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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Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to Learn Self-Hypnosis at Home

You can safely learn the basics of self-hypnosis at home by reading my instructional article on WikiHow. It describes the use of the BEST ME Technique to combine Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and 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. According to the statistics available at the site, It has been viewed over one million times since I first wrote and posted it.





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.)