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.

Translate

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 (609)709-2043 and (609) 494-0009.

Driving directions: Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72 E After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Mill Creek Commons.Then, immedately turn right again and go past the Lyceum II Gym. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building,which will be the only building on your right. We are the last office at the end.

We accept Medicare and most other major insurance.
We do not accept credit or debit cards.

Search This Blog

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Most Effective Way to Use Hypnosis

"Help! I'm a student in Dr. Gibbons' Psychology class!"
When I opened my psychology practice in New Jersey,, one of my first hypnosis clients asked me, "You aren't going to turn me into a chicken, are you?"

"No," I replied. "That's for stage hypnotists." But I did once. And this experience taught me more about the true nature of hypnosis than I have learned from any other single source.


Several years earlier, when I was discussing the topic of hypnosis in an Introductory psychology class, I asked a student who had previously shown herself to be adept at hypnosis if she would be willing to help me illustrate how easy it was to turn a hypnotized person into a chicken. She readily agreed, After hypnotizing her, I told her that I would count backwards from ten to one, and that at the count of one she would have been turned into a chicken.

"You will always be able to hear and to respond to my voice," I continued, "and I will return you to your normal state in a few minutes, before I bring you out of hypnosis. But until I do, you will experience the world exactly as if you had been turned into a chicken. You will remember everything I have said, and it will be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Okay?"


She nodded in agreement, and I counted slowly backwards from ten to one, providing suggestions along the way that she could feel herself changing into a chicken; and at the count of one, I announced that she had become a chicken. "Would you like to open your eyes and walk around a bit?" I asked. She did so, walking slowly as I took hold of her elbow. "Why are you walking like that?" I asked.


"I'm a chicken," she answered in a high, cackly voice, much to the amusement of the class.


I guided her back to her desk, counted from one to ten to restore her usual perceptions, and then concluded the hypnotic demonstration. I then asked her if she had really felt like she was a chicken, and she slowly and thoughtfully nodded in agreement. 


I was not being pranked. She had taken my class in hypnosis, and I knew that she had superb hypnotif abilities.  But if she had really believed that she was a chicken, why didn't she scurry away in fear as soon as I approached her desk? Why did she allow me to slowly walk her around the room, limping slightly instead of struggling to get away, as a real chicken would surely do? Why was she able to understand my spoken question? How was she able to answer it by saying, "I'm a chicken?" And why were the suggestions so easy to undo, as if she understood English as well as she ever did?


We could talk about a "hidden observer" that always knows what's going on and maintains control, no how matter deeply a person is hypnotized, as Hilgard (1974) did. We could talk about "trance logic," which is similar to the logic which is found in dreams, as Martin Orne (1959) did. But why should we infer the presence of any extra mental processes when they are not needed?


What she had actually believed and responded to was the narrative of what had taken place (Sarbin & de Rivera, 1998), She knew that she was a student in my class, and she knew that she had consented for me to hypnotize her. She still had the kind of "Alice-in-Wonderland" imagination which we all have as children, but most of us lose as we become adults. Therefore, she was able to act, think, and feel as if she were a chicken for the purpose of my class demonstration when she volunteered to do so.  


The demonstration was undertaken in the spirit of fun, and everyone understood that. But the transformational effects of believed-in  imaginings can be powerful indeed if they fit into the ongoing  narrative of one's life story.


If hypnosis is believed in imaginings, as asserted by Sarbin & de Rivera (1998), is it easer to tell hypnotized people that they are turning into a chicken, or that they are dissolving completely into the
 infinite, unbounded love of the Creator? What would be the effect of such a suggestion upon the ongoing narrative of a person's life -- especially upon their mental health and their overall level of happiness? I have been using this type of approach with selected clients in my general psychology practice. Here are their stories. Judge for yourself. 

Modern physics has provided us with a model of the multiverse which can be metaphorically accessed by means of hypnosis in order to provide the necessary conceptual framework, as illustrated in the following video by Professor Michio Kaku.


 

Here is an example of how this works in practice. Marie was an attractive, twenty-three year old college senior who had been diagnosed with treatment-resitant bipolar disorder during a one-week psychiatric hospitalization two years before she began treatment with me Her capricious moods had been wreaking havoc with her ability to maintain gainful employment and to keep a satisfactory grade point average which would allow her to pursue her ambition of becoming a clinical psychologist. This caused her a great deal of anger.

During her third session with me, she stated that she was having difficulty following the converstion due to a severe migraine. We had briefly discussed hypnosis during her previous visit, and she had expressed an interest in it.After an induction and deepening, I provided sugestions that she was traveling to the Multiverse through a rainbow of delight instead of through a wormhole, with each band containing a different positive emotion as a means of making these emotions more easily accessible. Suggestions of time distortion were included, so that even though the hypnotic session might have lasted only a few minutes, it would feel as if we had been gone for an eternity.



References
Gibbons, D. E. & De Jarnette, J. (1972). Hypnotic susceptibility and religious experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 11(2), pp. 152-156. 


Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016). Virtual reality hypnosis: Explorations in the Multiverse. Amazon Books 

Hilgard, E. R. (1974), Toward a neo-dissociation theory: Multiple cognitive controls in human functioning. Perspectives in Biology & Medicine, 17(3), pp, 301-316. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Orne, M. T,  (1959), The nature of hypnosis: Artifact and essence. Journal of abnormal and social psychology,  psychnet.apa.org.


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.



Saturday, October 20, 2018

Hypnotic Speed Walking on the Path to Enlightenment

In the hypnoverse, everything that can be imagined  can be called into consciousness and experienced as a real event. You can selectively sample from the best moments of every parallel lifetime you can possibly imagine, speed-walking on the path to enlightenment,  and you can directly explore the joys and wonders of the Multiverse itself (Gibbons & Woods, 2016), where I like to provide the following suggestions:

"As you become aware of the presence of a Consciousness other than your own, you can Feel the power of this infinite loving energy completely absorbing every muscle, fiber, and nerve, and cell of your entire being, with a beauty so intense that you would not be able to bear a fraction of it if you were not hypnotized -- Infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal, beyond all measure of eternity -- infinite, boundless, eternal, and everlasting.  (Pause) In this state of perfect union and total love, you are completely merging with the Creator (or your BEST ME, in its highest and most perfect form).  And all of the happiness, love, joy, wonder, rapture that have ever been felt by all the people who ever walked the face of the Earth, put together, are yours  to enjoy, and yours to be -- now, freed from the limitations of time and space, (Pause) You can freely communicate to this Infinite Awareness all of your deepest needs and longings, and feel them being totally and completely fulfilled.  (Pause) This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you.  It is the complete and total fulfillment of your existence, greater than anything you have ever dreamed of., hoped for, longed for, or imagined, and far, far beyond anything that you ever thought was even possible: infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. (Pause)  

You will not able to bring this intensity back with you, because it would be more than you could possibly bear in the everyday state of consciousness in which we live and move. But the healing effects of this experience will remain with you, turning each new day into a thing of wondrous beauty and paving over the effect of every bad thing that has ever happened to you; for here in the Multiverse, where you will spend Eternity, the total fulfillment of your existence is already an accomplished fact. And as we continue to  return here, to this, your home beyond the stars, it will change your life forever, and turn your whole existence into a thing of wondrous beauty. -- 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."

As the word gets around, my hypnosis clients are beginning to crowd out the other clients in my psychology practice. I noticed this just yesterday, when I was hypnotizing all day long.

Kelley Woods just e-mailed me:
 I'm reading "The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Liberation Through Understanding in the Between" by Robert Thurman, The Dalai Lama, Karma Lingpa, Padma Sambhava and wanted to share this quote with you 
"So, the Tibetan lamas who can consciously pass through the dissolution process, whose minds can detach from the gross physical body and use a magic body to travel to other universes, these “psychonauts” are the Tibetans’ ultimate heroes and heroines."
       Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/a4s5sG"

If you possess the necessary training (Gibbons &Lynn, 2010), I invite you now to join us now in this fascinating pursuit. In the words of Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Abbey Grange, "Come Watson, Come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!" 

References

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). 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.





Sunday, October 14, 2018

How to Make Your Hypnotic Suggestions Permanent

One day, I happened to mention to my ten-year-old daughter that Lenin was her mother's second cousin.

"WHO?" she asked, incredulously.

"Lenin," I responded.

"JOHN LENNON?" she asked.

In my parallel universe, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a major historical figure in the development of Communism:

V. I. Lenin

But in my daughter's parallel Universe, V. I. Lenin did  not exist. John Lennon, however, was as real as a -- well. a "yellow submarine."

Once we have determined the contents of someone's  parallel universe, we can provide corrective experiences which permanently change their behavior  I am fond of quoting a well-known story about a Russian boy who had become shy and withdrawn because his face was disfigured by a birthmark -- until his grandmother told him that this was a special sign from God that he was destined for greatness. Although he did not become famous, he eventually married, had a family, and experienced a much more successful life than he otherwise would have had, were it not for his grandmother's prediction, which had come to function as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If a client with esteem issues has one talent or skill that he or she can do extremely well, we can guide them to experience a parallel Universe in hypnosis where they really shine, and use that experience to alter the narrative of their life story in this one.  I was recently working with a client who was going through several anxiety provoking stresses at the same time. She was also an excellent amateur gymnast, and she would probably have had great success if she had the means to compete at the national and international level. She responded extremely well to hypnosis. 

To boost her confidence and self esteem, I hypnotized her and suggested that she was going to experience the thrill, the exertion, and the triumph of winning an Olympic competition in a parallel universe, and having the gold medal hung around her neck at the end of the ceremony. At the conclusion of the session, she opened her eyes, obviously thrilled to the core, and exclaimed, "Wow! I just won a gold medal!"

She knew that she had done this in hypnosis, but it didn't seem to make any difference. We chatted for a while, and I jokingly mentioned that perhaps I should adopt the motto for our practice that some dance studios use, posting a sign outside which read, "Walk in, dance out." To my surprise, as I watched her leave the office and go down the hallway to the door at the far end, she was dancing!

She later told me that she had no more difficulties in facing her current stressors with resolution and courage.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Having the Will Power That You Need




For centuries, Determinists have been saying that human beings are not free because, although we make choices in accordance with our motives, we do not choose the motives themselves.. Now, we can!

Whenever we have a long-term goal, its rewards are in the future. We attempt to bridge this gap between present efforts and future sources of satisfaction by daydreaming, autosuggestion, "positive thinking," affirmations, visualization, and fantasy techniques. However, these often don't help as much as we need them to, because they don't do enough to involve our 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 the gap between our aspirations and what we are able to do involves the attainment of a major life goal, such as obtaining a college degree or becoming financially secure, the gap between what we aspire to and what we have actually achieved can often be great enough to cause a full-blown existential depression.

In the following video, the renowned physicist Professor Michio Kaku states that modern physics has finally ended the free will debate, because quantum physics at the sub-atomic level is fundamentally random.


Many modern physicists, prof. Kaku among them, also believe that since there is an infinite number of possibilities for any given outcome, then 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 using the technique of mindful hypnosis developed by Kelley Woods and Michael Ellner to project your imagination into a parallel Universe where your goal has already been achieved, you can pre-experience the rewards of this goal with your entire being in hypnosis. This in turn can provide the motivational fuel to continue to pursue the goal you have chosen, no matter how distant or difficult that goal might otherwise appear (Gibbons & Woods, 2016).

The incentive value of mindful hypnosis can be further enhanced by pre-experiencing the rewarding outcomes 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. 

The Importance of Sub-Goals

Lao Tzu 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.

Benjamin Franklin took Lao Tsu's observation to its ultimate conclusion using deductive logic. If you break your goal down into a sub-goal for each year, and then break each yearly sub-goal down into a sub-goal for each month, and then break each monthly sub-goal down into weekly sub-goals, and construct your daily intentions from there, you're on your way!

Kelley Woods commented, ". . .I've started teaching clients to use Mindful Hypnosis for a few minutes a day, several times a day, focusing on their chosen intention of the day. They are seeing the compounded results of having done this after as little as a week of practice." 

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 can be given to increase the enjoyment of goal attainment in general.

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. 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.

The hypnoverse of all possible experiences which may be brought about by means of hypnosis is only theoretically unlimited, as is the multiverse of experiences which constitute our daily lives. But the circumstances in which we presently find ourselves are fixed; and to successfully blend the former into the latter, we must consider the point from which we start. Here is Steve Lynn's excellent summary of how they work together, followed by an illustration of their application in everyday life.. His first sentences deal with the structure of the hypnoverse, and the final sentence refers to their application in the multiverse from which we start.
 . . .how clients respond to suggestions depends less on the nature and success of a particular induction than on the following variables: (a) clients' prehypnotic attitudes, beliefs, intentions, and expectations about hypnosis; (b) their ability to think, fantasize, and absorb themselves in suggestions; (c) their ability to form a trusting relationship with the hypnotist; (d) their ability to interpret suggestions appropriately and view their responses as successful; (e) their ability to discern task demands and cues; (f) their ongoing interaction with the hypnotist; and (g) the appropriateness of the therapeutic methods and suggestions to treating the presenting problem. . . . Accordingly, clinicians should devise inductions and suggestions with these variables in mind and tailor their approach to the unique personal characteristics and agenda of each client they encounter" (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010, p. 289). 
Case Illustration

 A nurse I used to work with in a screening center asked me to hypnotize her to stop smoking, which I was happy to do. She mentioned that one of her high school teachers used to hypnotize her regularly (apparently as a demonstration subject in his classes), so it was clear that she was imaginatively gifted. 

We didn't have time for the usual stop-smoking program that I use, with three visits and all the rest. But, knowing her as I did, it was clear that if she was ready to stop she was going to do so, with hypnosis providing the necessary catalyst regardless of the time and format which were available to us -- so I just gave her the usual stop-smoking suggestions, with the usual repetition and elaboration. As I recall, I told her that her desire to smoke would vanish, that the cues which would normally awaken a desire to smoke would no longer be effective in doing so; that she could not be suddenly surprised by taking a cigarette without thinking of it and, using the BEST ME technique, I projected her awareness In the future to enable her to feel strong feelings of pride, achievement, and accomplishment at the fact that she had become a non-smoker, 

To my consternation, the next day, when I asked her how she had done, and she told me that she had gone home and smoked an entire pack of cigarettes! But six months later, when I casually mentioned something about her smoking, she told me, "Oh, I haven't smoked since the time you hypnotized me."`


"But didn't you go home and smoke up a whole pack?" I asked her.

"Yes," she replied. "And then I stopped."


Having worked side by side on the same unit with her for quite some time, I realized why she had responded the way she did. Her approach to authority was basically confrontational. In her everyday work environment, she made it obvious to everyone around her that, "Nobody's going to tell ME what to do!" So, when I gave her suggestions under hypnosis that she was going to stop smoking, her life narrative required that she had to first go home and deliberately smoke up a whole pack just to prove that I wasn't telling HER what to do. Then, once she had made the point to her own satisfaction, she could comply with my suggestions because she finally had the will to change -- as soon as sh was willing to use it!



References

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). 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.