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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Monday, June 24, 2019

Do Lovers Hypnotize Each Other?

  


They certainly make use of 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 more 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 occasionally, both from motion pictures themselves and from many YouTube compilations.


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 engage in and experience romantic love as we know it today.

Of course,no form of sugggested enhancement cannot be expected to persist indefinitely without  environmental support.. Anthropologists frequently point out that after a few years, people who marry for romantic love are just about as happy or unhappy as a couple in a culture in which arranged marriages are the norm. If you and your loved one have come to share culturally suggested experiences of rapture, ecstasy, wonder, and delight, only to face a daily  life of bills to pay, appointments to keep, and an endless list of other things which simply have to be done, the strength of your affection will eventually begin to wane, regardless of how intense your attraction  might have been initially. If, on the other hand, you return to an environment in which romance comes ahead of everything else, and the first priority is the quality time you spend with each other, then the joys which you share together as lovers can take on near-sacramental qualities you routinely consecrate yourselves to one another anew, and the honeymoon becomes a permanent way of life.







Sunday, June 2, 2019

False Beliefs that are Diving You Crazy


In ancient Greece, if you were anxious, fearful, or depressed, you would consult a philosopher. The philosopher would probably begin by asking you what you believe about life. When you came to an idea which appeared to be incorrect, he would debate with you until you had cast out this irrational belief. When this was done correctly, your depression, fears, and anxieties would also vanish. 

Just as the Greek philosophers did, you can get rid of these kinds of ideas by debating within yourself until you have cast them out. The psychologist Albert Ellis has put together a list of ten commonly-held irrational ideas which prevent us from experiencing life to the fullest, because they set us up for failure and disappointment ahead of time. They are all false, but many of us have are inclined to believe them, at least occasionally. You can get rid of these irrational ideas by recognizing and eliminating them!



I must be perfect in all respects in order to be worthwhile. Many people are haunted by the nagging fear that "something is wrong with them." Nobody can be perfect in everything that we have to do in life. But if you believe that you're a failure unless you are perfect in every way, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of unhappiness.
I must be loved and approved of by everyone who is important to me. Sometimes you just can't help making enemies, and there are people in the world who bear ill will to almost everyone. But you can't make your own life miserable by trying to please them.
When people treat me unfairly, it is because they are bad people. Most of the people who treat you unfairly have friends and family who love them. People are mixtures of good and bad.
It is terrible when I am seriously frustrated, treated badly, or rejected. Some people have such a short fuse that they can are constantly losing jobs or endangering friendships because they are unable to endure the slightest frustration.
Misery comes from outside forces which I can’t do very much to change. Many prison inmates describe their life as if it were a cork, bobbing up and down on waves of circumstance.
If something is dangerous or fearful, I have to worry about it. Many people believe that "the work of worrying" will help to make problems go away: "Okay, that's over. Now, what's the next thing on the list that I have to worry about?"
It is easier to avoid life’s difficulties and responsibilities than to face them. Even painful experiences, once we can get through them, can serve as bases for learning and future growth.
Because things in my past controlled my life, they have to keep doing so now and in the future. If this were really true, it would mean that we are prisoners of our past, and change is impossible. But people change all the time -- and sometimes they change dramatically!
It is terrible when things do not work out exactly as I want them to.  Could you have predicted the course of your own life? Probably not. By the same token, you can't predict that things are going to work out exactly as you want them to, even in the short term.
I can be as happy as possible by just doing nothing and enjoying myself, taking life as it comes. If this were true, almost every wealthy or comfortably retired person would do as little as possible. But instead, they seek new challenges as pathways to further growth.
Of course, this list does not cover all the negative beliefs which hold us back from becoming the best that we can be. But you can't get very far in life if there is some idea which is preventing you from performing at your best, such as the belief deep down inside that you going to fail, or that you are incapable of success. When we are faced with a daunting challenge, most of us, at one time or another, have the nagging suspicion that we are not up to the task. Whenever you feel a change in mood and you find yourself feeling angry, anxious, depressed, or fearful, you can use a table like this one to write down what was going through your mind at the time, and to figure out how you might be able to see things differently. You can use the print command on your computer to print off as many copies as you need, and keep them handy to change your moods by re-examining and changing the beliefs that got you there.


Additional Links Which May Be Helpful:

A Greek philosopher once said, "Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them." Here is a link to a list of false  Perceptions that are dragging You Down, which make them appear to be much worse than they actually are. After the link has taken you to the Blog entry, scroll down and it will be the first entry that comes to view.  See how many of these thought patterns might be clouding your own view of the world, by causing you to look at life "through mud-colored glasses." If you are inclined to look at things this way yourself, once you recognize that they are not accurate, you can get rid of them as well..


Frequently the negative beliefs and perceptions that are dragging yu down are held by others. The same apprach can be applied to a friend or family member that is driving you crazy.  Here are a few additional tips to use with  a boss that is driving you crazy. 

Sometimes a friend, family member, or boss is difficult to change because they have a personality disorder, or what is populatly referred to as a toxic person, or an energy vampire. Unlesss they can be persuaded to seek psychological help, the best thing to do is iften to stay away from them or at least to recognize them for who they are so that you do not blame yourself for their problems. 

Finally, what you think is also strongly influenced by what you do -- or by what you don't do! In addition to buiilding up youf resistance to stress by getting plenty of sleep, a good diet, and regular exercise, here is a link to a list of activities which can also help you to get escape from the cycle of anxiety, anger, depression, and despair. They can also strengthen the bond between you and your friends or romantic partner when you do them together. If at all possible, surround yourself with positive, upbeat people as you undertake them. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Links


Here is a list of links to some of the Blog entries which refer to cognitive-behavioral therapy. When you click on a link and it takes you to the Blog, just scroll down and the post that you have clicked on will come up first.. Then you can repeat this process for each additional link. If the links do not work on your computer or handheld, 

I hope you find them useful!

How to Eliminate Late-Night Snacking

Being overweight can be caused by a number of factors. When it is simply due to the habit of making bad decisions concerning food, then a cognitive-behavioral approach such as the one described here may be useful. 

A client came to my office requesting hypnosis in order to eliminate his habit of waking up for two hours every night. He was retired, and simply slept later in the morning to make up for the two hours he had lost. We examined all the usual causes: he did not drink too much coffee or tea, there was nothing worrying him, and there did not seem to be any organic cause for his middle insomnia. Finally, he admitted that his real concern was that he was gaining about a pound a month because he would get up and have a snack of cheese and crackers before going back to sleep. Further discussion made it clear that this snacking habit was what was providing the primary reinforcement for his insomnia, and this was what we would have to work on.

Suggestion-enhanced experience does not always have to involve an induction, and experiences enhanced by suggestion need not always be positive ones. Since he did not seem to be a candidate for hypnosis, I instructed him on how to use the Best Me Technique to visualize, or picture in his mind, the cheese and crackers in the refrigerator having spoiled -- but to enhance this image in as many ways as he could imagine, using the grossest possible imagery, in order to totally destroy its incentive value. In cognitive-behavioral terms, this would be described as converting a positive reinforcement into an aversive stimulus. 

The best time to do this, of course, what just after he had awakened in the middle of the night, while he was still lying there before he had arisen to get his usual snack from the refrigerator. Using all six dimensions of the BEST ME Technique, he was instructed to mentally experience the previously-coveted food as having spoiled or become infected with fruit flies, drenched in urine, or floating in a pool of -- well, you get the idea. 

A follow-up telephone call one month later indicated that  practicing this exercise during his periods of middle insomnia seemed to be completely effective. He was no longer snacking, and, except for his usual bathroom breaks, he was sleeping through the night as well.  

You can apply this same technique to eliminate any food from your routine which will help you lose weight. Eating 3,500 calories more than you burn results in a one-pound weight gain. Pick one food that you like, find out how many calories per serving it contains, and do the math. See how many extra pounds that one food will add to your weight during the  course of a year. If you are like most of us, cutting out only two or three such foods using the cognitive-behavioral dieting procedure just described, combined with a little patience, should make your ideal weight goal easily attainable.