206 PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
impart an explanation of how they fitted into his life, and why he should accept the suggestion of the doctor. ' I use moral orthopedics/ said Du Bois. ' I am not at all anxious to juggle with the patients' symptoms. ... I wish on the contrary to study my patient, to discover by what circuitous route he arrived at the pains in his head/ Du Bois treated his patients in a sanatorium, when for the first few days they were put to bed on a milk diet, but this was secondary to the daily conversations with the doctor. Here the chief psychotherapy was done, as gradually he went over the habits of a lifetime, correcting, advising and rehabilitating. The regulation of everyday life, the how of living, was what Du Bois aimed at. He would take symptoms like palpitations of the heart, or constipation, and persuade the patient that these things were due to years of accumulated emotion. For instance, he addressed himself as follows to a tubercular patient who suffered from loss of appetite, ' You cannot put on weight unless you take your food properly. ... A consumptive who is losing weight is on the downward path ; but it is a happy augury when such a patient puts on flesh. . . / The patient answers, 1 I'll try to eat, doctor \ 'Try! What's the use of that ? The word " try " conveys a doubt of the result, and the doubt will not fail to reduce your impetus. What you must say to yourself is, " I am going to eat '7
Du Bois argued with his patients, showing up their false reasoning. ' Do not be sick \ he said. ' Do not pay attention to annoying symptoms. Do not be distressed with every little change that occurs in your body. Do not feel that every new sensation has meaning. You are merely allowing foolish thoughts to develop in your mind, and silly autosuggestion to increase these fears and be translated into physical symptoms/