What is The Symonds Method of smoking cessation?
First let me say what it is not: it does not involve any form of nicotine-containing product (so-called nicotine replacement therapy), drugs, supplements, hypnosis, acupuncture, twelve-steps, group-therapy, aversion therapy – no horrible pictures! – or gimmicks of any kind. And willpower is not required.
The Symonds Method has been developed over twenty years and used successfully with hundreds of smokers. Unlike nearly every other cessation method, smokers are not told why they ought to stop: the health dangers and waste of money, or the benefits of quitting, since these are things that smokers already know.
Instead, by a discussion and teaching in a friendly supportive atmosphere, smokers are helped to demonstrate to themselves why they really smoke. It is essential to understand this. It is not enough for smokers to say, for example, that they smoke for pleasure or stress-relief or because they are addicted to nicotine. They need to understand how the addiction produces an apparently irresistible urge to go on smoking. With this knowledge and explanation it is a simple step to successful quitting.
Dr Symonds is based in Tokyo and sees patients at his office. Skype sessions can also be arranged. The sessions are usually on a one-to-one basis but couples can also be accommodated. There are no cigarette breaks. It is important for smokers to become aware what they experience – if anything – when they haven’t smoked for a while. Most will have smoked their last cigarette shortly before they enter the room, and at the end of the session, if they are asked what they feel, they usually say they feel fine and that they don’t want to smoke anymore.
Usually one meeting of ninety minutes to two hours is sufficient. In the unlikely event of someone not happily quitting after one session, they are welcome to attend again as often as needed, without any additional charge.
© Gabriel Symonds