I am often asked what to expect in therapy. The short answer is that most of the people I see have no problem with their logical minds. If there was a “think longer, harder, clearer” answer to the issue that brings them to therapy, their well-toned left hemisphere would have solved it by now.
Like many other process-oriented therapists, I see my job in therapy as inviting my clients to get reacquainted with the answers about their selves that lie in their right hemisphere…the side of our brain that we get to use as children, but neglect as adults. My sessions incorporate sandtray, chair work, art, movement, and mindfulness invitations…all with the intention of moving from cognitive knowledge of “the problem” to an experience of a (not the!) solution in the room. The beautiful part of experiencing something new in the therapy room is that our brains do not know the difference between what we “practice” in therapy and what “really happens” in the world. The solution to any stuck place lies in experiencing a different way of being, for without the experience, its all just theory.
So what will happen in therapy? I’ll invite your right brain in as often as possible, and I’ll invite your overworked left brain to go out for coffee, balance the bank account, or come up with all the incredibly logical reasons why this is silly. It might feel silly to play, to draw, to move, to dance, to talk to the parts of you that make up the whole. That’s ok. That’s just your left brain doing its job. At the end of each session, I’ll invite your left brain back in to integrate, organize, and process what you’ve experienced so that your wonderful brain can find ways to apply your work intherapy to the “real” world.
Just for fun, I’ve attached my favorite recent representation of the division of labor between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. I am mesmerized by these, and I hope you’ll enjoy them as well. Notice which side you feel more drawn to when you look at the images, then notice which you are more drawn to when you read the words…