WHAT IS BSP
WHO IS IT FOR- WHAT DOES IT TREAT
HOW DOES IT WORK
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER
FOR THERAPIST WHO HAVE CLIENTS WHO ARE STUCK
According to David Grand, developer of Brainspotting, “Where you look affects how you feel.” This is the basic premise of Brainspotting.
Brainspotting accesses different parts of the brain than traditional talk therapy. Talk therapy accesses the higher parts of the brain, the cerebral cortex. However, trauma is stored in the deeper layers of the brain, in the amygdala. Unfortunately, accessing the deeper layers of the brain is not possible with talk therapy. Brainspotting heals the deeper layers of the brain and reduces the “emotional charge” of a traumatic memory. Talk therapy alone does not do that. I witness clients transform more quickly with the use of Brainspotting.
Brainspotting is very much client-directed and led. The theory behind brainspotting is that the client has within them the ability and desire to heal and we must follow their lead. Brainspotting also has a strong mindfulness component (as you stay aware of what is happening in moment). I believe that the ability to be with the emotion is one reason this intervention so effective.
A type of therapy that utilizes points in the visual field that help access unprocessed trauma in the subcortical brain.
Unique to this therapy is that there is not a lot of talking involved; therefore you can reprocess painful experiences without sharing the details in session. can prompt you with code words so that you stay focused on the issue at hand, but you are not retraumatized in the retelling of it.
This therapy utilizes bilateral music.
Rachel can provide Brainspotting in person as well as in video sessions.
Brainspotting is a powerful tool for therapy to help process traumas, negative cognitions, difficult emotions, and upsetting events by focusing your visual field on a spot that stimulates processing.
It is a “physiological approach with psychological consequences” that allows us to access our self-healing potential via bypassing the thinking of the neocortex and “promotes organization and integration through coalescence of hitherto separated information files”; “a Brainspot is a stored oculomotor orientation to a traumatic experience which has failed to integrate” (Corrigan & Grand 2013). While Brainspotting can sound and sometimes feel like magic, there is a lot of science behind it.
I have always loved neuropsychology and studied it just because I loved it. Brainspotting is a therapeutic modality that is both relational and steeped in neuroscience.
What does a Brainspotting session look like?
Brainspotting can be done a few different ways. It can be a completely silent process, where I will check in with my client to support and guide them. Clients can also chose to verbally process their Brainspotting experience. My client will typically listen to Bilateral Sounds.
Bilateral sound enhances the brain’s processing abilities by alternately stimulating each cerebral hemisphere. The healing sound directly enters the brain through the auditory nerves while the eardrums are vibrated bilaterally.
We find where the person is feeling the emotion in their body and scale the intensity. For example, “I feel anxious in my chest.” I then use a pointer to find where eye position where the sensation in the body is the most intense. Usually, my client will keep their eyes on that spot and we see what comes up. Or, if that is too intense, we find a gentler spot to focus on. There are always ways to vary this process to meet each individual need.
Why Choose Brainspotting?
Who doesn’t want to feel like Wolverine and discover the confidence of knowing you have the capability to heal? You can talk as much or as little as you want to; you do not have to share your trauma with the therapist for it to be beneficial to you.
The flexibility of Brainspotting allows us to find the specific iteration that works best for each individual
Deeper, accelerated resolutions with longer-lasting impact than other techniques
Can be used to process implicit trauma without a specific memory attached
Brainspotting can be used as an add-on to your current therapy or as your sole therapy.
Brainspotting focuses processing in the parts of the brain where memory and emotion are stored and the parts of the brain involved with regulation, so you actually address the emotions and memories impacting you from a part of the brain that can help you feel better and feel more regulated. The neocortex is not involved with regulation; you can’t think your way into feeling better. Rather than trying to use the neocortex to think your way through something, Brainspotting helps us go to the source for a much more efficient and powerful experience.]
Who is Brainspotting for?
You. David Grand who discovered Brainspotting says it can benefit anyone with an active nervous system. It can be used with children and adults, those with deep trauma and those experiencing negative thoughts. It is for those people who feel stuck in therapy, people who want to make progress quickly, and those who are easily overwhelmed. One complaint against EMDR is that it can be too stimulating for some. With Brainspotting, there are more options for resourcing and controlling the intensity of processing. I work with many adoptees – adults and children – and others who have experienced developmental and relational trauma, and I believe Brainspotting is the more appropriate “power therapy” for these individuals.
Brainspotting can help with any of these:
Grief and Loss
Anxiety and Depression
What does Brainspotting look like?
One of the aspects or Brainspotting that fits my therapeutic approach is the client-centered flexibility of it. It can be difficult to answer questions about Brainspotting because it not only looks a little different client to client, but also session to session. I see this as a strength, even if the lack of protocol has made it more difficult for researchers. In this case, it often takes just a few minutes for people to recognize the power of it if they are curious.
How do I use Brainspotting?
Brainspotting can be used as an add-on to your current therapy or as your sole therapy. During the Brainspotting process, you can talk as much or as little as you want to; you do not have to share your trauma with the therapist for it to be beneficial to you. If you are currently working with a therapist, I am happy to share information with them at your request.