Why a credit card or debit card number can confirm your commitment to change?
People often ask why as a hypnotherapy, weight loss and stop smoking clinic do we insist all clients give us a credit or debit card number before we give them an appointment. Firstly its due to rude and silly people making an appointment then not showing up in the clinic. Therefore wasting our time and meaning that someone else who was serious about stopping smoking or losing weight, could not get to see the hypnotherapist. The issue is so serious to us that from 2013 we insisted everyone who calls the hypnotherapy clinic and who wants to see the hypnotherapist just gives a card number and exp date. We don’t charge the card unless the person does not show up or does not cancel their appointment 24 hours beforehand.
Sadly, this has been forced upon us due to people ringing up, booking into the clinic and then not bothering to show up. Therefore when we ask for the card number we sometimes weed out those who are not serious by getting a remark from them such as “oh the card is in my bag, I will ring you back” but they never do. “Or I don’t have a card” which is very unlikely in this day and age. Those people who are serious about change just give the card number, book in for their session and make the changes they need to their lives with our help.
As therapists and people working within the field of psychology, hypnosis and hypnotherapy our aim is to help people but we are still in the business of running a company and sadly have to have this rule to ensure that you the serious person, who wants to stop smoking, lose weight or overcome a phobia can get into see us and that we can help you to become a better person
Stand Up to Big Tobacco and charge €50 a packet
By Jason O’Callaghan
Have you ever talked to someone about dying?
Have you ever seen the tears in their eyes when they find out that at 44 they have cancer from smoking and were about to have to leave their 21 year old son alone in the world?
Have you ever talked to a 48 year old lady with emphysema, who is coming to terms with the fact she will never be able to breath correctly again?
Have you ever talked to a 52 year old man, dying of cancer and still smoking outside a cancer support group because his doctor has told him the stress of giving up at his stage would not help his medical situation?
Well I have.
The Irish Government signed legislation this month to introduce plain packaging. The big Tobacco companies then threatening to sue to Irish Government for trying to protect its own citizens.
We need to stand up to the bully boy tactics of an industry which kills over 5,000 Irish people a year, legally.
You see my job is stop people slowly killing themselves by smoking and helping them to leave their addiction behind. Quitting this drug can be as hard as quitting cocaine or heroin.
Some people would say that nicotine might seem rather tame in comparison to other drugs. Nevertheless, nicotine is an addictive drug and it accounts for more deaths in Ireland each year then these so called hard drugs.
Yet, it is available in every shop and is totally legal. Despite the fact we know it will kill 50% of the people who use it.
One third of the adult population of the world smoke, so you can see why big tobacco are trying to frighten our Government into rolling back on plain packaging. Big tobacco claim it makes no difference to people taking up the habit or quitting?
Then why are they against it? You see in Australia, they brought in plain packing two years ago and they have already seen results and a reduction in new smokers and those quitting.
How Addiction Works
The science behind this addiction is that nicotine stimulates acetylcholine receptors, it also increases the activity of dopaminergic neurons of the mesolimbic system, which contain these receptors and causes dopamine to be released in the necleus accumbens. Dopamine is the chemical that gives us a high or makes us happy. However, most smokers will admit the first cigarette of the morning gives them the most pleasure. After a night of abstinence, the receptors have gone back into their closed state making them more sensitive to give that good feeling during that first one of the day. However, after that most smokers just do it out of habit and get very little or no pleasure from it.
Get them Early
In my experience nearly all smokers start before the age of 20, in some cases as young as 12 in rare cases as old as 25. Our young brain is a risk taker and tends to have a sense of immortality, allowing younger people to take higher risks then they would as they get older. Hence why we see more unprotected sexual activity, dangerous driving, misuse of alcohol plus the experimentation of new experiences such as smoking and drug taking.
If we can reduce the number of young people picking up the habit in the first place, we need to try to. Plain packaging is the first step to doing this as will some young people associating themselves with certain “cool” brands in relation to smoking. Think of the Marlboro man for starters.
By the time most become addicts they don’t even want to smoke anymore, everything in their lives have changed but now they are addicted. Reports suggest that 70% of smokers want to quit. So what happens when they do?
There are countless methods of quitting for good. First of all you have to want to quit. Secondly, you will need some will power. All therapies (pills, patches, books ect) are “therapies” to help you quit. I personally use clinical hypnotherapy but its not a magic wand. No therapy in the world will work if you are not willing.
Once you quit your body and brain will start to change.
After a few days the nicotine leaves the system, after a few weeks the receptors in the brain return to normal, some will experience withdrawal symptoms including anxiety
restlessness, insomnia and inability to concentrate but they will fade in time. Some people experience no withdrawal symptoms at all.
The biggest mistake I see with smokers is that they think they can have one cigarette after they have quit, that could be a week or a year after. But, you can’t “because your an addict”. Sadly, big tobacco knows that and are waiting for you in the long grass. So you options are simply if you are a smoker. You can keep smoking and I guarantee you it will end badly. Or you can quit and I guarantee you, your life will be much better, with much more to look forward to.
As for plain packaging. Bring it on Minister and while your at it raise the price of fags to €50 a packet and see how many really want to smoke then?
Jason O’Callaghan is a Psychologist/Clinical Hypnotherapist at The D4 Clinic www.D4Clinic.ie
Like most psychologists, I have seen a shocking rise in people from all classes and backgrounds with drinking issues. One group that seems to be seeing a massive rise is ladies from the middle class. These middle-earning professionals are starting to seek more and more help over their relationship with alcohol. The Chablis and Prosecco class of drinkers seems to have woken up to the effect drinking is having on their lives and families.
Or maybe it’s the awareness campaigns for mental health and alcohol-related issues that are making people look at their lives and drinking a little closer? Maybe it’s just time for some people to take a long, hard look in the mirror and realise they don’t know the person looking back at them? Especially when they are drunk?
It used to be the case you would see (or smell) a client who you knew had an issue with alcohol, but recently the middle classes are flocking to clinics like mine to talk about their drinking and the worries they have about it. For one lady, it was the glass of wine after dinner that turned into a bottle of wine a night to help her sleep. For another, it was bi-monthly night out that turned her into a completely different person. Or in the extreme, the guy who was about to lose his wife and young family when the few cans at home during the match became a long day’s journey into night.
So how we do look at our drinking and ask that question “do I have a problem?” Alcohol is a drug that tends to make those who are happy happier, while for those who are down, it tends to drive them towards depression and anxiety. We know that those who are alcohol-dependent do suffer more from depression and that heavy drinkers have a much higher risk of suicide or attempted suicide than others. So understanding alcohol and your relationship with it is very important for your health, both physical and mental.
Within the field of psychology, one theory is that those who have issues with alcohol or drugs use them as defence mechanisms to cope with painful feelings. It helps them to forget their past or even their present situation but when they sober up the issues are still there. When it comes to drinking, alcohol is like other addictive drugs and increases the activity of the dopminergic neurons of the mesolimbic system. It dampens the nervous system by increasing the activity of GABA, the brain’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter and it decreases the activity of glutamate, a major excitatory neurotransmitter. In layman’s terms, this means that you feel less inhibited and euphoric.
However, the more you drink, the brain’s “control centres” become increasingly disrupted. Doing simple things such as thinking normally and physical co-ordination become disorganised. This leads to risky behaviour in what is called “Alcohol Myopia”. This is a shortsightedness in thinking caused by the inability to pay attention as much as you would when you are sober. This often leads to those who have alcohol in their system taking risks such as those related to sexual behaviour, drink-driving and so on.
We have seen a massive rise in people who are drunk even before they leave the house. For some, it’s socially acceptable to have a bottle of wine before they even leave the house. For others, it’s a financial issue. With supermarkets selling below-cost alcohol and the high prices in bars and clubs, drinking at home with no idea of measures or portions has become the norm.
The thinking behind this seems to be to try to get drunk before going out to save money.
There is one issue with this theory. Once you go out, the alcohol from home kicks in and then with your systems not working at full tilt, you keeping drinking. You want to keep the high and want to take more risks to keep the drunk feeling until, as expected, like a roller-coaster, it all comes to a crashing stop when the combined alcohol from a whole evening hits the brain and body at the same time.
We do have a problem in Ireland with our relationship with alcohol and the issue is getting bigger and spreading. It’s time for all of us to take a look at our relationship with alcohol and maybe 2015 is the year for people to finally call time.
Jason O’Callaghan is a psychologist registered with The Psychology Society of Ireland and lead therapist in The D4 Clinic. www.D4Clinic.ie
Irish Independent article Click here to read article in Irish Independent
So what is hypnotherapy or hypnosis?
Hypnosis as say does not exist, I’m sure it had to read that from a hypnotherapist, what does is exist is the power of suggestion. You see hypnosis or hypnotherapy is just the Greek work for sleep (hypno)but when we say sleep in the hypnosis sense of the word we do not mean sleep like you do at night. We mean a heightened sense of awareness.
Hypnosis has been around for a long time under a lot of different names, once is mesmerism, another word for hypnosis is trance. The Egyptians and the Greeks practiced trance in sleep temples. You would be surprised to know that Freud, the father of modern psychology was a hypnotist, hence the Freudian couch.
In fact you are hypnotists countless times a day, you just don’t call it hypnosis. Have you ever said to someone “I was a million miles away” or “ I was in a world of my own”? Then you were under hypnosis, even if it was just for a few seconds or minutes.
Have you ever heard someone in sport say, “I was in the zone”? Same thing. You are under hypnosis when watching TV or watching a movie, when you miss the exit on the motorway because your mind was in a different place?
Even if you watch someone on stage during a comedy hypnosis show, he has to hear what is going on, or how would he know what to do?
So hypnosis and hypnotherapy are the most misunderstood treatments in the world, they can help because you are experiencing these same feelings every day. All the hypnotherapist does is allow you to feel them a lot stronger then normal and he then targets these feelings to help you change.
That may be to stop smoking or lose weight, overcome a fear of flying or reduce stress or anxiety. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy have no side effects and are getting more and more scientific research done into how well they can help you to hit your personal goals.