When a trauma is experienced, of any sort and magnitude, our nervous system creates a flight, fight or freeze response. When we go to the “freeze” response, our brain does not adequately process this experience. Rather, our brain can hold these memories and experiences deep within our unconscious mind and leave you feeling “stuck,” or with a sense that the issue is unresolved, despite years of working on it. Our physical bodies can also “hold” the memories which may produce physical symptoms or negatively impact our performance. It is believed that our memories and experiences are encapsulated in our brains and can be easily triggered by an experience that produces a similar emotional experience. This can result in a variety of symptoms that may be unexplainable or disproportionate to the event.
The technique of Brainspotting is a mind-body technique and when used in the context of a connected therapeutic relationship it helps to locate this neural network of memories, by visually finding “brainspots” or visual spots. It is understood that “where you look effects how you feel.” Locating the brainspot, or where you look as you recall an emotionally charged event, helps to locate and activate the neural network in the brain. These “brainspots” are connected with the trauma experience and produce emotional and physical activation. Through this therapeutic process, memories held in the unconscious mind, can be identified, processed and released, and those experiences while still remembered, no longer produce the same effect on the mind and body.
This process was created by David Grand, Ph.D., following years of experiences working with individuals with trauma. The approach has been researched and found to be one of the most effective treatments for trauma. It also can be used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, grief, performance enhancement, relationship issues, and chronic pain.