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Del Morrill, M.S. C.C.H


A Center for Counseling & Hypnosis
Tacoma, Washington, USA
(253) 752-1506



Del, I have a question which I hope you will find interesting, and I think you are just the person who will know the answer.

I met a man who shared with me his hypnosis session of 45 minutes, in which he was brought back to a time in his youth when he wasn't interested in smoking, and didn't notice people who were smoking. Now, he has no interest in smoking, even though he had smoked for 30 years. I find it incredible that a 45 min session was all that was necessary for this gentleman to completely lose all interest in smoking and remain smoke free five years later.

I get the concept  of this type of  regression. But I am missing the technique. In using regression, would time line be the process? And once landing on a time before smoking was of interest, what technique or suggestions would you use to create the shift back to 'not noticing and not being interested' in smoking?

I am thinking that once a person has found that place in time, I should acknowledge the healthy habits, reinforce the senses and behaviours of living healthy and then use the time line to progress to the near future, maintaining those behaviours. Reinforcing another progression to weeks, months and years, continuing to maintaining the behaviours of a non-smoking person.

I have not had Time Line training and have been searching for a book which I can learn from. Courses are out of my budget at this time. Are you aware of a good book for teaching Time Line Therapy?

Although my success rate is pretty good, it is not as strong as I would like it to be. I do find a few clients returning. On the return visit, I search for missed triggers and secondary gain, then address it. I teach all my clients anchoring to their safe place, with empowering emotions of joy, love, worthiness, etc.

Does this make sense to you? What else would you do?


Thanks for writing to me.  I’ve not taken any course on timeline therapy, so probably am not the one to ask; although, from what people have told me about it, you seem to have a pretty good grasp, so far. And your suggestion on what you would do seems perfectly fine to me. 

The way I use time, such as with a smoking client, is to assume that the part of the person that began smoking is still within the current client, no matter what age they began, along with their reasons for starting.  So once I get out the age they started smoking and the reasons for starting during a brief intake, I use the first hypnosis session to ask the mind to locate the imprints that started the smoking need, and I call out the (15-year old) whom I then talk to.

I remind that “part” that time has changed and he is no longer 15; and I name the reasons he started as no longer valid – no longer cool to smoke, no longer the way to be one of the gang, etc. etc.  It’s a reminder that they are now an adult and have a different understanding of what smoking does or doesn’t do for them any longer.  It seems pretty affective.  If necessary, I can also take the client back in time to when they first began and dialogue with the client on why this is important to them, what they’re experiencing, etc.; and then take them forward in time to what they really want for their future now. 

This is about the closest I get to timelining in my own practice. I hope this is helpful.  If not enough, I would imagine that the internet would yield more information on this method, along with some books on the subject.

As far as having more success, sometimes I think the methods we decide to use are not so much the key as is helping clients feel secure about hypnosis, building good rapport so they trust us, and that they have the willingness to change. After all, we know that we are merely guides  helping clients into their own resources; we're not MAKING them to anything.  All we can do is help them release their own power to change.  Finally, they have to be willing at every level to do so. This is why I feel sessions are a 50/50 contract.  I can only guarantee my own work. I cannot guarantee their own decisions.





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