I was talking to a fellow diploma student about some different techniques for smoking.
He said he'd come across this idea of telling the story of a man who, when he put a cigarette to his lips, found that there was blood on his lips and the cigarette (yes, gross I know!). And it can be embellished, extended and so on . . .
I instinctively didn't really agree with doing this sort of thing, as there are just so many ways of breaking habits more comfortably (and said so
But I was recounting this to another friend, and he made the highly salient point that clients may find this (and other ideas in a similar vein, no pun intended
) at best squeamish and at worst actually frightening.
And of course, surely he's so right - well trained therapists spend much of their time looking out for and deconditioning states of high emotional arousal. Why on earth would we want to (possibly) create these states which we know have no place in therapy (unless we're talking getting excited about something positive, or building up motivation, etc).
So I guess it might seem simple to others, but it really clarified the reasons why I personally would avoid using aversion-type techniques:
a) there are more comfortable ways of achieving the goal, and
b) (more importantly in my mind) it's possible to create states of high emotional arousal, (maybe even create phobic pattern matches in some people) which is the opposite of what we're trying to achieve in therapy.