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 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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Monday, February 29, 2016

Narrative Therapy and Hypnosis

Most people are familiar with Charles Dickens' story, A Christmas Carol, in which the miserly Scrooge is visited by three spirits who frighten him into becoming a lovable old man who "knew how to keep Christmas better than anyone." If Dickens had written this story in the 21st century instead of the 19th, Scrooge would probably have made three visits to an experiential hypnotist. But, instead of "scaring the Dickens" out of him, the hypnotist would use reward rather than fear as an incentive, and would not be limited to merely intervening at the emotional level.

I know of no other technique besides hypnosis which enables us to work simultaneously with attitudes, emotions, and behavior in order to facilitate lasting change. For example, I was recently working with a client who was going through several anxiety provoking stresses at the same time. She was an excellent amateur gymnast, however, and she would probably have had great success if her family had the means to allow her to compete at the national and international level. She responded extremely well to hypnosis. To boost her confidence and self esteem, I helped her to experience the thrill, the exertion, and the triumph of winning an Olympic competition in a parallel universe, and having the gold medal hung around her neck at the end of the ceremony. At the conclusion of the session, she opened her eyes, obviously thrilled to the core, and exclaimed, "Wow! I just won a gold medal!"

She knew that she had done this in hypnosis, but it didn't seem to make any difference. We chatted for a while, and I jokingly mentioned that I should adopt the motto for our practice that some dance studios use, posting a sign outside which read, "Walk in, dance out." To my surprise, as I watched her leave the office and walk down the hallway to the door at the far end, she was dancing!

She later told me that she had no more difficulties in facing her current stressors with resolution and courage. Just as the three spirits had done for Scrooge in Dickens' story, suggestion-enhanced experience had changed the life of my client by changing the ongoing narrative of her life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Cope with Flashbacks and Panic Attacks

Here is a list of grounding techniques which you can use immediately, to help when you have lost control of your surroundings in a panic attack. Grounding techniques work well not only with panic attacks, but also with flashbacks from PTSD.


First, look around you. Find five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

It is also good in a flashback to ask yourself how old you are now, to differentiate from how old you were when the trauma actually happened.

One of the worst things about having a panic attack is how frightened you are about having the next one. Please share. It could really help someone in need!


Monday, February 22, 2016

A First-Person Account of Hypnotic Sexual Exploitation

Much as we may hate to admit it, the image that
hypnosis has in the eyes of the public as a potential source
of sexual exploitation is sometimes accurate.
Carla Emery's book, entitled, Secret, Don't Tell! The Encyclopedia of Hypnotism, published in June, 1998 by Acorn Hill Publishing Co., is indeed a one-volume illustrated encyclopedia of hypnotism (she also wrote The Encyclopedia of Gardening).  However besides the fact that the references are now far out of date, I wouldn't recommend it as an "encyclopedia," or any type of comprehensive source of information on the subject of hypnosis. Judging by its contents, it would appear that the author was intent on proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is possible to sexually enslave another by means of hypnosis, strongly implying as she makes her case that this is exactly what happened to her!

The book is divided into six parts: Case Histories of Criminal Hypnosis; A Partial History of U.S. Government Mind-Control Research; Trance Phenomena; Induction Methods; Legal and Therapy Issues in Abusive Hypnosis; and a Reference section. 
Prominently featured are accounts both factual and fictional: Trilby, Svengali, and The Control of Candy Jones, published by Playboy Press and quickly withdrawn from circulation, as well as carefully-crafted deductions from various theoretical positions in psychology and psychiatry, mixed with quotations from stage hypnotists and entertainers as well as recognized authorities.
Emery spends a great amount of time discussing the widespread assertion by people in  the hypnosis community that a hypnotized person cannot be made to do anything against his or her will.  She concludes that thiis is essentially a vast cover-up designed to protect their collective professional standing and economic well-being. With over three hundred thousand copies in print, the author has certainly succeeded in creating a fascinating and entertaining book. However, the hypnosis community is certainly not as united as Ms. Emery perceived it to be. 

Fo example, when I was attending a seminar taught by Martin T. Orne, the former editor of the 
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, he was asked whether or not hypnosis can be employed as an instrument of sexual exploitation. He replied without hesitation, "I have no doubt," repeating his words for emphasis.
Without going into an endless discussion of the personality dynamics involved, I believe that it is safe to say that certain people, when they are head over heels in love, will selflessly surrender themselves to the patterns of sexual exploitation that Carla Emery described in her Encyclopedia of Hypnotism. It is probably also true that certain types of people are susceptible to falling in love with their hypnotist if certain basic elements (transference, status differential, and personal attraction) are present, which permit the hypnotist to take it from there.   
It is also probably true that under the right conditions, everything that can be produced when hypnosis is present can also be produced in its absence. In the motion picture, "9 1/2 Weeks," for example, Kim Basinger very believably depicts a woman who is gradually led into the depths of depravity by a skilled manipulator of her emotions. 
Lynn (2006) views hypnosis as functioning like a catalyst in a chemical reaction. When a catalyst is present, it allows a reaction to take place more easily; but it does not cause the reaction because nothing at all would happen if the right ingredients were not there to begin with  Given the necessary ingredients, the presence of a catalyst can dramatically affect both the ease and the intensity of the reaction which occurs. Much of his book, Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis, is devoted to a discussion of the manner in which hypnosis catalyzes a wide variety of therapeutic procedures. Presumably, the presence of hypnosis can catalyze seduction in a similar manner.
How can hypnotists cope with the occasional news accounts of the dangers of hypnosis which only serve to reinforce the existing negative stereotypes in the eyes of the public and continue to drive away potential clients? IMHO, honesty is the best policy. Sure, this scares some people away -- but the news value also attracts people. If we cannot run from the truth, let's embrace it! As we state in the American Psychological Association's  Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis (Gibbons and; Lynn, 2010):
Suggestions for enhanced alert experience can be presented in the context of relaxation-sleepy/drowsy suggestions , or clinicians may prefer to use the term hyperempiria in place of hypnosis to circumvent misconceptions associated with the popular view of hypnosis as a sleep-like state. It is possible to tell clients something like, “You might associate hypnosis with suggestions like , ‘You are going into a deep, sound sleep.’ But in hyperempiria, you’re awake and alert the whole time. It’s interesting and enjoyable, and you can get a lot out of it.” The therapist can then employ a wide variety of inductions while continuing to refer to hyperempiria as an enjoyable and effective alternative -- in effect, creating such a perception as a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. . . . Given the inherent flexibility of hypnotic interventions, inductions can contain a mix of hyperempiric and relaxation-based or even sleepy-drowsy suggestions.
Print References 

Emery, C. (1997). Secret, don't tell: The encyclopedia of hypnotism. Tucson, AZ: Acorn Hill Publishing, 1997


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.





Sunday, February 21, 2016

Steven Hawking Confirms Imaginary Time and Parallel Universes

In the vollowing video, Steven Hawking provides confirmation of both imaginary time and the concept of parallel universes.-- and, most importantly, he's a hoot!



Imaginary numbers are "real," of  course, or we would not be able to use them. They are "imaginary" only in the sense that they do not fit into the mathematical model we happen to be using at the time. Imaginary time is "real," but it happens to be outside of the model of reality we have constructed for ourselves. When a hypnotist provides both the opportunity and the occasion for imaginatively gifted people to use their imagination in an "Alice-in-Wonderland" fashion to go ahead and do so, the resulting experiences can be just as "real" as ny others!

Here's a quote from Steven Hawking which appears to lessen the distinction between external reality and the reality we believe in for other reasons.
One might think this means that imaginary numbers are just a mathematical game having nothing to do with the real world. From the viewpoint of positivist philosophy, however, one cannot determine what is real. All one can do is find which mathematical models describe the universe we live in. It turns out that a mathematical model involving imaginary time predicts not only effects we have already observed but also effects we have not been able to measure yet nevertheless believe in for other reasons. So what is real and what is imaginary? Is the distinction just in our minds?
 Can the exploration of alternate Universes in our imagination help us live better lives in this one? Try it and see!