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 us at(609)709-2043 and (609) 709-0009.Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72, on the road to Beach Haven West.After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Greater Coastal Realty. Then turn right and go past the Lyceum Gyn. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building. We. are the last office at the end. We accept Medicare and most other major insurance.Weekend and evening office hours are avalable.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Is Hypnosis Dangerous? Some Hypnotists Are!

The general public often thinks of hypnosis in terms of its potential for abuse. Most people have heard of the scandal which reached the highest levels of the Court of Imperial Russia and which may have been one of the factors which ultimately contributed to its demise, involving the notorious Russian monk, Rasputin who reportedly seduced many women by hypnotizing them.

Gregory Rasputin, Priest/Hypnotist/Seducer
at the Court of Imperial Russia
It would be a mistake to assume that fantasies of seduction occur only to male hypnotists and never to their female subjects, especially if they should happen to find that the hypnotist, or hypnosis itself, is sexually attractive. In the sexually repressive atmosphere of Imperial Russia, it should not be surprising that Rasputin was able to find volunteers who would be willing to act out such fantasies, with varying degrees of self-deception. 

Can hypnosis actually be used to compel obedience, when there is no underlying wish to comply? Some years ago, I was asked to testify in the case of a man who had falsely advertised himself as a psychologist and had begun hypnotizing teen-age girls in the area, one of whom subsequently accused him of rape. In order to make its case that hypnosis could be used to compel behavior, the prosecution had pointed to an incident in Eastern Europe several decades earlier, in which a stage hypnotist had handed a man a pistol loaded with blanks and commanded the man to shoot him. The hypnotized subject, who was an off-duty police officer, drew a loaded revolver from his pocket and shot three members of the audience. The defense, on the other hand, was prohibited from pointing to the girl's behavior in the neighborhood as evidence that she could have been voted "the girl most likely to. . . ."

I testified that while hypnosis cannot force people to people do something which is against their moral and ethical codes, it is impossible to conclusively demonstrate in the laboratory whether or not hypnosis could be used to compel anti-social behavior. You could never actually allow such behavior to occur in an experimental setting, or in any kind of staged demonstration, and the subjects know it! But, in what I like to call "the laboratory of life," the results are more clear-cut. Hypnosis in its modern form has been around for over two hundred years; and if you have to go half way around the world and back several decades in time in order to find even one instance of its alleged use in the commission of a crime, then it would be easier to conclude that this individual was psychotic or personality disordered than to conclude that his behavior was the result of the alleged coercive power of hypnosis. If hypnosis could be used in such a manner, by this time its anti-social applications would be well-documented -- in organized crime, in international espionage, by thwarted lovers, and in many other settings. And the evidence simply is not there. 

Carla Emery, who was herself the victim of an abusive love relationship in which hypnosis was present, even went so far as to conclude that the practice of hypnosis involved a vast conspiracy which was designed to protect the income of those who used it, while preserving the freedom of those who would employ it for anti-social purposes to continue to do so!

More recently, it has come to light that an attorney in Lorrain County, Ohio, was disbarred because he hypnotized two female clients who were in the process of getting a divorce and proceeded to involve them in sex acts. But in view of Orne's research, it is clear that susceptibility to seduction under hypnosis is limited to a tiny minority of people who have been made highly vulnerable to such manipulation, as these clients undoubtedly were.

With regard to the possibility of seduction under hypnosis, the problem is not with hypnosis itself, but with the power differential which is inherent in a therapeutic relationship. This trust must never be abused. The responsibility always lies with the person in authority, whether a physician, psychologist, priest, teacher, an attorney -- or a hypnotist. It is necessary for the trusted person to maintain strong boundaries and to stop any inappropriate relationships from developing, even if a client displays seductive behavior due to transference, a personality disorder, or mental illness. A teenager would be especially susceptible to such suggestions; and If she subsequently accused the hypnotist of rape, then chances are, he may have abused his position of trust and authority in order to have sexual relations with his client, which is tantamount to rape. Therefore, the prosecution's mistake was to attack hypnosis, rather than the power which the hypnotist (who had falsely advertised himself a psychologist) had abused while hypnosis was present. 

Instances such as these tend to be reported in great detail by the media, and are amplified still further by depictions of hypnosis in fiction. Because of the publicity which results from them, there are many people who will not have anything to do with hypnosis . And because these abuses continue to surface from time to time, the public is probably never going to be won over completely, despite our repeated assurances that hypnosis is perfectly safe when used by trained and ethical professionals. 
Hyperempiria, with its emphasis on suggestion-enhanced experience as a catalyst for growth and change, is much less likely to be perceived by hypnophobic members of the general public as inherently dangerous.

(I am grateful to Dr. Annette K. Schreiber for her collaboration and assistance in the preparation of this posting.)


See also the following print sources:

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., & Cavallaro, L (2013).. Exploring alternate universes: And learning what they can teach us. Amazon Kindle E-Books. (Note: It is not necessary to own a Kindle reader to download this e-book, as the Kindle app may be downloaded free of charge to a standard desktop or laptop computer and to most cell phones.)

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.


How to Meditate Like an Expert almost Anywhere

By experiencing one minute a day of mindfulness meditation some significant changes can occur in your life, because the effects begin to multiply as the one minute meditations become a more frequent part of your life. You will feel more calm, resilient, creative, clearer thinking, focused and peaceful. Here are the instructions:

You can do this one minute meditation with eyes closed or eyes open. If you choose to have your eyes open in the beginning, I suggest you focus your eyes on something that has little meaning such as a doorknob or a speck of dust on the floor. If you are driving, you can use stopping for a red light as a cue to practice your one minute meditation by focusing on the red light until it changes.

Your focus of attention during the meditation is the experience of your breathing in and out. You will focus on some aspect of your breathing that feels natural to you, such as your chest moving, the feeling of air moving through your nose or mouth, your belly moving, your shoulders moving, or any aspect of breath that feels comfortable and natural. As you breathe out, relax any lightness in your body. During the one minute you will likely experience your mind having shifted from focusing on your breath to focusing on something else such as your thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, memories, conversations, movements, and/or other things. You may suddenly notice sounds you had not noticed before. You may find yourself reviewing conversations that you had earlier, or you may find yourself solving problems that you have been working on,or you may notice tensions in your body that come into awareness. When you notice that your awareness and attention have shifted away from your breath, you will mindfully, gently, calmly, and peacefully return your attention to your breath, just noticing the distraction without pushing it away or taking it in, or evaluating, judging, or getting involved in the distraction. Just gently and lovingly return your attention to your breath. You may find yourself doing this from 10 to 100 times during your one minute meditation. Eventually you will find that your "meditation muscle" gets stronger and there are fewer distractions. The distractions are normal and are part of the nature of our minds. Thoughts are like clouds in the sky. If you just notice them without trying to push them away or analyze them, they usually just pass away. The mindfulness practice will eventually bring you more peace, compassion, joy and calm for yourself and for others. 

Don't expect immediate results. The purpose of meditation is not to turn you into master overnight. Meditation works best when it is done for its own sake, without becoming attached to results for their own sake.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Hypnosis to Experience the indwelling Presence of God

I don't pretend to know what "truth" is, and I have no way of telling. But, 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 whether this reality is objectively "true" or not, and regardless of the reality that I may construct for myself  

While I was recently attending a workshop in Pennsylvania, I received a text messsage from "Hanya,", a 27 year old, married mother of three and a recent arrival from Poland, with a serious impulse control problem, She had been doing well with regular trips to the Multiverse, but while i was away she "picked up." She started using drugs again, and gambled away almost all of her money in Atlantic City. "You've got to do something more," she said quietly when she entered my office.

I knew that she had been raised as a Roman Cathlolic. After taking her to the Multiverse (Gibbons & Woods, 2016), I suggested that she was becoming aware of a consiciousness beyond her own, and blending completely with this embodiment of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love, to which she could communicate all her deepest wants and needs and experience them being completely met, finally suggesting that she was fully blending withn God Himself. I then suggested that she could carry this presence back with her, and that it would change her life immeasurably for the better. I brought her out of hypnosis without taking her through the rainbow on the way back. She opened her eyes with a beautiful smile, and appeared to be rather more quiet than usual as we scheduled her for two appointments a week instead of one. I did not question her about how much she remembered, because I thought it would be best if I left that up to her. 

Of course, i didn't tell her anything that was not communicated to her by the priest whenever she took communion. What is empowering her recovery is her strong love for her son and the firm belief that she is going to improve, with hypnosis serving as a catalyst to enable these elements to combine in the proper manner. If it helps to keep my client away from alcohol and out of the gambling dens where she cannot control her spending, then I don't care what beliefs she is willing to acept about the truth of things which are fundamentally unknowable,


 Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016) Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.) 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Quanrum Theory, Entanglement, Parallel and Alternate Universes

The following video is the most instructive one I have yet seen on the topic of alternate and parallel universes, the multiverse, quantum entanglement. The fact that is has over five million downloads is what first caught my eye, and now I can see why. It features physicists from world-famous institutions making their points so clearly that practically anyone can understand them. If you have an hour to spare and would like to catch up with thie exciting new developments in quantum physics, I heartily recommend iit!

The video also illustrates the conceptuall framework for the book which I wrote with Kelley Woods entitled, Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.)   (Gibbons & Woods, 2016)