Most of us are familiar with the quote by Émile Coué:
“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”
Few people are aware that he was also a pharmacist and a pioneer in hypnosis.
He believed in “autosuggestion” (self-hypnosis). He noticed that remedies given with positive autosuggestion worked better than the remedies alone. He also was known to state that each person had the solution to their own problem:
“You have in yourself the instrument of your cure.”
Coué often worked with patients to build what we would call today, their self-image or self-esteem. He did this by utilizing his “Law of Concentrated Attention.” The Law of Concentrated Attention states that whenever attention is concentrated on an idea over and over again, it spontaneously tends to realize itself. That’s where “every day…” came in.
Much of the modern brief therapy and solution focused therapy share parts of this philosophy.
Self-Esteem or Ego Strengthening
It’s an approach that makes sense. Let’s suppose you were working with someone to lose weight and they had low self-esteem. They might feel that they didn’t deserve to look the way they wanted to. Suggestions pointed toward increasing self-esteem might be helpful.
Today, many hypnotherapists call this approach “ego strengthening.”
Milton Erickson and Ego Strengthening
Milton Erickson had a different approach to ego strengthening. He would look for an experience in the life of the client that would lead to feelings of increased pride and self-worth. In one famous case he found that a client was very proud of his handwriting as a boy. He linked the feelings of pride up to the clients current life and the clients made significant positive improvements.
Two Approaches to Ego Strengthening
So, there are two ways you can go about ego strengthening suggestions. The first in to suggest it directly. Here are some examples…
“Every day, in every way, you are getting better and better.”
“Every day… you will feel a greater feeling of personal well-being.”
“You learn, more and more rapidly, more and more powerfully, and each time you breathe deeply, you will feel much happier and more content, much more optimistic in every way.”
The second way is to have the subject remember some experience that has high self-esteem attached to it. Then attach those feelings to triggers in the subject’s current life. Here is an example…
“Float back to a time, a time in your life where you felt so good about yourself… Remember those feelings in your body and allow them to double with each deep, easy, natural breath you take… Now, in your mind’s eye, look at your wristwatch, take a deep, easy, natural breath and allow those wonderful feelings to powerfully flow into your body. And again… Now, each and every time you look at your wristwatch, you take a deep, easy, natural breath and feel wonderful about yourself.”
Get the idea?
That’s it for this Hypnosis Tip. I hope you hold it in high esteem.