v THE EVOLUTION OF PSYCHOTHERAPY 209
were able to overcome this notion of disease by the notion of willing their body to be healthy and straight. Go home and will, ' tous les jours, a tous points de vue, je vais mieux en mieux ' (' day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better'), he suggested. The virtue of this formula is its rhythm, its ease, its universal applicability. The youngest child can say it. Coue cautioned against intellectualizing. The greater the ease of expression of the formula, the quicker would it suffuse the unconscious and bring about the desired result. The technique could be carried out by the individual himself. The subject was to lie in bed, in a relaxed position, and then repeat the formula a specified number of times, perhaps with the aid of a knotted cord. When he woke in the morning, the formula was repeated precisely the same number of times. This repetition was of extreme importance. Later he had to vary the cadences, stressing the phrase * in every way \ Coue insisted that it should be said in an effortless, infantile way with a feeling of complete faith.38 Coue never mentioned the disorder, but merely the contrary state of health. He did not have the patient say, ' My asthma is getting better ', but ' I am breathing better \ In the case of pain it is considered distinctly harmful to say, ' Every day in every way my pain is getting better and better ', because the introduction of the word ' pain ' makes for its retention in the mind. It is impossible to get rid of the word * pain ' by saying, ' There is no pain ', hence his practice was just to say, ' a passe ' (' It passes '), saying it first slowly and audibly, then quickly and less audibly, until finally it issued out in a whirring stream of sound.
Not content with limiting autosuggestion to health, Coue applied it as an uplifting principle in life. The universality of his doctrine carried him on. The virus