Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
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The New Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy, LLC

The New Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy, LLC, is located at 675 Route 72 E Manahawkin, NJ 08050. Telephone us at(609)709-2043 and (609) 709-0009.Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72, on the road to Beach Haven West.After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Greater Coastal Realty. Then turn right and go past the Lyceum Gyn. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building. We. are the last office at the end. We accept Medicare and most other major insurance.Weekend and evening office hours are avalable.

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

 
  






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