Brain spotting is a relatively new brain based therapy designed to assist processing at a different level of the brain. While traditional talk therapy occurs mostly in the Neo Cortex or Executive Center, Brainspotting occurs deep in the mid brain or limbic system as well as the pre-frontal cortex (the areas of the brain where language is not in charge and rational/practical thinking are not the rule. This is important because it is assumed that trauma , deeply ingrained negative belief systems, phobic responses and other irrational behaviors/responses and overwhelming thoughts are stored in this part of our brain. Behaviors, thoughts and complex actions/reactions that are often hard to explain and seem to go against every logical belief system or desire we have.
Based on the work of David Grand and initially developed in 2003, Brainspotting has been continuously researched and refined. This process has become an effective, integrative approach to dealing with hard to change behaviors, belief systems and PTSD symptoms that often add to feelings of hopelessness in individuals who have tried other therapies without success. Brainspotting utilizes eye movement and positioning as well as mindfulness related to bodily responses and cues to help pinpoint an area of the brain where the target feeling, belief or experience is believed to be stored. Work can then be done to reduce the activation felt around this target thus clearing a path for new behaviors, beliefs or actions to be acquired and implemented.
Bypassing the Executive Center and accessing the midbrain and other interior areas of the brain, the logical part of our brain cannot 'talk its way out' of dealing with the discomfort or minimize, distract or intellectualize the impact of what's stored. This gets us out of our own way and allows a flow of processeing to occur without interpretation which seems to clear out the highly charged emotions. The therapist helps to hold the space and provides encouragement and safety while new connections are formed and the energy, activation or intensity dissolves.
Research articles can be found at: