What Is Brainspotting?

Becca Hart, MA, LPC, PMH-C on Dec 20, 2022 in Mood and Feelings

All About Brainspotting (Curious? Read on.)

Brainspotting was developed by therapist David Grand combining elements of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and SE (Somatic Experiencing). We could write entire articles on each theory; however, we can briefly sum each here. EMDR focuses on eye movements, typically following a light while working through traumatic memories cognitively with a counselor. The idea behind EMDR therapy is that studies have increasingly shown that trauma is “stored” in the brain. Eye movements while working through memories and patterns has repeatedly shown positive results in patients with trauma and everyday painful emotions such as excessive anger, anxiety, or agitation.

SE on the other hand, was developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine and focuses on the “physical release of the energy accumulated through trauma.” Take deep breathing for example. SE helps bring awareness to the body by noticing areas of tension, regulating posture, and just generally being able to adjust oneself to self-soothe and provide immediate physical relief, leading to simultaneous emotional release. Brainspotting is a specific combination of elements of these two therapies.

Brainspotting helps with emotions associated with trauma.

But that’s not all. Brainspotting, while developed for relief from PTSD symptoms, is useful for healing many emotions and situations, some that are very everyday.

Here are some of the positive effects of brainspotting:

Reduces anxiety and agitation

More focus and a better handle on attention disorders

Softer reactions to past memories and trauma

Lessens the effects of phobias

Aids in the multidimensional treatment of addiction

Relieves chronic pain and chronic fatigue

Can reduce impulse control

Supports athletic performance

Everyday life can be better with brainspotting too.

Becca Hart is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO.

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