PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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362          PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
decision written down was to obey all commands except that of becoming insensitive to pain. Under hypnosis the subjects acted in accordance with their own decisions, which were not known by the hypnotist. These experiments, combined with evidence otherwise available, such as mediumistic trances, religious ecstasies, the experiences of those who practise yoga in India, lead to the conclusion expressed by Young that rapport and lack of rapport have their basis in the autosuggestion of the subject.
Those who maintain that there is no autosuggestion explain these various phenomena as being due to hetero-suggestion. When a man cures himself by Coue's method of repeating to himself daily ' Every day and in every way I'm getting better and better ', they maintain that he has accepted Coue's suggestions, and that it is Coue who is actually giving the suggestion, although Coue is dead. Similarly, they would maintain that Foote and Young's experiments can be explained by the fact that their three subjects were acting under orders already given to them when they were making their own autosuggestions, and that this in itself was sufficient to suggest to them that they could do whatever they wished in this way. Others, on the other hand, maintain that autosuggestion is the fundamental factor, that hetero-suggestion cannot be exerted without the co-operation of the one who accepts the suggestion. They quote the facts (a) of contra-suggestibility, (6) that even under hypnosis suggestions will not be acted upon if they run counter to very strong tendencies in the individual, and (c) that there must in general be a tendency in the individual to act in accordance with the suggestion for it to be accepted.
The question as to which is prior is one which admits of no definite answer. ' It is like the question of the primacy of the hen and the egg/