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About Brainspotting

What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting (BSP) was discovered in 2003 by David Grand, Ph.D. It locates points in your visual field that help to access unprocessed trauma in the subcortical brain. Dr. Grand came up with Brainspotting by utilizing a combination of a variety of existing psychological and physiological treatments he was trained in and actively practicing including: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing, relational insight-oriented therapy and micro-movements. Watch the quick video below to learn more.

How Does Brainspotting Work?

Brainspotting works by allowing clients to engage in identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional and body pain, trauma, dissociation and various other symptoms. According to Dr. Grand “Where you look affects how you feel.” A “Brainspot” is the eye position, where you look, which is related to the energetic/emotional activation of a traumatic/emotionally charged issue within the brain, most likely in the amygdala, the hippocampus, or the orbitofrontal cortex of the limbic system.
As a BSP Dr. O will assist you in finding your Brainspot(s). She will wave a pointer in a specific pattern within your visual field. Sometimes, you will work together with her by indicating when you are experiencing a heightened sense of emotional or physical intensity. Other times she will be alerted of the existence of a brainspot by a reflexive signal that occur outside of your consciousness. Different clients will exhibit different types of reflexive signals, such as facial tics, eye twitching, pupil dilation o constriction, swallowing, yawning, brow furrowing, coughing, and body movement, typically in the hands or feet.
When you indicate that you are experiencing a heightened sense of emotions or physical sensations, or when exhibiting a reflexive signal, it will alert Dr. O that the brainspot is triggering your somatosensory experiences. In order to continue accessing these physical and emotional experiences, Dr. O will assist you in holding you eye position with the use of a pointer. Then, the Brainspotting experience can truly begin, as you can focus on the experience of your symptoms that are uniquely being accessed by the brainspot.

Brainspotting is effective for a wide variety of emotional and somatic conditions. BSP is particularly effective with trauma-based situations, helping to identify and heal underlying trauma that contributes to anxiety, depression and other behavioral conditions. It acts as a way to release painful trauma from our memories, rather than simply forcing us to relive the trauma. BSP can assists you in processing trauma that has lied within you, sometimes laying dormant and outside of your consciousness for many years. When a brainspot is identified and your eye holds their position on it, you are able to experience the distress, physical pain and emotional pain that is opened through the brainspot. Unlike your previous experiences of trauma, brainspotting allows you to experience trauma in the safety and comfort of Dr. O’s presence.  Being able to access your traumatic experience in a safe environment will lessen the emotional and physical impact of the trauma.

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