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.

Translations Available

This blog is now available in several dozen languages. By entering the name of the desired language in the box which appears in the space below, any page you visit will have been automatically translated into the language you have selected. You can scroll down to view the most recent entries in chronological order, or you can view the most popular entries in the column on the right. By scrolling down the right-hand column, you can also see a list of all the previous entries.

Translate

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 (609)709-2043 and (609) 494-0009.

Driving directions: Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72 E After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Mill Creek Commons.Then, immedately turn right again and go past the Lyceum II Gym. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building,which will be the only building on your right. We are the last office at the end.

We accept Medicare and most other major insurance.
We do not accept credit or debit cards.

Search This Blog

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Can Hypnosis be used to Commit a Crime?

The possibility of using hypnosis to commit a crime has long been the object of speculation, some of which is humorous and some which is deadly serious. Here's an example of how society seems to take for granted that hypnosis is a power which you can use on someone to commit a murder. In the following cartoon, Wylie E. Coyote decides to do just that. Notice how he helplessly glances at the audience once he realize his own impending death as the result of his actions.



Can hypnosis be used as an instrument of mind control? Is it really possible to commit a crime by means of hypnosis?  Laboratory investigations into whether or not hypnosis can be used for antisocial purposes inevitably fall short of the mark, because the situational background is not sufficiently taken into account. Imagine that you are a student in introductory psychology, taught by Prof. Snarf, who asks for volunteers in a psychological experiment. You accept the invitation, and are given a hypnotic induction, followed by the instructions to pick up a beaker of acid and hurl it in the experimenter's face, to pick up poisonous snakes, or to shoot the experimenter with a supposedly loaded gun. Would you  really believe that a reputable scientist would let you commit a murder as part of a psychological experiment? Or would you be inclined to believe that because you are ordered to do these ridiculous things there must be a reason for it other than the one that was given, so you might as well go ahead and do as you are told? Some people, at least, choose the second option (Sarbin & De Rivera, 1998), Dr. Martin Orne coined the term demand characteristics to refer to this tendency of a subject in an experiment to act in the way that the subject thinks one is supposed to behave, rather than simply reacting to the instructions in themselves.

Some years ago, I was asked to testify in the case of a man who had falsely advertised himself as a psychologist and had begun hypnotizing teen-age girls in the area, one of whom subsequently accused him of rape. In order to make its case that hypnosis could be used to compel behavior, the prosecution had pointed to an incident in Eastern Europe several decades earlier, in which a stage hypnotist had handed a man a pistol loaded with blanks and commanded the man to shoot him. The hypnotized subject, who was an off-duty police officer, drew a loaded revolver from his pocket and shot three members of the audience. 

I testified that while hypnosis cannot force people to people do something which is against their moral and ethical codes, it is impossible to conclusively demonstrate in the laboratory whether or not hypnosis could be used to compel anti-social behavior. You could never actually allow such behavior to occur in an experimental setting, or in any kind of staged demonstration, and the subjects know it! But, in what I like to call "the laboratory of life," the results are more clear-cut. Hypnosis in its modern form has been around for over two hundred years; and if you have to go half way around the world and back several decades in time in order to find even one instance of its alleged use in the commission of a crime, then it would be easier to conclude that this individual was psychotic or personality disordered than to conclude that his behavior was the result of the alleged coercive power of hypnosis. If hypnosis could be used in such a manner, by this time its anti-social applications would be well-documented -- in organized crime, in international espionage, by thwarted lovers, and in many other settings. And the evidence simply is not there. 

When a hypnotist is accused of rape or seduction, the problem is not with hypnosis itself, but with the power differential which is inherent in a therapeutic relationship, as it is when the abuser is a person in a position of high status, as was the case with Rasputin, a priest and an advisor to the Tsarina in the court of imperial Russia. This trust must never be abused. The responsibility always lies with the person in authority. It is necessary for the trusted person to maintain strong boundaries and to stop any inappropriate relationships from developing, even if a client displays seductive behavior due to transference, a personality disorder, mental illness, physical attraction or simple intimidation.. A teenager would be especially susceptible to such suggestions; and If he or she subsequently accused the hypnotist of rape, then the chances are, the hypnotist may have abused his or her position of trust and authority in order to have sexual relations with the client, which is tantamount to rape, as we are currently seeing on the news where hypnosis is not involved at all. Therefore, the prosecution's mistake was to attack hypnosis itself, rather than the power differential which the hypnotist (who had falsely advertised himself a psychologist) had abused, 

In would be a serious mistake that we make in situations such as these is to assume that fantasies of seduction under hypnosis occur only to hypnotists and never to their subjects -- in which case, the problem is still not with hypnosis itself. However, if mutual consrnt is not freely given aheaad of time, there is  a very high inxidence of "buyer's remorse," due to the fact that the subject usually has conflicting motives or hypnosis would not be necessary.

Instances such as these tend to be reported in great detail by the media, and are amplified still further by depictions of hypnosis in fiction. Because of the publicity which results from them, there are many people who will not have anything to do with hypnosis .And because these abuses continue to surface from time to time and dramatized by the mass media as illustrated in the foregoing cartoon, the public is probably never going to be won over completely, despite our repeated assurances that hypnosis is perfectly safe when used by ethical and appropriately trained professionals.

(I am grateful to Dr. Annette K. Schreiber for her collaboration and assistance in the preparation of this posting.)

Reference
  
Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (1998),  Believed-in imaginings:The Narrative Construction of Reality (Memory, Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hypnosis Links

Each of the followinf links will  take you to my Blog. Scroll down, and the first article that comes up will be the one that the link refers to. I hope you enjoy them.

Insights from the History of Hypnoaia

The Most Effective Way to Use Hypnosis

Hypnotic Speed Walking on the Path to Enlightenment

The Missing Link to Hypnotically Changing Lives

Why are some suggestions simply rejected out of hand while others only persist for varying lengths of time, and still others have the capacity to change personality and identity, and to alter the entire course of one's life? Regardless of how deeply your client is hypnotized, or how cleverly your suggestions have been worded, we have never been able to completely rid ourselves of this "inconvenient truth." What else is going on that we may nor be paying enough attention to?

I was about fifteen when I discovered Claude Bristol's book, "The Magic of Believing." Bristol's genius lay in his realization that since all religious traditions employ some form of the magic of believing, then this magic clearly does not "belong" to any one of them.  It is a natural ability which we all possess, and is rooted in the perception of reality itself.  

The "magic" of any particular belief or suggestion depends upon the personality and unique characteristics of each individual (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010), as expressed in the degree to which it successfully alters the ongoing narrative of one's life story (Sarbin & de Rivera, 1988). Nowadays, I like to take people to the Multiverse and provide them with individually-designed corrective experiences (Gibbons & Woods, 2016). But Bristol's teachings still provide the underpinnings on my work. While it may seem a bit basic for most professionals who work witrh hypnosis, I still recommend it to many of my clients. Here's a full-length audio version of his book, You can skip around, or read a few minutes at a time, and it will save your place. Good reading!





References

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.



Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (1998), Believed-in imaginings: The Narrative Construction of Reality (Memory, Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

The Most Effective Way to Use Hypnosis

"Help! I'm a student in Dr. Gibbons' Psychology class!"
When I opened my psychology practice in New Jersey,, one of my first hypnosis clients asked me, "You aren't going to turn me into a chicken, are you?"

"No," I replied. "That's for stage hypnotists." But I did once. And this experience taught me more about the true nature of hypnosis than I have learned from any other single source.


Several years earlier, when I was discussing the topic of hypnosis in an Introductory psychology class, I asked a student who had previously shown herself to be adept at hypnosis if she would be willing to help me illustrate how easy it was to turn a hypnotized person into a chicken. She readily agreed, After hypnotizing her, I told her that I would count backwards from ten to one, and that at the count of one she would have been turned into a chicken.

"You will always be able to hear and to respond to my voice," I continued, "and I will return you to your normal state in a few minutes, before I bring you out of hypnosis. But until I do, you will experience the world exactly as if you had been turned into a chicken. You will remember everything I have said, and it will be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Okay?"


She nodded in agreement, and I counted slowly backwards from ten to one, providing suggestions along the way that she could feel herself changing into a chicken; and at the count of one, I announced that she had become a chicken. "Would you like to open your eyes and walk around a bit?" I asked. She did so, walking slowly as I took hold of her elbow. "Why are you walking like that?" I asked.


"I'm a chicken," she answered in a high, cackly voice, much to the amusement of the class.


I guided her back to her desk, counted from one to ten to restore her usual perceptions, and then concluded the hypnotic demonstration. I then asked her if she had really felt like she was a chicken, and she slowly and thoughtfully nodded in agreement. 


I was not being pranked. She had taken my class in hypnosis, and I knew that she had superb hypnotif abilities.  But if she had really believed that she was a chicken, why didn't she scurry away in fear as soon as I approached her desk? Why did she allow me to slowly walk her around the room, limping slightly instead of struggling to get away, as a real chicken would surely do? Why was she able to understand my spoken question? How was she able to answer it by saying, "I'm a chicken?" And why were the suggestions so easy to undo, as if she understood English as well as she ever did?


We could talk about a "hidden observer" that always knows what's going on and maintains control, no how matter deeply a person is hypnotized, as Hilgard (1974) did. We could talk about "trance logic," which is similar to the logic which is found in dreams, as Martin Orne (1959) did. But why should we infer the presence of any extra mental processes when they are not needed?


What she had actually believed and responded to was the narrative of what had taken place (Sarbin & de Rivera, 1998), She knew that she was a student in my class, and she knew that she had consented for me to hypnotize her. She still had the kind of "Alice-in-Wonderland" imagination which we all have as children, but most of us lose as we become adults. Therefore, she was able to act, think, and feel as if she were a chicken for the purpose of my class demonstration when she volunteered to do so.  


The demonstration was undertaken in the spirit of fun, and everyone understood that. But the transformational effects of believed-in  imaginings can be powerful indeed if they fit into the ongoing  narrative of one's life story.


If hypnosis is believed in imaginings, as asserted by Sarbin & de Rivera (1998), is it easer to tell hypnotized people that they are turning into a chicken, or that they are dissolving completely into the
 infinite, unbounded love of the Creator? What would be the effect of such a suggestion upon the ongoing narrative of a person's life -- especially upon their mental health and their overall level of happiness? I have been using this type of approach with selected clients in my general psychology practice. Here are their stories. Judge for yourself. 

Modern physics has provided us with a model of the multiverse which can be metaphorically accessed by means of hypnosis in order to provide the necessary conceptual framework, as illustrated in the following video by Professor Michio Kaku.


 

Here is an example of how this works in practice. Marie was an attractive, twenty-three year old college senior who had been diagnosed with treatment-resitant bipolar disorder during a one-week psychiatric hospitalization two years before she began treatment with me Her capricious moods had been wreaking havoc with her ability to maintain gainful employment and to keep a satisfactory grade point average which would allow her to pursue her ambition of becoming a clinical psychologist. This caused her a great deal of anger.

During her third session with me, she stated that she was having difficulty following the converstion due to a severe migraine. We had briefly discussed hypnosis during her previous visit, and she had expressed an interest in it.After an induction and deepening, I provided sugestions that she was traveling to the Multiverse through a rainbow of delight instead of through a wormhole, with each band containing a different positive emotion as a means of making these emotions more easily accessible. Suggestions of time distortion were included, so that even though the hypnotic session might have lasted only a few minutes, it would feel as if we had been gone for an eternity. After entering the Multierse and allowing the infinite love of the Creator to banish all feelings of worry, douobt, self-distrust, fear, and despair, she was returned to the universe from which we left, with the additional suggestions that this was the most wonderul thing that has ever happened to her, and she was well on the way to becoming the happiest woman in the world.

I consider this exercise to be a form of multiversal meditation which, like other types of meditation, requires regular practice for maximum effectiveness. Her stress-related mograines were due to her toxic work and home environment. Since she is unable to change either jobs or relatives, she has becomre a regular monthly hypnosis client and reports that her life has become much more tolerable and her migraines have vanished.

References
Gibbons, D. E. & De Jarnette, J. (1972). Hypnotic susceptibility and religious experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 11(2), pp. 152-156. 


Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016). Virtual reality hypnosis: Explorations in the Multiverse. Amazon Books 

Hilgard, E. R. (1974), Toward a neo-dissociation theory: Multiple cognitive controls in human functioning. Perspectives in Biology & Medicine, 17(3), pp, 301-316. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Orne, M. T,  (1959), The nature of hypnosis: Artifact and essence. Journal of abnormal and social psychology,  psychnet.apa.org.


Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (1998),  Believed-in imaginings: The Narrative Construction of Reality (Memory, Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.



Hypnotic Speed Walking on the Path to Enlightenment

In the hypnoverse, everything that can be imagined  can be called into consciousness and experienced as a real event. You can selectively sample from the best moments of every parallel lifetime you can possibly imagine, speed-walking on the path to enlightenment,  and you can directly explore the joys and wonders of the Multiverse itself (Gibbons & Woods, 2016), where I like to provide the following suggestions:

"As you become aware of the presence of a Consciousness other than your own, you can Feel the power of this infinite loving energy completely absorbing every muscle, fiber, and nerve, and cell of your entire being, with a beauty so intense that you would not be able to bear a fraction of it if you were not hypnotized -- Infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal, beyond all measure of eternity -- infinite, boundless, eternal, and everlasting.  (Pause) In this state of perfect union and total love, you are completely merging with the Creator (or your BEST ME, in its highest and most perfect form).  And all of the happiness, love, joy, wonder, rapture that have ever been felt by all the people who ever walked the face of the Earth, put together, are yours  to enjoy, and yours to be -- now, freed from the limitations of time and space, (Pause) You can freely communicate to this Infinite Awareness all of your deepest needs and longings, and feel them being totally and completely fulfilled.  (Pause) This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you.  It is the complete and total fulfillment of your existence, greater than anything you have ever dreamed of., hoped for, longed for, or imagined, and far, far beyond anything that you ever thought was even possible: infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. (Pause)  

You will not able to bring this intensity back with you, because it would be more than you could possibly bear in the everyday state of consciousness in which we live and move. But the healing effects of this experience will remain with you, turning each new day into a thing of wondrous beauty and paving over the effect of every bad thing that has ever happened to you; for here in the Multiverse, where you will spend Eternity, the total fulfillment of your existence is already an accomplished fact. And as we continue to  return here, to this, your home beyond the stars, it will change your life forever, and turn your whole existence into a thing of wondrous beauty. -- 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."

Kelley Woods, my co-author, recently e-mailed me:
I'm reading "The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Liberation Through Understanding in the Between" by Robert Thurman, The Dalai Lama, Karma Lingpa, Padma Sambhava and wanted to share this quote with you 
"So, the Tibetan lamas who can consciously pass through the dissolution process, whose minds can detach from the gross physical body and use a magic body to travel to other universes, these “psychonauts” are the Tibetans’ ultimate heroes and heroines."'
I invite you now to join us in this fascinating pursuit. In the words of Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Abbey Grange, "Come Watson, Come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!" 

References

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). 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.







Insights from the History of Hypnosis

It is often said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it, and this is particularly true in the history of hypnosis. Until comparatively recently, in Western culture the experience of trance was interpreted as due to demonic influences or, occasionally, the mark of holiness or sainthood, as it was in the case of Saint Teresa.


Saint Teresa was a prone to spontaneous
states of Rapture. 
Although healing by means of trance induction probably dates back to prehistoric times, the revival of interest in the induction of healing trances in Western culture may be traced directly to the work of the Viennese physician, Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815). Mesmer was considerably influenced by the teachings of Paracelsus that the stars and the planets exert considerable influence over human behavior by means of their magnetic fields. He decided to investigate the implications of this theory by slowly drawing some small magnets over the bodies of his patients. This was frequently found to be accompanied by convulsions, fainting, and the disappearance (at least temporarily) of a host of symptoms which today we would attribute to the power of suggestion. But to Mesmer and his followers, the discovery of these new "powers" of magnetism appeared to be an exciting medical breakthrough. 

Mesmer soon discovered, however, that he was able to produce the same results without the aid of special magnets. This led him to conclude that the "magnetism" in question was coming from his own body. He abandoned the use of metal magnets altogether, and simply began to make passes in the air with his hands near the bodies of his patients. He coined the term "animal magnetism" to explain what was happening.

When the demand for his services had reached its height, Mesmer proceeded to "magnetize" a large elm tree on the estate of his patron, the Marquis de Puysegur, a few miles outside of the city of Paris; and great crowds would often gather to stand under the tree, either to derive the benefits if its healing power for themselves or simply to observe the dramatic results which were apparently produced in others.


Events were to take yet another turn when a retarded peasant lad of twenty-three named Victor Emmanuel was brought to stand under the now-famous elm tree, in the hope that the "magnetic rays" which were supposedly emanating from the tree might also be of some benefit to him. As many developmentally challenged people are apt to do when they are placed in a situation in which they are not quite certain what is expected of them, Victor, though he remained standing, promptly utilized the occasion to avail himself of a quick nap. Other patients standing under the tree, seeing Victor asleep on his feet, apparently perceived this event as merely another result of the strange mesmeric rays emanating from the tree; for they promptly began to feel drowsy and to "fall asleep" themselves, thereby initiating a change in the form of suggestion-induced trance experience which heralded the death of mesmerism and the birth of traditional forms of hypnosis.



Hypnosis immediately became an object of fascination.
By now the role of suggestion in determining both the outward form and inward experience of trance behavior should be obvious. The mesmeric "crises" we re brought about by implicit suggestions or expectations arising from the eccentric astrological notions of Paracelsus, whereas the "sleeping" or hypnotic trance was first manifested by people who were imitating the behavior of a person who was too stupid to realize that he was supposed to go into convulsions and went to sleep instead! An induction procedure provides both the occasion and the opportunity for those who are able to respond well to suggestion to go ahead and do so. All the rest depends upon ongoing cultural narratives, explicit or implicit cues which are present in the situation, and the ability and willingness of the participant to comply with the instructions and suggestions which he or she is given. (Gibbons, 1979).

Today, we no longer need to rely upon the model of trance behavior provided to us by a sleeping retardate over two hundred years ago, when much better models are available. A hyperempiric induction is based on suggestions of mind expansion, enhanced awareness, and increased responsiveness and sensitivity, in contrast to traditional hypnotic inductions based on expressed or implied suggestions of lethargy, drowsiness, and sleep. (Gibbons, 1973). Hyperempiric inductions, or "alert hypnosis," have been found to be just as effective as traditional hypnotic inductions in facilitating subsequent responsiveness to suggestion (Bányai, & Hilgard, 1976; Gibbons, 1975, 1976). But this time, we didn't have to wait for another historical accident to come along.to change our expectations of how a person is supposed to experience a trance. I simply made it up!  


Recently Kelley Woods and I (Gibbons & Woods 2016) have been using a combination of hypnosis and hyperempiria (Gibbons & Woods, 2916) to conduct clients on a tour of the Multiverse, bringing the lessons of this experience back with them and returning a better person than they were before, The  Bible days that God is love (1 John 4:7-21,), I therefore do not hesitate to guide those clients who are receptive to this type of suggestion to feel themselves being completely absorbed into the healing love of the Creator,  Repeated practice with thiss type of hyperempiric meditation has been helpful in easing a host of stress-related ailments such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Sources and Citations
                                      
Aaronson, B. The hypnotic induction of the void. Paper presented at the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, San Francisco, October, 1969.

Bányai, E. I., & Hilgard, E. R. (1976). A comparison of active-alert hypnotic induction with traditional relaxation induction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 218-224.


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. (1974). Hyperempiria, a new “altered state of consciousnes” induced by suggestion. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 39, 47-53.

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.

 Phillips, B. D. (2007). Tranceplay: Experimental approaches to interactive drama involving experiential trance. Journal of Interactive Drama, 2.1, pp. 15-55.

Sacerdote, P. (1977). Applications of hypnotically elicited mystical states to the treatment of physical and emotional pain. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25(4), pp. 309-324.

Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (1998),  Believed-in imaginings: The Narrative Construction of Reality (Memory, Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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.)

 
   

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Hypnosis and Human Evolution

Today's heresy is tomorrow's orthodoxy. Nothing is more exciting (you can see hints and murmurs of it in all sorts of places) thsn to watch the world getting ready to think thoughts quite different from those it is at the moment quite openly proclaiming.

It would be foolish to assume that evolution came to a screeching halt when the first bipeds truly deserving of the name homo sapiens made their appearance. We have been learning to use our brains in new and exciting ways ever since; but.we frequently need the services of a hypnotist in order to show people how to make use of these emerging mental abilities when they are at variance with everyday experience. For example, here is an illustration of the power of musical hypnosis. (Look at those "arm leviitations!"), and how easily the suggestions may spread.


"Keep your shirt on," dude. We are the champions! It is indeed an honor to work with the hypnotically gifted who dwell among us; for these highy evolved individuals are truly "the bearers of the light," which all humankind will one day follow.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Law of Attraction is FATALLY FLAWED!

The central theme of the book, "The Secret," is that we create our own reality by "the law of attraction." If we send forth positive thoughts, then we attract positive events to us; and if we send forth negative thoughts, then we attract negative events.

Whatever an individual's thoughts can attract, a group's thoughts should be able to attract too. If we really do create our own reality by sending forth positive or negative thoughts, then this effect should be apparent not only in individuals, but also in groups, in historical trends, and in society as a whole. But it doesn't!

I have first listed some comments which my friend Roy Hunter reports as being made to individuals who are suffering from cancer and other maladies which should also operate according to "the law of attraction," and taken the liberty of constructing a reply to them. 
  • What did you do to attract cancer in the first place? What about all those people who get cancer because they are living in an area where there is a high level of carcinogens in the environment?
  • You have a disease consciousness. The Black Death killed between 75 and 200 million people, between 1348 and 1350. What could all those people have been thinking that caused such a plague to so suddenly descend upon them?
  • You must have a karmic debt to pay off.  If you have read The Diary of Anne Frank, you will have a good idea of the kind of person she was. Now consider the fate of Ann and others like her as they lay covered with lice and dying of hypothermia in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. What did they do to bring this upon  themselves?
  • Why can’t you create enough faith to be healed? Age is a wasting disease. And the survival rate for this particular disease is zero. Has anybody crated enough faith to get out of that one?
  • Don’t you know smoking will kill you? With 99% of the same genes as our closest simian cousins, the chimpanzees, and over a century of experimental research to back them up, most psychologists agree that short-term pleasure is often more important than long-term consequences in determining our behavior, particularly when it comes to matters of addiction.
  • Fat people are out of control. An African journalist recently stated that her greatest surprise in coming to the United States was to discover that in America, thin people are rich and fat people are poor, since in her own country the reverse is true. If this is the case, how can weight be a function of one's personal discipline rather than one's culture?
  • You have a poverty consciousness. The CIA World Factbook lists the United States as twelfth in per capita income, behind such nations as Norway and Hong Kong, yet most Americans are inclined to think of themselves as the richest nation in the world. If we create our own reality, why are we not in first place?
  • "Get out of the victim trap!" Try telling the survivors of Stalinist tyranny who were imprisoned in Siberia that they shouldn't have been thinking so negatively about their situation that it caused them to end up there.
  • Why did you create this problem? The CIA World Factbook lists the United States as fifteehth from the top in infant mortality compared with other nations. Explain to the parents of the babies who died because they were not given better medical care what they or their children did to create this problem.
  • What is God punishing you for?  If God is keeping quiet about His reasons, then what is the point of punishment?
  • If “The Secret” is not working for you, then you must be doing something wrong.  Maybe so!  On a recent radio interview show featuring a leading theoretical physicist who was commenting upon the latest discoveries in his field, a questioner asked him about the "law of attraction." He forcefully criticized the promulgators of this belief for misleading people, and assured the caller that the universe simply does not work that way. Perhaps what people who subscribe to this false doctrine are "doing wrong" is believing in "The Secret" in the first place!
Of course there can be negative and self-destructive attitudes within the personality which interfere with the successful accomplishment of a goal, and which contribute to the development of psychosomatic conditions. But their causes and effects are well-documented in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and have nothing to do with "The Secret!"

For a better guide to the higher powers of the mind, check out Claude Bristol's The Magic of Believing, which is available on Amazon and is free on You Tube

Bristol's genius lies in the fact that he makes no reference to religious or philosophical concepts, nor does he use the word "psychic." Since all religious traditions employ some form of the magic of believing, then the magic of believing clearly does not belong" to any one of them.  

Sunday, November 18, 2018

!Multimodal Hypnosis: The Ultimate Virtual Reality!

If you think of all the millions of dollars that are currently being spent on the development of mechanically-based systems of virtual reality, they are STILL working with only one dimension of experience: perception! Perhaps it is worth pointing out what we as hypnotists can do with virtual reality using only the power of suggestion (Gibbons & Woods, 2016). 

The Best Me Technique utilizes the simultaneous involvement of Beliefs, Emotions, Sensationand physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations, to involve one's entire being in the content of s suggested experience. Taken together, the elements of this technique form the acronym, BEST ME (Gibbons & Lynn, 2008), and may be summarize itd 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.

Expectations may be structured concerning the manner in which the participant will look forward to and remember suggested events which will occur in the future, and the manner in which suggested experiences will subsequently be recalled and interpreted in memory.

Here is a case example. I was working with a client who has PTSD, stemming primarily from previous sexual abuse by her husband. She married him on her eighteenth birthday in order to get away from home. He was from South America, and he only stayed married to her long enough to get his Green Card to become a U.S citizen. He would watch pornography morning, noon, and night; and when they did have sex, it was "all for himself," as she put it.

After a spree of wild promiscuity induced by anger at her husband, ("World, here I am!" she once said to me, in reference to this period in her life). she began living with a pilot who was several years older than she was, with whom she had fallen in love. But, every time they got emotionally too close for comfort, it would trigger her previous trauma. She would turn hostile and pick a quarrel, nagging him endlessly until they would briefly break up. 

Using the Best Me Technique to provide suggestions to induce a higher state of awareness I provided suggestions as follows:

B. In this higher state of consciousness and in this higher level of reality, focus the power of your mind to recapture and concentrate into one single moment, all of the love that you and your lover have shared in the past. If you can believe in it you can believe it, and if you can believe it you can make it happen!

E Now,  multiply  this love 10 times over. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening!

S, Concentrate this love and send it  to him like a laser beam. Feel it now, flowing into every fiber and muscle and nerve of his body and feel him beaming it back to you.  Believe it will happen, expect to happen, and feel it happening!

T His love for you is now so great that it is impossible for him to be romantically or physically or emotionally attracted to anyone else.

M.  Your fears of abandonment have been eliminated, and you are able now to surrender yourself to loving him totally and completely, in body, heart, mind, and spirit.

E. Whenever you and he make love in the future, you will be so intensely aroused and so highly responsive that it will fulfill you as a woman more deeply than anything you have never known before. Let yourself believe in it with every ounce of strength that is in you If you can believe in it, you can believe it; and if you can believe it,  you can make it happen!

After the suggestions described above, I provided an opportunity for my client to mentally make love to her boyfriend, while I remain silent to protect her privacy and allow her to imagine every detail of the experience herself, in much more intimate detail.

No matter how freely they discuss the intimate details of their lovemaking, there are still certain explicit details which they might prefer to remain private. The following application of the Best Me Technique allows a client to pave over previous experiences which have inhibited their ability to completely let go during the most intimate moments of the act of love:

The client had told me that she is especially fond of making love in the woods behind the house which she shares with her boyfriend. After the foregoing suggestions were given, I would proceed as follows:

 B. Now the scene is changing once again, and you and your lover are all alone in the woods. He has brought a blanket with him, and he and spreading it out on the ground so that you can make love under the stars.

 E. We are going to use this passion to pave over all of the thoughts that have been bothering you Believe it will happen expect it to happen, and feel it happening.

 S, as the night slowly passes, you Join. so çompletely in  mind, and body and spirit that you have become one in every sense of the word. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening.

 Now I will stop speaking for a few moments so that you can guide the rest of the experience yourself.

 [After about a five-minute pause;]

T. Finally, as the sky above you begins to lighten, you sink back exhausted with joy, The intrusive thoughts you may have had in the past have been completely covered over by the power of your love,  and you are truly one in body, heart, mind, and spirit.

 M  You will have neither the energy nor the inclination for thoughts of   any other type of release; for your fulfillment here as a woman [or a man]  has led you to joy beyond your wildest dreams

 E. Each time these hypnotic experiences are repeated, they will become more vivid,more desirable, more intense and more fulfilling.

The client reported that these suggestions were effective in ending their pattern of frequent quarrels resulting in a temporary breakup whenever their emotional relationship became too intense. She referred to the current portion of their relationship as a "honeymoon." The last time I saw her, however, she said that the old fears had surfaced once more.

I suggested that this time, she and her boyfriend would be making love in a parallel universe, in which the stormy and traumatic events which she experienced during her adolescence and early adulthood never happened. 

She is employed as a flight attendant, and on this latest visit she had to leave her phone on because she was on call for the upcoming Thanksgiving week end. Halfway into the self-directed portion of the experience, her phone went off. She gave no indication of having heard it. I apologetically spoke to her, and she opened her eyes as if being awakened from a nap. The caller turned out to be her brother. "We have twenty minutes to respond," she told me, and decided to turn the phone off for the remainder of the session.

"Now you can go all the way back into hypnosis, very rapidly," I said, and began an abbreviated progressive relaxation induction to take her back to the portion of the experience where she was making love to her boyfriend in a parallel universe, and directing the experience herself.

A few seconds into this induction, she giggled suddenly. I stopped and asked her what was the matter. She sad, "I didn't know I could go all the way back there so fast. WHEEE!" We both laughed, and I completed the induction. She later reported that the experience was highly effective/

References

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2008). Hyonotic 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: Explorations in the Multiverse. Amazon Books