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Permanent Habit Control

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Practitioner's Guide to Using Hypnosis and Other Alternative Health Strategies

Brian Grodner, Ph.D., ABPP
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Director: Enneagram Institute of New Mexico
Director: Milton Erickson Institute for Clinical Hypnosis of New Mexico


David B. Reid, Psy.D.
Comprehensive Behavior Health, PLC
In The Zone Consulting, Inc.
Adjunct Clinical Professor, James Madison University

Copyright © 2009
Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it hundreds of times.
-Mark Twain

It has been said that old habits die hard. Everyday you can witness the frustration and powerlessness of an individual surrendering to a hard-to-break habit that seems to control them more than they control it. Whether the persitent behavior involves nail biting, cigarette smoking, overeating, alcohol abuse, drug addiction, or compulsive shopping, the pesky habit claims victory in the end regardless of the resistence or efforts employed to ward it off. And the excuses rendered following defeat are all too familiar and convenient: I can't help it. I don't even know I'm doing it. It's so automatic. I've tried everything! Nothing works!

One of David's clients, Mary, was no different. Her New Year's resolution for the past six years was to quit smoking. One year she made it 10 consecutive days and was on a roll until the day her cat died. After discovering her expired cat, Lola, curled up like a lifeless furry pillow at the foot of her bed, she ran to the kitchen and reinitiated a chain of cigarettes that seemed unbreakable. That is until the day she found herself sitting in front of her television set two years later as Tom Brokow informed his viewers about the latest study indicating women smokers were more likely to die from breast cancer than their non-smoking peers. Staring at the lit cigarette dangling between her fingers, she pondered life as a 35-year-old, married mother of two young children, and suddenly felt all alone. She had buried her mother three days earlier and knew if she didn't kick the habit soon enough, her children would be mourning her loss as she was her mother. Her mother celebrated her 55th birthday one week before succumbing to a massive heart attack that took her life. The doctor delivering the tragic news told Mary it was the cigarettes and morbid obesity that killed her. With vivid images of her mother's casket lowering into a freshly dug grave, Mary pondered that next drag off her cigarette and all it could do to her. Usually, she eagerly anticipated what it would do for her: calm frazzled nerves, thwart a looming panic attack, offer momentary, though false respite. Now she fretted about what it would do to her. She snuffed the cigarette into an ashtray, determined it was the last one she would ever smoke. After all, she didn't want to become a permanent non-smoker the same way her mother did. But Mary was already 75 pounds overweight and the notion of packing on more weight (apparently a given when one quits smoking), was enough to restart the habit she'd quit only seconds before. She reconsidered her plan of tossing the remains of her last pack into the trashcan. It was like saying "goodbye" to an old friend, just like she had when she buried her mother. Now she needed a cigarette. And a cigarette she had.

Like most smokers, Mary tried just about every treatment intervention known to mankind to help her kick the habit. She'd tried all the nicotine replacement options: the patch, the gum, a nasal spray, even an inhaler. One time, she responded to an ad in the Sunday newspaper espousing hypnosis as the way to uproot and resolve the source of her addiction. Having little to lose and a life to live, she paid the non-refundable registration fee and joined a group of other desperate smokers crammed into a claustrophobic classroom of a local elementary school hoping this would do the trick. She sat perfectly still, catatonic-like; her eyes shut off to external distractions of the outside world while a certified hypnotist (more on that later) did his thing offering one hypnotic suggestion after another to her subconscious mind. To the best of her ability, she resisted the urge to resist. Before she knew it, her left hand was rising off her lap, and without conscious intention, levitating in mid-air. She thought about how ridiculous she and everyone else must have looked with one arm frozen in space, then dismissed the concern, realizing if this could actually help her quit smoking, she'd cluck like a chicken if the hypnotist commanded it. Three days later Mary found herself $120 poorer and up to one-and-a-half packs of cigarettes a day.

Permanent Habit Control is the first book of its kind to employ the Enneagram-a profound psychological and spiritual tool for understanding ourselves and offering pragmatic insight to initiate and promote change in our lives-to help people become permanent nonsmokers, permanently fit and trim. In conjunction with hypnosis and Energy Psychology interventions, we will show you how to utilize the Enneagram to provide essential information concerning your client's personality and behavioral traits that are notoriously overlooked or minimized in most weight loss and smoking cessation programs. This book does not require any prior experience or training in clinical hypnosis, the Enneagram, or exposure to the field of Energy Psychology to be of benefit to you. Rather, with the experiential CDs that accompany this book, you will have all the requisite guidance and information needed to learn and confidently apply all of the strategies and interventions described in this book to help your clients initiate positive and permanent habit change in their lives.

If it is indeed true that old habits die hard, it seems the work to undo them would be tedious, time consuming, frustrating and near impossible. As you can likely gather from the title of our book, we don't hold this old adage to be fact. Though unwanted habits may be difficult to modify, they don't have to be. We maintain that by understanding the relationship between a habit and its source of reinforcement, by helping people access and mobilize personal resources that have otherwise remained unavailable to them, or perhaps simply forgotten, habits are not only maleable, but can be replaced by healthier behaviors that enhance the likelihood of permanent habit control.

Since we focus our attention on weight control and smoking cessation throughout this book, we will intersperse examples addressing both issues. Often, whatever is applied to one habit can be successfully applied to the other. Sometimes though, specific interventions may be more relevant for smoking cessation than weight control, and vice versa. For example, nicotine withdrawal is obviously something that is relevant to smoking cessation, while a healthy diet and exercise are essential for weight control.

For some people, when it comes to "alternative" or "unconventional" therapeutic interventions like hypnosis or Emotional Freedom Techniques, they need to see it to believe it. We suggest (and yes, it's only a suggestion) that you set aside any "Doubting Thomas" perspective for the moment and consider that maybe, just maybe, when you believe it, then you'll see it.
The following is an excerpt from the preface of Dr. Grodner's and Dr. Reid's professional treatise on using hypnosis and other strategies to effect Permanent Habit Control for managing unwanted behaviors. This professional reference is published by Springer Publishing Company in New York. Increase the effectiveness of your practice now by ordering a copy of the book on-line.
Free Online Tests
Rotter Locus of Control
Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence
Enneagram Institute Free RHETI

Center for Disease Control's BMI Calculator
Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator
Cumulative Yearly Saving from Smoking Cessation

The Enneagram Institute
Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to the Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types (Bantam Books, 1999)
Discovering Your Personality Type (Houghton Mifflin, 2003)

Energy Psychology
World Center for Emotional Freedom Techniques
The Association for Meridian & Energy Therapies

Clinical Hypnosis
International Association of Hypno-Analysts
The Society of Psychological Hypnosis
International Association of Pure Hypnoanalysts
Hypnosis and Suggestibility (1933) by Clark L. Hull
Taproots: Underlying principles of Milton Erickson’s therapy and hypnosis (Norton, 1987)

Diet and Exercise
Glycemic Index Database
Muscle and Fitness
Proper weight training techniques
The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories (2005) Dr. Rolls

Separate Fact from fiction at SNOPES.COM
Mesmers Glass Harmonica

Copyright 2008 - 2013, David B. Reid, All Rights Reserved
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