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.

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

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Romantic Love and the Power of Suggestion

  

Professor Irving Singer, in a free online MIT course entitled, Philosophy of Love in the Western world, states that romantic love as we know it today was practically unheard of in Western culture until it became popularized by wandering French troubadours eight hundred years ago, and further amplified by the invention of the printing press, which publicized the great works of romantic literature such as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra ("Hark! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the Sun!" or,"Shall I abide in this dull world which , in thy absence, is no better than a stye?*).

With this model held up for all to see, the prevailing expectations of what it feels like to be "in love" evolved in an ever more extreme direction. For many years, one way to write a new hit song was to describe the experience of being in love in more glowing terms than the songs which were popular at the moment. The reviewer of the 1955 movie, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, writing in The Independent on February 8, 2010, stated: "Remember the lyric: 'Once, on a high and windy hill, two lovers kissed, and the world stood still. . . .' It still makes my knees weak."  Today, as products of a culture which glorifies romantic love, we tend to view human experience through these cultural lenses, and choose bits from history which confirm these stereotypes.  


The power of suggestion can do more than simply make you feel weak in the knees. In Victorian times, women were considered to be such delicate creatures that they were expected to faint if the air in a room suddenly became stuffy, or if they were suddenly and unexpectedly kissed by someone to whom they had become attracted -- and many did! 

The effect of suggestion and imitation in producing such a high degree of organismic involvement became dramatically evident shortly after World War II, when the young crooner Frank Sinatra caused legions of teen-age "bobby-soxers" to swoon when he hit his high notes. It is therefore possible to conclude that the experience of "falling in love" as we know it today, and all that goes with it, is also an effect of social modeling and the power of suggestion. 




Suggestion has the power to teach behavior as well as to change it. In 1933, Herbert Blumer found that when moviegoing reached its height, many people said that they first learned how to kiss by watching motion pictures. Many people probably still pick up  a few pointers about how and when to approach a partner for that all-important first kiss, from motion pictures and from television.

Remember Romeo and Juliet, and Antony and Cleopatra? Srarchable data bases of Internet pornography now contain literally millions of submissions, and almost anyone in the world can upload their own contributions to them. The entries are frequently ranked in terms of popularity, so that those which are viewed most often rise to the top. Some of these data bases require no fees, passwords, or proof of age, and are supported entirely by advertising. Will
 today's teen-agers and young adults learn sexual behavior by watching pornography, in much the same manner that people of earlier generations learned how to kiss by watching motion pictures? 
Will traditional notions of romantic love be supplanted by the model of sexual fulfillment which these sources are now holding up for all to see?

If the past is any guide, it would not be unreasonable to expect that the almost unlimited access to free Internet pornography in the twenty-first century will enable imitation and the power of suggestion to modify the way couples both engage in and experience sexual behavior, in much the same way that the invention of the printing press centuries before influenced the manner in which people experience sexual as we know it today  While the exact nature of such chnges is difficult to predict, it is probably safe to say that theywill be different!



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