Creating a story to deal with grief

Psychotherapist & Author Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, shares advice for parents on the great benefits that story telling can have to help a child through grief because it uses both sides of the brain
How Story Telling Can Greatly Help Kids Deal With Grief
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Creating a story to deal with grief

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Telling the story and re-creating a story when our child has experienced some sort of trauma or grief, like the loss of a loved one, is so powerful because the left side of our brain, our left hemisphere, specializes in putting things in order and making sense of them and being logical, whereas the right hemisphere specializes in connecting with the emotion that's in our body and the emotion throughout our brain and our autobiographical memory. So, when we tell a story, a coherent story that makes sense, we actually force our brains to integrate both the logical in putting things in order and making sense of them along with our emotions and our memories and our feelings around a particular incident. And, when we tell a story that makes sense, we combine these two elements together, and when we have a brain and a mind that is integrated in this way, that we can do through storytelling, it brings about a lot of comfort and mental health and coherence, making sense about difficult moments.

Psychotherapist & Author Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, shares advice for parents on the great benefits that story telling can have to help a child through grief because it uses both sides of the brain

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Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia, California, where she sees children and adolescents, as well as provides parenting consultations. She is the school counselor at St. Marks Episcopal School in Altadena, CA, and a Developmental Consultant to Camp Chippewa for Boys. She speaks to parents, educators, and clinicians all across the country. Dr. Bryson earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Her best-selling book The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Dr. Dan Siegel) gives parents practical ways to transform difficult moments into opportunities for children to thrive.  Dr. Bryson has written for a large number of publications, most recently the PBS series “This Emotional Life.”  She lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.  

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