Brainspotting

Harley Conyer is a certified Brainspotting Practitioner

What is Brainspotting?

According to therapist and creator David Grand, the direction in which people look or gaze can affect the way they feel. During Brainspotting, therapists help people position their eyes in ways that enable them to target sources of negative emotion. With the aid of a pointer, trained brainspotting therapists slowly guide the eyes of people in therapy across their field of vision to find appropriate “brainspots,” with a brainspot being an eye position that activates a traumatic memory or painful emotion. Practitioners of the procedure believe it allows therapists to access emotions on a deeper level and target the physical effects of trauma.

“David Grand is one of the most important and effective psychological trauma therapists now practicing, and his development of Brainspotting is a very important leap forward in helping people resolve trauma. Brainspotting is a remarkable, sophisticated, flexible addition to the therapeutic toolkit of any psychotherapist.
I know because I use it regularly and find that, combined with the psychoanalytic approaches I normally practice, the results are astonishingly helpful. Using it, one becomes amazed at the extent to which our traumas can be detected in our ordinary facial and eye reflexes and how, by using these windows to inner mental states, many traumas and symptoms can be rapidly relieved. Grand writes clearly, and the cases, dramatic as they are, are not exaggerated.”    Norman Doidge, MD. FRCPC, author of The Brain That Changes Itself

There is increasing evidence that trauma is “stored” in the body and that it can alter the way the brain works. Trauma can, for example, have an effect on emotions, memory, and physical health. Brainspotting seems to activate the body’s innate ability to heal itself from trauma.

While a therapist may attempt to access both the physical and emotional “locations” of negative emotions, brainspotting therapists use something called “dual attunement,” a process through which the therapist simultaneously attunes to the therapeutic relationship as well as the brain-body response of the person in therapy. There is some evidence that brainspotting works primarily on the limbic system, a collection of brain structures that play a role in emotion, long-term memory, cognition, motivation, impulse control, and several other psychological factors that can affect well-being.

“Brainspotting is based on the profound attunement of the therapist with the patient, finding a somatic cue and extinguishing it by down-regulating the amygdala. It isn’t just PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) activation that is facilitated, it is homeostasis.” — Robert Scaer, MD, “The trauma spectrum”

Brainspotting was discovered in 2003 by David Grand, Ph.D. Over 8,000 therapists have been trained in Brainspotting in the US, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Brainspotting is sometimes described as ‘beyond talk therapy’. Because Brainspotting is considered to be processing directly in the brain, it is not necessary for clients to ‘talk’ through what has happened in the past. It’s possible to access past trauma and process it without needing to share the content of the ‘story’. Especially when dealing with trauma, abuse and other experiences involving shame and vulnerability, this can provide clients with a way to process past trauma in a way that can feel safer and more accessible.

“Where we look affects how we feel”. Brainspotting makes use of this natural phenomenon through its use of relevant eye positions. This helps the Brainspotting therapist to locate, focus, process and release a wide range of emotionally and bodily-based conditions. Brainspotting is also a brain-based tool to support the therapy relationship. We believe that Brainspotting taps into and harnesses the body’s natural self-scanning, self-healing ability. When a Brainspot is stimulated, the deep brain appears to reflexively signal the therapist that the source of the problem has been found. Brainspotting can also be used to find and strengthen our natural resources and resilience. Brainspotting is designed as a therapeutic tool that can be integrated into many of the healing modalities. Brainspotting can also be used with performance and creativity enhancement. Brainspotting is even more powerful when used with the enhancement of BioLateral Sound CDs.

Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of diagnosis and treatment, enhanced with Biolateral sound, which is deep, direct, and powerful yet focused and containing.

Brainspotting works with the deep brain and the body through its direct access to the autonomic and limbic systems within the body’s central nervous system. Brainspotting is accordingly a physiological tool/treatment which has profound psychological, emotional, and physical consequences.

It is theorized that Brainspotting taps into and harnesses the body’s innate self-scanning capacity to process and release focused areas (systems) which are in a maladaptive homeostasis (frozen primitive survival modes). This may also explain the ability of Brainspotting to often reduce and eliminate body pain and tension associated with physical conditions.

Any life event which causes significant physical and/or emotional injury and distress, in which the person powerfully experiences being overwhelmed, helpless, or trapped, can become a traumatic experience.
There is growing recognition
within the healing professions that experiences of physical and/or emotional injury, acute and chronic pain, serious physical illness, dealing with difficult medical interventions, societal turmoil, environmental disaster, as well as many other problematic life events, will contribute to the development of a substantial reservoir of life trauma. That trauma is held in the body.

In most cases, the traumatized individual does not usually have the opportunity or the support to adequately process and integrate these traumatic life events. The traumatic experience then becomes a part of that individual’s trauma reservoir. The body and the psyche cannot remain unaffected by the physical, energetic and emotional costs extracted by this accumulated trauma load. The medical and psychological literature now acknowledges that approximately 75% of requests for medical care are linked to the actions or consequences of this accumulation of stress and/or trauma upon the systems of the human body.

Brainspotting is a physiological therapeutic tool which can be integrated into a wide range of healing modalities, including psychological as well as somatic approaches to treatment. Brainspotting can be useful as a complement to various body-based therapies including advanced bodywork, chiropractic, acupuncture, somatic therapies, physical therapy, nursing, medicine, and other specialized approaches to physical healing. It is a valuable resource in the treatment of a wide range of medical, physical, and psycho-emotional issues and symptoms encountered by health professionals.

Brainspotting provides a neurobiological tool for accessing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of somatic and emotionally-based conditions

Some videos that explain Brainspotting …

 

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