You want to stop smoking because it’s a very unhealthy and expensive habit. Chances are you’ve already tried a variety of ways to stop smoking, but you’re still struggling. You may even have stopped before, but whether it’s been for a few days or for several months, somehow the smoking habit has crept back and you’ve found yourself back there, puffing away again on your “cancer sticks”. Why does this keep happening?
“Volunteers are driven by completely different motives than employees are,” Denburg explained. “I had a habit of rolling in and expecting people to keep up and jump into action. With this job, I had to learn to be more intentional about setting the stage to engage people.” She made the shift from leading through accountability and authority to leading through influence.
In a previous role; Director of Global Leadership Programs at General Electric’s Healthcare (GEHC) business, Mary Ellen led the partnership with Lee Hecht Harrison to execute the Global Manager Coaching Program for 7,200 global GEHC managers over two-years demonstrating success in achieving goals and creating strong ties to business performance metrics.
When we came out of the session, he asked us how we each had felt. Some reported feeling a sense of heaviness, others said they felt as if they were floating away. One woman couldn't remember a word he had said the entire time. An older man in a Red Sox jersey said he could hear him but couldn't make out the words. “Me relaxing to that degree made me realize how much my body is fighting to breathe cleanly,” the elderly man said. Another woman said she felt as if she wanted to cry. I shared her emotion. It felt as if something was being taken from me.
Margaret, a 90-year old (not a typo!) musician from Manhattan, has been tobacco-free for a whopping 26 years, after a pack-a-day smoking career that spanned six decades. She’d quit before, cold turkey, but lasted only two days before she relapsed. Years later, she decided to try hypnosis at the recommendation of a trusted friend. “It wasn’t scary,” she remembers. “I was quite unaware that I was being hypnotized. The hypnosis was just deep enough for everything she said to take root. She told me that I shouldn’t ever touch another cigarette, not to think I can smoke and get away with it, and that one cigarette can restart the addiction over again. It was very easy. I was really quite surprised.” Margaret hasn’t taken a puff since.
In 1923, Griffith developed and taught the first sports psychology university courses (“Psychology and Athletics”) at the University of Illinois, and he came to be known as “The Father of Sports Psychology” in the United States, as a result of his pioneering achievements in that area. However, he is also known as “The prophet without disciples”, since none of his students continued with sports psychology, and his work started to receive attention only from the 1960s 
As an interdisciplinary subject, exercise psychology draws on several different scientific fields, ranging from psychology to physiology to neuroscience. Major topics of study are the relationship between exercise and mental health (e.g., stress, affect, self-esteem), interventions that promote physical activity, exploring exercise patterns in different populations (e.g., the elderly, the obese), theories of behavior change, and problems associated with exercise (e.g., injury, eating disorders, exercise addiction).
There is also a range of options available, from one-on-one meetings to phone sessions to CDs and tapes. McGrail and Grossman agree that while potentially useful, recordings are not usually as effective as personal sessions. And there’s no shortage of opinions on the best ways to quit smoking; the gamut runs from hypnotherapy to Zyban and Nicotine Anonymous.
There is an intense mental toll of reaching—and remaining—at the pinnacle of a sport. “The top six inches of the body matter just as much the rest,” says Matthew Cunliffe, a sports psychologist, who spoke with Quartz about what goes through the minds of elite athletes and how psychologists can help them win. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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.
Even when coaches adopt a more empirically validated approach than McNulty did, they still tend to fall into the trap of treating the symptoms rather than the disorder. That’s because they typically derive their treatments from behavioral psychology. Of course, behaviorism has been a great boon to psychiatry in recent years. Findings from this discipline have helped people enormously in controlling specific behaviors and learning to cope in particular situations. But treatments derived from behavioral psychology are sometimes too limited to address the problems that disrupt executives’ ability to function.
The British Psychological Society commissioned a working group to survey the evidence and write a formal report on hypnotherapy in 2001. They found, “Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy.”
Unlike psychologists or psychotherapists, ADHD coaches do not provide any therapy or treatment: their focus is only on daily functioning and behaviour aspects of the disorder. The ultimate goal of ADHD coaching is to help clients develop an "inner coach", a set of self-regulation and reflective planning skills to deal with daily life challenges. A 2010 study from Wayne State University evaluated the effectiveness of ADHD coaching on 110 students with ADHD. The research team concluded that the coaching "was highly effective in helping students improve executive functioning and related skills as measured by the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI)." Yet, not every ADHD person needs a coach and not everyone can benefit from using a coach.
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.
These are highly important findings, because empathy, compassion and overall self-awareness are qualities of a developed, mature mind. One that’s resilient to stress, able to manage internal conflicts, experiences interconnection with others, and maintains well-being. And, that therefore stimulates broad perspectives for understanding the problems and unpredictable challenges facing CEOs.
Professional sports psychologists often help athletes cope with the intense pressure that comes from competition and overcome problems with focus and motivation. They also work with athletes to improve performance and recover from injuries. But sports psychologists do not just work with elite and professional athletes. They also help regular people learn how to enjoy sports and learn to stick to an exercise program.
Rita is the real deal. First, you have to believe it is going to work... then you go see Rita and she will make your dreams come true. I saw Rita for smoking... I had smoked on and off socially since college. Then I picked up the nasty habit full time because all my co-workers were doing it and I thought it relieved stress. Here I was... a 30 year old woman smoking 2-3 packs a week and buying cigarettes when I really shouldn't have been spending my money that way. Not long after I couldn't breath, was hacking up my lungs, and embarrassed of the smell and reputation of being a "smoker"... I tried to quit and after many unsuccessful attempts I thought about hypnosis. It was almost comical but I was willing to do anything to stop this nasty addiction.