R – Right-Brain Release
Traumatic experiences are sometimes impossible to talk about and talking is a left-brained activity. When there are “no words” to express life-altering situations, the right side of the brain must be accessed and utilized. This is where images, emotions, and body sensations are stored. The right hemisphere tends to be creative, nonlinear, non-rational, intuitive, relational and holistic- and often this is where trauma healing can begin. Tapping into right-brain modalities with music, color, sand, art, movement, sensation, pictorial journals and imagery may assist in:
- rebalancing the body’s biochemistry (normalizing levels of stress/relaxation hormones)
- decreasing flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive memories and disturbing images
- increasing levels of serotonin (the happy hormone)
- allowing the subconscious mind to unlock the door to expression
is a very effective form of therapy for those dealing with grief, trauma, and PTSD. By creating scenes using miniature figures in a tray of sand, the client’s subconscious mind gathers symbols and imagery to work through issues that have no words. Neurobiological research supports the fact that emotional memories and traumatic sensory experiences are stored in right hemisphere of the brain, along with non-verbal, sensory experiences such as images, body sensations, and emotions. Non-verbal therapies like Sandplay are one of the most effective ways to assist traumatized clients in healing.
Sandplay Therapy – An Introduction by Patricia Dunn-Fierstein. Filmed & Edited by Garrett Fierstein
- Visit toolbox letter “I – Imagery” for resources on right-brain therapies such as Guided Imagery, Somatic Experiencing (SE), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Buy Kinetic Sand at Michaels Craft Store
- How Art Heals Grief (Good Therapy)
Handy to Have at Home
- Art supplies (blank sketchbooks, clay, colored pencils, crayons, paint)
- Coloring books (doodle books, inspirational words, mandala designs, meditative shapes)
- Illustrated Discovery Journal (blank notebooks, glue, magazines, scissors)
- Kinetic sand
- Vibrational Sound Healing by Andrew Weil
- American Art Therapy Association – Facts, frequently asked questions, and tools to find an art therapist near you.
- American Music Therapy Association – Facts, frequently asked questions, and tools to find a music therapist near you.
- Sandplay Therapists of America – Events, trainings, and tools to find a Sandplay therapist near you.
- SoulCollage® and Kaleido Soul – Blog, newsletter, resources, retreats, trainings, and SoulCollage workshops near you.
- Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy – Provides certification for two career paths — as a Therapy Practitioner working one-on-one with clients or as a Yoga Teacher leading therapeutic yoga classes that incorporate the Phoenix Rising Approach.