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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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to Make Psychic Ability Work for You

If I had not had a similar experience with this book in my own life, I wouldn't put this up here. 

I begin with a brief tape of a series of interviews with Phyllis Diller, in which she discusses the effect which The Magic of Believing, has had on her life. Following this are videotapes containing all eight parts of the book itself, with commentary.

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.  It is an ability  which we all possess, and is a form of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience.  
Good listening!

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

Although Mr. Bristol makes no reference to theology, and neither does he refer to any philosophical concepts, you're welcome to bring your own if you want. Phyllis points out that this is apparently what they did in creating the book, The Secret, which emphasizes "the law of attraction:" that merely thinking positive thoughts will supposedly attract positive events to you, and negative thinking will attract negative events. But for Bristol, all you actually have to believe is the goal that you have chosen. If you can believe in it -- deeply and sincerely enough -- you can believe it. And if you can believe it, you can make it happen!

The Magic of Believing, Part One:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

Believing works -- but don't confuse beliefs with percptions. I may believe that Benecia is still the Capital of California, for example, even though it was moved to Sacramento many years ago; but all the belief in the world will not change a fact that has already happened. Believing, as Bristol is using the term, refers to an active force deep within us, which acts upon the environment to bring about the result which your belief has created.

Even here, you shouldn't overdo it. My degree is in general experimental psychology, and I taught classes in statistics for many years. Random events do happen, and the laws of chance are just as valid as any other physical phenomena. Specific things don't just happen because of some "law of attraction" which is the result of your broadcasting negative or positive energy --  unless you will them to! We all have a natural tendency to view events which occur together as causing one another, but this is not always the case. If you discover one morning that you have a flat tire, is it because you have been sending out negative thoughts, or because the juvenile delinquent next door decided to work out his hostilities? 

The Magic of Believing, Part Two:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

One method of insuring that your entire being is involved in the content of a visualized experience is to use the Best Me Technique of multimodal suggestion, which utilizes the simultaneous involovement of Beliefs, Emotions, Sensations and physical perceptions, Thoughts and Images, Motives, and Expectations.

The Magic of Believing, Part Three:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

Today, some sixty-five years after The Magic of Believing was written, most brain researchers  now agree that we have two ways of looking at a problem or situation: the step-by-step, verbal, logical approach, and the holistic, intuitive, approach. However, one method is not superior to the other. In sizing up a situation, sometimes we need to look at the trees and sometimes we need to step back and look at the forest. Our brain allows us to do both! 

The Magic of Believing, Part Four:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

Social scientists are familiar with the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A run on a bank is often used as a good example. if enough people believe that a bank is going to fail, they all rush to take their money out -- and the bank does fail, but only because this belief was so strongly and widely held that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy; for without such a belief, the bank would have remained financially sound. Many successful salesmen owe their careers to the fact that their belief in themselves helps to see them through tough times, and provides them with the sincerity and conviction to convince wavering customers. But is there something more to the magic of believing than the conviction that which causes events to happen simply because they are self-fulfilling prophecies? Claude Bristol thinks so -- and so do a lot of others!

The Magic of Believing, Part Five:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

If we can picture a goal in our mind and believe that it is already ours, using repetition and pictures to engage the holistic power of the right brain,  this allows us to also experience the rewards of that achievement now, in the present, when they are most needed to motivate us to bring it into being, without having to rely on "will power" to drive us onward. This process involves the use of a special kind of creative meditation which, like all other forms of meditation, is a skill which requires constant practice if we are to make the most of it.

The Magic of Believing, Part Six:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

In addition to looking in the mirror to give yourself positive autosuggestions, I recommend using either self-hypnosis or meditation, both of which prepare the mind for receiving autosuggestions, and both of which have been shown to be highly effective over time, provided that the goal is a properly chosen one which you can truly believe in.

The Magic of Believing, Parts Seven and Eight:

(Note: If the video does not work, click on this link to watch it on YouTube, and when it is over, hit the return button on your browser to view the rest of this posting.)

There is an old saying, "Be careful what you wish for -- you may get it!"  Even if you are certain at the beginning that the goal you have chosen is one that you can believe in with your whole heart, when you get there you may find that it isn't what you wanted after all. Instead of giving up and allowing doubt to intrude, change the original goal or find a new one!

See also:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Ultimate Art Form: Humn Experience Itself!

My co-author Kelley Woods (Gibbons & Woods, 2016) recently posted the following entry on a hypnosis discussion forum: "Yesterday I took a young teen who is on the autism spectrum to a parallel universe where he is free from feeling self-conscious about tics. He moved through the color bands of the rainbow, gaining various gifts and then viewed a series of crystal balls in which he observed his life...from birth to present and into the future. He left my office tic-free, floating on air! His last words as he went out the door: 'The Multiverse rules!'" 

The human imagination is so powerful that with a little technical assisgtance, a gifted conductor can take an entire audience out of this world using the power of music itself, with immediate effect. In the following video, Watch the faces of the people in the audience as Andre Riehu plays Beethoven's Ode to Joy (the Anthem of Europe), because they known what's coming:

As hypnotists, we can do even better. Confucius said, "Telll me and I may forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand." Multiversal suggestion enables us to paint upon the canvas of involvement almost any masterpiece we may desire, using what will surely is destined to become the ultimate art form -- human experience itself!

 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.) 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Enchanted Cottage: An Induction for Children

 "For as long as we stay here, in this enchanted cottage,
            even my words will be ehchanted."
As +Kelley Woods has pointed out, young children have no trouble instantly changing themselves into a monster or a fire engine, especially when parents encourage this kind of imaginative involvement. The following induction was originally written for children, but I later found that it was a favorite with the college students in my graduate hypnosis courses at the University of West Georgia. Perhaps we don't learn to become high responders in hypnosis. We un-learn it!
Just sit back, and close your eyes, and I am going to tell you a magic story. It is a story about a very special place, deep in an enchanted forest, where everything I tell you will come true. . . Imagine now that we are walking together down a long, winding path which runs through the middle of a large woods. We are walking along, early on a bright spring morning. Birds are singing in the trees, and here and there a flower is poking its head out of the soft, green grass which grows beside the path. And because this is a magic story, the farther we go along the path, the more real everything around us becomes. 

Now and then a ray of sunlight makes its way down through the branches of the trees and falls upon the dewdrops in the grass, causing them to sparkle like a million tiny diamonds. The air is fresh and cool, with gentle breezes blowing now and then, causing the trees, and the grass, and the flowers to move ever so slightly, as if everything in the world were feeling so happy on this bright spring morning that nothing could keep still for very long. . .

And because this is a magic story, the farther we go along the path, the more real everything becomes. . . As we continue on our walk, we can begin to be aware of the sound of rushing water. With each passing second, the sound is becoming clearer and clearer still. And now we are standing beside the bank of a forest stream, which is the source of the sound we have been hearing.

The water is flowing past us swift and clear, for it has come tumbling down from a magic spring many miles away in the hills. And because the water from the magic spring is enchanted, anyone who drinks it will be enchanted too. And anyone who is enchanted in this way will be easily able to find that special place, deep in the magic forest, where everything I say will come true.  

We dip our hands eagerly into the bubbling stream and cup them together, bringing the cool, fresh water up to our lips again and again, until we have drunk all that we want. . . Now it is time to hurry on our way once more; for the water from the magic spring has made it certain that we will soon find that very special place in the enchanted forest, where everything I tell you will come true; and we know now that it cannot be far away. 

As we continue on our journey, we notice a tiny path leading off to one side, and we decide to go up this path to see where it leads. Before very long, we notice that the woods are beginning to thin out, and that we are about to enter a clearing. And as we approach nearer and nearer to the edge of the clearing, we can see that the path we have been following leads right up to a small cottage. . . This is that very special place I have been telling you about, where everything will come true. For as long as we stay here, in this enchanted cottage, in the enchanted forest, even my words will be enchanted, and everything I tell you will happen exactly as I say it will.  

The door to the cottage is standing slightly open as we hurry up the path, and as soon as we reach the entrance we hurry on inside in order to lose no more time. We have arrived now, at that very special enchanted place in the enchanted forest which we have traveled so far to reach. And as long as we remain here, in this enchanted cottage, everything I say and everything I describe to you will come true as soon as I have said it. For as long as we remain here in this enchanted place, even my words will be enchanted. 

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., & 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. 

Hypnosis, Murder, and the Power of Suggestion

Hypnosis doesn't make us any more virtuous 
than we already are!.
The possibility of using hypnosis to commit a crime has long been the object of speculation, some of which is humorous and some which is deadly serious. Here's an example of how society teaches that there is a penalty if you violate a moral code -- specifically, the prohibition against using hypnosis to commit a murder. (The possibility that you could is taken for granted.) In the following cartoon, Wylie E. Coyote decides to do just that. Notice how he helplessly glances at the audience once he realize his impending demise as the result of his actions.


Is it really possible to commit a crime such as murder by means of hypnosis?  

In one well-known laboratory experiment, subjects were hypnotized and told to throw acid in the face of the experimenter (who was protected by invisible glass), to pick up poisonous snakes (which were actually harmless), and to shoot the experimenter with a gun (which had been loaded with blanks). A significant minority of the hypnotized volunteers complied. A few years later, however, the experiment was repeated, using both hypnotized subjects and a control group of subjects who were not hypnotized -- and about the same number responded, whether hypnotized or not!

Hypnotists often tend to pay too much attention to the specific suggestions they have given instead of the total situation of what is going on. For example, imagine that you are a student in introductory psychology, taught by Prof. Snarf, who asks for volunteers in a psychological experiment. You accept the invitation, and are given a hypnotic induction, followed by the instructions to pick up a beaker of acid and hurl it in the experimenter's face, to pick up poisonous snakes, or to shoot the experimenter with a supposedly loaded gun. Would you  really believe that a reputable scientist would let you commit a murder as part of a psychological experiment? Or would you be inclined to believe that because you are ordered to do these ridiculous things there must be a reason for it other than the one that was given, so you might as well go ahead and do as you are told? Some people, at least, choose the second option (Sarbin & De Rivera, 1998), 
Dr. Martin Orne coined the term demand characteristics to refer to this tendency of a subject in an experiment to act in the way that the subject thinks one is supposed to behave, rather than simply reacting to the instructions in themselves.

But there is another factor at work. Research by Milgram (1965) on the effects of obedience, revealed that about a third of his experimental of subjects were willing to turn a dial which purportedly increased the voltage of an electric shock to the point that it appears that they are administering a potentially lethal dose. The implication (which seems to be borne out by history, from Stalin to Hitler to Saddam Hussein and many others) is that an evil "authority" can sometimes seize control of a society and find enough followers who are willing to obey orders that they can keep the rest of the population under control.

Most of us would agree that a hypnotic induction does not make us any more virtuous than we were before. Obeying a command to perform an immoral act after an induction has been given, therefore, is likely to have been brought about by the fact that the hypnotist was perceived as a sufficiently credible authority figure to absolve people of legal and moral responsibility for their actions, as was the case with the compliant subjects in Milgram's experiments, or the willing henchmen of tyrants throughout history. 

That's how Hitler did it. He didn't use an induction because the Party faithrul had already accepted the suggestion that he was their Fuehrer, whose words were to be followed automatically and without question. In the following short speech with English subtitles, Hitler boasts to his cheering followers that from its earliet beginnings, the aim of the Nazi Party was to become the only power in Germany, and that he has successfully annihilated all political opposition. At the conclusion of Hitler's speech, Deputy Fuehrer Rudolf Hess declared Hitler's power to be absolute with the additional suggestions that the Party was Hitler, and Hitler and Germany were one -- with disastrous consequences, as the world was soon to learn.

See also: Is Hypnosis Dangerous? Some Hypnotists Are!

Print References

Milgram, S. (1965) Liberating effects of group pressure. Journal of personality and social psychology2, pp. 127-134.

Milgram, S. (1983) Obedience to authority. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (1998),  Believed-in imaginings: The Narrative Construction of Reality (Memory, Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Helpful Links for Self-Improvement and Stress Management

Here 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.

I hope you find them useful!

Don G.

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 Select and Strengthen Your Own Motives

How to Learn Self-Hypnosis at Home

How to Manage Stress Using the Best Me Technique

The Ultimate Remedy for Anxiety and Depression

False Beliefs that are Driving You Crazy

False Perceptions that are Driving You Crazy

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 use it to get a good night's sleep.

How to Train Yourself Not to Be Angry

With 99% of the same genes as our closest monkey cousins, the chimpanzees, it's no wonder that
under the pressures of modern life, the tendency to anger can sometimes spiral out of control!  This brief posting is not intended to serve as a substitute for counseling or therapy. If anger has begun to affect your personal or work relationships, you should definitely seek the services of a duly licensed mental health professional. However,for many everyday situations, the following information may be helpful in correcting those everyday habits that can sometimes get us into trouble.

It is generally agreed that cognitive-behavioral psychology is the fastest-growing oreintation within the profession. There is also a rapidly-accumulating body of evidence that it actually works! Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, may be summarized as the study of the relationship between thinking, feeling, and behavior.  Just as physical therapists can provide you with exercises to improve physical functioning, cognitive-behavioral therapists provide exercises to develop more effective psychological adjustments.

The information below was garnered from several different sources, and provides you with a variety of useful forms and worksheets so that you can use whatever combination of these CBT tools you find most helpful for training yourself not to be angry. The information referred to in any of the links below can be downloaded from your computer by clicking on the link and using the print command on your computer. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapists frequently use a document called a thought record in order to examine just what goes on when we keep making those angry responses that keep getting us into trouble. Here is what one looks like for anger, courtesy of They also provide a summary of the STOPP technique, which they describe as "CBT in a nutshell," and which can be summed up in one sentence: "Try not to act merely in the moment. Pull back from the situation. Take a wider view; compose yourself."  

Following is a hypothetical example of how the anger thought record form might be used to see a situation from a different perspective, using the example of being suddenly cut off in traffic by another car, with the column headings in italics and one set of possible responses in standard type. You can practice using these forms for a number of other hypothetical situations, or situations that have actually made you angry in the past, in order to be prepared for a variety of possible situations in the future. 

Situation: A car suddenly swerves in front of you and slows down, causing you to slam on your brakes in order to avoid hitting it.

Feelings, Emotions,:  An increase in heartbeat and blood pressure, clenched jaw, faster brething.

Emotions/Moods (rate 0-100%):  Anger

Physical Sensations & Reactions: Swearing, gripping the steering wheel

Unhelpful Thoughts/Images:  Urge to speed up and pass the car in front of you, honk at the driver, make an angry gesture, and cut back in front of him.

What I Did/What I Could Do/What's the Best Response? (Re-Rate Emotion 0-100%)  Realize that the emotion will pass in a few moments, but if you act on it the situation could escalate and possibly lead to serious complications.

The folks at are featuring an Anger Decision Sheet  submitted by Jason Roscoe, which was "designed to help people identify personal triggers for becoming angry with themselves or others." It provides several examples of how to identify the trigger for your anger, and decide between forgiving the other person and letting it go, or being assertive, instead of just blowing up or keeping your rage bottled up inside. If you scroll down on the decision sheet, you will see two blank sheets that come with it for practicing these choices with situations that have actually happened.

The ABC Worksheet from, which is downloadable as an Adobe pdf file, can become your daily companion for taking control of your life in matters large and small! You can use it to make motivational and behavioral adjustments not only for controlling anger, but also for everything from paying your bills on time, to stopping smoking, or deciding on which career path to follow. 

It first asks you about the causes of something you would like to change in your life, and then asks about the emotional consequences which were the result, your beliefs about what happened, what beliefs could be substituted for the ones which brought about the unpleasant results, and how those changed beliefs make you feel. You can write on the form itself, clearing and changing it as often as you like. Then, when you are finished, you can either print it out or save it as a text file, using a different form for each problem you would like to work on. To re-examine it or re-do each form that you have completed, just call up that particular file and continue to modify it as you progress. It could prove to be extremely helpful if you are willing put enough thought into it to give it a try!

Finally, the folks at have a tool chest of resources which is a treasure-trove for people who want to alter hard-to-change behaviors of every type.They have prepared a selection of tips and tricks for managing anger in such a manner that in many instances you can not merely control it, you can get rid of it!  Here is a partial list of some of the other materials which they have to offer. The information may be downloaded free of charge by using the print command on your computer, although donations are encouraged. Here is a partial list of some of the materials which they have to offer:
Of course, training yoursself not to be angry is going to take time and patience. However, once you get the hang of it, if you continue to do these mental workouts as regularly as you would exercise physically in a gymnasium, you will  be able to think, feel, and act in a calm and confident manner in almost any situation. On the other hand, if you do not use the CBT Thought Record to identify your triggers and the other choices that you have, you might very well continue to feel anger when you know you it could continue to get you into trouble, but never do much about it. 

Just as reading a book on surgery will not make you into a surgeon, and reading an exercise manual will not build muscles, merely reading a Blog posting on how to train yourself to avoid anger will not be enough to enable you to get rid of it. People who practice meditation, for example, do not hope to attain enlightenment merely by reading about it!  Regular practice using the thought record for a variety of situations is the key to success. 

Confucius said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." But once you have taken that step, you have to keep going. The two rules for success in any self-improvement program are: 1) Begin, and 2) Don't stop!  If you frequently experience problems with anger, you should have plenty of motivation to follow both of these rules. No matter how long the journey, cognitive-behavioral psychology, especially when undertaken with professional guidance, can be of great assistance in successfully reaching your destination!

See also: 
How to Keep Your Boss from Driving You Crazy
How to Recognize a Personality Disorder

Hypnotic Communication with Parallel and Alternate Universes?

As an experimental psychologist who has been formally trained in the methods of scientific research, I frankly do not know whether or not reincarnation exists, though half the world believes in it; and neither do I know whether or not we would be able to learn anything about if, if it did exist, by using hypnosis. In spite of abundant anecdotal evidence to the contrary, Lynn and Kirsch (2006, p. 204), flatly state: "In summary, hypnotically induced past-life experiences are fantasies constructed from available clinical narratives about past lives and known or surmised facts regarding historical periods, as well as cues present in the hypnotic situation.”

It is just this kind of "anecdotal evidence," however, that is the starting point for any major revolution in our scientific view of reality. (Kuhn, 2012). Many of us know people who can tell of past-life experiences that are astonishing, to say the least; and some readers of this post may be able to recount such experiences themselves. If we are unable to completely dismiss all of this anecdotal evidence as merely delusional, then perhaps we might inquire what else science has to tell us about the possibility of communication with parallel and alternate universes..

By many accounts, Steven Hawking is the most intelligent man on the planet, even though his theoretical calculations are far too advanced for most of us to follow. Here's what he has to say about parallel universes:

If there is a theoretically infinite number of patallel universes, it is also to be expected that they do not always follow the same laws of cause-and-effect as this one. Hence, it is to be expected that we would not be able to understand PLR by using the same principles of scientific investigation that apply to our own universe. Perhaps these accounts of what is now referred to as paranormal experiences may form the starting point for demonstrating the actual existence of parallel and aternate universes, in which the commonly aƧcepted laws of cause and effect do not apply.

Re-framing past, parallel, and future lives to conform with he teachings of theoretical physics greatly expands our horizon of what we can do with them. What we need to do at this point is not to abandon our investigation into past lives, but to 
to include current, parallel, and future universes as well (reincarnation, pre-incarnation, co-incarnation, inter-carnation, and multi-carnation), and see where it leads us.

1. If you are living in a parallel Universe which exists prior to your own life, we may have support from theoretical physics for reincarnation

2. If you are living in a parallel Universe which exists after your own life, we may have support from theoretical physics for pre-incarnation.

3. If you are living in a parallel Universe which exists in roughly the same time frame as your own life, we may have scientific support from theoretical physics for co-incarnation

4. If you are living in a parallel Universe in which you experience several different lives within a similar time frame, we may have scientific support from theoretical physics for multi-carnation.

5..If you are living in a parallel Universe which exists in which you possess a set of genes which is partly yours and partly that of another person, we may have scientific support from theoretical physics for from theoretical physics for inter-carnation.

6 If you are living in an alternate Universe in which the laws of physics are different from those we experience on Earth, we may have scientific support from theoretical physics for intra-carnation.


Kuhn, T. S. (2012). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (2006). Essentials of clinical hypnosis: An evidence-based approach.  Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.