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A procedure for smoking and other addictions--80% success rate

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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. Carol Look graciously details for us her protocol for helping clients with their smoking addictions. Please note the built in procedures for targeting the underlying emotional drivers--very important, in my opinion. She also provides a history of her clients successes to date, indicating 80% effectiveness.

Carol is a proficient hypnotherapist and, quite naturally, injects trance into the process. I rather suspect, however, that her process would be very useful by non-hypnotherapists as well. Trance may add something to the method but I think it has great merit even without trance. In fact, I see no reason to limit this process to smoking. Its underlying procedures should be applicable to any addiction--from alcohol to fingernail biting. Perhaps OCD too.

With a big thanks to Carol.....

Hugs, Gary

By Dr. Carol Look

Dear Gary,

As per your request, I have written down the basics of my quit smoking procedure. I checked my dates, facts and figures and came up with an 80% success rate. Some details about the clients follow the write-up of the procedure.

Over the telephone, I schedule the first of three 90-minute sessions. I tell the client it is not necessary for them to quit smoking on the date of the first session. I have found that this helps them evaluate their readiness and motivation more accurately and gives them the freedom to back out if they're not ready. Their reaction to this is informative as well. (This of course helps me and my success rate since it weeds out those who are truly not serious about quitting yet.) We talk about all of this during the first session.



I take a general history of the client's smoking patterns, making sure to cover the following topics:

-When did you start smoking and why?

-Who else in your family smokes?

-Have you ever quit before?

-What worked and why did you relapse?

-What tells you you're ready now? Why this particular time?

-What do you see as the "upside" to quitting?

-What do you see as the "downside" to quitting? (This is the most important question of all as you will be tapping on all of the "downside" feelings and factors.)


--I ask the client to take out a cigarette and smell it, giving the current desire, craving or urge a SUD's rating. Then we tap to reduce the current craving : "Even though I have this craving to smoke now....."

--I ask the client to say out loud "I'm quitting smoking" and ask them to rate the discomfort or anxiety. Then we tap for that anxiety.

--Tell me about your three favorite times of the day to smoke.

And we tap for each one as follows: Imagine having your cigarette with your morning coffee...How much do you want it as you picture that scene?

Rate it.

"Even though I want to smoke when I drink coffee....."

"Even though I have this urge to smoke after dinner...."

--Then I reverse the test and ask them to picture themselves unable to smoke after dinner, and rate the anxiety as a result of the "deprivation" rather than the desire or urge to smoke.

--Then I ask them what their theory is about the primary feeling that causes them to pick up a cigarette and tap for that..."Even though I smoke when I'm bored..."

--Then I ask them what else is surfacing now? Most of my clients have reported feeling three things:

1. Sadness about the loss of smoking/ triggers other grief

2. Fear and anxiety about having withdrawal symptoms and what to do about them, and

3. Discomfort about losing the "last place" they have to rebel.


I use a short trance including progressive relaxation, and suggestions for confidence, and basic goal-setting.


(Many clients have quit during the week or quit as they left my office last week)

I ask the client to evaluate the week, their challenges and any surprises.

--Did you smoke less, the same, more, or quit?

--How was the anxiety? The loss? (and any other feelings that were dominant during the first session) We tap for all of the feelings coming up.

--Do you want one now? Tap for it.

--Basically, the week gives the client time to experience and notice vulnerabilities for relapse. We often tap as follows:

"Even though I use cigarettes as my reward...

"Even though I use cigarettes to stuff my feelings...

"Even though I use cigarettes to comfort myself... etc.

At this point I ask them to decide if today is their quitting day or if they need another week to experiment. I emphasize that I want them to feel safe when they quit, and armed with enough tools to help them through any cravings or withdrawal symptoms. I end with another short trance and meditation. By the way, after

tapping for the session, they go into trance immediately.


This is a basic clean-up session...What did you notice this week? Any trouble spots?

"Even though I want to smoke when the kids are screaming..."

"Even though I'm afraid to gain weight if I quit..."

"Even though I'll miss my smoking buddies if I quit..."

"Even though I want to smoke when I'm lonely..."

Many times they are reminded of earlier losses that surprise them..."Even though I'm still sad about that break-up..."

I end with a classic quit smoking trance from a scriptbook.


#1. 9/97 successful to date.

#2. 12/98 relapsed after mother entered hospital, became depressed, and was put on prozac by psychiatrist. She began to gain weight and started smoking again.

#3. 11/98 successful to date..has sent many referrals...has brought tapping into her life for other issues on her own.

#4. 02/99 successful to date. sent a friend.

#5. 03/99 successful to date. sent a friend.

#6. 09/99 successful to date.

#7. 06/97 relapsed while drinking. Later entered Alcoholics anonymous.

#8. 01/00 successful to date.

#9. 01/00 successful to date.

#10. 02/00 successful to date.

Love, Carol Look

P.S. I forgot to mention that I ALWAYS do the exact tapping the client is doing for the quit smoking rather than sitting and watching them do it by themselves. And the sequence I use is your original EFT line-up with the addition of the ankle spot and the top of the head spot used in the advanced tapes by one of the acupuncturists. The top of the head seems to be particularly effective.

More articles on Addictions and Substance Abuse


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