How a Psychologist Can Help with Smoking Cessation

smoking cessation New York, NY

Looking for information on smoking cessation? Quitting smoking is an undertaking that, according to Psychology Today, is just as, if not more difficult than, quitting heroin. There are thousands of books, articles and more media written about the subject of smoking cessation.

Ways psychologists can help with smoking cessation

There is also an equal amount of misinformation about the topic. If you are thinking about quitting smoking “cold turkey” or by other means, here is some valuable info about how a psychologist might be able to help.

Psychologists are trained to motivate their clients

Peer-reviewed research in the open journal PLoS One found that the average smoking cessation success rate increased to above 65.5% in patients whose motivation to quit was rated as at least moderate. These patients initially sought psychological care for issues like depression and anxiety, both of which severely impact a person’s motivation for change. A psychologist treating these underlying symptoms helps to mentally prepare someone for smoking cessation.

According to Psychology Today, patients who saw the greatest success in smoking cessation were those who were already initially open to the possibility that they should stop smoking. In fact, part of the treatment process for smoking cessation includes an affirmation that it is both normal to want to smoke, and to want to stop smoking. Recognizing a patient’s already existing desire to quit is an important piece in any treatment plan.

Psychologists can provide alternate coping mechanisms

According to Psychology Today, smoking is very often used as a coping mechanism for life’s stresses. Nicotine, a stimulant, can produce perceived effects of mental clarity, relaxation, and may be viewed as a social activity.

Psychological help for smoking cessation typically also includes a discussion about coping mechanisms. Smoking can be one of these, but a psychologist’s focus during this discussion will be on finding alternatives that are just as relaxing and effective but are healthier for a person’s body and mind. A psychologist’s input on appropriate and healthy coping mechanisms often creates improvements in a person’s quality of life in the long run.

Psychologists can help treat the stress associated with withdrawal

Nicotine withdrawal produces some very undesirable symptoms, including increased anxiety and irritability. The absence of a stimulant might also produce feelings of drowsiness. Because of this, many patients who begin to cease smoking often relapse very quickly within a short time period to alleviate these symptoms. This is where psychological help can step in to create better outcomes.

Psychologists are professionals at stress management

Since smoking cessation produces its own stresses, patients may be tempted to relapse. However, a psychologist is a skilled expert when it comes to managing stress. The stress that may have brought a person into their office, either from an underlying condition or from smoking itself, is the same kind of stress that smoking cessation can create. A psychologist can substantially improve smoking cessation outcomes by managing the stresses that cessation can cause in the same way they treat any other chronic stress.

Want to get help with smoking cessation?

If you are ready to make a big change and quit smoking for good, then we invite you to contact our office today for a consultation.

Request an appointment here: http://www.hopetmsofny.com or call Hope TMS and Neuropsychiatric Center at (646) 578-8152 for an appointment in our New York office.

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