Brainspotting is a powerful and effective approach to healing and wellness that harnesses the dual attunement of the therapist, utilizing it to facilitate the nervous system's ability to reorganize and realign itself, enhancing resilience and facilitating change.
Discovered in 2003 by psychotherapist Dr. David Grand, Brainspotting accesses the brain-body's innate self-scanning and self-healing capacities in the context of a neurobiologically and relationally attuned clinical relationship. In Brainspotting, a person's brain-body activation around a particular issue is paired with a relevant eye and orienting position, called a Brainspot. Brainspots access neurophysiological subsystems that hold emotional and/or physical experience in an often wordless but felt form of memory. In the context of a highly attuned clinical and neurobiological relationship, accessing a Brainspot appears to open these memory "files" (neurophysiological subsystems) allowing the brain-body system as a whole, and relevant neurophysiological subsystems, to re-regulate and re-orient in an adaptive manner to the present. When this happens, the prior activation eases; the person feels and functions better.
As you talk with your Brainspotting therapist, you will identify what it is that you want to focus on. The therapist will then help you to identify a visual focal point that resonates with the issue at hand and the associated body sensations and emotional experience. You, together with your therapist, will then use focused mindfulness, sometimes accompanied by bilateral sound, to stimulate your brain and body to begin to organize and reorganize itself, releasing the material that is bringing about the disturbance or blocking performance. As you work, you may find that you want to talk or that it feels right to simply be silent and observe what is happening. Each person processes different and the Brainspotting therapist is trained to follow your lead.
In 2003, while working with a figure skater who was having trouble with her triple loop jump, Dr. David Grand, discovered the power of fixed eye positions. Grand had worked with this skater for a year and a half in 90 minute sessions combining Somatic Experiencing, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and other mind/body therapies. While utilizing EMDR and moving a pointer across her field of vision he noticed her eyes wobbling. Instead of continuing to move the pointer, per the EMDR protocol, he held it on the spot and a torrent of material emerged. Some of it was new, some was related to things that they thought had been processed completely in previous sessions. Later that evening, the skater was able to complete the triple loop and she never had difficulty with it again. As a result of this experience, Dr. Grand began to utilize fixed eye positions with other clients, some of whom were therapists themselves, who began to try this approach with their clients. Since this time, Dr. Grand has trained 1000s of therapists in what he has come to call Brainspotting and now has an international team of trainers who are helping to train clinicians in over 30 countries.
THE POWER OF BRAINSPOTTING:
In a recent study of individuals impacted by the Sandy Hook tragedy, Brainspotting was found to be the most effective mode of therapy. This study looked at 16 different approaches and utilized the respondent’s self-report.
As research in Brainspotting continues, we are discovering that it works deep in the brain, helping the client feel more balance in their brain-body connection in a way that promotes clearer thinking and a more creative in their life.
Brainspotting works effectively with all cultures and populations since it is focused on the body’s innate wisdom to heal itself.
Brainspotting; A Powerful Technique Designed to Empower the Client and Enhance Resilience and Accelerate the Recovery from Trauma - 4 hr Seminar at NASW-NJ Monday April 30th. Atlantic City NJ (Presenter - Susan Pinco)
https://vimeo.com/186019577 - What is a Brainspot?
https://vimeo.com/187494155 - As a therapist, why train in Brainspotting?
https://vimeo.com/188685842 - What is the future of Brainspotting?