The way we think most certainly has a direct correlation with our actions and behaviors, which in turn affect how we see and feel about ourselves in our environment. While this core principle is the starting point to improving one’s mental health and overall satisfaction with life, it is but just one of the myriad of techniques we in the mental health field are discovering that can greatly benefit our overall health and well being.
One of these new discoveries is called “Brainspotting.” Just like so many facets of life, whether we accept it or fail to see it, we are a connected organism constantly adapting and reorganizing the world and environment around us, thus being in a constant flux of adaptation. The eyes are the visual tool that connects our inner world with the outer world.
Just like any other therapeutic process, the therapist and client first determine what the issue is through talk therapy, followed by choosing something detailed and specific to focus on. The next step in this process is to make a connection between your specific issues, while identifying any or all physical sensations occurring in the moment without any conscious or predisposed judgments on those sensations. When this is accomplished with the assistance of the therapist, a quick identification of where your visual gaze of focus is as you simultaneously capture the specific emotion is key. Typically the therapist can have a device – usually a pointer – to help guide the client in being as aware as they can be of where their gaze is directed as they feel their emotion.
This process between therapist and client is continued until either party begins to notice a pattern or rhythm to the eye movement, gaze, and different emotions that are being experienced. The combination of focusing on a specific emotion or experience by the client while tracking the eye movement has a natural unlocking, unconscious effect on the mind in order to release its ego defenses for a moment in time. This allows for a deeper insight into oneself – a more natural willingness observe, feel, and objectively look at oneself without fear of our inner critic inhibiting us from gaining those potentially painful or anxious internal fears. Ultimately, this is the key to unlocking your doorway to freedom by letting go of fear, doubt, and disbelief.
The purpose of brainspotting is to use an equally effective alternative way, just as in talk therapy, to delve deeper into our brain’s ability to heal itself and return to a balanced state of health. It is an active dual therapy practice that is effective only when there is complete cooperation between client and therapist. Brainspotting assists people with aligning what their brain has naturally used to protect itself from past trauma, grief, loss, and varying anxieties in order to bring them to the forefront of our minds in a manner that does not overload us or create more confusion and fear. Rather, it is intended for making newer and stronger connections about yourself so that one can live a truly engaging, fulfilling, and enlightened life accompanied by a significant reduction in those doubts and fears about self, which have been holding us back from positive change and growth!
Brainspotting was developed by David Grand, Ph.D while working with a top tier athletic figure skater who was having trouble with her triple loop jump. Ninety-minue sessions of somatic Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and various other mind body therapies led Dr. Grand to discover that his client’s eye movement and field of vision began to wobble slightly as they honed in on specific detailed material. This material that was once difficult for the client to express before or even know about herself was now coming to light both internally and externally. Fascinated by this new discovery, Dr. Grand began using the technique on new clients. He tracked the natural reflexes of clients under this setting, as the seemingly fluid unveiling of insight on one’s own fears, delusions, and pain came as natural revelations, while at same time, the brain was rewarding and fixing itself from the inside out.
Brainspotting can work for all individuals from all backgrounds, ages, and walks of life. It has helped liberate people affected by – but not limited to – abuse, PTSD, car accidents, chronic fatigue, traumatic brain injuries, anxiety, depression, pain, and addiction. Crucially, brainspotting is continually enveloping and remedying all other types of mental health related disorders.