As a certified consulting hypnotist, I have helped Houstonians for more than 30 years successfully overcome an addiction to cigarette smoking. Through hypnosis, the client is able to visualize their life without smoking, and find desirable fulfillment and satisfaction in quitting. I personalize a program for each client, providing a customized approach to help him or her stop smoking.
A 2007 study from researchers at the American College of Chest Physicians compared hypnosis to nicotine replacement therapy. Fifty percent of patients who were treated in the hypnotherapy group were still quit at 26 weeks compared to just 15.78 percent in the nicotine replacement group. Patients who underwent NRT and hypnotherapy also experienced a 50-percent success rate at 26 weeks.
The coaching-style preference is also a factor for coaching success. The coach and the executive are agreeing to enter into a “relationship” therefore style preferences and compatibility can impact the outcomes. It is important that the coach and the client agree on how the client prefers to receive help, what they want to focus or work on, and when they want to receive it.
Consultation and training. Team building; sports organization consultation; systems interventions with parents and families involved in youth sports participation; education of coaches regarding motivation, interpersonal and leadership skills and talent development; education of coaches and administrators regarding early identification and prevention of psychological difficulties.
Practice in the field of applied sport and exercise psychology usually involves a combination of individual and group consulting or counseling depending on the style of the professional conducting the intervention and the needs of the client. Although there are many specific concepts within applied sport and exercise psychology (e.g., goal setting, concentration, motivation, relaxation, imagery), the general goal is to teach mental skills necessary to perform consistently in training and competition, increase adherence to exercise programs, and to help individuals realize their potential.
By dint of McNulty’s force of personality or indefatigability, Mirabella stopped fighting his coach’s efforts to toughen him up. To all outward appearances, Mirabella began acting like the assertive executive he wasn’t. Once McNulty saw Mirabella’s behavior change, he told the CEO that Mirabella was now up to the job. But within a week of ending his meetings with McNulty, Mirabella became severely depressed. At that point, he turned to me for help.
Athletes aren't the only ones that can benefit from sport psychology, however, although they are the most likely. Some individuals who are in the middle of high stress and highly competitive careers might also benefit from a few counseling sessions with sport psychologists. This can include professionals such as business people, performing artists, and politicians.
Coachability, in my opinion, is the number-one success factor to consider. The reason is that no matter how experienced or effective the coach might be, no change of the executive (coachee) will occur if the executive does not want to change, recognize the need to change, or does not take responsibility for the change needed. The executive needs to be open to feedback, willing to use the feedback to commit to change, and be willing to be held accountable to the commitment.
Consider Rob Bernstein. (In the interest of confidentiality, I use pseudonyms throughout this article.) He was an executive vice president of sales at an automotive parts distributor. According to the CEO, Bernstein caused trouble inside the company but was worth his weight in gold with clients. The situation reached the breaking point when Bernstein publicly humiliated a mail clerk who had interrupted a meeting to get someone to sign for a parcel. After that incident, the CEO assigned Tom Davis to coach Bernstein. Davis, a dapper onetime corporate lawyer, worked with Bernstein for four years. But instead of exploring Bernstein’s mistreatment of the support staff, Davis taught him techniques for “managing the little people”—in the most Machiavellian sense. The problem was that, while the coaching appeared to score some impressive successes, whenever Bernstein overcame one difficulty, he inevitably found another to take its place.
Financial coaching is a relatively new form of coaching that focuses on helping clients overcome their struggle to attain specific financial goals and aspirations they have set for themselves. Financial coaching is a one-on-one relationship in which the coach works to provide encouragement and support aimed at facilitating attainment of the client's financial plans. A financial coach, also called money coach, typically focuses on helping clients to restructure and reduce debt, reduce spending, develop saving habits, and develop financial discipline. In contrast, the term financial adviser refers to a wider range of professionals who typically provide clients with financial products and services. Although early research links financial coaching to improvements in client outcomes, much more rigorous analysis is necessary before any causal linkages can be established.
Hypnosis is not a silver bullet, of course. Several years ago, Nelson, a 39-year-old banker from New York City, attended a group hypnosis session in Boston with several friends who were also trying to quit smoking, and they were all hypnotized en masse. He says, “ didn’t crave cigarettes for a good four months afterwards. Something in my mind turned it off: didn’t want it, didn’t need it.” Then, after a minor car accident, he ran to the corner bodega to grab a pack. “I smoked to calm myself down,” he recalls. While the hypnosis was effective, Nelson felt like his choice to smoke or not smoke was being dictated not by him but by an outside force in a way that made him uncomfortable. He has no plans to try hypnosis again.
"As a licensed psychologist, I offer counseling services for children, adolescents, and adults. Specializing in Sport Psychology, I am a Certified Mental Performance Consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and a registered Sport Psychologist with the U.S. Olympic Committee. My passion is helping children, adolescents and adults achieve well-being, balance, and peak performance by empowering them with skills to handle stressors in life and pressures of competition. I provide traditional counseling and sport psychology services to youth athletes, adolescents, and adults. I offer appointments in my office or by video conference online."
Sloane Perras, chief legal officer for The Krystal Co., has worked with several coaches over the years. “My first coach helped me deal with an enemy at work. I was able to understand my own part in the situation and to mitigate the effects of the drama. I learned so much from that situation that now I use my coach to facilitate and focus me on setting goals. If I didn’t have a coach, I would never take time out to think about my future and navigating my way forward.”
Based on this definition, sports psychologists can participate in various activities, mostly focused on working to understand what motivates athletes and how athletes can improve their performance. These activities can range from counseling athletes who might have anxiety issues that hamper their performance to instructing athletes (individually or in groups) on methods of mental conditioning (e.g., visualization, concentration and relaxation) to helping athletes deal with injuries. To put all of this in another way, a sport psychologist is working from the perspective that success in sports relies on both the body and mind. To add one other important point, sports psychologists are often found working with elite athletes—Olympians and professionals. However, sports psychologists can be found working with athletes at all levels as well as with coaches and sports administrators.
Skill using all of the mind's senses (e.g., sight, sound, taste, touch, hearing, kinesthetic/muscular feel) to re-create or create an experience in the mind. Uses include: (a) mental preparation, (b) anxiety control, (c) attention, (d) building self-confidence, (e) learning new skills, and (f) injury recovery. Common components include the evaluation of imagery ability, the establishment of the proper physical and mental setting (i.e., relaxed and quiet), and practice creating vivid and controllable images.
My weight had been an issue my whole life. I was always the chubby kid, always taller and bigger than my peers. Because of that, I was uncomfortable and depressed. I remember gym class in particular, because I was slower than all the other kids. It was an especially difficult time for me because it’s where I experienced the most bullying. When I was 18, the summer I had just graduated from high school, I lost all my friends. I was miserable, alone, depressed, and suicidal. It was after a failed suicide attempt that I realized I didn’t want to live my life like this anymore. I wanted to be comfortable and confident in my own skin.
I chose the University of Ottawa in Canada for my Master’s in Sport Psychology for 2 main reasons. One of the most experienced, forerunners of Sport Psychology, Dr. Terry Orlick, is a professor at U of O. I had a conversation with him prior to applying, and he offered to be my thesis advisor, so at that point the program at University of Ottawa became the only choice for me.
Professionals in this field may favor one proficiency over another, as this field does require a distinctive combination of training in both medicine and psychology. With their in-depth knowledge of physiology and kinesiology, in addition to their psychology training, some sports psychologists may focus on rehabilitation and reintegration of athletes after an injury, while others may focus on mental health issues surrounding coach-player communication conflicts or improving team dynamics.
Goal setting is the process of systematically planning ways to achieve specific accomplishments within a certain amount of time. Research suggests that goals should be specific, measurable, difficult but attainable, time-based, written down, and a combination of short-term and long-term goals. A meta-analysis of goal setting in sport suggests that when compared to setting no goals or "do your best" goals, setting the above types of goals is an effective method for improving performance. According to Dr. Eva V. Monsma, short-term goals should be used to help achieve long-term goals. Dr. Monsma also states that it is important to "set goals in positive terms by focusing on behaviors that should be present rather than those that should be absent."  Each long-term goal should also have a series of short-term goals that progress in difficulty. For instance, short-term goals should progress from those that are easy to achieve to those that are more challenging. Having challenging short-term goals will remove the repetitiveness of easy goals and will give one an edge when striving for their long-term goals.
“You seem like exactly the type of person hypnosis would not work on,” a friend told me when I mentioned I was going to try it, implying I'm too skeptical and set in my ways to be open to something like this. Still, there I was, ready to see what would happen. Hall's voice worked a strange alchemy on me in the library, and I drifted off into what seemed like a state of intense relaxation. I could've fallen asleep easily. I didn't even pull out my phone and refresh Twitter for a whole half hour.
I work with athletes and performers at every level, from novice and recreational to elite and professional, so the situations that I address are constantly evolving, bringing different challenges each day. I may give training to an entire team, meet with an individual client at my office, or observe a client at practice or at a competition. I may speak with their coaches or families; it just depends on what we are trying to accomplish. We work on developing the mental side of their game and performance. This involves building skills in areas such as focus, concentration, motivation, goal-setting, managing intensity, overcoming performance obstacles, stress management, and learning how to perform optimally even under pressure. We also address issues such as performance anxiety, burnout, lack of confidence, recovering from an injury, and handling performance pressures that come when new levels of achievement are attained.
Hypnotism is such an amorphous concept, that when I asked a couple practitioners what it is, they spent a good portion of the discussion telling me what it is not. Many of us are familiar with the process of hypnosis from the popular brand of hypnotist entertainers, where guests are plucked from nightclub audiences to go embarrass themselves on stage. Or, if not that, then from fictional depictions of a Freudian type smugly waving a stopwatch in front of a patient's face. Those are both big misconceptions, Hall explained while prepping his crowd for the descent into a state of enhanced relaxation.
Youth sport refers to organized sports programs for children less than 18 years old. Researchers in this area focus on the benefits or drawbacks of youth sport participation and how parents impact their children’s experiences of sporting activities. In this day and age, more and more youth are being influenced by what they see on TV from their sport idols. For that reason it is not rare to see a seven-year-old play acting in a game of soccer because they are being socially influenced by what they are seeing on TV.
Republic of Ireland: There are few graduate and no undergraduate programmes in Ireland offering specialised degrees in sports psychology. However, psychology is one of the professions listed for statutory registration with the relevant registration board of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council. The title of the profession is protected by law and can only be used by registered practitioners.
Partnering for performance and clear agreements. Tied for fifth place, which makes sense because they are similar. Partnering for performance is described as: a relationship and agreements among individuals and groups that are characterized by mutual understanding, cooperation and responsibility to achieve a specific goal. Clear agreements are defined as: an understanding or arrangement between people regarding what is going to be done, by whom, how and by when.
I am based in Boston and serve clients from the local area, throughout the United States, and around the world. Many clients come to see me in person, and I am able to travel to see them as needed. I am also available to work with executive coaching and philosophical counseling clients by telephone and video conferencing. Contact me at (617) 932-1548 or [email protected]
But coaching is not just for tackling new assignments. It can also play an invigorating role. Coaches can help executives "develop new ways to attack old problems," says Vicky Gordon, CEO of the Gordon Group coaching practice in Chicago. "When efforts to change yourself, your team, or your company have failed—you are frustrated or burned out—a coach can be the outside expert to help you get to the root cause and make fundamental changes."
When it comes to quitting, sometimes it might seem that the deck is stacked a bit against you. After all, the tobacco in today’s cigarette is much more addictive than it was decades ago. I even learned companies are cultivating tobacco with higher levels of nicotine. Many more additives have been included. Cigarettes have been carefully engineered to make a long-term consumer out of you.
In North America, early years of sport psychology included isolated studies of motor behavior, social facilitation, and habit formation. During the 1890s, E. W. Scripture conducted a range of behavioral experiments, including measuring the reaction time of runners, thought time in school children, and the accuracy of an orchestra conductor's baton. Despite Scripture's previous experiments, the first recognized sports psychology study was carried out by an American psychologist Norman Triplett, in 1898. The work of Norman Triplett demonstrated that bicyclists were more likely to cycle faster with a pacemaker or a competitor, which has been foundational in the literature of social psychology and social facilitation. He wrote about his findings in what was regarded as the first scientific paper on sports psychology, titled “The Dynamogenic Factors in Pacemaking and Competition”, which was published in 1898, in the American Journal of Psychology. Research by ornithologists Lashley and Watson on the learning curve for novice archers provided a robust template for future habit formation research, as they argued that humans would have higher levels of motivation to achieve in a task like archery compared to a mundane task. Researchers Albert Johanson and Joseph Holmes tested baseball player Babe Ruth in 1921, as reported by sportswriter Hugh S. Fullerton. Ruth's swing speed, his breathing right before hitting a baseball, his coordination and rapidity of wrist movement, and his reaction time were all measured, with the researchers concluding that Ruth's talent could be attributed in part to motor skills and reflexes that were well above those of the average person.
“We offer internal coaching for employees going through the Emerging Leader Program,” said Jill Clark, group vice president of talent management at JDA Software Inc. “[It’s] a combination of internal and external coaching for VP-level executives going through the Fearless Leader Program; and external coaches for executive-level folks who want to be more effective.”
Careers in sports psychology cover a range of areas. Sports psychologists may practice in a hospital, clinic, gym, physical rehabilitation center, high school or university. Some may work in private practice or provide contracted consulting services to clients in other settings. Professionals in this area are often employed as part of a team of specialists, assembled from a variety of disciplines to maximize health and wellness among athletes, coaches, teams, parents of athletes, fitness professionals and more. Whatever the nature of their practice, sports psychologists should possess the following skills and competencies:
Most people understand transference as “falling in love” with one’s therapist. While this can be a manifestation, it paints an incomplete picture of the phenomenon. Transference can be positive or negative. Essentially, it is a powerful feeling for someone whose traits mirror those of a significant person—typically a parent—from one’s past. Garvin formed a positive transference toward Nelson (who “saved” his COO). That placed Garvin in the role of an information-dependent child vis-à-vis an expert parent. Garvin relied on his coach to come up with best practices for handling problem executives. CEOs often form these sorts of relationships with their coaches.
Although descriptions of psychic disorders date back to antiquity, the practice of psychiatry in its contemporary form only began to take shape in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when psychiatry split off from neurology as a distinct medical specialty. Modern psychotropic medications first emerged in the 1950s, ushering in an age of “biological psychiatry” wherein mental suffering was medicalized and increasingly understood from the vantage point of neuroscience and related fields.
Look for a hypnotherapist who is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. To be a member of either of these organizations, a hypnotherapist must have a doctorate level degree in medicine, dentistry, or psychology, or a master’s degree in nursing, social work, psychology, or marital/family therapy plus a specific number of hours of approved training in hypnotherapy. In some cases, accredited, doctoral-level practitioners of alternative health care, such traditional Chinese medicine, may also be approved for membership. Of course, in addition to looking at qualifications, you should also find a hypnotherapist with whom you feel confident and comfortable in a therapeutic relationship.