What is brainspotting?
Brainspotting (BSP) is a technique used to gently process and heal trauma. According to its creator, Dr. David Grand, “What’s in the brain is in the body and what’s in the body is in the brain”. Traditional talk-therapy can be effective and valuable. However, brainspotting accesses the deeper parts of the brain where trauma is held, and allows one to process trauma without having to use the “thinking brain.” Oftentimes, this dramatically reduces the number of sessions needed to move through emotional and body-based conditions.
Brainspotting is also used to help the individual access their own internal resources for calming and grounding. Brainspotting was created in 2003 with the premise that “Where you look affects how you feel.” Since its creation, nearly 13,000 practitioners have been trained within the United States and internationally.
How does it work?
Talk-therapy accesses the front part of your brain (the neocortex), which is where language resides. This is where many people get “stuck” in therapy, because most often, our symptoms and problems can only be fully accessed through the mid-brain. This is referred to as “subcortical processing.” Brainspotting bypasses the neocortex and accesses the subcortical part of the brain that stores memories, emotions, and trauma. This actually creates new neuro-pathways in the brain, which is great news for those trying to create new patterns of behavior!
The therapist uses a “dual-attunement model,” where the therapist attunes to both the clients themselves as well as the client’s brain processes. Once the client begins to think about what they want to address, the therapist helps the client access a spot of activation using relevant eye positions. The therapist guides the client into a state of focused intention and the brain takes over from there.
Who does brainspotting work with?
The short answer is “everyone.” Brainspotting has been used with children, adolescents, and adults for a large range of issues, including but not limited to:
- Attachment disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias
- Generalized anxiety
- Personality disorders
- Chronic pain