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 (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.

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Kelley Woods Technique of Virtual Reality Hypnosis

Although millions of dollars are currently being spent on mechanically based systems of virtual reality, this research only deals with physical perceptions, and leaves the remainder of our vast human capacity for experience completely untouched.

Kelley Woods hypnotized a dying client whose minister had been unable to convince her that she was deserving of admission into Heaven, and suggested that she was already there and  bathing in the infinite love of God. With this reassurance, when the hypnosis was concluded her failing body was able to experience a peaceful death (Gibbons & Woods, 2016, pp, 173-180).

I have been using the Woods technique of virtual reality hypnosis with many of the clients in my general psychology practice, who may loosely be included under the description of "the worried well," with dramatic results which are similar to the personality changes which are observed in people who have undergone a Fundamentalist experience of  "salvation" (Gibbons & de Jarnette, 1972), but without the inclusion of specific religious indoctrination.. However, I have decided not to publish a volume of case studies about this  power of virtual reality hypnosis until I have concrete evidence that similar dramatic results have been mire conclusively demonstrated, 

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

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Can Hypnosis be used to Commit a Crime?

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 seems to take for granted that hypnosis is a power which you can use on someone to commit a murder. In the following cartoon, Wylie E. Coyote decides to do just that. Notice how he helplessly glances at the audience once he realize his own impending death as the result of his actions.



Can hypnosis be used as an instrument of mind control? Is it really possible to commit a crime by means of hypnosis?  Laboratory investigations into whether or not hypnosis can be used for antisocial purposes inevitably fall short of the mark, because the situational background is not sufficiently taken into account. 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.

Some years ago, I was asked to testify in the case of a man who had falsely advertised himself as a psychologist and had begun hypnotizing teen-age girls in the area, one of whom subsequently accused him of rape. In order to make its case that hypnosis could be used to compel behavior, the prosecution had pointed to an incident in Eastern Europe several decades earlier, in which a stage hypnotist had handed a man a pistol loaded with blanks and commanded the man to shoot him. The hypnotized subject, who was an off-duty police officer, drew a loaded revolver from his pocket and shot three members of the audience. 

I testified that while hypnosis cannot force people to people do something which is against their moral and ethical codes, it is impossible to conclusively demonstrate in the laboratory whether or not hypnosis could be used to compel anti-social behavior. You could never actually allow such behavior to occur in an experimental setting, or in any kind of staged demonstration, and the subjects know it! But, in what I like to call "the laboratory of life," the results are more clear-cut. Hypnosis in its modern form has been around for over two hundred years; and if you have to go half way around the world and back several decades in time in order to find even one instance of its alleged use in the commission of a crime, then it would be easier to conclude that this individual was psychotic or personality disordered than to conclude that his behavior was the result of the alleged coercive power of hypnosis. If hypnosis could be used in such a manner, by this time its anti-social applications would be well-documented -- in organized crime, in international espionage, by thwarted lovers, and in many other settings. And the evidence simply is not there. 

When a hypnotist is accused of rape or seduction, the problem is not with hypnosis itself, but with the power differential which is inherent in a therapeutic relationship, as it is when the abuser is a person in a position of high status, as was the case with Rasputin, a priest and an advisor to the Tsarina in the court of imperial Russia. This trust must never be abused. The responsibility always lies with the person in authority. It is necessary for the trusted person to maintain strong boundaries and to stop any inappropriate relationships from developing, even if a client displays seductive behavior due to transference, a personality disorder, mental illness, physical attraction or simple intimidation.. A teenager would be especially susceptible to such suggestions; and If he or she subsequently accused the hypnotist of rape, then the chances are, the hypnotist may have abused his or her position of trust and authority in order to have sexual relations with the client, which is tantamount to rape, as we are currently seeing on the news where hypnosis is not involved at all. Therefore, the prosecution's mistake was to attack hypnosis itself, rather than the power differential which the hypnotist (who had falsely advertised himself a psychologist) had abused, 

In would be a serious mistake that we make in situations such as these is to assume that fantasies of seduction under hypnosis occur only to hypnotists and never to their subjects -- in which case, the problem is still not with hypnosis itself. However, if mutual consrnt is not freely given aheaad of time, there is  a very high inxidence of "buyer's remorse," due to the fact that the subject usually has conflicting motives or hypnosis would not be necessary.

Instances such as these tend to be reported in great detail by the media, and are amplified still further by depictions of hypnosis in fiction. Because of the publicity which results from them, there are many people who will not have anything to do with hypnosis .And because these abuses continue to surface from time to time and dramatized by the mass media as illustrated in the foregoing cartoon, the public is probably never going to be won over completely, despite our repeated assurances that hypnosis is perfectly safe when used by ethical and appropriately trained professionals.

(I am grateful to Dr. Annette K. Schreiber for her collaboration and assistance in the preparation of this posting.)

Reference
  
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.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Missing Link to Hypnotically Changing Lives

Why are some suggestions simply rejected out of hand while others only persist for varying lengths of time, and still others have the capacity to change personality and identity, and to alter the entire course of one's life? Regardless of how deeply your client is hypnotized, or how cleverly your suggestions have been worded, we have never been able to completely rid ourselves of this "inconvenient truth." What else is going on that we may nor be paying enough attention to?

I was about fifteen when I discovered Claude Bristol's book, "The Magic of Believing." Bristol's genius lay in his realization that since all religious traditions employ some form of the magic of believing, then this magic clearly does not "belong" to any one of them.  It is a natural ability which we all possess, and is rooted in the perception of reality itself.  

The "magic" of any particular belief or suggestion depends upon the personality and unique characteristics of each individual (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010), as expressed in the degree to which it successfully alters the ongoing narrative of one's life story (Sarbin & de Rivera, 1988). Nowadays, I like to take people to the Multiverse and provide them with individually-designed corrective experiences (Gibbons & Woods, 2016). But Bristol's teachings still provide the underpinnings on my work. While it may seem a bit basic for most professionals who work witrh hypnosis, I still recommend it to many of my clients. Here's a full-length audio version of his book, You can skip around, or read a few minutes at a time, and it will save your place. Good reading!





References

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.



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.

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 eltivr Mu& 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. 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. After entering the Multierse and allowing the infinite love of the Creator to banish all feelings of worry, douobt, self-distrust, fear, and despair, she was returned to the universe from which we left, with the additional suggestions that this was the most wonderul thing that has ever happened to her, and she was well on the way to becoming the happiest woman in the world.

I consider this exercise to be a form of hypnotic meditation which, like other types of meditation, requires regular practice for maximum effectiveness. Her stress-related mograines were due to her toxic work and home environment. Since she is unable to change either jobs or relatives, she has becomre a regular monthly hypnosis client and reports that her life has become much more tolerable and her migraines have vanished.

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.