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

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Power of the Other Hand in the Face of Injury

Our guest blogger is Beth Batinnelli, who is currently training in Creative Journal Expressive Arts. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University. Her areas of professional interest Include Health Psychology, Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Neurodiversity. As a psychologist in corrections she saw thousands of inmates with ADHD and that experience led her to understand many different aspects of the ADHD brain. She founded THE ADHD Project - an educational program designed to teach inmates about the brain behind the behavior that led to incarceration.

Here is Beth's post:

The Power of the Other Hand in the Face of Injury

Currently I am expanding my curriculum to introduce Creative Journal Expressive Arts methods to the population with which I work. I am very excited to be a 2020 CJEA Candidate for Certification!

My formal relationship with Creative Journal Expressive Arts began in October 2019, when I traveled to California for the first week long intensive training on my journey to certification.

I was immediately fascinated with The Power of the non-dominant hand. The efficacy and efficiency of the techniques are amazing.

Using the Creative Journal prompts, I found myself understanding my mother in a different way than I had before - that her criticism of me was fueled by her own inner critic. Looking at my sketch, I felt content. Peaceful.

I see me as both baby and mother to both baby and mother.

It is fun to see what other parts of me have shown up in my journal.

This self portrait above shows the scar on the right side of my scalp. Prior to CJEA and using non-dominant hand techniques to access my creativity, I had brain surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. The tumor was embedded in the bone behind my right eye. The sketch includes words. ‘Express’ presses on the back of my right eye.

After attending CJEA Instructor Lisa Brown’s weekend workshop in early December, and celebrating my 65th birthday, it was time to prepare for the holidays.

It was a cold Tuesday night. Freezing actually. As I parked the car in the Home Goods parking lot, I remember the thermometer on my dash read 32 degrees. Brrr!

I walked across the lot and as I stepped up onto the sidewalk I slipped and fell on both hands and knees. Oh! It hurt! I felt like I was five years old!

Part of me was upset that my injury would interfere with my training to become a CJEA facilitator and another part of me (probably the clinical psychologist) wondered if I was unconsciously trying to sabotage my progress.

I just decided to ask my non-dominant hand what it wanted to say about the fact that it is injured.

The tone with which my hand answered seemed very impatient, as if it was waiting our whole life to be heard.

"Give me a break, Beth!...even though you have a lifetime of emotions to access, it isn’t as if you haven’t done any work on yourself before this. I am glad you finally found me, but don’t put me on a pedestal.

There is no reason for you to be stopped by this injury. As a matter of fact, take this as an opportunity to focus on a different aspect of your work with CJEA.

Concentrate on getting the work out there.

The power of your non-dominant hand comes from within you.”

It was as if my non-dominant hand had a voice of its own.

My non-dominant hand basically told me to just “Get a Grip.” So I did!

I enjoy my non-dominant hand! My new friend is Powerful and Colorful.

This last colorful image was actually the same photo of my non-dominant hand; I made the edits on my phone and actually used both hands to apply filters and to Pixelate. I have to wear the cast for a couple of more weeks.

Beth Lanes Battinelli, PhD



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Order The Power of Your Other Hand (Conari Press 2019) at Amazon.com

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Spiritual Guidance through the Right Brain

Although most of my inner guidance comes through my non-dominant hand drawing and writing, I have found that this practice has made it possible for spiritual wisdom to come through my dominant hand as well. This usually happens spontaneously and it expresses through poetry and art. Both of these forms of expression rely heavily on right brain functions, so it makes sense. There’s no question in my mind that the right side of the brain has the advantage when it comes to finding inner wisdom and spiritual guidance. I’ve explained in other posts and in most of my books how the hand that didn’t learn to write is free to access the right side of the brain. I’ve also written about how developing access to the right brain through the non-dominant hand enables the dominant hand to tap into deep wells of inner wisdom, spiritual awareness and creativity.

After having drawn and written with my non-dominant hand for quite some time, one day I was drawing with my dominant hand in my journal. Without intending to, I drew a design that resembled a top view of the human brain. The connection between the two hemispheres was a continuous pair of figure eight loops with a sunburst at the center point.

Drawing and poem from The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself (Ohio University/Swallow Press, 2015

Then suddenly a poem poured out spontaneously. It felt like automatic writing, with no conscious intent or editing. The poem was written with my dominant (right) hand, but the words flowed with the same ease and simplicity typical of my left handwriting. This is the poem that that appeared on the page as if from nowhere:
Hold me, echoes the whisper from within
Hold me near you
Hold me close to your heart
as the apple of your eye

Through the distant chambers of time
our hearts beat
as the wings of doves
brush against the skies of eternity

We were never parted
for we are one through infinite
space and time

You have embraced me in shadow
unbeknownst to my daytime self,
always present behind me, above me, beneath

You are the ground of my existence
forever with and within me.
Here is how I described the experience in the last chapter of The Power of Your Other Hand.
Sublime peace filled me as I completed the last line. I heard the “whisper from within” coming from my Inner Self. I acknowledged a divine power within and felt its presence. It was still “embracing me in shadow,” yet I could say, “Yes, I know you are there.” I remembered the film about Jung, the images of his inner guide, Philemon. Now I understood what Jung must have felt when he first contacted his inner wisdom voice in the form of that white-haired sage. Although I didn’t see a form, I certainly felt its presence.

Later, I also came to understand how essential it is to develop a personal relationship with the divine Inner Self. I encounter many people seeking “quick fixes” from intermediaries channeling information from disembodied spirits. For me, the only message worth channeling is the truth of the Inner Self, the God that Dwells Within. To channel messages from disembodied entities with doubtful credential seems like the little leagues compared to the pure gold of the Inner Self.

The Power of Your Other Hand: Unlock creativity and inner wisdom through the right side of your Brain (Conari Press, 2019)
I still write my Inner Wisdom or Spiritual Guidance dialogues with both hands, asking questions with my dominant hand and receiving answers through my non-dominant hand. However, sometimes a poem will come through my dominant hand. It is usually spontaneous and unplanned, like the one above. Whichever hand writes it, I simply allow the poem to express Inner Guidance in any way it likes.

Sometimes I ask for guidance about specific issues in my life. A good example is the process of completing the writing of The Power of Your Other Hand. When I got to the last chapter, I asked my Inner Self to tell me what to say. Naturally, I turned to my other hand. Here is what it said. They are the last words in the book.

Just say that the deepest
well of inner knowing
and of peace is within
everyone. It can be
reached in stillness,
in quite, and in
I am here in everyone
and everything and
the glory of being
human is that you
can know and
experience at-one-ment with
Me. For we are one.
When you are afraid,
lost, doubting – be
still, go inside and
find your True Self.
I will be there – where
I’ve always been –
waiting for you to
recognize the truth
of who you really
I will speak through
everything that is so
human in you – your
feelings, your wishes,
your body, your

(Dominant hand) How do I know I’m not just making you up out of my imagination? How do I know that you really exist?

You will know. If you
don’t recognize me at
first, eventually you
will. Sometimes when
you have lost your
way and are far away
from your true self,
you may doubt that I
exist. That is when you
have forgotten who you
really are. But if you
will speak with me,
as you are now, I will
respond. Later on
when you read our
conversation, you will
recognize my realness.
You will see
your own doubting
mind, and you will
feel my essence
and know it to be
yours. You will see
the difference between
your small, fearful,
anxious self and your
true, beautiful and
peaceful Self. And
since you have
written both voices,
you’ll realize
that they both came
from you. Then you
will see that the
Highest Truth and
Wisdom resides
within you. Everything
else is illusion. You
will see that you’ve
had it backwards
all these years.
You thought your
self was the little, scared,
confused “character”
that doubts and worries
and defends itself. That
is the figment of imagination.
That is the thing you made
up with your mind.
I am the Real You. I
am your True Self
reminding you to
wake up, come home
to the bliss of your
Inner Self. 


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Order The Power of Your Other Hand (Conari Press 2019) at Amazon.com