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Brainspotting Therapy

Doctor Analyzing X-Rays

Deeply Heal From Whatever Is Holding You Back

  • Have you had stressful or traumatic experiences as a child or as an adult? 

  • Do you suspect that these experiences may not have fully healed? 

  • Are you feeling stuck or unable to break through these blocks? 

  • Does it feel like something is keeping you from reaching your goals or potential?


Perhaps you grew up with a lack of nurturing or were exposed to judgment, critique, pressure, bullying, rejection, or shame.
You may have experienced an accident/injury, illness, loss, assault, natural disaster, war, poverty, social turmoil, abuse (sexual, emotional, mental, etc.), or neglect as a child.
Maybe the wounds these experiences have caused are getting in the way of your well-being, influencing the way you feel (physically and emotionally), think, or act (toward yourself or with others).

Brainspotting therapy can help you heal Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress symptoms in the mind and body.


Psychological Trauma Impacts Our Mind and Body 


Only 20 percent of what is stored in our brain actually enters our thoughts (cognition/awareness), which is what a lot of therapeutic work is about - because trauma, emotional stress, habits, and sensory experiences are stored much deeper.

Painful or stressful experiences are stored unprocessed in the body whenever the brain could not comprehend and record them in explicit/conscious memory at the time of the events.  For that reason, psychological trauma impacts our brain and bodies, affecting our mood, behaviour, and physical functioning. It shatters our sense of security and leads us to feeling vulnerable, isolated, and powerless.

Psychcare Ltd./Clarina du Plessis offers a powerful, transformative yet gentle treatment approach called Brainspotting that can access the areas where psychological trauma is stored in the body and brain and promote deep healing from the inside out.

WHAT IS BRAINSPOTTING? 


Brainspotting (BSP) is a relatively new type of therapy designed to help individuals access, process, and overcome trauma, negative emotions, and pain, including physical, psychosomatic and psychologically induced physical pain.  The main goal of this technique is to help the brain regulate and achieve balance through reprocessing negative experiences and rewiring emotional responses.  Brainspotting was developed through Dr David Grand's work with survivors of trauma, and many mental health professionals utilizing the approach have found it to be an effective form of treatment for a variety of mental health concerns.


HOW DOES BRAINSPOTTING WORK?


During Brainspotting, therapists help people position their eyes in ways that enable them to target sources of negative emotion. Your eyes (ocular nerves) are connected to the vagus nerve, which extendsthroughout your entire brain and body, and plays a key role in stress 'Activation-and-Regulation' and relaxations’ 'Rest-and-Digest' response.  With the aid of a pointer, trained brainspotting therapists slowly guide the eyes of people in therapy across their field of vision to find appropriate “brainspots,” with a brainspot being an eye position that activates a traumatic memory or painful emotion. It allows therapists to access emotions on a deeper subconscious level and target the physical effects of trauma. Trauma “stored” in the body can alter the way the brain works. Trauma can, for example, have an effect on emotions, memory, and physical health. Brainspotting activates the body’s innate ability to heal itself from trauma. Brainspotting requires you to access both the physical and emotional “locations” of negative emotions, and brainspotting therapists use something called “dual attunement,” a process through which the therapist simultaneously attunes to the therapeutic relationship as well as the brain-body response of the person in therapy. Brainspotting works on the limbic system, a collection of brain structures that play a role in emotion, long-term memory, cognition, motivation, impulse control, and several other psychological factors that can affect well-being. Brainspotting targets the right hemisphere, the limbic system and the brain stem (mid brain).  It seems to bypass the “thinking” cortex of your brain and is thought to directly access the deep parts of your brain involved in emotional regulation. By identifying a brainspot, you target an area of focused activation in your brain, directly related to the issue you are working on. While you focus on that brainspot and notice your bodily sensations, you are able to process negative emotions to help rewire your brain to more positive associations and feelings. This processing is done using headphones and listening to music that rhythmically goes back and forth from left to right side.  Engaging both hemispheres of your brain with this music, called auditory bilateral stimulation, which has a very  calming effect on your nervous system. This aids your brain in reprocessing negative emotions by focusing on your body-based sensations.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF BRAINSPOTTING


Through his work Dr Grand developed this technique after an individual dealing with both physical and emotional symptoms of trauma experienced significant, rapid improvement following a session in which a locked eye position enabled a cathartic expression of memory and emotion. Grand eventually developed a formal training, and today therapists are trained in the brainspotting approach, which is a fast-growing area in the field of psychology.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS BRAINSPOTTING?


Brainspotting therapy helps those in therapy reprocess negative events and retrain emotional reactions.  Reported to help with a variety of psychological concerns, brainspotting is mostly used in trauma therapy and for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has also been shown to assist in injury recovery and help treat physical illness, inattention, stress, and low motivation.  Psychological issues—such as anger, procrastination, and difficulty concentrating, among others—can be caused by trauma. Therefore, brainspotting is a particularly effective form of therapy for those individuals who wish to address one or more of these concerns.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM BRAINSPOTTING?


Those who have experienced either physical or emotional trauma may benefit from brainspotting. This form of therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment option for those experiencing:

  • All forms of trauma;

  • Anxiety;

  • Attention issues (ADHD);

  • Anger issues;

  • Fear and Phobias;

  • Substance abuse;

  • Chronic fatigue and chronic pain;

  • Impulse control issues; and 

  • Sports performance issues. 


This type of therapy can be helpful in any situation where thinking can get in the way progress. It is particularly helpful to overthinkers, and those with high anxiety levels, since it bypasses the “thinking” cortex of your brain.  Brainspotting allows for nonverbal processing and therefore you can talk as much or as little as you want. You may want to share your experience with your therapist or stay silent. Just focusing your thoughts on the issue at hand, and noticing your body sensations as you are doing it, is a great alternative to traditional talk therapy. It is especially helpful if you’ve gotten “stuck” on an issue or feel like something is holding you back from moving forward or being more successful.  Brainspotting is also great for those who work in a field where they can’t talk about their job due to security or confidentiality concerns.


TO BRAINSPOT OR TALK


Brainspotting is easily incorporated with other therapies and can even be used in addition to regular talk therapy. Some clients had one Brainspotting session, and then we go back to talk therapy to discuss things that came up in the Brainspotting session. Others have done several Brainspotting sessions with talk therapy mixed in. How we use this mode of therapy is up to the client.

CAN BRAINSPOTTING BE DONE ONLINE?


Brainspotting doesn’t involve the need for physical touch. It builds on the strength of the connection between you and the therapist. This makes the treatment process very well suited to online therapy because you don’t have to be in the same room physically as the clinician. The relational connection that’s needed for this form of treatment can be achieved just as easily through video conferencing sessions since the therapist focus will be mainly on your eyes and face. The therapist is just as capable to track your eye movements and micro facial responses. Without the distance of physical space your face is only inches away on the computer screen and this is easily achieved.


HOW MANY BRAINSPOTTING SESSIONS IS NEEDED?


Brainspotting can be a rapid, effective type of therapy.  In contrast to ongoing talk therapy, you can expect to see results with Brainspotting faster.  Some clients find their trauma resolved after just one or two Brainspotting sessions.  Others find Brainspotting to be more adjunctive, and use regular talk therapy to further process and enhance progress made in Brainspotting sessions. Many clients choose Brainspotting for ongoing mental hygiene (almost like gym for the body) as exercise for the mind.  You can discuss your particular needs with your therapist.  Brainspotting can be tailored to every individual.

HOW DO I KNOW THE BRAINSPOTTING WORKED?


This is a question that often comes up at the end of the first Brainspotting session with a client.  The answer is quite simple - it worked because you did it!  Most issues won’t be resolved with just one Brainspotting session, just like most issues aren’t resolved with just one (any other) therapy session.  Clients do however tend to experience any of the following after a Brainspotting session:

  • Increased awareness into themselves;  

  • Increased awareness of when/how they are holding tension in their body;

  • Increased insight;

  • Some movement or progress related to the issue they had been stuck on;

  • Reduced distress related to the issue when confronted with it again;

  • New realizations;

  • Resolution of the issue.


How clients respond to a Brainspotting session is of course individualized.  Each issue is different, and how you will respond will be different.  

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE BRAINSPOTTING SESSION? 


After a Brainspotting session, some clients feel completely calm and relaxed, others feel tired and say they are going home to take a nap. Some report not feeling any different, but find themselves thinking about things over the next day or two.  Others say they were more irritable or moody or on edge for a few days.  Some have dreams related to the issue we worked on. While others have unrelated thoughts pop up. 

HOW DO I BOOK BRAINSPOTTING SESSION?


Contact us today to book your intake session.


References:

1.About BSPI. (n.d.). In Brainspotting International. Retrieved from http://www.brainspottinginternational.org/about-bspi

2.Beneficial Uses of BSP. (n.d.). In Brainspotting International. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.brainspottinginternational.org/about-bspi/beneficial-uses-of-bsp

3.Grand, D. (2013). Brainspotting: the revolutionary new therapy for rapid and effective change. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc.

4.Rigley, C. (2009, March 25). Eye see you Brainspotting: a cure-all for psychological trauma or parlor trick? New Times, 23(34). Retrieved from http://www.newtimesslo.com/news/2253/eye-see-you

5.Terrell, D. (2009). What is Brainspotting? How does it compare to EMDR therapy?. In San Diego Trauma Therapy. Retrieved from http://www.sandiegotraumatherapy.com/emdr-articles/terrell-brain-spotting.htm

6.What is brainspotting? (n.d.). Brainspotting. Retrieved from http://www.brainspotting.pro/page/what-brainspotting

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Couples Counseling Session

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1 x Couples Session (60 min)

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Couples Counseling Session

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