How Science Discovered The Silva Method

How Science Discovered The Silva Method


Learn more about the Silva Method by José Silva by reading this in-depth scientific study of the Silva Method.

In the beginning, José Silva was alone in his research. Even his wife, Paula, was skeptical and cautious until she eventually saw the benefits in the work he was doing with their children. A few friends in Laredo became interested and listened to his ideas and helped him when he
asked them to, but many more were suspicious and even hostile.

Eventually, Silva’s work attracted the attention of one scientist, who became a close friend and associate, and who brought the research findings to the attention of many other scientists.

This pioneering research, overcoming many obstacles and challenges, has provided José Silva with many wonderful memories of the people and events that helped us to take the first step into the second phase of human evolution on the planet by succeeding with metaphysics.

This is the story about how scientists became aware of the new science that José Silva has named “psychorientology”.

LECTURING TOGETHER are Dr. J.Wilfred Hahn (left) and José Silva (right) at the Silva Method two-week Ultimate Seminar in Laredo, Texas.

Hahn took the first step that led to the Silva Method being taught to the public for the very first time. Here’s how it happened:

A Scientist Takes A Peek

The first scientist who came to Laredo, Texas, to investigate the research that Silva was doing was Dr. J.W. Hahn, director of the Mind Science Foundation in San Antonio, Texas.

Through Dr. Hahn, many more scientists became interested in pioneering research into the mind and human potential. Mind Science Foundation was founded by oil millionaire Tom Slick Sr. It was Mr. Slick who asked Dr. Hahn to check out Silva’s work. He took back a very favorable report. 

In fact, after Dr. Hahn’s visit to Laredo, he called Dr. N.E. West, the head of the Department of Psychology at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas, and arranged for him to visit Laredo and inspect Silva’s findings. Dr. West was impressed. Even though he had visited the laboratories of Dr. J.B. Rhine at Duke University on two occasions, he said that he had never seen so much valid scientific work done on ESP.

A Very Successful Visit

That led to an invitation by Dr. West for Silva to come to Plainview and present a lecture to the psychology students at the college.

The visit was so successful that Dr. West told his friend Dord Fitz, an art professor in nearby Amarillo, that he should invite Silva to come speak to his art students. When several of the art students expressed an interest in learning Silva’s techniques, Fitz suggested that Silva come teach a class in Amarillo.

More than 80 students attended that first Silva Method course. Even before they had finished their training, they were telling Silva that their relatives and friends were also interested, so Silva scheduled another class.

The Silva Method continued to grow by word of mouth, and today it is being offered in more than 100 countries worldwide, in 29 different languages—and millions of people have benefited.

Meanwhile, while Silva was impressing students and artists with his findings, Dr. Hahn was arranging for a visit to the leading parapsychology laboratory in the world: The Mind Science Foundation Laboratory in Los Angeles, California.

It was here that Silva observed a scientific project with a plant that convinced him that the human mind could alter matter just by thinking.

Verified Results

Silva continued teaching, and Dr. Hahn continued encouraging him. But not everyone believed that such trailblazing research and results were coming out of Laredo, Texas.

Dr. Hahn needed to demonstrate to the Mind Science Foundation board of directors that Silva’s program was valid, so he undertook a major survey. Detailed, comprehensive survey forms were mailed to 10,000 Silva Method graduates. More than 1,100 of them took the time to fill out the forms and return them, an unusually high percentage. The graduates seemed eager to express their opinions.

The results were spectacular. Not only were people receiving all of the benefits they had sought when they first came to the course, they were benefiting in ways they had not expected. They were correcting problems that they had not even considered correcting by using the Silva Method techniques.

There was also a question about the graduates’ overall opinion of the Silva Method. Only half a dozen had any complaint, while the rest—99.6% of the graduates—were satisfied.

To validate the survey, Dr. Hahn conducted another survey. In this one, he got responses from every person who attended a Silva Method Basic Lecture Series in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The results in Albuquerque were the same as the results from the other survey, and every person was satisfied with the course. 

Armed with proof that the Silva Method works and that graduates were reporting outstanding benefits. Dr. Hahn now approached other scientists and encouraged them to investigate Silva’s work. He helped arrange with clinical psychologist Dr. Puryear to hold a Silva Method class at the Trinity University campus in San Antonio. Then Dr. Hahn approached the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio. He arranged for Dr. Robert Barns, head of the Psychiatry Department , and Dr. Richard McKenzie, head of the Psychology Department, to invite Silva to present a lecture and demonstration of how to control brain waves consciously.

Students and professors were impressed, because at that time, scientists believed that brain waves were under autonomic control, and could not be altered by individuals. Later Dr. Hahn arranged with Dr. Fred Bremner, head of the Department of Psychology at Trinity University, to test Silva and some of the people that Silva had trained. 

For the first time, scientists verified in a scientific laboratory that people could learn to control their brain waves. They also conducted a scientific experiment that involved Silva teaching his method to 20 of the students at the university. As usual, the results were successful. They were reported in the British scientific journal Neuropsychologia, Vol. 10, pages 307-312 and pages 467-469.

ART PROFESSOR DORD FITZ (left) and José Silva are interviewed by an Amarillo, Texas television station in the art studio where the first Silva Method lectures were conducted.

New Projects Suggested

While visiting the Mind Science Foundation in Los Angeles, Dr. Hahn suggested three projects to Silva:

1. Investigate a Brazilian psychic surgeon by the name of Arrigo.

2. To bring Uri Geller to the U.S. to study the energy that he used to bend spoons.

3. To teach the Silva Method to 49 Ph.D. geologists and petroleum engineers of the McCullough Oil Corp.

Before the project with Arrigo could be started, he died in an automobile accident. Silva decided not to go to the expense of bringing Geller to the U.S. for research because he could not find any useful application for the spoon bending ability. “If he could straighten them out, it would be different,” Silva explained. “Our goal is to correct problems, not to cause them.”

The 49 Ph.D.s with the oil company were given special training to see if they could use their minds to locate undiscovered deposits of oil, using ESP. The oil company never released the results of their efforts. At this time Dr. Hahn decided to leave the Mind Science Foundation and join Silva in Laredo. Dr. George DeSau conducted numerous studies of the changes that take place in people after completing the Silva Method training.

Dr. DeSau conducted research on varied groups of people, from junior high and high school students , to alcoholics, welfare mothers, business executives, and others who learned the Silva Method.

One of Dr. DeSau’s first projects involved more than 2,000 adolescent girls at an inner city school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The results, depicted on the graphs later on in this article, are typical of the results of all of the groups tested. Dr. DeSau later conducted similar research on schools on Guam as well as in Venezuela for the Venezuelan government.

Silva met Dr. Richard McKenzie at the University of Texas Medical School and invited him to join the staff in Laredo. The general public’s knowledge of this field has increased dramatically in the last twenty years, so much so that José Silva has authorized lecturers to shorten the Basic Lecture Series if they desire. The lecturers who use the shorter version still present every technique in the BLS, but reduce the time spent on the lecture material—the explanations of the  various concepts, and the time spent convincing people that they can actually develop the ability to take control of their own lives and develop their intuition and psychic ability. 

There are specialized presentations of the Basic Lecture Series for corporations and for salespeople, and a series of home study courses are being produced for many areas of interest, such as health, relationships, sports, family, business management, and more.

MIND SCIENCE FOUNDATION director J. Wilfred Hahn, (left) brought José Silva to the Los Angeles branch of the Foundation to observe their research.

Presentation To Scientists

The three scientists, now on the Silva International staff. Dr. Hahn, Dr. DeSau, and Dr. McKenzie, were instrumental in arranging for 40 scientists from all over the United States to meet Silva in Houston, Texas, so that he could explain to them what he had done and what his future plans were. Those in attendance were:

  • Rev. Marzel Allard, S.J., Montreal, Quebec
  • V.A. Benignus, Ph.D., Univ. of North Carolina
  • Mrs. Gayla Benignus, M.S., Univ. of North Carolina
  • Mrs. Lendell W. Braud, M.A., Texas Southern Univ.
  • William G. Braud, Ph.D., Univ. of Houston
  • Frederick J. Bremner, Ph.D., and his wife, Trinity Univ.
  • Barbara B. Brown. Ph.D., Veterans’ Administration Hospital, Sepulveda, Calif.
  • Melvin Bucholtz, emissary for Dr. David Shapiro, Harvard Medical School
  • Thomas H. Budzynski, Ph.D., the Univ. of Colorado Medical Center
  • Jeffery P. Chang, Ph.D., Univ. of Texas Medical Branch • Leslie M. Cooper, Ph.D., Brigham Young Univ.
  • Arthur J. Deikman, M.D., Mill Valley, Calif.
  • George T. DeSau, Ed.D., Silva Int.
  • Paul Dunn, M.D., Oak Park, Illinois
  • Doug Eddy, Ph.D., Carnegie- Mellon, Pittsburgh
  • Stan L. Falor, M.D., McMurray, PA
  • Lester G. Fehmi, Ph.D., New York State Univ.
  • Rev. John Frizelle, Ph.D., Incarnate Word College, San Antonio
  • Irving Geller, Ph.D., Texas Tech Univ. School of Medicine
  • J.W. Hahn, Ph.D., Silva International
  • Dr. Paul Henchaw, Tucson Arizona
  • W. Lindsay Jacob, M.D., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Kendall Johnson, emissary for Thelma Moss, Ph.D., UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles;
  • Bonnie Kaplan, emissary for Thomas B. Mulholland, Ph.D., 
  • Veterans’ Administration Hospital, Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Perry London, Ph.D., Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles 
  • Alejandro Martinez Marquez, Ph.D., National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico, D.F.
  • Clancy McKenzie, M.D., Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
  • Richard E. McKenzie, Ph.D., Silva International
  • John Mihalasky, Ed.D., Newark College of Engineering;
  • William Opel, film maker
  • Dr. Robert E. Omstein, Langley Porter Institute, Univ. of Calif. Medical Center, San Francisco
  • Bur l Payne , Ph.D., Way l and, Massachusetts 
  • Erik Peper, Berkeley, California
  • William G. Roll, Psychical Research Foundation, Duke Station, Durham, North Carolina
    José Zarul Braiz, Arch., emissary for Engineer Benjamin Rubio, National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico, D.F.
  • Milan Ryzl, Ph.D., San Jose, Calif.
  • Gertrude Schmeidler, Ph.D., City College of the Univ. of New York 
  • Max Toth, Queens, New York
  • N.E. West, Ph.D., and wife, Veterans’ Administration Hospital, Fort Meade, South Dakota
  • lan Wickramasekera, Ph.D., Univ. of Illinois, Peoria.

The following doctors, Ph.D.s, and Silva International staff members took part in introducing Silva’s work to the visiting scientists:

  • Dr. J.W. Hahn,
  • Dr. George DeSau,
  • Dr. Richard McKenzie,
  • Dr. N.W. West,
  • Dr. Fred Bremner,
  • Dr. William Braud,
  • Dr. Jeffery Chang,
  • Dr. Gayla Benignus,
  • Dr. Paul Dunn,
  • Dr. Stan Falor,
  • Rev. John Frizelle,
  • Dr. Irving Geller,
  • Dr. Alejandro Martinez Marquez, • Dr. Clancy McKenzie,
  • Bill Opel,
  • James Needham,
  • and Harry McKnight.
Silva Method scientists spoke at the Silva Method Convention in Mexico City in 1972. Front row: Dr. Richard McKenzie, Dr. Fred Bremner, Dr. Jeffrey Chang, Dr. William Braud, Dr. Irving Geller, Dr. Alejandro Martinez, and Cleve Baxter. Back row: Dr. Phillip Chancellor, Dr. J. Wilfred Hahn, José Silva, Juan Silva, Dr. Alberto Sanchez- Vilchis, Dr. N.E. West, and Harry McKnight

Control Of Brainwaves

Research by Dr. Fred Bremner

Since 1966, when the first Silva Method Basic Lecture Series was offered to the public, to the time of this reprint, millions of individuals worldwide have learned this method of mental training. Reports of beneficial results from the Silva Method have been as numerous as Silva Method participants themselves.

Through the years, a number of scientific studies have been made concerning the nature of these reported benefits, both physiological and psychological. This section summarizes the results of some of these research projects. 

Recent advances in biofeedback have drawn attention to voluntary control of such functions as brain waves. The ability to produce Alpha rhythm has been linked to relaxation, reduction of stress, intuition success, and other benefits. Subjects trained in the Silva Method have been shown to be able to exert voluntary control over the Alpha rhythm.

Research Results And Research Projects Overview

The Silva Method’s Results In Improving Health

In a survey of 1,107 participants, more than twice the percentage of those seeking health benefits reported improved health as a result of using the Silva Method.

The Silva Method’s Results In Improving Relaxation

The ability to enter levels of deep relaxation is critical to the reduction of potentially damaging physical tension and psychological stress.

The Silva Method’s Results In Improving Sleep

Greater facility in entering sleep naturally is learned by BLS participants. Natural sleep is vital to the maintenance of proper physical and mental health.

EEG Correlates Of Attention In Humans

This research was conducted to demonstrate the capacity of the Silva Method graduate to produce Alpha brain wave rhythm voluntarily, and its compatibility with the conscious production of images.

  • Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, 1972.
  • Drs. Frederick J. Bremner, V. Benignus, and F. Moritz.
  • The research demonstrated that “the Silva subjects were quite capable of producing the Alpha rhythm” on demand Published in Neuropsychology, vol. 10 p. 307-312 and 467-469, England. 

The Silva Method’s Results For Brainwaves Control

A comparison of training data to baseline data for Silva Method trainees. 

The Effect Of The Silva Method In Enhancing Intuition And Creativity

A group of 30 individuals who participated in the Silva Method were asked to complete three test instruments before and after the training: The HCP Profile Test to determine left versus right brain dominance; the HCP-PSY Test to determine beliefs and experiences about intuition; and the Intuitive Potentials Test, which measures an individual’s current intuitive potentials.

  • Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, 1988.
  • Dr. George Maycock, Appalachian State University.
  • Individuals who completed the Silva Method BLS showed a significant increase in scores for all three tests. Individuals in the control group who did not participate in the training showed no significant gains in scores on any of the tests.
  • This research study was presented at the American Educational Research Association 1988 Annual Meeting and has been published by Silva International, Inc.

The Effect Of The Silva Method In Enhancing Intuition And Creativity

Imagination is a key component of creativity. The Silva Method offers techniques for exercising the imagination and increasing creativity.

The Silva Method And Changes In EEG Alpha Power

This research was done to demonstrate that the Silva Method graduate can increase the production of his or her alpha brain wave rhythm when entering the “basic plane level.”

  • Clinical Neurology Department, San Carlos Clinic Hospital, Madrid Spain, 1985.
  • Jose Carlos Oliveros, MD, Head of the Clinical Electroneurophysiology Service, San Carlos Clinical Hospital; Tomas Ortiz, MD, Head of the Psychobiology Department, Computense University, Madrid; Ana Maria Selman, Bs.D., in Biological Sciences; Simon Arrigain, BS in physics. Head of Computer Service, Clinical Electroneurophysiology, San Carlos Clinical Hospital.
  • Results indicated a significant increase in the median values of Alpha power in the occipital and temporal areas of the brain while the research subjects were in a state of “dynamic meditation.” 

The Silva Method’s Results For Dream Control

Dream Control, a technique for remembering dream and learning how to use dreams for practical problem-solving, was used successfully by about four times as many who were seeking benefits: 

Ratio of People Seeking Benefits to People Receiving Benefits from the Silva Method Basic Lecture Series

This research was conducted for the Board of Directors of Mind Science Foundation so that they could evaluate whether participants in the Silva Method Basic Lecture Series are receiving the benefits they are seeking.

  • Mind Science Foundation, San Antonio, Texas, and Los Angeles, California, 1973.
  • Dr. J.W. Hahn, Director of Mind Science Foundation.
  • More than 1,100 Silva Method graduates who responded to the survey indicated that they had received more benefits than they had sought when they attended the BLS. Dr. Hahn reported that 99.6 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the course.
  • Report presented to the Board of Directors of Mind Science Foundation, and published by Silva International in 1973. 

The Silva Method’s Results in Improving Memory

Increased memory functioning, including information storage and recall are part of the BLS. Again, the number of graduates reporting successful results is higher than those originally seeking such results.

The Effect of Expectations on the Effectiveness of the Silva Method

This research was done to determine whether skeptics who come to the Basic Lecture Series with a low expectancy benefit as much as people who come expecting a lot.

  • Bar-Illan University, Department of Sociology, Israel, 1989.
  • Rafael Liberman.
  • Positive results: “The results show that ‘skeptics’ who take the Silva course attain the same achievements as those whose expectations were high[…]. The Silva Method can reduce the level of anxiety and make it possible to attain achievements beyond die participants’ expectations of success in the course.”
  • Published by Silva International, Inc. 

The Silva Method’s Results for Psychic Awareness

The development of a superior intuitive sense is thought to be related to success in many areas. Students in the BLS have experiences of a psychic nature, and the intuitive sense is enhanced by Silva training. 

The Silva Method and Levels of Anxiety

This research was conducted to measure the effect of the Silva Method on both trait and state anxiety levels of subjects.

  • Psychology Department, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel, 1984.
  • Rafael Liberman.
  • The results confirm the hypothesis that the stable anxiety level of the participants on finishing the course and at the next stage, will be significantly less than the stable anxiety level at the beginning of the same. Both “state anxiety” and “trait anxiety” levels were improved significantly. Previous researchers felt that trait anxiety levels could not be altered significantly, but the results from this study indicated that trait anxiety levels were significantly reduced following completion of the Silva Method Basic Lecture Series. Follow-up studies showed that improvement continues the most when participants continue to practice.
  • Published by Silva International, Inc.

The Silva Method’s Results for Psychic Awareness

The development of a superior intuitive sense is thought to be related to success in many areas. Students in the BLS have experiences of a psychic nature, and the intuitive sense is enhanced by Silva training. 

The Silva Method’s Results for Habit Control

The control of habits such as smoking and overeating can be difficult. Participants report success using The Silva Method to control habits.

COMBINED ESP EVENTS – Precognition Telepathy Clairvoyance After completion of the BLS, there was a marked decrease in the number of people who reported zero psychic experiences prior to the class.

PSYCHIC EXPERIENCES – The same people reported an increase in psychic experiences after the Basic Lecture Series. 

High School Personality Questionnaire

Research by Dr. George DeSau:

This project illustrates the changes that occurred to high school students after The Silva Meth- od was taught. The instrument used, Cattell’s High School Personality Questionnaire (HSPQ), was selected for its wide range of factors which relate to claims for The Silva Method.

About t Value The t value is obtained by a mathematical formula determined by statistical tables. The higher the t value the more significance it has. All t values in these results have reached the predetermined level of positive statistical relevance.

About p Value As the statistical measure of probability, p indicates the least probable number of times an exactly controlled experiment must be repeated to obtain the given results by pure chance. For example, if p=.01, then more than one hundred repetitions of the original experiment.

Research Results and Research Projects Overview

The Silva Method’s Results for Ego Strength

Psychological pre- and post- testing of high school students showed a strong movement toward “high ego strength, mature, facing reality, calm,” and away from being easily upset.

The Albuquerque Report

This research was done to measure the positive influence of the Silva Method on personality factors. Conducted with a group of 30 people in a regular Basic Lecture Series.

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1974.
  • George T. DeSau, Ed.D., and Paul Seawell.
  • The results confirm the informal observations of definite and valuable changes taking place in Silva Method courses. The individuals tested appear to be moving away from any indication of neurotic disorders and toward greater self-guidance, fulfillment, and balance based on their own internal points of reference. The researchers said that, “this shift appears significant indeed.”
  • Published by Silva Int, Inc., 1974.   

The Silva Method’s Results for Self-Assurance, Free of Guilt

A test group showed responses indicating “tranquil, composed, relaxed,” and away from ”tense, frustrated, driven, overwrought.” This shift is characteristic.

Incarnate Word High School Project

This research was done to find out what benefits the high school students felt they received from the Silva Method Basic Lecture Series.

  • Incarnate Word School for Girls, San Antonio, Texas, 1972.
  • Ray Glau, Don Kreipke, and Ron Bynum from the Silva Method; and Sister Miriam Garana, and Sister Teresa Connors of Incarnate World High School. 
  • A total of 371 of the 460 students from seventh grade to seniors took the Silva Method Basic Lecture Series. The results were very positive. School officials were surprised that so many of the students reported that the Silva Method helped to remove feelings of depression and fear. Several students admitted that they had enrolled in the course because it was better than staying in class, but afterwards 96 percent said they were glad they had taken the course and felt it was worth the time. “According to the numerous interviews, my own observations, and the results of the questionnaire, I can honestly say that the project was highly successful. It is not a panacea, but when the principles of the Silva Method are used effectively, it prepares the atmosphere in which confidence can grow, in which there can be personal and academic growth and achievement—the type of growth parents and educators dream of—the total development of the person.” Sister Miriam was visited by Father John Rilley, principal of Hallahan High School in Philadelphia, which helped open the way for the Silva Method to be taught Acre and in two other high schools in the area, with full psychometric testing to determine the actual personality factors that change when students learn to use more of their minds to help them solve more problems.

The Silva Method’s Results for Tranquility, Relaxation

BLS students shifted toward “self-assured, placid, serene,” and away from “apprehensive, self- reproaching, and worry.” 

Silva Method Courses: Their Effects in Three Secondary Schools

This research was done to measure the influence of the Silva Method in personality factors amongst high school students, with psychometric testing using Cattell’s High School Personality Questionnaire.

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1974.
  • Schools: Hallahan High School, 2,000 students; St. Fidelis High School, 120 students; Lawrenceville High School, 520 students.
  • George T. DeSau, Ed.D.
  • Positive results in all three schools. “A factor of change which is persistent and strong after Silva Method training is that of a shifting to internal points of reference—another way of saying the recognition by an individual of his own value and a significant step toward self-control as opposed to being controlled by external others. Further, the reduction of guilt… has tremendous therapeutic as well as educational implications. The other consistent element is that of individuals reporting themselves as being more relaxed and tranquil, certainly characteristics that are much needed in the educational milieu, to say nothing of society in general.”
  • Published by Silva Int, Inc., 1974

The Silva Method’s Results for Social Orientation

The development of an inner-conscious direction in the BLS leads to the release of inhibition in social interaction. A test group shifted toward “spontaneous and social boldness,” and away from “shy, timid and threat sensitive.”

Niños Cantores del Zulia School Project

This research was conducted ten years after the research at the schools in Pennsylvania to determine the influence of the BLS on students now that there is “a new level of awareness and commitment to the inclusion of a subjective mind training program for self-development” in school curricula.

  • George T. DeSau, Ed.D., and Marcelino Alcala, 1981. 
  • Maracaibo, Venezuela.
  • The results were consistent with previous research. 
  • Published by Silva Int, Inc.

The Silva Method’s Results for Stability of Ego Strength

Follow-up testing shows that the major changes brought about by the Basic Lecture Series are long-lasting. In fact, there is an increase in stability over a period of time.

International Educational Investigation Project

This project was run to determine the effects of teaching the Silva Method in the Parochial schools on Guam.

  • Guam, 1986.
  • Three parish schools.
  • Dr. George DeSau, Sister Mary Bernard Unpingo, Sister Naomi Curtin, Nelda Sheets.
  • Very positive results, as published in anecdotal reports by Silva International.

The Silva Method’s Results for Trust, Cooperation

Basic Lecture Series students showed a greater willingness to work with others, rather than being continuously competitive, suspicious, and distrustful.

International Educational Investigation Project

Done to determine the effects of teaching the Silva Method in the Parochial schools on Guam.

  • Guam, 1986.
  • Three parish schools.
  • Dr. George DeSau, Sister Mary Bernard Unpingo, Sister Naomi Curtin, Nelda Sheets.
  • Very positive results, as published in anecdotal reports by Silva International.

The Silva Method’s Results for Enthusiasm

BLS participants showed greater cheerfulness, enthusiasm, and joie de vivre. This movement away from gloominess and pessimism may well result from newfound freedom from prior anxieties and inner turmoil.

The Effect of the Silva Method’s Three Fingers Technique of the Improvement of Grades of University Students

The students who had learned the Three Fingers Technique improved their test scores nine percentage points—or 17 percent—from one term to the next, while the control group actually dropped one point over the same period. 

  • University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 1988. 
  • Dr. E. Henry Stanton.
  • Published in the Journal of the Society of Accelerative Learning and Teaching, and by Silva International.

The Silva Method’s Results: Warmhearted, Outgoing

This scale shows a movement toward the compassionate aspects of personality, with qualities such as “warmhearted, outgoing and participating,” and away from “reserved, detached, critical and aloof.” 

The Effect of Very Brief Exposure to the Silva Method’s Three Fingers Technique on Reducing Anxiety While Taking Tests

With only 30 minutes of class time devoted to learning how to enter the Alpha level and use the Three Fingers Technique, almost every one of the 15 college students felt the exercise was helpful, and more than half the students felt that they obtained specific benefits in reducing test anxiety and improving test performance.

  • Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, 1990. 
  • Dr. George Maycock.

The Silva Method and Academic Performance in Higher Education

This research was done to measure the effect of the Silva Method in the learning process, intelligence quotient, and personality factors amongst university students.

  • Autonomous University of Tlaxcala, Mexico, 1986.
  • Lilia Alcira Vaca, M.D., Departmental Director of Psychopedagogy of the above university, Jorge Mario Medina, Edmundo Sanchez Collazos.
  • Results indicate that 67.7 percent of the subjects improved their IQ classification. There was also a significant improvement in personality traits such as sociability, communication, confidence, self-acceptance, unproved self- image, self-reliance, development of creativity, and others. “Therefore, it can be stated that the practice of the Silva Method techniques contributes to the improvement of academic performance.”
  • Published by Dinámica Mental Método Silva, Mexico, D.F.

Developments of Self Image

Research by James Motiff:

There are many aspects to self-concept and self-image. An individual’s self-conception is of critical importance in life. Psychological testing has confirmed the positive effects of the Basic Lecture Series on several characteristics of self- image.

RCA Records Executives

The research was conducted to determine positive personality changes in 25 executives with RCA Records as a result of taking the BLS.

  • Glen Rock, New Jersey, 1982.
  • George T. DeSau, Ed.D.
  • Results: “Indications of change were very positive in terms of personal development as well as viewed from the perspective of characteristics that should make for effective management.” 
  • Published by Silva International, Inc.

Research Results and Research Projects Overview

The Silva Method’s Results for Physical Self-image

Basic Lecture Series – participants perceived themselves to be healthier than before the Silva Method classes and were more accepting of their appearance, behavior, and stature.

The Ottawa County Project

This research was designed to measure the effect of the Silva Method as a rehabilitation tool in social work.

  • Social Services Department, Ottawa County, Michigan, and Psychology Department of Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 1974.
  • Dr. James Motiff, Psychology Department, Hope University, Holland, Michigan; Larry Hildore, and David A. Wallace.
  • Positive results. Test data revealed that the participants—60 single mothers on welfare—showed marked improvement in every category except “Remembrance and Insight from Dreams.” The most frequently expressed feeling from participants was thankfulness for the Silva Method experience; the second most expressed feeling was that of wanting to help others. Within a few weeks of completing the BLS, 40 of the 60 women gained employment. 
  • Published by Silva International, Inc., 1974.

The Silva Method’s Results for Personal Self-image

Adherence to moral or ethical standards and greater concern for the rights of others were perceived as greatly enhanced by the BLS, along with general self-esteem.

The Silva Method and Personality

This research was done to measure the influence of the Silva Method in personality variables of 200 people.

  • Computense University, Madrid, Spain, 1981.
  • Pilar Usanos Tamayo, Psy.D.
  • Positive results shown. Prior to the Silva Method, there were no differences between the experimental and the control group. After the BLS there were significant differences: The subjects who took the course were more open and communicative than those who didn’t. Four months after the BLS, in the follow-up phase, the difference between the two groups was greater.
  • Doctoral Thesis: Mind Control and Personality Variances; Experimental Study, Pilar Usanos, Madrid Computense University, 1984. Published in Mexico by 0. Multicolor, 1981.

The Silva Method’s Results for Moral-Ethnical Self-Image

Balance, integration of emotions, and harmony in personal affairs showed a significant improvement.

The Alcoholic Study

This research was done to measure the influence of the Silva Method on personality changes amongst a group of alcoholics and their spouses.

  • Half-way house, 1973.
  • George T. DeSau, Ed.D., and Hector M. Cantú, M.S.W.
  • Positive results. Six months after completion of the BLS, 12 of the 15 alcoholics had no alcohol in the interim. One had taken a glass of wine and stopped. One had twice started drinking but managed to stop without becoming intoxicated to the point of requiring hospitalization. One required hospitalization for excessive drinking of alcohol.
  • Published by Silva International, Inc.

The Silva Method’s Results for Family Self-Image

Balance, integration of emotions, and harmony in personal affairs showed a significant improvement.

Performance Enhancement through Visualization and Mental Rehearsal

Measuring and comparing the effectiveness in improving athletic skills by:

1) the use of mental rehearsal at the alpha level (using Silva Method techniques);

2) the use of physical practice;

3) the use of a combination of mental and physical practice.

  • Nyack Junior High School, Nyack, New York, 1987. 
  • Cecelia A. Prediger. 
  • Results: Mental practice produced almost as much improvement as the same amount of time in physical practice, and a combination of mental and physical practice for the same total length of time produced more than twice as much improvement in a specific athletic skill.
  • Published by Silva International, Inc., 1987.

The Silva Method’s Results for Self-image: Identity

This factor deals with an individual’s total concept of “What I Am.” BLS students learned to value themselves more highly.

The Consciousness Movement and the Mental Patient

This research was conducted by two psychiatrists with their patients to measure the effects of the Silva Method on seriously disturbed psychiatric patients.

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1980.
  • Clancy D. McKenzie, M.D., Director of Philadelphia Psychiatric Consultation Service; and Lance S. Wright, M.D., Senior Attending Psychiatrist, Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital and Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry at Hahnemann Medical Hospital.
  • Improvement was observed in all of the patients, with the exception of two, one of whom it did not help and the other worsened due to factors not associated with the Silva Method. An efficient use of the control of dreams was also achieved to help correct problems. “The course was found to be safe and potentially beneficial for neurotics. It was relatively safe and definitely beneficial for the highly disturbed individual, when under the care of a psychiatrist familiar with the program. Both clinical and objective psychological data show that the benefits far outweigh any negative effect.”
  • Published in Voices: The Art and Science of Psycho-therapy, 1981. Also published by Silva International, Inc.

The Silva Method’s Results for Social Self-Image

Self-image is of great importance in social interaction. Improvement in this area correlates with the ability to deal with people more satisfactorily.

Florida Prison Project

This research was conducted to determine the effects of the Silva Method Basic Lecture Series on a group of inmates who were incarcerated for the first time in the Florida state prison system.

  • Indian River Correctional Institution, Vero Beach, Florida, 1979.
  • J.W. Hahn, Ph.D., Chaplain Gene M. Little, Ph.D., and Ed Bemd Jr.
  • The results were excellent. Prison Chaplain Gene M. Little, who administered personality tests to participants before and after the BLS, called it “A very positive program.” He added that none of the 14 participants in the program had gotten into any trouble since completing the BLS, and that the inmates themselves reported that they were much more relaxed, and their grades in the high school and college courses were improving.
  • Published by the Silva Method of Brevard County, Florida, and by Silva International, Inc. 

The Silva Method’s Results for Self-Satisfaction

How one feels about his or her identity is illustrated here. The Silva group learned to be far less critical and negative about themselves.

The Silva Method and Psychoprophylactic Childbirth

This project was undertaken to evaluate the effects of the Silva Method of relaxation for expectant parents, and its influence on the baby.

  • Ministry of Public Health, Puriscal, Costa Rica, Central America, 1982. 
  • Socorro Rodriguez, M.D., Director of the Mental Health Department, Public Health Ministry of Costa Rica.
  • ”Studies and experience in this field in Costa Rica show that through simple psychoprophylactic [sic] childbirth methods and Silva Method techniques adapted for this purpose, women and their partners can participate in the childbearing process from its beginning to actual delivery.”
  • Partial results published at the Silva Method 3rd. World Convention in San Jose, Costa Rica, 1982. 29. The Silva Method and Non-traumatic Induction to Anesthesia
  • Measured the effect of the Silva Method relaxation techniques amongst patients programmed for surgery, evaluating the reduction in their consumption of chemical anesthetics and the elimination of pain.
  • Specialties Hospital, Mexican Institute of Social Security, Puebla, Mexico, 1981.
  • Miguel Bautista, M.D.
  • Positive results. 50 percent reduction in use of chemical anesthetic. 90 percent elimination of pain during the 72 hours following the operation.
  • Work presented at the Latinoamericano Congress for Anesthesia in Panama in 1981.

The Silva Method’s Results: Behavior

Basic Lecture Series participants moved toward patterns indicating greater acceptance of their own behavior and a decrease in self-criticism.

The Silva Method for Improving Inadequate Behavior in Children

This research was done to show the effects of the Silva Method in the changing of inadequate behavior (aggression, rebelliousness, lack of discipline) in children.

  • Education Faculty – Catholic University, Maniales, Colombia, 1985.
  • Dr. Milena de Munoz and Dr. Gloria Nelly Martinez. 
  • Positive results.

The Silva Method for Improving Inadequate Behavior in Children

This research was done to show the effects of the Silva Method in the changing of inadequate behavior (aggression, rebelliousness, lack of discipline) in children.

  • Education Faculty – Catholic University, Maniales, Colombia, 1985.
  • Dr. Milena de Munoz and Dr. Gloria Nelly Martinez. 
  • Positive results.

The Silva Method and Its Uses

This research was conducted to measure the influence of the Silva Method on personality factors amongst university professors.

  • School of Dentistry, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, Toluca. Edo. de Mexico,, 1980.
  • Psychology Department of the same university.
  • With the collaboration of Pilar Usanos Tamayo, Psy.D.
  • Researchers reported that the Silva Method “motivated a positive change in the subjects along the following lines: A feeling of healthiness, with less physical discomfort of possible organic origin; an increase in self-confidence, feeling more optimistic and useful; a certain advance in the process of psychological maturity; more acceptance and integration to social conventions; a decrease in susceptibility, fear, and apprehensions; higher acceptance of reality; a disposition towards extroversion, becoming more open and sociable.”
  • Published by Silva International, Inc. 

Benefits of the Silva Method to Teachers and Counselors

This research was conducted to determine how much benefit the Silva Method Basic Lecture Series offers to teachers who have already had considerable formal education when the BLS is included along with their regular university courses.

  • Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, 1985.
  • Dr. George Maycock. Appalachian State University.
  • Results: “This study showed that teachers and counselors can benefit from taking the Silva Method as part of their professional training. In this way the benefits of the Silva Method will multiply as these teachers and counselors interact with their classes and clients.”
  • Published by Silva International, Inc. 

The Effect of the Silva Method on Cognitive Controls

This research was done to determine the effects of meditation and relax- ation on subjects’ ability to perceive objective information. 

  • David Miller
  • Silva Method graduates who performed physical relaxation prior to entering laboratory level demonstrated a greater tendency to focus their concentration inwardly. They were able to identify fewer objects than they could at the Beta level. Graduates who entered their laboratory level without relaxing demonstrated an increased ability in outwardly focused concentration from that of their Beta level.

Performance Enhancement Through Visualization

by Cecelia A. Prediger

In a landmark research study, Cecelia A. Prediger of Nyack Junior High School, New York, documented for the first time the dramatic amount of total improvement, as measured by goals scored, that takes place when athletes combine mental rehearsal and physical practice.

Studies by other researchers had demonstrated that mental practice at the Alpha level has almost as much benefit as the same amount of time spent in physical practice.

The study confirmed their research and went on to show an electrifying increase in goals scored when the total practice time is divided equally between mental and physical practice.


As you can see, it’s been scientifically proven that the Silva Method brings about positive changes in its students across all aspects of their lives.

Students report feeling healthier, being more confident, developing feelings of optimism and purpose, becoming more social, and generally more in-tune with the world around them.

If you’d like to learn more about the Silva Method and how this powerful tool can elevate your own life to unimaginable levels of success, then sign up for Mindvalley’s completely FREE Masterclass below. You’ll be diving deep into the Silva method with Mindvalley founder Vishen Lakhiani, who’ll teach you,

  • How to switch your states of consciousness for better creativity, relaxation, and achieve optimal states for learning and growth,
  • How to use the mind to assist and speed up your physical healing,
  • Develop crystal-clear intuition that can help solve some of the biggest problems and roadblocks in your life!
Learn more about the Silva Method by Jose Silva by reading this in-depth scientific study of the Silva Method.
Written by
Irina Yugay