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 675 Route 72 E Manahawkin, NJ 08050. Telephone us at(609)709-2043 and (609) 709-0009.Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72, on the road to Beach Haven West.After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Greater Coastal Realty. Then turn right and go past the Lyceum Gyn. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building. We. are the last office at the end. We accept Medicare and most other major insurance.Weekend and evening office hours are avalable.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Election Distress Disorder:" Its Cause and Cure

Many people are experiencing a high level of personal distress because they dislike both of the major Presidential candidates at the same time that they are drawn to them. They may not even be completely aware of some of their motives.
Usually, however, we can come up with a number on a scale from one to ten which lets us sum up the strength of how attractive or how repellent a particular choice happens to be, including those factors of which we are only dimly aware. Applying this to the current Presidential election, and assuming that we are considering only two choices, we can ask ourselves how much we are attracted to each one of the candidates and how much we are repelled by them. For example, if we ask ourselves, on a scale from one to ten, how much we are attracted to Clinton or Trump, we might come up with nine and seven, respectively. Then, if we ask ourselves how much we are repelled by these candidates, we might come up with six and five.. If we do the math, we find that we are left with three units of attraction to Clinton, and two units of attraction for Trump, which leaves Clinton with the greatest net attraction. We still may be uneasy with our decision, but at least we have a better feel for the strength of our own motives in making a decision as to how to cast our vote. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hypnosis Conditioning and Relaxation Tape

The following link contains a standard progressive relaxation hypnotic induction rape based on imagery of relaxing on the beach, with confidence-building and ego strengthening suggestions from John Hartland's Medical and Dental Hypnosis. I first heard Dr. Hartland present this script in the form of a paper at a professional meeting several years ago. I began to see more and more references to it in the professional literature, I began to use it in my clinical psychology practice with good  results. I am posting it here for the convenience of my own clients, and for others who might also wish to use it as a relaxation training and conditioning tape in between hypnosis sessions, with the consent and under the supervision of an appropriately trained and licensed mental health professional.

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

My colleague Kelley Woods has an excellent program for training yourself to control insomnia which she demonstrates in the following video, in which she also discusses the experience of hypnosis. Below this are several other tips for getting the sleep you need:

  • Make sure you get enough daylight so that your body will be able to establish a daily wake-sleep rhythm. 
    • Some people have found commercially-available light boxes to be helpful, especially if you live in a location where there is less sunlight during certain seasons of the year. This lack of sunlight can lead to a condition known as seasonal affective disorder  (more popularly known as "cabin fever"), characterized by periods of depression and interference with regular sleep patterns.
  • Keep the bedroom dark and quiet. Darkness causes the body to produce melatonin, a natural sleep-inducing agent.
  • Don't play on the smartphone, the computer, or watch television. They all give off light which suppresses the melatonin in your system and overstimulates the brain,    
  • Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Trying to get by on less than this biologically-determined amount builds up a sleep debt which  cuts into your well-being and efficiency, and becomes harder and harder to repay.
  • Establish a consistent sleeping schedule. People tend to become sleepy 24 hours after they last went to sleep, and awaken 24 hours after they last woke up. Significant changes in either time -- especially shift work schedules which frequently change -- disrupt the sleep-wake cycle.
  • If your sleep is troubled by nightmares, or if you have personal problems which prevent you from getting the sleep you need, you may want to consider seeking professional assistance.
  • Have a set ritual before going to bed. 
  • Limit the amount of food you eat for the last two hours before you go to bed.
  • Limit your daily use of caffeine, or eliminate it entirely.  Using coffee or tea, or other drinks which are high in caffeine only makes it harder to repay your sleep debt.
  • Exercise regularly, preferably in the morning.
  • If possible, adopt a life style which reduces your total amount of stress.
  • While most of us prefer not to use prescribed sleep medications, millions of people do use them regularly without ill effects. Melatonin, the favorite of many, is available without prescription. Others prefer nutraceuticals such as St. John's Wort.
  • We frequently do not notice the "aches and pains" in our bodies because we have grown so used to them, but they can still interfere with our sleep.  Many clients find that taking a couple of aspirin or Tylenol work well, particularly when it is early in the morning and they do not wish to feel groggy from sleep medication the next day. 
  • Perhaps most importantly, use the bed only for sleeping and for sex. Instead of tossing and turning, get up and do something boring until you get sleepy. This helps you to avoid a conditioned association between not sleeping and being in bed.  
Don't just toss and turn in bed
when you are having trouble sleeping.
Get up and do something Boring!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Is Donald Trump Using NLP or Hypnosis?

Many of my hypnosis friends have been asking whether or not Donald Trump's success might be due to his using hypnosis or neuro linguistic programming. However, there is a logical fallacy called "begging the question," which refers to asking a question in such a way that the truth of the answer is already assumed in the question itself.  When we ask what kind of hypnotic and NLP techniques Donald Trump is using, we are already assuming that he is using them. We start looking for evidence of these techniques without even considering the possibility that the real explanation might be something quite different from what we are looking for.

A recent article in Psychology Today stated that half of all Americans couldn't come up with a sudden demand for $400 in a crisis. Although Trump may be unwittingly using some techniques which are commonly referred to in lay hypnosis circles as NLP, there are also a lot of angry and ill-informed voters out there. on both the right and the left, who support either Trump and/or Clinton because they feel that the system has failed them.

There is also the classic double standard. How would people feel if Hillary were to grab someone by his private parts and say later before an open mike, "That's okay, you can do it if you're famous?"