Voluntary acts

We consider voluntary acts as a special class, slightly apart from other actions, and very useful as far as training is concerned. We naturally agree that all conscious acts are at the same time voluntary, since they are carried out by choice, but we do make the following distinction.

When we ask patients to perform an act consciously, we are asking them to simply concentrate on the sensations produced by the act, for example the sensation of bending an arm or touching a light switch. In acts which are qualified as voluntary, patients concentrate more on the feeling of their desire to perform the action - i.e. they feel they want to bend their arm, or raise it to close a light switch.

Getting a patient to stand up as a conscious act can be translated into the following verbalization: "I feel myself getting up." If the act is voluntary, the patient will verbalize it this way: "I feel myself want ing to get up." Making this distinction may seem overly subtle, but it does have its uses, since it is the first step in re-educating the faculty of willpower.

And there is a difference in cerebral vibration which can be detected when using the technique of hand application. The waves will be stronger for voluntary acts than for conscious acts. So patients should be taught to perform various voluntary acts during the course of the day, and learn to distinguish them from purely conscious ones.

When they awaken in the morning, they should get up voluntarily, and go to bed in the same way; they should leave their dwelling place because they want to go out, and so on.

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