Right Brain to Right Brain Communication
By T odd Schmenk, LMHC
Here is one of my most commonly referred to talking points. I use it this technique heavily in couples counseling and family counseling, but it is also not unusual for me to pull it out in individual sessions.
It is called "Right Brain to Right Brain Communication" and it is highly useful in responding to a person's emotional statement in a way that demonstrates understanding and empathy for their current emotional state. More importantly, it acknowledges the other's feelings while providing validation rather in contrast to immediately trying to solve the problem, what we all typically will try to do.
An example of this might be a scenario where someone shares an emotional experience with a friend, spouse, or child, and instead of receiving validation and empathy, the listener immediately jumps into problem-solving mode.
This left brain response is characterized by attempting to fix the issue or provide solutions, often leaving the other looking for emotional support feeling unheard and invalidated. While a left brain response might be appropriate in certain situations, such as addressing problems at work, it is not always what someone needs from their loved ones or close relationships.
In contrast, the right brain to right brain communication approach involves responding to a person's emotional statement in a way that demonstrates understanding and empathy for their current emotional state. It acknowledges their feelings and provides validation rather than immediately trying to solve the problem.
Be sure to watch the video below to get a closer look at this as well as an example of how this technique can be applied.
The video highlights the importance of this communication technique in fostering open and productive conversations. By utilizing right brain to right brain communication, you can create a space where the emotional needs of the speaker are met, leading to better connection, understanding, and the potential for problem-solving if appropriate.