The Benefits of Brainspotting Therapy for Trauma

Brainspotting Therapy, image of a woman smiling

Many clients want to know about Brainspotting Therapy and how it is both similar and different from EMDR or other therapies created to help people move through trauma.  In this blog I discuss two key differences between the two therapies, the benefits of Brainspotting, and I give a case example of a client who experienced profound results.  

What is Brainspotting Therapy?

Brainspotting Therapy is similar to EMDR as it accesses the deeper regions of the brain where trauma is stored (enabling a greater ability to process out stored trauma), but it is also different in key ways. 

It’s All in The Eyes
Whereas EMDR is about bi-lateral eye movement, Brainspotting Therapy is all about fixed eye position. David Grand, Ph.D., originally an EMDR therapist, noticed how clients would look at certan spots when processing traumas. By holding fixed eye position, Grand discovered that clients could process more quickly and much more deeply. 

Looking Out to Look Within
In my perspective as a therapist, one of the most important components of Brainspotting is how I can teach my clients how to do Brainspotting on themselves in between sessions! Resource Brainspotting is a particular technique that allows clients to both identify and amplify states of relaxation in their bodies. The risks of Brainspotting Therapy can involve the client experiencing an intense wave of activation in the body during therapy, but Resource Brainspotting is designed to simultaneously reduce activation and increase states of resourcing and “flow.” My clients report utilizing this technique in between sessions and find it useful in a variety of situations including decision making, creativity, and preformance.

Does Brainspotting Work? 

As a therapist spending the majority of my career doing “talk” therapy I noticed that many of my clients would feel better after therapy, but would lose the benefits in between sessions. Clients would often report ongoing “triggers” and high levels of activation resulting in ongoing trauma states such as hyperarousal or dissociation. 

Brainspotting allows the client to process out the traumas that linger below the surface. Clients are able to clear out events that would have taken much longer had we just been talking week after week. 

What are the Benefits of Brainspotting?: 

Mark, 60, came to me convinced he would have to be in therapy for several years. Mark stated that he liked to identify a “theme” for every decade of his life and had chosen healing from childhood trauma as his theme as he entered his sixties. Mark came to me prepared to spend years (and thousands of dollars) in therapy!!!!! The symptoms he idenfied included flashbacks, self-hatred, anxiety, and issues related to unresolved grief and loss. Imagine his amazement when he was ready to leave therapy after six sessions!!!! Although the results may not be immediate for everyone, many clients, like Mark, have found the benefits to be quite extrordinary. 

You are Not Alone
Regardless of the type of therapy we may choose for our own healing, attunement with our therapist is incredibly important. We need to feel safe going into the raw places of our lives. And the only way to feel safe is if we feel connected and understood. Oftentimes, “talk therapy” misses the mark as the therapist may not “get it” and attempt to guide the client toward healing through what the therapist believes is in the client’s best interest. Brainspotting requires the therapist to follow the client’s lead instead of the other way around. 

Our therapists at Clear View Counseling & Consulting offer Brainspotting Therapy to clients dealing with symptoms related to anxiety, depression, insomnia, preformance issues, chronic pain, complex and single event traumas, ADHD, chronic stress, and many other symptoms people are experiencing. For more information, or to book your free consultation click here. You are not alone. 

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