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.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to Overcome Shyness with Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology

It is generally agreed that the cognitive-behavioral approach is the fastest-growing orientation in psychology, with an ever-growing body of research behind it to demonstrate that it actually works.

Just as physical therapists can provide you with exercises to improve physical functioning, cognitive-behavioral therapists provide exercises to develop more effective psychological adjustments. Cognitive-behavioral therapists frequently use a document called a thought record in order to examine just what goes on in the mind when we keep making those bad choices when we could have made better ones. Here is what one looks like, courtesy of www.getselfhelp.co.uk, and here is what it looks like all filled out. You can make copies for your own personal use without charge by using the print command on your computer. They also have a free self-help course on cognitive-behavioral therapy, and a host of other helpful materials.

Shyness is a common phenomenon which we all feel at one time or another, especially around someone whom do not know well, but are physically or emotionally attracted to. Shyness most closely fits their worksheet for social anxiety. Here is a hypothetical example of how it might be used, with the column headings in italics and one set of possible responses in standard type.

Situation and Trigger: You are eating lunch alone in the company cafeteria. An attractive co-worker from another department sits down at the table with you and begins a conversation about job-related matters.

Feelings, Emotions, and Physical Sensations: Awkwardness.

Unhelpful Thoughts or Images: "I'd like to get to know her better, but I don't know what to say."

Self-focus: Trying to hide what I am really thinking about.

Safety Behaviors: Pretending that I'm only interested in the topic of conversation.

Balanced, more rational response: I could say something like, "I'm enjoying this conversation, and I'd like to continue our talk later on. Can I call you for lunch sometime?"

Outcome: I will either be able to begin a friendship that could develop into something serious, or I will be able to stop fretting about her and focus my attention on someone else.

It sounds simple when you look at it this way. But if you do not use the CBT Thought Record to put your thinking, feeling, and behavior under a microscope, you might very well continue to fret about being shy, but never do much about it. Of course, you might want to practice using the thought record form for other hypothetical conversations, in order to be prepared for a variety of possible outcomes. Once you get the hang of it, if you continue to do these mental workouts as regularly as you would exercise physically in a gymnasium, you will eventually become able to think, feel, and act like a confident person in almost any situation.

Confucius said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Cognitive-behavioral psychology can be of great help in preparing you for all the important steps to your destination! 

See also: 

The Art of Small Talk

 

This 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.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"The Right Medication, in the Right Dosage,

Psychotropic medication is not for everyone!
A prison inmate with previously undiscovered bipolar disorder had driven his car into a tree while in a manic state, which resulted in the death of his girlfriend and his subsequent incarceration. He later said to me,"It's too bad that you have to come to jail to find out that you have a mental illness!" I agreed that he was unfortunately correct. ("Insanity" is a very difficult defense to use, even when it may be justified.) Later, when his meds had taken effect and he saw how effective they were, he told me, "The right medication, in the right dosage, will kick ass!" 

I told him that I had never heard it put so incisively before; but again I had to admit that he was right. Many of the criticisms of "Big Pharma" over-marketing psychotropic medication are probably valid. Research has shown that for many problems involving mild to moderate anxiety and or depression, a regular exercise program and, or talk therapy of the same length of time can be effective -- but certainly not for bipolar disorder!

However, medication is certainly not without its drawbacks. It's a science to develop a new psychotropic medication but it's an art to use it, because no two people are exactly alike. Even after years of rigorous testing to gain approval for a prescription drug, a particular medication can have absolutely no effect on one person, work well for another, and put still another in the emergency room. (I've talked to more than one person in each group.) 

Because psychotropic medication can sometimes can take weeks to build up in your nervous system before you find out whether or not they are going to work, and because of the possibility of side effects just mentioned, prescribers often start a person on "baby" doses of a psychotropic medication and gradually increase the prescribed amount until a therapeutic level is atually reached. This often results in having to wait even longer to find out if a particular medication, or combination of them, is going to be effective.

No decision regarding whether to use or not to use psychotropic medication such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety agents, or mood stabilizers, should be made without consulting an appropriately licensed professional who can prescribe such medication. But for those who respond poorly or adversely to psychotropic medication, talk therapy can be useful either as a booster or as an alternative. For example, a client whose depression appeared to be primarily rooted in family difficulties recently had been prescribed an anti-depressant by her family physician, but it was either not working or it had not kicked in yet. She was about to stop taking her medication, but I reminded her that some medication does take weeks to build up in one's body, sometimes the dosage needs to be adjusted, sometimes there are unpleasant side effects, which make it necessary to try another medication before finding just the right meds, either singly or in combination, which work for a particular individual.

While she continued to see her physician, using a multimodal induction and the Best Me Technique, I suggested feelings of peace, happinesss, tranquility, and relaxation. Almost immediately her depression lifted, and we were free to begin the process of identifying goals and discovering the sources which would help to bring meaning and fulfillment into her life.

Was her change in mood due to hypnosis, or did her medication finally start to work?  Life is not an experimental laboratory; and with a live patient who desperately needs to get better, our goal is to get results, rather than identifying exactly what leads to what. The only thing we can be sure of at this point is that she was highly satisfied with the outcome.


 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The "Hysterical" Development of Hypnosis

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek
And then when he woke up, it was
The Middle of Next Week.
"The one thing I regret," he said,
"Is that it cannot speak."
                                                           -- Nietzche, Thus Spake Zarathustra


Until comparatively recently, in Western culture the experience of trance was interpreted as due to demonic influences or, occasionally, the mark of holiness or sainthood, as it was in the case of Saint Teresa.


Saint Teresa was a prone to spontaneous
states of ecstasy. 
Although healing by means of trance induction probably dates back to prehistoric times, the revival of interest in the induction of healing trances in Western culture may be traced directly to the work of the Viennese physician, Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815). Mesmer was considerably influenced by the teachings of Paracelsus that the stars and the planets exert considerable influence over human behavior by means of their magnetic fields. He decided to investigate the implications of this theory by slowly drawing some small magnets over the bodies of his patients. This was frequently found to be accompanied by convulsions, fainting, and the disappearance (at least temporarily) of a host of symptoms which today we would attribute to the power of suggestion. But to Mesmer and his followers, the discovery of these new "powers" of magnetism appeared to be an exciting medical breakthrough. 

Mesmer soon discovered, however, that he was able to produce the same results without the aid of special magnets. This led him to conclude that the "magnetism" in question was coming from his own body. He abandoned the use of metal magnets altogether, and simply began to make passes in the air with his hands near the bodies of his patients. He coined the term "animal magnetism" to explain what was happening.

When the demand for his services had reached its height, Mesmer proceeded to "magnetize" a large elm tree on the estate of his patron, the Marquis de Puysegur, a few miles outside of the city of Paris; and great crowds would often gather to stand under the tree, either to derive the benefits if its healing power for themselves or simply to observe the dramatic results which were apparently produced in others.


Events were to take yet another turn when a retarded peasant lad of twenty-three named Victor Emmanuel was brought to stand under the now-famous elm tree, in the hope that the "magnetic rays" which were supposedly emanating from the tree might also be of some benefit to him. As many retardates are apt to do when they are placed in a situation in which they are not quite certain what is expected of them, Victor, though he remained standing, promptly utilized the occasion to avail himself of a quick nap. Other patients standing under the tree, seeing Victor asleep on his feet, apparently perceived this event as merely another result of the strange mesmeric rays emanating from the tree; for they promptly began to feel drowsy and to "fall asleep" themselves, thereby initiating a change in the form of suggestion-induced trance experience which heralded the death of mesmerism and the birth of traditional forms of hypnosis.



Hypnosis immediately became an object of fascination.
By now the role of suggestion in determining both the outward form and inward experience of trance behavior should be obvious. The mesmeric "crises" we re brought about by implicit suggestions or expectations arising from the eccentric astrological notions of Paracelsus, whereas the "sleeping" or hypnotic trance was first manifested by people who were imitating the behavior of a retardate, who wastoo stupid to realize that he was supposed to go into convulsions and went to sleep instead! An induction procedure provides both the occasion and the opportunity for those who are able to respond well to suggestion to go ahead and do so. All the rest depends upon ongoing cultural narratives, explicit or implicit cues which are present in the situation, and the ability and wilingness of the participant to comply with the instructions and suggestions which he or she is given. (Gibbons, 1979).

Today, we no longer need to rely upon the model of trance behavior provided to us by a sleeping retardate over two hundred years ago, when much better models are available. A hyperempiric induction is based on suggestions of mind expansion, enhanced awareness, and increased responsiveness and sensitivity, in contrast to traditional hypnotic inductions based on expressed or implied suggestions of lethargy, drowsiness, and sleep. (Gibbons, 1973). Hyperempiric inductions, or "alert hypnosis," have been found to be just as effective as traditional hypnotic inductions in facilitating subsequent responsiveness to suggestion (Bányai, & Hilgard, 1976; Gibbons, 1975, 1976). But this time, we didn't have to wait for another historical accident to come along. I simply made it up!  



Sources and Citations
                                      
Aaronson, B. The hypnotic induction of the void. Paper presented at the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, San Francisco, October, 1969.

Bányai, E. I., & Hilgard, E. R. (1976). A comparison of active-alert hypnotic induction with traditional relaxation induction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 218-224.


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. (1974). Hyperempiria, a new “altered state of consciousnes” induced by suggestion. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 39, 47-53.

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.

Havens, R. A. (2007). Self hypnosis for cosmic consciousness: Achieving altered states, mystical experience, and spiritual enlightenment. Bethel, CT: Crown House Publishing Co., LLC.

Phillips, B. D. (2007). Tranceplay: Experimental approaches to interactive drama involving experiential trance. Journal of Interactive Drama, 2.1, pp. 15-55.


Sacerdote, P. (1977). Applications of hypnotically elicited mystical states to the treatment of physical and emotional pain. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25(4), pp. 309-324.

Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (Eds.) Believed-in imaginings: The narrative construction of reality. Washington, DC: American Psycholofical Association.
  


 

 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.



Friday, March 21, 2014

When Twelve-Step Programs Don't Work for You

If you find that twelve-step programs are just not your cup of tea, the folks at www.smartrecovery.org have a developed useful alternative or supplemental method based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral psychology.. For example, their free downloadable ABC Worksheet, which follows Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, 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.



 

How to Have Better Sex at Any Age

Consecrating themselves to one another anew
Sometimes a stranger will tell you things that he might not tell his best friend.  I was once seated next to a man at a restaurant who told me how worried he was that his sex drive was slowing down as he was entering his forties. I replied that the difference between sex in your twenties and sex in your forties was like the difference between a starving man devouring a hamburger and a cultured Frenchman enjoying a leisurely seven-course gourmet meal in a fine restaurant. If you take your time and savor every moment of the total situation, the total enjoyment you are going to have is  much greater. And where sex is concerned, you're the chef  -- and the best way to have a gourmet experience is to prepare one for your partner! 

We both ordered dessert. 





 


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Case for Single Payer Health Insurance

I am a psychologist and my wiife has a doctorate in psychological counseling. For several years, we have been members of Physicians for a National Health Program which, despite the name, welcomes members of all health-rekated professions, and advocates for the abolition of private insurance companies in favor of a single national payer, which could be achieved by expanding Medicare to cover the entire population.

Following are some excerpts of recent Senate testomony by Mark Carlin:

Here are two basic facts to remember about the health care system in the United States. First, there is the high cost, as noted in a 2012 report on PBS:
How much is good health care worth to you? $8,233 per year? That’s how much the U.S. spends per person.
Worth it?
That figure is more than two-and-a-half times more than most developed nations in the world, including relatively rich European countries like France, Sweden and the United Kingdom. On a more global scale, it means U.S. health care costs now eat up 17.6 percent of GDP....
Whether measured relative to its population or its economy, the United States spends by far the most in the world on health care.
The U.S. spent $8,233 on health per person in 2010. Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland are the next highest spenders, but in the same year, they all spent at least $3,000 less per person. The average spending on health care among the other 33 developed OECD countries was $3,268 per person.
That statistic brings up the much-beloved free market criteria of return on investment (ROI), at which the US performs abysmally according to many studies when it comes to health.
An NPR article in 2013 is entitled, "US Ranks Below 16 Other Rich Countries In Health Report":
It's no news that the U.S. has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than most high-income countries. But a ... new report says Americans are actually less healthy across their entire life spans than citizens of 16 other wealthy nations.
And the gap is steadily widening.
"What struck us — and it was quite sobering — was the recurring trend in which the U.S. seems to be slipping behind other high-income countries," the lead author of the report, Dr. Steven Woolf, tells Shots.
He says Americans of all ages up to 75 have shorter lives and more illness and injury.
It should be noted that in this report, the United States is being compared to other "developed" nations. A recent United Nations Population Divison report ranked the US 40th in life expectancy among all nations in 2010.
In short, the US spends the most on medical care with poor life expectancy results, even including many nations that are not considered wealthy.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have made insurance coverage more inclusive, but it keeps the insurance companies in charge of calling the shots (for those without Medicare, Veterans Care or Medicaid) and adding to the cost of health care through administrative costs and profit.
According to the advocacy organization Public Citizen, a number of experts from single-payer nations recently testified at a Senate sub-committee hearing chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a leading supporter of Medicare for all. The spokespersons from Canada and Denmark offered compelling reasons why the US should move from a private-insurance system to a government administered program (such as, well, Medicare):
For example, the Canadian witness, Dr. Danielle Martin, vice president of medical affairs and health system solutions at Women’s College Hospital, compared access to care, quality of care and costs in the U.S. and Canadian systems, and found all were superior in Canada. Martin compared the American average for administrative costs of 31 percent to the 1.3 percent administrative costs paid by Canada (not counting costs for private supplemental plans available to Canadians.) Professor Jakob Kjellberg from the Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research, who served as the Danish expert witness, said his country’s administrative costs are only 4.3 percent of total health care spending.
In short, as has been argued before, private health insurance (which we still obviously have under the ACA) increases the cost of medical care, with nearly a third of that cost eaten up by private insurance non-health related revenue. To repeat the testimony cited above: 31 percent of US health insurance costs goes to insurers, while in Canada only 1.3 percent of medical costs are administrative.
As far as access to care, to the contrary of what Sarah Palin infamously asserted -- that government care would lead to death panels -- it is private insurance companies who employ staff to decide whether medical care -- sometimes a matter of life or death with chronic illnesses and rare diseases -- should be provided. Medicare does not employ "profit-increasers" to deny care.
Indeed, a spokesperson for Public Citizen pointedly summarized the hearing:
Today’s panel was a good first step that will hopefully inspire a real discussion about the benefits of single-payer health care in the United States, said Susan Harley, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. A single-payer, or Medicare-for-all, system would eliminate health insurance companies from the equation, ensuring that only patients and their doctors make decisions about care options.
Although the ACA is to be praised for providing many uninsured people an opportunity to sleep with some peace of mind, it is still a rickety system constructed to ensure the political support of medical insurance companies.
US politicians, including President Obama, regularly boast about the US being the leader of the world in progress and a model for other nations.
Having the most expensive healthcare system, with the worst general outcome ranking for developed nations, makes the US look like a wobbly caboose not a powerful engine.
Medicare for all could solve that problem when it comes to cost-effectively fostering a healthy national population.

Please join us in working to put an end to the abuses of private, for-profit insurance companies, from which we all suffer on a daily basis. 

Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hypnosis is Easy When You Know How

All you really need is a willing volunteer.


Adapted from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

According to statistics available at the bottom of the article at the WikiHow site, this post has been read by over one million eight hundred thousand people and edited by over a thousand others. I have watched and participated in its development over the past few years, and can vouch for its accuracy and effectiveness. For additional information, see my book, Applied Hpnosis and Hyperempiria. 



It is easy to hypnotize a person who wants to be hypnotized because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist merely functions as a guide or a personal trainer to help you to focus the power of your imagination more effectively. The progressive relaxation method presented here is one of the easiest to learn and to use.[1]

EditPart 1 of 6: Before Hypnosis

  1. Hypnotize Someone Step 1.jpg
    1
    Make sure that your partner clearly understands what you are going to do and when he or she is going to get out of it.
    • Keep in mind what you say to the partner before. The introduction is just as important, and perhaps even more important, than what you say during the hypnosis itself. How well people respond to hypnosis depends not only on their ability to respond to suggestion, but also on their beliefs and expectations about hypnosis and their trust and confidence in the person providing the suggestions.
  2. 2
    Ask your partner if he/she has been hypnotized before, and inquire what the experience was like. If they have, ask them what they had been told to do and how they responded. This will give you an idea of how responsive the partner is likely to be to your own suggestions, and perhaps what things in the procedure that you should avoid.
  3. 3
    Tell the partner ahead of time that he/she will clearly remember everything that happens. This serves as a "waking suggestion" which defines the experience in such a way that the partner is likely to remember everything, even if they otherwise might not. It is very useful in building trust, and in obtaining feedback when the session is over.
  4. 4
    Reassure the partner that they cannot be made to do anything under hypnosis that they do not want to do.
  5. Hypnotize Someone Step 5.jpg
    5
    Ask your partner to sit or lie down in a comfortable position in a dimmed room where you are not likely to be disturbed for a while. Turn off cell phones and pagers. Make sure that your partner is not so tired that he or she will be inclined to fall asleep.

EditPart 2 of 6: Induction

  1. 1
    Ask your partner to close his or her eyes, and imagine being in a "happy place" where one can feel comfortable and secure, such as relaxing in a meadow beside a gently running stream. Elaborate on calming details of the place and make sure to note how calm and comfortable they feel in their place. And make sure the person will not laugh or be distracted
  2. 2
    Speak slowly, in a low, soothing, "hypnotic" voice timed to your partner's breathing, with considerable elaboration and repetition far beyond the point of boredom in an ordinary conversation.
  3. 3
    Ask your partner to relax all over, using words like these: "Just let your feet relax, and your legs relax. Feel your hips relaxing, and your waist relaxing. Feel your chest relaxing, and your arms relaxing. Your shoulders relaxing, and your neck and head relaxing. Feel your entire body relaxing, all over."
  4. 4
    Ask your partner to feel themselves flying through the air, with the wind whipping their hair behind their head as they laugh with glee. No stress, no worries, no cares. Say that they land on a cloud and ask them to feel the softness of that cloud. This particular cloud is made out of pure relaxation. Tell them to feel themselves sinking down into that cloud, and the more they sink down, the more relaxed they feel, and the more of their stress and worries flow out. Tell them to just visualize the stress, worries and cares flowing out of them like a river and tell them to feel those feelings being replaced by relaxation.
  5. 5
    Gradually change your instructions into suggestions which increase the strength of the feeling of relaxation. "You can feel yourself relaxing now. You can feel a heavy, relaxed feeling coming over you. And as I continue to talk, that heavy relaxed feeling will get stronger and stronger, until it carries you into a deep, peaceful state of hypnosis."
  6. 6
    Using your partner's breathing and body language as a guide, gradually make your suggestions more directive, using suggestions similar to the following. Repeat the suggestions a few times, much as you might repeat the verses and choruses of a song, until your partner appears to be totally relaxed.
    • "Every word that I utter is putting you faster and deeper, and faster and deeper, into a deep, peaceful state of hypnosis."
    • "Sinking down, and shutting down. Sinking down, and shutting down. Sinking down, and shutting down, shutting down completely."
    • "And the deeper you go, the deeper you are able to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes."
  7. 7
    You can conclude your induction with words like: "Now you are resting comfortably in a deep, peaceful state of sleep, going deeper and faster and deeper and faster all of the time, until I bring you back. You will only accept those suggestions which are for your benefit, and that you are willing to accept."

EditPart 3 of 6: During Hypnosis

Provide positive suggestions which are specifically geared to achieving the goal. This will allow the partner to try out new attitudes, feelings, and behaviors which often are not voluntarily attainable. If the suggested changes are more adaptive than the old patterns after everything is taken into account, they will be retained. More than one hypnosis session may be necessary until the suggested changes are firmly rooted in the partner's life. Don't try to "scare" somebody into achieving their goal by dwelling on the consequences of failure, or by using "shoulds," "oughts," or "musts" in your suggestions. Research has conclusively shown that fear is a poor way to motivate people, and the side effects usually outweigh any possible benefits. Here are some examples of simple positive suggestions that you can elaborate on:
  1. 1
    • "You will look back on this experience as a game-changer in your life which will turn each day into a thing of wondrous beauty."
    • "As a result of these suggestions, you will feel as if you are headed for a certain and predetermined success.."
    • "You will be able to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail."

EditPart 4 of 6: Concluding the Session

This is easier than inducing it, because all you have to do is essentially ask your partner to stop imagining.
  1. Hypnotize Someone Step 14.jpg
    1
    Begin by saying, "I'm going to count from one to five, and at the count of five you will be feeling wide awake, fully alert, and completely refreshed."
  2. 2
    It's also helpful to suggest, "And as a result of this hypnotic experience, you will find many exciting changes taking place in your life, some of which you may already be aware of and some of which you may not yet realize." This provides the partner with an extra measure of encouragement to process and complete any constructive changes they are already working on.
  3. 3
    Repeat for emphasis, "And as you continue to explore these deeper dimensions of experience, you will discover even more exciting changes taking place in your life, some of which you may be aware of and some of which you may not yet realize."
    • Suggestions of this type tend to serve as self-fulfilling prophecies, because the mind acts upon them in such a manner as to bring about the outcomes which have been suggested.
  4. 4
    Start counting, interspersed with suggestions to the effect that the partner is waking up more and more, "and by the time I get to the count of five, you will be fully awake and feeling wonderful"

EditPart 5 of 6: After Hypnosis

  1. 1
    Discuss highlights of the session with the partner, and ask if there are any questions or if there is anything they would like to change.
  2. 2
    Now you should be able to re-induce hypnosis more easily. If your partner has responded well, repeat the session using a shorter induction and go over the positive suggestions you gave previously.
    • A series of two or three short inductions is usually more effective than a single longer one. This also allows more opportunity for the partner to provide feedback.
    • At the conclusion of each session, suggest that whenever your partner is willing to be hypnotized by you in the future, they will be able to enter hypnosis faster and go deeper each time because of the practice they have had.
    • Always be sure to emphasize how good the partner is going to feel when the session is over, to insure that the experience is an enjoyable one.

EditMethod 6 of 6: Frequently Asked Questions

Prepare by familiarizing yourself with questions which are frequently asked by people who are about to experience hypnosis for the first time and the answers to them.[2] It's good to have a general idea about how to answer questions like these ahead of time, because confidence and trust are so important in determining how a person is going to respond to your induction.
  1. 1
    • What are you going to do? I will ask you to visualize some pleasant scenes, while I talk about how to use your own mental abilities more effectively. You can always refuse to do anything that you don't want to do, and you can always come out of the experience yourself if an emergency should come up.
    • What does it feel like to be in hypnosis? Most of us experience changes in our conscious awareness several times a day without realizing it. Any time you let your imagination go and just flow along with a piece of music or a verse of poetry, or get so involved in watching a movie or a television drama that you feel like you're part of the action instead of a part of the audience, you are experiencing a form of trance. Hypnosis is just a way of helping you to focus and define these changes in consciousness, in order to use your mental abilities more effectively.
    • Is it safe? Hypnosis is not an altered state of consciousness (as sleep is, for example), but an altered experience of consciousness, which is brought about by using suggestion to re-configure the properties of the imagination. And anything that can be imagined can be un-imagined just as easily.
    • If it's all just your imagination, then, what good is it? Don’t be confused by the tendency in English and many other languages to use the word "imaginary" as opposite in meaning to the word "real" -- and neither should it be confused with the term "image." The imagination is a very real group of mental abilities, whose potential we are just now beginning to explore, and which extends far beyond our ability to form mental images!
    • Can you make me do anything I don't want to do? When you're using hypnosis, you still have your own personality, and you're still you -- so you won't say or do anything that you wouldn't do in the very same situation without hypnosis, and you can easily refuse any suggestion that you don't want to accept. (That's why we call them "suggestions.")
    • What can I do in order to respond better? Hypnosis is very similar to letting yourself become absorbed in watching a sunset or the embers of a campfire, letting yourself flow with a piece of music or poetry, or feeling like you are part of the action instead of part of the audience when you are watching a movie. People who do not feel that they have been able to respond very well, on the other hand, sometimes find it difficult to relax in new situations. It all depends on your ability and willingness to go along with the instructions and suggestions that are provided.
    • What if I enjoy it so much that I don't want to come back? Sometimes you might not want a movie to end, because the movie is so enjoyable -- but you still come back to the real world, because you know it’s only a motion picture. Hypnotic suggestions are basically an exercise for the mind and the imagination, just like a movie script is. But you still come back to everyday life when the session is over, just like you come back at the end of a movie. However the hypnotist might need to try a couple times to pull you out. It is enjoyable being completely relaxed but you can't do much when hypnotized.
    • What if it doesn't work? Did you ever become so absorbed in your play as a child that you didn’t hear your mother’s voice calling you in for dinner? Or are you one of the many people who are able to wake up at a certain time each morning, just by deciding the night before that you are going to do so? We all have the ability to use our minds in ways we are not usually aware of, and some of us have developed these abilities more than others. If you just allow your thoughts to respond freely and naturally to the words and images as your guide, you'll be able to go wherever your mind can take you

EditWarnings

  • Though many people have tried, post-hypnotic amnesia is notoriously unreliable as a means of protecting hypnotists from the consequences of their own misconduct. If you try to use hypnosis to get people to do things they would not normally be willing to do, they will usually just come out of hypnosis. If you are going to venture down this road, get them to agree to what you are going to do before the induction. Otherwise, they may never trust you again, tell everyone what you did, take you to court, or worse.
  • Don't allow yourself to be fooled by the sensationalism of hypnosis in the mass media, which commonly leads people to believe that hypnotism allows anyone to make other people act like fools with a click of the fingers.
  • Don't try regressing people to when they were young. If you want, tell them to 'act as if they were ten.' Some people have repressed memories which you really do not want to bring up (abuse, bullying etc.). They shut out these memories as a natural defense. Oddly, these people are often good at being hypnotized.
  • Ask your partner if he or she has any questions about what has happened, and be prepared to answer them.
  • Don't suggest anything that is against a person's morals or value systems, or that might be embarrassing to the partner, or anything that you wouldn't want someone to suggest to you.
  • Recognize that there are dangers associated with hypnotizing someone; a subject successfully hypnotized is literally a subject to any stray comments they hear while under. Practice caution, and use 'single~speaker' diligently.
  • Don't just sidle up to someone at the mall, or someone who is asleep, and try to hypnotize them on the sly. Though not impossible, it is extremely difficult to hypnotize someone covertly or against their will. Although covert approaches can work occasionally with an unsuspecting person who is caught by surprise, much more often than not, people will catch on to what you are trying to do. They will either laugh at you, or become angry for insulting their intelligence, and/or suspect that you have an ulterior motive and report you as a suspicious person.
  • Don't try to use hypnosis to treat any physical or mental condition (including pain) unless you are a licensed professional who is properly qualified to treat these problems. Hypnosis should never be used by itself as a substitute for counseling or psychotherapy, or to rescue a relationship which is in trouble.
  • Don't get hung up on technique. When something works dramatically with some people, and not as well as you want it to with others, this creates a "partial reinforcement" effect which may cause people to go from one book to another, or one training program or conference to another, in search of a "magic bullet" that is going to work with everyone. But despite claims to the contrary, most induction procedures work about equally well, and the differences in responsiveness are due to other factors. Decades of laboratory research involving hundreds of investigators have conclusively demonstrated that for everyone who responds poorly, you are statistically certain to find someone who responds so well that your perseverance in the use of hypnosis will be amply rewarded over time.[3][4][5]

 Sources and Citations

  1.  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. 267-292.
  2.  Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form: Hypnosis, hyperempiria, and the Best Me Technique. New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.
  3.  Hull, C. L.. (1933). Hypnosis and suggestibility: An experimental approach. New York: Appleton-Century.
  4.  Shor, R. E., & Orne, E. C. (1962). Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
  5.  Spiegel, H. (1974). The grade 5 syndrome: The highly hypnotizable person.International Journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 22(4), pp. 303-319.

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