Any life event that brings about major physical, emotional or spiritual injury or distress that leaves a feeling of pain, fear, confinement, or helplessness can result in a traumatic event. There is a growing amount of evidence and consensus within the helping professions that these traumatic events are held in the body which can lead to maladaptive homeostasis or frozen primitive survival modes.

Our systems can not be unaffected by this traumatic load at some level whether physically, energetically or psychically. In fact, medical and psychological literature now acknowledge that 75% of medical care requests are linked to the accumulation of stress &/or trauma within the body. Unfortunately our current health care system is not structured yet to help people adequately process and integrate their life experiences in order to receive adequate relief and healing.

Brainspotting is a powerful, therapeutic method of accessing, processing and discharging neurophysiological sources of emotional and physical pain and trauma that get somatically stored and can result in a variety of challenging conditions. It is based on the premise that when addressing any disorder, diagnosis, or symptom, the felt sense within the body relating to these distresses provides an entryway toward vital information that can lead to complete healing. This modality therefore can be used to help with an unlimited number of challenges physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The mechanisms that allow for the clearing of these symptoms are often beyond the reach of our conscious mind.  Brainspotting however serves as a neurobiological tool that enables connection between the deep brain and the body. This connection is formed by means of a direct access to the autonomic limbic system within the body’s central nervous system, which regulates emotion, memory and our fight/flight/freeze response.

 

Brainspotting, therefore, is a tool that brings physiological treatment to our nervous system resulting in significant psychological, emotional, and physical benefits. The approach is orchestrated in a way that activates the parasympathetic nervous system to prevent retraumatization and to consequently allow our innate somatic wisdom and reflexes to surface and engage in a profound healing experience.

According to the founder of Brainspotting, David Grand, ‘a “Brainspot” is the eye position which is related to the energetic/emotional activation of a traumatic/emotionally charged issue within the brain, most likely in the amygdala, the hippocampus, or the orbitofrontal cortex of the limbic system… The maintenance of that eye position/Brainspot within the attentional focus on the body’s “felt sense” of that issue or trauma stimulates a deep integrating and healing process within the brain. This processing, which appears to take place at a reflexive or cellular level within the nervous system, brings about a de-conditioning of previously conditioned, maladaptive emotional and physiological responses. Brainspotting appears to stimulate, focus, and activate the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself from trauma.’

The Brainspotting process continues until one appears to have reached a zero distress level. According to Dr. Grand, this level takes the process down to the reflexive core that breaks through a new stratum, probing deeper into the unconscious body brain away from our conscious awareness. Here, at this reflexive core, is where Brainspotting can dismantle the trauma, the somatic symptoms and distress, and faulty cognitive beliefs and begin to create new neural pathways that support our natural abilities to heal and thrive.

Brainspotting is effective when done with the enhancement of BioLateral sound. BioLateral sound enhances the processing by alternately stimulating each hemisphere of the brain. The sound directly enters the brain through the auditory nerves while the eardrums are vibrated bilaterally resulting in a powerful experience. This tool, though powerful and effective as a stand alone treatment protocol, can also be integrated into a wide range of healing modalities and compliments most body based therapies. Treatment plans can be uniquely created to accommodate the needs of any client.

Below is an interview about Brainspotting with Dr. David Grand Ph.D.

You may be able to receive some reimbursement for this service depending on the out-of-network mental health coverage your health care plan offers. More information can be found by going to this page, Payment and InsurancePlease contact Andrea to schedule an appointment or with any questions you have about seeking therapy.

Image by Faizan Rao

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