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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Friday, October 20, 2017

Can Suggestion Make You Fall in Love?

  


It wasn't always this beautiful! 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 troubadors 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. However, anthropologists are fond of pointing out that after a few years, couples who marry for love are just about as happy as couples who tie the knot in cultures where marriages are arranged. 


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? We now have searchable data bases of Internet pornography such as XNXX, YouPorn, and FetLife, which contain literally millions of items, and almost anyone in the world can upload to them. The entries are frequently ranked in terms of populatiry, so that the submissions 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 porn, in much the same manner that people of earlier generations learned how  to kiss by watching motion pictures? 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. This time, however, the changes will depend not upon the imagination of a few gifted writers and balladeers, but upon the pooled experience of the entire human race. 


If we are inded in the midst of such a profound cultural change, and if one picture is worth a thousand words, then to quote from the movie, All About Eve, "Hold on to your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night!" 

Having grown up in a culture which accepts the reality of romantic love, I believe that the emerging sub-culture of sexting and internet pornography has its priorities reversed. Magazines are full of pictures of women who could technically be described as beautiful. But beauty is "only skin deep," as my mother used to say. You do not love a woman becuse she is beautiful. A woman is beautiful because she is loved! When a woman is truly loved, physical beauty becomes irrelevant.-- and of course, similar sentiments can be expressed for men and for same-sex couples as well. 

Anthropologists frequently point out that a few years down the road, people who marry for romantic love are just about as happy or unhappy as a couple who ties the knot in a culture in which arranged marriages are the norm.  If you and your loved one have come to share experiences of rapture, ecstasy, wonder, and delight, only to return to a 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 dramatic the results 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 you share together can take on near-sacramental qualities as the couple consecrates itself to one another anew, and the honeymoon becomes a permanent way of life.


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Hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, also plays a major role in events as varied as having an orgasm,  coming under the sway of a totalitarian dictator, being saved in a revival meeting,or experiencing the "sleeping" form of hypnosis,




Bibliography

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Press).

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.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to Use Mass Hypnosis

In the following video, Adolf Hitler certainly appears to have his audience hypnotized, judging from the way they eagerly clung to every word he said, even when he boasted to ihs cheering followers that he had eliminated every other political party in Germany. How was he able to get away with this? 

He certainly was not using hypnosis in the conventional sense of the word, but by redefining the consequences of World War 1 and the subsequent suffering of the German people, he could be said to be using suggestion enhanced experience, or hyperempiria.

Hitler used to claim that a big lie is believed more easily than a little one. He strung together a series of big lies aimed at convincing the average German that they were not defeated in World War 1, but instead they were stabbed in the back by a World Jewish conspiracy. This conspiracy was aimed  at making them suffer more than anyone else during the Depression in order to totally destroy their morale, because the Germans were actually a biologically superior race which was destined to rule the world. In order overcome the power of this worldwide conspiracy, all dissent must be eliminated and all power must be concentrated In the hands of a single man who would have the will to triumph over every obstacle, This, of course, was Hitler. Then, at the conclusion of the speech, Deputy F├║hrer Rudolf Hess drives home the point by triumphantly announcing that the Nazi Party is Hitler, and Hitler and Germany are one.

 And so it was that this experience of military defeat and seemingly endless suffering was reframed by byperempiric suggestion into a narrative in which God had sent Hitler to save Germany, and to establish the German people in their rightful place as masters of the world. But not everyone who uses mass hypnosis needs to string together a series of big lies. In the video depicting Marc Anthony's speech at the funeral of Julius Caesar, Shakespeare illustrates how suggestion enhanced experience may be used to reframe an event by a series of revealing truths, with a dramatic effect upon the crowd of mourners.


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Use Hyperempiria in the First Place?

There are literally hundreds of applications for hypnosis, and new ones are being found all the time. But why do we need to use hypnosis in the first place?
Evolution did not come to a screeching halt with the first bipeds who could accurately be labeled homo sapiens. We have been learning to use the powers of our human imagination in new and exciting  ways ever since. However, we frequently need to use the services of a hypnotist who can function as an enabler, coach, or personal trainer in order to show us how to use these emerging abilities with confidence, because they are frequently so different from  the current patterns of thought which we have grown accustomed to using in everyday life.
With over 97% of the same genetic material as our closest monkey cousins, the chimpanzees, we obviously have a long ways to go to be able to do all the things that our human brains have enabled us to want to do. It is indeed an honor to show people how to work more effectively with their emerging evolutionary potential, for they are truly "the bearers of the light" of future progress -- and we need to do more to let them know it, in order to counteract the occasional public relations nightmare which results from the occasional misuse of hypnosis in the hands of unscrupulous persons.