A study of 286 smokers compared the effectiveness of hypnosis versus behavioral counseling when both interventions were combined with nicotine patches. At 6 months, 26% of the participants in the hypnosis group were abstinent compared with 18% of the behavioral group. At 12 months, the abstinence rate was 20% for the hypnosis group compared to 14% for the behavioral group. It was concluded that, for long-term quit rates, hypnosis compares favorably to standard behavioral counseling when used with nicotine patches.
So did it work? As it is for hypnosis in general, the jury is still out. I left the session feeling noticeably different. I sat in my car outside for a half hour and did not smoke. I went to dinner nearby and sat, and had a drink, and did not smoke. Eventually I caved in to the craving, but I didn't like it. I'm still smoking, I just don't enjoy them anywhere near as much as I used to anymore.
Hypnotherapy is guided hypnosis, or a trance-like state of focus and concentration achieved with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist. This trance-like state is similar to being completely absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even one's own thoughts or meditations. In this state, clients can turn their attention completely inward to find and utilize the natural resources deep within themselves that can help them make changes or regain control in certain areas of their life.