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 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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How Hitler Did It: The Power of Suggestion Gone Wild

Adolf Hitler was probably the world's greatest hypnotist. Judge for yourself! Here, with English subtitles, is a speech in which he boasts to his cheering supporters that he has destroyed every other political power in Germany. The most dangerous suggestions were not made by Hitler himself, however, but by Deputy Fuehrer Rudolf Hess, who had introduced Hitler. At the conclusion of the speech, when the frenzy had reached its height, Hess strode back to the podium and announced that the Nazi Party and Hitler are one, that Hitler is Germany, and Germany is Hitler! (This unity is also expressed symbolically on Hitler's personal standard, shown above.) 

Clearly, Hitler and his followers were masters of the power of suggestion as the driving force behind their appeal, as shown by the foregoing speech. 

After history had run its course, and the destruction of the Third Reich was complete, the Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering (who, along with other Nazi bigwigs and a nodding Mussolini, appeared briefly in the foregoing video), was interviewed at Nuremberg on April 18, 1946.  The Nazis' continued abuses of the power of experiential suggestion were laid bare when he stated, "Naturally, the common people don't want war, neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. . . . All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
Since the audience is obviously not "hypnotized" in the usual sense of the term, I prefer to use the term hypermpiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, rather than the term hypnosis to refer to the power of suggestion gone wild, Hyperempiria also plays a major role in events as varied as falling in love,  having an orgasm,  being saved in a revival meeting,or exploring an alternate universe

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Re-Writing Your History: Exploring the Multiverse for Personal Growth

The number of Alternate 
and Parallel Universes is unlimited!
Many physicists now believe that in addition to our own universe, there is an infinite number of parallel universes in which anything that can happen actually does happen, as well as there are alternate universes which are so much different from our own that the laws of time and space as we know them do not exist.  

If the number of parallel and alernate universes is truly infinite, then we can use our hypnotic imagination to experience any one of these universes just as if we were really there. For example, we all long to return to the safety and security of a little infant tenderly nestled in its mother’s arms. It has been said that all phobias are basically rooted in a fear of not being, which is actually a fear of death. 

The therapeutic and growth potential for providing corrective experieneces of this type is obvious.  Here are just a few examples. 
In a Cosmos in which the number of alternate universes is theoretically without limit, there is --somewhere – an alternate universe where we can bathe in an ocean of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love, freed from the limitations of space and time, to satisfy our deepest longings, enhance our self-esteem, and to overcome feelings of unhappiness, loneliness, anger, and despair. And, regardless of whatever else may be going on in our lives, if we can “get away” to an alternate universe where time as we know it does not exist, we can come back feeling as refreshed as if we had been away for a week, a month, or even longer. In parallel universes which possess dimensions of reality similar to our own, and in which anything that can happpen actually does happen, we can experience, and actually live out, the full rewards of future goals in order to provide ourselves with the vitality and motivation to achieve them in the present. We can become truly free to want to do what we know we ought to do, in order to develop our potential to the fullest, thereby eliminating the need for what is popularly referred to as "will power!" As the client is basking in the satisfaction of the goals he or she has already achieved in a parallel universe, we suggest: "With practice, you will be able to feel this kind of fulfillment here, in this life, whenever you put your whole self into working towards the goal you have chosen. As you remember the goal which you have already achieved in a parallel universe, you will be able to believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happining! And, with practice, you will be able to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail!

In the Multiverse, where past, present, and future exist together and time curves back upon itself, it is no longer necessary for the soul to slowly progress in linear fashion from one lifetime to rhe next, in order to derive the lessons of each separate existence before progressing on to the next one.  You can systematically weave back and forth between past, parallel, and future lifetimes, in order to enrich your present existence with the experiences gleaned from the others! 

Sweethearts, soul mates, and reincarnated lovers can share in trance an awareness of life in a parallel Universe in which they occupy different and superbly attractive bodies, thereby satisfying their need for variety while simultaneously deepening and enhancing the affectionate bond between them. The couple can also experience at will, and as often as they choose, the most memorable experiences of any number of lifetimes, such as an ideal wedding night and honeymoon, or conceiving a child together.

Taken together, alternate and parallel universes constitute a Multiverse of all possible experiences, which can be individually tailored to suit the needs of anyone whose imagination is sufficiently evolved to be able to undergo them. The psychic potential of these types of experiences is yielding intriguing anecdotal phenomena, to say the least. 

Is all this really true? The experiences are!  I see humankind as "the storytelling animal." Shintoists pray to their honorable  ancestors, while many  Christians regularly drink the blood and consume the broken body of their fallen leader. For Muslims, "there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet," while Hindus literally have hundreds of gods from which to choose. Buddhists, on the other hand, reincarnate in linear fashion from one lifetime to the next, until they finally reach nirvana, in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth.  The experiences described in this posting, though not essentially religious in nature, are modeled after the concepts of  modern physics, and are as "real" as any of the others. 

As indicated in the heading to this Blog, psychologists and educators are in general agreement that people learn best by experience. As +Kelley Woods  has pointed out, everybody lives in their own parallel Universe, since no two people share exactly the same experiences. According to the theory of post-modern constructionism, we should help a client to put together a world view that makes sense and is healing to them. Because nobody can really know the nature of ultimate reality, and because the experiences themselves are real, Multiversal therapy is concerned with providing suggestion-enhanced experiences which help people to grow abd improve.. A clinically depressed person, for example, after being taken to an alternate Universe and dipped into an ocean of infinite, unbounded, abd everlasting love, no longer possesses a personal reality in which their nergative view of the universe is the only reality there is. Regardless of their objective validity, the following scripts, which can be presented either singly or in combintion, may provide useful healing metaphors which allow  hypnosis clients who respond well ro suggestion to catalyze solutions to a wide variety of problems.  
The first script, which was written specifically for overcoming abndonment issues, demonstrates how we can fulfill our deepest human longings by becoming absorbed in an ocean of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love in an alternate  universe. Similar suggestions of coure, my be provided for becoming absorbed in an ocean of inifinite peace, or any other desirable emotion.

The next  script allows a person to determine for oneself what type of experience will be most helpful in contributing to one;s own personal growth, is but one example of the limitless possibilities which await us in a paralel universe in which anything that can happen actually does happen! 

 You don't have to be a hypnotic virtuoso in order to benefit from these guided meditation exercises. The results obtained in hypnosis depend less upon the suggestibility of the respondent, or the nature and success of a particular induction, than upon the personality and unique characteristics of each individual who undergoes them.

The scripts are not intended to be followed word for word, and the person using them should feel free to improvise and elaborate as the situation warrants, much as one might  vary the verses and choruses of a song.  At the conclusion of an appropriate hypnotic or hyperempiric induction procedure; which can be made very brief if the client responds well to suggestion and has become used to induction and deepening procedurers (see Gibbons & Lynn, 2010), suggestions similar to the following may be provided.  

Alternate Universe

Noa, as we prepare for our journey to an alternate Universe, we are reaching down into the vast, untapped potentials which lie within you. We are releasing wonderful feelings of happiness . . . and joy . . . and wonder . . . and rapture . . . and ecstasy . . . and wonder and deight. All these wonderful feelings are flowing out from your innermost depths ,  . . . 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 wll be . . . in changing your life forever 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 . . . 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 at the center of all other Universes, and at the center of all existence. 

As these feelings continue to grow, stronger and stronger, they are becoming infinite in their strength . . . and infinite in their power . . .. infinite, beyond the ability of words to describe . . . infinite, beyond infinity . . . and eternal, beyond all measure of Eternity. You are floating . . . and dissolving . . . into a wave of unbounded ecstasy, beyond the limitations of time . . . beyond the limitations of space . . . beyond the limitations of the Universe, itself . . .And the more you want to feel, and the more you want to feel, and the more you feel, the more wonderful, and the more beautiful, and the more rapturous the experience becomes.  

You have one true, infinite, eternal, unbounded, and everlasting love. You have been together for thousands of lifetimes in the past. You are living together now, in thousands of parallel lifetimes in the present, and you will live together for thousands of lifetimes in the future. But here, in this alternate Universe where time and space as we know them do not exist, your emotions have become so keen and so sensitive that are able to unite  simultaneously with this love, in heart and body, mind, and spirit, in every lifetime you have ever lived or will live together, or in every lifetime where you are living together now.

Feel this love flowing into you now, from thousands of other lifetimes, and from thousands of different points in time. Feel it filling and flooding every muscle, and every nerve, and every cell of your being with love so great that it is beyond the power of words to describe -- infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal, beyond all measure of eternity. Let yourself completely dissolve into this love, in total surrender, total bliss, total fulfillment, and total ecstasy, greater than anything you have ever dreamed of, longed for, hoped for, or imagined. And if you were not in hyperempiria you would not be able to bear even a fraction of the beauty and the intensity of the love that you are experiencing now.

This is the complete and total fulfillment of your existence, infinitely greater, more beautiful, and more intense than anything you have ever dreamed of, hoped for, longed for, or imagined, and far beyond the power of words to describe.

This is your time . . .to savor and experience to the fullest. 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 ecstasy that have ever been felt by all the people who ever walked the face of the Earth . . .put together, are yours . . . to enjoy . . . now . . . together in these golden moments of delight. 

You will never again be separated by age or death from your one, true, infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love.
Soak it up, and make it part of you . . . True happiness comes from within. And 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. Now that the separation has been removed, 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. ReFsgardless of anything else that may be going on in your life, you will never again feel alone or abandoned.  Each time this exercise is repeated and we return here, to this, your home beyond the stars, you will be able to share this total fulfillment with your one, true, infinite, eternal, and everlasting love from the thousands of lifetimes you have lived in the past, the thousands of lifetimes you share together in the present, and the thousands of lifetimes you will share together in the future. And each time that we return to this, your home beyond the stars, it will turn the entire day into a thing of wondrous beauty.  

Parallel Universe
Now the veil of time is parting. From all of the past, parallel, and future lifetimes your Best Me is selecting one especially meaningful event, in one particular lifetime, which helps to define who you are in your current life in a very  positive and self-enhancing way.   

You will be able to experience this event again now. even more vividly than you did when it first happened. And regardless of how much or how little of it you may choose to remember, you can carry its effects back with you into your present life, to strengthen even further the person you will become in the future.

The experience, as it happens again, even more intensely than it did when it first occurred, will provide you with all that you had hoped to obtain from it. You will remember as much or as little of the experience in your present life as you and your Best Me decide; for it is the experience itself, and not the memory of it, that defines who you are.

Belief systems.  Now, as you enter tnis alternate Universe, I don’t know, and I wil not ask whether you are with parents, children, or other relatives, with friends, or a romantic partner, or various combinations of these -- or whether are you simply alone with your thoughts . You will always be able to hear and to respond to my voice, and I will return you to the life from which you came when it is over.. But until I do, every aspect of the life which your Best Me has selected for you to re-live will be completely real to you, and you will experience it all just as if you are really there.

Emotions. Now you can allow yourself to fully experience once again the thrill of living a meaningful moment in another lifetime, even more clearly and intensely than you did when it happened the first time.  

Sensations and physical perceptions. Feel yourself re-living this experience completely now, in mind and heart and and body and in spirit, even more intensely than you did when it happened the very first time.

Thoughts and images. Pay particular attention to how it will affect the way you think about yourself, the world, and the future in the Earthly life rom which you came..  

Motives. You want very much for this experience to add meaning to your life on Earth for the better -- and it will!

Expectations. This experience will change you in many wonderful positive ways, some of which you may already be aware of and some of which you may not yet realize. Now I will stop speaking for a moment as you allow it to re-occur. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening!

Return from Hperempiria

You love being in hyperempiria!, Each time that you enter hyperempiria, you enter it more rapidly and you go deeper. Each time you enter hyperempiria, it becomes more satisfying and more rewarding. The nore energy you experience while you are in these states, the more energy   you will have toutside of them. As it is with any otger form of meditarion, regular oractice is essential for continued inprovement. But with repeated practice, these meditations willl have the power to change your entire life, and turn each day into a thng of wondrous beauty.

Now we will prepare to return to the everyday state of consciousness and the time and place from which we left. Because time passes so much more slowly in hyperempiria, even though you may only have been in hyperempiria for a few minutes, it could feel as if we had been gone for an entire lifetime, and the benefits of the experience will be increased in proportion to the time you have been away. Regardless of how much or how little you actually remember of these experiences in hyperempiria -- and you probably won’t remember very much at all, for the harder that you try to remember them, the harder to do so it actually becomes -- you will always recall them with fondness, even as you look forward to the next opportunity to return with ever increasing excitement and anticipation

Tonight, you will fall asleep easily and naturally, and you will have a sound,refreshing sleep from which you will awaken rested, refreshed, and feeling wonderful. By the time I get to the count of five, you will open your eyes, beaming and radiant with joy.Your mind will be clear and alert, and you will easily be able to concentrate on anything you have to do.

One. Getting ready to open your eyes now.


Three. Almost ready.

Four. . . .

Five. You can open your eyes now, feeling wonderful!

Print Reference

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. 267-292.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Determinism is the Secular Equivalent of Salvation

In considering the question of free will, it is also necessary to consider the question of moral responsibility. We hold people legally and morally responsible for their actions to the extent tha they know what they are doing is wrong, and understand the consequences of doing so. To the extent that this understanding is diminished, their guilt is reduced. But what criminal facing execution would have deliberately and with full understanding committed the crime that sealed his fate? How then could we hold him fully responsible for his act, and demand the ultimate penalty? 

Who could ever knowingly be so STUPID as to knowingly
and deliberately do anything that would lead to this?
Thinkers and philosophers have been debating the question of determinism versus free will for centuries. Briefly, the argument goes like this. If someone announces that he has made a decision and you ask him why, he will answer, "Because," followed by a list of reasons. Would he ever have decided otherwise? you ask. "Yes," he would answer, if he had other reasons. Our reasons determine our decisions, and our reasons are determined by our motives. But we do not choose our motives! Therefore, our decisions are all caused, and free will is an illusion. 

Can you think of anything that any human being ever does that is not determined by our motives, and the alternatives which we perceive before us? The most that a psychologist is able to do is to point out the existence of still other motives, of which we may be unaware.  The question is not, "Do I choose?" but "Do I choose to choose? and the answer is no!

Just as a computer makes choices in accordance with its instructions, we make choices in accordance with our motives. They are our programs. We only "feel" free if the choices before us are pleasant ones; but in reality, free will does not exist, for this kind of choice is just as determined as any other.

Of course, you can argue that a person's self is one of the causes of his or her behavior. And the self is more than just the sum total of the experiences that have happened to you. No two selves are alike, just as no two snowflakes are alike when they are examined under the microscope, even though they are all made of the same compound. Even though no two snowflakes are alike, however, their unique structure is still determined by the laws of physics. And even though no two selves are alike, their unique characteristics are determined by biochemical events deep inside the billions of neurons that make up your brain.  

Today, neuroscience provides us with the conclusive answer to the question of whether or not we have free will. 

What we commonly refer to as "freedom" lies in the range of choices which are open to us, and whether or not those choices are experienced as pleasant or desirable, then some people's freedom can be a lot more limited than that of others. The psychiatrist Milton Erickson wrote a classic case study entitled "The February Man," in which he described a client who had such an inadequate personality that he had to do a series of age regressions with her to provide the corrective socializing experiences that she had missed, from childhood through her teen years and all the way into adulthood. This changed both her self and her motives, and greatly expanded her freedom to make her own choices.

Prisons  are still needed, of course, to the extent that they protect the public from dangerous persons, and to the extent that they can make us want to do what we know that we ought to do (That's why we call them correctional institutions.). I worked in the NJ State Prison system forf fifteen years, and i know that the system doesn't always work as it should, I agree -- but sometimes it does. When I asked one inmate how he came to jail, he replied, "I was found behind the wheel of a stolen car." I asked him, "Did you steal it?" and he reluctantly replied, "Well, yeah."

Every day, I see people in my clinical psychology practice whose depression, anxety, and unhappiness are the result of beating themselves up for things which they couldn't help doing in the situations in which they found themselves. Determinists, however, realize this, and therefore they have no guilt. For atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers, determinism is simply the secular equvalent of the Fundamentalist experience of :"salvation.".

Successful psychotherapy also provides us with  an increased range of choices available to us which did not exist before. This is also the promise and the potential of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, for the enhancement of human potential, the ennoblement of the human spirit, and the fulfillment of human existence.    

See also: Hypnosis and the Mind-Body Problem