Psychological Self-Help

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(see relapse prevention, in this chapter and Method #4 in chapter 11--
this is important). 
Shiffman and colleagues (1997) have explored lapses and
relapses. What conditions are associated with lapses? Lapses are most
likely to happen in the evening, in settings where the person has
smoked before and is hit by an urge, with others who are smoking,
when drinking alcohol or coffee, when feeling restless, sad or mad
(arguing is a particularly dangerous situation), when the person is
inattentive and less likely to use techniques, such as self-talk, for
coping with the urges, and on a day when there was a strong urge to
smoke upon waking. Note: backsliding may occur when there isn't an
intense urge to smoke. The warning signs aren't infallible. But, be
especially cautious when warning signs are present, don't get over-
confident, learn to talk yourself into exercising self-control, and deal
with your negative emotions, don't deny or swallow them. Study
relapse prevention carefully. 
Constantly remind yourself why you are quitting: to live 5-8 years
longer, to avoid cancer and heart disease, to make your kids proud of
you, to look better, to avoid being a victim of a dirty, deadly, smelly,
little habit, etc. Be determined to gain control over your own life--
prove you can do it, even if you have failed several times before. Get
serious about a more relaxed and healthy life-style. Good luck, it is a
difficult project. 
Speech problems
Speech problems, like stuttering, and learning problems are
sufficiently complex you should get professional help. Most schools
have a speech and language pathologist and a teacher or psychologist
specializing in learning problems. 
Study behavior can be helped by many of the excellent study
skills books available (see reading and scheduling skills in chapter 13;
students should see Armstrong,1998; James, James & Barkin, 1998;
Ellis, 1997; or O'Keefe & Berger, 1994; parents should look up Sedita,
1989). Don't overlook the important motivation information discussed
in this chapter. However, students who are already unmotivated in
school may feel "lectured" or "talked down to" by some books in this
area. Perhaps a lot of gentle, unpushy but persistent attention from
parents will help. It is important. 
Unwanted thoughts and worries
Unwanted thoughts and worries, including unwanted fantasies
or suspicions, can be treated just like a behavior. That is, they can be
controlled by the environment and self-instruction, and they are
influenced by immediate rewards and punishment. Three methods are
frequently used to change thoughts: (1) thought stopping (chapter
11), (2) paradoxical intention (chapter 14), and (3) scheduling a
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