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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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

How to Conduct a Non-Deceptive Séance


To borrow a line from Charles Dickens, “One thing must be clearly understood, or no good can come from this story I am about to tell.” Our brain constructs our own reality! We construct this reality out of what William James called the “buzzing, blooming confusion” of raw sensory input, which bombards us from every direction. Since no two people have exactly the same experiences, what we believe to be “out there" is actually an individually constructed parallel universe which only approximately intersects with those of others.

In accordance with the teachings of post-modern constructivism, my job as a therapist is to help clients to construct a reality that will help them to live better lives, regardless of the reality that I may construct for myself, since each person's reality is equally valid  

"Maryanne" was the last of six children in a rigidly conservative Catholic family. All of her brothers and sisters had gone to Catholic school, and those who wanted to had gone to college. By the time Maryanne was born, there was no money left for private education. so she went to public grade school and graduated from high school with no prospects of going further. 

Shortly after she was married, she incurred serious spinal injuries from a fall an icy sidewalk, which resulted in her having to see a pain specialist and take medication for the resulting chronic discomfort..

Her mother wanted to keep Maryanne by her side instead of leaving to get married as her other children had done, so she encouraged her to become emotionally dependent.

Her father, on the other hand, scolded her incessantly, in the mistaken belief that he could "shock" her into being highly motivated if he nagged her intensely enough. Instead, she developed s number of stress-related physical ailments including ulcers, migraine headaches, and chronic constipation.

When she finally did go to work, her boss was bullying and sadistic. Once when she.had mistakenly ordered a shipment of several cartons of supplies delivered directly to her desk instead of to the office, her boss forbade her to move them out of the way for several days, and made her climb over them in order to get to her desk.

After she was married, she still lived close enough to her parents to go home for lunch. Her mother would hold her and soothe her to give her courage enough to return to her job every afternoon, until she was finally fired because she could not put up with her demanding boss any longer and her work had begun to suffer.


She had married a man with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, in the expectation that they would be able to help each other with their health problems. He had developed a chronically sarcastic outlook which was well within her emotional comfort zone because it unconsciously reminded her of her father. To make matters even worse, shortly after she was married, she incurred several serious spinal injuries from a fall on icy pavement which required her to receive ongoing medication and treatment by a pain specialist.

On her first visit to my psychology practice, four years after her mother had died, Maryanne showed me a picture she had taken on her cell phone of household clothing piled inside her bathtub because she did not have the energy to put it away. Fortunately, her new husband liked to cook, and he did most of the grocery shopping. But the matter of household chores was clearly her responsibility.


Maryanne responded very well to hypnosis and was amnesic for most of the sessions. However, no matter how much I tried, I was unable to help her to summon the energy to clean up her messy house.

One day, she was discussing her desire to go back to work in order to help with the family finances, adding that she would have to clean up her house first before she could ever consider doing that. She also mentioned how depressed she was, and how much she missed her mother, who had died four years previously. Her father was also deceased.

It occurred to me that she might be unconsciously using the condition of her house as a wall to prevent her from having to look for a job. When I was about to hypnotize her, I told her confidently that this time we were going to give her all the energy she needed. "Are you going to take the place of my mother?" she asked, which tended to confirm my suspicions.

I could not actually take the place of Maryanne's mother, of course; but if she could re-experience her mother holding and soothing her just as she had done in real life, I would not need to.

In Victorian times, there was a great interest in contacting the spirits of departed loved ones by means of a "séance," in order to obtain reassurance and advice, which was usually communicated by a series of rapping sounds while the participants were holding hands. The practice died out, however, when the source of this rapping was revealed to be produced by trickery.. Nevertheless, the widespread popularity of séances had revealed a deep yearning on the part of many people for this.type of experience.

After hypnotically guiding Maryanne through a rainbow of pleasant emotions and coming to the pot of gold at the end of it, I suggested that this was the gateway to Paradise, where she could contact her mother and pour her heart out while being comforted and soothed, much as her as her mother had done while she was still alive. 
As our sessions continued, I soon discovered that these experiences were much more effective if I  suggested that she was able to join her mother in a parallel Universe, where she was able to experience the actuao reality of her mother's actual presence.

Many modern physicists now believe that quantum mechanics implies that there are multiple copies of us living in an infinite number of parallel Universes. Since Maryanne's brain constructs her own reality, any hypnotically induced contact with her mother in a parallel universe would constitute a non-deceptive séance, since it would perfectly match at least one of the possible sets of circumstances in which her mother is currently still alive.. 

This type of reassurance appeared to be all that Maryanne needed in order to regain her former self confidence, clean up her house, and  begin looking for a job.

Was she really talking to her mother at the gateway to Paradise or in a parallel universe? As a post-modern constructivist, I have no right to say that the experiences which I have constructed for myself are any more "real" than the ones which she has constructed for herself. In most situations, I am perfectly content, therefore, to help my clients to construct  a set of beliefs which enables them to lead happier and more effective lives as they themselves interpret them. 

Considering the depth of pent-up longing experienced by many grieving relatives who yearn to contact their loved ones once more, as the Victorians have amply demonstrated, this opportunity to experience a non-deceptive hypnotic séance would appear to be a potentially useful application of hypnosis. However, one must be careful not to ask leading questions, in order to insure that the hypnotic realities constructed by one's clients are truly their own, and not a projection of the hypnotist.  Finally, it should be noted that the effectiveness of the hypnotic suggestions in acting as a catalyst for permanent change primarily depends upon the personality and unique characteristics of each individual client, rather than how the suggestions themselves are worded.


Monday, July 29, 2019

How to Learn Self-Hypnosis at Home

You can easily  learn the basics of self-hypnosis at home and free of charge by reading this instructional article on WikiHow. It describes the use of the BEST ME Technique to combine Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations, in order to more fully involve oneself in the content of a suggested experience. I use it with the clients in my psychology practice, both as an introduction to the experience of self-hypnosis and for use between therapy sessions as a training and practice aid. According to the statistics available at the site, with the help of several co-authors, it has been viewed almost 1-1/2 miillion times since I first wrote and posted it.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

"Covert Hypnosis" and "Ambush Hypnosis:" It's Mostly a Hoax, Folks!


In spite of the numerous advertisements encouraging you to learn how to do just that, don't just sidle up to someone at the mall, or someone who is asleep, and try to hypnotize them on the sly!

Though not impossible, it is extremely difficult to hypnotize someone without their prior knowledge and consent. Although covert hypnosis (sometimes referred to as "ambush hypnosis") can work occasionally with an unsuspecting person who is caught by surprise, much more often than not, people will catch on to what you are trying to do. They will either laugh at you, or become angry for insulting their intelligence, and/or suspect that you have an ulterior motive and report you as a suspicious person -- that is, if they don't decide to take the matter into their own hands.



Monday, July 22, 2019

The "Law of Attraction" is FATALLY FLAWED!

The central theme of the book, "The Secret," is that we create our own reality by "the law of attraction." If we send forth positive thoughts, then we attract positive events to us; and if we send forth negative thoughts, then we attract negative events.

Whatever an individual's thoughts can attract, a group's thoughts should be able to attract too. If we really do create our own reality by sending forth positive or negative thoughts, then this effect should be apparent not only in individuals, but also in groups, in historical trends, and in society as a whole. But it isn't!

I have listed below some comments which my friend Roy Hunter reports as being made to individuals who are suffering from cancer and other maladies which should also operate according to "the law of attraction," and taken the liberty of constructing a reply to them. 
  • What did you do to attract cancer in the first place? What about all those people who get cancer because they are living in an area where there is a high level of carcinogens in the environment?
  • You have a disease consciousness. The Black Death killed between 75 and 200 million people, between 1348 and 1350. What could all those people have been thinking that caused such a plague to so suddenly descend upon them?
  • You must have a karmic debt to pay off.  If you have read The Diary of Anne Frank, you will have a good idea of the kind of person she was. Now consider the fate of Ann and others like her as they lay covered with lice and dying of hypothermia in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. What did they do to bring this upon  themselves?
  • Why can’t you create enough faith to be healed? Age is a wasting disease. And the survival rate for this particular disease is zero. Has anybody crated enough faith to get out of that one?
  • Don’t you know smoking will kill you? With 99% of the same genes as our closest simian cousins, the chimpanzees, and over a century of experimental research to back them up, most psychologists agree that short-term pleasure is often more important than long-term consequences in determining our behavior, particularly when it comes to matters of addiction.
  • Fat people are out of control. An African journalist recently stated that her greatest surprise in coming to the United States was to discover that in America, thin people are rich and fat people are poor, since in her own country the reverse is true. If this is the case, how can weight be a function of one's personal discipline rather than one's culture?
  • You have a poverty consciousness. The CIA World Factbook lists the United States as twelfth in per capita income, behind such nations as Norway and Hong Kong, yet most Americans are inclined to think of themselves as the richest nation in the world. If we create our own reality, why are we not in first place?
  • "Get out of the victim trap!" Try telling the survivors of Stalinist tyranny who were imprisoned in Siberia that they shouldn't have been thinking so negatively about their situation that it caused them to end up there.
  • Why did you create this problem? The CIA World Factbook lists the United States as fifteehth from the top in infant mortality compared with other nations. Explain to the parents of the babies who died because they were not given better medical care what they or their children did to create this problem.
  • What is God punishing you for?  If God is keeping quiet about His reasons, then what is the point of punishment?
  • If “The Secret” is not working for you, then you must be doing something wrong.  Maybe so!  On a recent radio interview show featuring a leading theoretical physicist who was commenting upon the latest discoveries in his field, a questioner asked him about the "law of attraction." He forcefully criticized the promulgators of this belief for misleading people, and assured the caller that the universe simply does not work that way. Perhaps what people who subscribe to this false doctrine are "doing wrong" is believing in "The Secret" in the first place!
Of course there can be negative and self-destructive attitudes within the personality which interfere with the successful accomplishment of a goal, and which contribute to the development of psychosomatic conditions. But their causes and effects are well-documented in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and have nothing to do with "The Secret!"

Friday, July 12, 2019

Poetry: Sending Words nto Battle

Anxiety and depression are tlike a flat tire. If you don't fix it you aren't going anywhere. However, they are he most common psychological problems which most people have to contend with in everyday life. Inspirational poetry, as illustrated by the following examples, can often provide the battle cry which enables us to continue the fight when all seems lost. More information can be found at the Websites of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and the Institute for Poetic Medicine

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thought your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings:
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it. . . .

                                                    --Rudyard Kipling

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.