John Hartland pointed out that only a few patients will let go of their symptoms before they feel confident and strong enough to do without them. Hartland's ego-strengthening techniques are comprised of positive suggestions of self-worth and personal effectiveness. I view ego-strengthening as analogous to the medical setting in which a patient is first strengthened by proper nutrition, general rest, and weight gain before a radical form of sur gery is performed. At times his condition strengthens to the point that an infection is cured due to the strengthening of the patient's immune system. At times just the mere teaching of self-hypnosis for relaxation and calmness and the use of ego-strengthening techniques may be enough so that a patient's symptoms spontaneously disappear.
In my opinion, ego-strengthening is a technique that is indicated for all patients who come to us looking for an alleviation of their suffering regardless of what their symptoms are. It is like saying that healthy and good nutrition is helpful to all patients regardless of what their diagnosis or illness is. After I teach the patient self-hypnosis, I then introduce ego-strengthening suggestions. Later, I ask the patient to repeat after me specific statements of ego-strengthening. The following is a verbatim example of suggestions given, following induction, to a patient recovering from depression.
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You Can Experience Freedom From Stress, Anxiety, and Pain And Find The Power To Overcome Destructive Bad Habits. Have you had a problem that was beyond your capacity to fix? Drinking or smoking too much, constant worry and fearful thoughts, or even surprisingly violent or hostile behavior toward others?