PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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2IO         PSYCHOTHERAPY: SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
of metaphysics touched him and his doctrines. As a general mental stimulant, Coue taught his patients to say : ' . . . From to-day onwards I shall become more and more conscious of all that is happy, positive and cheerful. The thoughts which interest my mind will be strong and healthy ones. I shall gain daily in self-confidence, shall believe in my own powers which, indeed, at the same time will manifest themselves in greater strength. My life is growing smoother, easier, brighter. These changes become from day to day more profound; in a short space of time I shall have risen to a new plane of life, and all the troubles which used to perplex me will have vanished and will never return. . . .'
News of the success of this simple technique of autosuggestion spread rapidly, and the Nancy apothecary was besieged by people who became his pupils and carried his doctrines into the farthest corners of the earth. Schools of Coueism came into being and the master himself made a lecture tour of the world in the 1920^ which, at any rate in England and America, met with enormous popular success and attracted enthusiastic audiences, who after hearing the exposition, thronged the consulting-room. The wave of interest lasted for several years and then the whole subject slipped into the background.
Coue emphasized to his patients that they were merely suggesting to themselves their wish to be healthy and for this reason he used the term autosuggestion. Unwittingly he taught his patients to modify their inner body-ideal, utilizing the narcissism already in them to fight the disease. In other words, he pandered to their pride, telling them, ' Of course, a person like you can heal yourself \ This method released within the patient a flood of suggestive power.
Coue's triumph was due, in the last resort, to the