Brainspotting facilitates, and speeds up, the process of durable change. Have you ever had the experience of knowing how you want to be in the world, but then in response to a trigger, you go right back to the old ways of behaving? That’s because most communication is nonverbal and you have to change the way you feel in order to truly change your mind. Your head and heart have to align. Talk therapy alone can lack a focus on problem solving and the process of change can be slow.
David Grand had been an EMDR therapist before he created Brainspotting. Rather than using eye movement, as in EMDR, Brainspotting uses a fixed eye point, or a series of points, that allow processing of subcortical, or non-conscious experience. Focusing the gaze, in conjunction with attunement from the therapist, allows for deep processing and resolution.
Our brains store clusters of memories based on affective similarity. So as you process, you will notice that memories emerge that have a similar emotional tone, and with that, a similar troublesome conclusion, such as, “That means I’m unlovable, or not enough, or too much, or …”. The processing allows you to resolve the emotional state and to move on to a new conclusion. The result is that you are able to feel, think and act differently.
The guiding principal behind the brain science is that “Where you look affects how you feel”. Try it. Close your eyes and think about something that is troubling you. Rate your current level of stress on a scale from 0 – 10 where 0 is no stress and 10 is the worst stress. Now, open your eyes and without moving your head, look to the right. Rate your stress level again. Look straight ahead and then to the left and rate your stress level in each direction. You probably noticed that the number changed depending on where you were looking. You are accessing different levels of your non-conscious experience based on where you look.
The research demonstrates that Brainspotting has similar results to EMDR, but some find it to be a gentler alternative. Learn more here.