Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
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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, August 21, 2016

How to Use Meditation to Identify Life Goals -- and Deal with Stress Along the Way

There are four basic stages of problem solving:



  • Preparation, in which you become familiar with the elements of a problm by turning it over in your mind;
  • Incubation, or letting it "sit" for a while as your right brain or "unconscious mind" works to come up with a solution; 
  • Illumination, or a sudden insight which presents itself as a solution; and 
  • Verification, or actually checking the solution to see if it is really going to work.ted  

  • Meditation is an excellent way of stoking your mental processes to speed up the incubation stage when you are seeking a solution to a problem or a life goal which has been which has been eluding you.  Although the process may still take some time, meditation is also an excellent way of dealing with the strong emotions which may arise while you are awaiting a solution and, eventually, while you are pursuing it. The following WikiHow article on meditation has been by edited by nearly 700 people and read by over 1-3/4 million. In addition to its other uses, I heartily recommend it as a means of identifying aims and purposes which then can be formulated into 
    winning goals.

    How to Meditate

    from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

    Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned, "thinking" mind into a deeper state of self awareness. To free one's awareness from associating solely with the mind and its soul. There are many different meditation methods. At the core of meditation is the goal to focus and eventually quiet your mind, thus freeing your awareness. As you progress, you will find that you can meditate anywhere and at any time, accessing an inner calm no matter what's going on around you. You will also find that you can better control your reactions to things as you become increasingly aware of your thoughts (letting go of anger, for example). But first, you have to learn to tame your mind and control your breathing.

    Steps

    1. Make time to meditate. Set aside enough time in your daily routine for meditating; early morning and in the evening are often most preferable. The steadiness of mind meditation is most noticeable when you do it regularly; some people like to end the day by clearing their mind, and some prefer to find refuge in meditation in the middle of a busy day. The easiest time to meditate is in the morning, before the day tires your body out and gives your mind more to think about. Just take care to avoid spending too long meditating––start with around 5 to 15 minutes a day.
    2. Find or create a quiet, relaxing environment. For the beginner, it's especially important to avoid any obstacles to attention. Turn off TV sets, the phone or other noisy appliances. If you play music, choose calm, repetitive and gentle tunes, so as not to break your concentration.
      • Meditating outside works for many meditators. As long as you don't sit near a busy roadway or another source of loud noise, you can find peace under a tree or sitting upon some lush grass in a favorite corner of the garden.
    3. Sit on level ground. Sit on a cushion if the ground is uncomfortable. You don't have to twist your limbs into the half lotus or full lotus position or adopt any unusual postures. The important thing is to keep your back straight, as this will help with breathing later on.
      • Tilt your pelvis forward by sitting on the forward edge of a thick cushion, or on a chair that has its back legs lifted off the ground 8 to 10 cm (3 or 4 inches).
      • Starting from your bottom, stack up the vertebrae in your spine, so that they are balanced one on top of another and support the whole weight of your torso, neck, and head. Done correctly, it feels as if no effort is required to hold your torso up. (A small amount of effort is in fact required, but with the right posture, it is so small and evenly distributed you don't notice it.)
      • Relax your arms and legs. They don't need to be in any special position, just as long as they are relaxed and don't interfere with balancing your torso. You can put your hands on your thighs, but it might be easier at first to let your arms hang at your sides––the hanging weight helps reveal where things are out of alignment.
    4. Relax everything. Keep searching for parts of your body that aren't relaxed. When you find them, (and you will), consciously relax them. You may find that you can't relax them unless you adjust your posture so that you are better aligned, and that place doesn't need to work anymore. This commonly happens with muscles near your spine. You may also notice that you are twisted a little and need to straighten out. Little muscles in your face often keep getting tense, too.
    5. Let your attention rest on the flow of your breath. Listen to it, follow it, but make no judgments on it (such as "It sounds a little raspy... maybe I'm getting a cold?"). The goal is to allow the "chattering" in your mind to gradually fade away. Find an "anchor" to settle your mind.
      • Try reciting a mantra (repetition of a sacred word). A single word like "om" uttered at a steady rhythm is best. You can recite it verbally or just with the voice in your mind. Beginners may find it easier to count their breaths. Try counting your breath from 1 through 10, then simply start again at 1.
      • To circumvent images that keep intruding on your thoughts, visualize a place that calms you. It can be real or imaginary. Imagine you are at the top of a staircase leading to a peaceful place. Count your way down the steps until you are peaceful and relaxed.
    6. Silence your mind. Once you've trained your mind to focus on just one thing at a time, the next step is focus on nothing at all, essentially "clearing" your mind. This requires tremendous discipline but it is the pinnacle of meditation. After focusing on a single point as described in the previous step, you can either cast it away, or observe it impartially and let it come and then go, without labeling it as "good" or "bad". Take the same approach to any thoughts which return to your mind until silence perseveres.
    Tips
    • It is easy to lose track of time while meditating. Being concerned about time can be distracting to meditation. Some people find it liberating to set a timer and let it be concerned about how long you have to meditate. Choose a gentle timer. If it is too jarring, the anticipation of the alarm can be distracting.
    • Some other benefits that are less observable for most people include: falling asleep more easily, more ease in fighting addictions, altered states of mind (which are most prominent in people who have spent over 10,000 hours meditating such as Buddhist monks), and most recently discovered is that meditation on the concepts of calmness and relaxation can turn off genes within every cell in the body that cause cells to become inflamed when you are under a lot of stress.
    • If you find it difficult to meditate for the length of time you have chosen, try a shorter time for a while. Almost anyone can meditate for a minute or two without experiencing intrusive thoughts. Then, as the ocean of the mind calms, you gradually lengthen your meditation session until you have achieved the desired length of time.
    • With good posture, it will be easier to breathe as your lungs will have more space. In fact, you may notice how most of the muscles in your torso work to help you breathe, from the muscles in the base of your pelvis to the ones in your neck, centered on the main breathing muscle, the diaphragm. They work just a little, assisting the diaphragm. If you notice this, it's a good sign you have established a good posture. The right posture is easy and comfortable. You almost feel like you are floating.
    • You should be comfortable enough to concentrate, but not so comfortable that you feel the urge to fall asleep.
    • Set aside a specific time each day for meditation, but don't overdo it. If 20-30 minutes in the morning isn't enough, add another session later in the day instead of trying for a single, longer session.
    • Make some effort to be mindful of your mood and thoughts when not meditating. You may notice that you feel calmer, happier, and sharper on days when you have meditated, and notice a decrease in these qualities when you have not.
    • Meditation practiced over a long term period of time have been shown to have many beneficial results and is well worth continued practice. Benefits include: Increased mindfulness and awareness, reduced stress, calmer and more relaxed moods, improved memory and focus, and increased in grey matter (brain cells) in various parts of the brain.
    • It may be beneficial to mentally review or replay the previous day at the start of your sessions, if you can do so in a relaxed, passive way. This often happens naturally, and sometimes it's best to allow this to happen, as long as you don't get emotionally wrapped up or let it go on too long before beginning meditation. This procedure is known as "processing" of recent events, and becoming skilled at performing a non-judgmental review of events does much to increase awareness and emotional well-being.
    • Do what works best for you. What works for some people might have other techniques that might not work for you. Don't let that get you down. Remember to relax!
    • The benefits of meditation can be experienced long before the practitioner has been successful in maintaining focus or clearing the mind, simply as a result of the practice.
    • What you do with a silent mind is up to you. Some people find that it is a good time to introduce an intention or a desired outcome to the subconscious mind. Others prefer to "rest" in the rare silence that meditation offers. For religious people, meditation is often used to connect with their God(s) and receive visions.
    • For some people, focusing attention on a point or object does exactly the opposite of what meditation is all about. It takes you back to the life of focus, concentration, strain. In this case, as an alternative to the above techniques, some meditators recommend un-focusing your attention. Instead of focusing attention on a point or an object, this type of meditation is achieved by attaining a state of zero. Take your attention above all thoughts to a point where you lose all attention and all thoughts.
    • Do not force yourself to meditate. You should want to meditate before think about trying.
    Warnings
    • Don't expect immediate results. The purpose of meditation is not to turn you into a Zen master overnight. Meditation works best when it is done for its own sake, without becoming attached to results.
    • If you find your mind is wandering, try not to scold or beat up on yourself about it. Wandering restlessly is the normal state of the conditioned mind. This is the first lesson many people learn in meditation and it is a valuable one. Simply, gently, invite your attention back to your breath, remembering that you've just had a small but precious "awakening." Becoming aware of your wandering mind is a success, not a failure.
    • Some people find it's difficult to meditate immediately before bedtime. If you're very sleepy, you may find yourself nodding off. Conversely, meditating may energize your mind, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
    • If your posture is good, you will almost certainly feel a stretch on the back of your neck, and possibly in your shoulders. Just relax. If the stretch is so pronounced that it is painful, work on stretching and relaxing that area when you aren't meditating.
    • As you meet other people who meditate, you may encounter a few who will boast about their endurance for long meditation sessions, even hours and hours at a sitting. Don't be tempted to change your practice to "keep up." Meditation is not a competition––it's a way of life.
    Related wikiHows
    Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Meditate. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


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    See also the following 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., & Cavallaro, L (2013).. Exploring alternate universes: And learning what they can teach us. Amazon Kindle E-Books. (Note: It is not necessary to own a Kindle reader to download this e-book, as the Kindle app may be downloaded free of charge to a standard desktop or laptop computer and to most cell phones.)

    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.




    Is Donald Trump Using NLP or Hypnosis?

    Many of my friends who are interested in hypnosis have been asking whether or not Donald Trump's sudden 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. Perhaps there are just a lot of angry voters out there, on both the right and the left, who support either Trump and/or Sanders because they feel that the system has failed them. Now that the documents relating to the suit against Trump University have been unsealed, many reporters are saying that the high-pressure tactics which he encouraged his salespeople to use, such as getting people to max out their credit cards by promising them the Moon without supplying the details, have served as a template for his presidential campaign.

    Perhaps the only academic degree that the now defunct Trump University might have been able to bestow was "Magna Cum LOSER."

    Although "The Donster" 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. When she was asked in an interview what Brexit meant the other day, one person replied, "Something to do with breakfast?" 









      
      

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    What is the Most Effective Hypnotic Induction?

    +michael ellner  has just posted a quotation from MIlton Erickson regarding the most effective form of hypnosis: "It isn't the amount of time. It isn't the theory of psychotherapy. It’s how you reach the personality by saying the right thing at the right time."  This jibes with Steve Lynn's summary of our induction chapter in the American Psychological Association's  Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis, which concludes that the most important consideration  is the personality and individual characteristics of each individual we encounter, If you say the right thing at the right time, there's practically no limit to what you can accomplish!




    Monday, August 15, 2016

    How to Overcome Procrastination? Let's get to it!

    What we tell ourselves about the things that we are doing determines how we experience our lives from moment to moment, and whether or not those experiences will be pleasant ones. The following WikiHow article provides an excellent summary of how to pick up the pace when discouraging thoughts are getting in the way.  You can also concentrate more effectively on your autosuggestions by preparing the mind with various forms of meditation or self-hypnosis; but the most important thing is the thoughts themselves.

    How to Overcome Procrastination Using Self Talk

    from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

    We talk to ourselves all the time in our minds. Even when we're not paying attention, these relentless mental debates deeply influence our feelings and, ultimately, our behaviours and actions The good news is that if you can become aware of these mental dialogues, notice the patterns, and turn them into productive statements, then you are empowered to overcome many unwelcome feelings and behaviors. Let’s see how this can help us when it comes to procrastination.

    Steps

    1. Recognize the procrastinator's motto. Consider the following thought, which surely crosses our minds many times in one form or another:“I have to finish this important task. It should already be done by now and I just need to do it.”This small, seemingly innocent thought contains almost every mental block that encourages procrastination. We all use the Procrastinator’s Motto (or variations of it) every once in a while. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, chances are you repeat it to yourself very frequently — daily, perhaps.But what’s so wrong about the Procrastinator’s Motto? In what ways do these words encourage procrastination so much — and what can we do about it? Let’s consider each part of this statement in turn, replacing each of them with an empowering alternative. In doing that, we’ll turn the original motto on its head and create a productive call to action: a “Producer’s Motto”, if you like.
    2. Remember that you don't 'have to' do anything. ‘I have to’ is every procrastinator’s favorite expression. It’s also the most disempowering. Every time you say to yourself that you have to do something, you imply that you don’t have any choice, that you feel forced or coerced to do the task — that you don’t really want to do it. That perception, of course, elicits a strong feeling of being victimized and resistance toward doing the task. The solution to this problem is to replace ‘I have to’ with the immensely more empowering alternative ‘I choose to’ or 'I will'. Everything you do is ultimately a choice (yes, even completing tax forms). Using language that expresses choice reminds you of that and brings the feeling of power back.
    3. Focus on starting, rather than finishing. When you focus on finishing something, you direct your attention to a vague, highly idealized future. Visualizing a finished project is motivating for many people, but for someone who’s having a hard time starting a task, visualizing a hard-to-grasp future can be overwhelming — even depressing. The solution in this case, then, is not to focus on finishing, but on starting. Forget for a minute about the finish line, just concentrate on giving your first step. Bring your focus from the future to what can be done right now. We all know that if we start something enough times, we'll eventually finish the task. Starting — all by itself — is usually sufficient to build enough momentum to keep the ball rolling.[1]
    4. Break a long project down into short tasks. Dwelling on the size and difficulty of a looming task will overwhelm us, and thus promote procrastination. Any undertaking, no matter how daunting, can be broken down into smaller steps. The trick is — with each step along the way — to focus solely on the next, achievable chunk of work. Ignore the big picture for a while and just tackle that next small task. Make sure you can easily visualize the outcome of your small task. Don’t write a book; write a page. If it is still intimidating, commit yourself to work on it for a specific period of time.Keep the big picture in mind, of course, but don't allow it to frighten you. Use it for motivation and direction.
    5. Don't place too much pressure on yourself. “This project has to impress everyone; I really can’t blow this opportunity.” Placing such high hopes on a project only adds anxiety and fear of failure. Perfectionism fuels procrastination. Overcome this mental block by simply giving yourself permission to be human. Allow yourself to be imperfect with the next small task. You can always refine your work later. If you’re a serial perfectionist, go one step further and commit yourself to doing a sloppy job on purpose — at least at first. Instead of making every step perfect, think of them as steps toward perfection. For instance, write a page or two now, then proofread and correct them later.
    6. Stop thinking about the way things 'should' be. The expression 'should' invokes blame and guilt. When you say you should be doing something (instead of what you’re actually doing), you focus on comparing an ideal reality with your current, “bad” reality. You focus not on what is, but on what could have been. Misused 'shoulds' can elicit feelings of failure, depression and regret. The solution is not to focus on how you feel now, but on how good you will feel after you begin to take action.
    7. Take some directed action. Even the tiniest progress is success — moving toward a goal is the best motivator. The trick is to bring that expected feeling of accomplishment into the present — and know that the real joy of progress is only a small task away. That small step is success.Success is not the end of your task. Success is the progress that leads you to your next step.
    8. Make it fun! “I’ve got to work all weekend”. “I am trapped in this laborious project”. Long periods of isolation can bring an enormous feeling of resentment. These feelings generate a strong sense of deprivation and resistance toward the task.Overcome this mental block by avoiding long stretches of work. Schedule frequent and brief breaks. Plan small rewards along the way. One idea is to work near a break area. Have something to look forward to — not far away and not at the end of a long stretch — but in the very near future. When rewards are small, frequent, and deserved, they work wonders. Truly commit to brief bursts of relaxation and leisure time. In fact, go ahead and make it mandatory. This “reverse-psychology” can, by itself, give you a more productive and enjoyable mindset.
    9. Rephrase your internal dialog. Time to check what we’ve accomplished with all the word substitutions. We started with:“I have to finish this important task. It should already be done by now and I just need to do it.”And ended up with:“I choose to start this task with a small, imperfect step. I’ll feel terrific and have plenty of time for fun!” Quite a change, eh? Every time you catch yourself repeating any part of Procrastinator’s Motto to yourself, stop and rephrase it. Then check how you feel. At first, it may seem to be a simple matter of word choices. But when you try this simple way of reframing your thoughts, you’ll see how it instantly changes your attitude toward your tasks. Moreover, if you turn it into a habit, you’ll slowly reprogram your thoughts, and make a positive, permanent change in your mindset.
    Tips
    • You can also provide yourself with an extra measure of motivation by using the Best Me Technique of self-hypnosis to pre-experience the rewards of a long-term goal, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for "will power."
    • Some other "procrastinator phrases" include:[2]
      • "I just don't really feel like doing this right now. I will do it later." And say "If it can be done tomorrow, it can be done today."
        • Say instead: “Even if I can’t get the whole thing done right now, I can start on this part.”
      • "It's no big deal if it doesn't get done."
        • Say instead: “This is important to ME, so I choose to start now.”
      • "It won't take me that long."
        • Say instead: “This may take a long time, but I choose to start now and get part of this done right away.”
      • "It's not fair."
        • Say instead: “I choose to do this.”
    • Taking on a second-person view can also help. Tell yourself: "You know you’re just putting this off. Take the time right now and get started on this part. You’ll feel better and then you can take a break, or start on another small part."[3]
    Related wikiHows
    Sources and Citations
    1. This is what Mark Forster calls the “I’ll just get the file out” technique.
    2. http://livingwelltools.com/procrastination.htm
    3. http://www.catalystorganizing.com/articles/Later_Never_Comes.pdf
    Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Overcome Procrastination Using Self Talk. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


     

    This Blog contains many other examples of experience as an art form, for the enhancement of human potential, the ennoblement of the human spirit, and the fulfillment of human existence.


    See also the following 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., & Cavallaro, L (2013).. Exploring alternate universes: And learning what they can teach us. Amazon Kindle E-Books. (Note: It is not necessary to own a Kindle reader to download this e-book, as the Kindle app may be downloaded free of charge to a standard desktop or laptop computer and to most cell phones.)

    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.