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.

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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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Anniversaries, Nodal Events, and Social Systems

by Annette K. Schreiber, Ph.D.

A nodal event is an event in a person's, family's, community's or country's life that affects it profoundly. Some events are positive, like the election of a president or the birth of a Royal baby. Some events, however, are so negative, that they throw everything out of equilibrium. Hurricane Sandy was such an event.

The Jersey Coast and those of us who were personally affected by the storm know that things will forever be different. We, as individuals, families and communities, have been knocked off balance. Everything has changed, as we search for the "new normal."

When we approach anniversaries of negative nodal events, we may find that we don't feel "quite right." We may become symptomatic in many ways, physically, emotionally or behaviorally. One person may get a bad cold, or break out in a rash. Another may quietly get drunk, or not so quietly go speeding down the highway and get a bunch of tickets. And most people have emotional upsets. Feeling depressed, sad, irritable, anxious, or having panic attacks are ways that many people "mark" these anniversaries. Why? Do we decide this is how we are going to observe the anniversary of Sandy? No, it is not a conscious decision. Each individual is part of a system: a family, a community or a country. And if the system is out of equilibrium, there are shockwaves that reverberate throughout all parts of the system, bringing on symptoms.

After Sandy, many members of our communities remain in deep trouble. The disillusionment stage of recovery has set it. The insurance companies, FEMA, SBA, the local, state and federal governments aren't moving fast enough to get people back in their homes, or their businesses up and running. Many people remain displaced, and have lost everything they owned and are desperately trying to figure out how to move forward.

But, there are random acts of kindness, people volunteering and giving, and countless fundraisers. Groups of people gather in formal and informal support groups to help themselves and others make sense of it all, and to draw strength from each other.

So, if on a particular anniversary, you don't feel "quite right," realize that you are not alone in feeling this way, and that we have all been knocked for a loop. But our people and our communities are strong -- Jersey Strong, so Keep Calm, and Carry On!




 

In no prticular order, here are just a few the practical applications of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, contained on this Blog,  You can learn how to:
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.




Friday, April 26, 2013

How to Cure the "I Don't Think I can be Hypnotized" Syndrome

There's more to hypnosis than this.

Hypnosis is fundamentally a set of enabling beliefs which make it more credible to respond to suggestions which are given later in the session. Hypnosis has also been referred to as compounded conviction, or as the actualization of the suggestion that one is hypnotized. Thus, many people who do not respond well enough to suggestion to star in a YouTube video, or to be selected as a performer from among the volunteers in a demonstration of stage hypnosis, can still benefit from hypnosis if they are convinced that they have been hypnotized, even though they may not feel any differently at the conclusion of an induction procedure than they did before.

Most of the time, when using traditional hypnosis, I employ a progressive relaxation induction, based on suggestions of gradually increasing relaxation, taking care to make it multimodal by including as many dimensions of experience as possible. If this should prove difficult because the client does not respond well to suggestion, an initially “resistant” client may experience success if a so-called “challenge” item, such as arm catalepsy, is used. For example, One client, at the conclusion of an induction procedure, remained seated with her eyes closed and spontaneously remarked, “Oh, it isn’t going to work.” Understanding the client’s motivational style the therapist responded in a confident tone: “Oh yes it is,” and I’ll show you. I’m just going to stretch your right arm out straight in front of you, and you hold it out there by yourself after I have done so.” Once the client’s arm had been extended, the therapist continued, speaking rapidly and in an authoritative tone:


I’m going to count from one to three, and at the count of three your arm will be just as rigid as an iron bar. . . One. You can feel the muscles in your right arm becoming tighter and tighter now. Your right arm is becoming stiff and rigid. And by the time I get to the count of three, your right arm will be as rigid as an iron bar, and you won’t be able to bend it at the elbow no matter how hard you try. . . Two. It’s becoming as rigid as an iron bar now, and by the time I get to the count of three you won’t be able to bend it at the elbow until I touch it, no matter how hard you try. . . Three. Try, but you cannot do so – and the harder you try to bend your arm, the harder it becomes.

A broad smile crossed the client’s face as she remained motionless, her arm outstretched. After waiting for only a second or two, the therapist concluded, “Now, and only now as I touch it, can your arm return to normal and sink down, becoming completely normal again. Now your arm is completely normal once more.” Then, with the client convinced of the reality of her hypnotic experience, the therapeutic suggestions could proceed (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010, pp. 390-391).

A second method of dealing with doubtful or low-responding clients is to use a "fail-safe induction, such as the one proposed by Lynn, Kirsch, and Rhue (1996) that uses a combination of arm levitation and arm heaviness suggestions as convincers. The suggestions can be given before a more formal induction of hypnosis, in the context of relaxation or “creative imagination, “ or incorporated into an induction.


Therapist: "You may notice that one of your arms is just a bit lighter than the other, and your other arm is heavier. As we talk, your light arm may become even lighter or your heavy arm may become even heavier. And I wonder just how light your lighter arm will feel, and how heavy the other arm will feel. Will your light arm become so light that it lifts up into the air all by itself, or will your heavy arm become so heavy that it stays rooted to the arm of your chair? And I wonder which arm feels lighter. Is it your right arm or your left arm? And where do you feel the lightness most? In your wrist or in your fingers? In all of your fingers or especially in one of them?"

Overt signs of upward movement in one hand or arm provides a signal to focus on suggestions for arm levitation. Otherwise, these are abandoned and suggestions for arm heaviness and immobility are stressed. This method can prevent perceptions of failure, maintain therapeutic rapport, and provide some indication of the patient's level of responsiveness. If the patient is not able to generate responses of either arm lightness of heaviness, it may indicate the presence of recalcitrant negative beliefs and attitudes, which may preclude using hypnosis as a treatment modality (Lynn et al., p. 15). But you are probably not likely to encounter this latter type of client in your practice, because, until they have acquired a deeper understanding of what to expect, they would be unlikely to consult a hypnotist in the first place.

My friend Roy Hunter has suggested an additional refinement to the foregoing procedure which makes it even more effective. Here is what he says:

The reason I like the idea of one arm light and the other arm heavy is that it is both permissive AND utilizes an Ericksonian double bind. Although my wording is somewhat different, I ask the client immediately after the session: "What was easier to imagine: the lightness or the heaviness?"

Regardless of whether the client states light, heavy, or both, my next question is: "Was the difference between your two arms slight, moderate, or VERY noticeable?"

In over 25 years, virtually everyone has chosen one of those three responses...to which I say:

"In a light state of hypnosis, there is little or no difference between your two arms. In a medium level, the difference is moderate. In a deep state of hypnosis, there is a very noticeable difference between the two arms that sometimes results in the light arm feeling as though it is lifting up by itself. However, since your conscious mind knows that your arms weigh the same, ANY sensation of difference is proof that you experienced hypnosis."

This convincer, followed by the above talk immediately after the session, has persuaded many analytical resisters that they have indeed experienced hypnosis.
 See also: How to Hypnotize the Un-Hypnotizable
-----------------------------------------

 

In no prticular order, here are just a few the other practical applications of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, contained on this Blog,  You can learn how to:
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.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to Overcome Fear of Failure and Fear of Success



It isn't what happens that makes you anxious. It's what you believe about what happens that makes you anxious. If anxiety and lack of self-confidence have created difficulties for you, there are things that you can say to yourself, with or without an induction, in order to change the way that you experience the world.  Unlike many of the affirmations used in "positive thinking," they are all 100% true to begin with, so use the ones which you find most appealing, take one or two at a time, and take plenty of time to think about and digest them.                   
    Mistakes are just that. 
  • Mistakes and rejections are inevitable. Mistakes are just that. Mistakes. Period. 
  • Just because things are not succeeding today does not mean that I will not succeed in the future.
  • While it is very desirable to achieve well and be recognized by others, I do not need achievement or recognition to survive and be happy.
  • My performance at work — perfect or otherwise — does not determine my worth as a person.
  • Things are rarely as bad, awful, or catastrophic as I imagine them to be.
  • I accept who I am, even though I may not like some of my traits and behaviors.
  • There are many things about me that I like and do well (enumerate them).
  • I have done many things at work successfully in the past, I will succeed in the future.
  • I am intelligent and talented enough to learn what I have to do and how to do it in order to accomplish my goals.
  • I am confident that everything will turn out okay given that I have my goals, know what to do, and work hard.
  • I don't have to make myself anxious about anything, or put myself down if I stupidly and foolishly do make myself anxious. 
  •  My anxiety is bad, but I'm not bad. 
  •  I don't always have to feel comfortable, and it isn't awful when I don't. 
  •  I can bear—and bear with—anxiety: it won't kill me. 
  •  It is not necessary to be in perfect control of my anxious moments. To demand that I be in control only multiplies my symptoms.  
  • Others are not required to treat me with kid gloves when I feel uncomfortable. 
  • The world doesn't have to make it easy for me to get a handle on my anxiety. 
  • Anxiety is a part of life; it is not bigger than life.  
  • My over-reactive nervous system is a part of my life, but it's not bigger than life. 
  • I can take my anxiety with me when going places and doing things that I am reluctant to do (or stay isolated).  
  • Controlling my anxiety is important, but it isn't urgent. 
  • Comfort is nice, but not necessary. 
  • I don't have to be the one person in the universe to feel comfortable all the time.  
  • I'd better not feel calm, relaxed, and serene all the time, because if I did, I'd have one heck of a time motivating myself 
  •  Anxiety and panic are burrs in my saddle: highly inconvenient and uncomfortable, but hardly awful. 
  • I don't have to hassle myself or put myself down for not coping better with my anxiety.  
  • This, too, will likely pass.  
  • I can blend in with the flow of my anxiety; I don't have to go tooth-and-nail, head-on with it. 
  • If I feel anxious, I feel anxious—tough! 
  • I may have my anxiety, but I am not my anxiety. 
  • I don't have to shame or demean myself for anything—including creating tight knots in my gut. 
  • Feelings of awkwardness, nervousness, or queasiness may interfere with my projects, but they do not have to ruin them.
  • The following video by Napoleon Hill is the original, full-length presentation of his best-seller, Think and Grow Rich, which sold millions of copies and is now in the public domain.

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.



How to REALLY Win Friends and Influence People!

The best way to change others' behavior
is to change your reactions to them.
Dale Carnegie's book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has sold millions of copies since it was originally published in 1936. The company which he founded lives on, and is still churning out graduates, and the book continues to sell well on Amazon. His most important teaching is dramatically illustrated in the following YouTube video, which demonstrates how it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing your own reactions to them.

Everyone wants validation -- hearty approval, of the kind demonstrated here. No, I am not suggesting flattery. Flattery is from the teeth out, and it should and ought to fail. But when you see a chance to let somebody know that they really are awesome, and tell them so, in such a way that they can accept what you say and believe it themselves, watch what it does to your own approval in their eyes!




Then, once you have got this simple trick down pat, you will be ready to listen to the full text of Mr. Carnegie's  book, which is presented below, and go back to it once in a while for a refresher course.

Good listening!





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.




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happiness is as Happiness Does: What Happy People Do Differently



Happiness is not something ready made.
It comes from your own actions. --  Dalai  Lama
There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, walking around with a spring in every step. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves. The question is: how do they do that? It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they … 

1. Don’t hold grudges. Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life. 

2. Treat everyone with kindness. Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships. 

3. See problems as challenges. The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge. 

4. Express gratitude for what they already have. There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have. 

5. Dream big. People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state. 

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life. 

7. Speak well of others. Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts. 

8. Never make excuses. Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better. 

9. Get absorbed into the present. Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses. 

10. Wake up at the same time every morning. Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state. 

11. Avoid social comparison. Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs. 

12. Choose friends wisely. Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself. 

13. Never seek approval from others. Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own. 

14. Take the time to listen. Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel. 

15. Nurture social relationships. A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other. 

16. Meditate. Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves. 

17. Eat well. Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape. 

18. Exercise. Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment. 

19. Live minimally. Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items. 

20. Tell the truth. Lying stresses you out, corrodes your self-esteem, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it. 

21. Establish personal control. Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth. 

22. Accept what cannot be changed. Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better. 

(The preceding list is from the blog of Chiara Fucarino, posted on Facebook March 25, 2013.)
Read more at http://www.lifed.com/22-things-happy-people-do-differently#SHxcedWorlWOmwlK.99




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.