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 (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.

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Sunday, February 24, 2019

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),  

Kelley Woods recently e-maied 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."'
I invite you now to join us 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.







To the Citizens if the United States from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

In light of the dysfunction of the current American political process and the inability to govern yourselves, We hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up' revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.) Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy). Our  Prime Minister, Theresa May, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

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1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary')

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2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U. S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'
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3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

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4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you are not ready to shoot grouse.

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5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public

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6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

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7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

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8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

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9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

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10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

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11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies

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12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

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13. You must tell us whether or not your President is criminally insane. It's been driving us mad.

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14. An internal revenue agent (i. e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

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15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season. 

PS: Only share this with friends who have a good sense of humour
(NOT humor)!

Friday, February 22, 2019

How to Hypnotically Induce Mystical Experiences at Will

(An earlier version of this posting was published in the Swedish journal, Hypnos, 2004, Vol. XXXI, No. 2, pp. 89-93).

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. In working with clients such as these, 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.

People of many different religious traditions have attested to the life changing potential of mystical and transcendental experiences involving the experience of 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).
Mother Theresa (now Saint Theresa) had a mystical experience while she was still in her teens, and spent the rest of her life trying to re-capture it. But you don't have to closet yourself away and spend years in meditation, which may or may not be effective. With high-responding hypnotic clients who are willing to to undertake the journey, we are able to induce these types of experiences practically at will (Gibbons & Woods, 2016).

A 58 year old retired English teacher and mother of five grown children recently had been divorced after a marriage of forty years and came to me for help with depression. She was spending the greater part of each day in bed, with the blankets drawn up over her head. She was taking antidepressants, but they did not seem to help. 

Early in the course of therapy, she mentioned that when she was about sixteen, she had a mystical experience: "I could step beyond the ordinary world of reality, and I felt totally loved." I asked her if she would like to re-visit this mystical experience in hypnosis as a way of getting over her depression, and she immediately agreed.

She responded very well to hypnosis. I regressed her to her earlier mystical event, and told her that we were going to make it even stronger using hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience. I suggested that we were reaching down into her vast, untapped potential for feeling happiness and joy. This happiness and joy was flowing out from the innermost depths of her being in many different ways and on many different levels, like water from a hundred secret springs. As these feelings continued to flow without limit, they were healing and cleansing every muscle and fiber and nerve of her body, driving out all of the worry, and all of the stress, and all of the care that she had ever felt, and leaving her glowing from head to toe with such an intensity of happiness that she could not bear it if she were not hypnotized.

She remained outwardly impassive as I continued in this vein, emphasizing that this happiness was greater and more intense than anything she had ever hoped for, dreamed of, longed for, or imagined. To further emphasize its strength, I suggested that when she returned from hypnosis, she would not be able to bring all of this intensity back with her, because it would be more than she could bear in the everyday state of consciousness in which we live and move and have our being. But nevertheless, it would transform her life, and turn each new day into a thing of wondrous beauty.

Her depression lifted within two more sessions. Because she was a Buddhist, it was easy to frame her mystical experience as evidence that true happiness comes from within. She no longer remains in bed all day, and frequently goes out to go shopping, play cards, or visit with friends. Her demeanor is pleasant, relaxed, and cheerful. She is continuing to come in for monthly sessions in order to keep her orientation focused on the positive aspects of life, and as a means of continuing her personal and spiritual development.

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. From the first glow of anticipation to the enduring treasures of fondest memory, suggestion provides us with a brush with which it is possible to paint upon the canvas of human experience virtually any masterpiece we may desire. 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 provides a systematic, comprehensive framework for maximum involvement and effectiveness of experiential learning (Gibbons & Lynn, 

The theme and content of such experiences should be determined by the needs and preferences of the client, with the goal of providing reassurance, strength, and encouragement.

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.

The Best Me Technique would appear to possess numerous other potential applications. Good results have been reported using the Best Me Technique to enable experientially gifted clients to experience now, and in intensified form, the rewards which would not normally be theirs until a goal has actually been attained, thereby eliminating the need for "will power" or external environmental incentives (Gibbons, 2003).Sexual relations in multimodal trance between committed partners who respond well to suggestion can take on near sacramental qualities as the lovers consecrate themselves to one another anew (Gibbons & Woods, 2016).  

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 the Multiverse and inducing emotions which are as pleasant as possible -- i.e., "dissolving  into an ocean of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love," we are then able to provide suggestions such as the following: "with practice, you will be able to feel this kind of fulfillment whenever you put your whole self into working towards a goal you have chosen. As you think about achieving the goal ahead of time, you can believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening! And with practice, you will be able to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail!"  

Experientialism is the philosophical theory that experience is the source of knowledge. It is indeed an honor to work with the imaginatively gifted among us; for they are truly "the bearers of the light," which all humankind will one day follow.
  
Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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.) 

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 Hopkins University 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.

Phillips, B. D. (2006) Experimental approaches to interactive drama involving experiential trance. Journal of Interactive Drama, 2(1), pp. 21-55.

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, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner-Routledge. 






Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The BEST ME Checklist for Designing Comprehensive Hypnotic Suggtstions

We all try to compose our suggestnos as carefully as possible to completely involve our hypnosis partners in their content. Once we have done so, the BEST ME Technique can serve as a final checklist to ensure comprehensiveness. . (Gibbons & Woods, 2016). 

The Best Me Technique utilizes the simultaneous involvement of Beliefs, Emotions, Sensationand physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations, to involve one's entire being in the content of s suggested experience. Taken together, the elements of this technique form the acronym, BEST ME (Gibbons & Lynn, 2008), and may be summarize itd as follows.

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.

Here is a case example. I was working with a client who has PTSD, stemming primarily from previous sexual abuse by her husband. She married him on her eighteenth birthday in order to get away from home. He was from South America, and he only stayed married to her long enough to get his Green Card to become a U.S citizen. He would watch pornography morning, noon, and night; and when they did have sex, it was "all for himself," as she put it.

After a spree of wild promiscuity induced by anger at her husband, ("World, here I am!" she once said to me, in reference to this period in her life). she began living with a pilot who was several years older than she was, with whom she had fallen in love. But, every time they got emotionally too close for comfort, it would trigger her previous trauma. She would turn hostile and pick a quarrel, nagging him endlessly until they would briefly break up. 

Using the Best Me Technique to provide suggestions to induce a higher state of awareness I provided suggestions as follows:

B. In this higher state of consciousness and in this higher level of reality, focus the power of your mind to recapture and concentrate into one single moment, all of the love that you and your lover have shared in the past. If you can believe in it you can believe it, and if you can believe it you can make it happen!

E Now,  multiply  this love 10 times over. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening!

S, Concentrate this love and send it  to him like a laser beam. Feel it now, flowing into every fiber and muscle and nerve of his body and feel him beaming it back to you.  Believe it will happen, expect to happen, and feel it happening!

T His love for you is now so great that it is impossible for him to be romantically or physically or emotionally attracted to anyone else.

M.  Your fears of abandonment have been eliminated, and you are able now to surrender yourself to loving him totally and completely, in body, heart, mind, and spirit.

E. Whenever you and he make love in the future, you will be so intensely aroused and so highly responsive that it will fulfill you as a woman more deeply than anything you have never known before. Let yourself believe in it with every ounce of strength that is in you If you can believe in it, you can believe it; and if you can believe it,  you can make it happen!

After the suggestions described above, I provided an opportunity for my client to mentally make love to her boyfriend, while I remain silent to protect her privacy and allow her to imagine every detail of the experience herself, in much more intimate detail.

No matter how freely they discuss the intimate details of their lovemaking, there are still certain explicit details which they might prefer to remain private. The following application of the Best Me Technique allows a client to pave over previous experiences which have inhibited their ability to completely let go during the most intimate moments of the act of love:

The client had told me that she is especially fond of making love in the woods behind the house which she shares with her boyfriend. After the foregoing suggestions were given, I would proceed as follows:

 B. Now the scene is changing once again, and you and your lover are all alone in the woods. He has brought a blanket with him, and he and spreading it out on the ground so that you can make love under the stars.

 E. We are going to use this passion to pave over all of the thoughts that have been bothering you Believe it will happen expect it to happen, and feel it happening.

 S, as the night slowly passes, you Join. so çompletely in  mind, and body and spirit that you have become one in every sense of the word. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening.

 Now I will stop speaking for a few moments so that you can guide the rest of the experience yourself.

 [After about a five-minute pause;]

T. Finally, as the sky above you begins to lighten, you sink back exhausted with joy, The intrusive thoughts you may have had in the past have been completely covered over by the power of your love,  and you are truly one in body, heart, mind, and spirit.

 M  You will have neither the energy nor the inclination for thoughts of   any other type of release; for your fulfillment here as a woman [or a man]  has led you to joy beyond your wildest dreams

 E. Each time these hypnotic experiences are repeated, they will become more vivid,more desirable, more intense and more fulfilling.

The client reported that these suggestions were effective in ending their pattern of frequent quarrels resulting in a temporary breakup whenever their emotional relationship became too intense. She referred to the current portion of their relationship as a "honeymoon." The last time I saw her, however, she said that the old fears had surfaced once more.

I suggested that this time, she and her boyfriend would be making love in a parallel universe, in which the stormy and traumatic events which she experienced during her adolescence and early adulthood never happened. 

She is employed as a flight attendant, and on this latest visit she had to leave her phone on because she was on call for the upcoming Thanksgiving week end. Halfway into the self-directed portion of the experience, her phone went off. She gave no indication of having heard it. I apologetically spoke to her, and she opened her eyes as if being awakened from a nap. The caller turned out to be her brother. "We have twenty minutes to respond," she told me, and decided to turn the phone off for the remainder of the session.

"Now you can go all the way back into hypnosis, very rapidly," I said, and began an abbreviated progressive relaxation induction to take her back to the portion of the experience where she was making love to her boyfriend in a parallel universe, and directing the experience herself.

A few seconds into this induction, she giggled suddenly. I stopped and asked her what was the matter. She sad, "I didn't know I could go all the way back there so fast. WHEEE!" We both laughed, and I completed the induction. She later reported that the experience was highly effective. When I last heard fromher, she and her boyfriend were looking for a houwe in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania -- near a school!

References

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2008). Hyonotic 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: Explorations in the Multiverse. Amazon Books 




Keep your Shirt on, Dude. WE are the Champions!

Today's heresy is tomorrow's orthodoxy. Nothing is more exciting (you can see hints and murmurs of it in all sorts of places) thsn to watch the world getting ready to think thoughts quite different from those it is at the moment quite openly proclaiming.

It would be foolish to assume that evolution came to a screeching halt when the first bipeds truly deserving of the name homo sapiens made their appearance. We have been learning to use our brains in new and exciting ways ever since; but.we frequently need the services of a hypnotist in order to show people how to make use of these emerging mental abilities when they are at variance with everyday experience. For example, here is an illustration of the power of suggestion spread it imitation in musical hypnosis.


It is indeed an honor to work with the hypnotically gifted who dwell among us; for these highy evolved individuals are truly "the bearers of the light," which all humankind will one day follow.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Hypnosis in Native American Culture


Transmogrification is the hypnotic ability
to turn oneself into an animal.
Many imaginatively gifted people freely change the imagery and content of experiential theatre to suit themselves as they go along, in a style which often reflects their own needs and preferences. For example, I once had a client of Native American ancestry who was seeking a source of strength while she was going through a rough divorce. After I hypnotized her using imagery of relaxing on the beach, she told me, “The beach imagery was working, but I decided to change it. Instead of lying on the beach, I saw myself as a little girl, lying between the roots of a large tree that I used to play under.”

I asked her if she would like to feel herself becoming part of the tree and absorbing strength from the earth beneath her, instead of from her own untapped potential, and she agreed. She agreed, and suggestions were provided as follows:
Now I would like you to imagine yourself as a little girl again, playing beneath the roots of that large tree, If you accept each detail of the scene as you describe it to yourself, your imagination will be completely free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there. So just allow all your awareness of the present to grow dim now, as you feel yourself transported backwards in time. You are drifting backwards now, all the way back to the time when you were a little girl, playing between the roots of that large tree.

Now, you are becoming fully aware of yourself as a little girl again, resting between the roots of that large tree. Imagine yourself beginning to cuddle up beneath the roots of the tree, and feel how pleasant it would be just to become part of the tree, feeling as safe and as secure if it was your mother. Feel yourself merging with the tree now, and drifting off to sleep beneath it. As you do, you can feel yourself becoming part of the tree, reaching down through the roots to draw into yourself feelings of peace and calm. Great waves of perfect, infinite, boundless peace and calm are flowing into you from the innermost depths of the Earth.
“That was better,” she told me later. “But while I was beneath the tree, and before I joined it, I turned into a series of animals first. There was a wolf, and a mouse, and a moose, and a crow, and I think there were one or two others.”

At the start of our next session, I asked her if she would like to use the tree imagery again, and she agreed. “Don’t go through all the animals, though. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.” She completed the induction procedure, after first mentally turning into a crow (which was her personal power animal) on her own before merging with the tree.

If hypnosis is viewed as a form of experiential theater, turning into a tree or an animal (transmogrification) need only be suggested  in order for sufficiently imaginative people to develop a sense of strength and empowerment as an eagle soaring over valleys and mountaintops, or to de-stress by cavorting among a school of dolphins as if they were one of them. Numerous other applications, using imagery derived from the animal kingdom or from other aspects of nature, are also possible.




Sunday, February 17, 2019

Were You Saved or Were You Hypnotized?



If you don't respond well to suggestion,
then you won't have a "Salvation" experience.
And if you don't have a "Salvation" experience,
then no matter what ELSE you do, you won't get into Heaven!

Carrollton, Georgia, is a small to medium-sized city located approximately fifty-five miles west of Atlanta. It is regarded by both students and townspeople as being part of the "Bible belt," and most (though certainly not all) of the churches in the area had a Fundamentalist Christian orientation. Fundamentalists take quite literally the scriptural statement, "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2: 8-9). The "salvation sermon" first leads the prospective convert to feel the tremendous burden of guilt which one bears for one's past misdeeds and failure to repent; and this is followed by a great wave of joy as the convert feels his or her sins being "washed away" and is "born again" as a "new creature in Christ."

This salvation experience, however, is not considered to be voluntarily attainable, since it is the result of  "grace," or the unmerited favor of God. Should an individual seek to join a particular Fundamentalist congregation merely because one is convinced of the truth of Christian teachings, many members would be inclined to doubt that he or she is truly a member of the "elect of God" and, not being able to have such an experience, is probably fore-ordained to burn in Hell regardless of what kind of life one may be leading.


From a scientific point of view, it may be postulated that the degree to which an individual is able to have a salvation experience such as the one described is a function of the degree to which that person is suggestible, and that there is therefore a direct relationship between the ability to be "saved" and the ability to be hypnotized.After giving a questionnaire to our high and low responders on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (Shor & Orne, 1962) concerning the nature of their personal religious experiences, we found that there was no significant relationship between hypnotic susceptibility and a previous change in denominational preference, or between susceptibility and the perceived religiousness of one's father. However, the low-susceptible subjects were less likely to perceive their mother as being moderately religious or deeply religious. Compairing high- and low-susceptible "saved" Protestants with high- and low-susceptible "unsaved" Protestants, the "saved" group contained significantly more subjects who were highly susceptible to hypnosis.


In follow-up interviews, the reasons for the differences between high and low-suggestible subjects became glaringly apparent. The high susceptibles said things like, "I began to feel a warm tingling glow inside of me. The next thing I knew, I was down in front of the altar, and I was crying," or, "It was like the Hand of God came down and touched me. I felt so happy. I never felt joy like I felt it that day." But when the few low-susceptibles who indicated that they had been "saved" were asked about their experience, they said things like, "I had been going to that church for about six months, mainly because my girl friend went there, but I never 'went forward.' Then one day the preacher accepted all those who had accepted the Lord to put up our hands, and we both put our hands up and that was it" 
 (Gibbons & DeJarnette, 1972).. .

 Reference


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

  

Are YOU a Captive of Circumstace?


It isn't what happens to you, but what you believe about what happens to you, that is the cause of doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. .

Ingrid Betancourt was a candidate for the presidency of Columbia when she was kidnapped by rebel forces and held prisoner in the jungle for six years under extremely brutal conditions. In the following TED Talk with English subtitles in small print at the bottom of the frame, she tells the story of how she was able to resist her captors without being broken by them. Ms, Betancourt's courage in the face of terrifying circumstances conclusively proves that we do not have to be overwhelmed by the environmental forces which hold us captive, as she explains in the following TED Talk.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Hypnosis for the Relief of Pain

By heightning and enhancing our internal
states, we can learn to manage
the experience of pain.
William James, in his book, Varieties of Religious Experience, related the account of a French Hugenot woman who was being beaten for her religious beliefs by six other women armed with sticks.   After her ordeal, she wrote that she was so overwhelmed with the thought that she was being beaten for Christ that she felt nothing: "In vain the women cried, *We must double our blows; she does not feel them, for she neither speaks nor cries.' And how should I have cried, since I was swooning from happiness within?

As Susan French has pointed out, ". . .everything that we do [as hypnotists] has to do with directing attention from thoughts and perceptions that have negative effects to more positive states and perceptions. What results is not only changing a habit of thinking but creates the release of brain/body chemicals that support the state where the attention rests." By heightening and enhancing our internal states, we can have experiences which we are not capable of in everyday life, but which are just as "real" to us -- if not more so -- than if they were, with predictable effects on our personal lives.

I recently had a client who suffered from chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder from a near-fatal automobile accident. He had been prescribed several pain medications, which were not always effective. I saw him weekly at his home. I used a traditional hypnotic induction, using suggestions of deep-muscle relaxation, followed by repeated deepening combined with suggestions of anesthesia and well-being, with post-hypnotic suggestions that the effects would continue. I also taught him self-hypnosis in order to prolong the effects of these suggestions between visits. He reported generally good results with these procedures, but he still needed his prescription medication. Even then, he stated that the inductions were sometimes not completely effective in removing all of his discomfort.

One day, his wife said to me, "We sure could have used you last week, Doc. Nothing seems to be working, and the pain is as bad as ever." I knew I had to devise an especially effective induction, so I told them about hyperempiria, indicating (as a "waking suggestion") that was a new and especially powerful technique which would enable him to experience higher states of awareness while his body remained asleep, thereby focusing his mind more effectively on the suggestions I provided. He was interested, and eager to try any new procedure which might bring about greater relief.

As the induction proceeded, I asked him him to picture himself relaxing deeply in the basket of a large balloon, which was about to lift off. As the balloon began straining at the ropes which held it, his body was sinking deeper and deeper into a deep, sound sleep. And as the balloon began to rise, his consciousness would rise along with it, until he entered hyperempiria. I elaborated upon this combined induction until he appeared to become highly involved with my suggestions, and then proceeded with my suggestions for healing and pain control.

The client later reported that his pain had considerably lessened. I showed him how to include autosuggestions for hyperempiria into his self-hypnosis routine, and his wife subsequently told me, "I often see him going upstairs in the middle of the day, and when I ask him where he is going, he tells me, 'I'm going for a balloon ride!'"

The client and his wife have remained in occasional contact. In our most recent telephone conversation, two years after hyperempiric suggestions were incorporated into his self-hypnosis routine, the client reported that although some pain sensations remained after taking his medication, the combination of prescribed medication plus hypnotic and hyperempiric suggestions together provided the greatest amount of relief.


  
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.