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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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America's new nomads https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/02/nomadland-living-in-cars-working-amazon?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Thought Stopping as a herapeutic Technique

Behind all humor there is a grain of truth. If your mind sometimes leads you in unwanted directions,jurst p[picture a stop sign and try the following technique of thought stopping.  Believe it or not, it can sometimes be helpfu!





Friday, December 8, 2017

Surviving Rape, Emotional, and Sexual Trauma




This tape and those which follow at the end of it feature survivors of sexual abuse, rape, and other forms of emotional trauma. Painful as they are, it is useful to hear these stories first-hand from survivors themselves, not only for tither survivors, but also for parents, friends, and relatives of people who have undergone this type of abuse, in order to help to better understand how to deal with it constructively.




When there is adequate family support, survival and recovery are much easier. In the following tape, Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and held prisoner for several years, tells the story of her ordeal and her recovery from it..



See also the following book, which is available here as a pdf file at no cost:

A Parent's Gide to Helping a Daughter Who Has Been Raped

 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Poetry: Sendibg iWords 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. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Meditation for People Leading a Dog's Life


 
"The world is too much with us, late and soon.
Getiing and spending, we lay waste our powers."
-                                          William Wordsworth, 1807

Meditation has many applications -- even if you are "leading a dog's life!" 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 without detatching yourself from liife or interfering with other actifvities. Motivation is not therapy, howeverl and it cannot serve as a substitute; but it still has many useful applications. For example,when combined with other applications, meditation can be helpful in the management of chronic pain.

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.

  •   

Friday, November 24, 2017

How to Break Free of Your Cultural Trance



   Homo Sapiens is "the storytelling animal":

Human beings are natural storytellers. Every society tells stories to its young which attempt to explain, in words which are simple enough that children can understand, the meaning of life and the identity of the people into whom they were born. As adults, we re-enact aspects of these same metaphors in patriotic and religious rituals. Outwardly, the effect of such rituals appears to be benign. But unfortunately, this power can easily be abused; for there is no absurdity so palpable that it will not be accepted if it is presented to children by those in authority and frequently repeated with great solemnity. The tribalism which results has often led to prejudice, strife, conflict, and war, as illustrated in the following video depicting the indoctrination of the Hitler Youth in the 1930s.




However, there is an antidote, As Kelley Woods recently told me, ""a book that woke me up crossed my path abiut 1990. Written by Libertarian Harry Browne, it speaks about the traps we put ourseves in and then and then outlines how we are the only ones who can extricate ourselves if we so choose. It's available to read online at no cost here  If the link does not work, copy and paste it into your browser:
http://metaphysicspirit.com/books/How%20I%20Found%20Freedom%20in%20an%20Unfree%20World.pdf

It's too bad that this book was not available to German youth in the 1930s instead of Mein Kampf!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Trip Treatment



We already know that we can replicate drug trips with hypnosis, and therefore replicate the insights and changed world perspectives that they give us, by suggesting a trip to a parallel Universe in which the usual laws of physics o not apply. It isn't necessary to wait for them to legalize psychedelics to do research in this area. We can do it now (Gibbons & Woods, 2016).

References


Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016). Virtual reality hypnosis: Explorations in the Muletiverse. Amazon Books.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Helpful Links for Life Management


Here, in no particular order, is a list of links to some of the Blog entries which are most frequently used by my psychology clients. When you clck on a link and it takes you ro rhe Blog, just scroll down and the post that you have clicked on will come up first.. Then you can repeat this process for each additional link. If the links do not work on your computer or handheld, you can go to the blog address, www.hyperempiria.com, and enter them.

I hope you find them useful!




How to Avoid PTSD and Panic Attacks

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Emergency First Aid for Panic Attcks

How to Meditate Like an Expert Almost Anywhere

Is a Toxic Person Driving You into Therapy? 

How to Have a Great Conversation

How to Select and Strengthen Your Own Motives


How to Learn Self-Hypnosis at Home

How to Manage Stress Using the Best Me Technique

The Ultimate Cure for Existential Depression

False Beliefs that are Driving You Crazy

False Perceptions that are Driving You Crazy

Activities which Help You Get Off the Merry-Go-Round

Cognitive Behavioral Downloads for Clients and Therapists


When You're Just Too Depressed to DO Much

How to Eliminate Late-Night Snacking

How ro THINK Like a Thin Person

How to Control Pain and Suffering

How to Train Yourself Not to be Angry

Here is a link to a procedure which was recorded by my co-author, Kelley Woods. People who respond well to hypnosis can also use it to get a good night's sleep. http://virtualrealityhypnosis.org/journeytothemultiverse


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Can Hypnosis be Used for Seduction and Rape?



Gregory Rasputin, Priest/Hypnotist/Seducer
at the Court of Imperial Russia



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. However. 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 seduction fantasies, with varying degrees of self-deception. 

Can hypnosis actually be used to compel obedience, to suggestions of seduction 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 history of sexual acting out 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. 

When a hypnotist is ac used of rape or seduction, the problem is not with hypnosis itself, but with the power differential which is inherent in a therapeutic relationship, as it is when the abuser is a person in a position of authority or high status. This trust must never be abused. The responsibility always lies with the person in authority. 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, mental illness, physical attraction or simple intimidation.. A teenager would be especially susceptible to such suggestions; and If he or she subsequently accused the hypnotist of rape, then the chances are, the hypnotist may have abused his or her position of trust and authority in order to have sexual relations with the client, which is tantamount to rape, as we are currently seeing on the news where hypnosis is not involved at all. Therefore, the prosecution's mistake was to attack hypnosis itself, rather than the power differential which the hypnotist (who had falsely advertised himself a psychologist) had abused, . 

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 ethical and appropriately trained professionals.  

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


 

Friday, November 10, 2017

What is Hyperempiria? Not What You Think!

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."                                               --LewCarroll, Alice in Wonderland


Having coined the term and written and presented extensively about it, I now claim  droit du seigneur concerning its definition. It does not mean an alert induction, even though that is the way it started out, and that is the way others have extensively blogged about it. The word literally means, enhanced experience -- neither more nor less, as Humpty Dumpty would have said..Hwre'a an example. 

In Victorian times, women were considered to be such delicate creatures that they were expected to faint if the air in a room became unduly stuffy, or if they were suddenly kissed without warning -- and some of them did, because this stereotype acted as a powerful icultural suggesion,,at least for a while. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I'll leave you with just one more example.

In the early days of Mesmerism, "Putting aside his wand, Mesmer frequently magnetized young women with his hands. As described by his contemporaries, the woman sat with her knees pressed firmly between the thighs of the mesmerist, who applied pressure to her 'ovarium,' while stroking her body until she began to convulse. This was referred to as 'making passes,' which is where the present-day expression comes from. According to Binet and Fere (1888, p. 11), 'young women were so much gratified by the crisis, that they begged to be thrown into it anew" (p. 11). This can bes bet described as a form of hyperempiria, or enhanced experience (Alexander, 1998), As you can easily imagine, a great deal more can be written about many other types of suggestion-enhanced experience, once we have the definition right!


Reference

Alexander, E. D. (1994)  Hyper-sex: Pathways to Ecstasy. 

Binet, A., & Feré, C. (1888). Animal Magnetism. New York: Appleton.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

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 gtoup'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 doesn't! For a better guide to the higher powers of the mind, check out Claude Bristol's The Magic of Believing, which is available on Amazon and is free on You Tube, and is presented below.in audio format.

I have first listed 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!"

For a better guide to the higher powers of the mind, check out Claude Bristol's The Magic of Believing, which is available on Amazon and is free on You Tube, and is presented below.

Bristol's genius lies in the fact that he makes no reference to religious or philosophical concepts, nor does he use the word "psychic." Since all religious traditions employ some form of the magic of believing, then the magic of believing clearly does not belong" to any one of them. 
I suspect that those who have felt that they have been successful in using the principles contained in The Secret have actually been using a more active form of belief,without realizing it. If you can believe in it, you can believe it, and if you can believe it you can make it happen. Or,, in the words of Jesus of Nazarreth, "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith" (Mark 11:23).




  



Friday, November 3, 2017

Your Brain Hallucinates Your Conscious Reality

It is only by asking the right questions that we can get the right answers. .In the following video, the speaker demonstrates that we all hallucinate our conscious reality. So what good is a hypnotist? When our own hallucinated reality makes us unhappy, it is the job of the hypnotist to modify our experience of reality in a way that makes us more comfortable, by whatever means are at hand, as long as this does not interfere with our social, occupational, or intellectual functioning. 




Thursday, November 2, 2017

How to Have a Great Conversation

Small Talk isn't just for "wowing" someone on a date.

Having excellent conversational skills is useful for many other things besides impressing someone on a date, or making small talk with strangers at a party. It is vitally important whenever you need to make a new co-worker feel at home, or to welcome a new family member at a reunion, or when you are joining a new organization, and in a host of other situations where you need to present yourself well to people who do not already know you -- and perhaps, even for "old married folks" who are beginning to feel like they "don't know how to talk to one another" any more! It is also an essential first step in helping you to make friends at any age.

The following post is adapted from an article which was originally published on wikiHow,  where it was contributed to by over 620 people and read by over two and a half million. If you click on the link just mentioned and enter the words "conversation skills" in their search box, you will find many more excellent articles on this and similar topics.


How to Have a Great Conversation

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The art of conversation takes practice, but it's not as hard as you might think. Whether it's at a dinner party, your school, or over the phone, a great conversation starts when two or more people are on the same page and feel comfortable talking with each other. By following the steps in this article, you can learn to relax and have a great conversation with just about anybody.

Steps

Sample Conversation Topics  

Find out a few things about the person you'll be talking to (if you can) before you actually start a conversation. Websites as well as Facebook and Twitter profiles can be good sources of information, as long as you're careful not to come across as a stalker. Kick off the conversation with some interesting information that's not too personal. 


  1. "I was looking at the biochemistry department website and saw that you're working on a pretty interesting thesis! How did you come to choose that topic? "I saw on the office memo that you're working on the outreach project for local schools. How's that going?"
  2. "Is it true that you just went skydiving?"
  3. Ask questions so that the other person can talk about himself or herself. "What do you like to do?" "What sort of things have you done in your life?" "What is happening to you now?" "What did you do today or last weekend?" Identify things about them that you might be interested in hearing about, and politely ask questions. People love having a chance to discuss their passions or their subjects of expertise.
    • Ask questions for clarification. If your conversation partner is talking about an occupation or activity you do not understand, take the opportunity to learn more.
    • Make sure that your interest appears genuine. Maintain eye contact and nod your head or interject comments like, "That's interesting."
    • Use open-ended questions. Skip the simple "yes" or "no" questions. Instead, ask a question that will allow your partner to talk extensively. "So you love to go hang gliding. What made you get into it in the first place?"
    • Start superficial. Ask more generic questions at first. Then,  your partner's comfort level. If your partner seems willing to open up, then you can ask some more personal questions.
  4. Inject invitation and inspiration.
    • An "invitation" happens when you say something that lets your partner know that it's his or her turn to speak. Generally, invitations come in the form of questions.
    • "Inspiration" means that you come up with a great topic that makes your partner want to have a discussion. For instance, you could share a funny story that will remind your partner of a similar thing that happened in his or her life, or you could share your thoughts about something and inspire your partner to respond.
  5. Comment on a general interest topic. Some people briefly read the current events section of the news so that if the conversation runs dry, they can comment on something of general interest. "Did you hear about the new underground park being built in uptown?" is both interesting and informative.
  6. Listen actively. A conversation will go nowhere if you are too busy thinking of other things, including what you plan to say next. If you listen w'ell, you'll identify questions to ask based on the other person's statements.
    • Paraphrase back what you heard the person say. "So you're saying that skydiving is the biggest rush you've ever experienced?" Doing this shows respect for the other person and gives him or her the chance to correct your understanding, affirm it or embellish upon it.
    • Encourage the other person to do most of the talking. Your conversation partner will feel as though you are attentive and engaged, and you will get the credit for being a great conversationalist.
  7. Forget yourself. Dale Carnegie once said, "It's much easier to become interested in others than it is to convince them to be interested in you." If you are too busy thinking about yourself, what you look like or what the other person might be thinking, then you will never be able to relax. Your discomfort will make the other person uncomfortable.
  8. Voice disagreement with respect. When stating a difference of opinion, remember these points:
    • Acknowledge your common ground before disagreeing, and try to omit the word "but" from your statement. Instead, try substituting the word "and." Many people find it less antagonistic.
    • Don't manipulate the talk to serve your own agenda and steamroll your counterpart. Never use a conversation as a way to boost your ego.
  9. Accept occasional silences. Take a drink or a bite of your dinner while you think of the next thing that you want to say. Did something that was said generate a new thought or topic in your mind? Use the pause to transition smoothly into further conversation.
  10. Occasionally, ask the question that is looming over the conversation. Humans are social creatures, and society has etiquette that's based on rules. There's so much etiquette it would be painful to list, but it's worth noting that sometimes people enjoy stepping beyond etiquette and talking about the things they thought they weren't allowed to talk about. It can be really refreshing, and pave the way for great conversation.
    • There's a rule out there about not discussing religion and politics, and it's generally a good one. If you think you can have a discussion with someone without making them feel threatened by your beliefs, go for it!
    • Love is another forbidden subject. We don't want to pry into other people's personal lives, just as we don't want others prying into our own. Sometimes, however, people want an excuse to talk about their love life. If your conversational partner says something like "I don't think that's an appropriate topic," apologize and move onto another subject.
  11. Tell stories, preferably funny ones. Stories are the spice of life. Joan Didion famously said "We tell ourselves stories in order to live," and many people happen to believe her. There's something about an expertly told story that takes us to a different place, allowing us to escape our tiny lives and live a grander existence. Don't be afraid to go to that place in your conversation. A couple things to remember in your storytelling:
    • Take it slow. Don't rush your story. Pause for dramatic effect when you need it. A steady, measured approach will draw out the story and keep your audience enthralled.
    • Transition into your story. "Funny you said that," or "Speaking of hoaxes," or "Actually, something similar happened to me not too long ago" will help the story feel like a natural evolution of the conversation.
    • Tell a reality-based story. In other words, something that actually happened. Truth has a way of being stranger than fiction, and a story that's been fabricated just feels a little more empty than something that actually happened.
  12. In a pinch, comment on the awkwardness of it all. If you're really at a loss for words and the conversation is shrinking faster than cellophane under a bit of heat, comment on how awkward the conversation has become; be humorous about it:
    • "I'm sorry, my awkwardness juts out at such...awkward times. Enough with the formalities. What do you really want to talk about?"
    • "We're trying pretty hard, aren't we. There must be something essential that we're missing. You're not a cat person are you?"
    • "I'm sure we have something in common. How about we get a drink and let some of the alcohol do the talking? You look like I need a drink."
  13. Know when the conversation has ended. Even the best conversations will eventually run out of steam or be ended by an interruption. Smile, state that you enjoyed the conversation and say goodbye. Ending on a positive note will make the other person want to talk to you again.
Video



Tips

  • Make sure you pause between sentences. Doing this allows the other person to ask a question or to interject a thought of their own. Remember, you want to have a conversation, not a monologue.
  • Approach the person you want to talk to with confidence. Being around confident people makes others feel good. Your infectious energy and enthusiasm will make everyone in the conversation feel confident and comfortable. Projecting confidence is the key to a good conversation.
  • Pay the other person a compliment. For example, a statement like, "I like your handbag" could lead to a discussion over stores, bags or anything else that you can imagine.
  • Avoid dwelling on a lackluster conversation. Sometimes the other person is distracted or simply getting over a bad day.
  • If a person is not a type of person that you can have a good friendly conversation with, then just go to another person that can be more appreciate your efforts.
  • Sometimes, a great conversation can keep going if the person you want to talk to plays something that you also play, for example, a game, or a sport. It can also work with places you go to, or certain activities that you do.
  • Always smile when necessary. This doesn't mean you should do so after everything s/he says though. It simply means that while the conversation is positively developing, you can further encourage its development by showing your partner that you are genuinely interested in what s/he has to say. It also shows that you want to know more in a subtle way and makes the other person want to divulge more because of your pleasant response. Basically, facial expression is key.
  • Talk about your hobbies and her hobbies.
  • When talking to him at school make sure to end the conversation by saying something like: "Ohh I gotta go. Sorry, bye!" when the topic is real good, this leaves him wanting to talk to you even more the next time.
  • Only start conversations when it's a good time for both of you. They won't want to talk if they're in a rush and they might get annoyed with you.
  • See also the following Blog entry: How to Overcome Shyness with  Cognitive-Behavioral psychology.
Warnings
  • Avoid cutting the other person off in mid-sentence or during a natural pause. Let the person finish his or her thoughts before continuing with thoughts of your own.
  • Beware of potentially inflammatory topics like religion and politics. Don't venture into these topics with someone you don't know.
 Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Have a Great Conversation. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Why Use Hypnosis 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.

If I were to walk up to a person who responds extremely well to suggestion, ask him to close his eyes, and matter-of-factly state that by the time I got to the count of five he could open them and see me wearing a Santa Claus suit and hat, he would surely think that I was crazy. And if such a suggestion should actually happen to "work," he would surely think that he was crazy! But if I first asked him to close his eyes and suggested with sufficient plausibility that he was "going into hypnosis," and then I told him that by the time I got to the count of five he could open his eyes and see me dressed like Santa Claus, such a suggestion could be accepted much more easily because it would have become more credible.

There are so many ways to "hypnotize" people that entire books have been written on this topic, and new methods are being devised all the time. -- so many, in fact, that the only thing which they seem to have in common is that they all plausibly present the idea (either directly or indirectly) that a person's consciousness is beginning to function differently. It is this suspension of disbelief which enables people to make use of the previously-unrealized powers of their imagination. .All the rest depends on the ability and willingness of the subject to follow the instructions he or she is given.

What are we to make of this imaginatively gifted elite with an Alice-in-Wonderland imagination who dwell among us, and who need to legitimize the use of their natural gifts by means of what Michael Ellner has referred to as the "transformational magic" of an an "induction procedure" before they can make use of them? Where do these abilities come from, and what is their ultimate purpose?

Human evolution is indeed far from finished. and any,aliens who might be observing us from afar would surely conclude that our evolutionary development has been lopsided. With 98% of the same genetic makeup as our closest simian cousins, the chimpanzees, there is little doubt that our evolutionary development has been uneven.. We have highly developed frontal lobes which enable us to formulate lofty ideals and distant goals, but all too often our emotional centers prevent us from achieving them. More than once in the last century, we have come close to annihilating each other; and many societal institutions are devoted in whole or in part to regulating our behavior so that we do not do so individually. 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. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

How to Defeat PTSD and Panic Attacks


Ingrid Betncourt was a candidate for the presidency of Columbia when she was kidnapped by Rebel forces and held prisoner in the jungle for six years under extremely brutal conditions. In the following TED Talk with English subtitles, she tells the story of how she was able to resist her captors without being broken by them. Ms, Betancourt;s courage in the face of terrifying circumstances can serve as a model for us all, to conclusively prove we do not have to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by forces which are outside of us.




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to Constructi Lasting, Effective Hypnotic Suggestions

(The following narrative is designed to illustrate the manner in which hypnotic suggestion may be used to bring about real and lasting personality change. It is a composite of suggested events with which i am personally familiar, and I can vouch for their effectiveness.)

A psychology graduate student had fallen in love with a student in his statistics class. They had a torrid brief romance; but that summer, while he was away with his R.O.T.C. unit, she experienced her first bipolar manic episode, during which she had been sexually intimate with several of the male students during a cast party of a campus theater group.

The couple were heartbroken. As a clinical psychologist  in training, he was well aware of the intense nature of the biologically-driven hypersexuality which a manic episode could induce, and she was overcome by guilt
.
Recalling the story of Scheherezade, who escaped execution by telling the king a new and fascinating tale for a thousand and one nights, until he had mellowed enough to pardon her, Since he knew that she responded well to hypnosis, he asked his beloved to agree to join him on a series of trips to hypnotically-suggested alternate universes (Gibbons & Woods, 2016). During these times, they would make love in a series of intensely meaningful settings: engagements, weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries, conceiving children together, and any number of other experiences which would add meaning and beauty to their lives. With the BEST ME Technique, it can get "realer than real," because you can augment and enhance the dimensions of experienced reality almost any way you want to.  Amnesia would never be involved, and would be suggested away if it did occur, as the experiences would always be consensual and jointly planned. If the emotional scars had not healed by the time a hundred such trips had been undertaken, they would agree to go their separate ways.  Of course, she would also have to agree to take her medication regularly and remain in therapy for as long as necessary, while they also sought couples counseling together.

Needless to say, by the end of this period, their lives had become so intertwined that it was inconceivable for either of them to think of marrying anyone else.

As stated at the begining of this post, although the narrative itself is fictional, it is comprised of a series of individual applications which have been shown to be  effective. Taken together, they illustrate the fact that the ultimate art form is human experience itself. and hypnosis is the ultimate artistic medium (Gibbons, 2001). They also support the principle that the basis for permanent  personality change is a sufficiently meaningful alteration in the inarrative of one's life story (de Rivra & Sarbin, 1998). Please note, however, that it is the meaningfulness of the experiences that count, rather than their inteensity. The intensity, thugh unsurpassed, is a consequence and not a cause of a meaningful attachment, as our present hedonistic culture is inclined to regard it. :Instead, the meaningfulness of the aforementioned events should be constructed from the sources mentioned in the following video.




References

Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form. .New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

de Rivera, J., & Sarbin, T. R. (eds.) (1998). Believed-in imaginings: The narrative construction of reality (memory, trauma, dissociation, and hypnosis). Washington, DC: American Psychological association.

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

Gibbons, D. E, & Woods, K. T. (2016). Virtual reality hypnosis: Explorations in the Multiverse. Amazon Books..