I helped a man move away from his 45 year long cigarette habit. It took three hours, longer than most, because of the complexity of this person. At one point, as I was suggesting during the intake that he remove all smoking paraphernalia from his home and car, in addition to even moving the position of his "smoking chair" and end table, he sat upright and started laughing. He then told me this story:

When he was young, he got tangled up in the drug scene and found himself, a skinny white kid, on the streets of Oakland, CA. He eventually started using heroin and was in and out of clinics, living on the edge. One of the counselors he encountered suggested that he wear his shirt backwards. He thought that was rather strange but cool, so he started doing it.

A few days later, my client was huddled in a scummy alley, surrounded by several intimidating drug users. He suddenly noticed that his shirt was backwards and immediately halted his drug activity. He looked up and came to full awareness of his situation. He said it was like a veil magically lifted and in that moment, he stopped using.

That counselor applied a marvelous intervention. You never know what bit of creativity will do the trick!

(Permission was granted by my client to share this story with you.)