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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): Science or "Sacred Cow?"

Many lay hypnotists have seized upon "neuro-linguistic progamming" (or NLP for short) as the basis for a separate, and financially profitable, "science." There is a branch of philosophy called structural linguistics, which is the scientific study of the relationship of language and behavior, but most practitioners of NLP have never even heard of it. However, because they conduct workshops which teach and certify students in this technique, NLP has turned into a "sacred cow" which simply cannot be killed.

There is an animal called the blowfish, which has the power to puff itself up to several times its size in order to frighten away potential enemies. NLP also seems to puff itself up to several times its actual size by taking credit for hypnotic phenomena which have been around for a long time by other names. (A suggested response to a specific stimulus, for example, which has long been used in the form of post-hypnotic suggestion. is re-branded and loudly touted as "anchoring," and what has always been referrred to as "waking suggestion" is now "conversational hypnosis," a supposedly secret method of influencing people without their awareness.) 

The poponents of NLP then iinflate their size still further by claiming things which are already recognized by simple observation and common sense. But if NLP is really the next big thing, Why is it a phantom area, which isn't even mentioned in the mainstream academic books on psychology and hypnosis? Why is there nothing which even refers to it in the annual meeting programs of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, the American Psychological Association, and in peer-reviewed journals of record such as the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, the Journal of Clinical and Experimental hypnosis, or the Handbook of clinical Hypnosis, which is published by the American Psychological Association? I was not able to find any references to NLP in the appendix or reference lists of any of the current books on hypnosis in my possession. If controlled experimentation is continuing in this area, it is apparently not of sufficient quality to meet the standards required for acceptance in peer-reviewed scientific journals or for inclusion in well-known books published by titans in the field.

Testimonials, of course are easy to obtain, because there are a certain number of people who will always improve regardless of whether or not they have received any treatment; and because of the charisma of the NLP practitioner who treated them. In the words of Irving Yalom, whose researrch in group dynamacs is world-famous, "It's the relationship that heals. It's the reationship that heals. It's the relationship that heals. My professional rosary!" There is also little doubt that the principles of NLP can appear quite plausible to non-scientists, who produce a steady stream of their own publications aimed at convincing each other of their latest findings (and which seem very convincing in scripted You-Tube demonstrations). 

There is an old lawyers' adage which states, "If the law is in your favor, argue your case based upon the law. If the facts are in your favor, argue your case based upon the facts. If neither the law nor the facts are in your favor, attack the judge!: In contrast to the relative openness of the scientific community, anyone who questions the potential of NLP is about as welcome in their forums and discussion threads as a skunk at a picnic. When challenged, NLP practitioners are likely to reply with the ad hominem attack that their critics have obviously not read the right material, and that they are blinded by their own ideological presuppositions. 

I generally do not reply to such criticisms, because I refuse to fight a duel with an unarmed man. But if you would  to assess the scientific standing of NLP yourself, the answer is as close as your nearest telephone. Call up the college or university nearest you, and ask to speak to someone in the psychology department who teaches courses in perception. Then, ask him or her whether or not neuro-linguistic programming is a recognized body of research a plausible-sounding compilation of psychobabble. Is NLP a "sacred cow," which cannot be killed because it provides a steady stream of revenue to lay hypnotists, who spend their time training and talking to each other and to the general public, instead of submitting their articles for serious sientific scrutiny in peer-reviewed journals of record? To any and all of these questions, your answer is likely to be a resounding

But all is not lost for NLP or its proponents.. As I have said elsewhere, post-modern constructionism is the point of view that since we can never reqlly 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 beliefs that we construct for ourselves about the reality of things which are fundamentally unknowable.. 

How will we knowthen, when we are on the right track? In the words of +Michael Ellner,
The path that the people who beat the odds take does not seem to be as important as the way they walk the path that they have chosen. This is based on extensive experience assisting people with life-threatening diseases and conditions and assisting people living with medically unexplained syndromes and symptoms like chronic pain, FMS, IBS and CFS. What they do — does not seem to be as important as how they do what they do… The people who do what they do with a happy heart, peaceful mind and playful spirit seem to have the best outcomes regardless of what they are doing.  
And how do they get that way? Irving Yalom, fanous for his group work, said, "It's the relationship that heals. It's the relationship that heals. It's the relationship that heals. My professional rosary." As witch doctors abd medicine men have known since the dawn of pre-history, If you construct an ideology that people accept, and if you relate well enough to your clients to get them to the point that Ellner just described, it doesn't matter much what you do. Regardless of whether or not the Academic community points out that "The Emperor Has No Clothes," you will still be regarded in some quarters as a success!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Steven Hawking Confirms Imaginary Time and Parallel Universes

In the vollowing video, Steven Hawking provides confirmation of both imaginary time and the concept of parallel universes.-- and, most importantly, he's a hoot!

Here's a quote from Steven Hawking which appears to lessen the distinction between external reality and the reality we believe in for other reasons. Ezploring alternate Universes to help us live better lives in this one? Why not? 
One might think this means that imaginary numbers are just a mathematical game having nothing to do with the real world. From the viewpoint of positivist philosophy, however, one cannot determine what is real. All one can do is find which mathematical models describe the universe we live in. It turns out that a mathematical model involving imaginary time predicts not only effects we have already observed but also effects we have not been able to measure yet nevertheless believe in for other reasons. So what is real and what is imaginary? Is the distinction just in our minds?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nirvana Now! How to Overcome Insomnia in the Multiverse

Using your imagination to project yourself into the Multiverse, or the Universe of all possible Universes, can bring you about as close to the Buddhist concept of nirvana -- a state of perfect peace, in which the ocean of the mind calms and all worldly cares and desires are given up, as it is possible to go in your present lifetime. This is also the best frame of mind to use to overcome insomnia!.

Are you really there or is this just a powerful healing metaphor? Who cares? The experience is real, if you imagine it vividly enough; and most psychologists and educators agree that experience is the forerunner of change 

As I have said elsewhere, i like to use the Best Me Technique as a systematic, comprehensive method for involving one's whole being in the content of a suggestion or autosuggestion. The Best Me Technique utilizes the simultaneous involvement of Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations, for greater involvement and effectiveness. Taken together, the elements of this technique form the acronym, BEST ME, and may be summarized as follows.
Belief systems which orient an individual to person, place, time, and events may be suggested as being different, allowing the participant to mentally transcend present realities.

Emotions may be enriched, intensified, weakened, or combined with others.

Sensations and physical perceptions may be suggested and experienced with an intensity approaching those of real events.

Thoughts and images may be created and guided in response to explicit or indirect suggestions.

Motives may either be suggested directly or implied as a consequence of other events.
BEST ME suggestiions may be presented in any order and repeated as often as necessary, with elaboration and variation, much as one might vary the verses and choruses of a song one is composing. Here is the core of the BEST ME suggestions I use when I wake up in the middle of the night and want to get back to sleep without tossing and turning until it finally overtakes me. The thoughts are pleasant and enjoyable to think about, and if I just keep turning them over and over in my mind, it isn't long before I'm asleep again.

B. You are entering an alternate Universe, in which time and space as we know it do not exist.

E. You are floating endlessly on and on, in an infinite ocean of perfect calm and serenity.

S . Feel yourself being totally absorbed inton this infinite ocean of perfect peace, and feel it flowing through every muscle, and fiber, and  nerve of your body.

T. Now, as you come to the very center of this infinite, boundless ocean of perfect peace and calm, the ocean of the mind is becoming perfectly calm, as safe and as secure as a little baby tenderly cuddled in its mother's arms.. [This is only one of a number of images you can use to convey sense of perfect peace.]

M.  All your worldly cares and desires have vanished, as you become completely absorbed in this infinite ocean of perfect, boundless, peace and calm

E. Now you will be able to drift on to sleep, from which you will awaken perfectly rested and refreshed.

There are plenty of other things you can do to get a good night's sleep,. and you may have to work at it at first. But, instead of worrying about the cares of the day, the thoughts of the BEST ME technique which you will be using to occupy your mind are pleasant ones. 

You shouldn't just try it once and then give up. Lke other forms of meditation, the more you practice it, the better you become. I have used it myself nearly every night for a couple of years; and I can vouch for the fact that with time and practice, its effectiveness and its benefits do increase. 

I still do briefly wake up once in a while; and I still have to allow myself plenty of time to get a good night's sleep. But when I do wake up, by turning my mind to these pleasant thoughts instead of worrying about all the things that I have to do the next day, so far at least, I have always managed to awaken feeling refreshed and ready to go. So far, the feedback I have rexeived from my postings on Google+ has been strongly positive. If you decide to try it yourself, I hope you get the same or even better results!