Émile Coué

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Émile Coué, 1917

Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie (February 26, 1857 – July 2, 1926) was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a popular method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion.


  • Suggestion, or rather Autosuggestion, is quite a new subject, and yet at the same time it is as old as the world.
    It is new in the sense that until now it has been wrongly studied and in consequence wrongly understood; it is old because it dates from the appearance of man on the earth. In fact autosuggestion is an instrument that we possess at birth, and in this instrument, or rather in this force, resides a marvelous and incalculable power […].
    • Self Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion (1922/2007) p. 5.
  • When the imagination and willpower are in conflict, are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception.
    • Quoted in: Paul G. Thomas (1979) Psychofeedback: practical psychocybernetics. p. 84.
  • You have in yourself the instrument of your cure.
    • Quoted in: Andy Robbins (2012) The Pillars of Prosperity, p. 129.

Autosuggestion: My method (2014)

  • Auto-suggestion is disconcerting in its simplicity. To the uninitiated, auto-suggestion or self-mastery is likely to appear disconcerting in its simplicity. But does not every discovery, every invention, seem simple and ordinary once it has become vulgarized and the details or mechanism of it known to the man in the street? Not that I am claiming autosuggestion as my discovery. Far from it, auto-suggestion is as old as the hills; only we had forgotten to practice it, and so we needed to learn it all over again.
    • Chapter I. The reality of auto-suggestion.
  • Power of auto-suggestion known in the Middle Ages. The power of thought, of idea, is incommensurable, is immeasurable. The world is dominated by thought. The human being individually is also entirely governed by his own thoughts, good or bad. The powerful action of the mind over the body, which explains the effects of suggestion, was well known to the great thinkers of the Middle Ages, whose vigorous intelligence embraced the sum of human knowledge.
    • Chapter I. The reality of auto-suggestion.
  • Contrary to the generally accepted theory the will is not the invincible force it is claimed to be; in fact, whenever imagination and will come into conflict it is always imagination that triumphs. Try to do something while you are repeating: "I cannot do it," and you will see this truth confirmed. The mere idea of inability to accomplish a thing paralyzes the will power.
    • Chapter II. The role of imagination: About the "Dominance of the imagination over the will".
  • Self-mastery is attained when the imagination has been directed and trained to conform with our desires-for although, in one sense, the imagination is inclined in the subconscious, yet it dominates the latter, and therefore, if we know how to guide it, our subconscious self will take charge of our material being and do its work just as we wish it to be done; or, in other words, exactly in conformity with our conscious suggestions.
    • Chapter II. The role of imagination.
  • People may wonder why I am content to prescribe such a general and apparently vague formula as "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better" for all and every ailment. The reason is, strange as it may seem, that our subconscious mind does not need the details. The general suggestion that everything "in every way" is going well is quite sufficient to set up the procedure of persuasion which will carry its effects to the different organs and improve every function. I have had remarkable demonstration of this in the course of my long teaching and experiments. Time and again I have seen patients cured, not only of the particular disease for which they sought relief, but also of minor disabilities which they had almost forgotten.
    • Chapter III: Auto-suggestion in practice.

Quotes about Coué

  • Have you ever read Coue's book? When I was sick, I read it from lid to lid, and I went trotting around, saying: "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better." Every morning when I got up I was worse and worse.
    • J. Golden Kimball Conference Report, April 1926 (quoted in Lofǵren, Mikal. Wheat. Salt lake City: Moth House Publications. ISBN: 0-936718-04-8)
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