NLP for Problems with Handwriting

Filed Under (UnLearning Difficulties With NLP) on 15-04-2010

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I worked with a man who used to write with his right hand, but one day suddenly wasn’t able to write the letters a and s and eventually anything with that hand.  Even o became problematic!  Then he learnt to write with his left hand and did so for years until one day the same happened as did with his right hand!  Everything else in his life was OK except writing. He was a student and was pretty depressed about the uncertainty of his future etc. …

So I advised him to

  • deal with his depression.  Although it’s natural that he’d be depressed in such situation, no one learns anything while depressed.  So I told him to acknowledge the depression, extract its positive intention for him, and turn the depression down a few notches which would open him to learning.
  • Since his handwriting problem was very context specific, I next asked him to carefully examine all the circumstances in his life at the time when his right hand had stopped writing.  Had he developed the extreme reaction in response to something unfortunate, difficult, unpleasant, traumatic, or problematic at the time?
  • next to examine his life in the same way around the time when his left hand stopped writing.  Once he had this done, he could compare the two sets of circumstances.  Was there a pattern?  A recurring theme?  Any similarities?
  • Now to deal with beliefs.  No matter what the findings around his two reactions, those reactions were based on something the man believed at the time – and then reacted to.

People with problems with handwriting commonly believe that their hand / arm / brain have “stopped” working and that’s why they cannot write.  Because we do what we believe in, there’s no wonder that these beliefs make people unable to write.  Of course, if you break your arm, you can’t write.  But you also believe that the arm is broken temporarily and will heal to normal.  In this case – and many others revolving around handwriting – these beliefs are formed as a wall of protection against something.  The brain gets overwhelmed and gets a power cut which will demonstrate itself in stopping function of the hand.

If you have experience with any such belief, treat it as that person’s best current thinking.  In reality nothing is wrong with their hands / arms / brains – apart from their response.   Responses and beliefs can be disproven and then changed to more useful ones.

Here are more practical steps I advised this man:

  • letters a and s written in lower case are similar at a glance and from the distance.  The letter e in lower case also fits into the group.  If you wish to relearn writing any letters, take one letter at a time which is written somewhere and observe it.  Keep looking at it and trace its shape with your eyes along its lines and curves exactly as you see it.
  • Once you have traced it with your eyes, try drawing it with your finger in the air.
  • Now draw it again – this time with your whole hand holding a pen on paper…
  • Another good exercise is to take a picture printed on paper, turn it upside down, and copy it line for line.  At first this may seem impossible, but once you get into it, you’ll be surprised at how good you’ll be at it!

For more information about problems with handwriting contact me.

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