MEET OUR TEAM
Mercia grew up on a tobacco farm in Northern Rhodesia, as Zambia was called then. With tobacco readily available, everyone smoked and so she smoked as well from the age of 5 years. She smoked happily until 1988 when she was warned of dire consequences by her doctor. After much pain, sweat and tears and trying many different remedies, she finally stopped smoking - through SMOKENDERS® of course!
Mercia holds a B.A. degree in psychology and languages from the University of Cape Town and was certified as a Consultant and Trainer in the USA by Anthony Robbins, with whom she studied. She bought SMOKENDERS® in 1990, adapting and updating it with the latest processes and techniques. She has been teaching the programme ever since.
The SMOKENDERS technique is literally a series of seminars, a learning experience. Participants develop knowledge and awareness of themselves as smokers through a systematic examination of their smoking behavior from psychological, economic, physiological, social, cultural and behavioral viewpoints.
The smoker is taught to develop the personal technology necessary for easy stopping. They are taught to perform activities that relate directly to their smoking patterns, eating habits, recreation, work and general lifestyle. They are able to achieve detoxification gradually and painlessly, whilst acquiring a set of skills that will help them realise a life free of cigarettes. Its not magic. Its technology!
It is through the unique genius of the SMOKENDERS technique that the smoker's attitude to smoking changes, so that stopping is not viewed as a form of self denial, but an attainment of freedom and an added dimension to their personality.
Smokers change their view of themselves as well. Graduates often tell us that stopping smoking is almost an incidental by-product of the programme; the primary achievement is self-understanding and personal growth.
Understanding, awareness, attitude change, personal technology: all accomplished in a manner that is pleasant, painless and relaxed.
We're not a lot of things. There's nothing casual about our programme. No 'chatty' improvisational group discussion; no loosely formed sessions that run incessantly, week after week with no palpable objective. The SMOKENDERS technique is highly structured, systematic and meticulously administered. Goals are specific and organised within carefully predetermined time periods.
This is not a medical programme, although many medical professionals attend and recommend it. We do not dispense drugs or medical advice. Thre is no hypnosis, psychoanalysis or group therapy.
At no time are the participants expected to 'confess' or in any way embarrass themelves. On the contrary, an integral part of our approach is the encouragement in smokers of a sense of self -worth with a renewed belief in their own capabilities.
We do not preach, moralise, judge or tell anyone how they should live their life. There is no pressure, no shouting. We use no aversion techniques.
Instead of pain, we offer positive reinforcement, empathy, encouragement and an abiding concern for the smoker's comfort and dignity.
No non-smoker will ever understand!
"Just give up. Just stop!" they say, as if smokers were somehow not as intelligent, successful or powerful as non-smokers. This is obviously ridiculous. Smokers are not failures or weak. The truth is that if smokers knew HOW to stop, they surely would.
Our research has shown us that 80% of smokers secretly long to stop. Like us, many of them have tried patches, gum, hypnosis, acupuncture and more and are left with varying degrees of failure and a resultant lack of self esteem. Many smokers come to us with a hardened, cynical attitude and disbelief, challenging us to show them how to stop. And we do!!!