I am so excited to introduce Brainspotting to my clinic!
Having spoken to many other therapists who are familiar with both Brainspotting and EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing), they were all happier with both the outcome and experience for their clients when they used Brainspotting - they found it was a more gentle, organic therapy and had incredibly rapid results.
I have found Brainspotting extremely effective in the release of trapped emotions – even emotions that we did not know were there! Emotions have to be stored somewhere and during the therapy the client is able to tell me where that is in the body and then gradually through the hour’s appointment they are released. It is powerful and can have incredible breakthroughs.
Brainspotting is an advanced brain body technique for healing emotional trauma, anxiety, depression and PTSD. It is one of the few techniques that effectively addresses the root cause of psychological stress and trauma. It is based on the premise that where you look, or your eye position, correlates with deep seated emotional experiences that are typically unreachable by traditional talk therapy. If you have ever felt stuck in a rut, high anxiety or repeating an unhealthy habit (despite your good intentions to change) then Brainspotting is an ideal therapy to help your breakthrough.
During a Brainspotting session the therapist and client will identify an issue to work on. While focusing on the issue the client will notice how they feel, sense and experience the issue in their mind and body.
From here the eye position or ‘brainspot’ associated with this issue will be identified. A brainspot is not just one spot in the brain but rather an active network in the brain that leads to a deep releasing of the issue where it is stored in the mind and body.
The brainspot acts like a doorway into all the stored, stuck baggage from the past. The focused eye position further allows the brain to stop scanning externally for threats and instead internally self-scan to identify and maintain its presence on the deeper unresolved issue.
When a brainspot is activated, reflexive movements can be observed by the therapist that provide valuable access to healing. These movements come from deep regions of the brain, outside of a client’s conscious, cognitive, and verbal awareness. Clients report having deeper and more profound releases with Brainspotting as compared to other brain-based and traditional therapies. The brain is re-stabilizing, resourcing, and rebooting itself during Brainspotting and the processing often continues to occur after the session has ended. A doorway has been opened and information will continue to come up and out for releasing and healing.
✔ Panic attacks
✔ Unhealthy habits
It can help treat the following:
✔ Chronic Pain
✔ Low self-esteem
✔ Any psychological issue that is interfering with your life.
How Does Brainspotting act as a Trauma Healing Agent?
The way that Brainspotting heals is that it helps the patient process the trauma that lies within him or her. When the therapist accesses a Brainspot, the patient experiences the distress that is associated with that Brainspot. The patient then experiences the physical or emotional pain that presents itself and the patient can experience it in a comfortable setting in the presence of the therapist. Over time, accessing this trauma in a safe environment will help the brain to break away from the associated trauma.
Within the field of psychology, professionals have come to realize that when someone experiences trauma, whether it be emotional or physical, it is held in the body. This trauma, potentially caused by a variety of events, such as a serious physical illness, acute or chronic pain or life trauma in general, can manifest itself in a variety of ways and one way that professionals can help to target and locate that pain is through Brainspotting. Therapists use Brainspotting to target these areas of trauma stored in the body from previous traumatic experiences.
These traumatic experiences become stored in the body typically because the traumatized person has not had the means to properly deal with the trauma that he or she has experienced. Because the traumatic experiences have not been properly dealt with, they become a part of the person’s trauma reservoir, which can manifest in other physical and emotional symptoms.
What is a Brainspot?
“A “Brainspot” is the eye position which is related to the energetic/emotional activation of a traumatic/emotionally charged issue within the brain, most likely in the amygdala, the hippocampus, or the orbitofrontal cortex of the limbic system. Located by eye position, paired with externally observed and internally experienced reflexive responses, a Brainspot is actually a physiological subsystem holding emotional experience in memory form.” – David Grand, Ph.D. -Founder of Brainspotting
Does Brainspotting really work?
Brainspotting is a highly effective therapy for treating stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, addictions, unhealthy habits, phobias and a host of emotional and mental health imbalances. Brainspotting engages our innate drive to release sensory, residue or unresolved experiences and opens us up to new insights, equilibrium, regulation and improved overall health.
How many sessions of Brainspotting are suggested?
The number of Brainspotting sessions can vary from person to person. Some people notice changes following one session and yet often changes and improvements can often be witnessed within four to six sessions.
Is Brainspotting evidence based?
Brainspotting has been shown to be a powerful and effective therapy. There are several studies that demonstrate the efficacy of Brainspotting therapy for treating stress, anxiety, trauma and other issues. It was identified by victims and their families as the most helpful and effective therapy for relieving anxiety, stress and trauma following the Sandy Hook School shooting. More emphasis has been focused on using Brainspotting as a powerful healing therapy than on research.
How is Brainstpotting different than cognitive therapy or traditional approaches?
Many traditional therapies work from a top-down model where thoughts are used to change feelings, behaviours and experiences. This model relies on the upper part of the brain (neocortex) which is also the newest part in our evolution, to manage and alter the inner and more primitive parts of the brain. As a result, the success of a top-down approach is based on a person’s ability to analyse, narrate and verbally process their thoughts and feelings.
Brainspotting follows the bottom-up model where the inner brain sends information and experiences up through the emotional brain (limbic system) for release and into the thinking brain (neocortex) for processing. Given that stressful and traumatic experiences are stored through our sensory, nonverbal experience a bottom-up model is essential in the healing process. It accesses the root of where the issues are stored and allows for release at a deeper level. This is especially important given many people cannot recall the details of highly stressful or traumatic experiences in order to analyse or verbally process them.
What is the difference between Brainspotting and EMDR?
Brainspotting has roots in Eye Movement Desensitising Reprocessing (EDMR) and similarly supports the reprocessing of negative experiences and retrains emotional reactions. Both are therapeutic interventions that access deeply stored emotional, somatic, traumatic and often subconscious information. Both interventions may involve bilateral stimulation and are considered advanced brain-body based strategies. The primary difference between the two involves the procedure used.
Brainspotting is based on the premise that ‘where you look affects how you feel’. As an individual maintains an eye position while focusing on a stressful experience, they connect to a spot in the brain (brainspot) that gives them access to releasing and processing the challenging experience. Dual Attunement is a primary tenant of Brainspotting in that the attunement of the therapist activates brain pathways associated with safety, support and connection. Brainspotting focuses on the attunement of the therapist to the client as well as to the client’s neurobiology. Thus, it is a combined relational and neurobiological connection happening at the same time. During Brainspotting once the focused eye position is established, the client is allowed to organically and intuitively process through their experience without following a specific series of steps. Many clients find this to be empowering, instinctual and flexible.
While Brainspotting involves a focused eye position, EMDR involves rapid bilateral movement of the eyes, auditory or sensory system. Some clients report they find EMDR too directed, structured, overstimulating and not as adaptable and fluid as Brainspotting.
Many people prefer Brainspotting as it can have deeper and more profound releases and they prefer its fluidity.
designed by Elizabeth McCravy
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