Brainspotting is a Powerful Therapy for Healing Trauma and Emotional Stress
Brainspotting is an advanced brain-body therapy that focuses on identifying, processing, and releasing imbalances, trauma, and residual emotional stress. It is based on the premise that ‘where you look affects how you feel’ and finds that eye positions correlate with unconscious, emotional experiences. It reaches parts of the brain that are not generally accessed through traditional talk therapy approaches.
It has roots in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and similarly supports the reprocessing of negative experiences and retrains emotional reactions. Brainspotting can be used on its own or in addition to other therapies.
Brainspotting has been proven to be highly effective in a wide range of settings and issues, including:
- PTSD and Complex Trauma
- Developmental Trauma
- Negative Emotions
- Creative Blocks
- Self-sabotage and unhealthy patterns
- Chronic Stress
- Performance anxiety
- And many other issues…
How Does Brainspotting Work?
The mind can often heal itself naturally, much in the same way the body heals itself. According to therapist and Brainspotting developer Dr. David Grand, the direction in which people look or gaze can affect the way they feel. During Brainspotting, therapists help people position their eyes in ways that enable them to target sources of negative emotion. With the aid of a pointer, trained brainspotting therapists slowly guide one’s eyes across their field of vision to find approproate “brainspots,” with a brainspot being an eye position that activates a traumatic memory or painful emotion.
There is increasing evidence that trauma is “stored” in the body and that it can alter the way the brain works. Trauma can, for example, have an effect on emotions, memory, and physical health. Brainspotting seems to activate the body’s innate ability to heal itself from trauma. Distrubing memories being replaced by by brain, resulting in painful feelings being exchanged for more resolved, peaceful things. Brainspotting makes use of this natural phenomenon through its use of relevant eye positions. This helps the brainspotting therapist locate, focus, process and release a wide range of emotionally and bodily-based conditions. It is also a brain-based tool to support the therapy relationship, as it taps into and harnesses the body’s natural self-scanning, self-healing ability.
Bilateral stimulation is something you can see, hear or touch that occurs in a moving side-to-side pattern, such as listening to a sound or vibration in one ear, then the other, or following a pointer moving from left to right with your eyes. Bilateral stimulation (nature sounds or meditative music) is used during brainspotting to help activate the brain’s processing abilities and to take advantage of the regenerative state the brain reaches as a result of bilateral stimulation.
“With focus and precision we can find through the eye positions, the brainspots, we can find where you’re holding the traumas, the anxiety, the depression, the relational problems…and let your brain process from the inside out, from the bottom up, process through whatever the issues are in a way that you couldn’t do from just talking or being guided by a therapist from the outside.”
– Dr. David Grand
How Effective is Brainspotting?
The field of Brainspotting is relatively new, so further research is required to fully understand it’s effectiveness. However, according to Dr. David Grand, “Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and relesasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of diagnosis and treatment, enhanced with Bilateral sound, which is deep, direct, and powerful yet focused and containing.” To date, over 13,000 therapists have been trained in Brainspotting internationally.