“My observation is that the thinking mind can go astray, but the intuitive mind does not. We know what we know and deep inside is where we know it. When a therapist affirms this inner wisdom by listening carefully and trusting what the client has to say, the client feels attuned to as they may never have before. This is deeply healing unto itself.” David Grand PhD, developer of Brainspotting
David Grand PhD was an EMDR practitioner until he discovered Brainspotting. (Francine Shapiro PhD developed EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) in the 80’s). Both utilize the eyes as the eyes are deeply connected to the brain stem and mid brain from your earliest development. By harnessing where your eyes move while experiencing some agitation, your brain is able to release stored trauma and integrate it so that it no longer controls you.
What is it like? The therapist holds a pointer while you follow the tip of the pointer with your eyes until either the therapist notices signs such as swallowing, twitches, eye blinking or you notice inner agitation or emotion. The therapist stops the pointer there and you simply stare at the tip of the pointer while your mid brain releases and integrates the trauma stored in that “brain spot”. The therapist supports you while you process. Once you feel you are done, you both discuss what happened and what you notice. Often people appear to have what some call the “Brainspotting facelift” which is a more relaxed and peaceful facial appearance after a Brainspotting session.
WHAT IS BRAINSPOTTING GOOD FOR?
PTSD - Acute, Chronic or Complex
Signs of Trauma, grief, traumatic loss or change
Feeling you are dissociated from your experiences or life and feel you are questioning yourself (derealization)
Feeling you are watching your life rather than participating in it (depersonalization)
Emotions that simply emerge without your conscious control (rage, irritation, tearfulness)
Panic, anxiety, depression
Inability to cry, inability to feel emotions, joy or love
Feeling something is missing even if you don’t know what it is (often there is trauma that the conscious mind has made a story to cover up to protect your functioning)
I am trained in both EMDR and Brainspotting. I use Brainspotting instead of EMDR because there is no physical contact, no limiting protocol to follow and it is more broadly effective.