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.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hyperempiria and the Problem of "Will Power"

For I do not the good that I want to do; but the evil I do not want to do -- that I keep on doing.
                                                           -- Romans 7:19

That, folks, is much of what keeps us in business as hypnotists and psychologists.. We make choices according to our motives, but we do not choose the motives themselves. whether it be losing weight, stopping smoking, or finally getting around to finishing that degree. But, for all our vaunted techniques, there often hasn't been quite enough that we can do about it -- until now.

Using the the BEST ME Technique of multimodal suggestion -- the simultaneous application of suggested changes in Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations to project one's entire being into the content of a suggested experience (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010), we can use this experience, which we refer to as "hyperempiria," to help our clients to explore a Multiverse of all possible events which can be individually tailored to suit the needs of anyone whose imagination is sufficiently developed to undergo them (Gibbons & Woods, 2016).

It does not matter whether hypnotically suggested experiences are actually "real," as long as these experiences are real to the client. With sufficient training, people can experience, and actually live out, the full rewards of future goals in order to provide themselves with the energy and motivation to pursue them in the present, thereby eliminating the need for what is popularly referred to as "will power" -- not only with issues such as smoking, alcohol and drug dependence, weight loss, pain control, insomnia, panic attacks, and phobias, but also with the pursuit of distant goals, such as studying for an advanced degree. (According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, "A disturbing fifty per cent of doctoral students leave graduate school without finishing." (And how many more who have the necessary ability never even begin to go to or finish college?)


It's too early for any controlled experimental studies; and research funds for individual practitioners are practically unobtainable, particularly in today's parched research climate. But clients have been saying things like, "I can't thank you enough!" and, "I'm at a point in my life now where I think I can accomplish anything!" and the changes which they are reporting in their lives seem to bear this out. We would like to invite you to join us now in exploring these fascinating new realms of experience, and sharing with us in the thrill of discovery.  


References

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. Virtual reality hypnosis: Adventures in the multiverse. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.) 

(c) Don E. Gibbons, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to Learn Self-Hypnosis at Home

You can safely learn the basics of self-hypnosis at home by watching my instructional article on WikiHow. It describes the use of the BEST ME Technique to combine Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and Physical Perceptions, Thoughts and Images, Motives, and Expectations, to more fully involve oneself in the content of a suggested experience. I use it with the clients in my psychology practice, both as an introduction to the experience of self-hypnosis and for use between therapy sessions as a training and practice aid. It has been viewed over one and one half million times since I first wrote and posted it..





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Scientific Method for the Mastery of Life



Here's how to get off the merry-go-round!
According to the teachings of cognitive-behavioral psychology, it isn't what happens to you but what you believe about what happens to you, that causes you to be unhappy, depressed, afraid, angry, joyful, or excited.

We carry around with us a set of deep-seated beliefs about who and where we are and what is going on around us, which keeps us oriented to person, place, time, and events. When something happens, these beliefs generate "automatic thoughts," (or autosuggestions) which interpret what is going on and determine how we feel about it -- angry, anxious, afraid, or depressed, or some other emotion -- and they also determine how we react to it.. Automatic thoughts are not unconscious, but they usually occur so rapidly that we aren't aware of them unless we are trained to look for them. When we can identify exactly what these autosuggestions are, we can examine them and decide whether or not to replace them with others which constitute a more accurate assessment of reality, and therefore create long-lasting, adaptive changes in thinking, feeling, and emotion. 

The following lists may be viewed as a kind of "psychological first aid" for getting to the root of the false beliefs and false perceptions that we all have from time to time, and for taking positive action to keep them from coming back.     

Albert Ellis has put together a list of ten commonly-held beliefs about ourselves, the world, and the future, which prevent us from experiencing life to the fullest because they set us up ahead of time for failure and disappointment. They are all false, but many of us are inclined to at least occasionally believe them, at least occasionally.   

The Greek philosopher Epictitus said, "Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them."Here is a list of inaccurate ways of looking at things, which might be clouding your view of the world. You can get rid of these irrational ideas by learning how to recognize and eliminate them.  

This free downloadable ABC Worksheet from www.smartrecovery.org 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 (which operate as autosuggestions), 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.

When the early successes of cognitive-behavioral psychology became apparent, the British National Health Service decided to create a Web site which would make this information available free of charge to all at www.getselfhelp.co.uk.  I don't believe that it is a Government Web ite any more, but it is still a treasure trove of cognitive-behavioral information, as indicated below. Cognitive-behavioral therapists frequently use a more specialized version of the ABC Worksheet, mentioned above, called a thought record in order to examine just what goes on in the mind when we make those habitual decisions that keep getting us into trouble . . . Here is what one looks like, and here is what it looks like all filled out,  (A slightly longer, seven-column version of the same form is also available.) You can make as many copies as you want for your own use by using the print command on your computer. They also have other free versions of the thought record form, adapted for special purposes. Since the links to many of the more specialized forms are always changing, I have not specifically listed them. But if you find the cognitive-behavioral approach useful, there is a veritable treasure trove of applications to be found at this site. I would encourage you to browse around in their site. You will not be disappointed.



 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hypnosis as a Substitute for Medical Marijuana

By heightning and enhancing our internal
states, we can learn to manage
the experience of pain.

Many States are in the process of legalizing the use of medical marijuana to bring about chemical changes in the body which reduce the discomfort of pain. However the list of authorized applications can be relatively narrow. Legal marijuana for such purposes is often expensive and difficult to obtain, as it is in my own State of New Jersey. But the power of the mind in hypnosis can be equally as effective, if not  more so.

William James, in his book, Varieties of Religious Experience, related the account of a French Hugenot woman who was being beaten for her religious beliefs by six other women armed with sticks.   After her ordeal, she wrote that she was so overwhelmed with the thought that she was being beaten for Christ that she felt nothing: "In vain the women cried, ’We must double our blows; she does not feel them, for she neither speaks nor cries.' And how should I have cried, since I was swooning from happiness within?"

As +Susan French  has pointed out, ". . .everything that we do [as hypnotists] has to do with directing attention from thoughts and perceptions that have negative effects to more positive states and perceptions. What results is not only changing a habit of thinking but creates the release of brain/body chemicals that support the state where the attention rests. By heightening and enhancing our internal states, we can have experiences which we are not capable of in everyday life, but which are just as 'real' to us -- if not more so -- than if they were, with predictable effects on our personal lives."

I recently had a client who suffered from chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder from a near-fatal automobile accident. He had been prescribed several pain medications, which were not always effective. I saw him weekly at his home. I used a traditional hypnotic induction (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010), with suggestions of deep-muscle relaxation, followed by repeated deepening combined with suggestions of anesthesia and well-being, with post-hypnotic suggestions that the effects would continue. I also taught him self-hypnosis in order to prolong these suggestions between visits. He reported generally good results with these procedures, but he still needed his prescription medication. Even then, he stated that the inductions were sometimes not completely effective in removing all of his discomfort.

One day, his wife said to me, "We sure could have used you last week, Doc. Nothing seems to be working, and the pain is as bad as ever." 

I knew that I had to devise an especially effective induction, so I told them about hyperempiria (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010), indicating that this was a new and especially powerful technique which would enable him to experience higher states of awareness while his body remained asleep, thereby focusing his mind more effectively on the suggestions for the relief of pain. He was eager to try any new procedure which might bring about greater relief. (This procedure was later expanded to teach people to escape suffering by feeling as if they were traveling to another universe and leaving their suffering behind. For more details, See Gibbons & Woods, 2016).

As the induction proceeded, I asked him to picture himself relaxing deeply in the basket of a large balloon, which was about to lift off. I suggested that as the balloon began straining at the ropes which held it, his body was sinking deeper and deeper into a deep, sound sleep. As the balloon began to rise. I suggested that his consciousness would rise along with it, until he entered hyperempiria. I elaborated upon this combined induction until he appeared to become highly involved with my suggestions, and then proceeded with my suggestions for healing and pain control.

The client later reported that his pain had considerably lessened. I showed him how to include autosuggestions for hyperempiria into his self-hypnosis routine, and his wife subsequently told me, "I often see him going upstairs in the middle of the day, and when I ask him where he is going, he tells me,'I'm going for a balloon ride!"

The client and his wife have remained in occasional contact. In our most recent telephone conversation, two years after hyperempiric suggestions were incorporated into his self-hypnosis routine, the client reported that although some pain sensations remained after taking his medication, the combination of prescribed medication plus hypnotic and hyperempiric suggestions together provided the greatest amount of relief



 References

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. Virtual reality hypnosis: Adventures in the multiverse. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.)

  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Support from Theoretical Physics for Past-LIfe Regression

In most legal jurisdictions, courtroom testimony based on material obtained through hypnosis is no longer admissible, unless it is backed up by corroborating evidence. Even when the hypnotist scrupulously avoids asking leading questions, witnesses are still left free to unknowingly garble their testimony with their own distorted unspoken assumptions and distorted memories. If hypnotically-obtained memories of this lifetime cannot be depended upon, then why should we be surprised if hypnotically-obtained memories of experiences in previous lifetimes, and the knowledge derived from them, are even less reliable?  

It does appear likely that we cannot conclusively establish the validity of past life experiences by means of hypnosis, despite abundant anecdotal evidence to the contrary. After reviewing the experimental evidence, Lynn and Kirsch (2006, p. 204) flatly state: "In summary, hypnotically induced past-life experiences are fantasies constructed from available clinical narratives about past lives and known or surmised facts regarding historical periods, as well as cues present in the hypnotic situation.”


But what about the "anecdotal evidence to the contrary?" 

Most of us know people whom we trust implicitly, who can tell us of past-life experiences that are astonishing, to say the least, Some readers of this post may be able to recount such experiences themselves. Many contemporary physicists have come to the conclusion that there is a theoretically infinite number of alternate Universes, which do not always follow the same laws of cause-and-effect as this one. It is perhaps to be expected, then, that events occurring in these alternate Universes may not be subject to the same rules of experimental investigation that govern the operation of phenomena which operate exclusively in this one, and would therefore not be susceptible to the same cause-and-effect relationships.

I am sure that Steve Lynn would agree with Kuhn (2012) that we can never "prove" anything in science. We can only state that the evidence currently appears to support one view over another. With recent advances in theoretical physics, however, it appears that the sands of evidence may have shifted.



References


Kuhn, T. S. (2012). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (2006). Essentials of clinical hypnosis: An evidence-based approach.  Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.