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. It is a safe and healing form of therapy that reduces the need for extensive talk treatment. It is so valuable because it releases the traumatic experience or memory without having to “re-live” or even speak of the event and risk re-traumatization.
Brainspotting therapy helps you go deeper quicker than average talk therapy. You will feel more during your sessions as you are ready. Less sessions are generally required to gain the results you want in your life.
Coronavirus and Brainspotting
Brainspotting therapy is very well suited to the teletherapy format in the COVID-19 environment. While it is a body-brain based therapy, it involves no physical touching and relies on the strength of the relational attunement between the therapist and the client, the most critical contributor to the therapeutic success. This relational attunement can be easier to achieve through the online video format because the therapist can focus on client’s eyes and face without the distraction of the physical space. It is also easier to track eye movement and minute facial responses when the eyes and the face appear inches away, much closer than they would be in a face-to-face environment.
Through Brainspotting teletherapy we can process the existential threat of COVID-19 and the trauma that we are all living through right now, the trauma that has a clear “before” it started, and an uncertain “after”. We can work through the grief, stresses, and other painful emotions related to
- Social distancing,
- Missing physical touch,
- Working remotely at home,
- Being shut-in,
- Being afraid to go out to buy food and essentials,
- Finding meaning in daily living while people elsewhere are dying, and
- Coping with the daily barrage of difficult news.
What Conditions Does Brainspotting Treat?
- Anxiety and panic
- Physical and emotional trauma
- Recovery from injury and accident trauma
- Trauma resulting from medical interventions and treatment
- Stress and trauma-related medical illness
- Sports Performance and Creativity Enhancement
- Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions
- Addictions (especially cravings)
- ADD and ADHD
- Perceptual problems
- Environmental Illness and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Preparation and recovery from surgery
- Trauma resulting from war and natural disasters
- Anger and rage problems
- Management of major medical illness
What Is a Brainspot?
New brain science shows that even minor trauma, such as hurt feelings, can leave tiny splinter-like spots in your brain. A Brainspot corresponds to an eye position that indicates energetic activation of an emotionally-charged issue in the subcortical limbic part of the brain. Some people mistakenly believe that Brainspots only locate trauma in the brain. Actually, there are countless points in our field of vision that allow us to reach any aspect of ourselves. Brainspots are access points for creativity as well as wounds. Brainspots are revealed to the therapist by your eye position paired with your reflexive responses.
There is a finding in neuroscience that where you look affects how you feel. Clients are helped to find a “spot” that either increases their “felt sense” of an experience (known as an activation spot), or a “spot” that corresponds to the “felt sense” of being calm and grounded (known as a resource spot). The client then processes the experiences by observing changes in sensations and any thoughts or images that come. A brain-body connection is made that eventually reduces the intensity of an experience until it can be recalled as a factual instead of a triggering emotional event.
How Does It Work?
The Brainspot can be accessed and stimulated by holding the client’s eye position while the client is focused on the somatic (body-sensory) experience of the issue addressed in therapy. Brainspotting is aimed at activating, locating, and processing the Brainspot. Bilateral sounds can be used to enhance the brain’s processing abilities by alternately stimulating right and left cerebral hemispheres.
Like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Brainspotting addresses the physical manifestations of trauma in the brain and makes the healing process much faster and gentler.
In session, a therapist works with the client to neurobiologically locate, focus, process, and release experiences that are typically not within the client’s conscious mind. This brain-wise and body-aware treatment identifies and processes neurophysiological sources of emotional or body pain, trauma, dissociation, and a variety of other distressing symptoms.
In Brainspotting, a kind of a “healing field” with your therapist is created to help you process feelings and memories down to where you feel calm and at ease. Your brain and body know everything about you and exactly what you need to heal. Your Brainspotting therapist acts as a grounding force to guide you through to your deepest healing.
Who Discovered It?
Dr. David Grand, a well-known and published EMDR practitioner and psychotherapist discovered Brainspotting in 2003. Brainspotting is a brain-body based therapy that includes aspects of EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and relational psychotherapy. Brainspotting was found to be the most effective mode of therapy used to help the general community of Newtown-Sandy Hook, CT, after the December, 2014, school shooting.
Elaine’s Blog Posts on Brainspotting
Here is the link to interesting articles for my Brainspotting clients – https://askcounseling.com/category/brainspotting/
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 have extensive trained in Brainspotting therapy (Phases 1, 2, 3, 4 and Brainspotting for Addiction) and would be happy to talk to you about it. 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.
Brainspotting is one of the modalities which can be used adjunctively in cooperation with your existing mental health services. You may participate in Brainspotting sessions while working with your current psychotherapist, who may or may not be a part of our practice. These sessions can be conducted in collaboration with your current mental health provider(s) and are meant to enhance your overall mental health treatment. You are encouraged and sometimes required to continue your psychotherapy and medication management (if utilized) regimen with the appropriate providers in order to participate in this adjunctive psychotherapy modality. I will request your written permission to discuss your treatment with your other mental health provider(s) and your primary care physician.
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.