking Cessation is Wrong
For years, I have watched countless hypnotherapists market 'single-session' hypnosis to people who are desperate to quit smoking.
For years, I have seen their ads and their websites boast about their great results as they lured people in with false promises and 'guarantees'.
Well, today I have finally had enough. Today, I am going to tear down the curtain and hopefully show the world through this article exactly why these 'hypnotherapists' are guilty of some profoundly unethical behavior--even when they do actually manage to help their clients quit.
First of all, I have to say that I am VERY serious about helping my own clients quit smoking. Before I became a hypnotist, I watched my own sister die of smoking-induced lung cancer when she was 42 years old. Her death was ghastly and I don't ever again want to see another human being go through that experience. Because of what happened to her, helping people quit smoking has, from the very beginning, been a central part of my professional mission. I absolutely know that hypnosis can be one of the most, if not THE MOST, effective methods for helping people permanently kick the smoking habit. So, why am I so against 'single session' hypnosis to help people quit smoking? Why do I think it is actually immoral and totally unethical to make that promise? Simply because every client is different and I know, as a professional, that no matter how 'good' a hypnotist claims to be, they cannot honestly claim to help every client quit permanently after just one session. Making such claims is rather like a world-class chef boasting that they know how to make a dish that every single person who eats it is absolutely going to love. When you stop to think about it, you quickly realize that simply is not, and cannot, be true. The fact is, the average person needs a minimum of one or two sessions of 'practice' hypnosis before they can even relax enough to enter into a deeply somnambulistic state, which is the optimal working state for embedding hypnotic suggestions. Not only that, but some people react negatively to different forms of hypnotic induction and may not enter trance at all the first time around. Such people may require their hypnotist to 'dial in' the right type of induction for them individually. That takes a little time and observation--something you just can't do in one session, no matter how amazing you claim to be.
What is more, I know from nearly 20 years of experience that many smokers smoke for a variety of reasons, and there is simply no way to discover and address those reasons completely in a single session.
What this all means is that those who put out smoking cessation recordings or promise 'single session' miracles are really engaging in self-serving marketing at the expense of those they claim to serve. They are setting up unrealistic expectations that risk causing many people who seriously need help to conclude that 'hypnosis doesn't work'.
The very real danger in this is that they may be turning many people off to an incredibly powerful healing modality that quite possibly could save their lives--if performed properly.
So, if you are reading this and you happen to be a 'single-session smoking cessation specialist', I will ask you bluntly to stop lying to the public. And to stop doing a disservice to the legitimate practice of hypnotherapy. And, if you are reading this and you are a smoker who genuinely wants to quit, then my advice to you is to find an ethical hypnotherapist who tells you the truth, which is that hypnotherapy can be incredibly powerful, but it is also a cooperative process that involves not only the implanting of positive suggestions, but the resolution of internal conflicts, and that process nearly always necessitates more than 'one session'.
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