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"Where you look affects how you feel." David Grand

What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting (BSP) is a fairly new therapy technique developed by David Grand, Ph.D. that is effective for a variety of mental health concerns, including trauma, anxiety, mental blocks, physical pain, and negative emotions. In Brainspotting, you are seen as the expert of you and the therapist is in a supportive role. The goal of brainspotting is to access your own self-healing capabilities and help process stored trauma and negative emotions. 

How does it Work?

This somatic technique targets the limbic system and the brain stem (mid-brain) or the subcortical brain where most trauma is stored. The neocortex or “thinking” brain is bypassed so you can directly access the deep parts of your brain involved in emotional regulation. This means that nonverbal processing can occur.  You can talk as little or as much as you want. Focusing on your thoughts and feelings of the issue and noticing your body sensations will offer powerful healing. 

During a brainspotting therapy session you are asked to think of an issue that activates a traumatic memory or strong, perhaps even intense, emotion. With the aid of a pointer, the trained brainspotting therapist will guide your eyes across your field of vision to find the appropriate “brainspot” on the issue you chose. You will be asked where you feel this activation in your body and then become quiet to listen and follow the cues your body gives you. Your therapist will remain still and supportive of anything you sense or feel. If the activation becomes too intense, your therapist will help you find another spot that is grounded, neutral, and calm. 

By moving back and forth between the neutral spot and the activated spot, healing begins.Brainspotting can be a rapid, effective type of therapy. In contrast to ongoing talk therapy, you can expect Brainspotting to be more short term. Some clients find their issue resolved after 2-3 Brainspotting sessions. Others find Brainspotting to be more adjunctive, and use regular talk therapy to further process and enhance progress made in a Brainspotting session.  

Who can benefit?

Brainspotting is most helpful as a way to heal from a traumatic experience or from childhood developmental trauma. It can also be helpful if you feel “stuck” on an issue, feel like something is holding you back from moving forward,  being more successful, or in any situation where thinking can get in the way of performance, such as creativity or sports performance.

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