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 (609)709-2043 and (609) 494-0009.

Driving directions: Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72 E After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Mill Creek Commons.Then, immedately turn right again and go past the Lyceum II Gym. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building,which will be the only building on your right. We are the last office at the end.

We accept Medicare and most other major insurance.
We do not accept credit or debit cards.

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Defeating Obsessive or Racing Thoughts

Behind all humor there is frequently a grain of truth. I occasionally tell my clients that If their mind leads them in unwanted directions, picture a stop sign and try the following technique of thought stopping, and then go back to  the auto suggestions they were using originally.





My co-author Kelley Woods suggests the following:

"A bit gentler technique comes from mindfulnesss meditation,Imagining those thoughts as like leaves...drifting from a tree...into a gently flowing stream of water...going to wherever thoughts go when we don't need them anymore.
If more is needed, we can focus on the colors, shapes, smells, sounds, textures and even count those damn leaves!
If even more is needed, I may ask a client, "What would you like to do with those leaves?" I've received some novel suggestions!"

Whether you are trying to fight intrusive thoughts during hypnosis, or when you are trying to go to sleep, or if you are obsessing over a lost relationship, the harder you try to fight such thoughts the more power they have over you. The author of one book on intrusive thoughts put it this way. Try to go for five minutes without thinking of a carrot. Don't think of carrots in a salad, don't think of carrot juice -- and especially, don't think of Bugs Bunny! See how far you get!

Thought stopping will often be effective when you can replace the brief interlude of quiet it provides to turn to more pleasant alternatives as you lose yourself in hypnosis, or in sleep, or in your daily activities, and it is used for such purposes in cognitive-behavioral therapy. But if it doesn't work for you, then stop it and use Kelley's technique!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Surviving Rape, Emotional, and Sexual Trauma




This tape and those which follow at the end of it feature survivors of sexual abuse, rape, and other forms of emotional trauma. Painful as they are, it is useful to hear these stories first-hand from survivors themselves, not only for tither survivors, but also for parents, friends, and relatives of people who have undergone this type of abuse, in order to help to better understand how to deal with it constructively.




When there is adequate family support, survival and recovery are much easier. In the following tape, Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and held prisoner for several years, tells the story of her ordeal and her recovery from it..



See also the following book, which is available here as a pdf file at no cost:

A Parent's Gide to Helping a Daughter Who Has Been Raped

 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Poetry: Sending Words nto Battle

Anxiety and depression are tlike a flat tire. If you don't fix it you aren't going anywhere. However, they are he most common psychological problems which most people have to contend with in everyday life. Inspirational poetry, as illustrated by the following examples, can often provide the battle cry which enables us to continue the fight when all seems lost. More information can be found at the Websites of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and the Institute for Poetic Medicine

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thought your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings:
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it. . . .

                                                    --Rudyard Kipling

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Meditation for People Leading a Dog's Life


 
"The world is too much with us, late and soon.
Getiing and spending, we lay waste our powers."
-                                          William Wordsworth, 1807

Meditation has many applications -- even if you are "leading a dog's life!" By experiencing one minute a day of mindfulness meditation some significant changes can occur in your life, because the effects begin to multiply as the one minute meditations become a more frequent part of your life. You will feel more calm, resilient, creative, clearer thinking, focused and peaceful without detatching yourself from liife or interfering with other actifvities. Motivation is not therapy, howeverl and it cannot serve as a substitute; but it still has many useful applications. For example,when combined with other applications, meditation can be helpful in the management of chronic pain.

You can do this one minute meditation with eyes closed or eyes open. If you choose to have your eyes open in the beginning, I suggest you focus your eyes on something that has little meaning such as a doorknob or a speck of dust on the floor. If you are driving, you can use stopping for a red light as a cue to practice your one minute meditation by focusing on the red light until it changes.

Your focus of attention during the meditation is the experience of your breathing in and out. You will focus on some aspect of your breathing that feels natural to you, such as your chest moving, the feeling of air moving through your nose or mouth, your belly moving, your shoulders moving, or any aspect of breath that feels comfortable and natural. As you breathe out, relax any lightness in your body. During the one minute you will likely experience your mind having shifted from focusing on your breath to focusing on something else such as your thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, memories, conversations, movements, and/or other things. You may suddenly notice sounds you had not noticed before. You may find yourself reviewing conversations that you had earlier, or you may find yourself solving problems that you have been working on,or you may notice tensions in your body that come into awareness. When you notice that your awareness and attention have shifted away from your breath, you will mindfully, gently, calmly, and peacefully return your attention to your breath, just noticing the distraction without pushing it away or taking it in, or evaluating, judging, or getting involved in the distraction. Just gently and lovingly return your attention to your breath. You may find yourself doing this from 10 to 100 times during your one minute meditation. Eventually you will find that your "meditation muscle" gets stronger and there are fewer distractions. The distractions are normal and are part of the nature of our minds. Thoughts are like clouds in the sky. If you just notice them without trying to push them away or analyze them, they usually just pass away. The mindfulness practice will eventually bring you more peace, compassion, joy and calm for yourself and for others. 

Don't expect immediate results. The purpose of meditation is not to turn you into master overnight. Meditation works best when it is done for its own sake, without becoming attached to results for their own sake.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Trip Treatment



We already know that we can replicate drug trips with hypnosis, and therefore replicate the insights and changed world perspectives that they give us, by suggesting a trip to a parallel Universe in which the usual laws of physics o not apply. It isn't necessary to wait for them to legalize psychedelics to do research in this area. We can do it now (Gibbons & Woods, 2016).

References


Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016). Virtual reality hypnosis: Explorations in the Muletiverse. Amazon Books.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Advanced Skills for Life Management


Here, in no particular order, is a list of links to some of the Blog entries which are most frequently used by my psychology clients. When you clck on a link and it takes you ro rhe Blog, just scroll down and the post that you have clicked on will come up first.. Then you can repeat this process for each additional link. If the links do not work on your computer or handheld, you can go to the blog address, www.hyperempiria.com, and enter them.

I hope you find them useful!




How to Avoid PTSD and Panic Attacks

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Emergency First Aid for Panic Attcks

How to Meditate Like an Expert Almost Anywhere

Is a Toxic Person Driving You into Therapy? 

How to Have a Great Conversation

How to Select and Strengthen Your Own Motives


How to Learn Self-Hypnosis at Home

How to Manage Stress Using the Best Me Technique

The Ultimate Cure for Existential Depression

False Beliefs that are Driving You Crazy

False Perceptions that are Driving You Crazy

Activities which Help You Get Off the Merry-Go-Round

Cognitive Behavioral Downloads for Clients and Therapists


When You're Just Too Depressed to DO Much

How to Eliminate Late-Night Snacking

How ro THINK Like a Thin Person

How to Control Pain and Suffering

How to Train Yourself Not to be Angry

Here is a link to a procedure which was recorded by my co-author, Kelley Woods. People who respond well to hypnosis can also use it to get a good night's sleep. http://virtualrealityhypnosis.org/journeytothemultiverse


Friday, November 10, 2017

What is Hyperempiria? Not What You Think!

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."                                               --LewCarroll, Alice in Wonderland


Having coined the term and written and presented extensively about it, I now claim  droit du seigneur concerning its definition. It does not mean an alert induction, even though that is the way it started out, and that is the way others have extensively blogged about it. The word literally means, enhanced experience -- neither more nor less, as Humpty Dumpty would have said..Hwre'a an example. 

In Victorian times, women were considered to be such delicate creatures that they were expected to faint if the air in a room became unduly stuffy, or if they were suddenly kissed without warning -- and some of them did, because this stereotype acted as a powerful icultural suggesion,,at least for a while. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I'll leave you with just one more example.

In the early days of Mesmerism, "Putting aside his wand, Mesmer frequently magnetized young women with his hands. As described by his contemporaries, the woman sat with her knees pressed firmly between the thighs of the mesmerist, who applied pressure to her 'ovarium,' while stroking her body until she began to convulse. This was referred to as 'making passes,' which is where the present-day expression comes from. According to Binet and Fere (1888, p. 11), 'young women were so much gratified by the crisis, that they begged to be thrown into it anew" (p. 11). This can bes bet described as a form of hyperempiria, or enhanced experience (Alexander, 1998), As you can easily imagine, a great deal more can be written about many other types of suggestion-enhanced experience, once we have the definition right!


Reference

Alexander, E. D. (1994)  Hyper-sex: Pathways to Ecstasy. 

Binet, A., & Feré, C. (1888). Animal Magnetism. New York: Appleton.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Your Brain Hallucinates Your Conscious Reality

It is only by asking the right questions that we can get the right answers. .In the following video, the speaker demonstrates that we all hallucinate our conscious reality. So what good is a hypnotist? When our own hallucinated reality makes us unhappy, it is the job of the hypnotist to modify our experience of reality in a way that makes us more comfortable, by whatever means are at hand, as long as this does not interfere with our social, occupational, or intellectual functioning. 




Thursday, November 2, 2017

How to Have a Great Conversation

Small Talk isn't just for "wowing" someone on a date.

Having excellent conversational skills is useful for many other things besides impressing someone on a date, or making small talk with strangers at a party. It is vitally important whenever you need to make a new co-worker feel at home, or to welcome a new family member at a reunion, or when you are joining a new organization, and in a host of other situations where you need to present yourself well to people who do not already know you -- and perhaps, even for "old married folks" who are beginning to feel like they "don't know how to talk to one another" any more! It is also an essential first step in helping you to make friends at any age.

The following post is adapted from an article which was originally published on wikiHow,  where it was contributed to by over 620 people and read by over two and a half million. If you click on the link just mentioned and enter the words "conversation skills" in their search box, you will find many more excellent articles on this and similar topics.


How to Have a Great Conversation

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The art of conversation takes practice, but it's not as hard as you might think. Whether it's at a dinner party, your school, or over the phone, a great conversation starts when two or more people are on the same page and feel comfortable talking with each other. By following the steps in this article, you can learn to relax and have a great conversation with just about anybody.

Steps

Sample Conversation Topics  

Find out a few things about the person you'll be talking to (if you can) before you actually start a conversation. Websites as well as Facebook and Twitter profiles can be good sources of information, as long as you're careful not to come across as a stalker. Kick off the conversation with some interesting information that's not too personal. 


  1. "I was looking at the biochemistry department website and saw that you're working on a pretty interesting thesis! How did you come to choose that topic? "I saw on the office memo that you're working on the outreach project for local schools. How's that going?"
  2. "Is it true that you just went skydiving?"
  3. Ask questions so that the other person can talk about himself or herself. "What do you like to do?" "What sort of things have you done in your life?" "What is happening to you now?" "What did you do today or last weekend?" Identify things about them that you might be interested in hearing about, and politely ask questions. People love having a chance to discuss their passions or their subjects of expertise.
    • Ask questions for clarification. If your conversation partner is talking about an occupation or activity you do not understand, take the opportunity to learn more.
    • Make sure that your interest appears genuine. Maintain eye contact and nod your head or interject comments like, "That's interesting."
    • Use open-ended questions. Skip the simple "yes" or "no" questions. Instead, ask a question that will allow your partner to talk extensively. "So you love to go hang gliding. What made you get into it in the first place?"
    • Start superficial. Ask more generic questions at first. Then,  your partner's comfort level. If your partner seems willing to open up, then you can ask some more personal questions.
  4. Inject invitation and inspiration.
    • An "invitation" happens when you say something that lets your partner know that it's his or her turn to speak. Generally, invitations come in the form of questions.
    • "Inspiration" means that you come up with a great topic that makes your partner want to have a discussion. For instance, you could share a funny story that will remind your partner of a similar thing that happened in his or her life, or you could share your thoughts about something and inspire your partner to respond.
  5. Comment on a general interest topic. Some people briefly read the current events section of the news so that if the conversation runs dry, they can comment on something of general interest. "Did you hear about the new underground park being built in uptown?" is both interesting and informative.
  6. Listen actively. A conversation will go nowhere if you are too busy thinking of other things, including what you plan to say next. If you listen w'ell, you'll identify questions to ask based on the other person's statements.
    • Paraphrase back what you heard the person say. "So you're saying that skydiving is the biggest rush you've ever experienced?" Doing this shows respect for the other person and gives him or her the chance to correct your understanding, affirm it or embellish upon it.
    • Encourage the other person to do most of the talking. Your conversation partner will feel as though you are attentive and engaged, and you will get the credit for being a great conversationalist.
  7. Forget yourself. Dale Carnegie once said, "It's much easier to become interested in others than it is to convince them to be interested in you." If you are too busy thinking about yourself, what you look like or what the other person might be thinking, then you will never be able to relax. Your discomfort will make the other person uncomfortable.
  8. Voice disagreement with respect. When stating a difference of opinion, remember these points:
    • Acknowledge your common ground before disagreeing, and try to omit the word "but" from your statement. Instead, try substituting the word "and." Many people find it less antagonistic.
    • Don't manipulate the talk to serve your own agenda and steamroll your counterpart. Never use a conversation as a way to boost your ego.
  9. Accept occasional silences. Take a drink or a bite of your dinner while you think of the next thing that you want to say. Did something that was said generate a new thought or topic in your mind? Use the pause to transition smoothly into further conversation.
  10. Occasionally, ask the question that is looming over the conversation. Humans are social creatures, and society has etiquette that's based on rules. There's so much etiquette it would be painful to list, but it's worth noting that sometimes people enjoy stepping beyond etiquette and talking about the things they thought they weren't allowed to talk about. It can be really refreshing, and pave the way for great conversation.
    • There's a rule out there about not discussing religion and politics, and it's generally a good one. If you think you can have a discussion with someone without making them feel threatened by your beliefs, go for it!
    • Love is another forbidden subject. We don't want to pry into other people's personal lives, just as we don't want others prying into our own. Sometimes, however, people want an excuse to talk about their love life. If your conversational partner says something like "I don't think that's an appropriate topic," apologize and move onto another subject.
  11. Tell stories, preferably funny ones. Stories are the spice of life. Joan Didion famously said "We tell ourselves stories in order to live," and many people happen to believe her. There's something about an expertly told story that takes us to a different place, allowing us to escape our tiny lives and live a grander existence. Don't be afraid to go to that place in your conversation. A couple things to remember in your storytelling:
    • Take it slow. Don't rush your story. Pause for dramatic effect when you need it. A steady, measured approach will draw out the story and keep your audience enthralled.
    • Transition into your story. "Funny you said that," or "Speaking of hoaxes," or "Actually, something similar happened to me not too long ago" will help the story feel like a natural evolution of the conversation.
    • Tell a reality-based story. In other words, something that actually happened. Truth has a way of being stranger than fiction, and a story that's been fabricated just feels a little more empty than something that actually happened.
  12. In a pinch, comment on the awkwardness of it all. If you're really at a loss for words and the conversation is shrinking faster than cellophane under a bit of heat, comment on how awkward the conversation has become; be humorous about it:
    • "I'm sorry, my awkwardness juts out at such...awkward times. Enough with the formalities. What do you really want to talk about?"
    • "We're trying pretty hard, aren't we. There must be something essential that we're missing. You're not a cat person are you?"
    • "I'm sure we have something in common. How about we get a drink and let some of the alcohol do the talking? You look like I need a drink."
  13. Know when the conversation has ended. Even the best conversations will eventually run out of steam or be ended by an interruption. Smile, state that you enjoyed the conversation and say goodbye. Ending on a positive note will make the other person want to talk to you again.
Video



Tips

  • Make sure you pause between sentences. Doing this allows the other person to ask a question or to interject a thought of their own. Remember, you want to have a conversation, not a monologue.
  • Approach the person you want to talk to with confidence. Being around confident people makes others feel good. Your infectious energy and enthusiasm will make everyone in the conversation feel confident and comfortable. Projecting confidence is the key to a good conversation.
  • Pay the other person a compliment. For example, a statement like, "I like your handbag" could lead to a discussion over stores, bags or anything else that you can imagine.
  • Avoid dwelling on a lackluster conversation. Sometimes the other person is distracted or simply getting over a bad day.
  • If a person is not a type of person that you can have a good friendly conversation with, then just go to another person that can be more appreciate your efforts.
  • Sometimes, a great conversation can keep going if the person you want to talk to plays something that you also play, for example, a game, or a sport. It can also work with places you go to, or certain activities that you do.
  • Always smile when necessary. This doesn't mean you should do so after everything s/he says though. It simply means that while the conversation is positively developing, you can further encourage its development by showing your partner that you are genuinely interested in what s/he has to say. It also shows that you want to know more in a subtle way and makes the other person want to divulge more because of your pleasant response. Basically, facial expression is key.
  • Talk about your hobbies and her hobbies.
  • When talking to him at school make sure to end the conversation by saying something like: "Ohh I gotta go. Sorry, bye!" when the topic is real good, this leaves him wanting to talk to you even more the next time.
  • Only start conversations when it's a good time for both of you. They won't want to talk if they're in a rush and they might get annoyed with you.
  • See also the following Blog entry: How to Overcome Shyness with  Cognitive-Behavioral psychology.
Warnings
  • Avoid cutting the other person off in mid-sentence or during a natural pause. Let the person finish his or her thoughts before continuing with thoughts of your own.
  • Beware of potentially inflammatory topics like religion and politics. Don't venture into these topics with someone you don't know.
 Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Have a Great Conversation. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

How to Defeat PTSD and Panic Attacks


Ingrid Betncourt was a candidate for the presidency of Columbia when she was kidnapped by Rebel forces and held prisoner in the jungle for six years under extremely brutal conditions. In the following TED Talk with English subtitles, she tells the story of how she was able to resist her captors without being broken by them. Ms, Betancourt;s courage in the face of terrifying circumstances can serve as a model for us all, to conclusively prove we do not have to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by forces which are outside of us.




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to Constructi Lasting, Effective Hypnotic Suggestions

(The following narrative is designed to illustrate the manner in which hypnotic suggestion may be used to bring about real and lasting personality change. It is a composite of suggested events with which i am personally familiar, and I can vouch for their effectiveness.)

A psychology graduate student had fallen in love with a student in his statistics class. They had a torrid brief romance; but that summer, while he was away with his R.O.T.C. unit, she experienced her first bipolar manic episode, during which she had been sexually intimate with several of the male students during a cast party of a campus theater group.

The couple were heartbroken. As a clinical psychologist  in training, he was well aware of the intense nature of the biologically-driven hypersexuality which a manic episode could induce, and she was overcome by guilt
.
Recalling the story of Scheherezade, who escaped execution by telling the king a new and fascinating tale for a thousand and one nights, until he had mellowed enough to pardon her, Since he knew that she responded well to hypnosis, he asked his beloved to agree to join him on a series of trips to hypnotically-suggested alternate universes (Gibbons & Woods, 2016). During these times, they would make love in a series of intensely meaningful settings: engagements, weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries, conceiving children together, and any number of other experiences which would add meaning and beauty to their lives. With the BEST ME Technique, it can get "realer than real," because you can augment and enhance the dimensions of experienced reality almost any way you want to.  Amnesia would never be involved, and would be suggested away if it did occur, as the experiences would always be consensual and jointly planned. If the emotional scars had not healed by the time a hundred such trips had been undertaken, they would agree to go their separate ways.  Of course, she would also have to agree to take her medication regularly and remain in therapy for as long as necessary, while they also sought couples counseling together.

Needless to say, by the end of this period, their lives had become so intertwined that it was inconceivable for either of them to think of marrying anyone else.

As stated at the begining of this post, although the narrative itself is fictional, it is comprised of a series of individual applications which have been shown to be  effective. Taken together, they illustrate the fact that the ultimate art form is human experience itself. and hypnosis is the ultimate artistic medium (Gibbons, 2001). They also support the principle that the basis for permanent  personality change is a sufficiently meaningful alteration in the inarrative of one's life story (de Rivra & Sarbin, 1998). Please note, however, that it is the meaningfulness of the experiences that count, rather than their inteensity. The intensity, thugh unsurpassed, is a consequence and not a cause of a meaningful attachment, as our present hedonistic culture is inclined to regard it. :Instead, the meaningfulness of the aforementioned events should be constructed from the sources mentioned in the following video.




References

Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form. .New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

de Rivera, J., & Sarbin, T. R. (eds.) (1998). Believed-in imaginings: The narrative construction of reality (memory, trauma, dissociation, and hypnosis). Washington, DC: American Psychological association.

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

Gibbons, D. E, & Woods, K. T. (2016). Virtual reality hypnosis: Explorations in the Multiverse. Amazon Books..



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to Use Mass Hypnosis (Hyperempiria)

In the following video, Adolf Hitler certainly appears to have his audience hypnotized, judging from the way they eagerly clung to every word he said, even when he boasted to ihs cheering followers that he had eliminated every other political party in Germany. How was he able to get away with this? 

He certainly was not using hypnosis in the conventional sense of the word, but by redefining the consequences of World War 1 and the subsequent suffering of the German people, he could be said to be using suggestion enhanced experience, or hyperempiria.

Hitler used to claim that a big lie is believed more easily than a little one. He strung together a series of big lies aimed at convincing the average German that they were not defeated in World War 1, but instead they were stabbed in the back by a World Jewish conspiracy. This conspiracy was aimed  at making them suffer more than anyone else during the Depression in order to totally destroy their morale, because the Germans were actually a biologically superior race which was destined to rule the world. In order overcome the power of this worldwide conspiracy, all dissent must be eliminated and all power must be concentrated In the hands of a single man who would have the will to triumph over every obstacle, This, of course, was Hitler. Then, at the conclusion of the speech, Deputy Fúhrer Rudolf Hess drives home the point by triumphantly announcing that the Nazi Party is Hitler, and Hitler and Germany are one.

 And so it was that this experience of military defeat and seemingly endless suffering was reframed by byperempiric suggestion into a narrative in which God had sent Hitler to save Germany, and to establish the German people in their rightful place as masters of the world, with disastrous consequences for all concerned. But not everyone who uses mass hypnosis needs to string together a series of big lies. In the video depicting Marc Anthony's speech at the funeral of Julius Caesar, Shakespeare illustrates how suggestion enhanced experience may be used to reframe an event by a series of revealing truths, with a dramatic effect upon the crowd of mourners.


..

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Did Shakespeare use Hypnosis or Hyperempiria?

In Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, after Caesar's supporters had murdered him in the fear that his power would become absolute, the populace was initially inclined to support the murderers. The funeral oration was delivered by Marc Antony, one of Caesar's few remaining supporters. In ten minutes, he had converted those in attendance into a howling mob bent on vengeance. 

Shakespeare did not have a certificate in hypnosis, He understood very well, however, how to compound conviction and emotion. But is this hypnosis, or is it hyperempiria (suggestion-enhanced esperience)?  As was asked earlier in the play in a different context, "To be or not to be, that is the question." Here's the scene. Judge for yourself. Finally, here's a kink to avideo of how mass hypnosis or hyperempiria was used in real life, in this case wirh disastrous consequences for all concerned.



Friday, October 13, 2017

How Fundamentalists Get to Heaven

(This posting is adapted from Gibbons, D. E., & De Jarnette, J. (1972) Hypnotic susceptibility and religious experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 11, pp. 152-166.)

If you don't respond well to suggestion,
then you won't have a "Salvation" experience.
And if you don't have a "Salvation" experience,
then no matter what ELSE you do, you won't get into Heaven!
Carrollton, Georgia, is a small to medium-sized city located approximately fifty-five miles west of Atlanta. It is regarded by both students and townspeople as being part of the "Bible belt," and most (though certainly not all) of the churches in the area had a Fundamentalist Christian orientation. Fundamentalists take quite literally the scriptural statement, "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2: 8-9). The "salvation sermon" first leads the prospective convert to feel the tremendous burden of guilt which one bears for one's past misdeeds and failure to repent; and this is followed by a great wave of joy as the convert feels his or her sins being "washed away" and is "born again" as a "new creature in Christ."

This salvation experience, however, is not considered to be voluntarily attainable, since it is the result of  "grace," or the unmerited favor of God. Should an individual seek to join a particular Fundamentalist congregation merely because one is convinced of the truth of Christian teachings, many members would be inclined to doubt that he or she is truly a member of the "elect of God" and, not being able to have such an experience, is probably fore-ordained to burn in Hell regardless of what kind of life one may be leading.


From a scientific point of view, it may be postulated that the degree to which an individual is able to have a salvation experience such as the one described is a function of the degree to which that person is suggestible, and that there is therefore a direct relationship between the ability to be "saved" and the ability to be hypnotized. (Gibbons & DeJarnette, 1972; Gibbons, 1988). After giving a questionnaire to our high and low responders on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (Shor & Orne, 1962) concerning the nature of their personal religious experiences, we found that there was no significant relationship between hypnotic susceptibility and a previous change in denominational preference, or between susceptibility and the perceived religiousness of one's father. However, the low-susceptible subjects were less likely to perceive their mother as being moderately religious or deeply religious. Compairing high- and low-susceptible "saved" Protestants with high- and low-susceptible "unsaved" Protestants, the "saved" group contained significantly more subjects who were highly susceptible to hypnosis.


In follow-up interviews, the reasons for the differences between high and low-suggestible subjects became glaringly apparent. The high susceptibles said things like, "I began to feel a warm tingling glow inside of me. The next thing I knew, I was down in front of the altar, and I was crying," or, "It was like the Hand of God came down and touched me. I felt so happy. I never felt joy like I felt it that day." But when the few low-susceptibles who indicated that they had been "saved" were asked about their experience, they said things like, "I had been going to that church for about six months, mainly because my girl friend went there, but I never 'went forward.' Then one day the preacher accepted all those who had accepted the Lord to put up our hands, and we both put our hands up and that was it."


Hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, also plays a significant role in experiences as varied as falling in love, having an orgasm, coming under the sway of a totalitarian dictator, or exploring an alternate universe.  

 Print References


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. (1988) Were you saved or were you hypnotized? The Humanist, pp. 17-19. 

Gibbons, D. E. (1987, August). Were you saved or were you hypnotized? Paper presented at the joint conference of the American Humanist Association and the Humanist Association of Canada, Montreal. 


Gibbons, D. (1988, June). Hypnotic susceptibility and the salvation experience. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Society for Professional Hypnosis, Houston, TX. 


Gibbons, D. (1988, March). Were you saved or were you hypnotized? Paper presented at the meeting of the International Society for Professional Hypnosis, Atlantic City, NJ. 


Gibbons, D. E. & De Jarnette, J. (1972). Hypnotic susceptibility and religious experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 11(2), pp. 152-156. 


Sarbin, T. R. (1998) Believed-in Imaginings. New York: Barnes & Noble. 


Shor, R., & Orne, E. C. (1962). The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting psychologists pres