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Tiscali Review – Stop Smoking

Tiscali Review – Stop Smoking

We sent 20-a-day smoker Joanne to meet leading hypnotherapist Darren Marks, to see if he could help her stop smoking. Did it work? Find out:

Using hypnosis to stop smoking

I first met with Darren Marks (pictured) a week before my ‘stop day’. Our initial appointment involved working out why I wanted to stop smoking, my most important or significant cigarettes during my day and any questions, fears or anxieties I had before our stop smoking session. Darren reminded me that hypnosis is not something the hypnotherapist does to you but something you approach together. He explained that it’s simply a matter of following instruction’s and enjoying the marvellously relaxing experience.

Despite his reassurances I was still much more nervous the following week when it came to stopping smoking. I’d listened to the free hypnosis CD Darren had given me in our first session a couple of times – but found that I was trying so hard to relax I’d made myself even more tense! Darren soon put me at ease and we began our second (hopefully final) session.

What’s actually involved in the hypnosis bit?

Darren asked me to make myself comfortable on a reclining chair and instructed me in a calm, clear voice to relax my body with every deep breath. At this early point your focus begins to slide about a bit and it’s easy to think ‘There’s no way I’m being hypnotised here’. But at a certain point something changes and suddenly you’re feeling very far away but still in the room and still able to hear Darren. It’s a wholly comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Darren instructed me to find some part of myself that still wanted to smoke. My 15-year-old self came back to me. The detail in which I saw myself was completely bizarre. Darren told me to listen to that part of me that wanted to smoke, but then explain in return why I needed to stop and then form an agreement with myself to finish. Sounds crazy but you can do a lot with your imagination!

That felt like the deepest and most emotional part of the hypnosis session. Darren then gently started reawakening me – bringing me back up to full consciousness with a countdown, constantly reinforcing the stop smoking message as we worked our way to one. My eyes opened and I felt completely relaxed and revived. I vaguely remembered Darren instructing me that the colour green would remind me of life and good health and that every time I saw this colour I would feel proud and happy that I was a non-smoker.

Has it worked?

It’s now been more than a week since my appointment and something is different. It wasn’t as nagging or as hard or as irritating as just stopping using willpower alone. I didn’t feel tearful and when I saw a smoker I didn’t feel envious at all. Plus, it gets easier every day!

Darren suggested in our initial meeting that since I wasn’t paying for the treatment (well – us writers do get a few perks!) that I should consider putting the fee towards charity. So I’ve decided to kill two birds with one stone and start training for the first 10km run in London 2007. Any suggestions as to which race I should run or which charity to raise money for? Let me know. Get fit, raise money for charity. Job done.


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