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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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
~Lucia Capacchione, Phd, ATR