Fort Wellness Counseling

Brainspotting vs. EMDR: What's the Difference?

brainspotting vs. emdr

According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, 70% of American adults experience some type of traumatic event. However, trauma therapy therapeutic modalities, such as EMDR and brainspotting, helps folks cope with those emotional and physical responses. If you’re unsure which modality is suitable for you, our Fort Worth trauma therapist is breaking down the differences between brainspotting vs. EMDR in today’s blog post.

What Is EMDR Therapy in Fort Worth?

So, what is EMDR Therapy in Fort Worth? Well, this therapy technique helps people work through traumatic experiences by assisting their brain’s processing of traumatic information. Essentially, EMDR combines exposure therapy with guided eye movements to process traumatic memories and alter one’s reaction to them.

During an EMDR therapy session in Fort Worth, the counselor encourages the client to focus on a traumatic memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation through eye movement. Additionally, that eye movement reduces the emotions associated with the trauma, which allows the brain to heal.

EMDR therapy in Fort Worth at Fort Wellness Counseling follows a super-specific protocol in which the therapist guides the client through a series of eight phases:

  1. Patient History & Info-Gathering
  2. Preparation & Education
  3. Assessment
  4. Desensitization & Reprocessing
  5. Installation
  6. Body Scan
  7. Closure & Stabilization
  8. Reevaluation & Continuing Care

What Is Brainspotting Therapy Near Me in Fort Worth?

Now, what is brainspotting therapy near me? Well, this innovative therapy approach combines brain and body-based modalities, EMDR aspects, and mindfulness techniques. It relies on the premise that where you look affects how you feel, and brainspotting therapists use the spots in a person’s visual field to process trauma. Essentially, brainspotting therapy near me is a way of accessing the trauma lodged in a person’s subcortical brain.

While there is no standard protocol, most brainspotting sessions incorporate relaxation techniques, identify stressors, find brain spots, take an “outside window” approach, and work on processing feelings. So, wondering how brainspotting and EMDR relate to one another? Keep reading.

Brainspotting vs. EMDR: Similarities

Wondering about the similarities between brainspotting vs. EMDR? Aside from being brain-based therapies, both of these trauma therapy treatments:

  • Complement talk therapy
  • Require minimal talking during a session
  • Help you process information stored in the amygdala
  • Center around the client (meaning the client decides the issue)
  • Yield quick results – often faster than other talk therapy methods
  • Use bilateral stimulation, as well as the brain-body somatic approach
  • Potentially cause feelings of tiredness, and we recommend engaging in self-care activities afterward  
  • Are effective means of treating past trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, as well as other mental health issues

Brainspotting vs. EMDR: Differences

Now that we’ve reviewed the similarities between brainspotting vs. EMDR, what is the difference between EMDR and brainspotting? Keep reading, as our trauma therapists reveal the answers below:


As we mentioned, EMDR follows a very strict protocol that navigates eight phases. For this reason, EMDR might feel a bit more structured or rigid. On the other hand, brainspotting therapy is flexible and organic, and the client leads the session by maintaining their brain spotting.

Additionally, EMDR therapy begins after completing the first three phases (which usually take several sessions). However, brainspotting therapy might begin during session one.  The EMDR therapy protocol can entail at least 8 to 12 therapy sessions, if not more. A brainspotting therapy session can be conducted more quickly.

Eye Position

Another difference between brainspotting therapy vs. EMDR is eye positioning. Brainspotting requires the client to keep their eyes in a fixed position (to focus on one part of the brain). On the other hand, EMDR uses a side-to-side movement that stimulates both sides of the brain.


Brainspotting therapists use headphones, bilateral sounds, and pointers to help clients locate their brain spots. However, EMDR therapists rely only on light tappers, their own fingers, and bilateral sounds.

Best Brainspotting vs. EMDR Trauma Therapist Fort Worth, Texas

Have you decided if EMDR vs. brainspotting therapy is for you? Regardless, our qualified trauma therapists here at Fort Wellness Counseling are here for you. Having been expertly trained in both modalities, our treatment team would be happy to help determine the right type of trauma therapy for you. You can contact our team to get started or simply schedule a counseling session online.