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  • Writer's pictureShannon Kelly

Creative Sky Psychology Talks...Right Brained Versus Left Brained - Fact or Myth???

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

How can Left and Right Brained Activities help in Therapy?

Creative Sky Psychology believes in using a child's strengths, interests, and challenges to support children and teens, as well as to plan interventions and activities. One fun activity can be determining if your child is left or right brain dominant. Believe it or not, left versus right brained orientation has been proven to be a "myth", however despite this, we still find that it is a useful concept in determining a child or teen's strengths and interests. At Creative Sky Psychology left and right brain activities can be a fun and useful activity in therapy. It can also be helpful in helping children understand themselves better.

The old concept of "left-brained" and "right-brained" activities refers to the idea that different areas of the brain are responsible for different types of thinking and abilities. This idea is based on the theory of lateralization, which suggests that certain functions, such as language processing or mathematical ability, are primarily controlled by one side of the brain.

What are Left Brained Activities?

The understanding of "left brain" is thought to be responsible for:

1. Logical thinking: The left brain is often associated with logical, analytical thinking, and is responsible for tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making.

2. Language processing: The left brain is responsible for processing language, including understanding and producing speech.

3. Mathematical ability: The left brain is often associated with mathematical ability, including the ability to perform calculations and understand numerical concepts.

4. Sequential processing: The left brain is responsible for processing information in a sequential, step-by-step manner.

5. Verbal ability: The left brain is responsible for verbal ability, including reading, writing, and speaking.

Activities that are often described as "left-brained" include tasks such as solving mathematical problems, analyzing data, reading, writing, and speaking.

What are Right Brained Activities?

The right brain is thought to be responsible for:

1. Artistic expression: Activities such as drawing, painting, and sculpting are often considered "right-brained" because they engage the imagination and require creative thinking.

2. Music: Listening to music, playing an instrument, and composing music are all activities that are often considered "right-brained" because they engage the musical abilities of the right hemisphere.

3. Creative writing: Writing fiction, poetry, and other forms of creative writing are often considered "right-brained" activities because they require imaginative thinking and emotional processing.

4. Spatial tasks: Activities such as puzzle-solving, map-reading, and working with 3-dimensional objects are often considered "right-brained" because they engage the spatial abilities of the right hemisphere.

5. Intuitive tasks: Activities that require intuition, such as meditation, are often considered "right-brained" because they engage the holistic processing abilities of the right hemisphere.

The idea that engaging in "left or right brained" activities can be calming is a popular notion, however what one person finds calming may not be true for another. Some children find activities such as reading, writing, or solving mathematical problems to be very calming, though others find these to be frustrating or boring. If your child is "left brained" they may enjoy puzzles, math, beading, or other organizing activities. Although the idea of left and right brained activities is a myth, in therapy it is often seen that some children are more logical while others are more creative. When we determine a child's interests and strengths, we can use this to teach emotion regulation, problem solving, and have methods of therapeutic engagement.

Creative Sky Psychology, is located in Calgary Alberta. We are a team of specialized Psychologists and are skilled in determining a child's strengths and interests to support their growth and wellness. Parents can also support their child's growth by determining their child's strength and challenges. By providing activities that are strength building, a child can learn to overcome adversity while facing challenges in a safe and engaging manner!

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