What Happened When Henry Went To A Hypnotist About Quitting Smoking

Henry is a 30-year-old office assistant, who had been smoking cigarettes since he was around 18 years old. He was repeatedly reaching for the familiar pack of cigarettes, knowing full well the possible damage that smoking cigarettes could be doing to his lungs. Everything had started to mount up in his mind, and things were making him feel that he was not coping very well with everything like he used to be able to. It had got to the point that after smoking yet another cigarette, he always felt relaxed once again. However, just recently he had also been researching the various possible methods that were able to help people to quit smoking.

It was on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon one week-end in early Spring, when Henry was driving aimlessly around the town where he lived, and he found he was worrying about the cough that had recently started bothering him. “Hm’mm”, he said to himself out loud, “I wonder if it’s anything to do with the fact I’m smoking 15 cigarettes a day?”. He parked in a tree-lined layby and mulled things over in his head.

It seemed that at least after every meal he was smoking a couple of cigarettes every single day, and many more at other times. Late in the evening he would smoke about four in a row because he knew that he would sleep well when he had done that. They didn’t allow smoking in his office, so at break times he would slope out and quietly have a ciggie round the corner somewhere nearby.

He then remembered that he had read a story in a local newspaper about how a chap had been to see a hypnotist who had cured them of their compulsive smoking habit. “That’s it! That’s what I’m going to do!”, Henry thought, brimming with great excitement. “I’m going to make an appointment right now, to see that wonderful sounding lady hypnotist called Rosemary who lives in that up-market apartment block on the corner of Brook Street”. He dug his mobile phone out of his back pocket, and found her number. It was three o’clock, and Henry didn’t know whether Rosemary would be open at that time of day. As luck would have it, he struck lucky and Rosemary answered the phone herself.

“Oh, hi”, Henry said, trying to sort of sound more confident than he felt, “I’m sorry to bother you on a Saturday, but I really need help to quit smoking. I’ve read that hypnosis can be extremely useful in helping people with this awful habit, and I am currently smoking about 15 cigarettes a day”, he garbled quickly because he felt very nervous all of a sudden. Rosemary realized that he was feeling awkward, and she said, very helpfully, “Yes of course, in my career as a hypnotist I’ve successfully managed to help several people quit smoking. I can see you at 12 noon next week-end, on Saturday?”. “Oh thank you”, Henry answered, and he found that he was really looking forward to seeing this hypnotist called Rosemary.

That Saturday, Henry arrived at Rosemary’s apartment. She showed him into her office, made him a cup of tea, and gave him some instructions. She said, “Hang your jacket here”, and she pointed to a hook on the back of the door. “Sit in this armchair here”, and she pointed to the armchair. “Make sure you’re sitting comfortably. I’m going to talk with you for a bit”. She handed him the client intake form asking for his personal details and also asking a few medical history questions. “Now, complete this form”. Then Rosemary asked, “How are you feeling right now, Henry?”. “I’m feeling really anxious”, he replied, “I don’t know if the hypnosis is going to work, or not”. “Well”, Rosemary said, “Hypnosis is very relaxing and you will find that after the session you will not need another cigarette, ever again.

“Now, Henry, what do you want?” Rosemary asked in a kindly way. Henry said, “I want to be rid of this dreadful urge to smoke yet another cigarette. I’m getting so anxious and jumpy a lot of the time, and I’m wanting a cigarette every five minutes. I don’t want to feel this anxiety saying that I must take another puff of that lovely cigarette you’re holding because it will make you feel better instantly”. And Rosemary said, “Oh yes, I know. But what do you want to feel?”. Henry said, “I don’t want to feel this anxiety”. Rosemary said, “Well, you’ve made it very clear that anxiety is what you don’t want to feel. But what do you want to feel?”. (This is where, if you go and see a hypnotist about quitting smoking, you have to be really clear on letting the hypnotist know what it is you actually want). So Henry said, “I want to be completely free of all this anxiety about everything, and more than anything else, I want to quit smoking once and for all”.

Then Rosemary began the actual hypnosis session. Henry knew he was going to have an hour of hypnosis, but he wasn’t quite sure what to expect although he assumed it would be very relaxing. At the very beginning, she instructed him to breathe deeply for a couple of times, and then close his eyes. She talked to him very soothingly for a while, and then gave him a few more instructions to follow. After a few minutes, when she knew that he was in a very deep hypnotic state, she also knew that it was the point where she was able to communicate directly with his subconscious mind.

Henry became gradually aware of some quiet music playing in the background. She addressed his subconscious mind as though she was talking to a very intelligent 10 year old child, and gave him instructions that he would follow regarding his wish to completely quit smoking. She said things like, “Starting right now, Henry will be a non-smoker. This will be healthier for him. You will follow all my instructions, because you have Henry’s best interests in mind”.

When Rosemary had finished the hypnosis session, she gradually wakened Henry to full waking consciousness, and when he opened his eyes she asked him how it went for him. Henry simply said, “That was amazing. Thank you very, very much, Rosemary”. At that point, he silently made a vow to himself not to smoke any more cigarettes, at all. He was also conscious of a feeling of peace, of ease and comfort, and an overwhelming sense of peace of mind.

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