What is Brainspotting?
Brainspotting is a powerful and focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing, and releasing sources of emotional and physical pain, trauma, dissociation, and other symptoms that can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.
Each experience that we have, and in particular the ones that were traumatic or shaming for an individual, leave lasting imprints on the mind, body, and soul. Brainspotting works within the deep, lower parts of the brain that took control during these traumatic or shaming moments, and therefore are still tied to the physical and somatic reactions. By finding a 'brainspot', or a particular eye position that activates the emotional and physical response, it allows you to gain access to that memory in a safe environment with the therapist in order to process and move toward healing.
There are different types of brain spots, including ones that activate the feelings associated with the event and resource spots that help to ease the feelings. Processing and healing can happen using both types of spots, although it does tend to happen more rapidly with the activation spots.
During a Brainspotting session, the therapist typically uses a pointer - similar to what teachers may use within a classroom - to help find the brainspot. When I use this technique with clients, we usually chat ahead of time to briefly discuss what they are feeling or would like to process through. However, after the brainspot is found, I encourage clients to talk as much or as little as they like. I will occasionally check in with the client to ask what they are experiencing or noticing within their body - any new physical feelings, thoughts coming to mind, or emotions arising.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to use Brainspotting as a client, and some days it may feel like you are processing more than others. However, the brain may process quite a bit even if it doesn't seem to be doing anything.
What is wonderful about this form of therapy is that the therapist is simply there to help guide - the healing itself comes from within the body and brain, where the effects of the event first took hold. Ultimately, it is a form of cultivating self healing.