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 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.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

How Many "Altered States of Consciousness" Are There?

There are probably as many altered experiences of consciousness
as it is possible to conceive or to imagine!
In the early years of the Twentieth Century, many psychologists were inspired by the discovery in chemistry that all matter could be reduced to certain basic elements. Since the purpose of consciousness was to allow us to experience the real world, they reasoned that it should be possible analyze the contents of consciousness into its own basic elements. This "mental chemistry" was given the name structuralism; and various groups of structuralists began their research, using a method called introspection, to see just how many basic elements of awareness they could find. However, that the various groups of researchers could not come to a general agreement regarding how many elements of consciousness there actually were. One group claimed that they could find fourteen, another forty-three, and so on. The problem lay in the fact that consciousness is like a mirror. It reflects back what is put into it. The entire process is reminiscent of the game that Tolstoy and his brothers used to play when they were children, which involved trying to see how long each one could go without thinking of a white bear. (Try it!)

When you label a "thing" in hypnosis, you call it into existence. 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 and written up in the form of an induction and experienced by a sufficiently willing and responsive client as part of his or her own personal reality. This being so, it is not difficult to design an altered experience of consciousness in such a way as to bring about the kind of change you intend to produce. 

While presenting a paper at the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis on multimodal hyperempiria, I casually remarked that instead of sending a person "down" into hypnosis or "up" into hyperempiria, it would be just as easy to send them "sideways" into an altered experience of consiciousness, which we could call laterosis. Later, I decided to take myself seriously. Lenny Cavallaro and I wrote a book on laterosis, entitled, Exploring Alternate Universes: And Learning What They Can Teach Us.  

If the number of suggestion-induced altered experiences of consciiousness is indeed unlimited, as it appears to be, given the ease with which such experiences may be constructed, the only question which we need to ask ourselves is, how can we define such experiences in a manner which is the most useful for the task at hand?
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Here are just a few the other 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.