Brainspotting: unspeakable trauma

“A major challenge to treatment is that victims of severe complex trauma have trouble disclosing their abuse in verbal form. Current neuroscience helps us appreciate that it is not only cultural taboo about rape and justifiable fears of retribution that keep victims from speaking up. Trauma is stored in the body, in sensorimotor phenomena and in visual images, not in words. When we refer to “unspeakable” atrocities, that is exactly the case. Increasingly we appreciate that victims may have no words for what they have endured.”

Brainspotting therapy is primarily non-verbal and clients do not have to speak or describe their trauma because it will re-traumatize them. Neuroscience teaches us that trauma is stored in the limbic (subcortical) part of the brain which stores memories and emotions, and has no language or speech capability. In Brainspotting therapy, we bypass the frontal cortex with its speech and language, and work directly with the brain’s limbic system instead. Healing occurs without retraumatization.