Brainspotting therapy is a specific form of therapy that utilizes “brain spots” that can be activated through a person’s eye to help a patient process trauma or negative memories.
Brainspotting was discovered by Dr. David Grand as he was utilizing EMDR therapy to help survivors of 9/11 work through their trauma. During one session, he discovered that his patient’s eye movement was repeatedly getting “stuck” in the same spot. When he had the patient intentionally focus on the spot, the patient was suddenly able to dive deeper into their emotions and trauma than they ever had before. This prompted Dr. David Grand to develop the practice.
Brainspotting and EMDR are both types of therapy that work by practicing bilateral stimulation of a patient’s brain. In both therapies, the therapist will use outside stimulation to focus on a patient’s eyes to activate hidden emotions, memories, or trauma that have been buried deep in a person’s subconscious. The difference between EMDR and brainspotting when it comes to eye focusing is that in EMDR, a patient will be asked to move their eyes from side to side during the exercise.
There has been some evidence that brainspotting works for trauma relief. It is believed that it works by activating the brain’s limbic system, which then helps the brain focus on the emotions that are associated with particular memories.
Once these emotions are identified and the attached memory has been discovered, a therapist can help a patient work through the emotions that they are feeling as they focus on them with greater clarity.
Research is still being done, and there is still much that is unknown about how eye movements, brain spots, and the limbic system interact with one another.
While there is no hard, scientific evidence on the efficacy of brainspotting, many patients report an improvement in their PTSD after two or three brainspotting sessions. 3
Eventually, as their body and brain work through the emotions that are uncovered through the brain spot, the patient should feel a sense of relaxation and should be less stressed at the end of the session. For this reason, it is believed that brainspotting for trauma relief is beneficial.
Everyone’s experience with brainspotting will be different. In general, there are no long-lasting or harmful side effects to brainspotting. Some people may experience some discomfort after their session however, including symptoms such as:
These side effects typically only last for a day or two at the very longest, and some patients may not experience any discomfort after their session. It is important to rest and relax after brainspotting sessions in order to allow the brain time to process the treatment. 4
The primary similarities between the two therapies are:
The primary differences between the two are:
At Iris Healing, our compassionate and highly qualified therapists are trained in brainspotting therapy. We can help you or a loved one overcome old trauma, negative experiences, or emotionally charged memories through this revolutionary practice. We will be there to support and help you every step of the way, and walk through any questions you might have regarding brainspotting. Contact us soon to learn more and learn how we can help you and your loved ones overcome past issues.