Hypnotically Enhanced Treatment for Addictions

Alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gambling, weight control, and smoking cessation

By: Joseph Tramontana, PhD


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 152mm x 228mm
Pages : 160
ISBN : 9780982357361
Format: Paperback
Published: August 2009

This book offers new strategies, techniques and scripts, as well as reviewing traditional methods of treating addictions.

The five key addictions addressed are:

  • alcohol abuse and dependency
  • drug abuse and addiction
  • gambling compulsions/obsessions and addiction
  • tobacco addiction (including cigars, pipes and chew)
  • food addiction/compulsions.

Many of the techniques and strategies incorporate a variety of therapeutic modalities, including: cognitive-behavioural techniques, re-framing and other NLP techniques, systematic desensitization, covert sensitization, 12-step programs, guided imagery and meditation, and more. The techniques described can be employed both in and out of trance.

Picture for author Joseph Tramontana, PhD

Joseph Tramontana, PhD

Joseph Tramontana, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and certified consultant in clinical hypnosis. Dr. Tramontana is president of the Louisiana Psychological Association and of the New Orleans Society for Clinical Hypnosis. He is also a member of the Association of Applied Sports Psychologists.


  1. Therapists dealing with client addictions finally have a book that contains practical advice and guidance on the use of hypnotherapeutic interventions for addictions beyond smoking cessation and weight obesity. Joseph Tramontana's book addresses these addictions plus drug abuse, gambling and alcohol.

    There has been very little literature on the topic of treating all five major addictions with hypnotherapy as discovered by Dr Tramontana during his 39 year career as a clinical psychologist and then nine years later adding hypnotherapy to his tool bag of skills. In 1978 he attended an ASCH (American Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists) seminar on hypnosis and began using hypnotherapy to treat smokers and weight loss clients with some success. This encouraged him to extend his use of hypnotherapy to treat alcohol, drug abuse and compulsive gambling addictions.

    Dr Tramontana has produced an excellent reference book allowing the reader to share in his knowledge, experiences, strategies and skills over an extensive career. The book has the added advantage of being written in the first person and cites some of the many seminars that the author attended where he obtained first hand knowledge of techniques and ideas that were of benefit in his own practice. The writing style is easy to follow and items are well organised and fully explained. The author has used some of his own case studies to clearly illustrate outcomes and problems encountered over the years and how these helped him evolve his own treatment methods.

    The first chapter has the interesting title of “The Lens” with a snapshot of how Dr Tramontana sees hypnosis/hypnotherapy in dealing with addictions. It even provides an overview of how he conducts client meetings to explain hypnotherapy to doubtful clients. There are explanations of induction and deepening procedures, client meetings, techniques such as hypnoprojection, and hypnotherapeutic approaches. The following chapters then concentrate on specific issues concerning addictions.

    The addictions addressed in this book are presented in the following order - alcohol, drugs, gambling, smoking and finally weight loss / obesity. Each chapter contains induction scripts and the author's own procedures and explanations of why he chose these to treat the addiction. It is one of the few books available that takes the reader through a step-by-step guide of a treatment plan and will be invaluable to interns and practising professional therapists alike. The book is well referenced and contains a resource list for recommended reading, including a list of websites to visit. There is an example of a Smoking Cessation Inventory and an excellent and detailed comprehensive Eating Questionnaire.

    The final chapter titled “The Panorama” entices the reader to continue their own research and broaden their interest in not only the addictions covered in the book but also other addictions and cross addictions.
  2. Tramontana, a licensed clinical psychologist, provides new strategies and techniques in outpatient addiction treatment. Addictions addressed include: alcohol abuse and dependency, drug abuse, gambling compulsions, tobacco addiction, and food addictions and compulsions. A sampling of techniques discussed includes: cognitive-behavioral techniques, reframing and other NLP techniques, systematic desensitization, covert sensitization, 12-step programs, guided imagery, meditation, and more. The techniques described can be used both in and out of a hypnotic trance.
  3. When I started reading this book, I thought “here we go again, another one of those authors informing us of his way being the right way of doing things”. I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised.

    There are different philosophies of working with addictions and although I do not agree with them all of them personally, they are all valid approaches and should be considered. The author makes it clear that we need to listen to the individual client and learn quickly how they operate as well as following a structured treatment programme that he subscribes too. The book is full of suggestion scripts, metaphors and techniques that work with the presenting problem and would certainly boost the hypnotic -˜kit bag'. I set out not wanting to like this book but upon reading it I can do nothing more than highly recommend it as a well rounded, idea initiating information carrier, particularly for the newer therapist to the profession.
  4. This volume is the distilled wisdom of Tramontana's three decades in the hypnotherapeutic treatment of addictions. Its chapters convey his methods for dealing with the key compulsions: alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating and smoking. Through them he emphasises the power of 12 step programmes; reveals when it is appropriate to seek abstinence or moderation and shows in detail how to “package” treatment so that each session has a specific purpose. His experience helps him to integrate techniques from diverse sources. Ideo-motor signalling, metaphor and meditation are creatively combined in treatment strategies and scripts in great number are provided so we can study how he chooses his words. Imbued with the insights of a long career, this work benefits us all. Its publication is most certainly a significant step in resolving the lack of literature on the subject of hypnosis and addiction.
  5. Introduction.
    There is a lot of interest in the high success rate of hypnotherapy right now. Largely because of the many claims made for hypnotherapy in the media. Yet hardly anyone writes for therapists, showing them to really work effectively in a thorough way dealing with specific addictions such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gambling, weight control, and smoking cessation. Well Dr Joseph Tramontana, in his seven chapter book does.
    I really enjoyed reading Hypnotically Enhanced Treatment for Addictions. Reading it's complete focus on -˜alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gambling, weight control, and smoking cessation,' felt more like talking with a really good friend. A very good friend, who I may add just happens to love their success around providing therapeutic interventions for unhelpful addictive behaviours. A very good friend who also just happens to be a world class expert in the subject. And a very good friend who is happy for you to get the inside scoop on all trade secrets.

    A Teaching Resource
    Tramontana provides you with scripts, weight loss and smoking cessation questionnaires to use with clients, resources and a very clear set of references- all directly relevant to the much misunderstood area of addictions. He describes the exact process he takes himself and his client through. He explains the stages within each stage. He illustrates how he takes the journey from first to last session. That in itself provides anyone who is training with an opportunity to confidentially, mentally rehearse what to explain to a prospective client. It's a real eye opener to many things you may already know.

    Marketing and Developing your Business Practice.
    The North American author introduces the reader to the business issues involved in developing your practices. Issues of cash flow are quite rightly, brought into view in his discussion around marketing. I was very pleased that he is very clear about how he promotes the usage of packages for his smoking and weight loss clients. He could have explained more, possibly even sharing examples of his small advertisements.
    His approach to addressing addiction is flexible, permissive and non threatening and he encourages readers to develop his scripts and the scripts he points to in the resources to build the field of addiction.

    Tramontana's writing style creates a sense of confidence, with his, -˜been there, seen it, done it' message. I was led by that attitude and as a result, dipped into the parts I was most interested in first, and only then did I continue with the other parts of the book. Finding to my pleasure that the rest of the text was equally chatty and really easy to read. 

    Recommendation for Beginners Wanting To Strengthen Their Practice of Procedures:
    I would recommend this text for beginners who are looking for overt procedures. Dealing with five key addictions, alcohol abuse and dependency, drug abuse and addiction, gambling computions, gambling obsessions and addiction, tobacco addiction(cigars, pipes and chew)food addiction and food compulsions. Tramontana is very open to the real issues presented by his addictive clients, recognising the addictions, yet moving beyond them, by focusing on what they value the most.

    Recommendations for Beginners Wanting To Strengthen Their Practice of the Options Available
    I would draw beginners who enjoy learning about alternatives, to the variety of scripts inductions and deepeners.
    Experienced practitioners
    Experienced practitoners know that Hypnotherapy is an exciting applied science. Yes, exciting. Just as seminal scientists, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Cosmologist Ra Un Nefer Amen, have revealed and presented pioneering science, which has become our tried and true viewpoint of the mind. These current day pioneers are no less exciting, creating and calming the waves of treatment for addictions. I would draw your attention to his tried and true approaches.

    Experienced Practitioners Interested In Newness.
    Tramontana provides a welcomed invitation to develop the Journal publications, in the area of addictions. He reminds readers from the outset that chemotherapists seems to be reluctant to “step on the feet” of those traditionally involved in the treatment of alcholo, drug and gambling addictions. However reminds the hypnotherapist of the much strength that they bring and to use that, as their focus as they develop indivualised programmes for patients who call or show up for help with alcohol, drug gambling diction or weight loss.

    Contents of Hypnotically Enhanced Treatment for Addictions.
    Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Gambling, Weight Control, And Smoking Cessation
    The book has 7 chapters
    Chapter 1; the lens, providing an overview
    Chapter 2: clarifying the characteristics of alcohol abuse
    Chapter 3 clarifying the characteristic of drug abuse
    Chapter 4: clarifying the characteristics of gambling addiction and its interventions
    Chapter 5: clarifying the interventions for smoking cessation
    Chapter 6: clarifying the inventions for weight loss
    Chapter 7: providing an overview
    The appendix provides a superb example of questionnaires used for smoking and weight control. 

    I recommend it as a text for any module that focuses on marketing your practise and discussing how to make the most of your techniques after you have learnt the fundamentals around inductions, deepeners, suggestions and change work in trance.
    I would recommend it as the primary text for any module focuses solely on addictions.

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