While this book was written to understand the developing brain, these concepts and strategies apply not only to children but to all ages. The brain continues to demonstrate plasticity as long as we keep training it through integration of its complex parts. This book breaks down the developing brain into a more simplified construct of the upstairs (decision making) and downstairs (primitive/reflexive) brain as well as right (emotions) and left (logic) brain.
We have all these brain parts but the key point is how do we integrate them? Here are just a few strategies from The Whole Brain Child.
To integrate upstairs and downstairs: Use it or lose it, move it or lose it: practice opportunities to make logical decisions.
Integrating left and right brain:
Connect and redirect: when someone is upset, first connect with emotions, then offer solutions/choices.
Name it to tame it through story telling.
Remember to remember: practice remember details of important life events even if they are difficult.
Integrating many parts of self with SIFT:
Notice and understand the Sensations, Images, Feelings, and Thoughts in your inner world.
Try some out and let us know what works for you!
By Deborah Singer Livingston, Physical Therapist, DPT