Naturally we look around as we talk, and brainspotting optimizes this as it gives us helpful information about how the brain stores experiences.  A brainspotting session begins by first recognizing the troubling situation, symptom, or trauma.  An eye gaze direction or location in the visual field is identified as it correlates to physical sensations by intentionally tracking eye direction and related feelings.

A brainspot is a specific eye gaze or place in the visual field that is correlated to physical and emotional distress and discomfort when recalling or remembering difficult or traumatic experiences.

This process aids the client and therapist to access emotional content stored in the central nervous system that is otherwise difficult to access with talk therapy alone.  Highly charged emotions are common with difficult, frightening, and traumatic experience.  However, emotional and physical experience are stored in a different region of the brain than we ordinarily use for language.  This means that when a visual eye gaze is located, there is an opportunity for resolution and a transformation of the original experience.

An equally important part of the BSP technique is the therapist’s awareness to not only what is being said, but also the apparent nonverbal process and emotion of the person working through the experience.  The therapist’s presence offers support and compassion while reducing feelings of loneliness that often accompany traumatic memory.  Often when the experience is reprocessed, the support of a caring person is an additional way to reconnect with emotions, placing them in the past and creating a sense of increased freedom in everyday life.

There are several ways to approach a brainspotting session that can be accommodated to the person’s comfort level and preference.  For this reason, the approach and technique are very client centered and empowering.  The person who is processing is in charge of their own experience.

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