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BRAINSPOTTING

Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness

Peter Levine

Brainspotting is a trauma therapy that has its origins in EMDR and somatic experiencing: therapeutic modalities that creator David Grand began to creatively work with and from which this approach was discovered. The fundamental premise is that 'where we look affects how we feel' and that our eye position can stimulate emotional memory stored in the body. As a result it has been shown to be effective at identifying, processing, and releasing imbalances, trauma, and residual emotional stress which are often connected in bodily channels of experience. 

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A typical session of brainspotting would begin by identifying an issue or difficult memory that you want to transform and heal, focusing on this and giving space for how your body responds to it. We would then find a still point in the visual field (a brainspot) which is associated with this charged physical sensation and hold your gaze there. From here we follow your bodymind process, allowing memories and thoughts to come but always with a focus on the sensations that accompany them, encouraging their connection so that healing can occur. 

 

An advantage of working this way is there is no need to retell your story and what has happened to you -- which can result in retraumatization -- because the emphasis is on sensory and non-verbal experience. Another is that it can release unresolved issues at a deeper level: tiredness and fatigue are to be expected after brainspotting because it accesses sub-cortical regions of the brain that are difficult to penetrate into through words alone. 

 

Brainspotting is an approach that we might consider when we have begun to establish a relationship in our work together and have agreed that it would be beneficial for your process to engage in it. This is because the relationship we work from is essential for both the holding and healing that can occur in this modality.

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© 2020 by Ben Jones

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