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Bupropion (marketed as Zyban by the GlaxoSmithKline
pharmaceutical company) and varenicline (marketed as Chantix by the Pfizer pharmaceutical
company) are the only two prescription medications approved by the FDA to help
treat nicotine dependence. Recently, the Washington
Post published an article about a popular smoking cessation medication
which has been available for many years in Europe. According to the article, Tabex
(cytisine) is a relatively inexpensive, non-prescription smoking cessation treatment,
which is considered even more effective than bupropion with fewer side-effects.
Since 1992, according to New Scientist, it has been known
that "Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking." Its
quote was based upon a study cited within the Journal of Applied Psychology, earlier that same year. As a
psychologist and certified hypnotherapist, I continue to advocate the use of
clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation, one of the least expensive and most
effective approaches to becoming smoke-free. Since the American Medical
Association approved the use of clinical hypnosis in the 1950's, hundreds of
thousands of people have found hypnosis to be an effective way to stop smoking,
lose weight, and otherwise improve their lives.
Considering the fact that, according to the National
Institutes of Health, combined therapies are most prudent in addictions
treatment, I recommend combining hypnosis for smoking cessation with Tabex (cytisine)
(after consultation with your family doctor).
Tabex is manufactured by Sopharma (Bulgaria). Additional
information about Tabex can be found on the company’s website: www.tabex.net.
My professional website offers a FREE hypnosis for smoking
cessation download: www.QuitForFree.com.
Before telling a depressed family member or friend that “it’s not that bad” or “just snap out of it,” I hope that you will please remember Robbin Williams. Clinical depression is a real condition with real symptoms that can be debilitating and even deadly. Clinical depression has the potential to
afflict anyone, even a celebrity with great comedic talent. As was apparently
and sadly the case with Mr. Williams, severe and poorly treated depression can
include such extreme feelings of hopelessness and despair that sometimes
suicide can seem like a reasonable action. The following online assessment tool
can help to determine if you or someone you know should seek professional
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Current layoffs and high
unemployment rates have left many people scrambling to find new work or return
to school. Clarifying your interests and abilities is vital to school and
career success. When I was director of a college counseling center, students
found quite helpful a series of psychological assessment tools that were used
with them for career planning and placement decisions. Today, similar tools are
available for free online. Deciding upon a college major or new career
direction seemingly can be a daunting task. The following online resources will
help lessen the burden.
The free Interest Profiler and Personality Test are online
assessments which will help you to determine your potential college major /
career interests, as well as personality type. These simple and short assessments
are easy to answer. Upon completion, they automatically even score themselves.
Using the information from the Personality Test Manual and
D.O.T. can help to narrow one’s search for a college major or career direction.
Use the personality test to check its corresponding manual for career
opportunities which will likely best suit you, based upon your personality
type. Narrow your search further, by cross-referencing this information with
career opportunities best suited to your particular interests, based upon
information from the profiler. Finally, check information within the D.O.T.
about job descriptions, educational requirements, near-future opportunities,
salary ranges, and so forth.
In order to solidify your choice, “What Color is Your
Parachute” and "Getting Straight A's" are a couple of good reads, once one is close to settling upon one’s career and/or college major path. Additionally, state unemployment
offices and vocational rehabilitation agencies may even have money available to
qualified residents, who need assistance in returning to school or with new job
Once your college major
or career path is finally established, it is quite important to address issues
from job interview anxiety and job stress to dealing with procrastination and
exam nerves. Many people find self-hypnosis audio programs helpful in dealing
with the normal anxieties surrounding these issues. Hypnosis is simply an
exercise in deep relaxation and focus. While in this state, people can often
benefit greatly from “post-hypnotic suggestions” to help achieve a desired
One example wherein the
relaxing effects of hypnosis can be very beneficial is with “state dependent
memory” or “state dependent learning.” This psychological notion relates to the
idea that people remember things better when they are in the same emotional
state during recall, as when they first learned the material. This fact
explains how and why many students may often find themselves “freezing” during
an exam. They may know that that they understand the material, yet have
difficulty recalling it, because they are anxious during the test after having
learned the material while relaxed in their dorm.
By utilizing these simple
online career planning and placement tools, the new job seeker or new college
student can finally go from confusion to clarity in choosing their best career
Although celebratory, our upcoming holidays can also be a painful, annual reminder of personal loss. It is now 40 years since my older brother and dad died. Even though I was just a young boy at that time, the memory of the hurt of their untimely deaths continues to afflict my family and me. Over the years, however, the hurt has transformed into more of a benign acceptance of death as a part of life. Much of the healing has been facilitated by simply acknowledging the grief, rather than attempting to avoid or forget it. One can never truly forget.
Too often, in a misguided effort to spare self and others from the hurt of their grief, many grieving families may attempt to avoid acknowledging the empty chair at the holiday dinner table. Unfortunately, this tactic only tends to allow for the grief to be experienced silently to oneself, while family members remain disconnected and filled with a heightened, vague sense of sadness which can linger throughout the remainder of the holiday.
On the contrary, I often encourage my patients to acknowledge the empty chair. Although this approach will undoubtedly elicit feelings of tearful grief, crying is generally a normal and healthy part of the grieving process. In this way, the grief is now an open and shared experience which has the potential to lead to a more positive holiday dinner, despite the loss. Many families may now find themselves even sharing memorable, positive times with respect to the deceased loved one.
Most grief resolves itself, over time. If you or a family member feels the need for assistance in dealing with your loss, your physician can make referrals to local grief support groups and other invaluable resources that can help.
I am a Pennsylvania licensed psychologist, certified hypnotherapist, and EMDR-Level II practitioner in full-time private practice. As a presenter for PESI, I provide national continuing education workshops for mental health and educational professionals. I also host my professional website that helps visitors simplify their overall healthcare, by improving their emotional health with my psychology-related links, e-books, hypnosis and other FREE self-help programs.