BrainSpotting activates the body’s ability to heal itself from trauma. It allows you to access negative emotions’ physical and emotional “locations” and release the ties. BrainSpotting works on the limbic system, a collection of brain structures that play a role in emotion, long-term memory, cognition, motivation, impulse control, and several other psychological factors that can affect well-being. BrainSpotting seems to bypass your brain’s “thinking” cortex and is thought to directly access the deep parts of your brain involved in emotional regulation. By identifying a BrainSpot, you target an area of focused activation in your brain directly related to the issue you are working on.
Psychological Trauma Impacts Our Mind and Body
Only 20 percent of what is stored in our brain actually enters our thoughts (cognition/awareness), which is what a lot of therapeutic work is about – because trauma, emotional stress, habits, and sensory experiences are stored much deeper.
Painful or stressful experiences are stored “unprocessed” in the body whenever the brain cannot comprehend and record them in explicit/conscious memory at the time of the events. Therefore, psychological trauma impacts our brain and bodies, affecting our mood, behavior, and physical functioning. It shatters our sense of security and makes us feel vulnerable, isolated, and powerless.
Dr. Gaby offers BrainSpotting, a powerful, transformative yet gentle treatment that can access the areas where psychological trauma is stored in the body and brain and promote deep healing from the inside out.
How Effective is Brainspotting?
BrainSpotting therapy helps those in therapy reprocess negative events and retrain emotional reactions. Reported to help with various psychological concerns, BrainSpotting is mostly used in trauma therapy and for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has also been shown to assist in injury recovery and help treat physical illness, inattention, stress, and low motivation. Psychological issues—such as anger, procrastination, and difficulty concentrating, among others —can be caused by trauma. Therefore, Brainspotting is a particularly effective form of therapy for those individuals who wish to address one or more of these concerns.
Addictive Behaviors and the Addiction Process
Any activity, substance, object, or behavior that has become the major focus of a person’s life to the exclusion of other activities, or that has begun to harm the individual or others physically, mentally, or socially is considered an addictive behavior.
To Brainspot or To Talk?
BrainSpotting is easily incorporated with other therapies and can even be used in addition to regular talk therapy. Some clients have one BrainSpotting session, and then we go back to talk therapy to discuss things that came up in the BrainSpotting session. Others have done several BrainSpotting sessions with talk therapy mixed in. Some have switched solely to BrainSpotting. How we use this mode of therapy is up to the client.
BrainSpotting doesn’t involve the need for physical touch. It builds on the strength of the connection between you and the therapist. This makes the treatment process very well suited to online therapy because you don’t have to be in the same room as the clinician physically. The relational connection that’s needed for this form of treatment can be achieved just as easily through video conferencing sessions since
the therapist’s focus will be mainly on your eyes and face. The therapist is just as able to track your eye movements and micro facial responses online. Without the distance of physical space, your face is only inches away from the computer screen, and this is easily achieved.
How Do I know the BrainSpotting Worked?
This question often comes up at the end of the first BrainSpotting session with a client. The answer is quite simple – it worked because you did it! Most issues won’t be resolved with just one BrainSpotting session, just like most issues aren’t resolved with just one (any other) therapy session. Clients do, however tend to experience any of the following after a BrainSpotting session:
- Increased awareness of how stress /trauma has affected them
- Increased awareness of when/how they are holding tension in their body
- Increased insight into how they want their life to be
- Some movement or progress related to the issue they had been stuck on
- Reduced stress and anxiety related to past issues when confronting and letting go of the hold the memories have
- Their bodies begin to heal
- A new sense of peace
How clients respond to a BrainSpotting session is, of course, individualized. Each issue is different, and how you will respond will be different.