(Videos of Brainspotting below)
The people I have been fortunate enough to work with have found tremendous relief, change and progress with this modality,
Brainspotting is a relatively new and advanced form of psychotherapy. This type of therapy is very focused, mindful and exact. It works by gently identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological (brain and nervous system) sources of emotional and physical pain, depression, anxiety, trauma, and a vast number of symptoms from the simple to the complex. It also can remove anything that may be blocking our creativity and peak performance. This is so, because Brainspotting has been proven to be an excellent technique for athletes, executives, speakers, and those who are involved in the fine arts, etc.
One of the profound gifts that have emerged from this modality is the ability to gain access to the deep parts of our brain-mind that are often hidden from our awareness. This is a huge milestone for psychotherapy as it allows us to dive deeper into the psyche and subconscious to gently heal and change deep-seated issues, past traumas, habits and negative beliefs and emotions.
There is increasing evidence that trauma and negativity are “stored” in the body and can alter the way the brain functions and how we feel day to day. Trauma can, for example, have a life-long effects on one’s emotions, memory, and physical health if it is not properly resolved.
Throughout our lives, we can experience events that can cause psychological, physiological and emotional injury or distress. It could be a single isolated event, or a number of small events over time that accumulate in our body. Many times, we do not realize that we are continuing to carry this distress, to some degree or another, within us. We are unaware that these events, issues, etc. are affecting us on a daily basis.
Due to fairly recent research, we are beginning to understand how and why things (events, feelings, beliefs) actually get stuck in our nervous system and continue to play out in our present life. We are finding ways to move these psychological/physiological/emotional symptoms through our system and completely release them.
Through Brainspotting we can connect current emotional and physical reactions to events that are happening presently or have occurred in the past. We may have a degree of awareness as to what might be the root of the feeling or no idea at all. In other words, we might think we know why we’re feeling a certain way. But there are often additional inner connections that are typically beyond the reach of our conscious mind which makes Brainspotting Therapy invaluable.
For, example, one may have undergone rejection or embarrassment in elementary school, maybe more than once. These feelings of shame, being alone, embarrassment, and rejection, etc. as a young child can be held in your nervous system for a life-time. You may not have a strong reaction to this memory when you bring it up now but the feelings, mindset, moods and beliefs can, and so, often continue. E.g., fear of rejection in groups, afraid of saying something “stupid” and not being liked, seen as inadequate etc. The residue of the earlier experience can persist, and we don’t even realize why we experience some fear around things such as public speaking, mingling at parties or large groups where we don’t know that many people, etc. This comes from emotional and instinctual memory, not from autobiographical concrete cognitive memory. Most of the time we cannot make a direct connection to exactly why we feel the way we do. In addition, events that happened when we were young, took place before our prefrontal cortex (logic, thinking, reasoning) was fully grown and online. This does not happen until age twenty-five.
Thus, these events or ways of being are stored in our limbic system (emotional brain) and reptilian (instinctual) parts of the brain. These are the parts of the brain we need to access in therapy for healing to occur (more right brain). Talk therapy cannot bring us to the place we need to be. This is because talking, thinking, language,logic etc. stimulates the prefrontal cortex (more left brain) where talking "about" an issue will not move us to healing or peak performance. It has to be a felt sense to move us beyond where we are today and toward where we'd like to be.
As the founder of Brainspotting, David Grand points out, scientists know that every human brain contains about 100 Billion neurons (cells that carry information). These brain cells are connected through 100,000 miles of axons that encompass from 100 trillion up to 1 quadrillion synaptic connections. To put these numbers in prospective, the Milky Way is made up of only 100 to 400 billion stars. These cosmic numbers testify to the vast, almost infinite, complexity of the brain.
We have realized the great importance and primary role that the brain and nervous system plays in psychological and emotional healing and growth. The 1990s were dubbed “the year of the brain,” in psychotherapy as new research was shedding light on the intricate connections of fields of study that we had originally separated. Continued advances in neuroscience and neurobiology has made way for newer, cutting edge therapies that are quite advanced and can even assist in rewiring the brain from old entrenched negative reactions and ways of being into our natural state of well-being, balance and harmony. This can be a concrete reality no matter what we have gone through or felt in the distant or recent past.
Brainspotting, like EMDR, is best understood and known through experiencing it. It sounds a little odd when explained but while experiencing it, it makes total sense. Below are some helpful videos by David Grand P.h.D who discovered Brainspotting in 2003.
How it Works
Shown on ESPN: Brainspotting for Peak Performance: