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Guided Drawing

Bilateral Guided Drawing

Bilateral guided drawing is a mindfulness exercise used to support body mapping in a trauma-informed way and to integrate the left and right brain functions. The right brain is considered more visual and motor skill activities, while the left has cognitive problem-solving speech and language abilities. Both must work in unison to help create a better acceptance or awareness from within the client.  Clients draw rhythmically repeated scribbles to express inner tension, patterns of bracing and pain held in the body. To look within with guided drawing, it is essential to remember that making a beautiful artwork is not the goal. But instead, to express oneself through the creative process and let go of any worries about what is created and trust your intuition. 

The main focus of bilateral guided drawing is for the client to find a sense of empowerment and self-direction through the understanding that trauma is a natural occurrence in life and, as individuals, we can recover from it without any time limits. For this reason that guided drawing would be a beneficial approach for an individual who has suffered a major traumatic event and continues to suffer daily.

Bilateral guided drawing is a powerful approach that helps to uncover frozen or forgotten memories from within the body. It does not promote the use of exposure therapy, emotional catharsis or for the client to push through any memories. Allowing a client to take their time to recognize the emotional distress that was caused by an event will enable clients to move through the event with ease.

In the case of extreme trauma, it has proven to be effective in helping trauma reactions such as fight, flight, or freeze. For individuals who find themselves in a reactive state, bilateral guided drawing allows clients to feel some relief through the sense of movement to reduce feelings of feeling trapped, withdrawn, exposed and dissociated. With the act of making marks or gestures on the paper, gives the client a distracting process to move or shift away from the sensation of distress. It promotes an action-based, self-empowering and soothing feeling within the body and mind by altering the internal rhythms and creating wellbeing and self-regulation.

Watch the video for more information

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