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.

Translations Available

This blog is now available in several dozen languages. By entering the name of the desired language in the box which appears in the space below, any page you visit will have been automatically translated into the language you have selected. You can scroll down to view the most recent entries in chronological order, or you can view the most popular entries in the column on the right. By scrolling down the right-hand column, you can also see a list of all the previous entries.

Translate

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.

Search This Blog

Suggestion-Enhanced Experience for the Relief of Pain

By heightning and enhancing our internal
states, we can learn to manage
the experience of pain.
William James, in his book, Varieties of Religious Experience, related the account of a French Hugenot woman who was being beaten for her religious beliefs by six other women armed with sticks.   After her ordeal, she wrote that she was so overwhelmed with the thought that she was being beaten for Christ that she felt nothing: "In vain the women cried, *We must double our blows; she does not feel them, for she neither speaks nor cries.' And how should I have cried, since I was swooning from happiness within?" 


As Susan French has pointed out, ". . .everything that we do [as hypnotists] has to do with directing attention from thoughts and perceptions that have negative effects to more positive states and perceptions. What results is not only changing a habit of thinking but creates the release of brain/body chemicals that support the state where the attention rests." By heightening and enhancing our internal states, we can have experiences which we are not capable of in everyday life, but which are just as "real" to us -- if not more so -- than if they were, with predictable effects on our personal lives.

I recently had a client who suffered from chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder from a near-fatal automobile accident. He had been prescribed several pain medications, which were not always effective. I saw him weekly at his home. I used a traditional hypnotic induction, using suggestions of deep-muscle relaxation, followed by repeated deepening combined with suggestions of anesthesia and well-being, with post-hypnotic suggestions that the effects would continue. I also taught him self-hypnosis in order to prolong the effects of these suggestions between visits. He reported generally good results with these procedures, but he still needed his prescription medication. Even then, he stated that the inductions were sometimes not completely effective in removing all of his discomfort.

One day, his wife said to me, "We sure could have used you last week, Doc. Nothing seems to be working, and the pain is as bad as ever." I knew I had to devise an especially effective induction, so I told them about hyperempiria, indicating (as a "waking suggestion") that was a new and especially powerful technique which would enable him to experience higher states of awareness while his body remained asleep, thereby focusing his mind more effectively on the suggestions I provided. He was interested, and eager to try any new procedure which might bring about greater relief.

As the induction proceeded, I asked him him to picture himself relaxing deeply in the basket of a large balloon, which was about to lift off. As the balloon began straining at the ropes which held it, his body was sinking deeper and deeper into a deep, sound sleep. And as the balloon began to rise, his consciousness would rise along with it, until he entered hyperempiria. I elaborated upon this combined induction until he appeared to become highly involved with my suggestions, and then proceeded with my suggestions for healing and pain control.

The client later reported that his pain had considerably lessened. I showed him how to include autosuggestions for hyperempiria into his self-hypnosis routine, and his wife subsequently told me, "I often see him going upstairs in the middle of the day, and when I ask him where he is going, he tells me, 'I'm going for a balloon ride!'"

The client and his wife have remained in occasional contact. In our most recent telephone conversation, two years after hyperempiric suggestions were incorporated into his self-hypnosis routine, the client reported that although some pain sensations remained after taking his medication, the combination of prescribed medication plus hypnotic and hyperempiric suggestions together provided the greatest amount of relief.

 

 
  
Promt 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., & 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.