Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
This Blog is published for information and educational purposes only. No warranty, expressed or implied, is furnished with respect to the material contained in this Blog. The reader is urged to consult with his/her physician or a duly licensed mental health professional with respect to the treatment of any medical or psychological condition.

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The New Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy, LLC

The New Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy, LLC, is located at 703 Mill Creek Road, Suite G #1, Manahawkin, NJ 08050. Telephone us at(609)709-2043 and(609) 709-0009. We will welcome you warmly and will work together with you to develop a plan which is individually suited to your goals, utilizing a variety of therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioral, family systems, psychodynamic, humanistic, and eclectic approaches as well as hypnosis. We accept Medicare and most other major insurance. Weekend and evening office hours are available.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Differences Between Hypnosis, Meditation, Mindfulness, and Relaxation Training

In order to understand the alterations in experience which may be induced by hypnosis, meditation, mindfulnesss, and relaxation training, let's look at what it means to be conscious of oneself in the first place.

In the early years of the Twentieth Century, adherents of the school of psychology known as structuralism were attempting to discover the basic elements of consciousness by employing a method known as introspection.  This "looking inward" to identify the basic components of one's thoughts and feelings led to widespread disagreement among various investigators regarding just how many such elements of consciousness there actually were. The diffficulty, of course, lay in the fact that consciousness, like a mirror, tends to reflect back what is put into it; and if reading and speculation have led a person to surmise that a particular element exists in conscioiusness, as soon as one begins musingly to "look inward" to discover such an element, that element is likely to appear. The process is somewhat reminiscent of the game which Tolstoy and his brother used to play when they were children, which involved seeing how long they both could go without thinking of a white bear.

Since the perception of one's own awareness is, by definition, a subjective phenomenon, what is true regarding the perception of the elements of consciousness is also true regarding the experience of one's consciousness as a whole. In other words, tbe number of "altered states" (or, more accurately, altered experiences) of consciousness which may be induced by expressed or implied suggestion is probably equal to the number of such states or experiences which it is possible to conceive or to imagine; for each of these imagined definitions may be presented in the form of an induction procedure or similar ritual containing explicit or implicit suggerstions which will bring about such an experience in subjects who are sufficiently responsive and willing to comply. Thus, the suggestor is free to define the dimensions and experiential properties of a suggestion-induced "trance state" in practically any manner he or she may desire. Today, for example, we hear of hypnosis, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation training, mind control, ultra-height, autogentic training, suggestology, dianetics, and a host of other techniques too numerous to mention. Rather than concluding that these techniques are all variations of "hypnosis," it is more accurate to describe them as changes in perceived awareness which are brought about by means of suggestion, and which differ from hypnosis in the same way that they differ from each other: in the specific phenomenological content of the changes in perceived awareness which are either directly implied or suggested by the procedure which is utilized to bring about such changes, and hence, in the "feel" of the resulting subjective experience, and in the effect of that experience upon the subsequent thought and behavior of the person who undergoes it. A highly responsive hypnotic subject may feel as if he or she had been unconscious, for example, and report no memory of the events which transpired while supposedly under the influence of the "trance" (unless it has been suggested that one is not supposed to feel that way in hypnosis, or it has been specifically suggested during hypnosis that one will remember everything), whereas a student undergoing an advanced form of yogic training may feel as if he or she is merging with infinite reality!

An "induction procedure," then, is not some sort of mechanical process which one person "uses on" another to render the subject more compliant witb the will of the suggestor, as laymen occasionally tend to perceive it; and neither does it operate in some mysterious manner to open up a direct channel of communication with the "unconscous mind." It is, rather, a method of providing both the opportunity and the rationale for those who are able and willing to utilize their imagination in an "alice in wonderland" fashion to go ahead and do so. 

Rather than inquiring how many alterations in perceived awareness it is possible to produce by means of expressed or implied suggestison, or how one may go about measuring their purported "depth" -- which is, after all, pointless when one is dealing with subjective experiences for which new phenomenological dimensions can be invented, suggested, and consequently experienced by sufficiently responsive subjects virtually at will -- it is more appropriate to inquire how such experiences may best be defined and guided to fulfill their primary purpose which is to assist the subject in achieving an increased measure of self-awareness and self-control (Gibbons, 1979, pp. 15-17). The question then becomes, which of these techniques is best adapted for use with a particular individual, and in what form this procedure should best be tailored, for the enhancement of human potential, the ennoblement of the human spirit, and the fulfillment of human existence This is the question examined in the following video by Eckhart Tolle: 



Saturday, February 14, 2015

How to Use Hypnotic Suggestion to Induce Orgasms

I once took a workshop on hypnosis taught by the late Martin T. Orne, who was the Editor of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.at the time. One of the participants, a medical student, said that a friend had boasted to him, "I gave my wife fifteen orgasms last night -- and you can do it too."

"To his wife?" I asked, and the room exploded in laughter. But later, when a different participant asked Dr. Orne what percentage of the population was capable of experiencing literally anything that was suggested to them, he replied with the verbal equivalent of a shrug, "One or two percent.."


Orne's response was based on suggestibility research which was collected under standardized laboratory conditions. However iin real life, suggestibility often takes on dramatically different properties. Much more dramatic phenomena, such as the orgasm response which, of course, cannot be dealt with in laboratory tests of suggestibility, may often be obtained fairly easily with willing volunteers who respond well to suggestion. 

Traditional methods of inducing orgasm, of course, are also very efffective. But, as the following YouTube videos clearly demonstrate, the most important sex organ is the mind itself!



The hypnotist in the foregoing video has obviously spent a great deal of time perfecting his technique. but hypnosis is easy when you know how.
For instance, see how briefly he hypnotizes the more highly responsive subject in the next video, and notice how much he has simplified his technique for suggesting an orgasm.



Suggestion, by the way, is presenting an idea with sufficient plausibility that it is likely to be accepted as literally true, and therefore "real." (How else could you account for the success of an "induction procedure" such as the one above?) Then, once a person has accepted the suggestion that he or she has been hypnotized, this can provide the necessary underpinning of plausibility to allow them to accept the suggestion that they are about to have an orgasm -- which otherwise would simply sound ridiculous.

If you enter the words "stage hypnosis orgasm" in the search engine on YouTube, you will find many more examples of stage hypnosis in which orgasms (and indeed, hypnosis itself) are brought about in the most highly tesponsive subjects merely by suggesting that they are going to take place. 

Public demonstrations of this type would have been inconceivable just a few years ago. However, today's "hookup culture" has made the public expression of sexuality not only respctable among some younger people, but something to be celebrated and admired.

If results such as those depicted in the above videos can be so easily obtained in public, imagine what is possible between able and consenting couples using hypnosis in private. There are clear implications for couples whose ability to perform has been adversely affected by age or physical disability, for whom an appropriately trained and licensed mental health professional can frequently provide a great deal of assistance. For exanple, I have a colleague who is currently in a romantic relationship with a highly passionate and much younger woman. He hypnotizes her and suggests that during their lovemaking she will climax whenever he caresses her nipples, which significantly enhances the quality of their intimacies and is more than enough to make up for his own decreased responsiveness. "By the time we are ready to stop, it's become so intense that she begs me for mercy," he recently told me.

As the foregoing videos have clearly demonstrated, suggestion-enhanced orgasms need not be limited to the aged or infirm. From the first glow of anticipation to fhe enduring treasures of fondest memory, suggestion  is the brush which allows us to paint upon the canvas of human experience practically any masterpiece we may desire. However, when sensuality is pursued excusively for its own sake, outside of the context of a meaningful emotional  relationship, the results are bound to wear off with time, no matter how attractive or responsive the partner is initially. 

Anthropologists frequently point out that a few years down the road, people who marry for love are just about as happy or unhappy as a couple who ties the knot in a culture in which arranged marriages are the norm.  If you and your lover have come to share experiences of rapture, ecstasy, wonder, and delight, only to return to a life of bills to pay, appointments to keep, and an endless list of other things which simply have to be done, the effectiveness of your suggestions will eventually begin to wane, regardless of how dramatic the results might have been initially. If, on the other hand, you return to an environment in which romance comes ahead of everything else, and the first priority is the quality time you spend with each other, then the joys which you have shared together can be re-captured again and again, and even improved upon, as the honeymoon becomes a permanent way of life.


One word of caution: Don't pay through the nose for expensive books, CDs, tapes, or workshops by self-styled "experts!" To my knowledge, nobody has either been hypnotized or brought to orgasm by a fancy cover, a gimmicky title, or a hefty price tag. Erotic hypnosis sevres as a catalyst to facilitate orgasms between consenting and responsive couples. If the basic elements of trust, suggestibility, and willingness are not there, then nothing is going to happen. If they are, on the other hand, and if you happen to live in the United States, you won't have to turn on the TV or go outside in order to see fireworks on the Fourth of July. You can make your own!


Bibliography

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Press).

Gibbons, D. E. & Lynn, S. J. (2010). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. in S. J. Lynn, J. W. Rhue, & I. Kirsch (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 267-291.


Monday, February 9, 2015

The Enchanted Cottage: A Hyperempiric Induction


 "For as long as we stay here, in this enchanted cottage,
            even my words will be ehchanted."
As +Kelley Woods has pointed out, young children have no trouble instantly changing themselves into a monster or a fire engine, especially when parents encourage this kind of imaginative involvement. The following induction was originally written for children, but I later found that it was a favorite with the college students in my graduate hypnosis courses at the University of West Georgia. Perhaps we don't learn to become high responders in hypnosis. We un-learn it!
Just sit back, and close your eyes, and I am going to tell you a magic story. It is a story about a very special place, deep in an enchanted forest, where everything I tell you will come true. . . Imagine now that we are walking together down a long, winding path which runs through the middle of a large woods. We are walking along, early on a bright spring morning. Birds are singing in the trees, and here and there a flower is poking its head out of the soft, green grass which grows beside the path. And because this is a magic story, the farther we go along the path, the more real everything around us becomes. 

Now and then a ray of sunlight makes its way down through the branches of the trees and falls upon the dewdrops in the grass, causing them to sparkle like a million tiny diamonds. The air is fresh and cool, with gentle breezes blowing now and then, causing the trees, and the grass, and the flowers to move ever so slightly, as if everything in the world were feeling so happy on this bright spring morning that nothing could keep still for very long. . .

And because this is a magic story, the farther we go along the path, the more real everything becomes. . . As we continue on our walk, we can begin to be aware of the sound of rushing water. With each passing second, the sound is becoming clearer and clearer still. And now we are standing beside the bank of a forest stream, which is the source of the sound we have been hearing.

The water is flowing past us swift and clear, for it has come tumbling down from a magic spring many miles away in the hills. And because the water from the magic spring is enchanted, anyone who drinks it will be enchanted too. And anyone who is enchanted in this way will be easily able to find that special place, deep in the magic forest, where everything I say will come true.  

We dip our hands eagerly into the bubbling stream and cup them together, bringing the cool, fresh water up to our lips again and again, until we have drunk all that we want. . . Now it is time to hurry on our way once more; for the water from the magic spring has made it certain that we will soon find that very special place in the enchanted forest, where everything I tell you will come true; and we know now that it cannot be far away. 

As we continue on our journey, we notice a tiny path leading off to one side, and we decide to go up this path to see where it leads. Before very long, we notice that the woods are beginning to thin out, and that we are about to enter a clearing. And as we approach nearer and nearer to the edge of the clearing, we can see that the path we have been following leads right up to a small cottage. . . This is that very special place I have been telling you about, where everything will come true. For as long as we stay here, in this enchanted cottage, in the enchanted forest, even my words will be enchanted, and everything I tell you will happen exactly as I say it will.  

The door to the cottage is standing slightly open as we hurry up the path, and as soon as we reach the entrance we hurry on inside in order to lose no more time. We have arrived now, at that very special enchanted place in the enchanted forest which we have traveled so far to reach. And as long as we remain here, in this enchanted cottage, everything I say and everything I describe to you will come true as soon as I have said it. For as long as we remain here in this enchanted place, even my words will be enchanted. 
  


Print Sources 

Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form. .New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Press).

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. in S. J. Lynn, J. W. Rhue, & I. Kirsch (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 267-291.