What is Brainspotting?
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 challenging symptoms. Brainspotting, enhanced with BioLateral sound, is deep, direct, and powerful… yet focused and containing.
For Frequently Asked Questions click here.
According to Dr. Robert Scaer, a neurologist and trauma specialist, “Brainspotting is based on the profound attunement of the therapist with the patient, finding a somatic cue and extinguishing it by down-regulating the amygdala. It isn’t just parasympathetic nervous system activation that is facilitated, it’s homeostasis.” Read more about the technical aspects of Brainspotting.
Some Comments by David Grand, Ph.D., the developer of Brainspotting (BSP):
“Where we look affects how we feel”. BSP makes use of this natural phenomenon through its use of relevant eye positions. This helps the BSP therapist to locate, focus, process and release a wide range of emotionally and bodily-based conditions. BSP is also a brain-based tool to support the therapy relationship. We believe that BSP taps into and harnesses the body’s natural self-scanning, self-healing ability. When a Brainspot is stimulated, the deep brain appears to reflexively signal the therapist that the source of the problem has been found. BSP can also be used to find and strengthen our natural resources and resilience. BSP is designed as a therapeutic tool that can be integrated into a many of healing modalities. BSP can also be used with performance and creativity enhancement. BSP is even more powerful when used with the enhancement of BioLateral Sound CDs.
My work is about possibility. My work is about – no assumptions, no demands, just helping a person to be in the best place that they can be, so as to let the miracle of their brain and body do what it is supposed to do, which is to first survive and second thrive.
We have all been bumped around in life, and the experience is physical as well as emotional. Trauma is ubiquitous. Trauma is a part of life but then there are the large traumas, the existential traumas that happen to us individually and together. They get imprinted on us. The good thing is that we learn from the experience. The bad part is that we get blocked.
When our systems are overwhelmed, it can’t throw off the unnatural and go back to the natural state. That is really what the trauma symptoms are about. Whether you are afraid something will happen again, you are avoiding certain places, you can’t sleep, you have nightmares, you get flashbacks of images and sound – that is unnatural. Your system is just trying to go back to the natural, but it can’t throw it off.
A trauma therapist needs to understand not only the mind, but the body and the spirit and the unity of the three of them, and to know that you can not pre-ordain a person’s healing. You can put them in the best place for that healing to happen on its own. As the healing happens, you observe it and you guide it but you don’t guide it to make it happen. You guide it as it is happening.
One of the crucial aspects of a trauma survivor’s recovery is telling their story – and being heard. Truth-telling is an empowering, restorative and healing component of the return to the normal. However, the acknowledgement of the effects of trauma on its victims has been historically short-lived, as reflected by the fleeting attention given to suffering of traumatized soldiers returning from WWI, WWII, Korean and Vietnam Wars. Over and over, the flags go up and shortly are taken down, leaving the survivors isolated and forgotten. In fact, it wasn’t until the mid-1970s that the diagnosis of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was accepted as an actual diagnosis.
In society, communities and in families, trauma is also often quickly forgotten, repressed and denied, leaving its survivors to cope on their own with painful, intractable, life-inhibiting symptoms. Trauma overwhelms the brain’s remarkable capacity to process information, leaving the experience frozen in state and time. This explains the confusing symptoms of flashbacks, hypervigilance, fear of reoccurrence, exaggerated startle response, avoidance and numbing. Part of the victim remains stuck at the moment of terror, never to escape without the appropriate healing intervention.
We are wired for survival. We are wired for healing, both physical and emotional and given the right opportunities healing will happen on its own.
We are amazing beings of adaptation and creation.
My wisdom comes in knowing that when a person comes to see me, I know nothing. I know nothing about them or why they are the way they are or how they are going to heal. That allows me to be in a place so that, whoever they are and wherever they are will just come out, and come out and present itself to me and to us. From there the healing begins.
Because there are one quadrillion connections in the human brain and nervous system — that is a million billion, that is more than the stars in the universe — nobody can know what is going on inside of another person. It is hard enough for us to know what is going on inside of ourselves. If you help a person to shift into the right light and then keep on shifting with that light as it moves, healing happens naturally. If you try to pre-ordain it or impose it, it not only doesn’t happen. It blocks whatever healing can happen.”