Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a powerful alternative to traditional talk therapy that is aimed at helping us get unstuck.  Talk therapy can help us understand why we act or feel a certain way and through it we can often learn valuable coping skills to make positive changes.  Still for some, despite ongoing talk therapy there are issues that never seem to truly resolve and feelings that just don’t seem to go away.   This is because talk therapy relies on the left hemisphere, the verbal side, of our brain.   Trauma and distress is stored is the non-verbal side of our brain. What’s more, trauma and upset are also stored in our body.   If you think back to an upsetting memory, you can probably still feel it in your body.  Your stomach might get tight or you may even experience trouble breathing.  That “felt sense” is the upset that is stuck in the body.

For some, exploring issues through talk therapy alone is like pulling weeds and only getting the top part- the part that you can see above ground.  If you don’t get to the roots, the chances are pretty good that the weed will return. Brainspotting is a powerful tool that helps you access the area where trauma and upset is stuck in the brain and the body- it helps you access the roots.  Brainspotting identifies “spots” in the limbic center of the brain where emotional memory is processed and stored. It identifies eye positions (brain spots) that are activated when emotional memory becomes aroused and helps de-condition, and thereby decrease, the intensity of the response to that old, stored memory.

Brainspotting utilizes a technique called bilateral stimulation.  With bilateral simulation you listen to tracks on headphones that feed music or nature sounds alternately to your left and right ears. This, along with guidance from a highly attuned therapist, helps clients access material in relevant neural networks–material that provides keys to the issues, problems or memories that you are working on.  We have learned that by getting the brain to alternate between left and right hemispheres, the brain and body reprocesses information. In reprocessing information, the brain and body are able to clear the stuck energy from the trauma.  Memories are not lost, but the “emotional charge” from the memory will be cleared.

Brainspotting can help:
  • Relieve distressing memories
  • Reduce chronic fear, anxiety and anger
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Resolve old hurts
  • Reduce reactions to conflict and criticism
  • Reduce depression
  • Work through grief and loss

 

To learn more about brainspotting, watch the videos below: