Right Brain…Left Brain

13 Nov

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot about the “right brain” and “left brain,” but, honestly, I can never remember which one is the “emotional” side and which one is the “logical” side.

Well, I just learned something that will make it easier to remember–and something that can be VERY helpful in the therapy room and at the mediation table.

I learned that, when we start to write, we immediately go into our “left brain” even if we had been in our “right brain.” Even left-handed people do the same thing.images

That means, as soon as we put pen to paper, we are able to “make sense” of things better. We’re able to look at the situation logically and step out of our emotions, which means that we can understand our feelings as soon as we start writing.

The speaker from whom I learned this uses this technique at his mediation table all the time. When he notices that the parties are getting overly emotional, he says he often asks them to stop and write a “list” of what they’re trying to say or do. Honestly, it’s not so much about the list as it’s about having the parties switch to the logical sides of their brains. That way, they can come back and be more logical about the discussion.

For years, therapists have been asking clients to journal their feelings, and, now, I know why. It helps us understand the sometimes overwhelming emotions we feel when we’re in the  midst of a problem.

Now, when I ask my clients to journal, I tell them why. I tell them that feeling our emotions are important, but, when they get overwhelming, we may need to give our “right brain” a break.



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