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.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Free Hypnosis Conditioning and Relaxation Tape

Here's  a link to a hypnosis conditioning and relaxation tape , which may be used to accutom a person to enter hypnosis easily andrapidly.   Of course, this procedure is not intended to serve as a substitute for therapy with a duly licensed mental health professional.

The following link to the scripts from which it was  made. enables  you to familiarize yourself with the  content of the tape ahead of time. In addktion to training a person to enter hypnosis easily and rapidlhy, thetape does contain suggestions for relaxation; confidence-building; ego strengthening suggestions by John Hartland; and suggestsions for restful sleep, all of which may help to "bridge the gap" between therapy sessions by reducing anxiety and tension when stressful situations arise.

The tape is approximately twenty minutes in length. The download takes approximately half an hour, because I did not want to sacrifice sound quality for more rapid download types.

To use the tape, find a place that's comfortable, where you are not likely to be disturbed for about half an hour, turn off your cell phone, turn the computer volume up to a comfortable level, and get ready for an enjoyable experience! (And, of course, never try to listen to this tape while upi are driving or operating machinery!)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology for a Successful Diet

Being overweight can be caused by a number of factors. When it is simply due to the habit of making bad decisions concerning food, then a cognitive-behavioral approach such as the one described here may be useful. However, you should not make any changes in your regular eating habits without first consulting with your physician.  

It is widely recognized that most diets simply do not work for most people most of the time. The reason for this is not the food, but the dieters themselves.  Because they have not learned to think like a thin person, after they have been on a diet for a while and lost some weight, they go back to making the same bad choices that made them overweight in the first place (Beck, 2008).

Cognitive-behavioral psychology is the study of the relationships between thinking, feeling, and behavior.  Unless we develop the habit of taking all three of these into account in the same way that thin people do, we will continue living on a perpetual yo-yo of dieting to lose weight and then gaining it back again unto a ripe old age.

The cognitive-behavioral approach (Barlow, 2008) is the fastest-growing orientation in psychology, with an ever-growing body of research behind it to demonstrate that it actually works.  Cognitive-behavioral therapists often use a form called a thought record in order to examine just what goes on in the mind when we make those habitual decisions that keep getting us into trouble by eating the wrong things (Beck, 2008). Here is what one looks like, courtesy of You can make copies for your own use by using the print command on your computer, and you can also obtain different versions for a host of other purposes They also have afree online self-help course and other materials on how to use them -- although, as a psychologist, I am a little more conservative than they are about what can legitimately be included under the rubric of  "self-help."

I'm going to take the liberty of using an example from my own life to illustrate how the CBT Thought Record might be used. After hurricane Sandy, we re-located our practice from Long Beach Island to the highway on the mainland which provides access to the island, which is a major tourist attraction in New Jersey. The stretch of highway nearest our office contains a string of fast-food restaurants, each one next to the other, with a convenience store at the end which sells pre-packaged salads and other healthy snacks, and a health food store on the way back. Thanks in large part to the highly-paid scientists employed by the fast-food industry to "hook" us (Moss, 2013), in the six months that we have been in our new location, I haven't been able to resist the temptation to pull in and get lunch at a fast-food place before I reach the healthy food at the end of this gauntlet. Here are my responses to the seven columns in the Thought Record form that you can see in the link, with the column headings printed in italics and my responses in standard type.
It sounds simple when you look at it this way. But if I had not used the CBT Thought Record to put my thinking, feeling, and behavior under a microscope, I would quite probably have been content to continue to make the wrong decisions every time I had lunch. I would fret about gaining weight, but never do much about it. My evidence for these statements is the frequent lunch stops I used to make at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant close to where I completed my psychology internship instead of looking for a nearby alternative, which also resulted in a noticeable weight gain.

Now let's take a more specific example. Suppose you are putting in long hours and having to do more than your fair share at work because other people have been laid off, and your boss is driving you crazy. You start to gain weight because you have gotten into the habit of consoling yourself by eating too much. Here is an example of one of the decisions you might have to make. 

  • Where were you?   Watching television on the couch at home.
  • Emotion or feeling.  Fatigue. Lethargy. Craving for a snack.
  • Negative automatic thought.  I want to go to the kitchen and get some pretzels and beer.
  • Evidence that supports the thought.  I will enjoy them after a long hard day at work.
  • Evidence that does not support the thought.  I'm becoming a couch potato.
  • Alternative thought or autosuggestion.  I'm going get up and find other activities to enjoy.
  • Emotion or feeling. Relief (60%); discomfort at having to get up (40%).  

  • Of course, there are a lot of other eating habits that need work using the Thought Record Form. However, you don't have to chronicle every decision this way in order to learn to think like a thin person. It only takes a few such exercises to the hang of it. But it is necessary to make a good beginning for cognitive-behavioral psychology to help you to keep your feet on the right path As Confucius said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." 
    Then, visualization -- especially when combined with self-hypnosis -- can also be of great help in providing the incentives to guide you to your destination. 

    See also: 
    How to Eliminate Late-Night Snacking
    How to Get Thin and STAY Thin with Self-Hypnosis and Visualization

    Scroll down for a list of some of the most popular sites on this Blog. 
    Below this list are the most recent Blog entries. 
    For an easily accessible list of all Blog postings, see the list entitled, "Blog Archive" in the column at the right of this page.

    Print and Online References

    Beck, J. S. (2008).  The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House.  (Judith Beck is the daughter of Aaron T. Beck, the founder of cognitive-behavioral therapy, and one of its most widely respected leaders in her own right. 

    (See also:

    Moss, M. (2013). Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.  New York, NY: Random House.

    Most Popular Blog Postings:


    The 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.

    Friday, April 4, 2014

    Poems of Affirmation

    There is a lifetime of wisdom packed the following poems, which have helped to sustain me through misfortunes great and small. I hope you like them too.


    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too:
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thought your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same:
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
    If you can make one heap of all your winnings:
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss:
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much:
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it. . . .

    Rudyard Kipling


    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.