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Hey, I Need Help Identifying a specific CBT technique, thank

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Hey, I Need Help Identifying a specific CBT technique, thank

Postby NYPaperline » Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:20 pm

Hey guys

I need help.

I recently accomplished something I was really proud of. I quit smoking. I’ve tried numerous times but I always went back to smoking. I’m proud to say that I’m don’t for good. I’ve been smoke free for over 6 months and there’s not a chance I’m going back.

I used a book many of you may have heard of called Allen Carr’s - The Easy Way To Stop Smoking. This book’s claim to fame is… if you read the Amazon reviews you’ll read the same story over and over. “Wow, this book really works! I read it and just lost any and all desire to quit smoking.” And that’s exactly how it does work. It seems to use methods closely resembling CBT in that he challenges your assumptions about why you do it.

He takes a different approach. Everyone else uses scare tactics. They show you dirty lungs, different diseases, and in theory, these things should work. But in practice, they don’t. Allen Carr argues this is because Smokers don’t smoke for the reasons they shouldn’t, they smoke for the benefits smokers THINK cigarettes are GIVING them. For example, some smokers think it relaxes them, or helps concentration, which is actually BS, so what Allen does is instead of trying to SCARE people with the punishments, he disproves the supposed benefits. Like he presents evidence that smoking does not aid concentration, and does not relax people (it actually brings your blood pressure up.) So without these “positives” there’s no longer any reason to continue smoking and you look at those dirty things like “WHY would I ever use THOSE?!"

Now here’s the thing… this method is really powerful. And I feel like the same logic can be used to change pretty much any habit. So I’d like to reverse engineer this logic in order to help people. Think about if you could apply this same logic to consuming excessive sugar, or other behaviors that are unhealthy, but historically difficult to change.

I found an article that seems to use the same method. I’ll summarize it so you don’t have to read it.

Step 1: List all the things you like or love about cigarettes. Any benefit you think they’re giving you, no matter how small

Step 2: Write down all the things that prevent you from quitting. What scares you.

Step 3: Write down the benefits of quitting.

Now you realize that everything written down in Step 1 is BS. They’re just justifications. There are no benefits to smoking… it’s just an addiction and your mind needs to justify that addiction.

Step 4: You pretend you’re a lawyer in a high profile legal case with the job of defending smoking. Now you switch positions as an Anti-smoking lawyer and DESTROY the first lawyers case. Convince the jury that the first lawyer’s arguments were complete BS.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ERTON.html

This is also what Allen Carr seems to so. He takes all your arguments for continuing to smoke and systematically destroys them and shows you why they’re ridiculous. Again, this is is sharp contrast to the normal method of telling people the reasons (they already know) that it’s bad for them.





So, anyway, like I said… I feel like if I could figure out how this works it can be applied to any other “bad behavior,” so any help would be *greatly* appreciated. Any information. Articles, techniques, tips, videos, books, podcasts… whatever. If there’s a name to this technique. I would love to learn more about it. Thanks guys, I really appreciate the advice.
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Re: Hey, I Need Help Identifying a specific CBT technique, thank

Postby myrmade » Mon May 11, 2015 5:13 am


I also used Allen Carrs book to quit smoking and it worked. It has been 2 and a half years and I also know I will not go back.

Like you, I wanted to apply this method to other behaviors, and was struggling with an eating disorder most my life. I tried very hard to apply this to that part of my life on my own using what I learned from the book.

I ended up going to cbt from a professional therapist. At times the cbt really reminded me of quitting smoking. For example, at first when I stopped I was still hesitant that I would go back to smoking even though I didn't display the behavior anymore (wanting to smoke), but as I had more and more good experiences with not smoking it gave me more evidence that I wouldn't go back to smoking (same thing with cbt).

The thing is, a lot of these issues people face in going to cbt for (eating disorders, depression, anxiety, addiction) have very deep roots and I believe this should be explored with a professional who has the proper education and experience. For me it was also important to go to someone who had personally experienced cbt for an eating disorder as well.

As you probably know Allen Carr also wrote books about alcohol and losing weight that didn't make it as big as his smoking books, and that's because I believe Carr used a cognitive approach without really realizing it, but needed more of a psychological background to be able to help people with deeper issues.

If you want to explore cbt a bit a good book to start is Mind Over Mood. I find the whole concept so interesting and have learned so much how the mind works through my own experience. I hope that cbt becomes big in the world because I really believe it is a way to not only manage depression/anxiety/addiction but actually cure it as well.
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