208 PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
the height of his career at least one hundred a day from all over the world thronged his rambling house seeking relief which generally he gave gratuitously.
Coue's quiet personality, his kindliness, his simplicity, his forceful, dignified but untheatrical manner, contributed to the success of his method. He did not indulge in theoretical explanations to his patients. His eye was fixed on the strengthening of a system, of a treatment that would work. Only occasionally did he present the result of his work to a psychological congress. In the main, he worked on, day after day, in his little garden and home, developing his method and his personality to a point of quiet efficiency. He himself was a reflection of his whole method. Light, humorous, 1 sometimes firm, sometimes gently bantering ', varying his tone to suit the temperament of his patient, he taught his autosuggestive therapy.
The first exercise was a demonstration of the power of implanted ideas over the will. This was done by a simple experiment. The patient, his hands clasped together, was instructed to think ' I cannot open them ' ; he was then ordered to open them, and although he would try hard to do so he would be powerless. The subject was then ordered to think, ' I can open them ', and immediately the cramped hands were loosed. When a subject failed, Coue explained that he had not embedded the idea deeply or strongly in his mind. So with the various diseases and nervous states that were presented to him. With kindly persistence, and vigorous suggestion, he insisted that these patients ' will 9 to move a stiff joint, or exercise palsied legs. The reason for their success was, Coue explained, that the will to have healthy limbs supplanted the notion of disease already present. So he would insist that his patients should carry away with them the idea that day by day they