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.

Translations Available

This blog is now available in several dozen languages. By entering the name of the desired language in the box which appears in the space below, any page you visit will have been automatically translated into the language you have selected. You can scroll down to view the most recent entries in chronological order, or you can view the most popular entries in the column on the right. By scrolling down the right-hand column, you can also see a list of all the previous entries.


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.

Search This Blog

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Defeating Obsessive or Racing Thoughts

Behind all humor there is frequently a grain of truth. I occasionally tell my clients that If their mind leads them in unwanted directions, picture a stop sign and try the following technique of thought stopping, and then go back to  the auto suggestions they were using originally.

My co-author Kelley Woods suggests the following:

"A bit gentler technique comes from mindfulnesss meditation,Imagining those thoughts as like leaves...drifting from a tree...into a gently flowing stream of water...going to wherever thoughts go when we don't need them anymore.
If more is needed, we can focus on the colors, shapes, smells, sounds, textures and even count those damn leaves!
If even more is needed, I may ask a client, "What would you like to do with those leaves?" I've received some novel suggestions!"

Whether you are trying to fight intrusive thoughts during hypnosis, or when you are trying to go to sleep, or if you are obsessing over a lost relationship, the harder you try to fight such thoughts the more power they have over you. The author of one book on intrusive thoughts put it this way. Try to go for five minutes without thinking of a carrot. Don't think of carrots in a salad, don't think of carrot juice -- and especially, don't think of Bugs Bunny! See how far you get!

Thought stopping will often be effective when you can replace the brief interlude of quiet it provides to turn to more pleasant alternatives as you lose yourself in hypnosis, or in sleep, or in your daily activities, and it is used for such purposes in cognitive-behavioral therapy. But if it doesn't work for you, then stop it and use Kelley's technique!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happiness is More Than Just Being Happy

Happiness is not an end in itself. It's  a by-product that occurs as a result of other things going on in your life. Here they are:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Helpful Links for Life Managment

Here, in no particular order, 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. If the links do not work on your computer or handheld, you can go to the blog address,, and enter them.

I hope you find them useful!

How to Avoid PTSD and Panic Attack

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 Have a Great Conversation

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 Cure for Existential Depression

False Beliefs that are Driving You Crazy

False Perceptions that are Driving You Crazy

Activities which Help You Get Off the Merry-Go-Round

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

Overcoming the Effects of Emotional Trauma, Sexual Abuse, and Rape

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

Surviving Rape, Emotional, and Sexual Trauma

This tape and those which follow at the end of it feature survivors of sexual abuse, rape, and other forms of emotional trauma. Painful as they are, it is useful to hear these stories first-hand from survivors themselves, not only for tither survivors, but also for parents, friends, and relatives of people who have undergone this type of abuse, in order to help to better understand how to deal with it constructively.

When there is adequate family support, survival and recovery are much easier. In the following tape, Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and held prisoner for several years, tells the story of her ordeal and her recovery from it..

See also the following book, which is available here as a pdf file at no cost:

A Parent's Gide to Helping a Daughter Who Has Been Raped


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Poetry: Sending Words nto Battle

Anxiety and depression are tlike a flat tire. If you don't fix it you aren't going anywhere. However, they are he most common psychological problems which most people have to contend with in everyday life. Inspirational poetry, as illustrated by the following examples, can often provide the battle cry which enables us to continue the fight when all seems lost. More information can be found at the Websites of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and the Institute for Poetic Medicine


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thought your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings:
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it. . . .

                                                    --Rudyard Kipling


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Meditation for People Leading a Dog's Life

"The world is too much with us, late and soon.
Getiing and spending, we lay waste our powers."
-                                          William Wordsworth, 1807

Meditation has many applications -- even if you are "leading a dog's life!" By experiencing one minute a day of mindfulness meditation some significant changes can occur in your life, because the effects begin to multiply as the one minute meditations become a more frequent part of your life. You will feel more calm, resilient, creative, clearer thinking, focused and peaceful without detatching yourself from liife or interfering with other actifvities. Motivation is not therapy, howeverl and it cannot serve as a substitute; but it still has many useful applications. For example,when combined with other applications, meditation can be helpful in the management of chronic pain.

You can do this one minute meditation with eyes closed or eyes open. If you choose to have your eyes open in the beginning, I suggest you focus your eyes on something that has little meaning such as a doorknob or a speck of dust on the floor. If you are driving, you can use stopping for a red light as a cue to practice your one minute meditation by focusing on the red light until it changes.

Your focus of attention during the meditation is the experience of your breathing in and out. You will focus on some aspect of your breathing that feels natural to you, such as your chest moving, the feeling of air moving through your nose or mouth, your belly moving, your shoulders moving, or any aspect of breath that feels comfortable and natural. As you breathe out, relax any lightness in your body. During the one minute you will likely experience your mind having shifted from focusing on your breath to focusing on something else such as your thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, memories, conversations, movements, and/or other things. You may suddenly notice sounds you had not noticed before. You may find yourself reviewing conversations that you had earlier, or you may find yourself solving problems that you have been working on,or you may notice tensions in your body that come into awareness. When you notice that your awareness and attention have shifted away from your breath, you will mindfully, gently, calmly, and peacefully return your attention to your breath, just noticing the distraction without pushing it away or taking it in, or evaluating, judging, or getting involved in the distraction. Just gently and lovingly return your attention to your breath. You may find yourself doing this from 10 to 100 times during your one minute meditation. Eventually you will find that your "meditation muscle" gets stronger and there are fewer distractions. The distractions are normal and are part of the nature of our minds. Thoughts are like clouds in the sky. If you just notice them without trying to push them away or analyze them, they usually just pass away. The mindfulness practice will eventually bring you more peace, compassion, joy and calm for yourself and for others. 

Don't expect immediate results. The purpose of meditation is not to turn you into master overnight. Meditation works best when it is done for its own sake, without becoming attached to results for their own sake.