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November 2003
My first... hypnotism
my first... hypnotism
My first... hypnotism (this is not a picture of Matt Goodship)
Hypnotherapy doesn't always involve swinging pendulums and people acting like chickens.

Loay El Hady
Loay Hady spoke to one man who wanted to give up smoking.
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My first... hypnotism is the fifth in a series of articles where we ask people about the first time they found themselves or put themselves in awkward situations and retell their experiences - some for laughs some for safety and some just plain random!
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Reactions to hypnotherapy vary greatly - 20% of people are highly susceptible - 20% are nearly impossible to hypnotise - 60% could go either way.

Milling around in that care free 60% Loay El Hady found one recent convert to shed a little light on hypnotherapeutic power.

Matt Goodship is a 27 year old salesman from Nottingham. He went in for a hypnotherapy session at Alan Carrs self help clinic a year ago to try and beat his smoking habit.

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People are normally really sceptical about hypnotherapy, what made you turn to it?
I tried everything else. Patches, an inhaler, giving up cold turkey but they all just made me really irritable and I couldn’t stick it, every time I just went back on the fags. Then one day my mum called and said one of her friends had gone on this course and gave up smoking. She said it had a high success rate. So I figured I'd give it a shot.

Nothing else worked? You must have been smoking pretty heavily…
Yeah, normally about 20 a day but if I was going out it could be 30-40 without me even realising.

Your teeth are pretty white considering...
(Matt shifted uncomfortably in his chair) Cheers.

So you just headed into this class...
I called up and they said it was £150 for a four hour session and that’d be all I needed.

£150, for 4 hours? They must have seen you coming!
I thought it was pretty dear at first but they have a money back guarantee - if you weren’t cured first time you go back again for free and if you still weren’t cured you get your money back.

Suppose that’s not the worst deal ever.
Nah, not at all. If you put it in perspective, £150 is only a months fags so in the long run if it worked, I’d be saving loads of money and you get a key ring too!

Bargain! So what happened on the day?
Went to the session, there was about 15 other people there and we were all sat about talking. We were allowed to smoke as much as we wanted to. We’re all puffing away while they spoke to us, then towards the end they told us to relax - then they started asking us about why we started smoking, most responses were cos we were stressed, and they proceeded to tell us that it was smoking that stressed us out more than what we actually smoked for.

By now some people fell asleep and I heard them snoring - I was awake and really relaxed. They told us that we didn’t need to smoke and that was it. They asked us to leave all our cigarettes with them on the way out and we were done.

Then what?
I didn’t feel like I needed to smoke anymore.

What? That doesn’t make any sense, where was the hypnotherapy?
That was it.

No people with glasses, swinging pendulums saying "repeat after me…"?
No.

Not even a never ending black and white spiral that goes round and round to the tune from the twilight zone that you have to concentrate on til you get really dizzy?
No - none of that.

And that seriously helped you give up?
Swear on my life, haven’t had a cigarette since and that was 13 months ago. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want one the first couple of weeks, but getting me back to the root of why I smoked showed me I didn’t need to.

So I take it you’d recommend this to anyone else thinking giving up smoking.
Definitely - I feel healthier; I've got more energy and at least 150 quid extra in the bank each month.

What does that go on?
Booze! Nah, I'm only kidding, I’m putting most of it away to take my girlfriend away on holiday.

Ahhh… It’s made you healthy and romantic, that’s… nice. One last question, what was Paul Mckenna like?

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Matt tried to convince me that Paul Mckenna had nothing to do with it and he’d never met him. But I figured that was just the sort of thing Mckenna would make his patients say.

I also presumed that having given up smoking so readily under hypnotherapy; Matt was in the highly susceptible 20%. So I chased him in to the car park clicking my fingers saying ‘sleep’ ‘sleep’ just to see if I had the power, but once again television had misinformed me. Matt didn’t get hypnotised but he did get a little horrified and I won’t get a chance to hypnotise him again because of the 100 yard court injunction.

The day had been a real eye opener. Plenty of people could benefit from this treatment and with the money back guarantee you have nothing to lose, so if you smoke or know someone that does get those yellow tipped fingers down to a session for a bit of mumbo jumbo new age hippy therapy that actually works.

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Do you want to give up smoking?
Find out about the help that is available for individuals to quit smoking by giving the Nottingham Actionline a call on 934 8484 or e-mail actionline@bbc.co.uk.

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