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Brainspotting (BSP)

Computer generated image of a brain's neuron and connections; Image by Hal Gatewood
Outstretched hand, reaching for lit lightbulb that is floating; Image by Júnior Ferreira
Marble bust of person, with top of skull removed and the brain is showing; Image by David Matos

What is it?

Brainspotting is a non-invasive, powerful, and focused therapy approach that has been used successfully with people with a wide array of concerns.  The central concept of Brainspotting is "where you look can affect how you feel."  Using focused attention, Brainspotting works by identifying, processing and releasing deep brain sources of emotional/body pain and trauma from within the brain (What is Brainspotting?, 2022).  Brainspotting is used to treat many challenges including, but not limited to, trauma, depression, anxiety, and sports/ work performance.  BioLateral sound (a sound that alternates ears) is often used in session to enhance this technique to manage mental health concerns. 

Woman covering face, one eye slightly peeking out from under spread fingers; Image by Dev Asangbam
Card lying on table next to fall-themed items reading "My brain has too many tabs open", which it what it can feel like to a person going through trauma; Image by That's Her Business
Close up of a multiple picture frame with words associated with trauma; Image by Susan Wilkinson

How do we use it to treat trauma?

Although Brainspotting is a physiological approach to managing your mental health, the relationship with your therapist very important in the process.  After working with you to understand your concerns, you will work with your therapist to determine if you would benefit from Brainspotting. 

Brainspotting sessions occur within the standard therapy hour.  The first 5-10 minutes of the session will involve checking any new developments since the last session, the next 20-30 minutes is focused on whatever you would like to address in the time together, and the last 5-10 minutes is spent on wrapping up and debriefing from the session.

Within the Brainspotting session your therapist will work with you to determine where in your visual field the concern is the most activating and ask you to focus on that location using a pointer.  While focusing on the location, you can speak as little or as much as you would like.  Clients often appreciate that healing can occur without having to talk through painful memories and experiences.  BioLateral sound may be used in session to enhance the brain’s ability to process and heal itself.


Is Brainspotting effective and how can I learn more about it?

Early studies have suggested that Brainspotting can be as effective or more effective than many of the most common treatment approaches to trauma.  Many individuals who have undergone Brainspotting have reported symptom reduction within the first several sessions. 

 Several research articles documenting the history and effectiveness of Brainspotting are available on the Brainspotting website through the following link: Research Articles on the Effectiveness of BSP

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