Brainspotting

 

What is Brainspotting?

When an individual experiences a physical or emotional injury, this is considered a trauma. Sometimes these are "Big T" traumas: abuse, sexual assault, car accidents, disasters, etc. But sometimes we experience "little t" traumas: humiliation, bullying, rejection, ends of painful relationships, etc. Whether a "Big T" or a "little t," the energy of that event gets stored in the nervous system. We accumulate these experiences in what is called the "trauma reservoir," which is held deep within the subcortical brain. Holding these experiences in our nervous system can lead to anxiety, hyper vigilance, difficulty with emotional regulation, substance abuse, unexplained physical pain, and other physical and psychological symptoms. Brainspotting accesses the location in the brain where these charged emotional memories are stored, and releases them. 

How Does it Work?

 

In Brainspotting, the client and therapist work together to find an eye position that correlates to the "felt sense" of an emotional experience, memory or symptom. Sometimes this "brainspot" is located through the clients direction, and sometimes it is identified by the therapist through reflexive responses (eye twitches, wobbles, freezes, blinks, facial or body tics, or other movements). Once the "brainspot" is found, the client holds that eye position and focuses on the somatic or sensory experience of the symptom or problem being addressed in therapy. As the client maintains the eye position, the deep brain processes and releases the stored negative energy. Brainspotting is enhanced with biolateral music: music or calming sounds that alternately stimulate each cerebral hemisphere (the sounds go from ear to ear). This stimulation enhances the brains ability to access its deeper parts while supporting a calm state. 

For more information on the neuroscience click here.

 

What Can it Help With?

Brainspotting can be an effective and efficient treatment tool for:

  • Trauma

  • Developmental Trauma

  • Trichotillomania

  • Grief and Loss

  • Anxiety and Phobias

  • Performance and Test Anxiety

  • Anger Management

  • Negative Self-Esteem

  • Depression

  • ADD and ADHD

  • Addiction

  • Stuttering

  • Chronic Pain Conditions

  • Enhanced Creativity

  • Enhanced Athletic Performance

 

What Does a Session Look Like?

In a typical session, the client comes into my office and makes themselves comfortable on the couch or chair. I usually offer a set of headphones to begin listening to biolateral music. The client identifies the issue they would like to work on, and we begin looking for the “brainspot.” The client allows the body to process each “brainspot” in whatever way feels right. That could look like talking, silence, crying, twitching, or other body movements. Whatever way the body processes the trauma stored in that part of the brain is right – there is no wrong way to do brainspotting! When the deep brain is accessed and allowed to heal, it is amazingly natural and efficient. We make sure to end the session feeling grounded and calm, and can spend some time focusing and enhancing the feeling of calm if necessary (called “resourcing”).

 

Brainspotting With Kids?

Yes, kids are incredible. They are typically able to find and process brainspots more rapidly than adults. This means that there is still plenty of time in a session to utilize play, art, or other modalities for the healing work to continue. I may use more creativity when working with kids, utilizing puppets, stuffed animals, or gazespots to help kids feel comfortable as they begin using brainspotting.

Contact Me

Nikki Pritchett, LMFT

4456 Black Ave #200

Pleasanton, CA 94566

 

925-800-3566

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Shining Light Therapy

Nikki Pritchett, LMFT

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