Thank you for visiting. Here you will find posts based on my book The Power of Your Other Hand: Unlocking creativity and inner wisdom through the right side of your brain (new edition, 2019 Conari Press), featuring excerpts from the book, success stories from readers and students, my own experiences, and drawing and writing prompts using this technique. Enjoy!
~Lucia Capacchione, Phd, ATR

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Giving Your Inner Child a Voice

I'm pleased to introduce this week's guest blogger Marlena Tanner, a dietitian working with individuals recovering from eating disorders. She is trained in my Creative Journal Expressive Arts methods and applies very effectively with her clients.

The Inner Child Sasses Back
by Marlena Tanner

As a dietitian, I can only write so many meal plans and provide so much education on nutrition and metabolism. While planning and education are helpful, they don’t shift deep, core beliefs about value. It’s difficult to follow a meal plan or engage in self-care when you can’t stand yourself. When my clients are baffled by their inability to follow through, I often ask, “how would you treat someone who you hate? Would you take good care of them?”

So, how do you shift from self-loathing to unconditional, self-love?

My lovely psychotherapist co-workers are specialized in helping clients do that inner work—and I’m so grateful for them. They help guide people through discovery of the origin of self-hatred, towards better understanding. Sometimes it’s as simple as undiagnosed depression that turns anger inwards. Through support and guidance, I learned that I’m neither worth hating or being afraid of. I am worth loving. And you are, too.

In therapy, you can identify cognitive distortions that drive your emotions and behaviors. You can learn the tools necessary to start thinking and acting differently. Throughout my journey, I gained additional, practical tools from my teacher Dr. Lucia Capacchione, founder of Creative Journal Expressive Arts (CJEA). In particular, these tools helped me combat the inner critic. One simple exercise I often do with my clients is to let the eating disorder (ED) voice or critic rant for two minutes on paper and say whatever nastiness it wants to say. 

Then I instruct them to switch hands and use their non-dominant hand to “sass back” on paper for another two minutes. I ask them to tap into their inner “brat” and just let it rip. Really blast that critic out of the water. It’s a simple but effective practice that can make reframing these negative thoughts easier. It’s also a way to tap into different parts of self so that we can connect the inner child to the inner nurturing and protective parents, for example.

Marlena Tanner, RD, CEDRD-S
Lead Program Dietitian-Supervisor
Central Coast Treatment Center
508 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Ph (805) 591-0712 Fax (805) 594-1460



Let us know what you think of this post in the comments below. Follow us and be updated by email when new blog posts are published.
Pre-order The Power of Your Other Hand (Conari Press 2019) at Amazon.com