PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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370         PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
missive r6le, while contra-suggestibility, rare as it is, can usually be avoided.
The extent of the suggestibility of a patient may be tested by various methods, such as a simple plummet on a string about a half-metre long. A watch ot^its chain, or a ring on a thread, may be used with equal success. The subject, whose arms should be free, holds the pendulum swinging freely. He imagines intensely the change in the direction of the swing of the pendulum and this occurs. Straight swinging in varying degrees, and in all directions, circles and ellipses clockwise and anti-clockwise, even complicated figures like a figure eight can be quite well produced. The experiment succeeds without exception ; only persons in a very high state of tension require some suggestive aids and some practice. One can facilitate the initiation of the reaction by drawing on a piece of cardboard a series of concentric circles, or a spiral, and adding some diametrical lines perpendicular to each other, letting the pendulum hang at first over the middle point and then follow the desired direction on the pattern. The experiment may be modified by the experimenter II7 (p. 65) and one or several subjects each holding a pendulum. He causes his pendulum to swing in any desired direction and asks the subject, without looking at his (the subject's) own pendulum, to follow intensely the motions of that of the experimenter. The result generally is a motion of the subject's pendulum in the same manner.
The intense imagination leads to an unconscious innervation of muscles otherwise consciously innervated. The experiment is intended to demonstrate that the intense imaginative idea inaugurates a movement without any conscious willing.
It is necessary, now, to discuss autosuggestion at some length. Schools of autosuggestion have existed for