What is Brainspotting?
Brainspotting (BSP) uses a Mind/Body approach to psychotherapy that evolved from Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and the Somatic Experiencing (SE) modalities. Upsetting memories are stored deep within the brain and the body. BSP helps to release these stressors because it works from the deeper level of the autonomic nervous system and within the limbic system in the brain. Brainspotting is an effective and efficient healing modality that can be used with children, adolescents, and adults and has been beneficial with a variety of concerns.
Brainspotting is a mind-body based therapy, versus traditional Talk Therapy, which engages our thinking brain. Somatic therapies (such as Brainspotting) access the subcortical system where trauma and distress are often stored.
Current research in neuroscience reveals that painful memories can get stuck in the non-verbal, non-cognitive subcortical brain which diminishes our ability to live fully in the here and now. Some people experience anxiety, depression or just the sense of not feeling like themselves. This research identifies the need for body-based treatments, as traditional talk therapy cannot access memories "stuck" in non-verbal and non-cognitive areas of the brain. Brainspotting is proven to rapidly address core issues in a way that talk therapy can't resolve.
How do we find a Brainspot?
A Brainspot is found through the visual field using your eyes, and it directly connects with emotional and physical distress in the brain and body.
Our eyes connect directly to the subcortical mid-brain, where distress and memories are held. Brainspotting helps release unpleasant, stored experiences by processing through the visual field. This supports the resolution of painful or traumatic experiences allowing healthy functioning to resume.
HOW CAN IT HELP ME?
Brainspotting can rapidly relieve symptoms of :
PTSD and Complex PTSD
anxiety, depression & panic
creativity and performance blocks
addiction, cravings & compulsive behaviors
Read More About Brainspotting:
Brainspotting gives us a tool, within this clinical relationship, to neurobiologically locate, focus, process, and release experiences and symptoms that are typically out of reach of the conscious mind and its cognitive and language capacity.
Brainspotting works with the deep brain and the body through its direct access to the autonomic and limbic systems within the body’s central nervous system.
It is theorized that Brainspotting taps into and harnesses the body’s innate self-scanning capacity to process and release focused areas that are in a maladaptive homeostasis (frozen primitive survival modes). This may also explain the ability of Brainspotting to often reduce and eliminate body pain and tension associated with physical conditions.
A “Brainspot” is the eye position that is related to the energetic/emotional activation of a traumatic/emotionally charged issue within the brain, most likely in the amygdala, the hippocampus, or the orbitofrontal cortex of the limbic system. Located by eye position, paired with externally observed and internally experienced reflexive responses, a Brainspot is actually a physiological subsystem holding emotional experience in memory form.
When a Brainspot is stimulated, the deep brain reflexively signals the therapist that an area of significance has been located. This typically happens out of the client’s conscious awareness. There are a multitude of reflexive responses, including eye twitches, wobbles, freezes, blinks (hard and double blinks) pupil dilation, and constriction, narrowing, facial tics, brow furrowing, sniffs, swallows, yawns, coughs, head nods, hand signals, foot movement, and body shifting. Reflexive facial expressions are powerful indicators of Brainspots.
The appearance of a reflexive response as the client attends to the somatosensory experience of the trauma, emotional, or somatic problem is an indication that a Brainspot has been located and activated. The Brainspot can then be accessed and stimulated by holding the client’s eye position while the client is focused on the somatic/sensory experience of the symptom or problem being addressed in the therapy.
The maintenance of that eye position/Brainspot within the attentional focus on the body’s “felt sense” of that issue or trauma stimulates a deep integrating and healing process within the brain. This processing, which appears to take place at a reflexive or cellular level within the nervous system, brings about a de-conditioning of previously conditioned, maladaptive emotional and physiological responses. Brainspotting appears to stimulate, focus, and activate the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself from trauma.