3 Reasons Why Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy Groups Fail


Success rates for group programmes are considerably lower – 20-25%, depending on which research you read – for a number of different reasons:

Smoking is an individual habit

By the very nature of group therapy, individual needs are far less likely to be addressed.

The reasons for someone starting and continuing to smoke will vary from person to person. A one size fits all approach cannot possibly deal with each individual smoker’s very individual needs and motivations.

Different smokers require different specific information or a particular therapeutic technique – if they are missed out, the person may not have the full information or therapy to be able to quit long-term.

Research indicates that individual stop smoking hypnotherapy success rates range from 30¹-94%², depending on the techniques used in hypnosis. The research studies reporting high success rates, also report using more sophisticated techniques designed for individual therapy usage only.

Comfort and concentration

Good stop smoking hypnotherapy is a combination of the hypnotherapist’s skill, plus the determination and commitment to giving up. Part of this commitment is the ability and willingness to participate fully with the therapy. And the group therapy situation does not always support this requirement.

With a group session it can be very difficult to relax with a room of strangers, for a number of different reasons. For example there may be irritating people in the group, someone might be snoring or coughing, or perhaps the room is unsuitable, uncomfortable and noisy.

Group sessions also tend to be longer than individual sessions, and as our natural ability to concentrate wanes over time, important information may be missed.


A lapse in concentration, for whatever reason, can lead to the would-be-non-smoker missing the vital information they personally require to quit smoking.


The group dynamics is a melting pot of people’s different conscious and subconscious agendas.

This is a benefit if everyone’s goals are the same and working together; however if they are not, the saboteurs can cause chaos.

With group stop smoking therapy, not everyone there really does want to quit smoking. And even if they do, they may not really believe they can stop.

Participants who don’t believe or really intend to quit can sabotage success rate. These participants can make negative comments, undermine the therapist and other participants’ efforts or even encourage others to smoke!

Perhaps a participant has been pressured to attending by their spouse, but they themselves do not want to quit. They may even purposely fail to stop, just to ‘prove’ to their partner that they cannot do it, or that therapy does not work.

Work colleagues sent on a stop smoking hypnotherapy course can experience similar problems. For example, the people that do not stop smoking may not wish to be seen as the only ‘failures’ or to feel ‘left out’, and may rope others into smoking again.

Investing wisely

Put simply, group therapy can be a waste of time, money and effort. If you are serious about stopping smoking with hypnotherapy, it is worth spending the extra money on individual therapy with a good therapist, using a good technique.



You can be the first one to leave a comment.


Leave a Comment