PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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x                   SUGGESTION AND THE FACTOR OF FAITH             37$
which result from morbid pre-occupation with the state of health, and so on. It can be used for the cure of all psychological disorders such as tics and hysterical paralyses and swellings; it can always help the natural process of cure, and undo the part played even in physical disorders by spontaneous autosuggestion. It may also be used as a means of removing bad habits, and of obtaining complete control over sleep.
Reflective autosuggestion may be practised by taking advantage of the condition between sleeping and waking by permeating the mind at this time without effort with the thought which it is desired to realize the idea, for example, of the cure of some illness or weakness. The difficulty is to find some way of keeping the mind permeated with a thought without the effort of attending to it. This is done by summing up the desired thought in some formula which is repeated over and over again. It is particularly emphasized that the repetition is to be mechanical ; no effort is to be made to think of the idea it is intended to convey. Let us suppose that the difficulty is the toothache. The formula ' I want to be free from this pain ', will prove too weak to be effective. If, on the contrary, the phrase used is ' I have no toothache/ present experience contradicts it. A suggestion in this form is successful only with those whose critical function is abnormally undeveloped. For more ordinary people, it is necessary to adopt some formula which is intermediate between these two extremes. The kind recommended is one which asserts that the desired condition is being realized. For removing the pain of toothache, the best form is, ' This is passing away \ For going to sleep, the best formula is, ' I am falling asleep \ When the repetition of this is slow, it is difficult to prevent the mind from thinking between each repetition, ' I am not really, I am still as wide awake as