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A "One Session Wonder" for quitting smoking

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

Dr. Alexander Lees of Canada leverages off of his client's beliefs in order to provide the necessary "mental set" to stop smoking. Please note how Alex describes his client's sense of pride for winning (a form of perfectionism) and then professionally combines that need with EFT for a successful "one session wonder" on smoking.

Hugs, Gary

P.S. I make a few augmenting comments within Alex's message.


By Dr. Alexander Lees

"John" is 47 years old. He describes himself as an ex-athlete. After ten minutes or so on that subject, he then began to describe himself as a successful businessman. John explained how a severe injury had cut short his athletic career, and, in spite of a poor prognosis, with sheer will and determination, he rehabilitated himself -- another victory.

He then, on borrowed funds, launched a fledgling young enterprise, and again with "sheer guts and determination," created a highly profitable business. By the third year he'd paid back the money borrowed, with interest to "all my buddies that believed in me."

As John began to wind down a bit, I noticed the confidence and bravado also began to fade. John seemed to physically shrink before my eyes, and the booming voice and personality also began to dissipate. Seemingly within a few moments, the vibrant personality was replaced by a middle aged, fidgeting man, bent over, and quiet.

It was at that moment that I found myself wondering just exactly what was the nature of the heinous crime that was about to be confessed.

"You have to understand, rehab was painful and hard," John began in a much quieter manner, "and the doctors said my chances of a reasonable recovery were poor. I've always succeeded at everything I put my mind to, but I have to admit -- and that's what pains me -- I have to admit -- IT won."

By now my brain was really busy, running various scenes of the web John weaved at the start of the interview, and what undisclosed outcome he was about to snare me in. As gently as I could, I probed for further information. "What happened, exactly, during your convalescence, John?"

Squirming, John, still not making eye contact, said, "I'm a smoker."

I'm sure John didn't hear the air rush out of me as I said, "You smoke?"

"Uh, yeah. Some of the guys used to wheel themselves up to the roof garden, and, I eventually joined them. All four of them smoked, and after a while, I did too. I went to quit smoking programs, bought tapes, and tried the cold turkey approach. Each time I tried quitting, I smoked even more. I hate losing, Doc, can you help?" was the plaintive request.

To give myself a moment to recover and adjust, I offered John tea and quickly left the room to get some, tapping as I went down the hall. "Well John," I said upon returning, "seems to me you switched identities, and the athlete's no longer in charge."

NOTE FROM GC: Note the above creative language Alex used as a lead in to his approach. It set the stage perfectly for what is to come.

ALEX CONTINUES: "Huh?" said John. This is always one of those clues I use to know that what I said needs more clarification. So I said, "The strong, determined, and focused part of you (here, we are accessing a resource state), that part that caused you to become a star athlete, that same part that caused you to become a successful businessman, that part -- got lost in a cloud of smoke, as it were. You see, when you began to smoke, you thought that was now who you are, as opposed to something you do."

NOTE FROM GC: Superb reframe!!

ALEX CONTINUES: "Now, like the rest of us I'm sure you flubbed the ball once or twice during your career, did you not?" "Not very often," interjected John, sounding more resourceful. "Exactly!" said I. "When you operate at less than optimal that wasn't the real you! The real you was the one that performed, the real you was the Winner part, and because that's who you are, when you tried to quit smoking and didn't, or couldn't, that didn't fit with who you are."

"You know Doc, you're the first one that understands. Thanks," said John, looking better by the minute.

"Okay John, there's this Coach guy (I'm still matching John) who lives in California. He seems to really understand this "negative part" thing taking over, and messing things up. He has a technique to put the Winner part back in charge. And it's the Winner part that can do this, am I right?" "You got that right!" said John.

NOTE FROM GC: NotIce Alex's clever way of introducing EFT to a newbie. He doesn't call it by name but simply refers to a third party (This Coach Guy who lives in California) and gives "him" credibility.

ALEX CONTINUES: Tapping the PR point, I had John repeat, "Even though the part that felt like a loser, had taken over for a while, my Winner part is stronger, and can dominate." (Remember, this fits John's way of thinking.) Then, "Even though my Winner part was hurt, and rested a while and the smoking started, I am back now and can beat this easily."

We then did a full round with the reminder phrase: "This feeling of losing," and followed this with, "Let the Winner prevail!" This round was loud and forceful. John did the next round by himself, after I suggested the Winner part should do one. His reminder phrase was "The Winning part Wins." After a few rounds with variations, John grinned and said, "Hey Doc, how about I say -- I can kick this butt!" The congruency in John's delivery told me this was "the one."

John was definitely feeling better, and we booked an appointment in two weeks. John cancelled it eight days later. He didn't need it -- he hadn't had a cigarette since the last appointment. Like he said on the phone, "The few times that the urge was strong I tapped on the PR point and repeated 'I can kick this butt.'"

One of the core issues in this case can be summarized in the following way. John's sense of self, a large part of his identity, was based upon performance. Some of the literature states flatly, this is wrong, and needs to be corrected. I prefer leaving these "written in stone" judgments to others. My preference is to notice whether the tendency is useful in some context, or can be an asset in some way.

In John's way of thinking "Winners win, Losers lose," and being unable to "win this battle" made him a failure. Reframing the loser part as a glitch in the system, and assuring him the Winner part could fix it, with a little help from "the Coach," seemed to fit for John.

The delightful outcome, kicking the habit in only one session, also fit John's sense of Self -- and for me, once again, demonstrates the value in joining the client's perception of the world, and adapting EFT to fit.

Dr. Alexander R. Lees

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