What Is Brainspotting Therapy?

What would it feel like to experience or remember a traumatic event but to no longer be ruled by the emotion of it? Brainspotting is a non-invasive and gentle way to release emotional trauma or physical pain stored in your brain and your body. It is a healing form of therapy that reduces the need for extensive talk treatment. Brainspotting is so valuable because it releases the traumatic experience or the memory of the event without having to “re-live” or even speak of the event and risk re-traumatization.

Brainspotting therapy helps you go deeper quicker than talk therapy because it bypasses the neocortical portion of the brain, where speech and language live. Instead, it works directly with the subcortical or limbic portion of the brain where emotional memories live. You will feel more during your sessions as your brain becomes ready. Less sessions are generally required than in traditional talk therapy to gain the results you want in your life. The motto of Brainspotting is “where you look affects how you feel”. It’s a non-pathologizing form of brain-body therapy that focuses on identifying, processing and releasing emotional stress, trauma, and various imbalances.


What Conditions Does Brainspotting Treat?

  • Anxiety and panic
  • Physical and emotional trauma (PTSD and Complex PTSD)
  • Recovery from injury, accident trauma, medical trauma
  • Sports Performance and Creativity Enhancement
  • Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions
  • Addictions (especially cravings)
  • Issues related to ADHD and Autism
  • Stuttering
  • Phobias
  • OCD
  • Asthma
  • – and many others

What Is a Brainspot?

A “Brainspot” is the eye position connected to your emotional or energetic activation inside. When we are thinking or talking about an emotionally charged issue or a traumatic memory, our eyes are naturally drawn to a particular orientation. A Brainspotting therapist can help the client identify their “Brainspot” for the issue they would like to process in session. This processing happens in the subcortical or limbic portion of the brain where our emotional and traumatic memories are stored. Unlike our neocortex, this subcortical or limbic portion of the brain has no access to speech or language, but is directly connected to everything we experience in our bodies. Brainspotting appears to tap into and harness the body’s natural self-scanning and self-healing ability. When a Brainspot is stimulated, the deep brain reflexively signals the therapist that the source of the problem has been found.

Who Discovered Brainspotting?

In 2003, Dr. David Grand, who was already an experienced psychodynamic and EMDR therapist, worked with a figure skater with traumatic history who couldn’t master the triple loop. In a session, David Grand targeted the moment her jump went awry. While she tracked David’s finger crossing her visual field, her eyes wobbled and froze. David instinctively held her gaze at that point as she processed many traumatic memories, that he assumed were already processed after their year of therapy. The next morning she performed the triple loop flawlessly. Brainspotting was born.

How Effective is Brainspotting?

Thousands of practitioners all over the world find Brainspotting to be a powerful and effective therapy for their clients. People report having deeper and more profound releases with Brainspotting as compared to other brain-based and traditional therapies. Some studies demonstrating the efficacy of Brainspotting therapy for treating trauma, anxiety, stress, and other issues are referenced here: Following the Sandy Hook School shooting, Brainspotting therapy was identified by victims and their families as the most helpful and effective therapy for relieving anxiety, stress and trauma.

Brainspotting can also be used to find and strengthen our natural resources and resilience. This therapy is designed as a tool that can be integrated into many of the healing modalities. Brainspotting therapy is even more powerful when used with bilateral music during session. Further studies and research are needed to have it listed on the national registry for evidence based practices.

Elaine’s Blog Posts on Brainspotting

Here is the link to interesting articles for my Brainspotting clients –

Elaine’s Brainspotting Resources

For information about books, websites, videos and research, see – Brainspotting Resources

For help with addictive behaviors, see – Brainspotting for Addiction

For help with athletic issues, see – Sports Counseling

Can I Try Brainspotting with Elaine?

I am a Certified Brainspotting Therapist and Consultant and would be happy to talk to you about Brainspotting. Brainspotting accesses the genius of our deeper emotional brain. During the healing process I am fortunate to observe how intelligent, inventive, and intuitive all human beings are. Creativity is revealed through their resilience, survival, and recovery. The processing that occurs with clients focused on a Brainspot is deep, rapid, and unpredictable. During each session I wait for the surprise and I am rarely disappointed.

With your focused vision and my attuned presence and verbal guidance, emotional Brainspots can be released in a gentle and non-invasive way. There is no need to be in chronic emotional pain. Please contact me for a free consultation.

What is Brainspotting? By Dr. David Grand (3.5 minute video)