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 us at(609)709-2043 and (609) 709-0009.Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72, on the road to Beach Haven West.After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Greater Coastal Realty. Then turn right and go past the Lyceum Gyn. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building. We. are the last office at the end. We accept Medicare and most other major insurance.Weekend and evening office hours are avalable.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

How to Improve Sports Performance Using Visualization, Meditation, or Self Hypnosis

Perhaps you have seen those news stories about individual athletes, or even entire athletic teams, who have improved their performance by securing the services of a sports hypnotist. The research literature in psychology supports the conclusion that such interventions have been effective. (Barker & Jones, 2008; Levitan, 2012; Tramontana, 2011). But you don't have to hire a hypnotist yourself in order to obtain similar results. Neither is it necessary to use meditation or self-hypnosis, although these procedures can provide helpful mental preparation. What really counts is the ability to actively engage the imagination so that you can pre-experience successful performance as vividly as possible.  

Regardless of whether or not you use meditation or self-hypnosis as a preliminary, I recommend regular practice with the Best Me Technique as a way of allowing you to involve your whole person to visualize successful performance, so that you can experience now, in the present and in concentrated form, the rewards and satisfactions which would not normally be yours until success has actually been achieved. This will not only improve your performance, but it will also provide you with the motivation to pursue it. 

Each element of the Best Me Technique corresponds with a dimension of experience (Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations), which may be used in any order and varied and repeated as often as desired in order to involve the imaginagion as completely as possible. I'm going to use bowling as an example of how to use the Best Me Technique to improve performance, but it can just as easily be applied to other areas of sport, such as archery, shooting, golf, or even equestrian events. Here's how it works.

First, find a quiet place where you are not likely to be disturbed. Close your eyes and imagine or picture yourself about to bowl a successful strike, using imagery like this:

Beliefs. Believe, or picture in your mind, that you are headed towards a certain and inevitable success. 

Emotions. Feel the thrill of achievement surging through you as you realize that victory is assured.

Sensations and Physical perceptions. Listen to the sound of the ball rolling down the chute while the people around you grow quiet.

Thoughts and Images: See the ball hit the pins directly, and watch them go flying in every direction .

Motives. Realize that this is how you want your bowling to become.

Expectations. Allow yourself to fully savor in your mind the fruits of your success! 

Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, feel it happening, and savor in advance the fruits of your success. Practice and rehearse regularly, and with patience. And, above all, make sure that you enjoy it!

  


 References

Barker, J. & Jones, M. (2008). The effects of hypnosis on self-efficacy, affect, and soccer performance: A case study.  Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 2(2),  pp. 127-147.

Tramontana, J. (2011).  Sports hypnosis in practice: Scripts, strategies and case examples.
Norwalk, CT, US: Crown House Publishing Limited.

Levitan, A. (2012).  Review of Sports hypnosis in practice: Scripts, strategies, and case examples. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 54(4), pp. 365-366 

--------------------------------------------------------



 

Here are just a few the other practical applications of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, contained on this Blog,  You can learn how to:

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.





Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Create Winning Goals

Johnson and Johnson urges their employees to consider SMART goals, which fit the acronym of being Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound.  But what about all those goals which uniquely define us as human beings? What about individual whose life goal is self-actualization, as defined by Abraham Maslow: "The writer must write, the painter must paint," and we must all become whatever we have within us to become? 

In these situations, the formula can be applied to constructing a winning sub-goal. For example, an aspiring author whose publisher demands that a completed manuscript be submitted to them before it will even be considered for publication might formulate his or her goal as follows: 
  • a working title 
  • foreword, preface, and introduction
  • table of contents 
  • detailed chapter outline
  • a minimum of four hundred pages of word-processed text 
  • to be completed within twelve months    
Once such a goal or sub-goal has been formulated, it can then be cast in the form of suggestions or autosuggestions which can enable you to achieve your goals without using "will power.

A plan such as the one just presented obviously complies with the formula outlined by Johnson and Johnson, yet it allows sufficient leeway for the ongoing pursuit of the kind of "glorious quest" which makes us uniquely human, as illustrated by the following commercial for another Fortune 500 company. 





-------------------------------------------------------------

Here are just a few the practical applications of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, contained on this Blog,  You can learn how to:

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.





    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Tough Love: Dealing with an Alcoholic or Addicted Friend or Family Member



    Addicts seem to have a Ph.D. in emotional manipulation.

    Many therapists have clients in their eighties who have turned themselves into paupers and are living our their retirement years in distress and torment because they are unable to resist the emotional blackmail of their alcoholic or addicted children. (It should also be noted that some people can become addicted to spending itself, for a variety of reasons.) At the other extreme, I have interviewed prison inmates whose families have decided to press charges because their children have stolen money and personal belongings from them in order to support their addictions. In the middle are the clients whom we see every week in our private practice, who have sought our support in order to learn the art of "toughlove" -- to say no to the demands of their addicted children or other family members, both for the sake of the addicts themselves and to preserve the clients' own financial and psychological well-being.

    When the victims threaten to deny or withdraw emotional support, they are subject to a series of manipulative tactics from their addicted family members which may include anger, rage, threats of suicide or actual suicidal gestures, and promises that the abuser will never have anything to do with them again. These tactics frequently succeed because, as family members, the abusers often know their victims well enough to understand exactly what to say and which buttons to push in order to manipulate their victims into giving in. This only encourages further exploitation in the future. For this reason, you should never make a threat to an addict, i.e., "This is the last time you are getting one cent out of me!" that you are not prepared to carry out.

    Victims of emotional manipulation need to recognize that addicts are not the loving, playful children, friends, or relatives they once were were before their addiction turned them into someone else. Victims need to see themselves as survivors of abuse, and to create healthy barriers between themselves and their abusers.  


    Don't let an addict shame or guilt you into giving in!
    While some people can come to these realizations on their own, in many instances they need the emotional support and encouragement of a therapist, and possibly the services of an attorney, in order to disentangle themselves.    



     


    Here are just a few the practical applications of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, contained on this Blog,  You can learn how to:
    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.




    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Psychological First Aid for Anxiety, Depression, Fear, and Loneliness


    You can 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. They are not intended to serve as a substitute for counseling or therapy; but for many people whose concerns do not go beyond the ordinary, everyday frustrations that plague us all, they may be all that is needed.   

    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 showing them 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 obsessive ways of looking at things, which might be clouding your view of the world.  

    3. 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 your friends or romantic partner.

     4. Difficulties with forgiveness, whether of yourself or others, frequently lie at the bottom of all the types of negative thinking just mentioned!




     


    Here are just a few the other practical applications of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, contained on this Blog,  You can learn how to:

    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.





    Friday, February 8, 2013

    How to Get Thin and STAY Thin with Self-Hypnosis and Visualization

     

    Being overweight can be caused by a number of factors. When it is simply due to the habit of making bad decisions concerning food, then an approach such as the one described here may be useful. However, you should not make any changes in your regular eating habits without first consulting with your physician.  

    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. She was going to surprise her husband by arranging a getaway weekend for him at a hotel. Her plans included dinner at a stylish restaurant where she would like to be able to once more wear a treasured dress which she had saved from her honeymoon.

    I taught her how to to hypnotize herself by using the Best Me Technique and to pre-experience the attainment of her weight loss goal, using the anniversary restaurant dinner as one of the settings in which she could enjoy the multi-modal dimensions of its fulfillment. 
    Belief systems involving suggestions of a change in place and time at the completion of the induction prepared her to pre-experience the anniversary dinner as if it were already taking place. 
    Suggestions of Emotion included responses to both her husband’s admiring glances and the increasing physical attraction they felt towards each other as the evening wore on. 
    Suggestions of many different Sensations and physical perceptions heightened the reality of the experience still further: the lighted candles on the dinner table, the soft music, the sight and smell of a bouquet of flowers, the taste of the dinner wine, etc. 
    Thoughts and images included suggestions of the couple sharing their mutual declarations of love as they looked deeply into each other’s eyes. 
    Motives became stronger as the evening wore on and their warmth became desire. 
    Their Expectations for the rest of the night increased apace as the couple hurriedly paid their check and made their way out the door and took an elevator to the hotel room in the same building which she had rented for the remainder of the evening. . . . 
    The client had a rich imagination and that she responded well to suggestion. Once she had mastered the technique of multimodal suggestion using the Best Me Technique for preliminary scenarios such as the one just described. To increase her motivation still more, she was able to devise multimodal autosuggestions for much more intimate experiences during the remainder of their anniversary evening without additional coaching from me. She reported that these were also highly effective in maintaining her motivation to diet at a high level.

    Follow-up sessions were scheduled at progressively greater intervals as her self-imposed deadline drew near, to ensure that her progress continued and that her goal was satisfactorily reached, which it was. 


    The secret of her success was that she was not just "fantasizing in a vacuum." She was selecting visualizations which would increase the meaningfulness of her life story as it unfolded.  These were changes that she could not merely believe, but that she could also believe in.  Whatever personal goal you have set for yourself, look for ways to incorporate it into your own life story in such a way that you can believe in it as well as merely believing it.  If you can believe in it deeply enough, you can make it happen!


    See also: 


    How to Eliminate Late-Night Snacking
    The Science of THINKING Thin: The Cognitive-Behavioral Diet

    Scroll down for a list of some of the most popular sites on this Blog. 
    Below this list are the most recent Blog entries. 
    For an easily accessible list of all Blog postings, see the list entitled, "Blog Archive" in the column at the right of this page.


     

    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.