Brainspotting: What the heck is it and how does it work?
Brainspotting is an advanced form of
psychotherapy that can access parts of the brain that
are often hidden from our awareness.
Throughout our lives, we experience
events which can cause significant physical and/or emotional
injury and distress. It
can be a single isolated experience or can occur as a series
of small events, which over time accumulate in our body.
Either way, these events are traumatic and can leave us
with feelings of sadness, anxiousness, anger or other types
of emotions. Typically, we aren’t even aware that
these past events are affecting us on a daily basis.
We can spend years talking about the
experiencing and trying to figure out logically where they
have come from. We might even develop ways to live
with or “cope” with these feelings. What
we might not realize is that all these feelings can be
traced back to a core event, or series of events. Finding
this source is especially important. By getting to
the core issue, we can gain access to the roots of these
feelings, allowing our brains to process the material that
is causing the emotional or physical reaction. It’s
one thing to know why we shouldn’t feel
a certain way, it’s quite another to actually be
free of those feelings.
Brainspotting is a powerful, focused
treatment method that connects current emotional and
physical reactions to events that happened in the past.
For example, a person who suffered a car accident years earlier
might continue to become highly anxious while driving.
When we identify a “Brainspot”, we neurobiologically
locate and process past experiences that have, for whatever
reason, gotten stuck. Once these past traumas are
un-stuck, our bodies will no longer continue to react that
We may have a degree of awareness as to what
might be at the root of a feeling. In other words, we might think we
know why we’re feeling a certain way. But there
are often additional connections that are typically beyond
the reach of our conscious mind. They are actually
in areas of the brain that aren’t accessible through
talking. Brainspotting appears to take place at a
reflexive or cellular level within the nervous system,
which can cancel out these unwanted emotional and physiological
responses. Brainspotting treatment combines psychology
with physiology, bridging the mind-body connection.
Brena has received advanced-level training from David Grand, Ph.D., the developer
of Brainspotting, who is an internationally recognized trauma expert. He is the
author of Emotional Healing at Warp Speed: the Power of EMDR.