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Shutting the Door on Cigarettes - Living Hypnotically Episode 11 Featuring Barry Small

by Erika Flint, BCH, OB on


How did you become a hypnotist?

Barry was a long-time smoker that was looking to quit, and had a friend successfully quit with the help of hypnosis. So he went and got help for himself and was so wowed by the results that he soon after looked into becoming a hypnotist himself, and got certified.

Can you share a client success story?

Barry had recently helped a client that was a very busy business man who smoked whenever he felt stressed. He'd been smoking for 30 years, and had been urged by his doctor to quit due to risk of COPD. So that night he called Barry and five weeks later he's totally tobacco free.

How did it feel for you when you stopped smoking?

"It was like life started all over again. There was nothing hanging over me. There wasn't the smell anymore there it just, everything started fresh again."

Barry shares that he was planning his day around cigarettes and when he'd be able to smoke. But after quitting it was actually a little hard to get used to not having this rigid constraint around the whole day. There was a new freedom.

You really enjoy camping, can you share how beneficial that can be to have time outdoors?

Firstly, Barry had the realization of how contradictory it was to be bringing cigarettes out camping. He was specifically going out to enjoy nature and fresh air, but then polluted himself with these cigarettes.

Secondly, Barry used camping as a spiritual practice. There were no distractions, he can just be with his dogs, and feel a connection with the earth. Identifying this spiritual component was really necessary in working through all the reasons he was smoking.

He has also noticed a pattern with clients that most everyone is struggling with some belief that they've had since they were a child. So working through the emotional components is extremely important and will end up making your life better in more ways than just quitting smoking.

What have your clients taught you?

There's a humility and appreciation for how powerful each client is. They are the ones doing the work and the hypnotist is just guiding them through their transformation.

What would you like your clients to know about hypnosis?

It's not like it is on TV or in the movies. It's a very natural state that we fall into every day. Hypnosis is just a tool we use to get through the clutter of the conscious mind so that we can make real and lasting changes.

And how do you live hypnotically?

Barry has been practicing some form of meditation or self hypnosis for 30 years. Every day, at least twice a day. He sets the tone for the day by practicing in the morning, and then is able to comfortably wrap the day up in the evening.

Barry has also used hypnotic living to work through his road rage. He was admittedly very aggressive and needed to be first and fastest, but found a way to shift his mindset while driving. He would imagine his anger as a solid element that he could then melt down into a liquid and evaporate into a gas that was no longer apart of him. This metaphor works really well for his clients too because many of them are engineers and very technically minded people.

Can you share another technique you like to use with your smoking clients?

Backwards spin is a favorite technique of Barry's to use. Pretty much every client is dealing with stress and this is a technique to help them navigate that stress. It's an NLP technique developed by Richard Bandler.


First identify when and how you feel stress or anxiety. One of the most important aspects of this exercise is being able to recognize how those uncomfortable feelings manifest within you. Imagine how that stressful energy is moving within the body, and create a mental picture of it. Then we want to try and reverse the movement of that stressful or anxious energy.

What would you want to say to someone that is thinking of quitting smoking?

"Take the step, get on the phone, get on the computer, whatever it is. You can do it. I've got dozens of people now that have done it."

It's not a magical one session process. Most clients take 5 or 6 sessions, but the results they feel are incomparable.

How can people get in contact with you? (360)572-2180 In Arlington WA, but Barry works with people all over the country.

Living Hypnotically Guest Contact Card-Jun-15-2023-06-36-06-6062-AM

We should mention your history as a professional athlete. You were using visualization and other practices for years right?

In some ways that's how Barry got interested in meditation and hypnosis. In 8th grade a lady came in to demonstrate hypnosis and biofeedback, and he thought it was the coolest thing in the world. He used visualization as a way to mentally prepare for big stunts and events, and found that he always did so much better when he took that time to visualize everything.