You can obtain therapeutic counseling for smoking cessation from virtually any licensed and qualified psychologist or therapist trained in giving counseling in compulsive or addictive disorders. Treatment may include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, which attempts to alter the patient’s way of thinking with the idea that his actions or behaviors will follow accordingly.
Ask your doctor for a referral or check with the American Psychological Association (www.apa.org) for qualified therapists in your area. When you speak with a therapist, ask them what they can do for you to help you quit smoking. It is important for some people to share religious or ethical values with their therapist; if this is important to you, don’t hesitate to ask.
A number of clinical trials have established the relative effectiveness of physician counseling in smoking cessation, and groups such as the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American College of Chest Physicians and the US Department of Health and Human Services believe that physician intervention can go a long way in helping smokers quit. To that end, it is important that you let your doctor know that you are a smoker, so that he or she can advise you on various methods of quitting. Your doctor can suggest self-help materials, prescribe medications or recommend nicotine replacement therapies, and your doctor can also point you towards local smoking cessation support groups and other community events that can help you quit.
Support groups run by ex-smokers or health professionals operate in cities and towns across the US and worldwide. They are typically weekly, and might be held at hospitals, clinics, health centers, community or civics centers and churches. You can ask your doctor for assistance in finding a support group, or contact local hospitals or your Chamber of Commerce for more help.
If you prefer the 12-step approach in a support group, Nicotine Anonymous (nicotine-anonymous.org) provides information on finding a Nicotine Anonymous group near you, along with other related resources.
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