This section is from the book "Mental Therapeutics Or Just How To Heal Oneself And Others", by Theron Q. Dumont. Also available from Amazon: Mental Therapeutics or Just How to Heal Oneself and Others.
The practitioner of Mental Therapeutics will find that the patients who come to him for treatment may be grouped into the following general classes, viz.: (1) Those who incline to the belief that Divine Power is the underlying principle of the cure; (2) those who have dabbled somewhat in metaphysics, and who favor some metaphysical explanation of the cure; (3) those wrho are more or less familiar with the psychological principles really underlying the cure; and (4) those who are not much concerned with the underlying principle, but who rather seek the cure just as they would seek electrical treatment, massage, or even drug treatment.
The practitioner will do well to modify his treatment to fit the requirements of these different classes, which requirements he may easily ascertain by a skilful questioning of the patient at the first interview. A few leading questions will usually bring out the beliefs and opinions, the preferences and the prejudices of the patient. By following this rule the practitioner will not only make use of the deepest and widest channel of suggestion, but will also avoid antagonizing the patient by running contrary to his favorite theory and beliefs and thus setting up an unnecessary and undesirable friction or resistance. By this I do not mean that the practitioner should wilfully deceive the patient, or that he should play the hypocrite-this is not necessary or advisable, not to speak of the moral objection. Knowing the real principle employed, he may by a careful use of words in giving his suggestion practically surround his active principle with a pleasant capsule, and thus accomplish the best possible results for the patient.
The first class, the "religious" type of patients, may be reminded that Divine Power is back of all rational treatments; and that the treatment to be given is but one of the many means which the Divine Power has placed at the disposal of suffering humanity. The terms "Divine Love," " Power of the Spirit," and other phrases familiar to this class of patients will create the very best kind of mental atmosphere for them, and will render them receptive to the healing suggestions. Religious emotion is a very powerful adjunct to suggestive treatment, as is proved by the success of those basing their healing upon the appeal to the religious feeling, faith, and belief. The statement above recommended is based upon Truth, as all but an avowed skeptic or unbeliever will admit; so that the practitioner is not deceiving the patient, nor is he playing the hypocrite, in wording his suggestions along these lines.
The second class, the metaphysical patients, will respond more readily to suggestions in which the idea that the diseased condition results from "erroneous thought," or from a lack of perception of the fact that "All is Mind." The main idea to be brought out in such cases is that the physical condition is merely the reflection of the ideas and beliefs held in the mind; and that, therefore, the restoration of the true and real mental state will result in the manifestation of a perfect physical condition. This, of course, is essentially true, although there is also a physical basis for the disease and the cure, as we have seen. Patients of this class are not interested in descriptions of the cells and organs of the body, for they prefer to regard these as more or less unreal, while Mind is the sole reality. These people seem to have a great dislike for anything suggesting physiological facts, and prefer to dwell in the thought of Mind. Accordingly, they must be reached in that way in order to be benefited.
The third class, the psychological patients, are open to scientific explanations of the cause and cure of disease, such as we have considered and studied in the preceding lessons. They will grasp the explanation of the cell-minds, and the organ-minds, and will absorb, assimilate, and respond to suggestions given along those lines; while they will be repelled by the introduction of "religious talk," or "away-up-in-the-air metaphysics." Let them know just what you are seeking to accomplish, and then proceed accordingly.
The fourth class, the "new thing" seekers, require more or less mystery and illusion in the treatment. They like to believe that the healer has some wonderful power of mind, or otherwise, which he is going to use for their benefit. Any plausible explanation will suffice in their case, providing it is given in an authoritative manner, and in the tones of confident assurance of success. They seek the "strange, wonderful power" of the healer; and the healer who carries out this idea is the one who will obtain the best results in such cases. These people like the words "psychic power," "vital force," "magnetic power," etc., and are impressed by strange terms and methods of administering the treatment. A scientific explanation will go over their heads, and they will lose interest and accordingly will not get the best results. These people must be accepted as they are, not as they should be; the practitioner must take the raw material as he finds it, and then work it over into better things. First, last, and always, his business is to make cures, rather than to teach and preach to these people. This advice is based upon sound scientific psychology, and "the end justifies the means" in such cases-the "end" being the cure of the patient, and the removal of his mental and physical disorders.