Brainspotting (BSP) is a fairly new type of therapy designed to help people access, process, and overcome negative emotions and pain. It has been around since 2003 and works to release stored negative experiences, allowing patients to access suppressed memories and effectively heal from them. Those that have tried it are able to effectively work through their emotions and see major improvements in mental health and overall state of being.
Brainspotting was developed by Dr. David Grand, who worked with the survivors of many different types of traumatic experiences. These included survivors of Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 attacks, as well as veterans living with PTSD. Dr. Grand has made it very clear, however, that brainspotting is not limited to trauma victims. His goal with this therapy is to relieve as much suffering in as short of a time as possible, and this treatment can very well extend to those with drug and alcohol addictions.
How Did Brainspotting Develop?
Dr. Grand developed what he called Natural Flow EMDR, a technique that incorporated two types of therapy: somatic experiencing and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. He used this Natural Flow EMDR as part of the trauma therapy he conducted with the 9/11 survivors mentioned above, which proved extremely beneficial. He realized this form of therapy was going to be significant when one patient dealing with physical and emotional trauma experienced rapid improvement following one of his sessions.
During this particular session, he took Natural Flow EMDR one step further and held the individual in a locked eye position, which allowed for the expression of certain memories. This resulted in immense relief, both physically and psychologically. This “locked eye position” is the essence of the brainspotting technique, which is what Dr. Grand’s experiment became after this successful session. He has since developed a formal training process, and today more than 8,000 therapists are trained in the approach.
Brainspotting theory suggests that the brain can heal itself from the inside-out. This therapy stimulates the brain’s healing ability by pinpointing then releasing the negative emotions and experiences that have been stored previously. It does so by identifying an eye position that triggers and releases these emotions (refer to the locked eye position mentioned earlier).
Dr.Grand’s theory is based on the idea that a person’s direction of gaze can affect how they feel, touching on the notion that your eyes have an intense relationship with your brain.
Additionally, brainspotting is rooted in the fact that trauma is stored in your body and can be activated or triggered, in this case at a certain eye position. Brainspotting therapists uses a pointer to direct the gaze of their patients until an eye position is reached that activates a certain traumatic memory or emotion. This helps the therapists assess an individual’s emotions on a much deeper level, as well as evaluate the psychological effects of a traumatic experience. The position in which a therapist can determine these things is called a brainspot.
Is Brainspotting Effective?
Brainspotting and EMDR therapies help patients reprocess negative events and retrain emotional reactions. EMDR has been around longer and therefore more intensively studied, but therapists are practicing brainspotting more and more, continuing to report positive results.
As mentioned, brainspotting is primarily used in trauma therapy and for PTSD treatment. It has also been shown to help treat physical illness, stress, low motivation, and other issues that stem from cognitive function. Some therapists believe psychological issues can also be caused by trauma. Brainspotting may be an especially effective form of therapy for those individuals who wish to address one or more concerns. Additional benefits can include relief from:
- Substance Abuse
- Chronic Pain
By tapping into the parts of the brain that regulate emotions, patients are able to heal and recover from their traumas once they’ve been identified. Brainspotting is now being offered at our center and we are so thrilled to have our patients experience the benefits of brainspotting, a model of therapy well known for its fast results and positive outcome. Call us today for more information on this treatment among others offered at Scottsdale Recovery Center.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888-663-7847.
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