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, January 29, 2015

What is Hyperempiria? Hypnosis Awakened!

 "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." 
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things. 
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."                                                      
                        -- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass.

In graduate school, I was taught that as long as you define your terms so that other people know what you mean by them, you can use a word any way you want to, or even make up a new one if it suits your purpose. So, when I found out that alert inductions worked as well as traditional   hypnotic, or "sleeping" inductions, I coined the term "hyperempiria" from the ancient Greek, experience, and added the prefix --hyper to denote a greater or an enhanced quality and set about doing research to see whether or not hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, is more appropriate for use in certain contexts than is the term hypnosis. 

As stated in the heading to this Blog, it is widely agreed among educators and therapists that people learn most effectively by experience. Regardless of the type of induction which is used, the total involvement which results from the systematic, comprehensive application of multimodal or "Best Me" suggestions can be regarded as a form of hyperempiria, as +Brian David Phillips ) has stated, or suggestion-enhanced experience. In the fullest sense of the term, hyperempiria refers not to a particular type of induction, but to an entirely new way of working with experience. I now like to think of hyperempiria in terms of a new paradigm in which suggestion is an artistic medium, and human experience itself is a new (and perhaps the ultimate) art form.

Young children (especially those with "cool" parents who encourage this kind of active imagination) often experience the kind of imaginative involvement in their play life which characterizes high responders in hypnosis. +Kelley Woods has described it as, "Rather like when my son was small and living in his delightful trance state, having no limits on his imagination. he thrilled at becomig a dog, a car, a monster! . . .I love reminding clients of similar "resource states," and once the door is opened they can go there at will." Adults, however, usually need what +michael ellner  has referred to as the "transformational magic" of an induction in order to attain this degree of imaginative involvement." Once this door is opened, adults are able to imagine even more profound transformational experiences than children can. 
With our adult ability to conceptualize, we can experience a vast number of suggested alterations of daily life. When cognitive-behaviorists use a thought record to replace an automatic thought woth a more adaptive one, they are using a form of suggestion, which is usually defined as presenting an idea in such a manner that it is likely to be accepted as literally true, and therfore, "real." Hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, plays a major role in experiences as varied as falling in love,  having an orgasm,  coming under the sway of a totalitarian dictatorbeing saved in a revival meeting or exploring an alternate universe. or turning into an animal (transmogrification) as practiced in Native American culture. Posible areas for future investigtion include being "slain in the spirit," fainting epidemics, releasing entities, and the dancing mania of the Middle Ages.

Indeed, when suggestion is used to change one's experience of consciousness itself, as is done in a suggested visit to an alternate universe, the possibilities are even greater. In the words of the mystical poet, William Blake, the imaginatively gifted are able 

To see a world in a grain of sand,
Or a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.

Exploring the mystical dimensions of consciousness also has its practical side. For example, we all long to return to the safety and security of a little infant tenderly nestled in its mother’s arms. At the opposite extreme, it has been said that all phobias are basically rooted in a fear of not being, which is actually a fear of death. If the number of parallel 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 these deepest longings, enhance our self-esteem, and overcome all our feelings of unhappiness, loneliness, anger, and despair. Using our hypnotic imagination, high-responders are able to create such experiences with relative ease.

Recently, Lenny Cavallaro and I have been suggesting to hypnotized clients that they are being transported to an alternate universe where time and space do not exist.  After orienting them to this alternate universe and inducing emotions which are as pleasant as possible -- i.e., "dissolving  into an ocean of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love," we provide suggestions such as these:
With practice, you will be able to feel this kind of fulfillment whenever you put your whole self into working towards a goal you have chosen.. As you think about achieving a goal ahead of rime, you can believe it will happen, expect it to happen, feel it happening, and savor in advance the fruits of your success. And with practice, you will be able to to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail!
How is it possible to even consider the possibility of failure when there is an alternate universe in which you have already succeeded at a given task? How is it possible to be discouraged when you are already able to use the rewards of this success now, in the present, to provide yourself with the motivation to pursue any long-term goal, no matter how distant or difficult that goal may presently appear? 

Clients have been saying things like, "I can't thank you enough!" and, "I'm at a point in my life now where I think I can accomplish anything!" The changes which they are reporting in their lives seem to bear this out.  I

Now that's hyperempiria!
 We invite you now to join us in exploring these fascinating new realms of experience, and in sharing with us in the thrill of discovery!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Balloon Ride: A Hyperempiric Induction

The following induction may either be presented by iteself, or at the conclusion of a traditional relaxation induction, which allows the client to first go "down" into hypnosis and then "up" into hyperempiria. 

Now, with your eyes closed, imagine that you are sitting or lying inside the basket of a large balloon. If you accept each detail of the scene as I describe it, your imagination will be free to allow yourself to experience the situation just as if you were really there. So just let yourself relax now, in that large wicker basket, with the balloon above you slowly filling.upn withh helium.

It is a beautiful spring day; you can smell the sweet, fresh air of the surrounding meadow, laden with the gentle fragrance of wild flowers. You can hear the soft rustling of the grass around the basket, and the song of birds in the distance. And as you feel the gentle breeze upon your face and the warm sun upon your skin, the balloon will begin to rise. And the higher you go, the greater your sensitivity will become.

I'm going to count from one to ten, and at the count of one the balloon is beginning to rise. And with each count it will go higher. And as it does, it will feel as if your mind is expanding along with it, until you are able to hold within your own consciousness an awareness of the entire Universe, and all its beauty.

Now the balloon is nearly full. And as it begins to rise, I will begin to count, as your consciousness commences to expand.

One. As the balloon slowly begins to rise, you are beginning to enter a new and different experience of awareness. You will find that you begin to experience very pleasant feelings of increased sensitivity.

Two. You are beginning to enter a higher level now, as your body becomes more sensitive and more responsive with every word that I utter.

Three. As the balloon continues to rise, you can feel the basket gently swaying in the breeze, rocking you back and forth as it does, and you can hear the sound of the wind blowing in gentle bursts as you continue to float up and up.

Four. Your perceptions are becoming keener as you float on, higher and higher. It's such a pleasant feeling as you drift on, and on, and as your awareness expands more, and more, and more.

Five. As you continue to rise higher and higher, you can feel the balloon swaying and turning in the breeze, as you drift on, high above the earth. And the higher you go, the more your ability to experience pleasure expands as well.

Six. As you feel your consciousness expanding more and more, you are feeling an ever-growing sense of joy as you experience all of your senses being tuned to their highest possible pitch -- yet it is pleasurable in every way.

Seven. It's a wonderful feeling of liberation which you are experiencing now. And by the time I get to the count of ten, you will have reached the peak of your potential. Your perceptions will take on new qualities, and they will possess a greater depth of reality than anything you have known previously.

Eight. You can feel yourself drifting up, into the sky now, hanging on the very edge of space. Soon you will be able to travel on by yourself, into new dimensions, with only my voice to guide you. As the balloon continues to rise, the feeling of joy continues to increase, as you feel your capacity for experience becoming infinitely keener.

Nine. All the way up into the sky now, and ready to travel on into new dimensions of sexuality.

Ten. Now, you are ready. And while you remain in hyperempiria, all your perceptions will be infinitely sensitive, and you will be able to experience the reality of whatever is suggested to you much more keenly than you could experience anything in the everyday waking state of consciousness.\

                                                                Print Reference

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press.


Monday, January 26, 2015

A "Cognitive-Behavioral Boutique" of Free Information Downloads

The following two Websites:, and,  contain the most interesting and varied resources I have found for free materials on cognitive-behavioral psychology that you can download for personal use, in order to get rid of the wrong ideas and wrong perceptions that can drive you crazy if they are not dealt with. There are also numerous practical applications for improving the quality of everyday life. (See, for example, The Science of THINKING Thin: The Cognitive-Behavioral Diet.)

Cognitive-behavioral therapists frequently use a document 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 . . . Here is what one looks like, and here is what it looks like all filled out, courtesy of  (A slightly longer, seven-column version of the same form is also available.)  They also have other free versions of the thought record form, adapted for special purposes, including:

You can make as many copies as you want for your own use by using the print command on your computer. In addition, there is a free online self-help course and other materials on how to use them. Naturally, I cannot be responsible for the accuracy or the effectiveness of self-help materials downloaded from the Internet. Moreover,as a psychologist, I am a little more conservative than they are about what can legitimately be included within the rubric of "self-help." 

When cognitive-behaviorists use a thought record to replace an automatic thought woth a more adaptive one, they are using a form of suggestion: presenting an idea in such a manner that it is likely to be accepted as literally true, and therfore, "real." Hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, plays a major role in experiences as varied as falling in love,  having an orgasm, coming under the sway of a totalitarian dictatorbeing saved in a revival meeting,or exploring an alternate universe. When you choose to employ hyperempiria in your own life, it will present you with a veritable treasure-trove of opportunities!


The Unfolding Flower: A Hyperempiric Induction

Hyperempiria refers not merely to an alert induction procedure, but to all forms of suggestion-enhanced experience. For example, I recenrly received a very flattering e-mail from a man in Australia who had successfully used the following hyperempiric induction with his wife.

First of all, just sit back or lie down, and make yourself comfortable.  And when you are ready, close your eyes. 

Now, with your eyes closed, imagine that it is late on a warm summer night and that you are peacefully and comfortably resting inside a rosebud which is swaying gently in the soft breeze.  If you accept each detail of the scene as I describe it, without trying to think critically, your imagination will be free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there.  So just let yourself relax completely now, inside this soft red rosebud, late on a warm summer night.  You feel so comfortable resting there, snug and secure and nestled down among the petals of the flower.

You can feel the soft summer breeze gently caressing the outside of the bud.  Just keep listening to the breeze, and continue to focus on the beauty and the peacefulness which is all around you.  And as you continue to allow yourself to be guided by my voice, I am going to show you how to release your awareness for the fullest flowering of your sexuality.

There is a rustle of wind through the leaves; and as the soft, red petals around you gently begin to stir, you can feel the breeze beginning to filter through to you as the bud prepares to open.  Let yourself breathe slowly and deeply now, as you inhale the warm night air and your consciousness commences to expand and unfold along with the flower.
The late night air is so pure, so fresh, and so crystal clear.  

Feel it entering your lungs, and feel the warmth of it entering your body as your awareness continues to expand. out.
As the bud begins to open, you look up and see that the sky is strewn with hundreds of blinking, bluish-white stars.  As the bud expands more and more, your awareness is unfolding along with it.  You continue breathing slowly, in and out, in and out, carrying this expanding awareness to every part of your body.
The rose petals are releasing a delicate perfume as the bud opens wider.  Breathe in this joyous scent and follow its passage from your nostrils into your lungs.  Let yourself become ever more aware of the rhythm of your breathing, as it carries you on to ever increasing sensations of sexuality.  With every breath you take, your consciousness drifts higher.  With every breath you take, your consciousness is expanding, and your capacity for experience is becoming exquisitely more sensitive.
The rose petals are expanding more rapidly now, and the bud is nearly open.  As the bud continues to unfold, your feelings of joy and exaltation continue to expand along with it.  You can feel your awareness continuing to grow, and your capacity for experience becoming greater and more intense than anything you have known before.
Now the blossom is fully open.  The petals are extended as far as they will go, and your sexuality is in full flower.  And while you remain within hyperempiria, every sensation and everything you experience will be intensely pleasurable, and each of these new experiences will be greater and more profound than you ever thought possible.