It all started in France
The history of self-hypnosis begins in the 19th century in France, when a 28-year-old pharmacist, called Emile Coué, worked for Ambroise-Auguste Liébault (1823-1904), a doctor. Liébault did a lot to advance hypnotherapy, and his clinic near the city of Nancy came to be known for promoting and even portraying the new hypnosis work of his day, based on the suggestions.
Liébault died in 1904, but by that time Coué had developed a particular way of leading a subject into hypnosis, which depended on a series of suggestions while the subject was still awake.
Coué then decided to develop a new technique he called "conscious autosuggestion" - in other words, teaching subjects to engage in hypnosis on their own, using their own suggestions and imaginations.
Coué based his "conscious autosuggestion" on two important ideas that upset the theory of hypnosis of his time:
the subject is conscious, in a normal way; he is not unconscious, asleep or in a trance;
The subject is not under the power or control of the hypnotist; he responds because he voluntarily accepts the positive suggestions he hears, by way of autosuggestion.
The Coué method
Coué's formula is still famous: “Every day, from all points of view, I am getting better and better”.
He ordered his subjects to repeat this phrase at least 20 times a night in a monotonous whisper, eyes closed, as they fell asleep. The words "in every way" needed special attention, with the awareness that they could refer to positive change both mentally and physically.
He also told his subjects that in the case of painful thoughts or physical aches (in which case they also had to rub the affected area), it was necessary to quickly say several times “it passes, it passes, it passes”). He also said:
“I advise English speakers to stick to the French version, it is much easier to say it passes quickly than the longer and more awkward English expression it is going or it is passing . "
Coué also reportedly said that this special suggestion should be said very quickly to block out negative intrusive thoughts, while the phrase (“every day, by all accounts…”) should be repeated slowly and almost godly.
Coué said of his autosuggestion method: “It's kind of a little trick. When you learn the trick, he is able to become master of himself. "