Brainspotting Therapy as Trauma Healing is quickly becoming more common in drug and alcohol treatment programs as a tool to address the issues of trauma for patients while in recovery.
It is also an excellent extension to the usual treatment modalities used for addiction and mental health recovery.
The brain and body store more than we expect and they can hold on to painful memories we thought we stowed away in the archives, or attempted to hide.
Many of us often try to forget these memories, or disregard the suspicion that something is bothering us, by turning to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Unfortunately our brain continues to communicate with our trauma unconsciously at an unperceived level and using substances to dull the memories or deal with the pain only makes matters worse.
Over time, the pain of trauma can become a co-occurring mental health condition combined with addiction.
Trained specialists take advantage of brainspotting exercises which can help us access where our traumas are stored in our brain so we can overcome them and live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
What is Brainspotting?
Brainspotting (BSP) was discovered by David Grand, Ph.D in 2003. Dr. Grand believes that where people look affects how they feel.
He realized that people can access unprocessed trauma in the subcortical brain where brain activity organizes itself around their eye position.
This process of bilateral stimulation downregulates the amygdala because the eye position accesses somatic capsules in the subcortical brain.
Brainspotting Therapy reveals, disrupts, and releases negative thoughts associated with memories and changes them to positive ones. BSP therapy includes somatic work, neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology, and polyvagal theory.
During treatment, a therapist will guide their client to look in a certain direction, guided by a pointer. A therapist will then slowly guide a person’s eyes across their field of vision to find the spots that are triggering a response.
If a particular spot activates a negative memory, they will have found a brainspot, where trauma is stored. While doing so, therapists use a process of attuning the brain-body response.
Brainspotting Therapy Identifies Responses That Affect the Following:
- Impulse Control
It should be noted that Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of both diagnosis and treatment for the patient making it an ideal treatment therapy.
Brainspotting Therapy as Trauma Healing For Addiction
Trauma and addiction are commonly connected to each other.
Many people with PTSD are often living in a constant state of fear, anxiety, depression, and can experience flashbacks from a traumatic event so they regrettably turn to substances to escape their realities and numb their feelings.
Drugs and alcohol are able to provide temporary relief and a sense of control that some traumatized people desire. This relief is usually short-lived though, and only serves as band-aid to dull the pain and trauma instead of providing a long-term solution.
Brainspotting therapy works for people with a high sympathetic nervous system, like those suffering from past trauma. The good news is that BSP therapy does not re-traumatize people during the healing process.
One way to recover from an addiction is to tackle the underlying issue of the trauma by isolating and identyfying the psychological distress that motivates people to use a substance to cope.
Brainspotting works well to help locate the trauma and rewire how a person responds to the trauma when it appears or is addressed.
This treatment modality helps those in recovery to no longer react or respond negatively to their triggers caused from trauma so that they can maintain and utilize a rational response.
BSP also helps addicts identify what is unresolved or unhealed in their body and mind, and it can help distinguish what is an overreaction. The therapy can even help those suffering from trauma and addiction to reprocess their past.
Ultimately, Brainspotting Therapy can help a person process and let go of any lingering pain from an event, that has latched onto the body and possibly merged into the person’s identity, so that they can heal.
To find out more about how Brainspotting Therapy can be used for Trauma Healing, call Iris Healing toll-free at (844) 663-4747.
Dr. Elena Kapustina found her true calling and completed her PsyD in Clinical Psychology after earning her MBA and spending years working as the CFO for major corporations. She founded Iris Healing to holistically work with dual diagnosis patients in order to create a more sustainable recovery. From managing 1,000 employees to creating a top of the line treatment center, Dr. Kapustina harnesses her passion to create positive experiences for others.