At some point in life, either through a personality test or just learning about the two types, you may have discovered if you lean more towards being “left-brained” or “right-brained”. Those who function more in the left side of their brain are logically, analytical, and think factually while those who function more in the right side of their brain are emotion centered and creative.
Most people talk as if they are only one or the other and don’t see themselves taking on traits of the opposite side. Or people might say something like “my emotional side responded that way” or “my logical side thought through this”. The truth is, we function most fully and in a healthy state when both sides of our brain are integrated and working together. This would look like our left and right brain working together to make sense of our lives.
When people show up for counseling with dis-integrated brains one of the first things we work through is letting their thoughts and feeling communicate with each other. This might look like someone who is highly emotional about their current situation bringing reason into the picture. We might think through things like “Why do you think that person acted that way?” “What are some behind the scenes reasons this may have happened?” Or “What is the probability that this situation will continue?” Adding reason and logic to the emotion helps bring perspective to the situation. It may also look like someone coming into session sharing all of the facts about a situation but still being confused about which decision to make next. They have analyzed all their options but nothing seems to stick out. Depending on if people are angry, sad, happy, etc. about their situation will call for a different response. When we know how we feel about a situation it gives us direction. Emotions and thoughts are both helpful to us and even more so if they are connected.
Some things to consider:
- Which side of your brain do you lean on most?
- How might you work on integrating your brain? How could you help your right and left side communicate?