Brainspotting–How It Works

Mental health disorders are complex and often require various forms of treatment and therapies to address the root of the issue. Still, many individuals have a preconceived notion about what treatments and therapies entail. However, there are many remarkable treatments that they might not know about, such as brainspotting.  

Brainspotting is a relatively new yet effective therapy. It helps individuals get to the core of their mental health issues related to stress, anxiety, and trauma. For those who have experienced trauma, mental health disorders, and more, brainspotting may be the best treatment option. 

What Is Brainspotting? 

Brainspotting is an effective treatment for people suffering extreme trauma, abuse, PTSD, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. Brainspotting is a relatively new practice that stems from eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). It helps patients find the core issues and specific memories that trigger their traumas. 

According to research, brainspotting reveals unprocessed traumas by identifying fixed eye movement spots called “brainspots.” When the therapist has identified a brainspot, the client holds their eye position as they reprocess the trauma and replace those negative emotions with healing ones. 

How Does It Work? 

According to Medical Hypothesis, brainspotting is “psychotherapy based on the observation that the body activation experienced when describing a traumatic event has a resonating spot in the visual field. Holding the attention of that brainspot allows the processing of the traumatic event to flow until the body activation has cleared.” To accomplish this, the therapist needs information from you to get started. Once they have enough information, they can actively search for a brainspot to help the client process a previously unprocessed trauma. For teenagers, parents will have to permit brainspotting treatment before it can begin. 

A brainspotting appointment may look like this: 

  • General Questions: The client will meet with the therapist for the first time. The therapist will ask general questions concerning why the client is seeking this form of therapy. In the case of teenagers, it may be something recommended by parents or other mental health professionals to help them work through trauma.
  • Focus: The therapist will next ask the client what they would like to talk about. It may take prompting if the client is nervous or can’t find a starting place. The therapist will try to help them focus on one thing at a time.
  • Explore Feelings: Once they identify something the client can talk about, the therapist will ask what they feel. Generally, clients in this treatment will have negative feelings of fear, anxiety, regret, anxiousness, despair, or hopelessness. The therapist will next ask where in the body the person feels that the most. For example, many people feel anxiety in their chest and stomachs. The therapist will then ask them to rate their pain.
  • Brain Stimulation: Before finding a brainspot, the therapist may play some white noise to stimulate different parts of the client’s brain. It helps clients self-regulate and recall memories simultaneously.
  • Locate the Pain: As they begin, the therapist will ask the client to look at something. They may suggest maybe a pointer or a small object. The therapist is looking for a brainspot. A brainspot is when the eyes concentrate and lock into one position. Then the client feels that negative or painful feeling manifests in their body as they look in that specific spot. As the therapist moves the object, they will ask the client to rate their pain. If it rises significantly, this means they found the brainspot for the issue. The therapist will attempt to process it with them, but only if the client is ready.
  • Alleviate Trauma: As they process, the end goal is that the specific trauma is alleviated and lifted from the client. They can remember, process, and repeat, replacing negative feelings with positive ones. It may not all happen at once in one appointment. However, the therapist can keep track of specific brainspots to work from and lower the pain scale in that brainspot.

It Doesn’t Happen in a Day

Not all brainspotting appointments are the same. Some people may not want to work from the specific brainspot found. They may choose to process from a neutral position. They do this by using the memories that may have surfaced or feelings they just experienced. It is okay, and it’s completely up to the client to adhere to what they are comfortable doing. Some trauma is too extreme to be handled all in one day. As the therapist works with the client, they’ll find a comfortable routine and help to process their trauma. 

Let us see if we can help you

Brainspotting can be extremely helpful for teen girls to process traumatic experiences. The best thing about brainspotting is that it’s measurable. Teen girls can see their accomplishments in therapy as they work through specific brainspots. If your teen daughter is struggling and needs intensive therapy to work through their trauma, Havenwood Academy can help. At Havenwood Academy, our staff can help your child begin therapy and even get back on track with their education. Our staff can guide your daughter through many therapeutic activities such as brainspotting therapy. We can help them work through their traumas when she is ready. We offer many therapies at Havenwood Academy, and we’ll tailor your child’s treatment plan to meet their needs. 

To learn more, call us today at (435) 586-2500.


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