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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Is Experiential HYpnosis the Next Step Upward in Human Evolution?

Where do We Go from Here?
 
Some people never know that they are color-blind -- that they lack an important ability possessed by the rest of us. Now let's consider the opposite. What if there should dwell among us a group of individuals who have an ability that is lacking in most of the population? Wouldn't they also be inclined to deny it, in order to fit in with the rest of the society?  

If I were to walk up to a person who responds extremely well to suggestion, ask him to close his eyes, and matter-of-factly state that by the time I got to the count of five he could open them and see me wearing a Santa Claus suit and hat, he would surely think that I was crazy. And if such a suggestion should actually happen to "work," he would surely think that he was crazy! But if I first asked him to close his eyes and suggested with sufficient plausibility that he was "going into hypnosis," and then I told him that by the time I got to the count of five he could open his eyes and see me dressed like Santa Claus, such a suggestion could be accepted much more easily because it would have become more credible.

There are so many ways to "hypnotize" people that entire books have been written on this topic, and new methods are being devised all the time. But as far as I have been able to tell, the only thing which they seem to have in common is that they all plausibly present the idea (either directly or indirectly) that a person's consciousness is beginning to function differently. It is this suspension of disbelief which enables people to make use of the previously-unrealized powers of their imagination. .All the rest depends on the ability and willingness of the subject to follow the instructions he or she is given.

What are we to make of this experientially gifted elite with an Alice-in-Wonderland imagination who dwell among us, and who need to legitimize the use of their natural gifts by means of what Michael Ellner has referred to as the "transformational magic" of an an "induction procedure" before they can make use of them? Where do these abilities come from, and what is their ultimate purpose? 

Human evolution is far from finished. and any,aliens who might be observing us from afar would surely conclude that our evolutionary development has been lopsided. With 98% of the same genetic makeup as our closest simian cousins, the chimpanzees, there is little doubt that our evolutionary development has been uneven.. We have highly developed frontal lobes which enable us to formulate lofty ideals and distant goals, but all too often our emotional centers prevent us from achieving them. More than once in the last century, we have come close to annihilating each other; and many societal institutions are devoted in whole or in part to regulating our behavior so that we do not do so individually. 

With hyperempiric meditation using the Best Me technique to assure comprehensiveness, it becomes possible to pre-experience the rewards of distant goals now, in the present when they are most important for motivation, vastly expanding our range of choices regarding which motives to strengthen, and making it much easier to live up to the goals and ideals which evolution has enabled us to construct, but has heretofore made it difficult to achieve. 

Hypnosis, then, is quite likely to be the gateway to the next step upward in human evolution, by enabling people who have special imaginative powers to give their imagination free reign without having to deny the existence of these abilities, even to themselves, in order to fit in with the verbal community in which they live. 


Monday, May 22, 2017

When You're Just oo Depressed to DO Much


You're not suicidal. If you needed prescription medication, you're taking it.  But you just don't feel like DOING anything! And if you have a job or someplace else you need to be, you don't feel like going.  What can you do when your depression is serious enough to spoil your day, but not serious enough to seek prompt medical attention?

You obviously don't feel too depressed to be on the computer, but you could probably use some advice from people who know exactly how you feel. I would like to recommend that you begin with the Ted Talk on You Tube entitled, "How to Get Stuff Done When You're Depressed."  Then, while your depression is on the mend (and one thing that you can count on most of the time is that it will go away), you can help to cheer yourself up by watching four more videos from  their playlist on the subject of depressoon  They have dozens more, if you're still interested, both on the subject of depression and its treatment.

You might also be interested in:

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep 

How to Keep  Your Boss feom Driving You Crazy

Emergency First Aid for Panic Attacks

How to Meditate Like an Expert Almost Anywhere

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hyperempiria for Exploring the Multiverse


We've come a long way since the days when everybody “knew” that the world was flat and the Sun revolves around the Earth, but most of us don’t realize exactly how far. World-renowned physicists such as Stephen Hawking are now talking quite seriously about the existence of alternate and parallel universes, in which everything that can happen actually does happen. For example, when Professor Hawking was recently asked what he thought about teenage heartthrob Zayn Malik breaking the hearts of millions of girls by leaving a popular rock group, he urged the questioner to pay particular attention to the study of physics because, in the near future, we may know enough about parallel universes that she can discover that she is living in a parallel universe in which she is actually married to this man.

You don't have to actually live in an alternate or parallel universe to have the experience of doing so. We already have been able to use mechanical systems of virtual reality to extend the range of our physical senses, principally sight and hearing. But in the current edition of the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis, Steve Lynn and I (Gibbons & Lynn, 2008) describe the use BEST ME technique of multimodal suggestion to involve one’s whole person in the content of a suggested experience.

By using our adult ability to conceptualize in hypnosis, Kelley and I show you you how you can create and access a limitless number of experiences in an unlimited number of parallel universes, in which anything that you are able to imagine actually does happen, and return a better person than you were before you left.(Gibbons & Woods, 2016).



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Whenever we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror,, all too often we may find that we are wearing a look of grim determination.

The .following hyperempiric meditation, when practiced with sufficient regularity, can provide an invigorating change which will help us to maintain an attitude of habitual optimism and happiness as we go about our daily round of obligations. It is s based on suggestions of riding through a rainbow of delight into the Multiverse, the Universe of all possible universes, dissolving into an ocean of infinite, unbounded love, and riidng back again. Ego strengthening suggestions to enhance the ongoing narrative of the participant's life story are included, as well as suggestions for time distortion to further enhance its experiential qualities.

The script is written in "hypnotic" language, with considerable repetition and elaboration far beyond the point of boredom in an ordinary conversation, much as one might repeat the verses and choruses of a song.

The suggestions are in keeping with the teachings of post-modern constructivism, which holds that since nobody can really know what "truth" is, people construct their own reality in order to explain what they believe is really out there, but actually isn't. We have no hesitation therefore, in defining the following suggested experiences as true reality, and the universe from which the participants left as an illusion, in order to neutralize the "toxic soup" in which most of us go about our daily lives.

After an appropriate hypnotic induction and deepening, hyperempiric suggestions such as the following may be employed. For additional information, see Gibbons & Woods (2016).

Disclaimer: The authors do not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, mental, or emotional problems without the advice of a physician or duly licensed mental health professional.
----------------
Now the scene is changing, and we are standing at the top of a large mountain which is covered with clouds after a sudden spring shower. One end of a large rainbow which leads to the Multiverse, the universe of all possible universes, is touching the ground right in front of us.
We walk up to this rainbow and prepare to enter the first band. As we go through the bands one by one, each band will present you with a priceless gift, which you will be able to take back with you. And the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the treasure that your life will become as you continue to explore the joys and wonders of these alternate and parallel universes.
First, we are entering the red band of the rainbow. Red is the color of strength. Feel this strength flowing through you now, driving out the stress, driving out the worry, driving out the care, and filling and flooding every muscle and nerve and cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite, boundless strength, and confidence, and power. [Brief Pause]
Next, we are entering the orange band of the rainbow, Orange is the color of happiness. Each time that I lead you into these higher realms of being, you go deeper; each time you go faster, and each time you feel this happiness more intensely than you did the time before. Feel the happiness flooding through you, filling and flooding every muscle and nerve and cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite happiness and boundless joy. [Brief Pause]
Yellow is the color of healing. As we travel next through the band of yellow light, you can feel its healing warmth, flooding into every muscle, and every fiber, and nerve of your body, penetrating to the very core of your being. [Brief Pause]
Even when you are no longer in hypnosis, my voice will tend to bring it back, in much the same way and with much the same effect as if I were hypnotizing you all over again.
Now, we are entering the green band of light. Green is the color of renewal. The farther we go into the rainbow, the more your sense of the passing of time is slowing down; and regardless of the time we may actually have been away, it will seem as if we had been gone for much, much longer. And the benefits of our journey will be increased in direct proportion to the time that it feels like we have been away.
Now we are traveling through the band of blue, which is the color of Heaven, and the color of Eternity. Each time I lead you into these higher realms of being, you gain an ever-increasing appreciation of the true nature of reality; for the spark of Divinity which is within you is nothing less than the energy of the Multiverse itself.
Next, we move into the band of indigo, which contains the heightened creative powers that are becoming yours in ever-increasing amounts, as we continue to explore the joys and wonders of these parallel and alternate universes.
Finally, we are entering the band of violet, which is the color of serenity. It's only the separation from this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, wonder, ecstasy, and delight -- it’s only the separation from this infinite ocean of peace, and calm, and tranquility -- that is the source of all unhappiness, all depression, all anxiety, all loneliness, and all despair. And now that this separation has been removed, you have a sense of fulfillment and an inner peace which is greater than anything you have ever dreamed of, longed for, hoped for, or desired, and far beyond the power of words to describe.
As we step out of the final band of the rainbow and into the Multiverse itself, you have entered the Universe of all possible universes, where time and space have ceased to exist, and all the bands of the rainbow which brought us here have blended into one boundless ocean of infinite love which contains them all: strength, happiness, healing, renewal, peace, power, and serenity, more beautiful than anything you have ever dreamed of, hoped for, longed for, or imagined -- infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity, and far beyond the power of mere words to describe.
Soak it up and make it part of you: for this experience will change your life in many different ways, and on many levels, some of which you may already know, and some of which you may not yet realize.
.And now, we are reaching down into the vast, untapped potentials that lie within you . . . and we are releasing . . . wonderful feelings of happiness . . . and joy . . . and wonder . . . and rapture . . . and ecstasy . . . and pleasure and delight. And all these wonderful feelings are flowing out from your innermost depths, sent by your inner healer . . . filling . . . and flooding . . . every muscle and every fiber, and every nerve of your being, with wave after wave of beautiful, indescribable joy, happiness, wonder, ecstasy, and delight. The stronger we can make them, the more effective they will be . . . in paving over the effects of every negative thing that has ever happened to you, and changing your life into a thing of wondrous beauty.
And so, these feelings come flowing out . . . and flowing out . . . There’s no end to how good you can feel, and no end to how strong we can make them; for this is the true reality, and the world from which you came is merely an illusion.
.If you weren’t hypnotized, you couldn’t bear a fraction of the joy, and the happiness, and the wonder, and the ecstasy, and the unimaginable delight that is flowing through every muscle and fiber, and cell and nerve of your body, now, in these golden moments..
And the more you feel, the more you’re able to feel, and the more you feel, the more you want to feel, and the more wonderful, the more rapturous, the experience becomes.
This is your time . . .to savor and experience to the fullest. As the feelings continue to grow, stronger and stronger, they are becoming infinite in their strength . . . and infinite in their power . . . beyond the power of mere words to describe . . . infinite, beyond infinity . . . and eternal, beyond all measure of Eternity. You find yourself floating . . . and dissolving . . . into a wave of infinite, unbounded ecstasy, beyond the limitations of time . . . beyond the limitations of space . . . beyond the limitations of the Universe, itself . . .
You are a wave of infinite, unbounded ecxtasy, flowing . . . through the Multiverse . . where there is no time . . . there is no space . . . There is only . . . an endless ocean of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love, at the center of this universe, which is in the center of all other universes, and at the center of all existence.
You feel yourself dissolving into this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, ecstasy, love, and delight. And it’s as if all of the happiness, and all of the love, and all of the joy, and all of the wonder, and all of the rapture that have ever been felt by all the people who ever walked the face of the earth . . .put together,. . . are yours . . . to enjoy . . . now . . . in these golden moments, freed from the limitations of time and space.
It’s only the separation from this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, wonder, ecstasy, and delight, which is your home beyond the stars . . . it’s only the separation from this ocean where you will spend Eternity . . . that is the source of all unhappiness, all depression, all anxiety, all loneliness, and all despair. And now that the separation has been removed, Edison fulfillment greater than anything you have ever dreamed of, longed for, hoped for or imagined, and far beyond the power of their words to describe -- infinite beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity.
Soak it up, and make it part of you. This is the fulfillment of your existence -- greater than anything you ever dreamed of., longed for, hoped for, or imagined, and far beyond the power of words to describe. Infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. . . . yours . . . to savor . . . now . . . and experience to the fullest. . . .in these golden moments of delight.
And regardless of whatever else may be going on in your life, as you continue to regularly return here, to this, your home beyond the stars, it will have the power to change your life forever, and turn each day into a thing of wondrous beauty; for this is the true reality, and the universe from which you left is merely an illusion.
Every path that you have taken, every road that you have trod, has lead you here, to this, the fulfillment of your existence. . . .Infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. . . .Greater than anything you have ever hoped for, longed for, dreamed of, or imagined, and far beyond the power of mere words to describe.
Because time does not exist in the Multiverse, even though only a few moments may have passed in the Universe from which you left. when you return you will feel just as rested and just as refreshed as if you had been away for a week, a month, or you may even feel as if you had been gone for an eternity
Regardless of how much you actually remember of the experience itself, you will always look back upon these journeys with joy, even as you look forward to the next opportunity to return , with ever-increasing anticipation
Each time that you are hypnotized, you will be able to go into hypnosis faster. Each time that you are hypnotized, you will be able to go into hypnosis more deeply. And each time that you are hypnotized, you will be able to obtain even more benefit from the experience.
Now, we are ready to return to the Universe from which we came, by riding through the rainbow of delight that brought us here, in reverse order, from the inside out, You will remain in deep hypnosis until we emerge together from the final band. Just as before, each band of color will present you with a priceless gift from these experiences which you will be able to take back with youwhich will change your life in many different ways and many different levels
First, we are beginning to retrace our steps through the band of violet, the color of serenity. It's only the separation from this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, wonder, ecstasy and delight -- it’s only the separation from this infinite ocean of peace, and calm, and tranquility -- that is the source of all unhappiness, all depression, all anxiety, all loneliness, and all despair. And now that this separation has been removed, it has brought you an inner peace which is the fulfillment of your existence -- greater than anything you have ever dreamed of, longed for, hoped for, longed for, or imagined, and far beyond the power of words to describe: infinite beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity.
Next, we move back into the band of indigo, which contains the higher mental powers that are becoming yours in ever increasing amounts, as we continue to explore the joys and wonders of these alternate and parallel Universes.
Now, we are traveling through the band of blue, which is the color of Heaven, and the color of Eternity. We have been to Heaven. We are higher than the angels. And we will go back there; for this is our eternal home, beyond the stars.
Each time I lead you into these higher realms of being, you gain an ever-increasing appreciation of the true nature of reality; for the spark of Divinity which is within you is nothing less than the energy of the Multiverse itself.
Now, we are entering the green band of light. Green is the color of renewal. Regardless of the actual time we have been away, it will seem as if we have been gone for a much longer time. It could even seem as if we have been gone for an eternity. And the benefits of our journey will be increased in direct proportion to the time that we have been away.
Next, as we travel through the band of yellow light, you can feel its healing warmth flooding once more into every muscle, and every fiber, and nerve of your body, penetrating to the very core of your being. [Brief Pause]
Even when you are no longer in hypnosis, my voice will tend to bring it back, in much the same way and with much the same effect as if I were hypnotizing you all over again.
Now, we are entering the orange band of the rainbow. Orange is the color of happiness. Feel the happiness flooding through you, filling and flooding every muscle and nerve and cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite happiness and boundless joy. [Brief Pause]
Each time I lead you into these higher realms of being, you go deeper, each time I lead you into these higher realms of being, you go faster, and each time you experience this happiness more deeply and more intensely than you did the time before.
Finally, we are entering the red band of the rainbow. Red is the color of strength. Feel this strength flowing through you now, driving out the stress, driving out the worry, driving out the care, and filling and flooding every muscle and nerve and cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite, boundless strength, and confidence, and power. [Brief Pause]
You will always look back on these hypnotic sessions with fondness, even as you look forward to the next opportunity to return to them with ever increasing anticipation; for you will obtain everything you wanted from this  experience, regardless of whether or not it was specifically included in the suggestions that you were given
You are one of a gifted few whose life is not limited to living in one Universe at a time. And the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the priceless treasure that your life is becoming, as our explorations in these alternate and parallel Universes continue to change your life into a thing of wondrous beauty, in many different ways and on many different levels, some of which you may already know, and some of which you may not yet realize until they actually occur.
Tonight, you will be able to fall asleep easily, and you will have a pleasant, refreshing sleep from which you will awaken rested and refreshed, and feeling wonderful; for your Future Self is always with you, guiding your path in the way it should go.
Now, as we prepare to return to the Universe from which you came, all of the dimensions of the Universe from which you originally left will reassert themselves. Your mind will be clear and alert, and you will easily be able to concentrate on anything you have to do. But the benefits and the good feelings of these experiences will remain with you, making it so much easier to resist stresses of every kind and filling your life with zest and joy.. Know who you really are. Be who you really are.
By the time I get to the count of five you will open your eyes, beaming with happiness and radiant with delight. One. Getting ready to open your eyes now. Two. . .Three.. . . Four. . . Five. You can open your eyes now, feeling wonderful!
(c) Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., and Kelley T. Woods, 2016.
 References
Gibons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2008). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. In Ruhe, J. W., Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Assn.
Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016) Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.) 





 
  



















References

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2008). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. In Ruhe, J. W., Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Assn.

Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016) Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.) 




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How to Select and Strengthen Your own Motives



 If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty Seconds' Worth of Distance Run
Yours is the Earth, and all that's in it.
                                                 --Kipling  

When we have a long-term goal whose rewards are in the future, we try to use “will power” in an attempt to spur ourselves onward. We tell ourselves how important the goal really is, congratulating ourselves when we are able to stay on track, and mentally “beating ourselves up” when we don’t work as hard we think we ought to.

We attempt to bridge this gap between present efforts and future sources of satisfaction by daydreaming, autosuggestion, "positive thinking," affirmations, visualization, and fantasy techniques, These usually don't help very much, because they still don't do enough to involve the whole person in the satisfactions of goal attainment. Eventually, even though our long-term goal remains as attractive as ever, our motivation begins to falter, and sooner or later we give up. 

If we are trying to lose weight or quit smoking, we usually attribute this failure to a lack of "will power,:" and if we fail, we usually find some way to put up with the discomfort. On the other hand, If the gap between our aspirations and what we are able to do involves the attainment of a major life goal, such as becoming a successful writer, artist, or composer, the gap between what we aspire to do and what we have actually achieved can often be great enough to cause a full-blown existential depression. 

Somewhere In the Multiverse -- the Universe of all possible Universes -- you are already living in a parallel lifetime in which you have achieved your goal and are basking in its rewards. By projecting your imagination into this parallel Universe where your goal has already been achieved, you can experience the rewards of these goals now, in the this life, where they are most needed for motivation. If you can pre-xperience the fulfillment of this goal with your entire being, then you will be able to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail! 

The Best Me Technique (Gibbons, 2001) is a method of suggestion-enhanced experience for involving your whole person in the content of a suggested event, which enables those who are sufficiently imaginative and properly trained in this procedure to experience in the present and in concentrated form, the rewards and satisfactions which would not normally be theirs until a goal has been achieved. This in turn can provide the motivational fuel to pursue whatever goal we may have chosen, no matter how distant or difficult that goal might otherwise appear.

Each element of the Best Me Technique corresponds with a dimension of experience (Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations); and these elements can be combined in a variety of ways. In the hyperempiric adventure which follows, the Best Me Technique is used to pre-experience the rewards of a graduation ceremony in order to enhance the motivation to pursue a course of study leading to an academic degree. However, the Best Me Technique can also be used to as part of a comprehensive program to enhance performance in other areas, such as athletics, music, dance, and theater or as part of a program to lose weight, or to become a non-smoker, or to rid oneself of other forms of addiction.

The suggestions are presented in B-E-S-T-M-E order for the sake of illustration; but in actual use, Best Me suggestions may be repeated in any order and varied and repeated as often as necessary in order to maximize involvement with their content, much as one might repeat the verses and choruses of a song. Rather than memorizing a specific set of suggestions or reading them to the client as a script, I usually count out the steps of the Best Me Technique on my fingers as I am improvising an induction or a therapeutic suggestion, going back and forth to make sure that I have adequately covered them all. This gives me more freedom to individualize my suggestions to better meet the needs of each individual, and to use their body language to gauge the speed and content of my delivery.

The incentive value of the Best Me Technique can be further enhanced by pre-experiencing the rewarding results of other situations related to the goal, such as celebrating at a graduation party with friends and family, or relaxing on the deck of a cruise ship on a much-deserved vacation after a long-desired degree is actually in hand. It is also helpful to pre-experience the rewards of sub-goals along the way, such as doing well on an upcoming major examination, or enjoying the semester break, secure in the certain knowledge that one is on the way to an inevitable success. At the conclusion of an appropriate hypnotic or induction, suggestions similar to the following may be given, with appropriate repetition and elaboration, much as one might vary the verses and choruses of a song. 
Belief systems. Now you can feel your awareness of the present beginning to fade, as you become ever more clearly aware of yourself seated at your graduation ceremony, waiting to go up and receive your diploma. Just picture the scene, and imagine yourself excitedly waiting there, until it becomes just as real and just as clear to you as if it is happening right now.
 Emotions. Let yourself feel an ever increasing sense of pride and achievement as you savor this moment to the fullest. As you look around at your fellow graduates and at the crowd of family, friends, and well wishers who have come to share in your success, you can truly rejoice in the thrill of all you have worked so hard to accomplish.
Sensations and physical perceptions. The graduates are getting up one row at a time to form a line beside the stage until their name is called. When it is your turn, you join the line and await your turn to go up and shake hands with the Dean and receive your diploma.  
Thoughts and images. And all the time, you are realizing how much this means to you, and how much it has all been worthwhile.
Motives. Now, as you walk across the stage and shake hands with the Dean, he smiles and hands you your diploma, and you return to your seat, let yourself take a few moments now to bask in the satisfaction of a job well done, and savor your achievement to the fullest. [Pause.]  
Expectations. And each time that you return to this treasured memory of the future, it will become easier for you to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, feel it happening, and savor in advance the fruits of your success!
After allowing time to fully enjoy the experience for a few moments, the induction may be concluded in an appropriate manner. Once the technique has been mastered, it can be repeated daily as a form of experiential meditation until the goal is actually attained.  

The Importance of Sub-Goals

Confucius said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." About thirty percent of all the graduate students who have to write a dissertation as the final step in attaining their doctorate fail to do so. This is frequently because, when they think of a dissertation as a book-length project, the task looks too formidable and too difficult. But if they can break the job down into meaningful sub-goals, and experience a feeling of achievement when each of these steps is attained, it doesn't matter how long the journey is because they have learned to reward themselves at the completion of each small step.

I once knew a graduate student at the University of Portland who inherited three million dollars while he was enrolled in the Psychology program. He did not touch the money except inr one type of situation. He would treat himself and a date to a big steak dinner at a local restaurant every time he passed a test, and live frugally the rest of the time.  By successfully achieving a series of small sub-goals along the way, he obtained his degree with relative ease. As Martin Luther King put it, "If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But keep moving forward!"  

When there Is No "Impossible Dream"

When there is no clearly-identified goal upon which to focus, or when existing goals are not desired strongly enough to fully motivate a person to achieve them, suggestions such as the following can be given to increase the enjoyment of goal attainment in general.
Belief systems. Now we are going to help you to experience in concentrated form, both your desire to achieve and your ability to feel the satisfactions you are going to feel in the future from the fulfillment of a job well done.

Emotions. We are reaching down into the depths of your vast, untapped potential for feeling happiness and joy. Great waves of happiness and joy are flooding out from the depths of your potential, growing stronger and more beautiful and more intense with every passing second.  
Sensations and physical perceptions. The waves of joy are becoming stronger and more intense, filling and flooding every muscle, and fiber, and nerve of your entire body with a beauty and which is greater than anything you could possibly imagine. 
 Thoughts and images. Your mind is filled with such beauty and such joy that it is impossible to think of anything else, and all you can do is feel these waves of joy washing over you., growing in beauty and intensity with every passing second.
Motives. This is the kind of fulfillment you will be able to feel when you put your whole self into doing a job – any job – well. And you will have plenty of energy left over to enjoy every other aspect of life to the fullest.

Expectations. And I don’t know whether this experience will leave you with new goals, or with a re-dedication to the ones you already have. But in either case it will be a transforming moment, for it will have the power to change your life.
By using the Best Me Technique along with the necessary changes you need to make in your environment in order to accomplish the goals you have chosen, you will be able to provide yourself with the inspiration and incentive for a lifetime of accomplishment and personal growth.

A Word of Caution

Of course, we must still be able to give up on goals which are really not worth pursuing, no mater how attractive they may seem at first, in order to protect ourselves from our own mistakes in judgment. The world is full of people who want to become a success as writers, actors, sports heroes, and a host of other things, but are simply not cut out for that kind of work. On the other hand, many goals which may may seem impossible at first are attainable if we are willing to work long enough and hard enough. As we develop the ability to choose our motives as well as our goals, i.e., to have free will in the truest sense of the term, it is up to each of us to decide how practical or how idealistic we want to be.


Recently, I have been suggesting to hypnotized clients that they are being transported to an alternate universe where time and space do not exist. After orienting them to this universe and inducing emotions which are as pleasant as possible -- i.e., "dissolving  into an ocean of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love," we suggest the following: "with practice, you will be able to feel this kind of fulfillment whenever you put your whole self into working towards a goal you have chosen. As you think about achieving the goal ahead of time, you can believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening! And with practice, you will be able to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail!"  

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!" The changes which they are reporting in their lives seem to bear this out.  It's too early for any hard data, as we have just begun to use these techniques. But we would like to invite you to join us in exploring these fascinating new realms of experience, and sharing with us in the thrill of discovery.  

 References
Gibons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2008). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. In Ruhe, J. W., Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Assn.
Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016) Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available

 
  






Sunday, May 14, 2017

What is Hypnosis and How does it Work?

But O! Beamish nephew, beware of the day
If your Snark be a Boojum! for then
You will softly and silently vanish away
And never be met with again.
--Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark

If you are looking for a scale to measure the existence of a "hypnotic trance," and to correlate the degree to which one is "hypnotized," as measured on this scale, with the success of hypnotic treatment, no such test is in existence, and it is doubtful that one ever will be constructed. The journal Science recently published an article stating categorically that no reliable physiological correlates of the hypnotic trance have yet been found.

The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (Shor & Orne, 1962) is modeled after the experimental approach originally begun by Clark Hull (1933). It contains a script consisting of a light hypnotic induction, followed by a list of twelve suggestions in increasing order of difficulty, from "easy" ones which almost anyone can pass, to more difficult items such as the inability to shake one's head "no" when challenged, or amnesia for most of the test items until after a prearranged signal has been given. Since its initial publication in 1962, the test has been used in dozens of studies all over the world, in order to give us a greater understanding of individual differences in suggestibility.

In a typical administration, in a class setting of about thirty people, there are there are from one to three high responders who obtain a perfect score of twelve on the test, one or two people who are just sitting there with their eyes open, looking around the room with a mixture of curiosity and boredom, and the rest manifesting varying degrees of responsiveness in between. Data of this type have been gathered by now at many colleges and universities around the world, and has yielded a great deal of useful information about differences between high and low responders. (I have collected some of it myself.)

Now let's perform a thought experiment. I would like to ask you to imagine that the Harvard Group Scale is being given to a class of introductory psychology students at the American University of Beirut, let us say, when a person dressed in a police uniform bursts into the room and says in a loud, commanding voice, "The city is under biological attack, and a germ cloud is headed this way. Take refuge in the basement immediately and await further instructions!"

Even if such an announcement is a hoax (i.e., a cleverly-designed suggestion) thought up by a dissident student organization to disrupt the orderly running of campus activities, if it were to be conducted in a sufficiently convincing manner, everyone in the class -- including the instructor -- would probably dash for the exits and head for the nearest underground shelter. What happeed to the individual differences in suggestibility which the Harvard Group Scale was supposed to measure? They simply vanished, as everyone took flight!


A high degree of responsiveness to the impostor's suggestions would occur regardless of how an individual student might have scored on the suggestibility test which was currently underway. Notice also that the subjects would probably have been totally involved in the content of the impostor's suggestions: trembling, feeling frightened, weeping, crying out in alarm, and so on. In human society, suggestion appears to be causally related to experiences as diverse as falling in love,coming under the sway of a totalitarian dictator,being saved in a revival meeting,or turning into an animal (transmogrification),as practiced in Native American culture. Individual differences in responsiveness, if they exist. do not seem to attract much attention.,

Hypnotizability, however, does seem to be related to suggestibility as it is measured on the Harvard Group Scale. But even here, if the standardized testing conditions are departed from. individual differences seem to vanish or be considerably diminished. Many practicing hypnotists will assure you that in clinical settings, these measured differences are less than reliable. Once their doubts and fears have been eliminated by an appropriate pre-hypnotic talk, some people respond to hypnosis poorly, most people respond to some extent, and a few others respond extremely well. A number of techniques have been developed to "hypnotize the un-hypnotizable" by convincing the low-responders that they too have been hypnotized.When this is done, they not only respond better on suggestibility tests then those who have not accepted this idea, but they also respond better in therapy (Lynn & Kirsch, 2006).

Regardless of whether the induction takes you up, down, or sideways, you're hypnotized if you think you are!  I use this kind of suggestion-enhanced experience in my psychology practice every day in order to facilitate the acceptance of subsequent therapeutic suggestions which are accepted more easily because the induction has made them more credible..
Print References
Hull, C. (1933). Hypnosis and Suggestibility. New York: Appleton-Century.

Shor, R, E., & Orne, E. C. (1962).Harvard group scale of hypnotic susceptibility, Form A/Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

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

Progressive Relaxation Hypnotic Induction and Deepening

Assuming that you are already familiar with a standard progressive relaxation hypnotic induction and deepening, the following script may be used on your cell phone to keep you from losing your place as you improvise your delivery to suit the partner's responsiveness. This also makes for easy transition to the following script for a transformational voyage to the Multiverse and back. (I've been using progressive relaxation inductions for more decades than most, and I still prefer to switch back and forth between the eloquence of a script and the informality of an improvised approach,)
Induction
Just imagine that it’s a nice, spring day, and that you’re lying on a soft woolen blanket, on a sandy beach, by the side of the ocean. If you accept each detail of the situation as I describe it, without trying to think critically, your imagination will be free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there.
I’m going to count from one to ten, and by the time I get to the count of ten, you’ll be resting comfortably in a deep, sound state of hypnosis. So just relax, and listen to my voice as I begin the count from one to ten.
One . You can feel the warm sand beneath the blanket on which you're lying, and you can feel the gentle breeze blowing across your body, cooling you to just the right temperature, so that all you want to do is just keep drifting, and dreaming . . . and floating . . . on . . . and on . . . and on.
Two . You can hear the sound of the waves gently
crashing upon the ocean shore. You can hear the sound of the gulls in the distance, and you can savor the freshness of the pure salt air, as you feel a heavy, relaxed feeling coming over you. You can feel your  arms relaxing, you can feel your legs relaxing, and you can feel your entire body relaxing completely. As I continue to count, and continue to talk, every word that I utter will carry you faster and deeper, faster and deeper, down and down, into a deep, sound, peaceful state of hypnosis.
Three . . . You can feel your entire body relaxing now . . . relaxing deeper and faster, and deeper and faster, all of the time.
Four . 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 peaceful, and the more relaxing,
and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.
Five . Sinking and relaxing, and sinking and relaxing, deeper and faster, deeper and faster, all of the time. Relaxing so very deeply now that you can just let yourself go completely, as you continue drifting down and down, into a deep, sound, blissful state of hypnosis.
Every word that I utter is carrying you faster and deeper, faster and deeper, down, and down, and down. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go, and the more peaceful, and the more beautiful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.
Six . Relaxing so very deeply now, as you continue drifting on and on, into a deep, sound sleep, a deep, sound sleep.
Seven.  Sinking down and shutting down. Sinking down and shutting down. Sinking down and shutting down, shutting down completely.
Eight . And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go. And the deeper you go, the more peaceful and the more relaxing and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.
Nine. Sinking down, and shutting down. Sinking down, and shutting down. Sinking down, and shutting down. Shutting down completely.
Ten. Very deeply drifting, in a deep, sound state of hypnosis. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you are able to go. And the deeper you go, the stronger the effects of my words become.
Deepening
Now, as you continue sinking deeper with every word that I speak, and with every second that passes, you can imagine, or picture in your mind, a clock dial, with no second hand and no minute hand on the clock, just an hour hand. And the hour hand is set at twelve.
I’m going to move that hour hand back, one hour at a time, until it’s all the way back to one. And with each hour that I move the hand back, you’ll go twice as deep as you are right now, and you’ll feel twice as good as you do right now.
There is no end to the depth of experience you can have in deep hypnosis.There is no limit to how good you can feel, and to the benefits you can obtain from it. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go . And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more peaceful and the more wonderful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes. So just let yourself go completely now, as I move the hour hand back, one hour at a time.  
And now I’ve moved the hour hand back  from 12 to 11, and you’re sinking down twice as deep as you were before. And the deeper you go, the more easily you are able to become aware of your Future Self  -- of the person you are becoming.
And now I’ve moved it down to 10,  and you feel twice as deep and you feel twice as good. But there’s never any sense of strain or overload, for the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the deeper you go, the deeper you’re able to go. And the deeper you go, the more  enjoyable the experience becomes.
And now I’ve moved it down to 9. Twice as deep, and feeling twice as good
. As I lead you deeper and deeper into hypnosis, your Future Self -- the person that you are becoming -- will provide you with all the guidance and support that you need, in order to free yourself from the problems and limitations that have been holding you back. This guidance will enable these problems to be solved in just the right way, and at just the right time, for you to keep whatever is of value to the person that you will become, and to release and eliminate whatever needs to be released.
8. Twice as deep, sinking down and down, and feeling twice as good, as you allow  your Future Self to handle all of your problems in the outside world in the healing light of your future.  
7. Twice as deep yet again, and feeling twice as good yet again.
6. Deeper yet. Notice what that does, and notice how good you feel. And imagine how good you’re going to feel, when we get all the way down to one
5. Twice as deep, yet again, and feeling twice as good yet again . . . . deeper . . . and deeper . . .And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go . . . and the deeper you go, the deeper you are able to go . . . and the more beautiful, and more wonderful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.
4. Deeper . . . deeper . . . deeper . . .
3. Twice as deep, and feeling twice as good . . .
2. Deeper . . . deeper . . . deeper . . .
1. Infinitely, and unbelievably deep, and continuing to go deeper with every word that I speak .