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Journaling with non-dominant hand

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Shanshu Vampyr, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Hi TMS friends,

    I tried non-dominant hand journalling a few times. Although the skeptic in me still thinks it's a little "gimmicky", I found that it sincerely brought out a lot of emotions. Might be a good tool to add to the TMS toolkit. :)

    [Moderator's note: these posts were moved from this thread at the original poster's request because they seemed like they were worth starting a new thread for.]
    Livvygurl likes this.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I used to do non-dominant hand journalling a long, long time ago...I forgot about it until your post. I had initially heard of it when psychologist friend told me she had been practicing it, and then I read that it can help when doing inner child work (?) Maybe I'll try this again sometime.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was curious about the ideas behind non-dominant hand journaling, so I Googled it. Here's what I found:
    I actually have some experience with it, but not under good circumstances! Starting in Jan '95, I used to have a lot of pain when I handwrote, particularly with my right/dominant hand, so I taught myself to write lefty. I did a bunch of lefty journaling when I was in traveling in Germany in the spring of '95, but it was a long time ago and I don't remember how I felt about it. I was under a tremendous amount of stress, so the journaling was probably quite productive. My symptoms had just spread from my forearms and fingers to my thumbs, neck, the insertion of my deltoids, the upper ridge of my trapezius, and the region between my scapulas (scapulae?). It's amazing that after all these years, I still remember the symptoms exactly... I'm sure that much of the benefit of writing lefty was drowned out by the frustration of having to do it and the fear about the growing symptoms in my left thumb (as well as career fears, as I was about to graduate from college and was quite disabled).
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hmm...on a related note, this reminds me of when I did a French immersion program about 10 years ago. French is my second language (a distant second!) and I studied at University of Quebec for a week. We were supposed to speak only French the whole time. In addition to just the stress/excitement of all of that, I found that I also thought differently in French than I do in English, and that because of that my feelings were different. It's weird and hard to explain.

    :( Forest, I'm so, so glad that you're recovered now, that must have been horrible to have that kind of pain for so long. Thanks for all you do here.
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I had forgotten about this. I have heard about this method from more than one professional--I'll try it out sometime
    Livvygurl likes this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, it's hard! I tried and I really resisted it, which is interesting, because I started mousing with my other (left) hand years and years ago (thought I was developing tendonitis in the right, now we know what THAT was) and at least 8 years ago I started brushing my teeth with the left hand, which is still hard after all that time, but I heard it was good for your brain so I keep doing it :D

    But I really did NOT like writing with my left hand. Probably a good reason to keep trying.
    Livvygurl likes this.
  7. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member


    Just curious about the your friend the psychologist part. Can you elaborate?
  8. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    My friend (who is a therapist herself) had told me her own therapist had recommended non-dominant hand journaling to bring out some things that were difficult for her to access consciously. I just remember thinking it sounded completely bizarre so of course I had to try it :) It felt very awkward but I think that was part of the process. I haven't done it in maybe 10 years so maybe I will give it another shot now.
  9. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

  10. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Wow Shanshu:

    This is something I haven't tried. I am going to as soon as time allows. For now screaming at the top of my lungs at the "bully" has brought out some interesting emotions for me. But it has to be in my car. Don't want to scare the neighbors. Thanks for posting this, I'll let you know what happens.

  11. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    What intrigued me most is that during the second attempt, I really tapped into my isolation and feeling of alienation from Mom and Dad. All this and I have difficulty with touching base with sadness. What did come out is how protective I am with Bear. :(
  12. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Last night when I was going through a bunch of notes from a class I took 10 years ago, I came across my left-handed journalling. It did seem to have brought out issues that I had been suppressing at that time. Maybe I'll give it a go again in the future...
    Livvygurl likes this.
  13. Livvygurl

    Livvygurl Well known member

    I have been doing non-dominant hand journaling for about a week. I definitely feel that I get a more authentic response about my journal topic. This technique gives me access to a more raw part of myself where I am not as likely to sugar coat issues or “rationalize away” things that occurred. It is easier to go straight to the core of feelings related to an issue. I am training myself to write about a page with my non-dominant hand. Also, there is a book called Recovery of Your Inner Child: The Highly Acclaimed Method for Liberating Your Inner Self, by Lucia Capacchione that has some good reviews. If I use this method and didn’t get access to a “feeling level”, 20 minutes or so of reflective mediation can help to process the journaling experience!

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