Brainspotting Therapy

By | May 5, 2021 | |

When it comes to therapeutic interventions, there is no one-size-fits all. Human minds are distinctive in nature and one of the reasons for this may be the patterns in which emotional experiences are stored in the brain. We may or may not be conscious of our feelings and behaviours on certain levels.

Thus, at times, talk therapy may not be as effective for a person while it may work wonders for another. In such cases, therapists turn to biological and brain oriented therapeutic approaches to help their clients understand themselves and their emotions better.

Brainspotting or BSP therapy is one such therapy which is effective for a dynamic range of mental health concerns, which include trauma, anxiety, mental blocks, and negative emotions. It was developed by Dr. David Grand who was trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) and adapted the same technique into brainspotting through his research on trauma survivors.

Dr. Grand draws a peculiar comparison of the procedure to “a dance of connection and attunement” between the client and the therapist, and states it is “much more than a mechanical process,” in his book.

How Brainspotting Therapy Works

Having its roots in EMDR, brainspotting works in quite a similar way when it comes to reprocessing the negative experiences that are stored in our memory. It is a rapid, effective type of therapy and relief is expected in the short term.

Brainspotting is based on the principle that states, simply put, “where you look affects how you feel.”

In brainspotting therapy, the points in the client’s visual field are located and focused upon that help them process trauma and unprocessed emotions in the subcortical brain. Such a “brainspot,” when activated, helps target an area of focused activation in the brain, which is linked to the issue that is being worked upon. The right hemisphere, autonomic and limbic systems are directly accessed through this form of therapy.

The procedure of brainspotting begins when the client brings up a troubling issue (which may be past trauma) that needs to be addressed. The therapist, in turn, helps the client pinpoint the physiological and emotional feelings that are linked to the traumatic experience. These emotions are then located in the body by the client.

The therapist remains watchful of the client’s subtle reflexive signals when they use a pointer to guide the client’s gaze across the field of vision. Such indications are observed from either the “Inside Window” of the client’s felt sense or the “Outside Window” of the client’s responses. As soon as a brainspots are identified, the client is able to recount the troubling events with fuller detail than otherwise possible.

In a quote from Dr. Grand’s book, he says, “Clients would often ask how I knew to stop my hand where I did. When I asked if they had any idea why I’d stopped, they seemed to have no clue—even when it was their own nodding head that had stopped me!”

Brainspotting sessions help in reprocessing such specific memories in a safe and supportive environment under the guidance of the therapist.

How Effective is Brainspotting Therapy

There are numerous studies which show that brainspotting therapy for anxiety, trauma, and depression provides relief in and decreases the symptoms associated with these mental illnesses.

Brainspotting was among the topmost helpful approaches for addressing emotional and psychological trauma associated with the Sandy Hook shooting in a community survey.

Many other case studies in which Brainspotting is used to treat PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Trauma related conditions, etc., also prove brainspotting to be a very efficacious treatment for a diverse set of conditions.

Who Can Benefit From Brainspotting Therapy

Brainspotting is an efficacious, short term and rapid treatment for people who have experienced either physical or emotional trauma. It is a highly recommended option for those who experience:

  • Any kind of trauma
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Anger issues
  • Phobias
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic fatigue and pain
  • Sports performance issues
  • Impulse control related complications

Future of BSP Therapy

Brainspotting therapy is increasingly being opted by clients with PTSD and other issues. As a therapeutic approach, it helps find where the trauma, anxiety, depression, and behavioural problems are held in the brain with precision.

As therapists, too, try to expand their tool sets, they are being trained in brainspotting therapy to breakthrough into higher levels of healing and understanding the human mind.

Scheduling A Brainspotting Therapy Session

Incontact therapists and counsellors are trained in brainspotting therapy as well as EMDR and have years’ worth of experience. As an intervention, brainspotting provides rapid relief in a lot many issues faced by the clientes.

If you find yourself getting triggered often, or have suffered from any kind of trauma, and talk therapy doesn’t feel like the right fit for you, brainspotting might help. Schedule your brainspotting therapy session in Singapore by contacting us or filling out the form below.

How Brainspotting Therapy Works


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Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: Self brainspotting, though at times difficult, is also possible. One such form of self-brainspotting is called gazespotting. A lot of people find themselves looking away in the distance when they’re caught in an emotional whirlpool. However, there is a potential risk factor to self-brainspotting and it is not advisable to do this on your own.

Answer: Often therapists use bi-lateral music to help your brain process. It stimulated both the sides of the brain through sound. However, it’s considered to be entirely optional.

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