counselling psychotherapy

How to use words to heal the body, mind and spirit

evocative word cardsHow to use words to heal the body, mind and spirit

“Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known for ages that our body is programmable by language, words and thought. This has now been scientifically proven and explained.” Fosar and Bludorf, 2011.

Recent research explains how words, sentences and affirmations can have a profound influence on humans, the body and DNA.

Technique of evocative words

One of the techniques that we use in psychosynthesis psychotherapy is the Technique of Evocative Words (1999. P.76). Roberto Assagioli MD writes that according to psychological law, all words possess the power of stimulating and evoking the activity associated with them.

Using evocative words can be useful for developing a spiritual quality such as self-compassion if you have a harsh inner critic for example. It can also be useful if you are facing an event or situation whereby you might feel nervous; exams, sporting events, performances, family gatherings or a job interview.

I like to choose my word first thing in the morning and have this as my seed word for the day.

You can evoke and develop your desired quality through choosing the word for a specific situation, a day, a month, or more.

How to evoke and develop spiritual qualities

Step 1: Choose the quality from the list below that you wish to evoke and develop.

Step 2: Take a piece of cardboard, write or print the word on it. I have a set of cards to call on at any time.

Step 3: Place the card where you will notice it; in your wallet, on the fridge, your work desk, beside your bed or on your pin board.

Step 4: Bring mindful awareness to your word and desired quality. To do this, Assagioli recommends using different visual, auditory and motor images:

  1. Assume a state of relaxation and then observe the word attentively for 1-2 minutes. Notice any ideas or images that emerge and record them in your journal.
  2. Spend time reflecting on the meaning of the word, then record your reflections.
  3. Try to “feel” the quality that the word embodies, letting it permeate your whole being.
  4.  As you observe the word, say it aloud.
  5. Write the word many times.
  6. “Act as if” you already possess this quality.

You might also use your desired quality and word as a seed for art journaling, reflective meditation, a music playlist or as part of a vision board – place your word at the centre and surround it with images that speak of the desired quality.

NB: Even if you do not place conscious attention towards your word, Assagioli notes that catching glimpses of it, can make an impression on the psyche, or more precisely, on the receptive unconscious.

List of evocative words and desired qualities
  • Admiration
  • Acceptance
  • Appreciation
  • Assertiveness
  • Balance
  • Beauty
  • Bliss
  • Boundaries
  • Brother/Sisterhood
  • Calm
  • Compassion
  • Comprehension
  • Connection
  • Cooperation
  • Courage
  • Creativity
  • Detachment
  • Energy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Eternity
  • Faith
  • Forgiveness
  • Freedom
  • Friendship
  • Generosity
  • Goodness
  • Goodwill
  • Gratitude
  • Harmony
  • Humility
  • Inclusiveness
  • Infinity
  • Joy
  • Liberation
  • Light
  • Love
  • Order
  • Patience
  • Peace
  • Positiveness
  • Power
  • Prosperity
  • Quiet
  • Reality
  • Renewal
  • Trust
  • Truth
  • Serenity
  • Service
  • Silence
  • Simplicity
  • Spontaneity
  • Stillness
  • Synthesis
  • Tolerance
  • Understanding
  • Universality
  • Unity
  • Vitality
  • Wellness
  • Wholeness
  • Will
  • Wisdom
  • Wonder

Are there any others that you would add to this list?

About Jodie

Sydney counsellor, soul-centred life-coach and psychotherapist Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches.

4 Responses to How to use words to heal the body, mind and spirit

  • Thank you for your post. I was deeply moved by the work of Assagioli when I entered into my training and underwent a long period of personal psychosynthesis prior to training as a psychotherapist. Very important and significant work. I think that you and readers of this blog may find my resources page of interest which is full of free videos on psychotherapy from a spiritual perspective. http://www.psychotherapysussex.co.uk/depthpsychologyresources/

    Thanks for sharing.

    Warm wishes Howard

  • I chose the word flow for 2014 after a challenging 2013. Love these words Jodie. i often use cards with evocative healing words with clients. Nice post. Thanks

  • Great post! The first thing I will often ask clients before they start “fixing themselves” or a life issue is: “As you live through this experience, what qualities and values do you want to be amplifying? Embodying? If you imagine yourself looking back on this, what are the qualities and values you would like to be able to say described the kind of person you were throughout it all?”

    I’m going to pin this to my Coping Creatively Pinterest Board! (http://www.pinterest.com/mfmathews/)
    The list is a great resource…

  • Thank you for thus post. It is most important to encourage the cultivation of spiritual qualities, be it simply to cleanse the psychic atmosphere, and incidentally heal ourselves fron psychic pollution, and inspire us to go on going on in our daily responsibilities.
    In the mid ’60 I gave a pack of these words (which I had printed with my first salary) to a young stdent living in New York to bring them to some person that had a Psychosynthesis practice. She said that at the customs they made her open the parcels, and were so unbelievably suspicious because they just could not believe that someone would take the trouble to print such “eupsychic” words, and least of all give them to someone else…. Yes in these times to dare teach people that they could develop psychological qualities, and without effort or pain, and for free on top of that, was not “normal”. Today it looks like psychology and personal development have a better press, but still the deliberate development of these qualities is sorerly needed… Even more than in those past times…. Thus thank you again for your article.
    Isabelle (student of Dr Assagioli from 1963 to 1974, and former headmistress of a Swiss private school where Psychosynthesis was in the curriculum for students aged 15-25)

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