It’s possible that we become overwhelmed by an emotionally powerful, frightening, or traumatic incident from one’s past or present. If that overwhelming feeling doesn’t resolve itself, it becomes ‘stuck’ in our bodies (the central nervous system), making us hypersensitive and reactive. It also distorts or degrades our sense of self. This can impede one’s confidence, happiness, and overall quality of life.
As a result, various therapies are available to help people overcome these feelings. A new therapeutic approach that is currently making waves is Brainspotting.
Brainspotting training is a new therapeutic method that involves recognizing, processing, and releasing unwanted or traumatic memories from the brain to help people heal from the inside out. This is done by identifying the “brainspots.”
The Brainspot serves as a portal into all the past’s accumulated, stranded baggage. The brain stops scanning outwardly for dangers and instead internally self-scans to detect and maintain its presence on the underlying unresolved issue.
Based on the idea that “where you look has an impact on how you feel,” David Grand developed Brainspotting therapy, an alternative mind-body therapy that uses spots in a person’s visual field to help them process trauma. It brings together body-based techniques, the therapeutic relationship’s strength, and brain-based processing.1
By accessing the trauma trapped in the subcortical brain, the area of the brain responsible for consciousness, emotions, motion, and learning, Brainspotting exercises help in the processing of unresolved issues, the transformation of unwanted habits, breaking through addictions, healing pain, forgiveness, releasing hurts, regulating the nervous system, and letting go of unwanted patterns.
In Brainspotting, the client is seen as the expert on themselves. Brainspotting training aims to help the client access their self-healing abilities and process trauma and negative emotions that have been stored.
During Brainspotting therapy, the therapist assists the client in positioning their eyes in ways that allow them to target sources of unpleasant emotion. With the aid of a pointer (the therapist’s finger or the end of a pointer rod), the therapist moves this point of focus to guide the client into “brainspots.”
When the therapist notices a point that generates an irregularity in the eye movement, the therapist lets the client remain in that spot, providing the client space to process emotional reactions that arise during the session rather than simply talking about them. The Brainspotting exercises continue until the client has completely processed the issue or until the session time is over.
Brainspotting can treat anxiety, chronic pain, depression, panic disorder, phobias, and impulse control. It’s beneficial for dealing with trauma because it allows clients to reach the limbic system, a place that stores painful unconscious memories.
Brainspotting can be beneficial for the treatment of a variety of conditions. These include (but aren’t strictly limited to):
Brainspotting therapy for addiction, compared to typical talking therapies, can achieve considerably faster change in drug addiction rehabilitation. Brainspotting training allows you to see into your subconscious reflexes. It also allows for recognizing and knowing the automatic and unconscious responses that fuel drug addiction.
This Brainspotting treatment also allows clients to go deeper into their problems and focus on a specific underlying cause of drug addiction.
Brainspotting therapy is mainly based on two other therapies’ modified methodologies. They’ll be detailed below.
EMDR therapy is a phased, targeted technique for treating trauma and other symptoms that involve reconnecting the traumatized individual to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations related to the trauma.
EMDR addresses a client’s deep traumas using rapid, repetitive eye motions, allowing the brain’s natural healing powers to move toward adaptive resolution.
A few days following the session, some may experience increased anxiety; this is normal and is often due to your brain and nervous system continuing to digest the session.
After a Brainspotting session, the Brainspotting process can continue for several days, if not weeks. When it comes to deep healing and processing, you may have to feel worse before feeling better. Ensure you talk to your therapist about any questions or concerns you have.
Suppose you’ve tried and felt frustrated with traditional talk therapy, you get triggered often, or have experienced physical symptoms with no medical reasons; in that case, Brainspotting therapy is the right option for you.
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