Brainspotting 101

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What color is your front door?

What year was your mother born?

What in the world do those two questions have in common?

Not much, except for the way your eyes may have helped your brain access information- intuitively tapping into your hidden ability to recall the past and heal the present.

Where You Look Affects How You Feel

You may have noticed yourself or others looking off in a certain direction while speaking, especially when accessing memories or talking about something emotional. People do this all the time because it works! Optical nerves are linked to deep parts of the brain which are responsible for memory, emotion, and self-regulation.

What is wired together, fires together

Brains are vastly complex. Scientists believe each brain contains several quadrillion synapses. If synapses were grains of sand, one brain’s worth would fill 8 Olympic size swimming pools! These synapses are all wired together in an intricate web, carrying electrical impulses through the brain and into the body. As it works, the brain makes connections between sensory information, memory, and emotion. These connections can cause unexpected distress, especially when associated with intense or traumatic events.

How your gaze heals your brain

Brainspotting is a therapy technique capitalizing on the eyes’ direct link to these synaptic connections. Utilizing the visual field and focused mindfulness, Brainspotting helps the brain sort through tangled neural pathways, directly processing things previously stuck in sub-conscious, non-verbal thought. It’s like putting a laser pointer precisely on the source of uncomfortable emotions, trauma, and dysfunctional behaviors, helping people integrate years of emotional dysregulation or trauma.

Where to Go from Here

The best way to utilize the power of Brainspotting is with a trained practitioner. Brainspotting can be used to treat a variety of mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, grief, chronic pain, and more. David Grand, Brainspotting’s pioneer, refers to it as a “therapy for rapid and effective change,” and the intention is to bring relief from symptoms as quickly and directly as possible.

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