“Where you look affects how you feel”.
What is Brainspotting?
Brainspotting (BSP) is defined as a brain-body and mindfulness-focused therapy that focuses on identifying, processing, and releasing trauma, mental health imbalances 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. When you focus on an eye position related to an upsetting issue, you release the emotional and physical stress within the issue. BSP reaches parts of the brain that are not generally accessed in traditional talk therapy and most other types of therapy. BSP has been proven to immediately address issues that can take years of talk therapy to heal.
BSP works in part because of the support and presence of your Brainspotting therapist. After BSP the therapy continues to work during the hours, days and weeks to follow.
BSP can be conducted effectively online or in-person.
What does Brainspotting Treat?
BSP has been shown to be highly effective treatment method for trauma, dissociation, anxiety, depression, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, emotional regulation, and many other symptoms.
What to Expect
- During a BSP session the Brainspotting therapist will help you identify an issue to work on.
- While listening to calming bilateral music with earbuds or earphones; you will be asked to focus on the issue and notice how you feel, sense, and experience the issue in your mind and body.
- From here the eye position or ‘brainspot’ associated with this issue will be identified by scanning from one side of your visual field to the other. Brainspotting therapists often use "pointers" to guide your gaze and find your brainspot.
- 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 our conscious, cognitive, and verbal awareness.
- People 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.
- Expect to continue to feel the unwinding and unfolding of the process as the mind and body integrate the experience. Many people notice key insights coming through in the days following that they bring to the next session for processing.
Since its inception in 2003, multiple studies have shown BSP's effectiveness with multiple clinical issues and has also been shown to be just as effective as EMDR. Like EMDR, BSP does not require verbal retelling of events. The advantages of BSP over EMDR include the ability of the client to move their body, speak as much or as little as they want, and many clients report focusing on one spot "the brainspot" is more comfortable than darting their eyes back-and-forth during optical bilateral stimulation. Here is a sample of BSP controlled studies:
- A Paradigm Shift in Trauma Treatment: Converging Evidence for a Novel Adaptation of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) (2022)
- Psychotherapeutic Techniques for Distressing Memories: A Comparative Study between EMDR, Brainspotting, and Body Scan Meditation (2022)
- Brainspotting: Recruiting the midbrain for accessing and healing sensorimotor memories of traumatic activation (2013)
- A Preliminary Study of the Efficacy of Brainspotting – A New Therapy for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (2012)
For more information, visit David Grand's website for a comprehensive overview of Brainspotting.
Here is an introduction to Brainspotting therapy.