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Process of Change
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What Is Brainspotting?
Brainspotting is a powerful, mindfulness- based, brain/body focused treatment that works by identifying, processing, and releasing stored neurophysiological trauma and pain, which when untreated, results in a variety of symptoms in humans. This emotional pain can accumulate and be stored in frozen “trauma capsules” within the deep regions of the brain. A brain spot is accessed through eye positioning that correlates with these “capsules” of stored negative energy. Brainspotting goes directly to these deeper places within the brain much more quickly and effectively than many traditional therapies.
||Learn more about Brainspotting...
• Brainspotting International website
• Midwest Brainspotting Institute
• Brainspotting by Dr. David Grand Available on Amazon.com
• Search “Brainspotting” on YouTube for video demonstrations
How Does Brainspotting Work?
Brainspotting is based on the neurobiological findings that the brain can heal itself.
Along with certain somatic (body) cues, the therapist and client are able to access those emotional places and allow the frozen fragments of information to begin to be dissolved. Together the therapist and client are present moment to moment, to safely witness the brain processing in its own unique way, whatever is being released from the system.
The client is assisted in observing what happens without becoming overwhelmed by the experience, or having to revert to disconnecting as a way to manage the experience. The therapist literally and emotionally holds the “spot” and a safe space for the client as the processing continues until, over the course of therapy, all activation has been drained from the system.
This process is further enhanced during the session, as the client listens to specially designed music/sound that provides bilateral stimulation alternatively to the right and left hemisphere of the brain to facilitate optimal processing.
How Brainspotting Can Help
Brainspotting can help decrease depression, anxiety, phobias, and addictions. It is used with all areas of trauma, including survivors of war, natural disasters, and emotional and physical abuse.
Brainspotting is also used for certain medical conditions, including traumatic brain injuries, strokes, fibromyalgia, headaches, and preparation and recovery from surgery.
In addition, Brainspotting can be used for performance enhancement in activities such as sports, acting, public speaking, auditions, and other types of performance-related experiences.
Brainspotting works well with children, adolescents, and adults.
It is important to understand that Brainspotting is done in such a way that the client is not re-traumatized by reliving the original experience.
The mindful attention between the therapist and client allows for a safe space as Brainspotting helps the brain/mind/body to work in harmony to dismantle the trauma, symptom, somatic/body distress, and outdated beliefs so new, more adaptive perspectives and inner resources can develop.
The experience of Trauma
We are all exposed to traumatic events — it is a part of living. Whether or not the experience of these events becomes problematic, resulting in symptoms and interfering with our ability to function effectively, depends upon how we perceive the event and how we respond to and cope with it.
Symptoms of trauma can include:
• Intense feelings of anger/despair
• Anxiety or phobias
• Hyperarousal to external
or internal stimulus
• Numbness or
detachment emotionally or physically
• Mood swings
• Waiting for the next catastrophe
• Nightmares and night terrors
Commonly-experienced types of trauma include:
• Sexual or physical abuse
• Experiencing or witnessing an accident
• Natural disasters
• Military combat
• Sudden serious medical diagnosis
• Medical treatment experience
• Unexpected life change
• Exposure to constant aggression or threat
• Early attachment difficulties
• Traumatic pregnancy and/or delivery
• Loss of a loved one
Brainspotting in the Treatment of Trauma
Brainspotting is a gentle, mindfulness-based approach in which the client-therapist relationship offers a safe alliance as the mind and body work together to dismantle the trauma. Physical and emotional symptoms, body distress and relationship stresses accompanied by outdated beliefs can shift so that new, more adaptive perspectives can develop and thrive.
Brainspotting is a unique and effective neurobiological tool for accessing and treating a wide range of body/mind and emotionally-based issues. Please contact Carol Drengenberg with questions you may have about this intervention, as well as a complimentary 30-minute meeting to discuss how Brainspotting could be used as part of your wellness strategy.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
— Viktor Frankl