What is brainspotting therapy and is it effective?
There is an up and coming player in the game of mental health treatments.
Just like any other rookie in the game, brainspotting is making a name for itself. In fact, it is being seen as quite revolutionary among many mental health professionals who are implementing this technique. Those who may have hit a plateau with traditional treatments are being able to fully work through their negative emotions and see profound improvements in their mental health.
We know that mental health disorders are connected to the brain. Most traditional therapies get you to use your brain to change your thoughts and behaviors, most with great success. Sometimes an additional or alternative therapy is needed to reach deeper levels of the brain to aid in the process of healing.
Brainspotting can help you reach the unconscious parts of the brain that may be hindering you from moving forward.
What Is Brainspotting Therapy?
Brainspotting has been around since 2003 and was discovered by Dr. David Grand. It is relatively new in the world of mental health.
However, it is garnering attention due to it showing rapid results among users.
Watch this video by Dr. Grand on how he defines brainspotting. His goal of easing human suffering in a rapid amount of time is being reached. Dr. Grand has treated people who have been through natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, those who survived the attacks on the World Trade Center, and also veterans who served in combat. While he makes it very clear that brainspotting is not limited to trauma victims.
Dr. Grand claims this type of psychotherapy can help people with a wide variety of mental health disorders obtain a faster recovery than they would with just traditional treatments.
How Does it Work?
The motto of brainspotting is that where you look affects how you feel, lending to the theory that the eyes have an intense relationship with the brain.
A brainspot represents the eye position that correlates with the part of the brain that is holding a negative memory. The negative memory is stuck in this part of the brain, this unconscious part that has been keeping these negative memories from affecting and interfering in our everyday lives. The brain has good intentions but the reality is that by storing these negative memories the brain is doing more harm than good.
An example may be when a child is sexually abused; they may suppress those memories of abuse in order to cope and lead a “normal” life. The problem, these negative memories are still in the brain, lingering. And just by being stored in the brain, these negative memories turn into mental health disorders that appear for what seems like no reason.
Because you cannot make the connection from your mental health disorder to these negative memories, you seek a therapist to help you. It is in therapy that you begin healing. But with brainspotting, you can reach an even deeper level of healing.
A brainspotting therapist can help you access those negative memories or traumas and help you release them from your brain, allowing your brain and your body to heal quickly. For instance, if a military veteran is undergoing brainspotting techniques, the therapist will help him or her focus on a spot that connects with the negative memory of the trauma (e.g. the actual moment when their vehicle exploded due to a bomb). Once they can recall that traumatic event, the therapist can help them process through the negative emotions and they can release it.
This technique has been showing great results with clients who are experiencing healing at a much quicker pace.
Some of the brainspotting techniques include outside and inside window, integrative model, neurophysiology, dual attunement, bilateral sound, one eye, and rolling and z axis. Because there are so many ways to use brainspotting, this makes it possible for almost anyone to be treated and for any reason.
Who Can Benefit?
Brainspotting is an advanced form of psychotherapy that reaches parts of the brain not normally accessed through traditional treatments.
Therefore, anyone needing psychotherapy of any kind can benefit from this technique. There is an unbelievable list of mental health disorders that can be treated with brainspotting. Some of the illnesses are anger, phobias, anxiety, and all types of traumas, chronic pain and even impulse control problems. Even physical injuries can be treated with success.
Athletes, in particular, can benefit from brainspotting. It was while working with an Olympic ice skater that this treatment was discovered by Dr. Grand. It is now referred to in helping sports traumatic stress disorder.
Brainspotting can help athletes overcome ailments that are preventing them from performing their best, whether due to a physical injury or mental distress.
Does it Work?
The effectiveness of brainspotting is being researched and the results are positive.
One study involving participants with post-traumatic stress disorder were given brainspotting treatments as an alternative to their treatment process. What the researchers found is that brainspotting had positive effects on the participants, who reported a decrease in symptoms after just a short period of implementing this technique.
There are many positive testimonials from beneficiaries of brainspotting. Because brainspotting is seen as a visual or mental technique, it doesn’t seem scary and people are willing to give it a try. It does not involve surgery or any physical types of treatment. It is simply accessing parts of the brain that you can’t normally access on your own.
This may be another reason so many people are excited to try this method.
Where Do You Get It?
It is very important that you seek out a qualified professional, one who is specifically trained in brainspotting.
To date, there are over 8,000 certified and trained brainspotting experts around the world. A list of certified therapist can be found through the brainspotting international organization. Because the therapist has to be in complete attunement with their clients, they require special certification in the area of brainspotting.
If you want to obtain more spiritual attunement, there are therapists being trained specifically on how to use brainspotting to help others become even more spiritually aware of their soul and inner self.
If you have tried traditional treatments without much progress, or even if you have had success with traditional psychotherapy but are interested in trying something new and progressive, brainspotting may be the perfect alternative solution.
There are many times when traditional therapists incorporate alternative varieties of therapy to aid in the process of healing. Some may involve yoga, acupuncture, and even medication. With researchers providing an increasing amount of evidence promoting its effectiveness, brainspotting may be a technique you want to try too.