When clients feel unworthy or suffer from debilitating worry, it can be helpful to have them create a mantra as a homework assignment. Remind clients that words have tremendous impact and it is transformational to fill our minds with sacred, loving words. Since we have to think, we may as well have life-enhancing words to focus on. Offer a few mantras, such as “thank you,” “relax,” “Holy Father,” and “trust,” as examples. Ask clients to think of a word or a few words, perhaps from a religious tradition or a sacred song, that touches them in a loving, encouraging way. Have clients write the mantra on at least five sticky notes, and decide together where they will post them, e.g. the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, computer monitor, and/or dashboard. With mantra reminders in several places, your clients will see their mantras frequently, which helps to embed the words deeply in the mind.
Therapists can use this healing practice themselves to discover its benefits. Then, based on your personal experience, bring the practice to your clinical setting, and it will be a joy to teach to your clients.
Mary NurrieStearns, LCSW, RYT, is a psychotherapist and yoga teacher with a counseling practice in Tulsa, OK. She is author of numerous articles on psycho-spiritual growth, coeditor of the book Soulful Living, coauthor of the books Yoga for Anxiety, Yoga for Emotional Trauma, andYoga Mind, Peaceful Mind. She has produced DVDs on yoga for anxiety and emotional trauma. She leads transformational meditation and yoga retreats and teaches seminars across the United States.