Brainspotting | Vantage Point Recovery

Brainspotting

Here at Vantage Point, one of our unwritten rules and missions is to continuously pursue ways to help our clients. We know and understand that medicine – in particular, mental health – owes its growth to innovate methods like brainspotting, and an evolution of what’s considered applicable and viable as a mental health treatment.

As a collective species, we’ve gone from using herbs and rituals to archaic and even medically unsound practices, all the way to modern-day pharmacology and hi-tech science. We’ve gone from diagnosing clients per the four humors, to modern-day non-invasive therapy tools that help individuals further their own understanding of how they think and feel, using that knowledge to control their issues.

And doubtlessly, as generations pass, especially in the Information Age, new ways to address mental health issues will arise with a rigorous scientific process attached to them, expanding our understanding of how our brains and minds function.

One of those relatively new ways and one we’re extremely excited about is Brainspotting – a therapy type developed first by David Grand, Ph.D., a licensed clinical social worker. Where Brainspotting has humble beginnings, being found “by accident” during an EMDR session, it has evolved into being one of the primary techniques used for the treatment of complex trauma & PTSD.

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 functions as a neurobiological tool to support the clinical healing relationship. There is no replacement for a mature, nurturing therapeutic presence and the ability to engage another suffering human in a safe and trusting relationship where they feel heard, accepted, and understood.

Brainspotting gives us a tool, within this clinical relationship, to neurobiologically locate, focus, process, and release experiences and symptoms that are typically out of reach of the conscious mind and its cognitive and language capacity.

How Brainspotting Works

The methodology is simple. Brainspotting is based on the expanded concept of eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy and is based on the practice that the direction in which people look or gaze affects how they feel. During Brainspotting, a trained therapist will use a pointer to help you position your gaze in a way that lets the them target specific sources of negative emotion, or “brainspots”, pockets of vision wherein a person activates a traumatic memory, most likely in the amygdala, the hippocampus, or the orbitofrontal cortex of the limbic system.

The idea behind Brainspotting is that by activating that emotional pain through the simple practice of adjusting a client’s gaze and focusing on the body’s “felt sense” of that issue or trauma, a deep integrating and healing process in the brain is stimulated. This processing, which appears to take place at a reflexive or cellular level within the nervous system, brings about a de-conditioning of previously conditioned, maladaptive emotional and physiological responses. Brainspotting appears to stimulate, focus, and activate the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself from trauma.

There’s a fair bit of evidence out there on the validity of the therapy itself, although the exact science behind the mechanism is still being studied. However, not only have we learned first-hand the power of Brainspotting, stories continue to pour in from across the globe speaking about how the modality changed their lives. With 10,000 practitioners spanning 22 countries, Brainspotting is on the move.

Why We Advocate Brainspotting

We understand that Brainspotting does not have the long and accomplished track record of decades’ older therapy tools such as cognitive behavioral therapy or even other cutting edge treatment techniques such as EMDR. However, we at Vantage Point believe in staying ahead of the curve, filling our arsenal with therapeutic tools that have a proven track record that go beyond the limits of the mainstream. We know that every type of therapy used today was at some point still in development, and met with skepticism. Brainspotting, while it may sound implausible at first, has proven itself time and time again as a valuable tool for diagnosing and treating trauma victims. See the charts below that outlines the effectiveness Brainspotting had on both adults and children of the Newtown community impacted by the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012

There’s a fair bit of evidence out there on the validity of the therapy itself, although the exact science behind the mechanism is still being studied. However, not only have we learned first-hand the power of Brainspotting, stories continue to pour in from across the globe speaking about how the modality changed their lives. With 10,000 practitioners spanning 22 countries, Brainspotting is on the move.