Brainspotting – What is it?
Brainspotting is an alternative therapy concerned with accessing a traumatic event, exploring it, and then helping you overcome it by processing it in a healthy manner. It is different from other psychotherapies as those therapies are based on verbal communication while the Brainspotting utilizes your visual field to assist you in reaching the deeper areas of your brain, finding your triggers, and overcoming trauma. Brainspotting therapy is thought to access your limbic system with the help of your gaze and reset the brain and body to alleviate negative emotions, stress, and physical and psychological pain.
What are the benefits of Brainspotting?
People who have undergone a traumatic event often feel stuck in that particular moment, also known as "frozen maladaptive homeostasis." David Grand developed Brainspotting in 2003 to help people move forward from this point. Initially designed to help people dealing with trauma, Brainspotting is now used in a variety of different psychological conditions and can help:
Reduce chronic pain
Correct negative thought patterns
Deal with memories with less hurt
Brainspotting therapy can be effective if you are experiencing any of the following conditions:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
All forms of trauma
Attention problems including ADHD, ADD, etc.
What should I expect from a Brainspotting session?
Brainspotting therapy sessions are flexible, and there are no hard and fast rules to follow. Generally, a Brainspotting session will start with a consultation with your therapist. They will ask you why you are seeking this therapy and any relevant information you would like to share about your traumatic experience. The role of the therapist is more of a guide in Brainspotting, and the session is primarily self-guided.
While discussing your area of concern, you might have a feeling of uneasiness or discomfort. Your therapist will ask about the area you felt this sensation. This feeling of unease can occur in different forms like pain in your stomach, tension in your shoulders, or heaviness in your chest. Once you have identified the area, your therapist will ask you to rate this sensation on a scale of 0 to 10.
What to Expect Next
The therapist will help you find your brainspot. They will use a pointer to check your gaze. Your therapist will use either one of the two methods to find the brainspot. They will use the "Outside Window" or "Inside Window." While using the Outside Window, your therapist will move the pointer horizontally and vertically to test your visual field while paying attention to the changes in your facial expressions and eye and body movements. They will determine the point where you appear most stimulated or activated. On the other hand, while using the Inside Window, you will guide the therapist to move the pointer and let them know where the sensations are most heightened.
Once you have found the spot, your therapist will allow you to take a deeper look at your feelings and talk about them as much or as little as you want. The therapist will keep quiet for most of the session and will start to offer reflections towards the end to bring you back to your present state. You can either reflect internally on your feelings or communicate them to your therapist verbally.
After the session, the therapist will once again ask you to rate your sensations or feelings and compare them with their initial intensity. Usually, you will feel less emotional and physical pain.
It is common in the initial sessions to feel more agitated and disturbed after the session. This is a usual happening and is felt by most clients as they get connected with their untouched traumatic memories.
Sometimes, the therapist can also use bi-lateral music. You will need to wear headphones, and the music will move from one ear to the other. This process can help you feel relaxed and calm.
This therapy is an effective way to get in touch with your unhealed trauma and readjust your mind and body to activate its natural healing pathways. It works gradually to help you cope with your suppressed negative emotions and replace them with positive feelings.
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