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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Scientific Method for the Mastery of Life



Here's how to get off the merry-go-round!
According to the teachings of cognitive-behavioral psychology, it isn't what happens to you but what you believe about what happens to you and how you perceive what happens to you that causes you to be unhappy. The following lists may be viewed as a kind of "psychological first aid" for getting to the root of these false beliefs and false perceptions, and for taking positive action to keep them from coming back.     

1. Albert Ellis has put together a list of ten commonly-held beliefs about ourselves, the world, and the future, which prevent us from experiencing life to the fullest because they set us up for failure and disappointment ahead of time. They are all false, but many of us are inclined to at least occasionally believe them, at least part of the time. You can get rid of these irrational ideas by learning how to recognize and eliminate them.  

2. The Greek philosopher Epictitus said, "Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them." This is a list of inaccurate ways of looking at things, which might be clouding your view of the world.  

3. We don't choose our feelings, and we don't choose our motives. But we can choose how we look at things, and our feelings and motives will change along with them. We can do this by going back to the time when we were acting, thinking, or feeling in ways which were unpleasant or got us into trouble, and deciding how we can look at the situation differently. Here is a set of instructions on how to manage depression, anxiety, anger, addiction, and obsessive thoughts.

4.. Robert Louis Stevenson said, "The world is so full of such a number of things, I am sure we should all be as happy as kings." Here is a list of activities which can help to strengthen the bond between you and your friends or romantic partner.

5. This free downloadable ABC Worksheet from www.smartrecovery.org can become your daily companion for taking control of your life in matters large and small. You can use it to make motivational and behavioral adjustments on everything from paying your bills on time, to stopping smoking, or deciding on which career path to follow. (If you don't have the necessary Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can also download it free of charge.)

It first asks you about the causes of something you would like to change in your life, and then asks about the emotional consequences which were the result, your beliefs about what happened, what beliefs could be substituted for the ones which brought about the unpleasant results, and how those changed beliefs make you feel. You can write on the form itself, clearing and changing it as often as you like. Then, when you are finished, you can either print it out or save it as a text file, using a different form for each problem you would like to work on. To re-examine it or re-do each form that you have completed, just call up that particular file and continue to modify it as you progress. It could prove to be extremely helpful if you are willing to give it a try!

There are several other helpful aids to life management in their tools and homework and articles and essays sections.

5. Cognitive-behavioral therapists frequently use a more specialized version of the document jjust mentioned, 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 www.getselfhelp.co.uk.  (A slightly longer, seven-column version of the same form is also available.) You can make as many copies as you want for your own use by using the print command on your computer. They also have other free versions of the thought record form, adapted for special purposes, including help for:*
Finally, for a sample of what cognitive-behavioral therapists are saying to each other about this exciting scientific approach, here is a link to a collection of articles from the Newsletter of the New Jersey Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists on the application of cognitive-behavioral therapy for panic attacks, low self-esteem, eating disorders, social anxiety, depression, and for use in couples therapy, to name just a few.



 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Kicking it Up a Notch: Multimodal Hyperempiria

An earlier version of this posting was presented at the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Charleston, SC, October, 2005.  
The following YouTube video demonstrates advanced virtual reality techniques to reproduce the experience of an arial battle, using sight and sound.




Now, imagine what the practical applications might be if people were able to experience such phenomena inside and out, with their entire being!

 In contrast to a traditional hypnotic induction, which is based on expressed or implied suggestions of relaxation, a hyperempiric induction is based on suggestions of mind expansion, increased awareness, and enhanced responsiveness and sensitivity – i.e., “It’s a wonderful feeling of release and liberation which you are experiencing now, as all of your vast, untapped potentials are becoming freed for their fullest possible functioning” (Gibbons, 2000, p. 32). The term itself is derived from the ancient Greek empiria, or “experience,” with the prefix “hyper” added to denote a greater or an enhanced quality (Gibbons, 1975). Hyperempiria was found to be as effective as traditional hypnosis in facilitating post-induction responsiveness to suggestion (Gibbons, 1975, 1976), as measured by the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (Shor & Orne, 1962); and shortly thereafter, Bányai and Hilgard (1976) provided further documentation of the validity of alert inductions by demonstrating their effectiveness with subjects who were pedaling a stationary bicycle.


Multimodal hyperempiria is modeled after the multimodal therapy of Arnold Lazarus, who has amassed a considerable amount of empirical evidence in support of his hypothesis that therapeutic change can be brought about more rapidly and more effectively by working simultaneously with several different modes of experience. His multimodal approach to therapy employs behavior, affective responses, sensations, cognitions, interpersonal relationships; and drugs, biological functions, nutrition, and exercise. He refers to these categories using the acronym, BASIC ID (Lazarus, 1989, 1997). Hypnosis may be employed any of the aforementioned modes of experience as a method of increasing client expectations of success, and as a means enhancing patient compliance and treatment adherence. (Lazarus, 1999).

Suggestion itself, however, is inherently multimodal in nature. Therefore, multimodal suggestion may be employed to define the experiential dimensions of hypnotic experience itself, for maximum involvement and effectiveness in therapy. The present adaptation of Lazarus’ experiential categories for use in hypnotic settings may be summarized as follows, and may be collectively referred to using the acronym, BEST ME (Gibbons, 2001, 2004; Gibbons & Schreiber, 2005).

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 to add to the uniqueness of the experience.

Sensations and physical perceptions may be suggested and experienced with an intensity approaching, and occasionally exceeding, 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 in such a manner as to determine both how an event will be experienced in the future, and later recalled and interpreted in memory.

Suggestions using the Best Me Technique may be employed in the induction procedure, in the conduct of the trance session, and in the conclusion of the hypnotic experience. Best Me suggestions may be administered in any order, each of the aforementioned categories may be employed as often as necessary, and each step in the procedure may incorporate elements of the others.

While most of us routinely attempt to include as much detail as possible in our suggestions, the Best Me technique provides a systematic, comprehensive method of including the major dimensions of experience, for maximum involvement and effectiveness in therapy.

In actual use, the choice of imagery and the content of the suggestions used will depend upon the responsiveness of the client, the client’s personal style and preferences, and the purpose for which the induction is being administered. The essential question is, what kind of experiences should be provided in this experiential theater in order to be most useful?

Most of us can think of several themes from history, mythology (Brink, 2001-2002), literature, the mass media, or even from the sports world, which we have found to be personally meaningful and inspirational in the conduct of our own lives – or else we make up our own (McAdams, 1993). Hyperempiric vivification of such themes, therapeutically augmented by means of multimodal suggestion, can potentially serve as a means of overcoming many personal challenges, as illustrated by the following two cases.

Case One

A 60 year old retired biology teacher had recently completed a one-year training course in medical technology because she desired to remain productively employed. She accepted employment at a local hospital laboratory in order to be able to work near her home. She had previously been able to improve her confidence and reduce test anxiety in her hematology course by means of multimodal hypnosis. However, as she began her new career as a laboratory technician, she began to experience subjective feelings of stress at having to compete on the job with younger workers.

In the course of our discussion, she mentioned that she was a lover of horses, that she had found the story of Sea Biscuit to be personally inspiring, and that she had seen the recent motion picture of that title several times. I asked her if she would like to experience what it must have felt like to ride Sea Biscuit to victory, in order to use this experience as a further source of inspiration in her own life, and she readily agreed.

She preferred to experience the second race depicted in the motion picture. After an initial defeat, a new jockey whispers in the horse’s ear, “Okay, boy, are you ready to go?” and the ensuing bond between horse and rider is depicted as leading to a string of victories culminating in lasting renown. After a multimodal hyperempiric induction, she was guided through the experience of riding Sea Biscuit to victory in this particular race, as I repeated the elements of the Best Me Technique with appropriate variations as the race progressed. I then suggested that whenever she watched her videotape of the movie, Sea Biscuit, although she would not go back into hyperempiria, it would re-charge her motivation anew.

She was taught to use multimodal autosuggestions in the following manner. “Whenever you have a carefully-chosen goal which you deeply believe in, you will be able to act, think, and feel as if it is a reality, just as you did today First, find a quiet place where you are not likely to be disturbed, close your eyes, and picture clearly in your mind something about the goal which you most deeply desire. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, will it to happen, feel it happening, and savor in your mind the fruits of your success.

The multimodal hyperempiric session was concluded, and she was given a card to take with her with the foregoing suggestions, which contain all the elements of the Best Me Technique. She was told to repeat this exercise as often as necessary, using whatever images appealed to her most strongly at the moment. If she ever had trouble “getting into it,” she was instructed to go back and re-examine the goal itself, to see if there was something about her formulation of the goal that was troubling her, or which kept her from believing in it wholeheartedly, and to make whatever corrections were necessary before proceeding further.

Six months later, she told me that she had typed up the suggestions contained in the foregoing paragraph, and that she carries it with her wherever she goes. She stated that it had not only helped her with adjusting to her classmates, but with other aspects of her life as well.

Case Two

A married woman in her mid-forties sought my help in order to lose weight. She had obtained clearance from her physician to proceed with a weight loss program, along with a recommend diet; and she was not currently taking any medication. She described her relationship with her husband and children as warm and affectionate, and told me that her life was fundamentally happy, with no major stressors which might serve to distract her from her weight loss goal.

Her anniversary was some eight months away, and she had already thought of how she would like to celebrate it. She was going to surprise her husband by arranging a getaway weekend at a hotel in New York. Her plans included dinner at a stylish restaurant where she would like to be be able to once more wear a treasured dress which she had saved from her honeymoon.

I taught her how to to place herself in hyperempiria by means of multimodal suggestion, and how to use the Best Me Technique to pre-experience the attainment of her weight loss goal, using the anniversary restaurant dinner as a setting in which she could enjoy the many dimensions of its fulfillment. Since her plans also included renting a hotel room for the evening, once she had mastered the technique, she was able to devise multi-modal scenarios for the remainder of the evening on her own. Follow-up sessions were scheduled at progressively greater intervals as her self-imposed deadline drew near, to make sure that her progress continued and that her goal was satisfactorily reached, which it was.


Discussion

The experiential dimensions of the Best Me Technique are very similar to the integrative model of hypnosis set forth by Lynn and Ruhe (1991). They state, “. . .hypnotic action and experience are the end results of what subjects think and believe about hypnosis, what they imagine or fail to imagine, what they attend to or do not attend to, what they wish to do or not to do, and how they perceive hypnotic communications and evaluate their experience” ( p. 308). Indeed, there are probably as many altered experiences of consciousness as it is possible to conceive or to imagine; for each of these imagined definitions may be given a name, written up in the form of an induction procedure, and presented to a person who is sufficiently responsive to suggestion for the induction to be effective. The experience which results from such an induction is likely to be some inner representation of the instructions and suggestions which have been given, as this person understands them and is willing to comply – and my evidence for that assertion is hyperempiria (Gibbons, 1975, 1976). It did not come about because of an accidental misunderstanding of the nature of magnetism, as Mesmerism did, and neither did it result from the behavior of people who were imitating the retardate who went to sleep because he was too stupid to know that he was "supposed" to go into convulsions, as was the case with traditional hypnosis. I simply made it up!

If the results obtained by procedures involving expressed or implied suggestions of alertness, mind expansion, and enhanced responsiveness are similar to those obtained by more traditional methods, then shouldn’t we continue to refer to these procedures as “alert inductions,” instead of using another name such as hyperempiria?

Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” However, modern-day English contains many nouns which have been re-named in order to alter the manner in which they are perceived and experienced. A house trailer is a mobile home, an old person is a senior citizen, a used car is a pre-owned car, and a rest room (also the result of an earlier name change) is now occasionally referred to by signs in public places as a “comfort station.” Shakespeare notwithstanding, a rose by any other name is not a rose, especially when the subject matter with which we are working is suggestion itself.

Traditional induction procedures involving direct or implied suggestions of diminished awareness, are clearly associated with the term hypnosis by the general public. Attempts to refer to them by another name, such as visualization, or to simply avoid the use of the term “hypnosis” altogether, are likely to meet with rather limited acceptance by some people, and may even be perceived as vaguely deceptive, because they “know” how a hypnotized person is supposed to behave. But the emergence of alternative induction methods provides us with an opportunity to refer to these latter procedures, at least, by a new name which is not only etymologically more accurate, but which provides us with an opportunity to finally escape from the outmoded, Nineteenth-Century, Svengali-like stereotypes associated with the concept of hypnosis.

Given the complexity of existing differences among researchers concerning the nature of suggestion-related phenomena, any perception of such phenomena among the general public is inevitably going to involve the use of stereotypes. The use of a new term such as hyperempiria enables us to break with the past, and to re-direct our educational efforts in directions will result in the creation of more favorable and more accurate stereotypes, instead of endlessly combating the old pejorative ones.

Applications of the Best Me Technique may not be limited to its use in multimodal hyperempiria. Amigó (1998) has developed a procedure called emotional self-regulation therapy (ESRT) which involves the learned ability to reproduce various kinds of sensations, such as the taste of lemon juice, by associating them with a word or an image until these sensations, or a close approximation of them, can be called up at will. He then provides the suggestion that the client’s brain has become sufficiently sensitized to accept therapeutic suggestions, which permits clients to accept such suggestions while their eyes are open, and able to move about and interact with the therapist. Capafons (1998) has found that ESRT is effective for a wide variety of problems with many clients who are normally not responsive to hypnosis, including many who are either skeptical or fearful of hypnosis itself.

Perhaps the comprehensiveness of the Best Me Technique may prove to be useful in structuring the types and sequence of training suggestions which are employed in such an approach, and in facilitating responsiveness to subsequently-administered therapeutic suggestions by making them multimodal. There are certain types of suggested situations, however, such as riding the racehorse, Sea Biscuit, to victory in the race of his life, in which a change in the perception of one’s own awareness (i.e., an induction, whether expressed or implied) constitutes an essential part of the experience and the preparation for it.

Considering the wide variety of suggestions which may be accepted by sufficiently responsive individuals (Shor & Orne, 1962; Weitzenhoffer & Hilgard, 1967; Barber & Wilson, 1978), multimodal hyperempiria has some intriguing implications for our choice of paradigm if the procedure can be shown to be valid by additional research. Aldous Huxley, in his book, Brave new world revisited, predicted that motion picture technology would advance to the point where it included not only the senses of sight and hearing, but all of the other senses as well, in a totally new and engrossing artistic medium which he referred to as the "feelies." Following a similar line of reasoning, a multimodal approach to suggestion provides us with a highly versatile artistic medium which enables us to work much more effectively with the ultimate art form, human experience itself (Gibbons, 2001).

Thinking of ourselves as artists working with a new medium makes it easier, I believe, to draw upon such areas as classical mythology, history, literature, the mass media, or even sports events, as in the present example, for a wide variety of applications to help give meaning and direction to our clients’ lives (McAdams, 1993). But we need not give up our basic identity as therapists in order to do so; for ultimately, the goals of art and the goals of therapy are the same: the facilitation of personal growth, the ennoblement of the human spirit, and the enrichment of human existence. 

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Here are some of our most popular sites:
The Blog contains many other examples of experience as an art form, for the enhancement of human potential, the ennoblement of the human spirit, and the fulfillment of human existence.


See also the following print sources:

Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form. .New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Press).

Gibbons, D. E., & Cavallaro, L (2013).. Exploring alternate universes: And learning what they can teach us. Amazon Kindle E-Books. (Note: It is not necessary to own a Kindle reader to download this e-book, as the Kindle app may be downloaded free of charge to a standard desktop or laptop computer and to most cell phones.)

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. in S. J. Lynn, J. W. Rhue, & I. Kirsch (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 267-291.



Transcending the Limitations of Virtual Reality


(This posting is based upon a conference presentation at the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, entitled, Kicking it Up a Notch: Multimodal Hyperempiria.)


The "Best Me Technique" is a form of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, which involves your whole person in the content of a suggested event. Every letter in "Best Me" corresponds with an element of suggestion. These elements can be applied in a variety of ways, including visualization exercises and other forms of hypnosis and self hypnosis. Instead of merely picturing something in the mind’s eye, high-responders to suggestion are able to use the Best Me Technique to exceed the limitations of "virtual reality" by utilizing all the building blocks of experience. 

Regardless of whether you are one of the experientially and imginatively gifted who are able to experience multimodal suggestion as a higher form of reality, or whether you merely exoerience it as a guided daydream, the Best Me Technique is a systematic, comprehensive way to harness the power of suggestion in your own life. So relax, and get ready for some exciting new aventures!

Steps

Things to Keep in Mind
  1. Find a quiet time and place to practice the Best Me Technique. An induction procedure is like the theme music to a motion picture or a television drama. It allows us to shift our thinking from a strictly logical mode of thought to a more flexible, more imaginative way of looking at the world. And we can all do that!
    • Unless you actually intend to do so, choose a time when you are not too sleepy or tired, so that you are not likely to doze off.
    • Turn off your cell phone or pager, if you have one, and take the telephone off the hook or put it on answer mode with the ringer turned off.
    • Sit down or lie down in a position which will enable you to relax deeply. If you should find yourself becoming uncomfortable during the session, it should not disturb you to gently adjust your position in order to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
  2. Guide yourself through the elements of the Best Me Technique using whatever words feel most natural to you. The following example is merely for purposes of illustration. In actual use, Best Me suggestions may be presented in any order and varied as often as necessary, much as you might vary the verses and choruses of a song. (You can make sure that you are including all the steps of the Best Me Technique by silently counting them off on your fingers as you go along.)
    • Belief systems. Picture yourself in a happy place, either real or imaginary, where you can drift off into a calm and peaceful nap. For the sake of illustration, we will use the example of lying on a blanket in the middle of a beautiful meadow, late on a warm spring morning.
    • Emotions. Let your entire being absorb the peacefulness which is all around you.
    • Sensations and physical perceptions. Feel the cool breeze upon your skin, and savour the freshness of the pure, country air. Listen to the twitter of the birds in the distance, and the sound of the water quietly splashing against the rocks in the brook, as you gently relax into the blanket and that warm, golden glow of the sunlight relaxes you completely from head to toe.
    • Thoughts and images. Sinking down and shutting down, and sinking down and shutting down. Sinking down and shutting down. Shutting down completely.
    • Motives. It’s so calm, and so peaceful that all you want to do is keep drifting, and dreaming, and floating on, and on, and on, into your own personal paradise.
    • Expectations. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go, and the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes."
    • As you go through each step, believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening. The exact number of repetitions is not as important as the degree to which you are able to believe in your suggestions, as well as merely believing them.
  3. If you are inclined to doubt whether or not you have achieved self-hypnosis after a few minutes, you probably have. For many people, there is no such thing as a "hypnotized" feeling.
    • A private paradise is like a private room. When you enter a private space, it's not unusual to close the door to leave all worries and cares outside. You've already done this by closing your eyelids.
    • Of course, you can lock that door so that you can be safe and secure anytime you want. Now, after locking a door, it's natural to check it by tugging in vain at the doorknob and finding it locked tight. So, when you're certain you've locked your eyelids shut, make sure by tugging in vain at the doorknob and finding you've locked those eyelids shut, until you're ready to conclude your self-hypnosis session.
    • As soon as you're certain, you can stop trying, relax the eyelids, and allow that relaxation to flow through your body as you feel a sense of pride that you have just hypnotized yourself. You have given your body a suggestion, and your body has carried it out.
  4. Practice regularly. Just as people who practice meditation must incorporate it into their life style in order to be able to benefit from it, and just as a driver does not turn off the ignition until the destination has been reached, you also need to continue to use the Best Me Technique as often as needed to maintain your desired level of performance. However, once you have become sufficiently familiar with the elements of the Best Me Technique, you will be able to use them automatically and seamlessly in order to provide yourself with a self-hypnosis experience which is both enjoyable and effective.
Pre-Experiencing the Rewards of a Future Goal
  1. Choose the goal. This example illustrates the accomplishment of a specific goal: graduation, in order to provide the incentive to get there, reducing or eliminating the need for "will power."
    • You can increase the incentive value of the Best Me Technique still further by pre-experiencing other rewarding aspects of your goal, such as celebrating at a graduation party with friends and family, or relaxing on the deck of a cruise ship as you treat yourself to a much-deserved vacation after your goal has been achieved.
    • You may also want to pre-experience the rewards of sub-goals along the way, such as completing a unit of study, presenting a paper, or passing a major examination while overcoming the stress that goes with it, secure in the knowledge that you are on the way to a pre-determined and inevitable success.
    • The Best Me Technique can also be used to enhance performance in many other areas, such as singing, dance, athletics, creative writing, motivating yourself to work out, or starting your own business. It may also be a helpful part of a program to lose weight, stop smoking, or to rid yourself of other forms of addiction.
  2. Take all the time you need in order to thoroughly pre-experience the attainment of your goal. Use whatever order and wording you prefer as long as you include all of the "Best Me" steps. Allow yourself to experience each step as strongly as possible, but don't just daydream. Hyperempiria is like riding a bicycle. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but after a bit of practice it feels very natural. You can generally tell how well you are doing in your BMT experience by how good it makes you feel.
    • (B) Imagine yourself in the future, at the very moment you receive your diploma.
    • (E) Feel the admiring looks of your friends and family upon you, and enjoy to the fullest your sense of pride and accomplishment as you dwell on the glow of your success.
    • (S) See it happen, hear it happen, and feel it happening, as you allow yourself to experience this thrill of achievement throughout every part of your body, from head to toe.
    • (T) Visualize this goal so clearly that it feels as if you were actually willing it into existence.
    • (M) Let yourself believe that you are headed toward a certain and inevitable success.
    • (E) And as a result, allow yourself to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail.
If you can believe in it, you can believe it. And if you can believe it, you can make it happen!
If you can see it, you can believe it.
If you can believe it, you can believe in it.
If you can believe in it, you can make it happen!

Re-Creating an Earlier Mood
  1. You can also think of a time in your past when your confidence and motivation were at a level where you want them to be right now.
  2. Go through the steps of the Best Me Technique to allow yourself to experience this mood again. As before, you can generally tell how well you are doing in your BMT experience by how good it makes you feel.
    • (B) Imagine yourself in the past, when you were feeling the mood you want to feel now, in the present.
    • (E) Let yourself feel the emotion you were experiencing then as strongly as you can, as you re-live those moments in your mind.
    • (S) See it happen, hear it happen, and feel it happening, as you allow yourself to experience this feeling state once more throughout every part of your body, from head to toe.
    • (T) Visualize this mood, and the events which produced it, so clearly that it feels as if you were actually willing them back into existence.
    • (M) Let yourself believe that you are headed toward a certain and inevitable success once again.
    • (E) And as a result, allow yourself to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail.
Turning it Up Even Higher

When you have created the mood you want, you can turn up the intensity to the level you desire by picturing a dial such as a ship's speed indicator, and slowly moving it up to where you want it. While allowing yourself a reasonable amount of time for breaks, if you should feel your motivation slipping you can always pause for a moment to re-adjust the controls.  You can also use an image like this to slow down your sense of how fast time is passing when you have time off from your duties, and to speed it up when you have work to do, so that it feels like your tasks will be over quickly.



Preparing to End Your Hyperempiric Session
  1. Whenever you are ready, you can think to yourself that you will gradually emerge from hyperempiria as you silently count from one to five, telling yourself that by the time you get to five, you are going to be back in the normal, everyday frame of mind in which we spend most of our waking lives.
  2. You can also give yourself a suggestion that each time you enter hyperempiria, you will be able to go in deeper and more rapidly, and derive even more benefits, from the experience, some of which you may already know and some of which you may not yet realize. (This will allow your unconscious to provide you with additional benefits which you may not yet be aware of.)
  3. Conclude your hyperempiric session. Silently count from one to five, telling yourself that at the count of five you will be back wide awake and feeling wonderful, using words like this:
    • One. Beginning to return now, as your mind begins to return to its normal level of functioning.
    • Two. You will be smiling, happy, and confident as you prepare to resume your life’s adventure.
    • Three. Coming back more and more now.
    • Four. Almost back.
    • Five. You can open your eyes now, feeling wonderful. You can open your eyes now, feeling wonderful.

Tips

  • If you are inclined to doubt whether or not you have achieved self-hypnosis after a few minutes, you probably have.
    • For many people, there is no such thing as a "hypnotized" feeling.
    • An induction procedure is like the theme music to a motion picture or a television drama. It allows us to shift our thinking from a strictly logical mode of thought to a more flexible, more imaginative way of looking at the world. And we can all do that!
  • Regular practice using the Best Me Technique is essential until your long-term goal has been achieved.
    • People who want to realize the benefits of meditation make it a regular part of their life, and the same is true with hyperempiria.
    • When you are driving a car, you don't want to turn off the ignition until you have arrived at your destination!.
  • Whenever you would like to increase your level of motivation, here's a neat suggestion that you can give to yourself at any time. Just picture a dial in your mind (a clock with only an hour hand, with the hour hand set at one or a ship's speed indicator such as the one shown previously), and turn this dial up to an even higher level as you raise your motivation along with it. With a little practice, this can become a handy way to give your motivation an extra push whenever you need it most.
  • As a general rule, it is better to use as few words as possible with your Best Me suggestions. The images and experiences you encounter at each step, and the conviction with which you hold them, are much more important in determining the final outcome.
  • The building blocks of a Best Me experience need not be conceptually "pure." The purpose of the Best Me Technique is comprehensiveness; and each part of a Best Me experience may contain elements of the others.
  • If you already know how to perform self-hypnosis, you may prefer to use your own induction at the beginning, and then use the Best Me Technique for goal achievement.
  • You should focus on only one goal per session, rather than making up a "laundry list" of things to pursue. Having too many goals at once might tend to interfere with your ability to clearly focus your imagination on the rewards of goal attainment.
  • If other thoughts should start to distract you during your BMT session, just passively observe them and let them go, as one might do while practicing meditation. Recordings are also used to extend the effectiveness of hypnotic suggestions provided by someone else (or you can make your own). You may need to experiment a bit to find which method or combination works best for you.
  • You can also use the Best Me Technique to re-experience a time in the past when your motivation and confidence were at very high levels. When you have caught that mood, hold it for a moment and then bring it into the present to power your present tasks.
  • If you should find that you need to build self-confidence in order to pursue a much-desired goal, and if self-help books and articles are not useful enough, you may need to seek the services of a psychologist, counselor, clinical social worker, or life coach to provide the necessary support and encouragement, and to help you sort out your goals more clearly.
  • If you are finding it difficult to put the necessary degree of conviction into your suggestions to accomplish a goal, you may need to go back and analyze your goal to see if there are any hidden conflicts which may be preventing you from focusing completely upon its achievement.
  • Don't forget the importance of "environmental engineering." In addition to using self-hypnosis, you need to make whatever changes you have to in yourself and in your daily life in order to bring your goal to completion, such as learning to control your emotions, or to deal with impossible people you may meet along the way.
  • The potential applications of the Best Me Technique are quite large. When used correctly, suggestion may be regarded as an artistic medium which enables us to work directly with the ultimate art form: human experience itself.

Warnings


The willingness to take calculated risks is an important part of what makes us human.
The desire to take calculated risks
 is an important part of what makes us human.
  • There is an old saying which goes, "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it." Things almost never turn out exactly as we expect them to. But the desire to take calculated risks, to "dream the impossible dream," and, if necessary, to make our own luck -- is part of what makes us human -- and it's what having free will is all about!
    • Suggestion should not be used to treat any type of mental condition, or to recover old memories, except under the direction and supervision of an appropriately qualified and licensed mental health professional.
    • Do not use the power of suggestion to eliminate pain or other physical symptoms, except under appropriate medical supervision. Such symptoms are often a natural warning signal from your body that something is wrong (or that something may be GOING wrong). Similarly, you should not attempt to use the power of suggestion to overcome depression, mood swings, hearing voices or seeing things that do not exist. And unless you are a physician or a licensed mental health professional yourself, there are probably a large number of potentially serious conditions that you have never even heard of!
    • You should not stop taking any type of prescription medication while using self-suggestion without talking to your doctor.
  • Don't try to use the Best Me Technique to "scare yourself" into achieving your goal, and don't include any shoulds, oughts, or musts in your suggestions. Psychological research has conclusively shown that human beings are motivated primarily by reward rather than by the threat of punishment. Keep it positive!
  • Don't try to use positive suggestion to maintain a failing relationship, or to rescue a relationship which is in trouble. This is most likely to be a form of denial. See a therapist or counselor.
  • Hypnosis and hyperempiria will not weaken your will, leave you susceptible to demonic or occult influences, or turn you into someone else's willing servant.
  • Do not allow yourself to be misled by the exaggerated claims of advertisers, or by or phony or unregulated degrees, accreditations, and "board certifications."
    • Self-hypnosis is not difficult to learn. People can end up paying thousands of dollars to acquire these skills, but they can just as learn master them free of charge if they are willing to put forth the necessary time and effort in order to do so.
  • Many self-improvement projects may require the additional professional assistance of a licensed psychologist, counselor, or social worker for their successful completion.
    • Psychiatrists can perform these services too, of course. But, with a few fortunate exceptions, the demands of today's marketplace have led many psychiatrists to concentrate primarily on diagnosing mental illness and prescribing psychotropic medication.
    • Many insurance companies do not pay for consulting a hypnotist or hypnotherapist if this is their only professional qualification. If you have insurance which covers mental health, you can call your State psychological, counseling, or social work association and ask for the names of members near you who include hypnosis as one of their specialties, or you can check your phone book listings under these headings.
    • You may want to check ahead of time to see whether or not your particular need is covered and, if so, which types of mental health providers your insurance carrier is willing to recognize. You also need to determine whether or not the particular provider you have chosen is in your insurance carrier's network or is able to accept out-of-network reimbursement from that particular provider. Your insurance carrier or your mental health services provider needs to inform you whether or not pre-authorization is necessary, if there is a deductible which has to be met first, how many visits they are willing to authorize, and how much the co-pay, if any, is going to be.
  • We must always retain the ability to recognize when a goal is really not worth pursuing, in order to keep from wasting our lives in futile effort.
    • If we can learn to overcome the discouragement which has protected us in from our own mistakes in goal selection, we have an added responsibility to make certain that the goals which we have chosen really are worth going after, and that they are within the scope of our ability to attain them.
    • The world is full of people whose "impossible dreams" will always be impossible. But there are many others for whom an iron determination can make all the difference, no matter what the odds against them. As we put this powerful new technology into use, it is up to each of us to decide just how idealistic or how practical we choose to be.
  • Finally, just as there are some people who are color blind cannot comprehend the experience of color, some people are hypnosis blind and cannot comprehend the experience of hypnosis.
    • The ability to respond to suggestion is distributed in the general population in much the same way that height, weight, and intelligence are. Some of us have a little, and some of us have a lot, but most of us have enough to get by.
    • But for everyone whose ability to respond to suggestion is extremely low or virtually nonexistent, there is someone else who can harness the power of suggestion for many areas of personal growth and self-improvement. Such is the potential and the promise of hyperempiria for those who are able and willing to make use of it.
You might also want to use this article together with the Blog post entitled, How to Achieve your Goals Without Using "Will Power"

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Free Hypnosis Conditioning and Relaxation Tape

Here are two links to a hypnosis conditioning and relaxation tape, which can be used to accustom you to enter hypnosis easily and rapidly. You can download your free copy either  in .wav format, or in .mp3 format by clicking on the appropriate link, and then clicking "download." The tape is approximately twenty minutes in length. The download takes approximately half an hour for the .wav version, and about fifteen minutes for the .mp3 version. The .mp3 version does not contain suggestions of direct exposure to warm sunlight, for those who might fiind such imagery aversive.

This tape is not intended to serve as a substitute for therapy. But, with your therapist's prior knowledge and approval, it can become a helpful means of "tiding yourself over" between sessions, and for preparing you to respond better during face-to-face hypnotherapy.

In addition to a progressive relaxation induction and return, the tape contains suggestions for allowing your "higher self" -- the person you are destined to become -- to guide and assist you in the process of decision making; suggestrions for relaxation and confidence-building; suggestions for ego strengthening originally composed by John Hartland; as well as suggestsions for restful sleep, all of which may help to "bridge the gap" between therapy sessions, by increasing assertiveness and reducing anxiety and tension when stressful situations arise.

The following link to the scripts  enables you to familiarize yourself with the contents of the tape ahead of time.

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