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, October 15, 2020

The Use of Humor in Confronting One's Inner Critic

Stephanie Houser, a certified CJEA practitioner, shares a delightfully creative journal process she did while confronting her Inner Critic. Using art and writing, she brought humor to the experience, and broke through a block she had. This approach to negative self-talk, using humor, is one I have witnessed over the years as being highly effective. Here is Stephanie's story.

The Use of Humor in Confronting One's Inner Critic
by Stephanie Houser

I wanted to tell you about a recent experience I had with my Inner Critic that really helped me to get past it in order to start writing and drawing again. 

I was drawing a picture of my Inner Critic and my non-dominant hand started drawing funny things over it - a flowered hat with a big bow, purple hair, and as I'm drawing I hear these other voices chiming in, "Give him blue eye-shadow," "Put curlers in his hair," and as I'm adding each thing to the drawing it becomes more and more funny to me. As I put the final touch on the face - a pair of cats-eye glasses - I just started laughing. It was such a wonderful way for me to negate the critic's power. 

Then my non-dominant hand wrote "You're Ridikulus! You have no power over me!" at the bottom of the picture and I made the connection to the boggart banishing in Harry Potter. In the Harry Potter series of books, there is an entity in it called a boggart and that entity is a shape-shifter that takes the form of it's observers worst fear. The way to defend against a boggart is a spell called Riddikulus: you make the creature into a figure of fun with your imagination so that fear can be dispelled with amusement. If the caster is able to laugh at the boggart, it will disappear. I found a picture from the Harry Potter movie that looked so similar to my drawing, too. 

I wanted to share my experience since I have been either writing or drawing ever day since I did this. I thought it might be helpful for others to try it this way.

Stephanie Houser, Certified CJEA Instructor
Groups and Individuals
Central Coast, California



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  1. Stephanie, that is a great reminder of how we really do have power over the Inner Critics voice that seems so daunting. Humor is a powerful tool we often forget.


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