Iris Healing® Retreat, Woodland Hills, CA

What to Expect After Brainspotting?

When assessing if Brainspotting training is right for you or your loved one, there are some important aspects to consider.

Brainspotting Training

Article Contents

Therapeutic Recovery

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

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.

What is Brainspotting Therapy?

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.

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.

How does Brainspotting Work?

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.

What Does Brainspotting Do?

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.

Conditions Treatable by Brainspotting

Brainspotting can be beneficial for the treatment of a variety of conditions. These include (but aren’t strictly limited to):

  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Problems with emotional regulation
  • Attention and anger issues
  • Trauma

Brainspotting vs. EMDR

The similarities between the two therapies are that both allow you to access information held in the amygdala. Both treatments employ bilateral stimulation.2

However, the key difference between the two therapies is that Brainspotting is less stimulating than EMDR and concentrates on a single eye position. Brainspotting is more versatile and can be used on almost everyone. In contrast, EMDR might be overstimulating and cannot be used on every patient.

Is Brainspotting Better than EMDR?

While EMDR has been around for a longer time and is more well-known, Brainspotting is rapidly gaining prominence. Because Brainspotting is more adaptable and frequently more effective than EMDR, it will seem different for each client.

One of the advantages of Brainspotting therapy over EMDR is that the trauma doesn’t have to be “relived” for it to be released from the body. Brainspotting also doesn’t involve a lot of talking, so it’s an excellent choice for people who don’t want to go to talk therapy.

Brainspotting Therapy for Addiction Care

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.

Somatic Experiencing (SE)

Somatic experiencing is a body-centered treatment for PTSD. Rather than focusing solely on the thoughts or emotions triggered by a traumatic event, it broadens to include the natural bodily (somatic) responses triggered by the trauma. It then attempts to repair and complete the bodies’ natural cycle for release.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

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.

Brainspotting Training Process

In order for brainspotting to be an effective healing process, there are a few methods and attributes that the therapist considers and employs. The basic Brainspotting training process is as follows:
  • Mental and physical healing by allowing unprocessed trauma to be released.
  • Revealing repressed traumas through directed Brainspot-searching sessions.

Skills Learned in Brainspotting

Like with any therapy, much of your success will be determined by the skills you learn. These skills are intended to stay with you throughout your lives and help you mitigate potentially unpleasant situations and maintain overall mental health and well being. The Brainspotting training process aims to help you develop confidence and overall wellness and stability, re-introducing you to techniques that equip you to take control over your life and surroundings. Some of the skills learned during Brainspotting training are:
  1. Overcoming fears of vulnerability
  2. Becoming more self-aware and confident
  3. Becoming mindful of how to hold stress in the body
  4. Embracing change in thoughts and feelings
  5. Familiarity with the power of emotional release

What to Expect After a Brainspotting Session?

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.

How Do You Feel After Brainspotting?

Many people report feeling tired and wanting to nap after the session, while others feel relaxed and calm. Some say they don’t see any difference right away. Regardless of how you feel, all you need to do is allow yourself to rest for a few hours after your session.

Brainspotting at Iris Healing®

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.

We are always here for you at Iris Healing®. Get in touch with us.

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