Harry’s patches weren’t helping, so he asked his doctor for medication to stop smoking. His doctor was anti zyban so referred Harry to an acupuncturist. When Harry told the acupuncturist that he really wanted to stop smoking but didn’t believe he ever would, she referred him to me.
Harry had been smoking since the age of 12 and is now 36. He smoked roll-ups; 30 to 40 a day; about 250 a week. He was also drinking excessively (70ish units a week) but seemingly wasn’t bothered about that. He had sought medicinal help when his beloved daughter, aged 2½, asked him for a fag.
Harry is a great visualizer (even with his eyes open) and a wonderful hypnotee. In Session 1 (S1) I tried my wrist lift induction without success, but got him with an eye closure routine I have been using so long I don’t remember whether I borrowed it or created it. Anyway, that worked. I did direct suggestion, and took him forward 16 years to taking his daughter to university.
A week later he came for S2. He had smoked 8 roll-ups in the week and was feeling much healthier. He’d stopped coughing. We did some reinforcement work and off he went.
S3, the following week was postponed, because the whole family was down with flu, and happened yesterday instead. I could smell the smoke as he came in. He said he was gutted and had been doing fine up to Wednesday, then was back to his old ways. He described still wanting to smoke and telling himself not to. Well that is too much conscious work for the hypnotism to have been working. For the first time he was wearing short sleeves and I noticed pretty extreme psoriasis on his elbows. Further questioning produced evidence of considerable background stress, so I decided to do some analysis. I explained IMRs to him (including that he must not move anything deliberately) and then took him to the couch.
Harry is, and always has been right handed. His subconscious chose the first finger of his left hand for ‘yes,’ and the middle finger of his right hand for ‘no’. In due course I asked whether the subc was prepared to take over Harry’s capacity to talk if necessary, and got confirmation.
When it came to questions about whether the subc had any reasons for not wanting Harry to stop smoking, it became confused with both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ fingers trying to answer. So I asked him to talk.
“He doesn’t know what to do with himself. I don’t know what that’s all about. He’s right. He’s. What? That’s right Harry. He doesn’t know what to do.”
I asked “you mean, if he stops smoking he doesn’t know what he’s going to do to fill all that time?”
“I think that’s what he’s saying. Oh. I’m sorry Barry. That’s me talking.”
“That’s ok, Harry,” I said. “You say what you want to say. Your subconscious can say what it wants to say. And I’ll do my best to understand what it’s all about.”
At this point there were at least three, and arguably four, active participants in the exchange; me, Harry (conscious), his subconscious, and his IMR fingers (which were busy all the way through and are the possible 4th party).
It became apparent that his subc knew stuff that Harry did not want to know. In fact one thing the subc said indicated that Harry had determined not to know this stuff until he was 39. Specifically. And it was “all crap”.
I decided to do an Initial Sensitizing Event Regression (ISER) just to see if there was anything to be found. I asked his subc to bundle all the bad feelings up into one lump and give it a name. Instead of telling me, it told Harry, and Harry said “worrybag”.
I asked the subc to go back to Harry’s 25th birthday “and when you get there, say ‘yes’”.
Harry said “I can’t remember it”.
“It doesn’t matter. I really don’t want you to remember it. Your subconscious will do this. You can just lie back and watch.”
“But I can’t remember my 25th birthday. I’m trying to picture it.”
“Harry. Open you eyes. You see your left hand? See that finger? Your subconscious and I are doing just fine.” His IMR Yes finger was showing it had the 25th birthday.
“Oh?” Harry lay back on the couch and closed his eyes.
“So you’re 25, right?” IMR Yes.
“Do you have ‘worrybag’?” IMR Yes.
“Go back to your 20th birthday and when you get there say ‘yes’.” IMR Yes.
“Do you have ‘worrybag’?” IMR Yes.
“Go back to your 5th birthday and when you get there say ‘yes’.” IMR Yes. By this stage the IMRs, which had always been pretty quick, were instant.
“Do you have ‘worrybag’?” IMR No.
“Go to your 15th birth…” IMR Yes.
“Do you …” IMR Yes.
“I’m getting upset.” This was Harry, consciously.
“OK Harry, just try to relax,” I said, looking at his face. Then returning my attention to his hands I said “You’re 10”. IMR Yes.
“Worryb…” IMR No.
“14” IMR Yes.
“Wor..” IMR YESSSSSSSS.
“I don’t like this Barry. I’m getting really …”
“13” IMR Yes
“Worrybag?” IMRs Yes and No.
“I’ve got to stop. I’m sorry. I’m coming out.”
“That’s ok, Harry. Just rest and relax. Rest and relax, and I’ll bring you up properly.”
“No. It’s all right. I’m out. Sorry.”
“Harry. Two things. First you have nothing to apologise for. Second, you’re still deeply hypnotised.”
“No. No. I’m wide awake.”
“Ok. You’re wide awake. But look at your left hand. He did. So did I. “Still there?” His first finger shot up with a very definite IMR Yes.
I asked Harry to lie back and did some relaxotherapy on his conscious mind, even including a ten to zero countdown. I also explained that sometimes we have to take medicine that isn’t necessarily very pleasant in we want to get better. When he was nicely settled I returned my attention to his hand. “Shall we carry on?” IMR Yes.
“I’m not sure whether this all begins at 13 or 14. Go to 13.” IMR Yes.
“Worrybag?” IMR No.
“So it all begins at 14?” IMR Yes.
“Do you know what it is? IMRs Yes and No.
Now I don’t know how to describe this adequately but, sometimes when both fingers go, it looks to me like uncertainty about the facts. Other times it looks like uncertainty about whether the subconscious wants to pass on the information. When that happens it is sometimes the case that the subconscious doesn’t want me to know, and sometimes it doesn’t want its host to know. This seemed like hesitancy about releasing the information.
“Do you know but don’t want to say?” IMR Yes.
“Do you not want to tell me?”
“I don’t want to know.” This was conscious Harry.
“You don’t have to know, Harry. We can do this all in your subconscious.” Returning my attention to his subc, I asked “If I promise not to pass the information on, are you willing to tell me.”
“No. It’s ok.” Harry consciously, again. “He’s told me.”
“Oh. Right. Well. Care to share it with me?”
“When I was 14 I was bullied. Shit. I didn’t know.” Now this next bit is hard to explain. As he told me, he slipped from conscious to subconscious. He moved from talking in the past to the present tense and there was a slight change of voice that had characterised the other subc vocalisations. The emotional content of the subc’s relating was significantly rawer, too. The bullying happens because he is smaller, funnier and cleverer, though he comes from the same housing estate. It is perpetrated by a gang leader called Razz, and lasts for about six months. Harry overcomes it, and stops the kickings, by becoming harder than them. That means smoking more, drinking more and shagging more. His whole life for the next 22 years is an exercise in putting one over on Razz. Everything he does he does to prove a point to Razz.
“You know,” I said to Harry when his subc had finished. “You need to forgive Razz and get him out of your system. You thought you’d finished with him 22 years ago but you’ve been carrying his poison around in you ever since.”
Harry was worried that if he forgave Razz he might lose all the drive and motivation that had led him to create his own, successful, £5m T/O business. I pointed out that, in future, his drive would come from creating a positive future for his wife and children, rather than the negative urge to shaft Razz. He really liked that idea.
We agreed to do Forgive and Release (FaR) and I started reciting the words I wanted him to say.
“Do I have to believe this?”
“No, Harry. You just have to say it. Your subconscious will take care of the rest.” And, as if to prove a point, his subc gave me a strong IMR Yes.
As we went through the FaR ritual, as Harry said the words and his subconscious embraced them, Harry’s face lit up. He had tears streaming down his face, but he was beaming. I gave him a tissue, but he declined it because they were “tears of joy”.
He told me that he could see Razz and his gang all going away from him, “off up Mill Hall Lane,” wherever that might be.
When the FaR was over I had his subc go check if there were any remaining unresolved issues and, eventually, I got an IMR Yes. Harry said he had no idea what that was. We agreed we’d sort that out next week. Then his subc tossed it up for him and he said “I know now. He’s told me.” It’s to do with ex-wives, and we shall deal with it next week.
I drove him down into a deep, deep trance and woke him up properly. Once he’d finished stretching and yawning he said “You were right. I wasn’t awake before. But when you were counting me up just then I couldn’t wait to come out because I wanted to feel how fantastic I knew I was going to feel.”