What is Brainspotting?
“Where you look affects how you feel.”
Brainspotting was developed in 2003 by a clinical social worker named Dr. David Grand. The theory behind the Brainspotting model is based on an increasing body of research that suggests that traumatic memories are stored in the body and result in changes in the way the brain functions. Under this Brain-Body based premise, it’s believed that therapeutic methods that access the limbic system or emotional brain rather than just the rational brain (as talk therapy does) are critical to the overall healing process. Brainspotting is believed to provide direct access into these deeper parts of the brain where traumatic memories and emotional disturbances are held through “brainspots” or focused positions of the eyes that directly correlate to the negative feeling, belief, thought, or memory.
For more information you can visit https://brainspotting.com/
When is Brainspotting helpful?
BSP is very intuitive and flexible method, so one could potentially use it for a variety of issues. In therapy, common applications would be for PTSD and trauma, anxiety, depression, emotional or relational distress, confusion or lack of clarity on an issue, chronic pain or disease, unresolved grief and loss, or other adjustment concerns.
What does a Brainspotting session look like?
Before our first BSP session, I will take time to explain the method to you and answer any questions you have.
BSP sessions are either planned ahead of time or agreed upon at the beginning of a session. If we decide to use BSP in that session, the majority of the session is dedicated to using the BSP method (30-45 minutes), with time at the end of session (5-10 minutes) to debrief.
The client is always “in the driver seat” of a BSP session, and can always take a break or choose to stop for any reason.
What are the risks of Brainspotting?
Clients may cry and/or feel tired. I take special care to make sure clients feel empowered by and prepared for their sessions so that potential strong feelings remain manageable.
What are the benefits of Brainspotting?
A few main reasons people choose or prefer BSP include:
- Because BSP works through the body, clients can often work through very sensitive matters without having to “tell their story” or share material that makes them uncomfortable.
- BSP can be used to target a specific issue or concern.
- BSP can help improve self-awareness, the mind-body connection, self-soothing, and stress-reduction.
- Because BSP works through the body and central nervous system, the client does not have to “know” or “understand” their issues clearly – your body will do the work and knows what to do.
- BSP can be effective for certain concerns and ailments where talk therapy has not been successful.
- Many complex issues may be resolved in 6-10 BSP sessions, making it an efficient method and affordable commitment.
I am not interested in Brainspotting… Can I still see you for therapy?
Yes! I do not use BSP with all my clients. And even if BSP is my recommendation, I always trust the client to decide if BSP is something they would like to try or continue.