Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation 48% Effective?

Within a 2006 study (Jorenby et al., 2006) on the treatment of nicotine dependence demonstrated that although its initial efficacy is 44 percent at twelve weeks, varenicline (Chantix) was only 22.5 percent effective after nine months. Elkins and Rajab (2004) demonstrated a 48 percent quit-rate upon a twelve month follow-up with participants within their hypnosis for smoking cessation study. According to New Scientist (1992), “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. These findings appear to hold true, even within today's healthcare environment that seemingly demonstrates an overemphasis upon pharmacological approaches.

If you or someone you know wants to quit smoking, I recommend my FREE resources at

Elkins, G. R., & Rajab, M. H. (2004). Clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation: Preliminary results of a three-session intervention. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 52(1), 73-81.

Jorenby, D. E., Hays, T., Rigotti, N. A., Azoulay, S., & Watsky, E. J. (2006). Efficacy of varenicline, an alpha 4 beta 2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist, vs placebo or sustained-release bupropion for smoking cessation . The Journal of the American Medical Association, 296(1).

Matthews, R. (1992, October 31). How one in five have given up smoking. New Scientist, 136(1845), 6.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chinese Finger Trap Self-Help: How Acceptance of Powerlessness Leads to Freedom and Love

Over the years, I have come to understand that acceptance is a powerful human characteristic, which can be curative for a wide range of human challenges, including issues related to recovery. According to Alcoholics Anonymous, "Unless I accept life on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

Consider for a moment the childhood brainteaser of the “Chinese finger trap.” This interwoven tube of heavy paper locks its user’s fingers in place when one finger from each hand is inserted into each end of the channel. Subsequent attempts to remove one’s fingers prove fruitless.

The secret to freeing oneself from the Chinese finger trap is to accept that one is powerless over it. Although this mindset may initially seem self-defeating, it is actually a lesson in “living life on life’s terms.” Controlling the Chinese finger trap is not the goal. As one accepts the powerlessness, one can finally focus upon the true goal of freedom. This renewed focus allows one to let things happen and do things consistent with freedom, in order to solve the dilemma. Instead of simultaneously pulling one’s fingers in opposite directions, which creates more of a stuck sensation, one can push one finger into the trap, which actually helps to loosen its grip.

I often use this above analogy within my private-practice, in order to illustrate to my clients the power of acceptance in dealing with their presenting concerns. In real life, it tends to be easier to accept the unacceptable, if one can first find something within the situation about which to be grateful. Therefore, gratitude helps to lead to acceptance. Acceptance can help to lead to forgiveness. Forgiveness can help to lead to the quintessential experience of love.

In light of the above, consider the following example. A teenager totals his new car. He is angry with himself for not having made a complete stop at the stop sign. He struggles with guilt and upset for several weeks, because he does not accept the fact that he acted so foolishly. Eventually, he begins to appreciate the fact that nobody was injured and his insurance has paid for his automobile replacement. Now, he can begin to accept the fact that accidents happen and he can learn from the experience. Finally, he can begin to forgive himself and feel appropriate self-love, despite his human condition.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Is Positive Psychology the Basis of the Law of Attraction?

The term "positive psychology" first appeared in the last chapter of Dr. Abraham Maslow's 1954 book Motivation and Personality, the title of which was, "Toward a Positive Psychology." In this chapter, Maslow maintains that “psychology itself does not have an accurate understanding of human potential, and that the field tends not to raise the proverbial bar high enough with respect to maximum attainment."

Whereas the contemporary disease model of psychology is often considered overly preoccupied with pathology, positive psychology incorporates its key elements of humanism, by supporting the notion that people are predisposed to seek ongoing growth and higher improvement.

More recently, Drs. Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi define positive psychology as the study of how human beings excel in the face of hardship. Seligman characterizes the six human virtues of wisdom and knowledge, courage, love and humanity, justice, temperance, and spirituality and transcendence. He claims to have arrived at this list of basic virtues, by distilling it from a cross-section of theological, sociological, and philosophical teachings from across the centuries of recorded civilized human history.

I have come to understand modern "positive psychology" as akin to a “neo-humanistic” approach to the understanding of human behavior. The early influences of humanism can also be seen within popularized versions of its ideology as found in the mid-20th century writings of its time, evidenced by Robert Collier's 1926 book, "The Secret of the Ages" and Napoleon Hill's 1937 book, "Think and Grow Rich." These best-selling books expounded upon the notion that positive ideas and thoughts have healthy transformative power.

Modern examples of these same philosophical influences can even be seen within the popularized writings of Norman Vincent Peale's 1952 "The Power of Positive Thinking," Wayne Dyer's 2004"The Power of Intention," and Rhonda Byrne's 2006 book, "The Secret."

The basic tenant within these modern writings seems to reflect aspects of many of the concepts related to positive psychology, partly suggesting that the things upon which we focus tend to become our reality, as we allow things to happen and do things, consistent with this structured focus, in order to manifest our desires. I do believe that one of the most vital benefits of positive psychology is its ability to offer its heartfelt reminder of the true nature of limitless possibilities and the power of human spirit and perseverance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


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Sunday, March 8, 2009

"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains,
and we never even know we have the key."
-- Lyrics by The Eagles (1974)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

Festering Emotional Wounds: How Disturbing Memories Can Remain Bothersome For Years

Imagine being about 6 years-old, when you ask a friend to play with his or her toy. He or she says, "No." As an adult, you know that if this scenario had happened in your life, it happened because 6 year-olds are basically selfish and do not know how to share. As a 6 year-old, however, you would not have known that that was the real reason. As a way of making sense of the senseless, you might have adopted a negative belief about yourself, as it related to the situation. In other words, you may have suggested to yourself that "I am not good enough." Or, "I am not likeable."

This interpretation may have meant little, except when later, a parent says, "No" and a teacher says, "No." Now, one may begin to use this random life experience, in order to support this erroneous set of beliefs that "I am not good enough" or "I am not likeable."

Within adolescence, a teacher may say, "No" or a date may say, "No." Now, as one enters early adulthood, one may not simply think these things to be true, but one may begin to feel them to be true. The beliefs that we feel to be true tend to guide our actions. If we feel it to be true that "I am not worthy" and "I am not likeable," we are probably not heading in a direction that is consistent with our desires.

The things that we feel to be true tend to guide our actions, as we allow things to happen and do things, consistent with the beliefs. Although these beliefs seem to offer an explanation, however, their assertions are not true. Yet, it may be initially difficult to believe otherwise, since these initial beliefs seem to offer a plausible explanation.

The truth, based upon the wealth of one's other life experiences, however, insists that despite what happened, "I am worthy" and "I am likeable." In great part, therapy is a way to resolve disturbing memories, in order to release the erroneous beliefs. As a result, one is finally able to begin to embrace the truth that "I am worthy" and "I am likeable." These new, healthier perspectives begin to guide one into the more positive direction of one's intentions.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"You have been taught
that there is something wrong with you
and that you are imperfect,
but there isn't and you're not."

--Cheri Huber

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hypnosis as the New OTC?

Although it is vital to follow the treatment advice of one's physician, it never ceases to amaze me as to the degree to which American mindset seems indoctrinated by the notion that one must generally take a prescription or OTC pill, in order to feel better. Recent news headlines even reaffirmed this notion, by suggesting that during these financially challenging times, some people are even beginning to favor less expensive OTC herbal alternatives to their prescription medications for sleep.

Nonetheless, I believe that effective non-pill alternatives are often not given the respect that they deserve. Even if one's doctor concurs with its safety and efficacy, I doubt that non-pill remedies are typically considered. I am primarily referring to the well-researched intervention of clinical hypnosis. Unfortunately, its misconceptions and stigmas tend to relegate hypnosis to an often overlooked option.

As a psychologist, I do understand that clinical hypnosis is actually considered one of the most effective ways to address a wide variety of concerns, including stress management, many forms of pain management, sleeplessness, and smoking cessation. Hypnosis is a phenomenon that is basically an exercise in deep meditation. Once in a deeply relaxed state, one's mind develops a natural, heightened focus. It is this fixed concentration that affords one the unique ability to benefit from "post-hypnotic suggestions." These suggestions are analogous to a seed being planted within one's subconscious mind. Assuming the suggestions are consistent with desired treatment goals, the hypnotized person is likely to experience a positive benefit from the intervention.

Nowadays, instead of "Over-The-Counter," when indicated, many could likely benefit from professional self-hypnosis downloaded for free, "Over-The-Internet." Beforehand, it is important to ensure that one's physician approves the switch and has determined that the treated symptoms are not signs of more serious medical conditions.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ONLY eBook Version (no longer FREE) of Allen Carr's Best-Selling Self-Help Book!

In order to continue to make Allen Carr's FREE eBooks available, I had to be in contact with both the Allen Carr Foundation (England) and the attorneys for (USA). In 2008, I was actually notified by the Allen Carr Foundation with respect to possible copyright infringement. After a brief hiatus (Until the matter was resolved, the Allen Carr eBooks were temporarily removed from the Wowio site.) the Carr books returned. Wowio is an advertiser supported site, wherein today it remains the only source where readers can legally access high-quality copyrighted eBooks from leading publishers for free. Discover Allen Carr and authors of other popular self-help eBooks, by clicking below!

Please note that as of the beginning of 2010, the only Carr eBook that is still available for FREE download is highlighted below. You can also visit my website for a link to the only eBook version of his best-selling "The Easyway to Stop Smoking" available for sale.

(About $12 USD)

Only eBook copy of Allen Carr's best-selling book, "Easyway to Stop Smoking" -
The author was an ex-smoker who explains how to overcome the psychological aspects of the nicotine dependence with such amazing clarity and insight that the physical withdrawal becomes much more bearable.
A must read for all smokers struggling to quit!
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According to a 2006 clinical study published in the Addictive Behaviours journal, Allen Carr's Easyway method demonstrated a 12-month quit smoking success rate of 53.3% - 75.8%. Read more HERE!

Download a FREE copy of Allen Carr's
Scandal: "This is the Book that the Government,
the Pharmaceuticals,
the Tobacco Companies, the NHS, QUIT
and ASH Don't Want You to Read"
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For more FREE, popular self-help eBooks click HERE!