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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Monday, July 31, 2017

Quanrum Theory, Entanglement, Parallel and Alternate Universes



The following video is the most instructive one I have yet seen on the topic of alternate and parallel universes, the multiverse, quantum entanglement. The fact that is has over five million downloads is what first caught my eye, and now I can see why. It features physicists from world-famous institutions making their points so clearly that practically anyone can understand them. If you have an hour to spare and would like to catch up with thie exciting new developments in quantum physics, I heartily recommend iit!

The video also illustrates the conceptuall framework for the book which I wrote with Kelley Woods entitled, Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.)   (Gibbons & Woods, 2016)


 


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Is Hypnosis Concealing 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 imaginatively 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. 

For centuries, determinists have been saying that we do not have a free will. We feel free to make choices in accordance with our motives, but we do not choose the motives themselves. In other words, the issue is not, "do I choose?" but "do I choose to choose?" By using the Best Me technique to ensure comprehensiveness, it becomes possible for this imaginatively gifted group pf individuals to pre-experience the rewards of distant goals now, in the present when they are most important for motivation, vastly expanding our ranges of choices regarding which motives to strengthen, making it much easier to live up to the goals and ideals which evolution has enabled us to construct, but which we have frequently found it difficult to achieve, due to what is often referred to as a lack of "will power.".  And, since some cosmologists, Stephen Hawking among them, now believe that everything that can happen actually does happen, it is not necessary to restrict oneself to possible outcomes in this universe. You can selectively sample from the best moments of every parallel lifetime you can possibly conceive of, speed-walking on the path of enlightenment,  and you can directly explore the joys and wonders of the Multiversse itself, ti pave the way for all humannkind to one day follow.

Multimodal Suggestion for Facilitating Meditation and Prayer


(An earlier version of this article appeared in HYPNOS, 2003, 31(2), pp. 89-93, under the title, "Multimodal Suggestion for Facilitating Meditation and Prayer." Reprinted by permission.)


"Thought will live when the stars grow cold
And mix with Deity" -- Emerson

Considering the variety of suggestions which may be accepted by sufficiently responsive individuals (Shor & Orne, 1962),  it may be hypothesized that suggestions will be actualized more easily if they are formulated in such a manner as to systematically and comprehensively involve several different modes of experience. The Best Me Technique utilizes the simultaneous involvement of Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations, for greater involvement and effectiveness. Taken together, the elements of this technique form the acronym, BEST ME, and may be summarized as follows (Gibbons, 2001; Gibbons & Lynn, 2008)..
Belief systems which orient an individual to person, place, time, and events may be suggested as being different, allowing the participant to mentally transcend present realities.

Emotions may be enriched, intensified, weakened, or combined with others.

Sensations and physical perceptions may be suggested and experienced with an intensity approaching those of real events.

Thoughts and images may be created and guided in response to explicit or indirect suggestions.

Motives may either be suggested directly or implied as a consequence of other events.

Expectations may be structured concerning the manner in which the participant will look forward to and remember suggested events which will occur in the future, and the manner in which suggested experiences will subsequently be recalled and interpreted in memory.
Hyperempiric suggestions may be administered in any order, each of the aforementioned categories may be employed as often as necessary, and each step in the procedure may incorporate elements of the others. In the latter case, the label applied to each step refers to the dimension of experience which is being given the greatest emphasis. For ease of illustration, the suggestions contained in this article have been provided in the B-E-S-T-M-E order. In actual use, hyperempiric suggestions may be administered in any order and repeated as often as necessary, with modifications which contribute to the total effect, much as one might repeat the verses and choruses of a song.

Mystical and Transcendental Experience Mediated by Suggestion

People of many different religious traditions have attested to the life‑changing potential of mystical and transcendental experiences involving contact with a consciousness beyond one's own. In one study of the Fundamentalist Christian experience of salvation, for example, subjects readily attested to both the personal reality of the experience and its subsequent influence upon their lives, although such experiences did not seem to be universally attainable and did appear to be related to the ability to respond to suggestion (Gibbons & DeJarnette, 1972; Gibbons, 1988).

Many clients approach life from a primarily religious point of view. Such believers -- particularly those who are elderly, infirm, or who have experienced a number of personal tragedies -- may experience a "dark night of the soul" (Peers, 1990) as they struggle to deal with the stresses of life without access to sources of experiential spiritual support for their beliefs.However, Glasner (1955) refers to several purported uses of suggestion and hypnosis in Scripture to encourage and inspire the faithful, concluding, "Although it is impossible to state with any definiteness that hypnosis is referred to in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) and in the Talmud, there would seem to be considerable evidence that the authors of these works were indeed familiar with phenomena which we today should call hypnotic or which we should explain in terms of suggestion" (p. 39).

From the standpoint of the therapist who is well-versed in the techniques of hypnosis, experiences of this type may easily be made available to clients who desire them and are sufficiently responsive to suggestion. Such experiences should be determined by the needs and expressed preferences of the client, with the goal of providing reassurance, strength, and encouragement. It should be of little consequence whether the religious and metaphysical beliefs of the client are shared by the therapist or are in conflict with those of the therapist, or whether the therapist has no theological or metaphysical beliefs at all.

The following BMT suggestions for facilitating meditation and prayer describe a visit to a cathedral. They are not intended to be used as a script, but rather as an illustration of how the Best Me Technique may be used as a template for constructing multimodal suggestions for a variety of similar purposes. They may easily be modified to refer to a visit to a temple, a mosque, an ashram, a shrine, or any site or event which the client may find personally meaningful.

Because of the nature of the experiences to be undergone, an expressly hyperempiric induction, based upon specific suggestions of increased awareness and responsiveness (Gibbons, 1975), may be preferable to a more traditional hypnotic induction based upon expressed of implied suggestions of diminished awareness (Bányai & Hilgard, 1976; Gibbons, 1976), although either type of induction may be presented using a multimodal or Best Me format facilitate involvement with the experiences which follow.

After the therapist has become sufficiently aware of the client's needs and preferences through preliminary discussion, and the client understands and fully consents to the experiences in which he or she is about to participate, suggestions may be given in the following manner.

Belief systems. Now, as I continue to speak, you can gradually become aware of yourself standing in front of a pair of large wooden doors, which are the doors of a great cathedral. If you accept each detail of the scene as I describe it, without trying to think critically, your imagination can be free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there.So just let yourself stand there a moment, gazing at the carved wooded doors, as you prepare to enter. [Brief pause.]

Now, as the doors swing open, you first traverse a small area paved with stone, stopping at the font if you desire, and pause before a second pair of doors which leads inside.

Emotions. You can feel a surge of happiness and anticipation as you pass through a second pair of doors and into the dimly lit interior. As your eyes gradually become accustomed to the dimmer light from the stained glass windows, take a moment to look around in wonder at the magnificence of all you see.

Sensations and perceptions. Let yourself breathe slowly and deeply, as you inhale the faint aroma of incense, and listen to the gentle tones of music floating upon the quiet air.

Some distance away from you stands the High Altar, bordered by banks of gently glowing candles. You select a pew and, after pausing to genuflect if you wish, you enter the pew and take your seat or kneel once more.

Thoughts and images. Let your mind flow with the experience, and allow it to fill you to the very core of your being, until you feel as if you are able to hold within your own consciousness an awareness of the entire Universe, and all its beauty. As it does, you can feel yourself gradually becoming aware of the presence of a Consciousness other than your own.

As this Consciousness begins to merge with yours, you can feel the power of an infinite healing energy filling and flooding every muscle, and every fiber, and every nerve of your entire body. And it's as if all of the worry, and all of the tension, and all of the care that you have ever felt are being driven out and replaced by the power of this infinite, unbounded, healing love.

As your own consciousness merges ever more completely with this Infinite Awareness, you feel as if you are able to hold within your own mind an awareness of the entire Universe, and all its beauty ‑‑ infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. And in this sense of total oneness, you are able to freely communicate all your deepest thoughts and needs.

Motives. The experience, as it continues, is providing you with all that you had hoped to obtain from it. The serenity and the peace which you find here will remain with you, as a source of deep inner strength which will enable you to cope much more effectively with all of life's problems.

Expectations. You will treasure the memory of this experience as it meets your needs in the future; and each time you return, you will be able to derive new benefits which will meet your needs even more effectively.

At the conclusion of the experience, the client may be re‑oriented to the present and the induction terminated in the usual manner.

Discussion

Although most of us routinely provide a considerable amount of detail with the experiences we suggest in order to make them more realistic, the Best Me Technique of hyperempiric suggestion provides a systematic framework for incorporating sufficient detail into several major types of experience, in order to make sure that the suggested experiences are sufficiently comprehensive for maximum effectiveness.

Suggestion has previously been found to facilitate the Fundamentalist experience of "salvation" (Gibbons & DeJarnette, 1972). Similar types of "believed-in imaginings" (Sarbin, 1998) may be involved in hypnotically-induced experiences of reincarnation, pre-incarnation, and co-incarnation, which, like religious sacraments, as well as hypnosis itself, may be conceptualized as a form of experiential theater. 

Lawrence (M. A. Lawrence, personal communication, June 27, 2003) reports the successful application of the Best Me Technique with nursing home residents who are dealing with end-of-life issues.  



Recently, Kelley Woods and I (Gibbons & Woods, 2016) 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," and returning them to the present with the lessons of this experience back with them, to enhance their prevailing mood and pave over the emotional effects of all the bad things that have ever happened to them..  

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

Bányai, E. I., & Hilgard, E. R. (1976). A comparison of active-alert hypnotic induction with traditional relaxation induction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 218-224.

Gibbons, D. (1975, August). Hypnotic vs. hyperempiric induction: An experimental comparison. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago.


Gibbons, D. (1976). Hypnotic vs. hyperempiric induction: An experimental comparison.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 42, 834.

Gibbons, D. (1988). Were you saved or were you hypnotized? The Humanist, 48, 17‑18.

Gibbons, D. (2001). Experience as an art form: Hypnosis, hyperempiria, and the best metechnique. San Jose, CA: Authors Choice Press.

Gibbons, D. E. (2003, July). The best me technique for constructing hypnotic suggestions Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the British Societies of Medical, Clinical, Dental, and Experimental Hypnosis, London.



Gibbons, D., & DeJarnette, J. (1972). Hypnotic susceptibility and religious experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 11, 152‑166.


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.) 

Glasner, S. (1955). A note on allusions to hypnosis in the Bible and Talmud. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 3(1), 34-39.

Hammond, D. C. (1990). Hypnotic suggestions and metaphors. New York: Norton.

Heap, M. & Aravind, K. K. (2001). Hartland's Medical & Dental Hypnosis, 4th ed. London: Churchill Livingstone.


Lazarus, A. A. (1989). The practice of multimodal therapy. Baltimore, MD: Johns HopkinsUniversity Press.

Lazarus, A. A. (1997). Brief comprehensive psychotherapy: The multimodal way. New York:Springer.

Peers, E. A. (1990). Dark Night of the Soul. New York: Doubleday.

Sarbin, T. R. (1998). Believed-in Imaginings. New York: Barnes & Noble.

Shor, R. E. & Orne, E. C. (1962) Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.


Yapko, M. D. (2003). Trancework: An introduction to the practice of clinical hypnosis (3rded.). Philadelphia, PA: Brunner-Routledge.


 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to Make Psychic Ability Work for You


If I had not had a similar experience with this book in my own life, I wouldn't put this up here. 

I begin with a brief tape of a series of interviews with Phyllis Diller, in which she discusses the effect which The Magic of Believing, has had on her life. Following this are videotapes containing all eight parts of the book itself, with commentary.

Bristol's genius lies in the fact that he makes no reference to religious or philosophical concepts, nor does he use the word "psychic." Since all religious traditions employ some form of the magic of believing, then the magic of believing clearly does not "belong" to any one of them.  It is an ability  which we all possess, and is a form of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience.  
Good listening!


(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)




Although Mr. Bristol makes no reference to theology, and neither does he refer to any philosophical concepts, you're welcome to bring your own if you want. Phyllis points out that this is apparently what they did in creating the book, The Secret, which emphasizes "the law of attraction:" that merely thinking positive thoughts will supposedly attract positive events to you, and negative thinking will attract negative events. But for Bristol, all you actually have to believe is the goal that you have chosen. If you can believe in it -- deeply and sincerely enough -- you can believe it. And if you can believe it, you can make it happen!


The Magic of Believing, Part One:


(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)



Believing works -- but don't confuse beliefs with percptions. I may believe that Benecia is still the Capital of California, for example, even though it was moved to Sacramento many years ago; but all the belief in the world will not change a fact that has already happened. Believing, as Bristol is using the term, refers to an active force deep within us, which acts upon the environment to bring about the result which your belief has created.

Even here, you shouldn't overdo it. My degree is in general experimental psychology, and I taught classes in statistics for many years. Random events do happen, and the laws of chance are just as valid as any other physical phenomena. Specific things don't just happen because of some "law of attraction" which is the result of your broadcasting negative or positive energy --  unless you will them to! We all have a natural tendency to view events which occur together as causing one another, but this is not always the case. If you discover one morning that you have a flat tire, is it because you have been sending out negative thoughts, or because the juvenile delinquent next door decided to work out his hostilities? 


The Magic of Believing, Part Two:


(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)


One method of insuring that your entire being is involved in the content of a visualized experience is to use the Best Me Technique of multimodal suggestion, which utilizes the simultaneous involovement of Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and Images, Motives, and Expectations.


The Magic of Believing, Part Three:


(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)



Today, some sixty-five years after The Magic of Believing was written, most brain researchers  now agree that we have two ways of looking at a problem or situation: the step-by-step, verbal, logical approach, and the holistic, intuitive, approach. However, one method is not superior to the other. In sizing up a situation, sometimes we need to look at the trees and sometimes we need to step back and look at the forest. Our brain allows us to do both! 


The Magic of Believing, Part Four:


(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)



Social scientists are familiar with the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A run on a bank is often used as a good example. if enough people believe that a bank is going to fail, they all rush to take their money out -- and the bank does fail, but only because this belief was so strongly and widely held that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy; for without such a belief, the bank would have remained financially sound. Many successful salesmen owe their careers to the fact that their belief in themselves helps to see them through tough times, and provides them with the sincerity and conviction to convince wavering customers. But is there something more to the magic of believing than the conviction that which causes events to happen simply because they are self-fulfilling prophecies? Claude Bristol thinks so -- and so do a lot of others!



The Magic of Believing, Part Five:


(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)


If we can picture a goal in our mind and believe that it is already ours, using repetition and pictures to engage the holistic power of the right brain,  this allows us to also experience the rewards of that achievement now, in the present, when they are most needed to motivate us to bring it into being, without having to rely on "will power" to drive us onward. This process involves the use of a special kind of creative meditation which, like all other forms of meditation, is a skill which requires constant practice if we are to make the most of it.


The Magic of Believing, Part Six:


(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)



In addition to looking in the mirror to give yourself positive autosuggestions, I recommend using either self-hypnosis or meditation, both of which prepare the mind for receiving autosuggestions, and both of which have been shown to be highly effective over time, provided that the goal is a properly chosen one which you can truly believe in.


The Magic of Believing, Parts Seven and Eight:


(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)



There is an old saying, "Be careful what you wish for -- you may get it!"  Even if you are certain at the beginning that the goal you have chosen is one that you can believe in with your whole heart, when you get there you may find that it isn't what you wanted after all. Instead of giving up and allowing doubt to intrude, change the original goal or find a new one!
                                    


See also:




Monday, July 24, 2017

Psychological First Aid for Anxiety, Depression, Fear, and Loneliness


You can 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 and how you perceive what happens to you that causes you to be unhappy. The following lists may be viewed as a kind of "psychological first aid" for getting to the root of these false beliefs and false perceptions, and for taking positive action to keep them from coming back. They are not intended to serve as a substitute for counseling or therapy; but for many people whose concerns do not go beyond the ordinary, everyday frustrations that plague us all, they may be all that is needed.   

1. 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 for failure and disappointment ahead of time. They are all false, but many of us are inclined to at least occasionally believe them, at least part of the time. You can get rid of these irrational ideas by showing them how to recognize and eliminate them.  

2. The Greek philosopher Epictitus said, "Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them." This is a list of obsessive ways of looking at things, which might be clouding your view of the world.  

3. Robert Louis Stevenson said, "The world is so full of such a number of things, I am sure we should all be as happy as kings." Here is a list of activities which can help to strengthen the bond between your friends or romantic partner.

 4. Difficulties with forgiveness, whether of yourself or others, frequently lie at the bottom of all the types of negative thinking just mentioned






Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Ultimate Art Form: Humn Experience Itself!


My co-author Kelley Woods (Gibbons & Woods, 2016) recently posted the following entry on a hypnosis discussion forum: "Yesterday I took a young teen who is on the autism spectrum to a parallel universe where he is free from feeling self-conscious about tics. He moved through the color bands of the rainbow, gaining various gifts and then viewed a series of crystal balls in which he observed his life...from birth to present and into the future. He left my office tic-free, floating on air! His last words as he went out the door: 'The Multiverse rules!'" 

The human imagination is so powerful that with a little technical assisgtance, a gifted conductor can take an entire audience out of this world using the power of music itself, with immediate effect. In the following video, Watch the faces of the people in the audience as Andre Riehu plays Beethoven's Ode to Joy (the Anthem of Europe), because they known what's coming:




As hypnotists, we can do even better. Confucius said, "Telll me and I may forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand." Multiversal suggestion enables us to paint upon the canvas of involvement almost any masterpiece we may desire, using what will surely is destined to become the ultimate art form -- human experience itself!

 Reference
 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.) 

 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Enchanted Cottage: An Induction for Children


 "For as long as we stay here, in this enchanted cottage,
            even my words will be ehchanted."
As +Kelley Woods has pointed out, young children have no trouble instantly changing themselves into a monster or a fire engine, especially when parents encourage this kind of imaginative involvement. The following induction was originally written for children, but I later found that it was a favorite with the college students in my graduate hypnosis courses at the University of West Georgia. Perhaps we don't learn to become high responders in hypnosis. We un-learn it!
Just sit back, and close your eyes, and I am going to tell you a magic story. It is a story about a very special place, deep in an enchanted forest, where everything I tell you will come true. . . Imagine now that we are walking together down a long, winding path which runs through the middle of a large woods. We are walking along, early on a bright spring morning. Birds are singing in the trees, and here and there a flower is poking its head out of the soft, green grass which grows beside the path. And because this is a magic story, the farther we go along the path, the more real everything around us becomes. 

Now and then a ray of sunlight makes its way down through the branches of the trees and falls upon the dewdrops in the grass, causing them to sparkle like a million tiny diamonds. The air is fresh and cool, with gentle breezes blowing now and then, causing the trees, and the grass, and the flowers to move ever so slightly, as if everything in the world were feeling so happy on this bright spring morning that nothing could keep still for very long. . .

And because this is a magic story, the farther we go along the path, the more real everything becomes. . . As we continue on our walk, we can begin to be aware of the sound of rushing water. With each passing second, the sound is becoming clearer and clearer still. And now we are standing beside the bank of a forest stream, which is the source of the sound we have been hearing.

The water is flowing past us swift and clear, for it has come tumbling down from a magic spring many miles away in the hills. And because the water from the magic spring is enchanted, anyone who drinks it will be enchanted too. And anyone who is enchanted in this way will be easily able to find that special place, deep in the magic forest, where everything I say will come true.  

We dip our hands eagerly into the bubbling stream and cup them together, bringing the cool, fresh water up to our lips again and again, until we have drunk all that we want. . . Now it is time to hurry on our way once more; for the water from the magic spring has made it certain that we will soon find that very special place in the enchanted forest, where everything I tell you will come true; and we know now that it cannot be far away. 

As we continue on our journey, we notice a tiny path leading off to one side, and we decide to go up this path to see where it leads. Before very long, we notice that the woods are beginning to thin out, and that we are about to enter a clearing. And as we approach nearer and nearer to the edge of the clearing, we can see that the path we have been following leads right up to a small cottage. . . This is that very special place I have been telling you about, where everything will come true. For as long as we stay here, in this enchanted cottage, in the enchanted forest, even my words will be enchanted, and everything I tell you will happen exactly as I say it will.  

The door to the cottage is standing slightly open as we hurry up the path, and as soon as we reach the entrance we hurry on inside in order to lose no more time. We have arrived now, at that very special enchanted place in the enchanted forest which we have traveled so far to reach. And as long as we remain here, in this enchanted cottage, everything I say and everything I describe to you will come true as soon as I have said it. For as long as we remain here in this enchanted place, even my words will be enchanted. 
  


Print Sources 

Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form. .New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Press).

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. 

Hypnosis, Murder, and the Power of Suggestion

Hypnosis doesn't make us any more virtuous 
than we already are!.
The possibility of using hypnosis to commit a crime has long been the object of speculation, some of which is humorous and some which is deadly serious. Here's an example of how society teaches that there is a penalty if you violate a moral code -- specifically, the prohibition against using hypnosis to commit a murder. (The possibility that you could is taken for granted.) In the following cartoon, Wylie E. Coyote decides to do just that. Notice how he helplessly glances at the audience once he realize his impending demise as the result of his actions.


video

Is it really possible to commit a crime such as murder by means of hypnosis?  


In one well-known laboratory experiment, subjects were hypnotized and told to throw acid in the face of the experimenter (who was protected by invisible glass), to pick up poisonous snakes (which were actually harmless), and to shoot the experimenter with a gun (which had been loaded with blanks). A significant minority of the hypnotized volunteers complied. A few years later, however, the experiment was repeated, using both hypnotized subjects and a control group of subjects who were not hypnotized -- and about the same number responded, whether hypnotized or not!


Hypnotists often tend to pay too much attention to the specific suggestions they have given instead of the total situation of what is going on. For example, imagine that you are a student in introductory psychology, taught by Prof. Snarf, who asks for volunteers in a psychological experiment. You accept the invitation, and are given a hypnotic induction, followed by the instructions to pick up a beaker of acid and hurl it in the experimenter's face, to pick up poisonous snakes, or to shoot the experimenter with a supposedly loaded gun. Would you  really believe that a reputable scientist would let you commit a murder as part of a psychological experiment? Or would you be inclined to believe that because you are ordered to do these ridiculous things there must be a reason for it other than the one that was given, so you might as well go ahead and do as you are told? Some people, at least, choose the second option (Sarbin & De Rivera, 1998), 
Dr. Martin Orne coined the term demand characteristics to refer to this tendency of a subject in an experiment to act in the way that the subject thinks one is supposed to behave, rather than simply reacting to the instructions in themselves.

But there is another factor at work. Research by Milgram (1965) on the effects of obedience, revealed that about a third of his experimental of subjects were willing to turn a dial which purportedly increased the voltage of an electric shock to the point that it appears that they are administering a potentially lethal dose. The implication (which seems to be borne out by history, from Stalin to Hitler to Saddam Hussein and many others) is that an evil "authority" can sometimes seize control of a society and find enough followers who are willing to obey orders that they can keep the rest of the population under control.

Most of us would agree that a hypnotic induction does not make us any more virtuous than we were before. Obeying a command to perform an immoral act after an induction has been given, therefore, is likely to have been brought about by the fact that the hypnotist was perceived as a sufficiently credible authority figure to absolve people of legal and moral responsibility for their actions, as was the case with the compliant subjects in Milgram's experiments, or the willing henchmen of tyrants throughout history. 

That's how Hitler did it. He didn't use an induction because the Party faithrul had already accepted the suggestion that he was their Fuehrer, whose words were to be followed automatically and without question. In the following short speech with English subtitles, Hitler boasts to his cheering followers that from its earliet beginnings, the aim of the Nazi Party was to become the only power in Germany, and that he has successfully annihilated all political opposition. At the conclusion of Hitler's speech, Deputy Fuehrer Rudolf Hess declared Hitler's power to be absolute with the additional suggestions that the Party was Hitler, and Hitler and Germany were one -- with disastrous consequences, as the world was soon to learn.






See also: Is Hypnosis Dangerous? Some Hypnotists Are!


Print References

Milgram, S. (1965) Liberating effects of group pressure. Journal of personality and social psychology2, pp. 127-134.


Milgram, S. (1983) Obedience to authority. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics.


Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (1998),  Believed-in imaginings: The Narrative Construction of Reality (Memory, Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Helpful Links for Self-Improvement and Stress Management


Here is a list of links to some of the Blog entries which are most frequently used by my psychology clients. When you clck on a link and it takes you ro rhe Blog, just scroll down and the post that you have clicked on will come up first.. Then you can repeat this process for each additional link.

I hope you find them useful!

Don G.

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Emergency First Aid for Panic Attcks

How to Meditate Like an Expert Almost Anywhere

Is a Toxic Person Driving You into Therapy? 

How to Select and Strengthen Your Own Motives

How to Learn Self-Hypnosis at Home

How to Manage Stress Using the Best Me Technique

The Ultimate Remedy for Anxiety and Depression

False Beliefs that are Driving You Crazy

False Perceptions that are Driving You Crazy

Cognitive Behavioral Downloads for Clients and Therapists

When You're Just Too Depressed to DO Much

How to Eliminate Late-Night Snacking

How ro THINK Like a Thin Person

How to Control Pain and Suffering

How to Train Yourself Not to be Angry

Here is a link to a procedure which was recorded by my co-author, Kelley Woods. People who respond well to hypnosis can use it to get a good night's sleep. http://virtualrealityhypnosis.org/journeytothemultiverse