Reducing Negative Self-View with Bilateral Handwriting

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Cutler, Rachel
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This study utilized bilateral writing techniques in a sample of 11 participants in order to examine its effectiveness in decreasing participants’ negative beliefs about themselves. It was hypothesized that, through the use of both dominant and non-dominant handwriting, negative self-view would be reduced through access and release of unconscious emotion and resultant increased awareness and insight. The main study protocol consisted of one-time, 90-minute individual art therapy sessions, during which each participant was prompted to write spontaneous content, switching between their dominant and non-dominant hands. Writing prompts given during the progress of each interview included open-ended questions about thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about self, as well as emotional reactions and insights in response to the bilateral writing exercise. The researcher’s personal experience with the bilateral handwriting activity was also included as a heuristic component to this study. Findings indicate that bilateral writing exercises may create possibilities for reducing negative self-view.