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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Thursday, December 26, 2019

A Glitch in the Matrix? How to Create Parallel and Alternate Universes in Hypnosis


Regardless of whether or not parallel universe exist in the reality which we know in everyday life, in the Hypnoverse, the universe of all possible universes in hypnosis, a sufficiently responsive hypnotic partner can easily create a parallel universe by simply thinking it into existence. If they are behaviorally appropriate, the suggested changes can be made comprehensive enough to have a lasting effect on behavior by using the Best Me technique of multimodal suggestion. This involves the simultaneous use of Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and images, Motives, and Expectations, and may be summarized as follows (Gibbons, 2001):

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 orientations to person, place, time, and events.

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 actual occurrences .

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.

The following set of BMT visualizations describes a motivational experience in a natural setting.  It is not intended to be used as a script, but rather as an illustration of how the Best Me Technique may be a template for constructing multimodal experiences for a variety of  purposes. It may easily be modified to refer to bring into existence any event which the client may find personally meaningful. 

Belief systems. You are becoming aware of yourself warmly dressed, standing at the top of a large, snow-covered mountain which slopes steeply downward toward the valley below. Between you and your objective at the foot of the mountain, are barriers and obstacles of many kinds, which have been blocking you from the attainment ,of your goal.

Emotions. You can feel the excitement inside of you growing stronger and stronger, as you prepare to eliminate them all.

Sensations and physical perceptions.  Feel the crisp, cold winter aicr upon your face, and savor its freshness as you inhale. Notice the dazzling whiteness of the snow in the morning sunlight, and feel its soft crunchiness underfoot as your mind absorbs the silence which is all around you, broken only occasionally by the faint stirring of a distant breeze.

Thoughts and images. Bending down, you pick up a handful of snow and start to examine it. Notice how soft and powdery it feels in your hands.  In a way, it is like your resolve has sometimes been ‑‑ soft and powdery, when it ought to have been firm and strong. See yourself packing the snow together in your hand now, and compressing it into a snowball as you add still more snow, packing it down firmly, as you resolve to make your trust and confidence just as firm and just as hard as the snowball itself. See yourself rolling the snowball along the ground, packing into it every ounce of confidence you possess, until it has grown to the size of a boulder.

Motives. As the snowball grows even larger, you can feel your own courage and resolve becoming as hard and as firm as the snowball you are getting ready to roll down the mountainside, all the way down to the deserted valley below.  As you push the boulder over a small ledge and start it on its way, you can feel your trust and confidence growing along with it. As the boulder begins to roll downhill on its own, you can feel your trust and confidence growing along with it as it grows in size  ‑‑ growing and growing, becoming larger with every foot that it travels, until it has become an avalanche, sweeping away every obstacle in its path, as it thunders all the way to the bottom of the mountain. As it does your trust becomes infinite in its power, completely obliterating any last vestiges of doubt.

Expectations. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening!

Belief systems. Next, you pick up another handful of snow and slowly pat it into a perfectly round snowball. This snowball is made of perfect faith.

Emotions. This too you roll down the mountainside, as it does, you feel your faith becoming infinite in its power, and eliminating everything standing in its way.

Sensations and physical perceptions. Watch it now as it carves a path beside the track left by the first one.

Thoughts and images.  This snowball is also turning into an avalanche, sweeping away everything before it until it too comes crashing all the way down to the bottom of the mountain.

Motives. Feel your faith expand along with it, until you feel as if nothing is impossible for you if you can believe in it.

Expectations. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening!

Belief systems. Finally, you pick up another handful of snow which represents perfect love, in its purest possible form. After slowly and tenderly patting it into a perfectly round snowball.

Emotions. As it does, you can feel the love inside you also becoming infinite in its power and ready to sweep away everything which stands before it.

Sensations and physical perceptions. Now you roll this snowball down the mountainside, watching it as it carves a path between the ones created by the first two,

Thoughts and images. This avalanche of perfect love is also sweeping away every barrier which stands before it, until it too comes crashing all the way down to the bottom of the mountain.

Motives. Now, with all doubt removed you confidently stride down the path that the boulders have made,  And as you reach the foot of the  mountain, you discover that the winter has  turned, into a beautiful springtime. 

 Expectations. You will be able to carry this mood with you, and it will turn the entire day into a thing of wondrous beauty. Believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening!

Although most of us routinely provide a considerable amount of detail into our visualizations in order to make them more realistic, the Best Me Technique of multimodal suggestion provides a systematic comprehensive framework for incorporating sufficient detail into several major types of experience for maximum effectiveness, more thoroughly than expensive virtual reality systems, which only deal with the two senses of sight and hearing, rather than  involving one's entire person in the experienced reality of a suggested event.

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

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

Gibbons, D. (2001). Experience as an art form: Hypnosis, hyperempiria, and the best me technique. San Jose, CA: 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.

Hammond, D. C. (1990). Hypnotic suggestions and metaphors. New York: Norton

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.

Sarbin, T. R. (1998). Believed-in Imaginings. New York: Barnes & Noble.

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