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.
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Meet Your Other Hypnotist: Your Self-Talk

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek.
And then when he woke up, it was
The Middle of Next Week!
"The one thing that I regret." he said,
 "Is that it can not speak!"
                           --Nietzche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

What you think to yourself about what is going on while you are in the process of being hypnotized is more important than anything the hypnotist tells you, because it is the voice of your other hypnotist -- your self-talk -- that has your complete trust. Perhaps it might be helpful to re-examine the well-known history of hypnosis from the perspective that there are two hypnotists involved, rather than one. . Perhaps it might be helpful to re-examine the well-known history of hypnosis from the perspective that there are two hypnotists involved, rather than just one. Failure to adequately take  the client's inner hypnotist into account can explain much of the behavior which is currently labeled as the result of a "hypnotic trance." 

Until comparatively recently, in Western culture the experience of trance was interpreted as due to demonic influences or, occasionally, the mark of holiness or sainthood, as it was in the case of Saint Teresa. 


Saint Teresa was a prone to spontaneous
states of ecstasy. 
Although healing by means of trance induction probably dates back to prehistoric times, the revival of interest in the induction of healing trances in Western culture may be traced directly to the work of the Viennese physician, Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815). Mesmer was considerably influenced by the teachings of Paracelsus that the stars and the planets exert considerable influence over human behavior by means of their magnetic fields. He decided to investigate the implications of this theory by slowly drawing some small magnets over the bodies of his patients. This was frequently found to be accompanied by convulsions, fainting, and the disappearance (at least temporarily) of a host of symptoms which today we would attribute to the power of suggestion. But to Mesmer and his followers, the discovery of these new "powers" of magnetism appeared to be an exciting medical breakthrough. 

Mesmer soon discovered, however, that he was able to produce the same results without the aid of special magnets. This led him to conclude that the "magnetism" in question was coming from his own body. He abandoned the use of metal magnets altogether, and simply began to make passes in the air with his hands near the bodies of his patients. He coined the term "animal magnetism" to explain what was happening.

When the demand for his services had reached its height, Mesmer proceeded to "magnetize" a large elm tree on the estate of his patron, the Marquis de Puysegur, a few miles outside of the city of Paris; and great crowds would often gather to stand under the tree, either to derive the benefits if its healing power for themselves or simply to observe the dramatic results which were apparently produced in others.


Events were to take yet another turn when a retarded peasant lad of twenty-three named Victor Emmanuel was brought to stand under the now-famous elm tree, in the hope that the "magnetic rays" which were supposedly emanating from the tree might also be of some benefit to him. As many retardates are apt to do when they are placed in a situation in which they are not quite certain what is expected of them, Victor, though he remained standing, promptly utilized the occasion to avail himself of a quick nap. Other patients standing under the tree, seeing Victor asleep on his feet, apparently perceived this event as merely another result of the strange mesmeric rays emanating from the tree; for they promptly began to feel drowsy and to "fall asleep" themselves, thereby initiating a change in the form of suggestion-induced trance experience which heralded the death of mesmerism and the birth of traditional forms of hypnosis.



Hypnosis immediately became an object of fascination.
By now the role of suggestion in determining both the outward form and inward experience of trance behavior should be obvious. The mesmeric "crises" were brought about by implicit suggestions or expectations arising from the eccentric astrological notions of Paracelsus, whereas the "sleeping" or hypnotic trance was first manifested by people who were imitating the behavior of a retardate, who wast too stupid to realize that he was supposed to go into convulsions and went to sleep instead! An "induction procedure" provides both the occasion and the opportunity for those who are able to respond well to suggestion to go ahead and do so. All the rest depends upon ongoing cultural narratives, explicit or implicit cues which are present in the situation, and the ability and willingness of the participant to comply with the instructions and suggestions which he or she is given. (Gibbons, 1979).

Today, we no longer need to rely upon the model of trance behavior provided to us by a sleeping retardate over two hundred years ago, when much better models are available. A hyperempiric induction is based on suggestions of mind expansion, enhanced awareness, and increased responsiveness and sensitivity, in contrast to traditional hypnotic inductions based on expressed or implied suggestions of lethargy, drowsiness, and sleep. (Gibbons, 1973). Hyperempiric inductions, or "alert hypnosis," has been found to be just as effective as traditional hypnotic inductions in facilitating subsequent responsiveness to suggestion (Bányai, & Hilgard, 1976; Gibbons, 1975, 1976). But this time, we didn't have to wait for another historical accident to come along. I simply made it up!  


I presented a standard hypnotic induction to one class, and a hyperempiric induction, based on suggestions of mind expansion and increased alertness, to another class, and compared the subsequent increase in responsiveness to suggestion between the two groups. There was no statistically significant difference between them -- both inductions had worked equally well. I coined the term hyperempiria from the ancient Greek word for "experience," wrote a book about it, and that was that.

If telling people that they are becoming more alert also works, why not take them completely our of their present environment and into an alternate universe of our own devising, where their self-talk won't know what to say about what is going on?  Recently, Kelley Woods and I (Gibbons & Woods, 2016) have been suggesting clients that they are being transported to an alternate universe where time and space do not exist, in order to allow us maximum freedom to alter the ongoing narrative of a client's life story.


Sources and Citations
                                      
Aaronson, B. The hypnotic induction of the void. Paper presented at the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, San Francisco, October, 1969.

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.


de Rivera, J., & Sarbin, T. R. (eds.) (1998). Believed-in imaginings: The narrative construction of reality (memory, trauma, dissociation, and hypnosis) Washington, DC: American Psychological association.

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. (1974). Hyperempiria, a new “altered state of consciousnes” induced by suggestion. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 39, 47-53.

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. 

Havens, R. A. (2007). Self hypnosis for cosmic consciousness: Achieving altered states, mystical experience, and spiritual enlightenment. Bethel, CT: Crown House Publishing Co., LLC.

Phillips, B. D. (2007). Tranceplay: Experimental approaches to interactive drama involving experiential trance. Journal of Interactive Drama, 2.1, pp. 15-55.


Sacerdote, P. (1977). Applications of hypnotically elicited mystical states to the treatment of physical and emotional pain. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25(4), pp. 309-324.

Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (Eds.) Believed-in imaginings: The narrative construction of reality. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.