What is Brainspotting, Again? Brainspotting is a Mind-Body Psychotherapy Method that literally connects your brain to your field of vision where you gaze upon a spot, and this is known as a Brainspot. Through gazing at a Brainspot, a person is connecting their body, to their brain, and this allows the brain to know that the person is safe while they process out an aspect of a trauma, emotional pain, or even physical pain. This deep brain safety allows the client to better tolerate the distress of bringing up difficult material in psychotherapy, and therefore moderates the brain rewiring process, that Brainspotting is known for. Brainspotting creates a “mind – body – field of vision” connection, which is why it reaches the deep brain, where traumatic material is usually stuck.
So what makes Brainspotting so different than other therapy methods. Usually a traumatic event is also an event that takes place in the deep brain, as neural pathway wiring is set in place during and after the event. The deep brain is more technically known as the subcortical brain, and if an issue is stuck there, then that is the place that needs to be accessed in the therapy process to get more far reaching results for treating trauma. Working on a Brainspot connects the therapy process to the deep brain. Much of psychotherapy is what is known as “talk therapy” which happens in the neocortical brain, or the part of your brain where you think and solve problems. Thinking and problems solving are great skill for us humans to have, and it may not be where a person’s therapy needs to happen. This is not to say that “talk therapy” is all bad, it is also used in the Brainspotting process, along side of methods to resolve traumatic events on a brain level. It is this brain level of healing neural wiring that makes Brainspotting unique. And according to observations the past 11 years, it is what seems to be giving people their lives back, alleviating many symptoms of post-traumatic stress, as well as other mental health issues.
David Grand, PhD., has recently published his book, Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change, Sounds True, Inc. (2013). Here he relays the basic theory of what Brainspotting is and also the results therapists have been achieving with clients the past 11 years since Brainspotting was developed. David Grand, PhD., has also partnered with a Neurobiologist, Frank Corrigan, M.D., in an article, Brainspotting: Recruiting the Midbrain for Accessing and Healing Sensorimotor Memories of Traumatic Activation, in which they lay out the very technical brain sequencing that happens when a person gazes at a Brainspot. They also posit how the brain really does know how to rewire trauma, once the right brain “file” has been accessed, and that Brainspotting is able to do this. This is the first step in research that is informing us why Brainspotting is effective, and how brain pathway rewiring is crucial in the healing of trauma.
Funds Available for Veterans: There are now funds available for Veterans to come to Brainspotting. If the veteran is a qualifying veteran, then usually the sessions are at no cost to the veteran.
Patti Bee, M.S., is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a veteran of the U.S. Navy (1980 – 1984). Patti works with women veterans and she is an approved vendor through the Non-VA Services Office at the VA Hospital. In her work with clients, Patti combines Brainspotting with Inner Parts Work (IFS) to better target Brainspotting sessions. Patti is also a member of the Midwest Brainspotting Institute and one of the first psychotherapists in the Madison, Wisconsin area to be Certified in Brainspotting.
If you are a veteran that would like to explore Brainspotting, Patti can help. Here’s one experience of what is possible when Brainspotting is a part of the trauma treatment. This is from a Brainspotting client, who has given permission to use this, and it is offered anonymously to protect confidentiality:
“Before I had my first Brainspotting session, getting triggered would become three days in bed, depressed, and it would take that long to work my way out of it. After Brainspotting, the next time I got triggered, I was in bed, and depressed for two hours. I really had moved on after such a short time. Brainspotting has given me chunks of my life back.”
Please contact Patti Bee for details on how to access these funds that are now available for qualifying veterans. And if you are a male veteran, funds are also available. Contact Patti today for more information: Website: www.brainspottingtherapy.com, Email: [email protected], Phone: (608) 255-9119 Ext.6
F. Corrigan & D. Grand, (2013). Brainspotting: Recruiting the Midbrain for Accessing and Healing Sensorimotor Memories of Traumatic Activation. Medical Hypotheses Journal, (80,6), pp. 759–766, June 2013
D. Grand, (2013). Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change. Sounds True, Inc., Boulder, CO.
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