Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Parallel Universes: Speed Walking the Path of Enlightenment

I once had a Tibetan Buddhist client, who told me that in Tibetan Buddhism you choose your parents for what they can teach you. "I must have had to learn an awful lot," she said. Her diagnosis was dissociative identity disorder,or DID, which was formerly known as multiple personality disorder. "Perhaps she did," I thought to myself, "if it was necessary to get several personalities to work on the problem at the same time."
Experts in the study of dissociative identity disorder tell us that this process is not as strange as it may at first appear. Each separate personality makes its own contribution to the total personality of the individual, to better cope with the diversity of stresses that person has experienced.

Mental health professionals can accomplish much the same thing when clients are facing challenges for which they are are not prepared emotionally  All we have to do is to take our hypnotically responsive clients into an alternate or parallel universe and give them experiences which are meaningful enough to change their life here in this one. And what might those experiences be? Since everyone is unique, you'll have to figure it out each time for yourself, but here is an example.

I was recently working with a client who was going through several anxiety provoking changes in her life at the same time. She was an excellent amateur gymnast, and would probably have had great success if her family had the means to allow her to compete at the national and international level. She responded extremely well to hypnosis; and to boost her confidence and self esteem, I helped her to experience the thrill, the exertion, and the triumph of having the gold medal actually hung around her neck at the end of the competition.

At the conclusion of the session, she opened her eyes and, obviously thrilled to the core, exclaimed, "Wow! I just won a gold medal!" She knew that she had done it in hypnosis, but it didn't seem to make any difference to her. We chatted and talked for a while; and I humorously mentioned that I should adopt the motto that some dance studios use, and post a sign outside which read, -Walk in, dance out!" Much to my surprise, as she left the office and walked down the hallway to the door at the far end,  she was dancing! She later reported that she had no more difficulties in facing her current stressors with resolution and confidence.

I tell my clients straight up that I don't know whether or not they are actually in an alternate or parallel universe or not; but the experience is real, and that's what counts. 

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