When words are not enough, we turn to images and symbols to tell our stories. In telling our stories through drawing, we find pathways to wellness, recovery and transformation.
The need to draw is said to be hardwired into the human brain. In fact it is argued that creating graphic images predates verbal language. From children to professionals, doodling has practical and powerful applications. Mathematicians and scientists use doodles to explain complex theories and equations. Business professionals use doodles to map business plans and strategies. Across the globe, people from around the world are doodling. It helps them communicate through visual representation, meaning to their ideas, and helps empower others. By the simplest definition, bilateral simply means involving two sides.
This art form is significant because it comes from the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology Which found that doodling can improve an individual’s ability to remember information by nearly 30% (Andrade, 2010).
In bilateral drawing methods, self-regulation, the benefit of recounting challenging experiences by reframing those experiences are meaningful and connected to a core belief system. Sensory integration is often associated with bilateral techniques (McNamee, 2003). Bilateral Doodling can be a vehicle for the expression and externalization of deep and intense emotional memories. Doodling results in an increased sense of flexibility regarding reactions to external events.
Creative engagement through doodling leads to growth changes in thought patterns. This allows development of lasting solutions, helps gain confidence, clarity, acceptance of self, and improves social skills.
Andrade, J. (2010). What does doodling do? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24: 100-106. doi: 10.1002/acp.1561.
McNamee, C. 2003 Bilateral art: Facilitating systemic integration and balance. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 30(5): 283-292. DOI: 10.1016/j.aip.2003.08.005