On this Day:
In 1925, French psychologist Emil Coué brought his self-esteem therapy to USA. “Every day in every way I am getting better & better”
Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie (26 February 1857 – 2 July 1926) was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a popular method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion.
Considered by Charles Baudouin to represent a second Nancy School, Coué treated many patients in groups and free of charge.
Coué’s family, from the Brittany region of France and with origins in French nobility, had only modest means. A brilliant pupil in school, he initially intended to become an analytical chemist. However, he eventually abandoned these studies, as his father, who was a railroad worker, was in a precarious financial state. Coué then decided to become a pharmacist and graduated with a degree in pharmacology in 1876.
Working as an apothecary at Troyes from 1882 to 1910, Coué quickly discovered what later came to be known as the placebo effect. He became known for reassuring his clients by praising each remedy’s efficiency and leaving a small positive notice with each given medication. In 1886 and 1887 he studied with Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault and Hippolyte Bernheim, two leading exponents of hypnotism, in Nancy.
In 1910, Coué sold his business and retired to Nancy, where he opened a clinic that continuously delivered some 40,000 treatment-units per annum to local, regional, and overseas patients over the next sixteen years. In 1913, Coué and his wife founded The Lorraine Society of Applied Psychology (French: La Société Lorraine de Psychologie appliquée). His book Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion was published in England (1920) and in the United States (1922). Although Coué’s teachings were, during his lifetime, more popular in Europe than in the United States, many Americans who adopted his ideas and methods, such as Maxwell Maltz, Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Robert H. Schuller, and W. Clement Stone, became famous in their own right by spreading his words.
La méthode Coué (The Coué method):
Continuously, unjustly, and mistakenly trivialised as just a hand-clasp, some unwarranted optimism, and a ‘mantra’, Coué’s method evolved over several decades of meticulous observation, theoretical speculation, in-the-field testing, incremental adjustment, and step-by-step transformation.
It tentatively began (c.1901) with very directive one-to-one hypnotic interventions, based upon the approaches and techniques that Coué had acquired from an American correspondence course.
As his theoretical knowledge, clinical experience, understanding of suggestion and autosuggestion, and hypnotic skills expanded, it gradually developed into its final subject-centred version—an intricate complex of (group) education, (group) hypnotherapy, (group) ego-strengthening, and (group) training in self-suggested pain control; and, following instruction in performing the prescribed self-administration ritual, the twice daily intentional and deliberate (individual) application of its unique formula, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”.
Yeates (2016c), p.55.
The application of his mantra-like conscious autosuggestion, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” (French: Tous les jours à tous points de vue je vais de mieux en mieux) is called Couéism or the Coué method. Some American newspapers quoted it differently, “Day by day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” The Coué method centered on a routine repetition of this particular expression according to a specified ritual—preferably as many as twenty times a day, and especially at the beginning and at the end of each day. When asked whether or not he thought of himself as a healer, Coué often stated that “I have never cured anyone in my life. All I do is show people how they can cure themselves.” Unlike a commonly held belief that a strong conscious will constitutes the best path to success, Coué maintained that curing some of our troubles requires a change in our unconscious thought, which can be achieved only by using our imagination.
Although stressing that he was not primarily a healer but one who taught others to heal themselves, Coué claimed to have effected organic changes through autosuggestion.
Coué thus developed a method which relied on the principle that any idea exclusively occupying the mind turns into reality, although only to the extent that the idea is within the realm of possibility. For instance, a person without hands will not be able to make them grow back. However, if a person firmly believes that his or her asthma is disappearing, then this may actually happen, as far as the body is actually able physically to overcome or control the illness. On the other hand, thinking negatively about the illness (eg. “I am not feeling well”) will encourage both mind and body to accept this thought. Likewise, when someone cannot remember a name, they will probably not be able to recall it as long as they hold onto this idea (i.e. “I can’t remember”) in their mind. Coué realised that it is better to focus on and imagine the desired, positive results (i.e. “I feel healthy and energetic” and “I can remember clearly”) (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
A friend of mine got his wife 4 pregnancy tests, and they all came back positive.
She’s now worried about how they are going to raise 4 kids…
Second, a Song:
The Pink Panther Strikes Again is a 1976 comedy film. The fifth film in The Pink Panther series, its plot picks up three years after The Return of the Pink Panther, with former Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) about to be released from a psychiatric hospital after having finally been driven insane by new Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s (Peter Sellers) unrelenting ineptitude in the previous films. A typically disastrous visit from Clouseau on the day of his release prompts a swift relapse which cancels Dreyfus’s scheduled discharge, but he soon escapes anyway, and organizes an elaborate criminal plot to threaten the countries of the world with annihilation by a massive laser weapon if they do not assassinate Clouseau for him.
Unused footage from the film was later included in Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), after Sellers’ death (per Wikipedia).
Here is the clip of Chief Inspector Clouseau visiting former Chief Inspector Dreyfus at the psychiatric hospital per PinkPanther clips on YouTube.com. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson
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Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky