The role of willpower in treating insufficient control

Willpower plays a capital role in the re-education of cerebral control. When used properly, it can make all the difference. The exercise of willpower instills patients with a sense of self mastery, and forces their subconscious to remain within normal limits. It inspires confidence and courage. In short, almost anything can be accomplished through a concentrated effort of will, including the re-establishment of cerebral control.

Psychologically speaking, all passive and uncontrolled thoughts become active when they are controlled by an exterior force or influ ence. All mental symptoms of illness disappear as soon as the influence of willpower becomes possible. Anxiety which is produced voluntarily cannot last; even the strongest phobias make no impression against an effort of will.

We could therefore say that a patient who is able to exercise his or her willpower is all but cured.

As soon as patients get used to exercising their willpower, the faculty becomes almost automatic, especially in instances of insufficient control, and constitutes what we call Mental Recovery.

It would be hard for psychasthenic patients to recover if they had to make a real mental effort every time they tended to act passively, without sufficient control.

Fortunately, this is not the case. A well trained brain makes the effort on its own, with hardly any conscious participation on the part of the patient. By simply being aware that s/he is falling, the patient will make the necessary adjustments to remain upright, without any conscious effort - balance is recovered so to speak. Although unconscious, this mental recovery is the result of an effort of will, and can be monitored in the intensity of vibrations felt through hand contact.

For some patients, mental recovery feels like a mechanical effort. One will find the sensation stimulating, another disturbing. What is curious to note is that these patients do not think they are exercising willpower, and see the change as simply a defense against passivity.

When mental recovery assumes this mechanical quality, it may not last very long. There is a danger that such patients will resume their old bad habits. Real mental recovery, on the other hand, is a guarantee that control is stable, and that the habit of exercising control is firmly established.

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