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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Monday, February 29, 2016

Narrative Therapy and Hypnosis

Most people are familiar with Charles Dickens' story, A Christmas Carol, in which the miserly Scrooge is visited by three spirits who frighten him into becoming a lovable old man who "knew how to keep Christmas better than anyone." If Dickens had written this story in the 21st century instead of the 19th, Scrooge would probably have made three visits to an experiential hypnotist. But, instead of "scaring the Dickens" out of him, the hypnotist would use reward rather than fear as an incentive, and would not be limited to merely intervening at the emotional level.

I know of no other technique besides hypnosis which enables us to work simultaneously with attitudes, emotions, and behavior in order to facilitate lasting change. For example, I was recently working with a client who was going through several anxiety provoking stresses at the same time. She was an excellent amateur gymnast, however, and she would probably have had great success if her family had the means to allow her to compete at the national and international level. She responded extremely well to hypnosis. To boost her confidence and self esteem, I helped her to experience the thrill, the exertion, and the triumph of winning an Olympic competition in a parallel universe, and having the gold medal hung around her neck at the end of the ceremony. At the conclusion of the session, she opened her eyes, obviously thrilled to the core, and exclaimed, "Wow! I just won a gold medal!"

She knew that she had done this in hypnosis, but it didn't seem to make any difference. We chatted for a while, and I jokingly mentioned that I should adopt the motto for our practice that some dance studios use, posting a sign outside which read, "Walk in, dance out." To my surprise, as I watched her leave the office and walk down the hallway to the door at the far end, she was dancing!

She later told me that she had no more difficulties in facing her current stressors with resolution and courage. Just as the three spirits had done for Scrooge in Dickens' story, suggestion-enhanced experience had changed the life of my client by changing the ongoing narrative of her life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Cope with Flashbacks and Panic Attacks

Here is a list of grounding techniques which you can use immediately, to help when you have lost control of your surroundings in a panic attack. Grounding techniques work well not only with panic attacks, but also with flashbacks from PTSD.

First, look around you. Find five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

It is also good in a flashback to ask yourself how old you are now, to differentiate from how old you were when the trauma actually happened.

One of the worst things about having a panic attack is how frightened you are about having the next one. Please share. It could really help someone in need!

Monday, February 22, 2016

A First-Person Account of Hypnotic Sexual Exploitation

Much as we may hate to admit it, the image that
hypnosis has in the eyes of the public as a potential source
of sexual exploitation is sometimes accurate.
Carla Emery's book, entitled, Secret, Don't Tell! The Encyclopedia of Hypnotism, published in June, 1998 by Acorn Hill Publishing Co., is indeed a one-volume illustrated encyclopedia of hypnotism (she also wrote The Encyclopedia of Gardening).  However besides the fact that the references are now far out of date, I wouldn't recommend it as an "encyclopedia," or any type of comprehensive source of information on the subject of hypnosis. Judging by its contents, it would appear that the author was intent on proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is possible to sexually enslave another by means of hypnosis, strongly implying as she makes her case that this is exactly what happened to her!

The book is divided into six parts: Case Histories of Criminal Hypnosis; A Partial History of U.S. Government Mind-Control Research; Trance Phenomena; Induction Methods; Legal and Therapy Issues in Abusive Hypnosis; and a Reference section. 
Prominently featured are accounts both factual and fictional: Trilby, Svengali, and The Control of Candy Jones, published by Playboy Press and quickly withdrawn from circulation, as well as carefully-crafted deductions from various theoretical positions in psychology and psychiatry, mixed with quotations from stage hypnotists and entertainers as well as recognized authorities.
Emery spends a great amount of time discussing the widespread assertion by people in  the hypnosis community that a hypnotized person cannot be made to do anything against his or her will.  She concludes that thiis is essentially a vast cover-up designed to protect their collective professional standing and economic well-being. With over three hundred thousand copies in print, the author has certainly succeeded in creating a fascinating and entertaining book. However, the hypnosis community is certainly not as united as Ms. Emery perceived it to be. 

Fo example, when I was attending a seminar taught by Martin T. Orne, the former editor of the 
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, he was asked whether or not hypnosis can be employed as an instrument of sexual exploitation. He replied without hesitation, "I have no doubt," repeating his words for emphasis.
Without going into an endless discussion of the personality dynamics involved, I believe that it is safe to say that certain people, when they are head over heels in love, will selflessly surrender themselves to the patterns of sexual exploitation that Carla Emery described in her Encyclopedia of Hypnotism. It is probably also true that certain types of people are susceptible to falling in love with their hypnotist if certain basic elements (transference, status differential, and personal attraction) are present, which permit the hypnotist to take it from there.   
It is also probably true that under the right conditions, everything that can be produced when hypnosis is present can also be produced in its absence. In the motion picture, "9 1/2 Weeks," for example, Kim Basinger very believably depicts a woman who is gradually led into the depths of depravity by a skilled manipulator of her emotions. 
Lynn (2006) views hypnosis as functioning like a catalyst in a chemical reaction. When a catalyst is present, it allows a reaction to take place more easily; but it does not cause the reaction because nothing at all would happen if the right ingredients were not there to begin with  Given the necessary ingredients, the presence of a catalyst can dramatically affect both the ease and the intensity of the reaction which occurs. Much of his book, Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis, is devoted to a discussion of the manner in which hypnosis catalyzes a wide variety of therapeutic procedures. Presumably, the presence of hypnosis can catalyze seduction in a similar manner.
How can hypnotists cope with the occasional news accounts of the dangers of hypnosis which only serve to reinforce the existing negative stereotypes in the eyes of the public and continue to drive away potential clients? IMHO, honesty is the best policy. Sure, this scares some people away -- but the news value also attracts people. If we cannot run from the truth, let's embrace it! As we state in the American Psychological Association's  Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis (Gibbons and; Lynn, 2010):
Suggestions for enhanced alert experience can be presented in the context of relaxation-sleepy/drowsy suggestions , or clinicians may prefer to use the term hyperempiria in place of hypnosis to circumvent misconceptions associated with the popular view of hypnosis as a sleep-like state. It is possible to tell clients something like, “You might associate hypnosis with suggestions like , ‘You are going into a deep, sound sleep.’ But in hyperempiria, you’re awake and alert the whole time. It’s interesting and enjoyable, and you can get a lot out of it.” The therapist can then employ a wide variety of inductions while continuing to refer to hyperempiria as an enjoyable and effective alternative -- in effect, creating such a perception as a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. . . . Given the inherent flexibility of hypnotic interventions, inductions can contain a mix of hyperempiric and relaxation-based or even sleepy-drowsy suggestions.
Print References 

Emery, C. (1997). Secret, don't tell: The encyclopedia of hypnotism. Tucson, AZ: Acorn Hill Publishing, 1997

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.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Steven Hawking Confirms Imaginary Time and Parallel Universes

In the vollowing video, Steven Hawking provides confirmation of both imaginary time and the concept of parallel universes.-- and, most importantly, he's a hoot!

Imaginary numbers are "real," of  course, or we would not be able to use them. They are "imaginary" only in the sense that they do not fit into the mathematical model we happen to be using at the time. Imaginary time is "real," but it happens to be outside of the model of reality we have constructed for ourselves. When a hypnotist provides both the opportunity and the occasion for imaginatively gifted people to use their imagination in an "Alice-in-Wonderland" fashion to go ahead and do so, the resulting experiences can be just as "real" as ny others!

Here's a quote from Steven Hawking which appears to lessen the distinction between external reality and the reality we believe in for other reasons.
One might think this means that imaginary numbers are just a mathematical game having nothing to do with the real world. From the viewpoint of positivist philosophy, however, one cannot determine what is real. All one can do is find which mathematical models describe the universe we live in. It turns out that a mathematical model involving imaginary time predicts not only effects we have already observed but also effects we have not been able to measure yet nevertheless believe in for other reasons. So what is real and what is imaginary? Is the distinction just in our minds?
 Can the exploration of alternate Universes in our imagination help us live better lives in this one? Try it and see!  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hypnosis and Trabsmogrification

Transmogrification is the hypnotic ability
to turn oneself into an animal.
Many imaginatively gifted people freely change the imagery and content of experiential theatre to suit themselves as they go along, in a style which often reflects their own needs and preferences. For example, I once had a client of Native American ancestry who was seeking a source of strength while she was going through a rough divorce. After I hypnotized her using imagery of relaxing on the beach, she told me, “The beach imagery was working, but I decided to change it. Instead of lying on the beach, I saw myself as a little girl, lying between the roots of a large tree that I used to play under.”

I asked her if she would like to feel herself becoming part of the tree and absorbing strength from the earth beneath her, instead of from her own untapped potential, and she agreed. She agreed, and suggestions were provided as follows:
Now I would like you to imagine yourself as a little girl again, playing beneath the roots of that large tree, If you accept each detail of the scene as you describe it to yourself, your imagination will be completely free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there. So just allow all your awareness of the present to grow dim now, as you feel yourself transported backwards in time. You are drifting backwards now, all the way back to the time when you were a little girl, playing between the roots of that large tree.

Now, you are becoming fully aware of yourself as a little girl again, resting between the roots of that large tree. Imagine yourself beginning to cuddle up beneath the roots of the tree, and feel how pleasant it would be just to become part of the tree, feeling as safe and as secure if it was your mother. Feel yourself merging with the tree now, and drifting off to sleep beneath it. As you do, you can feel yourself becoming part of the tree, reaching down through the roots to draw into yourself feelings of peace and calm. Great waves of perfect, infinite, boundless peace and calm are flowing into you from the innermost depths of the Earth.
“That was better,” she told me later. “But while I was beneath the tree, and before I joined it, I turned into a series of animals first. There was a wolf, and a mouse, and a moose, and a crow, and I think there were one or two others.”

At the start of our next session, I asked her if she would like to use the tree imagery again, and she agreed. “Don’t go through all the animals, though. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.” She completed the induction procedure, after first mentally turning into a crow (which was her personal power animal) on her own before merging with the tree.

If hypnosis is viewed as a form of experiential theater, turning into a tree or an animal (transmogrification) need only be suggested  in order for sufficiently imaginative people to develop a sense of strength and empowerment as an eagle soaring over valleys and mountaintops, or to de-stress by cavorting among a school of dolphins as if they were one of them. Numerous other applications, using imagery derived from the animal kingdom or from other aspects of nature, are also possible.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How to Make Psychic Ability Work for You

Matter and energy are two forms of the same thing!

If I had not had a similar experience with this book in my own life, I wouldn't put this up here. 

I begin with a brief tape of a series of interviews with Phyllis Diller, in which she discusses the effect which The Magic of Believing, has had on her life. Following this are videotapes containing all eight parts of the book itself, with commentary.

Bristol's genius lies in the fact that he makes no reference to religious or philosophical concepts, nor does he use the word "psychic." Since all religious traditions employ some form of the magic of believing, then the magic of believing clearly does not "belong" to any one of them.  It is an ability  which we all possess, and is a form of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience.  
Good listening!

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

Although Mr. Bristol makes no reference to theology, and neither does he refer to any philosophical concepts, you're welcome to bring your own if you want. Phyllis points out that this is apparently what they did in creating the book, The Secret, which emphasizes "the law of attraction:" that merely thinking positive thoughts will supposedly attract positive events to you, and negative thinking will attract negative events. But for Bristol, all you actually have to believe is the goal that you have chosen. If you can believe in it -- deeply and sincerely enough -- you can believe it. And if you can believe it, you can make it happen!

The Magic of Believing, Part One:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

Believing works -- but don't confuse beliefs with percptions. I may believe that Benecia is still the Capital of California, for example, even though it was moved to Sacramento many years ago; but all the belief in the world will not change a fact that has already happened. Believing, as Bristol is using the term, refers to an active force deep within us, which acts upon the environment to bring about the result which your belief has created.

Even here, you shouldn't overdo it. My degree is in general experimental psychology, and I taught classes in statistics for many years. Random events do happen, and the laws of chance are just as valid as any other physical phenomena. Specific things don't just happen because of some "law of attraction" which is the result of your broadcasting negative or positive energy --  unless you will them to! We all have a natural tendency to view events which occur together as causing one another, but this is not always the case. If you discover one morning that you have a flat tire, is it because you have been sending out negative thoughts, or because the juvenile delinquent next door decided to work out his hostilities? 

The Magic of Believing, Part Two:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

One method of insuring that your entire being is involved in the content of a visualized experience is to use the Best Me Technique of multimodal suggestion, which utilizes the simultaneous involovement of Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and Images, Motives, and Expectations.

The Magic of Believing, Part Three:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

Today, some sixty-five years after The Magic of Believing was written, most brain researchers  now agree that we have two ways of looking at a problem or situation: the step-by-step, verbal, left-brain approach, and the holistic, intuitive, right-brain approach which we used to refer to as "the unconscious."  However, one method is not superior to the other. In sizing up a situation, sometimes we need to look at the trees and sometimes we need to step back and look at the forest. By assigning these functions to the two separate hemispheres, our brain allows us to do both! 

The Magic of Believing, Part Four:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

Social scientists are familiar with the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A run on a bank is often used as a good example. if enough people believe that a bank is going to fail, they all rush to take their money out -- and the bank does fail, but only because this belief was so strongly and widely held that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy; for without such a belief, the bank would have remained financially sound. Many successful salesmen owe their careers to the fact that their belief in themselves helps to see them through tough times, and provides them with the sincerity and conviction to convince wavering customers. But is there something more to the magic of believing than the conviction that which causes events to happen simply because they are self-fulfilling prophecies? Claude Bristol thinks so -- and so do a lot of others!

The Magic of Believing, Part Five:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

If we can picture a goal in our mind and believe that it is already ours, using repetition and pictures to engage the holistic power of the right brain,  this allows us to also experience the rewards of that achievement now, in the present, when they are most needed to motivate us to bring it into being, without having to rely on "will power" to drive us onward. This process involves the use of a special kind of creative meditation which, like all other forms of meditation, is a skill which requires constant practice if we are to make the most of it.

The Magic of Believing, Part Six:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

In addition to looking in the mirror to give yourself positive autosuggestions, I recommend using either self-hypnosis or meditation, both of which prepare the mind for receiving autosuggestions, and both of which have been shown to be highly effective over time, provided that the goal is a properly chosen one which you can truly believe in.

The Magic of Believing, Parts Seven and Eight:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

There is an old saying, "Be careful what you wish for -- you may get it!"  Even if you are certain at the beginning that the goal you have chosen is one that you can believe in with your whole heart, when you get there you may find that it isn't what you wanted after all. Instead of giving up and allowing doubt to intrude, change the original goal or find a new one!

See also: