Fort Wellness Counseling

What is Brainspotting Therapy?

Brainspotting therapy for trauma release

Brainspotting therapy is a kind of alternative therapy that is gaining immense popularity in the field. Using the spots in a person’s vision, brainspotting helps people process and release trauma. Here at Fort Wellness Counseling, we use this technique to treat a variety of mental health struggles. However, we recognize that quite a few folks are still scratching their heads and wondering ‘does brainspotting therapy really work?’

If that sounds familiar, you’re in the right place. Today’s blog post covers brainspotting risks, benefits, brainspotting vs. EMDR, brainspotting therapists near me, and everything in between. Stay tuned to gain all the info on this powerful treatment option.

How Does Brainspotting Therapy Work?

Discovered in 2003 by David Grand, Ph.D., brainspotting uses the spots in a person’s visual field to help them process trauma. Essentially, it is a way of accessing any trauma that is trapped in a person’s subcortical brain (which is the part responsible for motion, consciousness, emotions, and learning).

So, how exactly does brainspotting therapy work? Well, this technique relies on the idea that traumatic feelings can become lodged in the body. (And those feelings can cause both physical and mental ailments.) Brainspotting resets the brain’s memory of those particular traumas or incidents.

Like Somatic Experiencing and EMDR, brainspotting is a kind of “bottom-up” therapy, which aims to release physical stress in the body (which releases emotional stress as a result).

What To Expect

Because it is still emerging, many aren’t sure what to expect during their brainspotting therapy appointment. While there is no standard protocol, most brainspotting sessions will look a little something like this:

    • Relaxation techniques. Most sessions will begin with relaxing breathwork. Sometimes, this includes listening to bilateral sounds. 

    • Identify the distress. Once you’ve comfortably settled into your mindful state, you will identify a place in your body where you feel distressed. Then, we’ll ask you to rank that distress on a scale of 1-10.

    • Find your brain spot. Your therapist will help you find your “brain spot.” Essentially, this is where your eyes naturally focus when your physical discomfort is the strongest. Then, your therapist will help you to focus on it.

    • Take an “outside window” or “inside window” approach. This next step depends on the therapist. The “outside window” approach asks the therapist to focus on your gaze and recommend an alternative point. The “inside window” approach asks you (the client) to identify a point.

    • Process the feelings. From there, your therapist will help you hone in on and process any feelings that arise. Don’t be surprised if you begin to process the entire experience that arose, as well as what it might mean.

Does Brainspotting Therapy Really Work?

So, does brainspotting therapy really work? Because it is fairly new to the field, more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness in healing trauma. However, there are some early studies that have indicated brainspotting to be as effective as EMDR in treating PTSD, as well as some other mental health struggles. Many of our brainspotting clients report significant progress in just one to three brainspotting therapy sessions.

Benefits of a Brainspotting Therapist

Would brainspotting therapy be helpful for you? While it’s primarily used to discover and alleviate trauma, there are numerous other benefits. Because trauma’s side effects are far-reaching, brainspotting coaching can also be used to treat anxiety, attachment issues, substance use, PTSD, chronic pain, and depression. Additionally, studies have shown that brainspotting training reduces pain, minimizes distressing memories, reduces negative thought patterns, improves sleep, and boosts energy.

Brainspotting Risks

So, are there any brainspotting risks? Well, unlike medications, brainspotting won’t cause adverse reactions to your body, brain, or mental health. The largest brainspotting risk is that a session will likely induce intense, difficult, and unpleasant emotions.

Brainspotting vs. EMDR

As we mentioned, both brainspotting therapy and EMDR are “bottom-up” approaches to therapy. And because of their many similarities (the use of bilateral stimulation and eye movements – for example), they are often confused.

However, brainspotting and EMDR are not the same things. Below are the key differences between brainspotting vs. EMDR:

    • Eye movements and positioning. Brainspotting asks you to focus on a particular spot(s), while EMDR directs eye movement from side to side.

    • Tools used. Brainspotting therapists use headphones, bilateral sounds, and pointers to help people find their brain spots. EMDR therapists rely on light tappers, their own fingers, and bilateral sounds.

    • Setup. When comparing brainspotting vs. EMDR, the latter’s protocol is much longer and more extensive than that of brainspotting.

If you’re interested in learning more about EMDR therapy, we have an info post coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

Best Brainspotting Therapists Near Me in Fort Worth, Texas

Are you or a loved one struggling with feelings of trauma or another mental health issue? Working with a brainspotting therapist can help. But instead of typing “top brainspotting therapists near me” into your search bar, meet the qualified brainspotting therapists here at Fort Wellness Counseling.

Hannah Causey is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) and is extensively trained in Brainspotting and Accelerated Resolution Therapy. She believes in taking a holistic approach to therapy, which includes strengthening the mind-body connection.

Sounds like something you might be interested in? Schedule a virtual appointment with Hannah today. 

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