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, April 23, 2017

Hypnotic Induction and Deepening

Assuming that you are already familiar with a standard progressive relaxation hypnotic induction and deepening, the following script may be used on your cell phone to keep you from losing your place as you improvise your delivery to suit the partner's responsiveness. This also makes for easy transition to the following script for a transformational voyage to the Multiverse and back. (I've been using progressive relaxation inductions for more decades than most, and I still prefer to switch back and forth between the eloquence of a script and the informality of an improvised approach,)
Induction
Just imagine that it’s a nice, spring day, and that you’re lying on a soft woolen blanket, on a sandy beach, by the side of the ocean. If you accept each detail of the situation as I describe it, without trying to think critically, your imagination will be free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there.
I’m going to count from one to ten, and by the time I get to the count of ten, you’ll be resting comfortably in a deep, sound state of hypnosis. So just relax, and listen to my voice as I begin the count from one to ten.
One . You can feel the warm sand beneath the blanket on which you're lying, and you can feel the gentle breeze blowing across your body, cooling you to just the right temperature, so that all you want to do is just keep drifting, and dreaming . . . and floating . . . on . . . and on . . . and on.
Two . You can hear the sound of the waves gently
crashing upon the ocean shore. You can hear the sound of the gulls in the distance, and you can savor the freshness of the pure salt air, as you feel a heavy, relaxed feeling coming over you. You can feel your  arms relaxing, you can feel your legs relaxing, and you can feel your entire body relaxing completely. As I continue to count, and continue to talk, every word that I utter will carry you faster and deeper, faster and deeper, down and down, into a deep, sound, peaceful state of hypnosis.
Three . . . You can feel your entire body relaxing now . . . relaxing deeper and faster, and deeper and faster, all of the time.
Four . Sinking down, and shutting down .
. . sinking down, and shutting down . . . sinking down, and shutting down . . Shutting down completely. And the deeper you go, the deeper you are able to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more peaceful, and the more relaxing,
and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.
Five . Sinking and relaxing, and sinking and relaxing, deeper and faster, deeper and faster, all of the time. Relaxing so very deeply now that you can just let yourself go completely, as you continue drifting down and down, into a deep, sound, blissful state of hypnosis.
Every word that I utter is carrying you faster and deeper, faster and deeper, down, and down, and down. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go, and the more peaceful, and the more beautiful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.
Six . Relaxing so very deeply now, as you continue drifting on and on, into a deep, sound sleep, a deep, sound sleep.
Seven.  Sinking down and shutting down. Sinking down and shutting down. Sinking down and shutting down, shutting down completely.
Eight . And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go. And the deeper you go, the more peaceful and the more relaxing and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.
Nine. Sinking down, and shutting down. Sinking down, and shutting down. Sinking down, and shutting down. Shutting down completely.
Ten. Very deeply drifting, in a deep, sound state of hypnosis. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you are able to go. And the deeper you go, the stronger the effects of my words become.
Deepening
Now, as you continue sinking deeper with every word that I speak, and with every second that passes, you can imagine, or picture in your mind, a clock dial, with no second hand and no minute hand on the clock, just an hour hand. And the hour hand is set at twelve.
I’m going to move that hour hand back, one hour at a time, until it’s all the way back to one. And with each hour that I move the hand back, you’ll go twice as deep as you are right now, and you’ll feel twice as good as you do right now.
There is no end to the depth of experience you can have in deep hypnosis.There is no limit to how good you can feel, and to the benefits you can obtain from it. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go . And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more peaceful and the more wonderful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes. So just let yourself go completely now, as I move the hour hand back, one hour at a time.  
And now I’ve moved the hour hand back  from 12 to 11, and you’re sinking down twice as deep as you were before. And the deeper you go, the more easily you are able to become aware of your Future Self  -- of the person you are becoming.
And now I’ve moved it down to 10,  and you feel twice as deep and you feel twice as good. But there’s never any sense of strain or overload, for the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the deeper you go, the deeper you’re able to go. And the deeper you go, the more  enjoyable the experience becomes.
And now I’ve moved it down to 9. Twice as deep, and feeling twice as good
. As I lead you deeper and deeper into hypnosis, your Future Self -- the person that you are becoming -- will provide you with all the guidance and support that you need, in order to free yourself from the problems and limitations that have been holding you back. This guidance will enable these problems to be solved in just the right way, and at just the right time, for you to keep whatever is of value to the person that you will become, and to release and eliminate whatever needs to be released.
8. Twice as deep, sinking down and down, and feeling twice as good, as you allow  your Future Self to handle all of your problems in the outside world in the healing light of your future.  
7. Twice as deep yet again, and feeling twice as good yet again.
6. Deeper yet. Notice what that does, and notice how good you feel. And imagine how good you’re going to feel, when we get all the way down to one
5. Twice as deep, yet again, and feeling twice as good yet again . . . . deeper . . . and deeper . . .And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go . . . and the deeper you go, the deeper you are able to go . . . and the more beautiful, and more wonderful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.
4. Deeper . . . deeper . . . deeper . . .
3. Twice as deep, and feeling twice as good . . .
2. Deeper . . . deeper . . . deeper . . .
1. Infinitely, and unbelievably deep, and continuing to go deeper with every word that I speak .

Virtual Reality Hypnosis: A Journey into the Multiverse!


After an appropriate hypnotic induction and deepening, the following suggestions may be used to provide a sufficiently imaginative individual with an experience of traveling into the Multiverse, the Universe of all possible Universes, in order to undergo a transformational, life-changing experience. Since the term "hyperempiria" literally means suggestion-enhanced experience, the participants first go "down" into hypnosis and then "up " into hyperempiria (Gibbons & Lynn, 2008).

The exercise is written in accordance with the view of  post-modern constructionism, which is the philosophy that since we can never really know what "truth" is, we should help clients to put together any type of conceptual framework which helps them to find the meaning of their existence, regardless of the personal reality that we construct for ourselves about the reality of things which are fundamentally unknowable,

 It incorporates the BEST ME Technique of multimodal suggestion (Gibbons & Lynn, 2008), which employs suggested changes in Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations, to provide a systematic, comprehensive experience involving one's entire person in the content of a suggested event. 

It is written in a style which is commonly used in "hypnotic' language, with frequent pairing of words and images, and the use of spoken suggestions which are repeated far beyond the point of boredom in a  ordinary conversation, with considerable elaboration, much as one might vary the verses and choruses of a song. 

For additional information, including details on how to conduct hyperempiric experiences of travel to parallel and  alternate universes in addition to the multiverse itself,, see Gibbons & Woods (2016). 
------------------------
Now the scene is changing, and we are standing at the top of a large mountain which is covered with clouds after a sudden spring shower. One end of a large rainbow which leads to the Multiverse, the universe of all possible universes, is touching the ground right in front of us. 
We walk up to this rainbow and prepare to enter the first band. As we go through each band one by one, each band will present you with a priceless gift, which you will be able to take back with you. And the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the treasure that your life will become as you continue to explore the joys and wonders of these alternate and parallel universes.First, we are entering the red band of the rainbow. Red is the color of strength. Feel this strength flowing through you now, driving out the stress, driving out the worry, driving out the care, and filling and flooding every muscle and nerve and cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite, boundless strength, and confidence, and power. [Brief Pause]
Next, we are entering the orange band of the rainbow, Orange is the color of happiness. Each time that I lead you into these higher realms of being, you go deeper; each time you go faster, and each time you feel this happiness more intensely than you did the time before. Feel the happiness flooding through you, filling and flooding every muscle and nerve and cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite happiness and boundless joy. [Brief Pause]
Yellow is the color of healing. As we travel through the band of yellow light, you can feel its healing warmth, flooding into every muscle, and every fiber, and nerve of your body, penetrating to the very core of your being. [Brief Pause]
Even when you are no longer in hypnosis, my voice will tend to bring it back, in much the same way and with much the same effect as if I were hypnotizing you all over again.Now, we are entering the green band of light. Green is the color of renewal. The farther we go into the rainbow, the more your sense of the passing of time is slowing down; and regardless of the time we may actually have been gone, it will seem as if we had been gone for a much, much longer time. It could even seem as if we had been gone for an eternity. And the benefits of our journey will be increased in direct proportion to the time that it feels like we have been away.
Now we are traveling through the band of blue, which is the color of Heaven, and the color of Eternity. Each time I lead you into these higher realms of being, you gain an ever-increasing appreciation of the true nature of reality; for the spark of Divinity which is within you is nothing less than the energy of the Multiverse itself. 
Next, we move into the band of indigo, which contains the heightened creative powers that are becoming yours in ever-increasing amounts, as we continue to explore the joys and wonders of these parallel and alternate universes.
Finally, we are entering the band of violet, which is the color of serenity. It's only the separation from this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, wonder, ecstasy, and delight -- it’s only the separation from this infinite ocean of peace, and calm, and tranquility -- that is the source of all unhappiness, all depression, all anxiety, all loneliness, and all despair. And now that this separation has been removed, you have a sense of fulfillment and an inner peace which is greater than anything you have ever dreamed of, longed for, hoped for, or desired, and far beyond the power of words to describe. 
As we step out of the final band of the rainbow and into the Multiverse itself, you have entered the Universe of all possible Universes, where time and space have ceased to exist, and all the bands of the rainbow which brought us here have blended into one boundless ocean which contains them all: strength, happiness, healing, renewal, peace,power, and serenity, more beautiful than anything you have ever dreamed of, hoped for, longed for, or imagined -- infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity, and far beyond the power of words to describe. 
Soak it up and make it part of you: for this experience will change your life in many different ways, and on many levels.And now, we are reaching down into the vast, untapped potentials that lie within you . . . and we are releasing . . . wonderful feelings of happiness . . . and joy . . . and wonder . . . and rapture . . . and ecstasy . . . and pleasure and delight. And all these wonderful feelings are flowing out from your innermost depths, sent by your inner healer . . . filling . . . and flooding . . . every muscle and every fiber, and every nerve of your being, with wave after wave of beautiful, indescribable joy, happiness, wonder, ecstasy, and delight. For the stronger we can make them, the more effective they will be . . . in paving over the effects of every negative thing that has ever happened to you, and changing your life into a thing of wondrous beauty.
And so, these feelings come flowing out . . . and flowing out . . . There’s no end to how good you can feel, and no end to how strong we can make them . . . If you weren’t hypnotized, you couldn’t bear a fraction of the joy, and the happiness, and the wonder, and the ecstasy, and the unimaginable delight that is flowing through every muscle and fiber, and cell and nerve of your body, now, in these golden moments of delight. 
And the more you feel, the more you’re able to feel, and the more you feel, the more you want to feel, and the more wonderful, the more rapturous, the experience becomes. 
This is your time . . .to savor and experienced to the fullest. As the feelings continue to grow, stronger and stronger, they are becoming infinite in their strength . . . and infinite in their power . . . beyond the power of mere words to describe . . . infinite, beyond infinity . . . and eternal, beyond all measure of Eternity. You find yourself floating . . . and dissolving . . . into a wave of infinite, unbounded ecstasy, beyond the limitations of time . . . beyond the limitations of space . . . beyond the limitations of the Universe, itself . . . You are flowing . . . into another universe . . . where there is no time . . . there is no space . . . There is only . . . an endless ocean of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love, at the center of this universe, which is in the center of all other universes, and at the center of all existence.
You feel yourself dissolving into this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, ecstasy, love, and delight. And it’s as if all of the happiness, and all of the love, and all of the joy, and all of the wonder, and all of the rapture that have ever been felt by all the people who ever walked the face of the earth . . .put together, are yours . . . to enjoy . . . now . . . in these golden moments, freed from the limitations of time and space.
It’s only the separation from this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, wonder, ecstasy, and delight, which is your home beyond the stars . . . it’s only the separation from this ocean where you will spend Eternity . . . that is the source of all unhappiness, all depression, all anxiety, all loneliness, and all despair. 
Soak it up, and make it part of you. This is the fulfillment of your existence -- greater than anything you ever dreamed of., longed for, hoped for, or imagined, and far beyond the power of words to describe. Infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. . . . yours . . . to savor . . . now . . . and experience to the fullest. . . .in these golden moments of delight.
And regardless of whatever else may be going on in your life, as you continue to regularly return here, to this, your home beyond the stars, it will have the power to change your life forever, and turn each day into a thing of wondrous beauty.
Every path that you have taken, every road that you have trod, has lead you here, to this, the fulfillment of your existence. . . .Infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. . . .Greater than anything you have ever hoped for, longed for, dreamed of, or imagined, and far beyond the power of mere words to describe. 
Because time does not exist in this Universe, even though only a few moments may have passed in the Universe from which you left. when you return you will feel as rested and refreshed as if you had been away for a week, a month, or perhaps you may even feel as if you had been gone for an eternity
Because you have been in another Universe, regardless of how much you actually remember of the experience itself, you will always look back upon these journeys with fondness, even as you look forward to the next opportunity to return , with ever-increasing anticipation 
Each time that you are hypnotized, you will be able to go into hypnosis faster. Each time that you are hypnotized, you will be able to go into hypnosis more deeply. And each time that you are hypnotized, you will be able to obtain even more benefit from the experience.
Now, we are ready to return to the Universe from which we came, by riding through the rainbow that brought us here, in reverse order, from the inside out, You will remain in deep hypnosis until we emerge together from the final band. Just as before, each band of color will present you with a priceless gift from these experiences which you will be able to take back with you.
First, we are beginning to retrace our steps through the band of violet, the color of serenity. It's only the separation from this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, wonder, ecstasy and delight -- it’s only the separation from this infinite ocean of peace, and calm, and tranquility -- that is the source of all unhappiness, all depression, all anxiety, all loneliness, and all despair. And now that this separation has been removed, it has brought you an inner peace which is the fulfillment of your existence -- greater than anything you have ever dreamed of, longed for, hoped for, longed for, or imagined, and far beyond the power of words to describe: infinite beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. 
Next, we move back into the band of indigo, which contains the higher mental powers that are becoming yours in ever increasing amounts, as we continue to explore the joys and wonders of these alternate and parallel Universes. 
Now, we are traveling through the band of blue, which is the color of Heaven, and the color of Eternity. We have been to Heaven. We are higher than the angels. And we will go back there; for this is our eternal home, beyond the stars. 
Each time I lead you into these higher realms of being, you gain an ever-increasing appreciation of the true nature of reality; for the spark of Divinity which is within you is nothing less than the energy of the Multiverse itself. 
 Now, we are entering the green band of light. Green is the color of renewal. Regardless of the actual time we have been away, it will seem as if we have been gone for a much longer time. It could even seem as if we have been gone for an eternity. And the benefits of our journey will be increased in direct proportion to the time that we have been away.
Next, as we travel through the band of yellow light, you can feel its healing warmth flooding once more into every muscle, and every fiber, and nerve of your body, penetrating to the very core of your being. [Brief Pause]
Even when you are no longer in hypnosis, my voice will tend to bring it back, in much the same way and with much the same effect as if I were hypnotizing you all over again. 
Now, we are entering the orange band of the rainbow. Orange is the color of happiness. Feel the happiness flooding through you, filling and flooding every muscle and nerve and cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite happiness and boundless joy. [Brief Pause]
Each time I lead you into these higher realms of being, you go deeper, each time I lead you into these higher realms of being, you go faster, and each time you experience this happiness more deeply and more intensely than you did the time before.
Finally, we are entering the red band of the rainbow. Red is the color of strength. Feel this strength flowing through you now, driving out the stress, driving out the worry, driving out the care, and filling and flooding every muscle and nerve and cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite, boundless strength, and confidence, and power. [Brief Pause]
You will always look back on these hypnotic sessions with fondness, even as you look forward to the next opportunity to return to them with ever increasing anticipation; for you will obtain everything you wanted from this experience, regardless of whether or not it was specifically included in the suggestions that you were given 
You are one of a gifted few whose life is not limited to living in one Universe at a time. And the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the priceless treasure that your life is becoming, as our explorations in these alternate and parallel Universes continue to change your life into a thing of wondrous beauty, in many different ways and on many different levels, some of which you may already know, and some of which you may not yet realize until they actually occur.
Tonight, you will be able to fall asleep easily, and you will have a pleasant, refreshing sleep from which you will awaken rested and refreshed, and feeling wonderful; for your Future Self is always with you, guiding your path in the way it should go.
Now, as we prepare to return to the Universe from which you came, all of the dimensions of the Universe from which you originally left will reassert themselves. Your mind will be clear and alert, and you will easily be able to concentrate on anything you have to do. But the benefits and the good feelings of these experiences will remain with you, making it so much easier to resist stresses of every kind and filling your life with zest and joy.. Know who you really are. Be who you really are.
By the time I get to the count of five you will open your eyes, beaming with happiness and radiant with joy. One. Getting ready to open your eyes now. Two. . .Three.. . . Four. . . Five. You can open your eyes now, feeling wonderful! You are wonderful!

(c) Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., and Kelley T. Woods, 2016.
References

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2008). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. In Ruhe, J. W., Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Assn.

Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016) Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.) 




  



















How to Get Around to Overcoming Procrastination

The following link was posted by Bill Kennedy on the discussion forum, Hypnothoughts.com. It's a very cleverly-written piece that does not require the use of hypnosis to be effective. Bill correctly points out that not everyone's experience of procrastination will be identical, and so this strategy may not work for anyone He also points out that one should not characterize the monkey in the imagery as "bad." The goal, as Bill says, is to get the monkey playing in the "Happy Playgro
und rather than in the Dark Playground."

http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/11/how-to-beat-procrastination.html

On the same forum, Barry Neale pointed out that "procrastination can often be a symptom of depression; but even if it is, the following YouTube presentation may often help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FJ5dkizJTs 

Finally, 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] 
  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
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Can Hypnosis be used to help Trump's Dementia?

Help it, yes. Cure it, no, because brain damage is biologically irreversible. The same can be said for prescription drugs. But is he really demented?  Here's an example of what I mean. Judge for yourself.

How to Recognize a Toxic Person

I often see people in my psychology practice who are anxious and depressed because someone in their family is a "toxic person," or has a personality disorder, and is driving everyone else crazy! If a person is obviously mentally ill or has a substance abuse problem, we usually have a pretty clear idea of what is wrong and how to go about getting help for them.. But toxic persons, or people with personality disorders, are usually not even aware that they have a problem. We may interact with them every day, and we may even be very close to them emotionally, even though they are often difficult to get along with because something about them is just -- well, different.

Toxic or personality disordered people are not “crazy” in the popular sense of the term, and they usually do not end up in mental hospitals unless something else is wrong with them; but these patterns tend to lie at the very core of their sense of self. They may sometimes even be proud of the traits that make them different and set them apart from others.

While actual diagnosis and treatment should only be undertaken by a mental health professional, the summaries which follow will help you to gain at least occasional insights into the behavior of many of the people you interact with every day, and which probably form the basis of many toxic relationships in the workplace, and possibly even within your own family and circle of friends. We all occasionally have some of these traits; but if you think that you may have a particular type of personality disorder, you should only consider this question very carefully, with professional help -- and the chances are very good that you don't.

The following descriptions of personality disorders have been compiled by some of the best minds in the field of mental health, drawing upon years of clinical observation and literally hundreds of research studies to find patterns which “clump together” in present-day culture. Please keep in mind, however, that it is possible to have more than one personality disorder at a time, and many people can possess some of the traits of one or more personality disorders without having enough to qualify for a formal diagnosis. 

A word of caution: You Tube is flooded with descriptions of personality disorders, but since anyone can post to You Tube, there is no quality control whatsoever. Even people who may have published books on one or more personality disorders may tend to treat everyone the same, without due regard for individual differences. Like anything else on the Internet, such postings should not be taken as authoritative unless you trust the source!

Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

The ancient Greeks used to tell the story of Narcissus -- a lad who was so good-looking that he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, and spent so much time gazing at it that he eventually fell into the pool and drowned. People who are given a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder are often perceived as being selfish or conceited. They may often spend a great deal of time telling you how great they are, or boasting of their achievements or accomplishments.

Some people think of a person with a narcissistic personality disorder as having a superiority complex to cover up for an inferiority complex. When you get to know such people well, it soon becomes apparent that the reason they spend so much time “tooting their own horn” is that deep down inside, they really feel afraid, inadequate, and unlovable.

Narcissists do not always act selfishly in the short term. They are often highly motivated to pursue long-term goals in order to prove their worth both to themselves and others. For this reason, narcissists often tend to gravitate to positions of leadership in business, government, education -- and yes, even churches.

Narcissists often cause a great deal of suffering, particularly when they happen to be employers, family members,  or romantic partners. Yet there are ways of dealing with them. (Since no two personalities are exactly identical, however, you cannot stereotype them and treat them all exactly the same way.)

Histrionic Personality Disorder.

People who have been diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder may often be compared to an adult version of the “spoiled child” who will do anything to remain the center of attention. If histrionics are able to “show off” and remain the center of attention by doing a good job, they often accomplish a great deal. But if they feel that they are being ignored, or that the attention which they crave so deeply is denied them, they may become angry and disruptive in order to get it back again -- even if it’s unfavorable attention this time! ("I don't care what yor say about me," one publicity-hungry histrionic is reported to have said to a reporter for a scandal magazine. "Just be sure you spell my name right.!")

Antisocial Personality Disorder.

People with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder did not incorporate our society’s standards of right and wrong into their personalities as well as the rest of us have. They begin getting into trouble with the authorities by the time they are adolescents, and don’t grow out of it. As you might suppose, this pattern is much more common in men than in women.

Since personality disorders are so difficult to change, many such people keep going back and forth to jail from their teen years until middle age, when they seem to mellow out of their own accord. They make up the bulk of most prison populations, and often have a history of substance abuse or substance dependency. However, people with antisocial personality traits (I like to call them stealth antisocials) may be encountered almost anywhere, even at the highest levels of many organizations; and they may not be found out until their behavior gets them into trouble. (The discovery and apprehension of stealth antisocials in high-profile positions is the basis of many of the news stories we read about every day.)

Borderline Personality Disorder.

To understand the person who qualifies for a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, think back to some of the stormiest days of your own adolescence, or the adolescence of someone you know well. With an incompletely developed sense of self, the borderlines have no firm idea of who they are and where they are going. Their lives are often erratic, with frequent job changes and alterations in long term goals, and intense and unstable friendships and romantic involvements.

Because of their poorly developed sense of self, borderlines often have difficulty with so-called “boundary issues,” or the ability to distinguish between what is appropriate and what is inappropriate in a given situation. Some borderlines, in fact, may find it difficult to even talk to a person of the opposite sex for very long without acting as if they are falling in love with them. As would be expected, the romantic lives of borderlines tend to be especially intense and tumultuous. The manipulative abilities of people with borderline personality disorder often enable them to deceive those who do not understand the inner storms which produce such behavior, which frequently causes their sudden bouts of passion to be mistaken for genuine love.

Borderlines often engage in “splitting,” with either extremely positive or extremely negative feelings towards others, sometimes suddenly reversing from extreme friendliness to extreme rejection and vice-versa. This changeability frequently leads them to engage in behavior that is highly manipulative. This splitting may also be the reason why the interpersonal relationships of borderlines are often centered around real of imagined fears of abandonment. (One book on borderline personality disorder is entitled, I Hate You - Don’t Leave Me!) These tendencies to engage in splitting may also explain why borderlines also seem to have a strong ability to divide those around them into separate camps of friends and enemies.  

Borderlines usually have very low self-esteem, and suicidal gestures, genuine attempts,
and successful suicides are not uncommon. Since many borderlines have a history of cutting themselves, or other forms of self-injurious behavior, it has been speculated that this represents an extreme attempt to combat the overwhelming numbness of an otherwise empty life.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.


People who have been diagnosed with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may be popularly known as a “nit-picker” or “neat freak.” They may become so involved with orderliness, perfectionism, and control that efficiency suffers as a result. This culture tends to place a high value on preoccupation with detail in certain jobs. With proper training, people who have milder forms of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may become excellent law clerks, college registrars, bank auditors, or personal physicians -- in which case, it may not be a personality disorder any more, unless it interferes with their functioning off the job!

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is closely related to another disorder with a similar name, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD for short, which is similar in nature but more limited in scope. Obsessive-compulsive disorder refers to a pattern of continually recurring thoughts (obsessions), or behaviors which one is compelled to continually repeat, such as checking a door several times in a row to be sure that it is locked.

Avoidant Personality Disorder.

People who carry a diagnosis of avoidant personality disorder have had such unpleasant social interactions in the past that with the possible exception of one or two close relatives or special friends, they have come to fear all human contact. Avoidants are frequently not merely shy about most social situations, they are genuinely phobic about them. Their avoidance is often centered around a core belief that if people really got to know them, it would immediately become obvious how incompetent and worthless they really are, and the immediate result would be scorn, rejection, and loss of employment. People with an avoidant personality disorder often tend to gravitate to solitary occupations -- researchers, librarians, or forest rangers, for example; and they may be attracted by certain monastic orders. (Of course, not everyone in these types of occupations could be diagnosed with an avoidant personality disorder!)

Dependent Personality Disorder.

A central theme in the life of people who have been diagnosed with a dependent personality disorder is a need to be looked after and taken care of, often accompanied by excessive fears of real or imagined abandonment. Ironically, some people who qualify for a diagnosis of DPD may behave in exactly opposite fashion. Those with milder forms of this disorder may attempt to satisfy their underlying dependency needs by becoming so efficient and thorough that they make themselves indispensable. Others, whose disorder is more severe, become highly dependent on instructions from above, and are reluctant to show any initiative in carrying out their responsibilities for fear that they will have made the wrong decision.

Paranoid Personality Disorder.

People who have been diagnoses with paranoid personality disorder tend to see the activities of other people as ill-intentioned -- even when the opposite is true. Compliments may be seen as attempts to gain undue influence through flattery, and offers of help may be seen as evidence that the person to whom the help is offered is viewed as incompetent. The resulting suspiciousness and hostility may tend to bring about the negative attitudes and behaviors which the person with a paranoid personality disorder believes were always there. (The saying goes, “Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!”)

Schizoid Personality Disorder.

The person who has been diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder is an extreme loner or a “cold fish” who just isn’t interested in being around people. Such people are often found in the most solitary jobs which others might tend to shy away from. Because of their extreme lack of social skills, they should not be expected to change simply by inviting them to parties or by introducing them to a wide circle of people.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder.

People who have been diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder typically have bizarre notions of cause and effect, and may practice unusual rituals of their own devising, either to make things happen or to prevent them from happening, similar to those who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Their everyday speech patterns and favorite topics of converstation are usually regarded by those around them as being somewhat bizarre, although not totally “crazy” in the popular sense of the term. They may also take a keen interest in cults and in the paranormal. Although certainly not everyone who is interested in such topics has a schizotypal personality disorder, the true schizotypal still tends to stand out because of bizarre thought patterns.

Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder.

Although the American Psychiatric Association no longer officially lists this as a separate personality disorder, people with passive aggressive tendencies try to disrupt things by sabotaging the success of their employers, their family, or their friends without appearing do so deliberately, because they feel that their own needs for recognition, status, or achievement are not being met, or that other people are more successful than they are. Passive aggressive people may risk an occasional confrontation if it helps them to get their frustrations out, but they can usually gauge their actions carefully enough to avoid losing their jobs or their families.

If they are not frankly and firmly confronted about their behavior, their passive-aggressive patterns may become worse over time as they continue to follow their own “hidden agendas” and they feel that their actions are being accepted or condoned. They may single out for special treatment vulnerable individuals or groups who will not or cannot “fight back,” and their behavior may degenerate into outright bullying. Then, when the inevitable day of reckoning does arrive, the consequences may be much more serious -- both for the victims and for the organization -- than if the problem had been immediately and forcefully dealt with.

Limitations of a Personality Disorder Diagnosis.

In order to qualify for any of the foregoing diagnoses of personality disorder, the disorder must be seen to cause people significant distress in their social, intellectual, or occupational functioning, regardless of whether or not they are aware of this fact. Temperamental but highly successful movie stars, for example, whose demanding and self-centered behavior would interfere with their adjustment in another setting, would probably not qualify for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder as long as they can "get away with it." Similarly, people who live alone in a remote location miles from the nearest neighbor would not qualify for a diagnosis of avoidant personality disorder as long as they are able to function well their current situation, regardless of how intensely they may dislike having social contact with their fellow human beings.

It's easy to see how more than one personality disorder, or the traits of several, can work together in the same individual. Most of us are familiar with, or have heard stories about, the narcissistic borderline who sleeps her way into an executive position and then proceeds to systematically eliminate all those who are familiar with how she got to where she is, while tyrannizing over the ones who have been hired as their replacements. We are also not surprised to learn about a narcissistic antisocial convict (sometimes referred to as a psychopath), who immediately commits another crime upon his release from prison, which entitles him to several more years of "three hots and a cot," plus free medical and dental care. Many of us have also witnessed instances of a passive-aggressive histrionic, who regularly disrupts public meetings with their oft-repeated tales of woe, to the extent that it becomes next to impossible to get any business done. 

People with personality disorders are not likely to seek professional assistance, because they are frequently inclined to blame their troubles on everyone but themselves. When they do seek help, it is usually because they are forced to do so (often in conjunction with an assault or a suicide attempt, or because a family member insists on it). They tend to remain as long as they are "hurting," or as long as they are forced to stay. When they are no longer hurting and are in a position to stop, they discontinue treatment.

Istead of seeing the personality-disordered individual directly,a therapist is much more likely to see a family member, romantic partner, or employee who presents with anxiety or depression as a result of their interaction with someone who has a personality disorder (whom they may refer to as a "toxic person" or an "energy vampire").

A final word of caution: as stated previously, an actual diagnosis of a personality disorder should only be made by an appropriately trained mental health professional. One of the easiest and most powerful ways to insult people is to let them know that you suspect them of having a personality disorder! While avoiding making such a diagnosis yourself unless you are properly trained to do so, and not communicating your suspicions to the individuals concerned, knowing how to recognize the major symptoms of a personality disorder will place you in a much better position to deal with such people on a daily basis, and to seek professional assistance in order to better cope with them if you need to do so. 

Print Sources

Cavaiola, A. C., & Lavender, N. J. (2000). Toxic co-workers: How to deal with dysfunctional people on the job. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual, DSM-V. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.