We all have a traumatic experience in our lives. And this traumatic memory has such a stronghold that it is stored in the body forever. This furthermore leads to emotional imbalance, stress, and other mental ailments. But there is a solution in such a situation and that is Brainspotting (BSP). Brainspotting is an advanced and focused treatment method. It helps to identify, process and release the sources of trauma. In a way, Brainspotting is a healing process to get rid of negative emotions. So, without wasting any moment, let’s explore all about Brainspotting.
What is Brainspotting?
It is a new treatment approach that helps in overcoming traumatic experiences. It identifies, processes, and releases negative experiences from the brain. And this helps the distressed individuals to heal from within.
Therapist Dr. David Grand is the one who developed this technique in 2003. While developing, he combined elements of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Somatic Experiencing (SE). Grand believed that a person’s eye movements and the direction they look in, play a big part in determining their mood. And so, gazing on a specific external spot helps in maintaining the brain’s focus on the internal spot where the trauma lives. In this way, it helps people cope with traumatic experiences. Moreover, Brainspotting is also considered as a neurobiological tool for treatment and diagnosis.
How Brainspotting works?
Knowing the definition is not enough. You must also know what goes behind the scene. During a Brainspotting session, the therapists ask the patient to position their eyes so that they can target sources of negative emotion.
EMDR focuses on eye movements to ease symptoms caused by disturbing memories. Similarly, Brainspotting works on the direction in which people look. And that’s why, in Brainspotting, a therapist works on the eye position to locate, focus, process. After which he releases a wide range of emotional and physical-based conditions.
Besides, once the brain spot stimulates, then the deep brain signals the therapist that it has found the source of the problem. Brainspotting works by tapping into the brain’s autonomic and limbic systems, located inside the central nervous system. And this helps in making it a physiological treatment that provides psychological, emotional, and physical benefits.
It is efficient because it accesses parts of the brain that are unreachable with talk therapy.
What happens during a Brainspotting session?
Once the therapist asks the individual to hold the eye position, the emphasis is given on the emotions that are invoked. In this, the therapist and the patient work in collaboration to determine the Brainspot. During the brain scan, if there is an intensity, that corresponds to the Brainspot; the patient immediately informs the therapist likewise
During a Brainspotting session, the therapist helps in identifying and accessing negative memories from a traumatic experience. Furthermore, helping to release that traumatic memory from the brain. And for this, the therapist uses a pointer device. This device guides the patient’s eye movements through their field of vision. While doing so, there might be few reflexive signals revealing a brain spot. Facial expressions, facial tic, cough, yawn, dilation of the pupil, etc., are some of the signals. But when the brain spot is identified, then the therapist helps the person to focus on that spot to resolve the negative memory.
But, to access the Brainspot and the emotions, the therapist holds the patient’s eye position. And the patient pays attention to the symptom accessed by the Brainspotting. So, the moral of the story is that the therapist and patient have to work collectively to identify the Brainspot. But the patient has a vital role to play. For a successful Brainspotting session, the patient should have a feeling of safety. If a patient isn’t comfortable then they might not be able to work in sync. And this is because the patient is the one who indicates the therapist during the Brainspotting scan. If they are comfortable then they immediately signal if there is any sharp physical and emotional intensity.
Amidst this, there are many techniques used in Brainspotting. To name a few are neurophysiology, one eye, bilateral sound, etc. But the prominent one is ‘dual attunement.’ In this case, two processes are harmonized, thus deriving the name. It includes the healing relationship between the client and therapist as well as the brain-body response of the client. Also, Brainspotting is used as a complementary treatment with body-based therapies like acupuncture, physiotherapy, and even chiropractic.
For which conditions does Brainspotting act as the treatment tool?
Though new, it can treat several mental illnesses. Over time, Brainspotting is gaining prominence in treating psychiatric disorders.
1. Physical ailment
2. Emotional trauma
3. Trauma caused by surgery, treatment or medical interventions
5. Anger problems
6. Recovery from accident trauma
7. Stress-related illness
8. Chronic conditions
9. Trauma caused by natural disasters
10. Anxiety and panic
Which are the non-clinical areas where it is applicable?
Brainspotting is not a therapy that is limited to mental illness. It has worked wonderfully in non-clinical areas too.
Brainspotting enhances an individual’s public speaking skills. A study states that public speaking is more fearful than death. And so, public speaker, musicians, stage performers can choose Brainspotting for relief. Along with relief, it also helps in performance expansion. It is also a breather for athletes and individuals from the creative field. Sometimes, if athletes are exposed to injuries, shaming, and humiliation, then there are chances of underperformance. And this furthermore leads to depression, frustration, and shame. But Brainspotting therapy helps in wiping out these mental blocks. Thus, helping them to concentrate on their game and succeed. Likewise, the same situation goes for creative individuals when they experience failure.
Benefits of Brainspotting
Though Brainspotting was developed to treat Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But it has helped in solving unresolved trauma and other disorders. It has helped patients physically as well as psychologically.
1. With Brainspotting, there is a suppression of anxiety and distress.
2. The results of this therapy are quick, positive and long-lasting.
3. After solving any trauma, there is a sense of achievement and happiness.
4. There is a dip in negative thoughts.
5. With proper stress handling, there is room for resilience, concentration, and good sleep.
6. Brainspotting helps in improving energy levels and decreases body pain. It also stops an individual from making an impulsive decision.
7. Along with the short-term, it is a cost-effective treatment.
Now you must have realized that every day can grow better with Brainspotting. Brainspotting brings calmness, soothing thoughts and a healthy mind. With Brainspotting, you will find a holistic approach to well-being. So, if you have undertaken the Brainspotting session, then do let us know your experience!
Neelambari started her rollercoaster ride as a journalist at Pune Mirror (Times Group). After which she started exploring the world of content writing. Today, she boasts more than five years of experience filled with creativity and diversity. During this tenure, she explored various mediums like articles, blogs, social media posts, website content, and much more. And this content ranged from Gynecology, Ayurveda, Dental health to nutrition. However, she enjoys the most writing about Psychology and other medical streams. She loves writing and aims to bring positive changes at least in some lives with her articles on www.themindfool.com