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Brainspotting - Watch a Video by the Founder, David Grand, PhD.

Brainspotting is a Mind-Body psychotherapy method that literally connects your brain to your field of vision where you gaze on a spot known as a Brainspot. This Brainspot is found by using the mind-body connection of feeling sensations in the body that correlate to distressing past incidents or issues. The Brainspot allows your brain to know that you are safe. Therefore, the issue you want to work on can come up and out without the usual hyper-arousal anxiety that is present when a person focuses on a trauma or a very distressing past incident.

Patti Bee, M.S., LPC, NCC is Certified in Brainspotting.

Leading edge research has just been published in 2014 that describes the Brain's Neurological Sequencing that happens when a person looks at a Brainspot, in a Brainspotting session. David Grand, PhD., the Founder of Brainspotting, has partnered with Frank Corrigan, M.D., who is a Neurobiologist. Their article can be found in the Medical Hypotheses Journal, under this article name: Brainspotting: Recruiting the Midbrain for Accessing and Healing Sensorimotor Memories of Traumatic Activation. David Grand, PhD., has also just recently written his seminal work, Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change, which was released by Sounds True, Inc. in May of 2013.

This research is still in the theoretical stages, hypothesizing how this method works. However, Brainspotting has been used by therapist for over eleven years, and there are over 4000 therapists trained in the method. The case study evidence that therapists are seeing in their offices may not be official academic research, but it is quite staggering and amazing. Many clients are getting results, able to shift difficult patterns and behaviors, that they were unable to in previous therapy.

So what makes Brainspotting so different than other therapy models. Working on a Brainspot in therapy connects the therapy process to the deep brain. This is where a shift needs to occur to be able to change behaviors and patterns that resulted due to past trauma or very difficult life events. This is known as “sub-cortical access.”

Here’s another way to describe this concept. As you sit with your therapist and tell your story or bring up the emotions of some issue, most often you are in the neo-cortex of the brain where thinking and learning occur. When the trauma or difficult event happened that caused those emotions or issues, the brain needed to respond from the sub-cortical part of the brain. The deep brain. When there is a threat the brain needs to use this part of the brain to respond fast and without thinking. The thinking and learning part of the brain is where you figure out problems and solutions but this takes too long in the world of milli-second response times. In some ways it is similar to you ability to breath. If you had to think about it to be able to do it, well, it might not always work. It needs to be split second and on automatic. That's how survival responses need to be, however, when the survival response then gets stuck, we start to respond to our regular lives from that automatic place in the brain. And that type of response is no longer needed for just regular life.

If an adverse event is a significant enough threat to the deep brain, the flood of brain chemicals will have us responding in the a way to help us survive through it, and many times that means a capsule of traumatic wiring will get stored in there, in the deep brain. That stored capsule of wiring then causes behaviors and thinking that get in the way of our being as effective in our lives. An example of this would be the behavior changes you see in a person after an accident, and they just haven’t been the same since. Another example would be a returning veteran after having been to a war combat zone, that has a hard time coping. The person’s deep brain has been affected by the event and that leaves a person stuck in maladaptive thinking and behaviors that come from a deep brain level. It is not just weakness on the person’s part, they literally have a compromised brain, not physically compromised, but a stuck place in wiring. The case evidence of Brainspotting is showing that this wiring can indeed be rewired.

When the therapy process also involves the deep brain, the sub-cortical brain, it can release the stuck “fight—flight—freeze” response induced by the traumatic event, and that is when a person can truly get their life back. For most people it is extremely reactivating to bring up an old trauma or anxiety producing issue. By looking at a Brainspot, with a trained guide setting up the process, the body gets new information from the Brain that tells it, it is safe. This attunement, allows the deep brain to process out the old trauma and/or issues in a new and different way. The Brainspot actually keeps the person in a state of “brain calm,” so that the brain can re-wire the related connections. This is a more full-spectrum type of healing. It is really different that just knowing why you do something or seeing insight into a pattern in your life. This is literally re-wiring the pattern in your brain. Some of the issues that Brainspotting Therapists have seen improve are Traumatic Stress, PTSD, Anxiety, Sleep Issues, Physical Pain, Obsessive & Compelled Behaviors, or issues of Low Self-Esteem, or lack of Purpose in one’s life.

Patti Bee, M.S., LPC, NCC is Certified in Brainspotting.

Brainspotting is a good type of Depression Counseling as well as Anxiety Counseling. An Anxiety Counselor and/or Depression Counselor trained in Brainspotting can help you rewire your brain's hold on the deep causes of your anxiety or depression. A Brainspotting therapist is a good choice to become your Anxiety therapist or your depression therapist for the same reasons as above, and to help with your anxious symptoms and depressed mood.

If you suffer from PTSD, traumatic stress, Post Traumatic Stress, panic symptoms, or extreme stress, Brainspotting is trauma therapy, and can help you release the trauma right out of the nervous system. If you are looking for a trauma therapist Madison WI, then this is a type of therapy to consider. Please call today for a free 30 minute phone consult to talk about how a Brainspotting counselor can help you in your consoling process. 

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