A 32 year old patient sought out the therapist, Richard Crowley. “I cannot stop sucking my thumb,” he complained.
“Don’t be too concerned about that,” Crowley told him. “But suck on a different finger each day.” The patient tried to do as instructed. But each time he brought his hand to his mouth, he had to make a conscious choice as to which finger should be the object of his attention that day. Before the week was over, the habit was cured.
“When a vice becomes a habit, it is difficult to deal with,” Richard Crowley says. “But when it requires of us that we develop new attitudes, make new decisions and choices, we become aware that it is not worth the effort.”