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Brainsp  tting

"Where you look affects how you feel"
- David Grand, Ph.D

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Brainspotting is a somatic treatment approach for trauma, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Brainspotting gives the therapist access to both brain and body processes.

In talk therapy, the patient responds with the prefrontal cortex

 

 Its goal is to bypass the conscious, neocortical thinking to access the deeper, subcortical emotional and body-based parts of the brain.

We find a specific spot in the visual field to access the limbic system and process events from the non-verbal or subconscious parts of the brain..

Brainspotting is not as structured and allows for a lot of creativity in approach.

It follows the no assumptions model, where we don’t assume that a client is experiencing something because it comes from a particular event, bc it can often be something completely different.

The brain naturally knows what must be done to heal, as does the body, it is the process of engaging the brain and body so it can process and heal.

For clients who struggle talking about events/experiences, it is nice because the client doesn’t have to speak at all, if they don’t want to, and therapist are asked to WAIT. (Why Am I Talking).

Due to the type of processing occurring, in the limbic system, therapist talking to clients pulls them into the prefrontal cortex and takes them out of processing.

It is a focused mindfulness that allows for efficient and effective processing.

It can be really quick too. Not always, obviously, but can be. Therapist attunes to the client and holds space. It is a powerful and beautiful thing to witness and take part in.

 to have witness without judgement or advisement.

Such a deconstruction from the formal styles we may be using.

The brain has the capacity to 'make meaning'. That's the beauty of the client processing subcortically.

the body instinctively knows what it wants and needs

an approach to healing and wellness that is deeply rooted in the body’s nervous system. Brainspotting is theorized to access the brain-body’s innate self-scanning and self-healing capacities, in the context of a neurobiologically and relationally attuned clinical relationship. In Brainspotting, a person’s brain-body activation around a particular issue is paired with a relevant eye and orienting position, called a Brainspot, that serves as an entry-point to neurophysiological systems that hold emotional and/or physical experience in an often wordless but felt form of memory. Through sustained gaze on the Brainspot, the brain-body system re-regulates and re-orients to the present in an adaptive manner. When this happens, the prior activation eases; the person feels–and functions–better.

 

Brainspotting embraces a principle of uncertainty in the clinical encounter, acknowledging the vast terrain hidden in the depths of the human brain. Neuroscientists report that there are over one quadrillion connections in the human brain, which is more than the number of known stars in the universe! Brainspotting therapists, therefore, work in the “here and now” with whatever their clients bring up in session, and seek to help their clients access the subcortical parts of their brain-body systems by locating relevant Brainspots on which the clients hold their gaze, in the service of healing.

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