It is but one of the tools in a crowded supply closet that those who try to quit might reach for. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a series of Clinical Practice Guidelines in 2008 that outlined a number of effective practices for smoking cessation. Among them, they found, were individual counseling and the use of medications like the nicotine patch and nicotine gum. Even better was combining the two. The HHS doesn’t explicitly endorse or condemn hypnotherapy.
Although there are different techniques, clinical hypnotherapy is generally performed in a calm, therapeutic environment. The therapist will guide you into a relaxed, focused state and ask you to think about experiences and situations in positive ways that can help you change the way you think and behave. Unlike some dramatic portrayals of hypnosis in movies, books, or on stage, you will not be unconscious, asleep, or in any way out of control of yourself. You will hear the therapist’s suggestions, but it is up to you to decide whether or not to act on them.
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